April 14, 2016, 11:30 pm
One of my favorite things to do when the regular season wraps up is the postseason fantasy draft.
Mostly, I just like drinking a bunch of beer and mindlessly drafting after an 82-game schedule of incessant analysis.
This year I got to do two drafts. One was with a few indie rockers that indie rock people would know — and most folks would never believe how obsessive the indie rockers get about fantasy hoops. Maybe it’s all the time on the tour bus.
The other draft was with the new crew here at Hoop Ball, which was as cutthroat and hilarious of a draft as I’ve been a part of in a while.
Surprise, surprise — the second draft I did was much better than the first. In most setups you’re trying to pick players from teams that you think will advance and that’s the fun element of these drafts. Folks are underprepared, predisposed to overvalue big names, unclear on who they like to advance in the playoffs, and not really used to the valuations of players. Scoring systems aren’t standardized.
It’s total chaos … which is why it’s so fun and I embrace that with little to no studying on my part. Now you might not be grinding through an 82-game season as a fantasy basketball writer or you might simply want to win. You might have money involved. So let’s get to breaking down this draft. The guys gave blurbs on why they picked who they picked and also who they thought had the best pick in the round. They weren’t supposed to pick their own pick but it was a bit of a free for all.
The scoring system is below. We added a fun wrinkle that ejections, Flagrant Fouls, Game Winning Buzzer Beaters and technical fouls all are worth positive points. Otherwise, the system more or less tries to emulate some semblance of a standard league without percentages.
Pos Pk Ov Team Player PG 1 1 Mike Yusko Curry, Stephen – GS PF 2 2 Aaron Bruski Green, Draymond – GS SF 3 3 Dan Besbris James, LeBron – CLE SF 4 4 Vince Miracle Durant, Kevin – OKC SG 5 5 Riaz Dhanani Thompson, Klay – GS PG 6 6 Giovanni Musa Westbrook, Russell – OKC SF 7 7 Ace Tran Leonard, Kawhi – SA PF 8 8 Dimitri Tzaneteas Millsap, Paul – ATL PG 9 9 Robert Munoz Lowry, Kyle – TOR PG 10 10 Zain Dhanani Irving, Kyrie – CLE PF 11 11 John Sill Love, Kevin – CLE
MIKE YUSKO: Stephen CurryTough choice…Best pick: Draymond Green by Bruski. I had him ranked #2 and thought he’d slide.
DAN BESBRIS: LeBron James
This was a pretty easy pick. The King will keep his teammates involved with assists and defensive stats in the early rounds against weaker competition, and as the playoffs wear on he’ll start to dominate the ball and rack up points and boards.Best Pick: Mike Yusko – Steph Curry – Most of the players drafted in the 1st round are going to put up stats. Getting first pick MIGHT just win this entire league this year.
RIAZ DHANANI: Klay Thompson
GSW is the favorite to win the title and he was the best available on their team.Best Pick: Kyrie Irving. If the Cavs get to the NBA Finals, which they are favorite to do, then they will likely end the playoffs with the most games played. Kyrie at 10th pick could be a steal.
GIOVANNI MUSA: Russell WestbrookI like OKC to at least make the WCF, so getting the triple-double machine known as Russell Westbrook at 6th overall was a no brainer for me. He should slaughter whoever the Mavs – his first round opponent – throw at him along the way.Best Pick: Draymond Green. After Steph Curry there was no obvious pick. But Dray absolutely fills it up in the Warriors’ small ball lineup of death – a lineup you’re sure to see a whole lot more than you saw during the regular season.
ACE TRAN: Kawhi Leonard
The Spurs have a great chance to take it all this year if they can outlast the onslaught of the Warriors. Regardless, it definitely won’t be a sweep if the Spurs and Warriors face-off in the WCF. Clearly the best pick in this round was Stephen Curry and I don’t think I need to explain why!
DIMITRI TZANETEAS: Paul Millsap
Huge Hawks fan and I am feeling a long playoff run. If that occurs then Milly is definitely deserving of a round one pick.
Best Pick: Stephen Curry – Best player on the best team. This one is a no-brainer.
ROBERTO MUNOZ: Kyle LowryThis is the year the Raptors take the next step and for them to do that they will need their best player to produce, and produce he will! Lowry has the potential for steals, technicals and 3pts…as well as game winning buzzer beaters.Best Pick: (Yusko) by default! How can you go against Curry?
JOHN SILL: Kevin LoveSeemed like the safest pick to stay alive near the end of the first round. Cavs have best Vegas odds to make finals and Love had his highest scoring average (24 ppg) against the Pistons (1st round matchup) this year.Best Play: LeBron James – he tends to step it up in the playoffs and has the best odds to make the finals
May 31, 2020, 8:10 pmKz OkpalaF, Miami Heat
Kz Okpala's offensive game has come a long way since January according to Heat Vice President and Assistant GM, Adam Simon.
Okpala is already viewed as an NBA-ready defender, and once his offensive game is up to speed the Heat will have a hard time not getting him into the rotation. He spent 20 games in the G League and five with the Heat before the suspension slowed down his progression in 2020. Okpala got off to a slow start due to injuries, and a trade on draft day took away his chance to play in summer league. While this season is unlikely to amount to anything, Okpala is someone to watch in deeper leagues next year.
Source: Miami Herald
May 31, 2020, 8:03 pmGabe VincentPG, Miami Heat
Heat Vice President and Assistant GM, Adam Simon, stated that Gabe Vincent's knee is "good to go".
It sounds like Vincent would have no problem being NBA ready if the Heat decided to call up the two-way guard when play hopefully resumes July 31. Vincent is a strong 3-point shooter with the ability to attack a closeout, but it is still unlikely the Heat will need to put him on the floor for the remainder of the 2019-20 season.
Source: Miami Herald
May 31, 2020, 7:51 pmShake MiltonSG, Philadelphia Sixers
According to projections by Mike O'Connor and Derek Bodner of The Athletic, Shake Milton will be a starter for the Sixers whenever play relaunches.
Milton was thriving for the Sixers when the season was suspended due to COVID-19, and some risk remains that Ben Simmons will bump him from the rotation when the stoppage in play is lifted. In 16 starts with the Sixers, Milton averaged 14.1 points, 2.2 3-pointers, 3.6 assists, 3 rebounds and 1.1 steals. As a 3-pointer specialist along, Milton has earned a slot in 12-team formats, but things are going to be more difficult when he is forced to play off-ball in a fully healthy lineup in Philadelphia
Source: The Athletic
May 31, 2020, 7:42 pmKevin DurantSF, Brooklyn Nets
On a recent ESPN podcast featuring Adrian Wojnarowski and his colleague Zach Lowe, Wojnarowski stated that Kevin Durant (torn Achilles) would not play for the Nets this year.
Wojnarowski went onto say that he had no source that had relayed that information to him. The Nets have largely been deferring to Durant and the medical staff when it comes to his prospects for playing this year. While the organization may get hopeful that KD will lace it up for a playoff run, all signs are still pointing to him waiting until 2020-21.
Source: Anthony Puccio on Twitter
May 29, 2020, 7:43 pmEric GordonSG, Houston Rockets
Rockets guard Eric Gordon has improved his diet, focused on sprints, and has apparently shed 12 pounds in the process, according to Kelly Iko of The Athletic.
Gordon has battled knee ailments for essentially his whole career and has dealt with his fair share of nagging injuries this season as well. Losing weight to create a lighter frame would seem sensible, especially with the knee issues. The Rockets, remember, fully adopted the "small ball" lineup and move fast so Gordon is smart to keep his endurance and fitness at high levels. He's going to have to play well and make shots for the Rockets when the NBA returns to action, otherwise coach Mike D'Antoni won't be able to justify giving Gordon minutes. We don't anticipate much fantasy value out of him if and when the league starts back up.
Source: The Athletic
May 29, 2020, 6:03 pmLeBron JamesSF, Los Angeles Lakers
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN is reporting that the NBA is planning for a Board of Governors vote on Thursday, during which they are expected to approve Adam Silver's proposal for re-starting the season in Orlando.
The trend lines are all moving in this direction, and this adds another bullet point on the schedule as the league prepares for launching games on July 31. Adam Silver has been able to bridge any divides between ownership and the players, and has been taking into account all his key constituent's views as we approach approval of a plan for moving forward. We still have plenty of items to resolve before we see game action, but the NBA is gaining momentum as these details come into place.
Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter
May 29, 2020, 4:44 pmBradley BealSG, Washington Wizards
On Friday, the Wizards resumed holding voluntary workouts at their practice facilities.
The Wizards have joined a chorus of teams that are returning in limited capacities to their facilities at this point. The NBA as a whole is continuing its march towards the resumption of play with a target date of July 31 now established. The District of Columbia also entered phase one of reopening today, and it makes sense for the team to proceed on a similar trajectory.
Source: Candace Buckner on Twitter
May 29, 2020, 4:03 pmJulius RandlePF, New York Knicks
Part of the Knicks' off-season thinking is to shape the roster around RJ Barrett, and it unclear where Julius Randle will fit in those plans.
Barrett and Randle have similar offensive styles, as they typically have an advantage relying upon their strength to attack the basket, but neither has a component deep ball at this stage in their careers. As Barrett is the younger option it makes sense that the Knicks want to sign shooters to give him more space to operate with. Randle's lousy percentages and turnovers has made for a disappointing season with the Knicks thus far, and Barrett will also need to make some strides in the shooting department to become a 12-team asset. Randle is under contract for next season is owed at least $4,000,000 in 2021-22.
May 29, 2020, 3:46 pmJayson TatumSF, Boston Celtics
On Friday, the Celtics' announced that their practice facilities would reopen on June 1.
That leaves us with four NBA teams without access to their facilities. Things are beginning to accelerate throughout the league as teams ramp up activities in hopes of resuming competition in Orlando on July 31. So far so good, but the NBA still has many hurdles to overcome on the path to resuming the season.
Source: Celtics PR on Twitter
May 29, 2020, 3:40 pmRJ BarrettSF, New York Knicks
The Knicks reopened their practice facility for voluntary workouts on Friday.
Another step in the right direction for the NBA's return to action at the end of July. It's still unclear if the Knicks will even be involved in whatever plan is agreed upon, but it is good to learn that the players can now access their facilities in New York. Only five team facilities have not opened up in some capacity at this point.
Source: Knicks PR on Twitter