• Editor’s Note: We’re going to be doing a bunch of these. Some of them will happen in the free section of the site, and some of them will be for Draft Guide Subscribers only. 

    We are also going to be unrolling some interactive chats, Google Hangouts and we may even try to get you guys to use our forums by having some Q&A take place in there. Again, Draft Guide Subscribers will have more access to chats, questions and will get discounts on future Hoop Ball fantasy products.  Media days and training camps are right around the corner, and those will mark the beginning of the end of our big push content-wise. 

    So enjoy this first mock draft.  Getting a quick 10-teamer together like this is a great way to see very generally where guys are being taken.  – Bru

    It’s time. With preseason just a few short weeks away fantasy hoops season is gearing up in earnest. On Thursday night, fellow Hoop Ball writer Danh Nguyen and I were joined by eight of our readers to participate in our first community mock draft of the season. This practice is one that will continue up until the start of the regular season, so stay tuned to participate.

    For this first iteration we chose a 10-team, 8-cat head-to-head format where players would receive a win for each category in which they outperformed an opponent. It’s early, and folks were still feeling out their preferred strategy and players, but the results were fascinating.

    Here we go:

    Round 1

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    Recap: Things went pretty much as expected in the first round. Danh (T. O.) decided to make Russell Westbrook the top pick, which seems to be the growing consensus in the fantasy community. Honestly, taking any of the top-5 guys first overall isn’t crazy… Teams Delgado and Russell Wilson got nice value as Kawhi Leonard and LeBron James slipped to the end of the round after Team Ballaholic nabbed Chris Paul at the sixth spot.

    My Pick: I was thrilled to see Anthony Davis still on the board when I picked seventh. The risk is very real, as it’s hard to count on him playing more than 65 games. That said, when he’s on the court he offers upside unlike any other player and I was content to roll the dice in a shallower format.

    Round 2

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    Recap: Although taking Giannis Antetokounmpo at 12 is aggressive, I really like Team W’s approach to the turn. Pairing Antetokounmpo’s upside with a proven fantasy commodity like DeMarcus Cousins is a smart way to start your draft… Seeing Hassan Whiteside slip to 15 after last year’s stellar campaign was a bit surprising, as I would have taken him before Damian Lillard or John Wall, but that’s merely nitpicking… Both Jimmy Butler and Kyrie Irving strike me as a bit overvalued here given their injury histories.

    My Pick: We’ll get to picks that I deeply regret soon enough, but Paul George at 14 was probably the selection I was most satisfied with in the draft. George shouldn’t be dropping out of the first in almost any format, and banking his steady production made me feel even better about gambling on Davis a round earlier.

    Round 3

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    Recap: T. O. locks in one of the more impressive steals of the draft by nabbing Draymond Green at 21. I’ve been on the record arguing that Green’s fantasy stock remains as safe as ever given his unique combination of defensive stats and assists from the power forward spot… Eric Bledsoe and Klay Thompson are also excellent selections. Both offer elite upside, and spending a third round pick on them helps alleviate the risk each player carries (health for Bledsoe, role and usage for Thompson)… I’m not in love with Serge Ibaka this year.

    My Pick: This seems like a fair spot for industry darling Victor Oladipo. He has the potential to finish as a top-20 player, so even taking him in the third round leaves room for a potential positive return on investment. In pairing him with Davis and George I gave myself a head start in both defensive categories, but also began to slip down the projected standings in threes.

    Round 4

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    Recap: The draft room was fairly split on Team Delgado’s selection of Nikola Jokic at 33, as the big man is ranked much lower in ESPN’s default rankings. Consider me a big believer in the second year center… Team Mitchell and T.O. saw really nice value fall into their laps, as both Gordon Hayward and Kristaps Porzingis could have gone much higher… Marc Gasol makes me nervous as a fourth round pick, but in a shallower league MrTrollKing has more options if and when Big Spain goes down with injury. I’m just not sure how effective he’ll be when he’s on the court.

    My Pick: In retrospect I regret this pick. I love Khris Middleton as both a player and fantasy asset, but I made the mistake of trying to make up for my large deficit in threes rather than opting for the more viable decision to punt the category. As we’ll see shortly I was eventually forced to forgo being competitive in treys, and if I’d had the foresight to make that decision a round earlier I could have taken Porzingis here.

    Round 5

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    Recap: I’m a big believer in the Utah Jazz starting frontcourt, and feel like both Derrick Favors and Rudy Gobert should have gone much earlier. Well done, YOLOSWAG and Team Mitchell… Pau Gasol might not excite anyone in your draft room next month, but he’s a solid value here for Team Ballaholic. Gasol was tremendous last season, and should continue to thrive offensively in San Antonio. Sure there’s some injury risk, but as your fifth player you don’t need Pau to play 82 games.

    My Pick: My Nerlens Noel pick was made in tandem with my selection in Round 6, so I’ll discuss them both together in the next section.

    Round 6

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    Recap: Kenneth Faried at 51 is hard to justify. He averaged just over 25 minutes per game last season, and will likely see even less playing time this year with more minutes going to Jokic and Jusuf Nurkic. Faried is a replacement level talent in a bad situation. Yuck… The entire draft room groaned when T. O. nabbed Gorgui Dieng with his last pick in the round. We were all hoping to scoop up the versatile big man in the seventh. Great pick.

    My Pick: The fifth and sixth round defined my team. When I was on the clock at 47, it seemed almost certain that I could select two of the following three big men with my next two selections: Nerlens Noel, Andre Drummond and DeAndre Jordan. Given how far all three had fallen, the value I could get out of pairing their strengths and weakness, along with the hole I’d already dug for myself in threes, led me to pull the trigger.

    I paired Noel and Drummond to make myself a heavy favorite in field goal percentage, steals, blocks and boards, while firmly punting both treys and free throw percentage. In an eight category league giving yourself a head start in four categories each week is huge.

    Round 7

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    Recap: Team Delgado halts D’Angelo Russell’s slide at 68. The opportunity and talent are there for him to take a big step forward this season. Despite an up and down rookie year it isn’t hard to imagine Russell averaging 18 points, five boards, five assists and a smattering of steals and threes in his first campaign under Luke Walton… Team Russell Wilson makes up for his Faried selection by grabbing Chris Bosh with pick 70. While his situation is still murky, there seems to be growing optimism around Bosh out of Miami, and in the seventh round his price is too good to pass up.

    My Pick: In hindsight, I probably could have used Bosh’s scoring and upside, but I was happy to add to my team’s strengths with Marcin Gortat. The defensive numbers, field goal percentage and boards should remain consistent even though he’s getting up there in age.

    Rounds 8 and 9

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    Recap: Team W continued to add to a talented roster by grabbing Aaron Gordon in the eighth. The rotation is a mess in Orlando, but if Gordon sees consistent starting minutes this season he is going to be a versatile, stat stuffing monster… Jrue Holiday is well worth the risk this late in the draft.

    While we don’t have a ton of clarity on his family situation, even half a season of Holiday is worth this price tag. He was going in the third round of drafts before the tragic news broke… Enes Kanter should be a force on the boards and is an underrated fantasy asset at this point. Yes, he doesn’t give you much in the way of defensive stats, but he hits his free throws and could easily average a double-double this season.

    My Picks: Yikes. I said it in the draft room and on Twitter afterwards, but my selection of Dwyane Wade might have been the worst selection of the draft. I could try and bluff my way through an explanation of the importance of blocks from the guard position, or the way his combination of field goal percentage and scoring acumen fit my team, but those would just be lies.

    I misclicked.

    I’m not proud of it, but I made the rookiest of rookie mistakes and highlighted Wade instead of Holiday. I wanted Jrue to boost my assist numbers and instead added Wade for no reason… A round later I like Jabari Parker’s upside quite a bit in the ninth round. He flourished when Giannis ran the point last season, and he should be an efficient scorer who helps my team compete in points.

    Rounds 10 and 11

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    Recap: Danny Green is another player I would have preferred to Wade two rounds earlier. Team Russell Wilson scoops him up at the top of the tenth and gets himself a prime bounce back candidate. I don’t buy that Green forgot how to shoot permanently, and expect him to return to his career average from downtown next season… I wouldn’t touch Joakim Noah inside the top-150 this year. I used to love him as a player, but the defense that made him a fantasy star just isn’t there anymore and other than assists he’s a zero on the other end… Eric Gordon and Steven Adams are back to back steals in the eleventh round, as both players should thrive in new roles this season.

    My Picks: After going heavy on big men early it was time to scrounge up some assists. Jeremy Lin should be the only game in town for Brooklyn this season, and I still like Elfrid Payton’s ability to generate dimes and steals (plus his free throw percentage isn’t an issue for my team).

    Rounds 12 and 13

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    Recap: Team Biermann-Smith was able to steal Nikola Mirotic in the penultimate round of the draft. He should be in line for a significant role increase this season, and can do a lot to bolster your 3PMs this season… Clint Capela and Jusuf Nurkic made for some nice late round fliers, as both have shown that they can be fantasy difference makers in limited minutes… I have to assume that Team Russell Wilson, who made a number of savvy picks throughout the mock, was simply looking for a goof in making Tim Duncan our Mr. Irrelevant.

    My Picks: After the embarrassing Wade pick I was still looking for redemption in the final rounds, and I think I found it in Willie Cauley-Stein. The second year big man has monumental defensive potential… I’ve been a pretty vocal critic of Michael Carter-Williams, but the market has probably swung too far in that direction this season. If he can stay healthy he should still see plenty of run as the Buck’s backup point guard, and he remains a cheap source of assists and steals.

Fantasy News

  • Terance Mann
    PG, Los Angeles Clippers

    Terrence Mann replaced the injured Patrick Beverley in the starting lineup on Friday and added three assists, two rebounds and a block.

    There was a decent opportunity for some sneaky DFS value here but Mann fell flat on his face. Don't consider Mann a fantasy option, especially when Beverley returns.

  • Kawhi Leonard
    SF, Los Angeles Clippers

    Kawhi Leonard accumulated 42 points (10-for-24 shooting, 19-for-19 free throws), 11 rebounds, three triples and two assists as the Clippers defeated the Wolves 124-117.

    Leonard was relentlessly attacking the defense in this one and was rewarded with 19 free throw attempts which ties his career-high. It's odd to see a Leonard line with no defensive counters, but that's nitpicking what was an amazing line. The only thing holding Leonard back is load management.

  • Paul George
    SF, Los Angeles Clippers

    Paul George caught fire on Friday, finishing with 46 points (17-for-31 shooting), seven assists, six threes, five rebounds and two steals.

    Nobody could stop George or Kawhi Leonard in this one, as the two both scored over 40 points for the first time this season. Something tells me this won't be the last time. The Clippers are starting to hit their stride, despite missing several contributors to injury. Look out.

  • Montrezl Harrell
    PF, Los Angeles Clippers

    Montrezl Harrell did what he does on Friday, chipping in 18 points (7-for-13 shooting) and four rebounds in 32 minutes off the bench.

    Harrell is a leading candidate for the NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award because he comes off the bench and gets buckets. He did that again tonight, though with fewer rebounds than normal.

  • Rodney McGruder
    SG, Los Angeles Clippers

    Rodney McGruder returned to the floor in Friday's victory over the Wolves, finishing with three rebounds.

    It wasn't one to write home about for McGruder, but just getting back on the floor after a hamstring injury kept him out a few weeks is a good sign. The Clippers are dealing with a lot of injuries right now, so if he can get back up to speed quickly there could be some extra minutes for him.

  • Julius Randle
    PF, New York Knicks

    Julius Randle finished Friday's 103-101 victory over the Kings with 26 points, nine rebounds, four assists and three triples.

    It is starting to feel like Randle isn't even trying to record defensive numbers these days. You take the good scoring and rebounding numbers, but his upside remains capped as long as he puts up zeroes on the defensive side.

  • Mitchell Robinson
    C, New York Knicks

    Mitchell Robinson posted 14 points (7-for-9 shooting), nine rebounds and a steal in 25 minutes on Friday.

    It was odd to see Robinson go without a block in this one, but defensive numbers tend to come in waves anyway. It could be worth offering one of your worst players for Robinson to see if his current owner is getting impatient.

  • Damyean Dotson
    SG, New York Knicks

    Damyean Dotson rode some hot shooting to 11 points (4-for-6 shooting) and three triples in 17 minutes on Friday as the Knicks defeated the Kings.

    Dotson also added a steal to his line as he seems to be settling in as a decent threes and points streamer but not much more. Elfrid Payton was the only other guard to get minutes off the bench in this one, finishing with 16 points (7-for-13 shooting), four rebounds, four assists, a steal and a triple.

  • Buddy Hield
    SG, Sacramento Kings

    Buddy Hield continued to fill it up on Friday, posting 34 points (14-for-23 shooting), 12 rebounds, six triples and three assists as the Kings fell 101-103 to the Knicks.

    Hield is enjoying a top-20 run of production over the last two weeks, mainly because of his scoring prowess. Tonight, he even chipped in an impressive rebound total. De'Aaron Fox is due to return soon, but Hield should still be able to produce at a high level like he did alongside Fox last season.

  • Nemanja Bjelica
    PF, Sacramento Kings

    Nemanja Bjelica tied his career-high assist total in Friday's loss to the Knicks with seven, adding 12 points, three triples, two rebounds and a block.

    Bjelica's role now that Marvin Bagley is back in action is still to be determined as Bagley is being worked back into the rotation slowly. It feels like Bjelica, Bagley and Richaun Holmes will be splitting the majority of the minutes in the Kings front court. Continue to hold Bjelica until he gives you a reason not to.