• If you want to know just how obsessed we are with fantasy hoops, look no further than Hoop-Ball’s brand-new Career League. What is this newfangled fantasy basketball monstrosity you ask? Well, it’s an idea of mine that manifested into a 12-team dynasty league that includes the ability to draft active and retired NBA players. Some of the experts that you’ve come to know and love on this very site joined in on the party and I’m here to share the results of the draft with you.

    Editor’s Note: I was under the impression that we were picking our own fantasy careers, and I kept trying to draft “Astronaut” to no avail.

    To quickly provide you with an overview of the rules and format, this is a 12-team, 8-cat roto league. It features the ability to draft both current and former NBA players where their stats are accumulated across the entire NBA regular season. Teams draft 20 players and declare a roster of 18 before the start of the season. That includes six guards, six forward, three centers, and another three flex positions. The league is similar to a “best-ball” format where there’s no weekly roster management. Everyone drafts and then at the end of the season, the stats are tallied and a winner is declared.

    But there’s a twist. It’s a dynasty league. Teams can trade in season to either pad their stats for a title or rebuild with players they think will have great long-term NBA careers. And to make sure there’s an even playing field, there’s a cap on the amount of retired players you can draft. Teams can draft a minimum of eight retired players and a maximum of 10. At the end of each season, teams can only keep a maximum of 6 retired players. Only NBA statistics are part of the scoring process. No ABA or international league stats are included.  We use Basketball Reference for positional eligibility and official statistics.

    Here’s a rundown of the draft and some thoughts from each owner and Hoop-Ball expert on how everything went.

    Draft Order

    1. Erik Ong
    2. Zach Feldman
    3. Mike Passador
    4. Zach Bodhane
    5. Mike Apotria
    6. Dan Besbris
    7. Chef Ali
    8. Me
    9. Nathan Nguyen and Ryan Peffers
    10. Souriyo Dishak
    11. Dio Nikiforos
    12. Bruski

    Results by Team

    Erik Ong

    G – Ray Allen (Round 2)

    G – Maurice Cheeks (Round 4)

    G – Terry Porter (Round 5)

    G – Reggie Theus (Round 8)

    G – Jrue Holiday (Round 10)

    G – Jeff Teague (Round 16)

    F – Rasheed Wallace (Round 6)

    F – Adrian Dantley (Round 7)

    F – Tom Chambers (Round 11)

    F – Trevor Ariza (Round 12)

    F – Thaddeus Young (Round 13)

    F – Robert Covington (Round 14)

    C – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Round 1)

    C – David Robinson (Round 3)

    C – Joel Embiid (Round 9)

    Flex – Clint Capela (Round 15)

    Flex – Josh Richardson (Round 17)

    Flex – Terry Cummings (Round 19)

    Cut – Taurean Prince (Round 18)

    Cut – Nikola Mirotic (Round 20)

    This was an amazing experience. The fact that I could own/use/play with some of the all-time greats made this league extra special. To be honest, I wish I could take a mulligan on my draft. I got lost in the numbers as I combed through retired players’ stats and seeing how the spreadsheet moved my team up and down the roto-rankings. After going through it, my hindsight clarified that I should have approached my picks differently. I went about filling specific categorical needs on a per-pick basis to balance my team for roto as I do in regular drafts, however, I was not able to properly account for overall value in the process. Still, of course I’d play it out. It’s a wonderful learning experience. What’s better than picturing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s immortal (and unblockable) skyhooks, that made me fall in love with basketball in the first place, wreaking havoc on my opponents.

    I’m glad I’m working with people crazy enough to do this and crazier enough to have thought of it.

    Zach Feldman

    G – Paul Pierce (Round 3)

    G – Dwyane Wade (Round 4)

    G – Chauncey Billups (Round 6)

    G – Andre Iguodala (Round 8)

    G – Walter Davis (Round 10)

    G – Calvin Murphy (Round 14)

    F – LeBron James (Round 1)

    F – Larry Bird (Round 2)

    F – LaMarcus Aldridge (Round 7)

    F – Chris Bosh (Round 9)

    F – Rudy Gay (Round 13)

    F – Al Jefferson (Round 15)

    C – Jack Sikma (Round 5)

    C – Bill Laimbeer (Round 11)

    C – Alvan Adams (Round 12)

    Flex – Brook Lopez (Round 16)

    Flex – Marvin Williams (Round 17)

    Flex – Joe Dumars (Round 18)

    Cut – Jameer Nelson (Round 19)

    Cut – Cameron Payne (Round 20)

    First off, thank you to the fellas that set this up and including me, it was riveting. Comparing eras is something that is impossible to do and something that will never stop happening. And the basketball world doesn’t care for the term mutually exclusive. This league jumped into the deep-end and it was an incredible experience.

    In terms of how I went about the draft, I relied on the numbers. I went to basketball-reference, sorted every player ever by win shares: an arbitrary, cumulative, one-number ranking. I downloaded the top 1000 (woohoo, more arbitrary numbers) players and their stats into .CSV files (bbref only allows for 100 players at a time so I had to download ten different files, life is so hard) and threw them into an excel file. From there, I made my own Basketball Monster style rankings list. I calculated the z-scores for every stat for each player, nicely color coded them for my visually stimulated brain, then averaged the mean and median of each z-score. I did the mean and median because the median is more robust, meaning it is not influenced by extremes. I had no idea if mean or median was better, so I just took the average of the two; good enough, right?

    I got incredibly lucky with the second pick and getting LeBron James. I went for a win now mentality, mixed with some pivots due to the active/retired player restrictions, and lineup setup. I took Dwyane Wade in the fifth round knowing he counts for active but I will run into trouble after he retires next summer, I snatched Jack Sikma in the sixth round as I did not have a center yet, and I had barely even heard of Sikma before! Yes, I know, I’m young. Brook Lopez is my youngest active player at 30 years old and my favorite pick of the whole draft was Joe Dumars in the 18th round (he’s 81st on my rankings). I rarely took risks with letting a good value fall in the draft, because there was no ADP to rely on. I also de-valued active, young, stars as I saw they will need years to move up into the top-216 (the number of players being rostered), Giannis is currently the 534th best player, right behind Robin Lopez!  (Note from Josh: It is never wise to insult the draft strategy of the founder and commissioner, but considering how his team turned out, Zach makes a valid point) I know, I know, he’s going to move up quickly, but what I loved about my rankings is they showed how far back some players were, and I didn’t want to wait to be competitive.

    I’m currently in first place following the draft with 83 roto points, and second place is at 73. With LeBron James and a few solid active players, I feel really good about my team after the draft. I’d recommend this league style to everyone. It’s so much fun, does not take that much work outside the draft and really keeps the basketball juices flowing. It reminded me of doing NBA 2K Associations with my friends when we would include all the past players. I’m ready to see how things unfold in the future. We were trying something brand new which completely evened the playing field and it was a great experience.

    ** I’d like to amend my earlier statement. My favorite pick was Cam Payne in the 20th round. We drafted 20 players and then cut two prior to the start of the season. I knew whoever I took last was going to get cut anyways so I wanted the pleasure of cutting Cam Payne (I’m a Bulls fan). It felt great.

    Mike Passador

    G – Steve Nash (Round 2)

    G – Dominique Wilkins (Round 3)

    G – Allen Iverson (Round 5)

    G – Jamal Crawford (Round 9)

    G – Kyrie Irving (Round 10)

    G – Rajon Rondo (Round 11)

    F – Larry Nance (Round 6)

    F – Charles Oakley (Round 7)

    F – John Havlicek (Round 8)

    F – Kyle Korver (Round 12)

    F – Otis Thorpe (Round 13)

    F – Andrei Kirilenko (Round 14)

    C – Hakeem Olajuwon (Round 1)

    C – Karl-Anthony Towns (Round 4)

    C – Myles Turner (Round 15)

    Flex – Lou Williams (Round 16)

    Flex – Aaron Gordon (Round 18)

    Flex – Dario Saric (Round 20)

    Cut – Lauri Markkanen (Round 17)

    Cut – Jakob Poeltl (Round 19)

    This one was weird and as one of the participants in the initial mock draft, I’m ashamed to finish so low in the standings with limited routes back up. I assumed that Hakeem Olajuwon would do too much heavy lifting at the top and it ended up burning me in rebounds and field goal percentage — I blame Allen Iverson, because adding him didn’t even give me a real edge in points at the end of the day. It’s really my fault for having a crappy draft but I need to blame someone.

    If I had to pick one “mistake” it’s taking Karl-Anthony Towns in the fourth round. It’s just a massive deficit to overcome even if he’s going to be a beast for another 18 years. I shouldn’t have gone that route given my initial strengths and the fact that some teams had started to pivot towards younger stars, and I managed to get one of the least-productive (for our game, at least) of the bunch, even if it’s a better long-term play. To make things worse I pivoted again late and took more younger guys. I’m solid-ish in the ancillary stats but have no scoring on a bad mark from the floor, without any rebounds – with Hakeem Olajuwon as my centerpiece, mind you. It turns out my single-season tendencies absolutely ruined me here.

    I’m concerned about the run from 9-12 as three of those guys are about to retire, and I can’t reasonably keep them in my top 6 considering who I went with earlier. Jack Sikma got sniped. The only Raptor I got was Olajuwon, and that’s basically a trivia answer.

    Moral of the story: I’m not smart.

    Zach Bodhane

    G – Gary Payton (Round 2)

    G – Andre Miller (Round 5)

    G – Eddie Jones (Round 8)

    G – Grant Hill (Round 9)

    G – Kyle Lowry (Round 10)

    G – Eric Bledsoe (Round 17)

    F – Dirk Nowitzki (Round 1)

    F – Alex English (Round 4)

    F – Antawn Jamison (Round 6)

    F – Kevin McHale (Round 7)

    F – Glen Rice (Round 12)

    F – Kiki Vandeweghe (Round 15)

    C – Pau Gasol (Round 3)

    C – Sam Lacey (Round 11)

    C – Marc Gasol (Round 13)

    Flex – Nikola Vucevic (Round 15)

    Flex – Draymond Green (Round 16)

    Flex – John Collins (Round 18)

    Cut – Will Barton (Round 19)

    Cut – Ersan Ilyasova (Round 20)

    This was by far the most challenging, but rewarding draft format that I have participated in, so kudos to this group for coming up with such a cool concept! I was thinking of targeting older active players like Dirk and Pau Gasol early to keep my options open later in the draft, but quickly realized that it might put me a deeper hole to climb out of than I originally thought.

    After going with active players in two of my three first picks, I went on a run of retired players that generally fit my preference for roto players – no percentage killers and generally solid production across the board. However, I came to realize after seeing a few other teams round out that I may have been better served trying to punt a category like free throws so I wouldn’t have had to pass on elite bigs like Shaq.

    As with any draft, getting sniped on picks was inevitable, but it stung so much worse in this format given you are drafting from literally the entire universe of NBA players, not just those top-150 or so that are active and fantasy relevant in the league today. Ultimately, I shifted my strategy a bit in the middle rounds of the draft and went away from trying to build a winning team in year one since I just wasn’t quite keeping pace with the top teams. Plus, it will be more fun to watch my stats add up and chase the leaders, rather than top-out in the draft and have to sit around watching teams steadily chip away at my lead.

    I’m not sure that a championship is in my immediate future, but I like my combination of older active players that still have another year or two in the tank with mid-career guys like Bledsoe and Draymond. If we were drafting again I probably would have gone in with a clearer strategy after seeing how things played out, but seeing everyone’s strategy on display as the draft progressed was a ton of fun! I can’t wait to see how the league unfolds.

    Mike Apotria

    G – Michael Jordan (Round 1)

    G – Stephen Curry (Round 3)

    G – Jason Terry (Round 5)

    G – Deron Williams (Round 8)

    G – Nate Archibald (Round 9)

    G – Peja Stojakovic (Round 15)

    F – Julius Erving (Round 4)

    F – Al Horford (Round 6)

    F – Paul Millsap (Round 10)

    F – Zach Randolph (Round 11)

    F – Serge Ibaka (Round 13)

    F – Lamar Odom (Round 16)

    C – Artis Gilmore (Round 2)

    C – Marcus Camby (Round 7)

    C – Wes Unseld  (Round 12)

    Flex – Devin Harris (Round 18)

    Flex – Enes Kanter (Round 19)

    Flex – Bernard King (Round 20)

    Cut – Jarrett Jack (Round 14)

    Cut – Loul Deng (Round 17)

    The all-time fantasy draft we recently completed was one of the best I have ever done. It may not be the best on paper, but I had so much fun running through basketball reference doing it. If I had to take a pick back would be my second-round pick. I chose Artis Gilmore, who was a superb player throughout his career, but I mad the rookie mistake of reading the rules wrong and lost out on all of his ABA stats. I like my team a lot and was drafting to attempt to win the first year or two, but stay competitive after that. This was one of the tougher drafts I have ever done, but it will give you a serious feel for rotisserie leagues.

    Dan Besbris

    G – John Stockton (Round 1)

    G – James Harden (Round 3)

    G – Ron Harper (Round 9)

    G – Sam Cassell (Round 11)

    G – Kevin Johnson (Round 13)

    G – Mike Conley (Round 15)

    F – Vince Carter (Round 4)

    F – Elton Brand (Round 5)

    F – Clifford Robinson (Round 7)

    F – Buck Williams (Round 8)

    F – Kevin Willis (Round 10)

    F – Nicolas Batum (Round 12)

    C – Patrick Ewing (Round 2)

    C – Alonzo Mourning (Round 6)

    C – Tyson Chandler (Round 14)

    Flex – Isaiah Thomas (Round 16)

    Flex – Jonas Valanciunas (Round 17)

    Flex – Darren Collison (Round 18)

    Cut – J.J. Redick (Round 19)

    Cut – Derrick Favors (Round 20)

    When Josh and Panda came to me with the idea of a career league, my first thought was: HOW THE HECK COULD THIS WORK? And as it turned out, after about three rounds of mild confusion on my part, it worked incredibly well. Hall of Famers generally came off the board early, but due to caps on retired players, current all-stars followed shortly thereafter, and then a veritable who’s who of retired specialists, current veterans, noted stoners, rookies, general managers, and my love, Niko Mirotic, as Mr. Irrelevant. The commissioners set up a fantastic page where we were able to track counting stats, since building a balanced roto team from a pool of EVERYONE would have been a bit complicated, and I did my best to piece things together from there.

    My team is old. Like, older than old. I maxed out my retirees (10) in the first 13 rounds, and my active players include Vince Carter and Tyson Chandler. I went into win-now mode, and I still think my team is projected to finish fourth. Perhaps I loaded up on bigs too early. Perhaps I should have taken a younger horse among my first few picks. I may never know, since the best way to draft was to Google “all time steals leaders” and scroll. I don’t expect a great deal of team movement during the year, considering the retired players have such volume that moving totals will be tough, but for a first crack at it, I think I handled myself adequately. Plus, I have Elton Brand and Kevin Johnson, so my team has power beyond just numbers.

    Chef Ali

    G – Damian Lillard (Round 4)

    G – Jerry West (Round 5)

    G – Mark Jackson (Round 6)

    G – Tim Hardaway (Round 7)

    G – Devin Booker (Round 11)

    G – Kemba Walker (Round 12)

    F – Karl Malone (Round 1)

    F – Anthony Davis (Round 3)

    F – Shawn Kemp (Round 9)

    F – Bob Pettit (Round 10)

    F – Luka Doncic (Round 15)

    F – Kristaps Porzingis (Round 16)

    C – Moses Malone (Round 2)

    C – Bob Lanier (Round 8)

    C – Ben Wallace (Round 14)

    Flex – Baron Davis (Round 13)

    Flex – Eric Gordon (Round 17)

    Flex – Trae Young (Round 19)

    Cut – Mitchell Robinson (Round 18)

    Cut – Kyle Kuzma (Round 20)

    My attention was immediately piqued when I heard we were doing a Career League. So much so that my part-time OCD-self decided to forgo my regular draft prep for five days of intensive research in preparation and participation in this draft. Since there was a cap at 10 for retired players my strategy was the same as a regular draft, which is add the best stats. The only difference was that I had to project which current players would end up out-ranking the retired players. Also of note is that the NBA started recording steals, blocks and 3s in the 1970’s so there’s quite a few of the all-time greats missing the three money stats which presented its own wrinkles (i.e. no blocks from Wilt even though he might have averaged as high as 10 some seasons). Finally, no ABA stats counted so many guys from the 70s had their stats chopped slightly or drastically depending and it’s why I didn’t draft Rick Berry for his FT impact.

    With this in mind I had Kareem, LeBron, Mike and Hakeem ranked highest but I ended up with the seventh pick because of course I did. I took Karl (pronounced Kah) Malone. Followed up with Fo-Fo-Fo, Brow and Lillard. And then, we were off…

    Even though I do way more H2H than roto I think me team turned out pretty good and am cautiously optimistic I’ll fare well. I’m also geeked to see how this plays out and ready to roll with Malone, Malone, Davis and Lillard (self-explanatory except maybe a reach on Dame? If he doubles his seasons played he’ll get 20,000 points, top-10 in 3s, decent assist and great volume FT%). 5th round I took Jerry West (no 3s or steals but good high volume %s, lots of points, good assists) and followed with Mark Jackson (Zo and Nance Sr. were taken before me), Tim Hardaway, Bob Lanier, Shawn Kemp and all his kids (and guys in the draft room were trying to roast me for Rain Man. Yeah, I know it’s Reign Man but as a kid watching him I didn’t — he brought the rain like thunder and lightning; plus he never beat Jordan and Scottie so he never “reigned” over $#*%. He’s the Rain Man; nuts) and Bob Petite (Elgin Baylor backup #tiers). Then I got goofy and took Devin Booker and after that Kemba Walker (not sure about those). Took Bluto aka Boom Dizzle (trash %s but who’s going to beat his popcorn stats this late) and afroed Ben Wallace (double whammy- just hope my previously pretty solid %s can absorb the blow).

    That was my 10 retired players so I went all active- Luka (I think I had just watched his first preseason game lol), Porzingis (bargain), Eric Gordon (to open a draft/roster spot for next year I’ll probably cut him for) my crowdsourced last roster spot of Trae Young. Let’s get ready to rumble.

    Josh Millman

    G – Kobe Bryant (Round 1)

    G – Reggie Miller (Round 2)

    G – Jeff Hornacek (Round 6)

    G – John Wall (Round 9)

    G – Alvin Robertson (Round 11)

    G – DeMar DeRozan (Round 16)

    F – Giannis Antetokounmpo (Round 4)

    F – Chris Mullin (Round 5)

    F – Kawhi Leonard (Round 8)

    F – Kevin Love (Round 10)

    F – Jayson Tatum (Round 13)

    F – Sam Perkins (Round 14)

    C – Shaquille O’Neal (Round 3)

    C – Chris Webber (Round 7)

    C – Rudy Gobert (Round 12)

    Flex – Dennis Johnson (Round 15)

    Flex – Hal Greer (Round 17)

    Flex – Jarrett Allen (Round 19)

    Cut – Richard Jefferson (Round 15) *This was a gamble that he would return for one more season. It backfired.

    Cut – J.R. Smith (Round 20)

    Can I get a mulligan here? Breakfast ball? Lane violation? Something, anything to do this over? I’m the co-founder and co-commissioner so I think it’s safe to just go ahead and let everyone know that this was just a dry run and we’re going to start over from scratch. Yeah, that should go over with Panda and the crew about as well as a fart in church.

    First of all, picking 8th is garbage in any league and I wound up with the guy who was naturally 8th on my board, #8 Kobe Bryant. Not to be content with picking a guy I couldn’t stand watching for John Calipari and Kerry Kittles-related reasons, I apparently went with a strategy to pick the most loathsome team possible by following up with Reggie Miller. It was either Miller or a choice between Paul Pierce and Larry Bird, but I let my irrational hatred of all things Boston sports decide that the overgrown bat child making choking gestures at Spike Lee would make for a solid second pick. Not to be outdone, I reunited Kobe with Shaq because I realized that my plans for team building were out the window within two rounds and if I’m going to go for potential greatness and dysfunction all in one, then I might as well go all in and name this team “Tell Me How My Ass Taste.”

    After that I realized that I needed to audible. I decided that if we’re really going to try and make this a dynasty league and people are in this for the super long haul, that I would build the rest of my team no differently than I would a standard non-retiree NBA fantasy draft and grab the best active players that would make up an outstanding 12-team draft. The Giannis pick pretty much ended my hopes for this season, but imagine how he could shoot up in the next 5, 10, and perhaps 15 years. Kawhi Leonard is already one of the best per-game players so all I need is for him to not have any more unforeseen quad and grouchiness issues. John Wall is one of the last few great active assist guys left and it’s 8-cat so TOs won’t crush me. Rudy Gobert is one of the last few great active shot blockers left. Kevin Love and DeMar DeRozan still have plenty of gas left in the tank and have top-30 potential over these next couple of seasons. And despite my earlier anti-Boston proclamation, I am all-in on the career of Jayson Tatum.

    It would have been nice to get out to a better start on the damn league that I friggin invented, but still I couldn’t bank on inviting a bunch of goddamn sharks to go swimming with me and get away with not getting bitten at all. But I’ve set myself up to be really good in the long haul so long as everyone sticks arou…wait, guys, where are you going? Don’t leave. No, come back! This’ll be fun, I swear!!

    Nathan Nguyen/Ryan Peffers

    G – Chris Paul (Round 2)

    G – Clyde Drexler (Round 3)

    G – Oscar Robertson (Round 4)

    G – Klay Thompson (Round 7)

    G – Manu Ginobili (Round 8)

    G – Mookie Blaylock (Round 11)

    F – Tim Duncan (Round 1)

    F – George Gervin (Round 6)

    F – Rick Barry (Round 9)

    F – Elgin Baylor (Round 10)

    F – Jimmy Butler (Round 13)

    F – Tobias Harris (Round 15)

    C – Dikembe Mutombo (Round 5)

    C – Walt Bellamy (Round 14)

    C – Andre Drummond (Round 16)

    Flex – Bradley Beal (Round 12)

    Flex – Steven Adams (Round 17)

    Flex – Gary Harris (Round 18)

    Cut – Brandon Ingram (Round 19)

    Cut – Julius Randle (Round 20)

    Josh: Nathan & Ryan weren’t able to provide a write-up of their team, but I will just say that they were the team that came dangerously close to not meeting positional eligibility requirements. Rick Barry and Tobias Harris are their only two pure forwards. They also sniped me a couple of times on George Gervin and Mookie Blaylock so I’ll enjoy laying them to waste in future seasons.

    Souriyo Dishak

    G – Russell Westbrook (Round 3)

    G – Isiah Thomas (Round 4)

    G – Joe Johnson (Round 5)

    G – Tony Parker (Round 8)

    G – Michael Finley (Round 10)

    G – Steve Smith (Round 17)

    F – Charles Barkley (Round 2)

    F – Carmelo Anthony (Round 6)

    F – Paul George (Round 9)

    F – Horace Grant (Round 12)

    F – Blake Griffin (Round 13)

    F – Detlef Scrempf (Round 14)

    C – Kevin Garnett (Round 1)

    C – Vlade Divac (Round 7)

    C – DeMarcus Cousins (Round 11)

    Flex – Gordon Hayward (Round 15)

    Flex – David West (Round 16)

    Flex – Goran Dragic (Round 18)

    Cut – Allan Houston (Round 19)

    Cut – Tyreke Evans (Round 20)

    This draft was a totally unique experience for me (and I’m sure everyone else). Strategizing for this draft was especially tough when trying to balance whether to take an active player or form a base in other categories. On top of that, there was a focus on active players who are past their productive primes but just don’t take up a precious retired player spot.

    In terms of my personal strategy, I didn’t want to start off behind the 8-ball and not have an immediately competitive team. I don’t have a lot of patience when it comes to fantasy sports so I don’t want to be in a position where I’m not in contention. Russell Westbrook is going to be key for me in an 8-cat format with a good volume of work already in his back pocket. I went with some older active players in Carmelo Anthony, Tony Parker and Joe Johnson. They’re probably on the way out within the next few seasons, which is going to be a concern in future seasons of the league. What my team lacks outside of a couple name guys is a crop of youngsters to backfill stats because we can’t keep all the retired players. I don’t know that my team will be in a winning position, I think I can compete for the top-third for at least the first few seasons. From there, we’ll just have to do it live.

    Dio Nikiforos

    G – Magic Johnson (Round 2)

    G – Ben Simmons (Round 7)

    G – Derek Harper (Round 8)

    G – Rod Strickland (Round 9)

    G – Dale Ellis (Round 10)

    G – Hersey Hawkins (Round 12)

    F – Kevin Durant (Round 1)

    F – Elvin Hayes (Round 3)

    F – Rashard Lewis (Round 11)

    F – Josh Smith (Round 14)

    F – James Worthy (Round 15)

    F – Khris Middleton (Round 16)

    C – Dwight Howard (Round 4)

    C – Nikola Jokic (Round 5)

    C – Wilt Chamberlain (Round 6)

    Flex – Mike Bibby (Round 13)

    Flex – DeAndre Jordan (Round 17)

    Flex – Otto Porter Jr. (Round 18)

    Cut – Mo Bamba (Round 19)

    Cut – James Johnson (Round 20)

    The career league is a league that you can only have with hoop junkies and here in Hoop Ball as much as anything else we love the game of basketball. When I got the invitation to join I was ecstatic as the idea of constructing a fantasy team with the great legends of the past has always been in my mind, but I was never able to put this masterpiece together.

    This is also a “fun” league so my goals heading into the draft was either to draft the top international guys or as much Orlando Magic as possible. I grew up when Shaq and Penny were terrorizing the NBA and Dennis Scott has always been my favorite guy so I might as well rename my team to ‘Dio’s Magic.”

    Having the No. 11 didn’t do me any favors and even though punting in Roto leagues is not recommended I saw an opportunity there after I was able to grab Jokic and Ben Simmons in the first few rounds. KD, Middleton and 9-cat roto king Otto Porter will probably help me climb the rankings so I’m here for the long run, thanks again for setting this up and can’t wait to see how it evolves!!

    Aaron Bruski

    G – Jason Kidd (Round 1)

    G – Mitch Richmond (Round 5)

    G – Victor Oladipo (Round 9)

    G – Donovan Mitchell (Round 10)

    G – C.J. McCollum (Round 11)

    G – Jamal Murray (Round 12)

    F – Shawn Marion (Round 3)

    F – Scottie Pippen (Round 4)

    F – Tracy McGrady (Round 6)

    F – Amare Stoudemire (Round 8)

    F – Jonathan Isaac (Round 13)

    F – Jaren Jackson Jr. (Round 14)

    C – Robert Parish (Round 2)

    C – Bob McAdoo (Round 7)

    C – DeAndre Ayton (Round 17)

    Flex – Lonzo Ball (Round 15)

    Flex – Jaylen Brown (Round 16)

    Flex – Wendell Carter Jr. (Round 18)

    Cut – Dejounte Murray (Round 19)

    Cut – Jordan Bell (Round 20)

    Firstly, this was one of the coolest, strangest and ultimately challenging drafts that I’ve ever been a part of.  Just the act of reminiscing and pouring over old stats was enough to satisfy this old basketball nerd, but when you pair it up with the concept of actually playing the league out, I think the guys that created this are really on to something.

    Yes, you do need to play it out, but if you’re reading this site why not do something like that?  You’re already hooked and this way you get to spin around the past and integrate it with the future.  Find some good friends that you know have the same sickness and use it as a way to keep in touch.

    As for the draft itself, you have to kind of know what you’re doing with NBA.com and Basketball Reference stats because you quickly find that information isn’t at your fingertips with the way you’d normally be setup.  But it was simple enough to figure out and that was half the fun hunting down the treasure.

    My draft strategy was to go for versatility, as usual, but I came to a point where my numbers weren’t stacking up with other teams so I went for the Quadruple Sam Hinkie special and I just started stacking up youth.  But I definitely wanted to get my hands on as many solid retired players because that’s the foundation of this league.  There will be some low-end player movement with the retired players but the big names are going to sit on those rosters for decades.  But after I got eight of them I took a who’s who of current rising stars and we’ll see which of them pan out.  In 2026 my squad will be unbeatable!

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