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What a night, what a night!  While we didn’t see the fireworks of say, a QB drafted by San Diego saying he’d only play for the Giants, but we had some interesting reaches, some surprising fallers, and one very happy/newly re-acquainted Hornets fan!

The crew and I had a blast tweeting through the draft, so I have a few other thoughts sprinkled in the first round recap below.  It didn’t go quite (read: at all) like Slim and I’s mock draft, but here’s how the draft went down, with a fantasy outlook for these rookies for the 2014-15 Fantasy Basketball Season:

1. Andrew Wiggins – Cleveland Cavaliers

Well, I got this pick right in our mock!  The Cavs had three great options and went the best route in my opinion.  They could’ve blown it like last year and drafted, I dunno, Dario Saric first, but they avoid back-to-back shark jumping!  I don’t think I applied that right… Anyway, the Cavs had a need at the 3 (I see no reason why they would re-sign Luol Deng after that failed experiment) and A-Wig should start right away.  I need a better nickname.  How about Wingdings?  His name looks like:

Screen shot 2014-06-27 at 5.10.47 AM

in Wingdings, for whatever that’s worth…  A freshman line of 17/6/1.5/1.2/1 on a stacked team (and if I recall right, he started a little slow) should translate into a multi-cat contributor right away.  He’s not the first rookie I’ll take on draft day, but the top 100 is going to be littered with this rook class.  More on rookie rankings after the picks.

2. Jabari Parker – Milwaukee Bucks

As I mentioned in our mock, I thought Parker was going to be the #1 rookie off draft boards in the fall, and I like him even more in Milwaukee.  To say he’s an upgrade over Ersan “flat foot” Ilyasova is an understatement.  Well, Parker would likely play the 3 then, I just wanted to work in an Ilyasova joke.  Ilyasova could be traded too.  New owner Marc Lasry is like, “We gotta get rid of this Turkey!”  Parker is as NBA ready as anyone in this draft class – even for a one-and-doner – and about the only cold water I can throw on him is he shot 36% from deep and the perimeter game is still developing.  Let my boy Brandon Knight chuck up the treys!  Giannis Antetokounmpo (good to be back in in-season form – typed that right on the first try!) could slide to the 3 (or the 2 if Ilysaova stays, but he’d be a monster 2 guard) and all the sudden you have a really exciting stew goin’!  Like Wiggins, Parker’s 19/8.7/1.2/1.1/1.2 hit all cats in college and he’s already grown into his frame.  He’ll be my highest ranked rookie.

3. Joel Embiid – Philadelphia 76ers

Screams “avoid!”  First there’s the 4-6 injury window with his broken foot then there’s the possibility he’s shipped off as opposed to the twin tower approach of he and Nerlens Noel.  And with such a high-upside rookie (not to mention a 7+ footer), there’s going to be no rush.  Either way, he’s a guy that’s likely undraftable in standard leagues.  Where it gets interesting is in dynasties… I probably won’t end up with him in the REL, but he’s worth a mid-round gamble/some decent $ depending on your auction budget.

4. Aaron Gordon – Orlando Magic

Wellllllllllllllllllllllllll then…  In Slim and I’s mock he fell to 9, which meant I would’ve bought all the possible Gordon gear I could in Hornets teal.  But he got a lot of buzz (but not the “buzz” I wanted!) as we neared the draft and Orlando popped their collar.  Really hurts Tobias Harris and the gaggle of SF/PF guys there (Harkless, Nicholson… Harvey Grant still there?), but since Gordon is still a little raw and an awful FT shooter, they’ll be able to filter him in and out.  Great upside and will have some nice games, but also some maddening usages in the vain of Victor Oladipo last year as a 3/4.  He’s another addition in my “really fun to watch, but can’t bring myself to draft him” pile.

5. Dante Exum – Utah Jazz

Love it.  I thought Exum was going to Orlando, but instead the Aussie gets to go backcourt with Trey Burke.  Wow, that sounds wrong.  I guess either would’ve destination for Exum would’ve been nice, but there’s something I like about him landing on the Jazz… Maybe because my Trey Burke love is still lingering and I think they’ll be a fun pair.  Not much is known from the import from down under, but since he can play the combo-guard without having to run the offense every half-court possession, I think it’ll help him ease into a productive season.

6. Marcus Smart – Boston Celtics

Love it times two.  Another backcourt heading to combo-guarding (or Smart will be the full time PG if they trade Rajon Rondo), Smart is going to be a solid FG% and Stls guy from your PG position.  The dimes upside won’t be there if Rondo stays, but Smart shot 51.4% last year for OK State albeit not a great perimeter shooter.  Won’t be attempting many of those in the NBA (at least yet), and even as a hard-nosed driver, only 2.6 TO last year – a huge improvement from 3.4 the year before in virtually the same minutes.  I love this guy, and I’ll be reaching for him in all my drafts, including the REL auction room.  Slim and I are going to have a good old-fashioned bidding war over this one.

7. Julius Randle – Los Angeles Lakers

Poster boy for “great real-life pick, I’m passing in fantasy”.  Mostly this pick was yet another “F you, Jordan Hill!” from the Lakers franchise.  Seems like a great kid, eager to play with Kobe, and I’m going to cheer for him.  Unfortunately this isn’t a “count how many times you’d doodle his name on your trapper keeper” site, it’s that “other” kind of fantasy site.  He boards.  He’ll score a little.  That’s it.  I guess he can join Aaron Gordon as guys I’ll like to watch, but won’t own.

8. Nik Stauskas – Sacramento Kings

What in the…?  Apparently the Kings only like to draft guards and they still want Jason Thompson to start at the 4.  I mean, JT’s got a really big smile!  And ummm… guaranteed money…? While this was an awful pick, it actually was a fantastic pick for my Hornets!  I thought for sure they were going Vonleh; instead they opt for a ThrAGNOF shooter and they’re crossing their fingers they can sell Ben McLemore.  A weird pick and a guy I have no interest in.

9. Noah Vonleh – Charlotte Hornets

Yezzir!  While it wasn’t quite as good as Aaron Gordon, I thought for sure Vonleh would be gone and we’d have to draft Doug McDermott.  Whew!  Vonleh comes into the NBA as mad athletic, with multi-cat ready stats.  The Hornets have got to let Josh McRoberts walk right into the room marked “Pirate” and give Vonleh a chance to flourish next to Big Al Jefferson.  Hopefully Cody Zeller won’t vie too much for minutes (Indiana grad battle!), but maybe Zeller can become the primary backup 5 and the team lets Bismack Biyombo walk.  Which might actually be a good thing, considering Biyombo is getting sued by his “developer”.  Makes Biyombo sound a little bit like an App in the App Store, no?  I like Vonleh fantasy-wise right off the bat, but will temper expectations a tad until the Hornets round out their frontcourt heading into preseason.

10. Elfrid Payton – Orlando Magic (from Philadelphia)

Well, this is why they passed on Exum!  I guess… I dunno, I don’t love it.  Another longer-ish/not the best shooter to combo it up with Victor RainbOladipo.  He doesn’t hit threes and isn’t a huge dimes guy, so I remain bullish on the ol’ VO.  Payton did rack up the steals though while at UL-L.  So am I saying we should call this Payton, Glove Jr.  YES!  NAILED IT!

11. Doug McDermott – Chicago Bulls (from Denver)

The Bulls picked him up to play a smart 3 and in fantasy, you’d be smart to not have him as your 3.  ThrAGNOF oversize wing!  And the Bulls are painstakingly trying to give Carlos Boozer the booter.  I’ll be here all night folks!  Give Carlos Boozer the booze cruise!  I guess that is more fun.  But what that means for your weekend is Melo or BronBron are the big targets at the 4 and there just won’t be shots except spot up treys for the coach’s boy.  And I think one of the two super-ah-stahs landing there is pretty likely.  Thank you Kings, again, for that Stauskas pick!  I didn’t want McDermott on the Hornets at all!

12. Dario Saric – Philadelphia 76ers (from Orlando)

The Saric pick is kinda like finding a severed thumb in your Wendy’s 99 cent chili.  “Er my Gawd!  Disguting!”  “…But wait a minute, this could pay off for me in there future…” I ain’t drafting him in anything to wait the 2 years he’s gotta play in Turkey.

13. Zach LaVine – Minnesota Timberwolves

Raw, with huge upside.  He got vaulted on draft boards through the final month (I saw him in the 2nd round early on across big boards – and I thought my mock pick of him at 23 was a bit reachy at the time), so teams are seeing something they like.  Did he really drop an “F me!” when drafted?  Pretty funny.  But I agree, it was just relief he got picked.  I think it’ll be an inconsistent rookie effort, both production and usage-wise.  Especially if/when Kevin Love gets traded and the Wolves go all out rebuild.  Love is like, “F me, I haven’t been traded and it’s after the draft already!”

14. T.J. Warren – Phoenix Suns

Whelp, not a good day for Slim’s REL All-Stars!  I had a feeling Warren would go top 15 (I had him a super reach to Denver at 11 – but the recent Arron Afflalo acquisition put that to rest) even though he wasn’t listed as such in most pre-draft boards.  However, dude killed the ACC.  Killed it like he wasn’t going to class!  Wait, wrong NC school…  Back to Slim, this makes it look like P.J. Tucker is either out or will have to re-sign with a more limited role.  He’s not gonna do a whole lot besides hit the mid-range though, so not too appealing for fantasy.

15. Adreian Payne – Atlanta Hawks

A perfect pick for the Hawks to get a high-energy, NBA ready backup 4/5.  Al Horford should be fine off the torn pec but you never know, and Paul Millsap is cemented at the 4.  Last year’s revolving door of Elton Brand, Gustavo Ayon, Pero Antic… Not pretty.  Well, Brand had some good stretches, but he’s that much older and probably signing elsewhere.  Payne took a big forward in his senior year at MSU, developing a perimeter game and hitting 1.4 treys a night at a 42.3% clip.  One of a select few that go into the NBA off 4 years in college, I think Payne could see enough minutes and hit enough out-of-position threes to be relevant right out of the gate.

16. Jusuf Nurkic – Denver Nuggets (from Chicago)

Color me intrigued.  But only within the lines!  I don’t know where I’m going with this… Nurkic is an interesting prospect – 7 footer with mid-range and athleticism, but his role is a question mark.  Mozgov no like!  J.J. Hickson tore his ACL late in the year so he’s a non-factor, but JaVale McGee will be back with Mozgov in a very crowded group of Cs.  And none of them can really play together.  Denver might trade someone.

17. James Young – Boston Celtics

Even Jeff Green‘s die-hard Celtics fan nephew (worst adjective chain ever) wants him traded out of Boston.  James Young makes it that much easier.  It’s tough to assess his Kentucky stats on such a stacked team, but he hits treys and has the upside to be a pretty solid wing.  If Green is shipped out and Young is given the keys to the starting 3 (unlikely given he’s still a youngun, but we can dream!), he could be really interesting.

18. Tyler Ennis – Phoenix Suns

I mentioned in our mock I’m not a huge Ennis fan.  He goes to a team that already starts two PGs.  But he gives them added PG depth and Eric Bledsoe isn’t a 100% lock to return/stay healthy. Still, Ennis’ main upside is steals and I don’t think he can do enough of anything else to hold a starting gig this year.

19. Gary Harris – Denver Nuggets (from Chicago)

Everyone is calling this the steal of the draft.  Hard for me to disagree.  Slim and I both saw him going 10 to Philly, but Philly decided they wanted to wait out two years of Saric first (say whaaaa?).  He’s got a tinge of ThrAGNOF-ness, but 1.8 steals a game for Sparty last year.  Plus a good FT shooter.  Well, all-around shooter.  Yeah, he shoulda gone earlier, Nuggets got a fortune for trading Doug McD.

20. Bruno Caboclo – Toronto Raptors

I already saw, like 50 Sacha Baron Cohen as Bruno memes.  Soooooo original.  But this pick was original!  Never heard of this guy and virtually no one scouted him.  It’s called a second round pick for a reason!  He’s 18, really athletic, and will take some seasoning.  He apparently won something called “Basketball Without Borders”, which I guess makes more sense why the only non-US NBA team would take him…

21. Mitch McGary – Oklahoma City Thunder

I got this one right!  I got this one right!  But I had him at 29, the other OKC pick… Time for a super sexy copy and paste job!

“How vulnerable did the Thunder look in this series against the Spurs without Serge Ibaka?  McGary gives them a polished, NBA-ready reserve center, as the ghost of Hasheem Thabeet is a UFA and adds depth.  Nick Collison and Kendrick Perkins both have a year left in their deals [added note for this article - Perkins easily could be moving on though], plus Ibaka and Steven Adams are mainstays.  But past next year, McGary could be a pretty solid minute filler off the bench.

If this is where he lands, only a rash of big man injuries would see him having even a remote impact on fantasy.”

22. Jordan Adams – Memphis Grizzlies

Slim and I both like Adams.  Slim likes every Adams.  Lurch and Jordan to the rescue!  Able to hit treys and steal, but will have to work his way into fantasy-relevant minutes.  Still like him though.

23. Rodney Hood – Utah Jazz

This is who I thought the Thunder were taking at 21.  Good scorer, hits treys, but does little else.  We have a little term for that!

24. Shabazz Napier – Miami Heat (from Charlotte)

LeBron’s got a winner!  I expect Napier and LeBron to start making out on South Beach any time now.  Norris Cole could be traded and Mario Chalmers, who pulled more disappearing acts than Kevin Bacon as Hollow Man, is a free agent.  Napier could start right away, but he wouldn’t be too appealing unless the steals carry over.  That said, he’ll be ownable in a lot of leagues for that sweet Stls upside.

25. Clint Capela – Houston Rockets

Well this makes more sense with the Omer Asik trade done with, but Capela is still a long-term project on a team with pretty good big depth.

26. P.J. Hairston – Charlotte Hornets

Staying in NC!  And hopefully staying out of trouble!  The Hornets needed a shooter and this is an awesome fit.  He’ll start off on the second-unit behind Gerald Henderson, but if Hendo continues to sucko, Hairston could leap frog.  Leap, my dear ThrAGNOF, leap!

27. Bogdan Bogdanovic – Phoenix Suns

Multiply the amount of “Bruno” memes by 10, and you get how many people tweeted, “I wish my name was JB JBovic!”  Wait, that does sound kinda funny.  DAMMIT!  They swept me in!  But Bogdan squared is probably staying in Europe for now.  Meh.  Boring boringovic.

28. C.J. Wilcox – Los Angeles Clippers

Slim was right guessing the Clips needed a scorer, and with Jordan Adams off the board they went for Wilcox.  He finished his 4th year at Washington with a 18.3/3.7/2.5/1/1 line hitting 2.8 treys.  That’s in the Pac-12 too!  He won’t get the minutes to flash that kind of potential, but if mass injuries plague the former-Sterlings, I could see him surprising.

29. Josh Huestis – Oklahoma City Thunder

So I was right!  The Thunder wanted a wing and a center!  Which sounds like a Bdubs order… He’s more a defensive wing, and not someone too interesting off the OKC bench.

30. Kyle Anderson – San Antonio Spurs

STEAL!  STEAL!  I picked him 19 to the Bulls in our prior mock.  I like everything about this kid… except… He now is in the Pop rotation scheme.  “Dammit!” [in Jack Bauer voice]  “We needed a better schematic!”  A redonkulous 14.6/8.8/6.5/1.8/0.8 with 0.8 treys in his soph season at UCLA.  Kawhi Leonard Jr.!  I hope Slim stopped reading, because he’ll be someone I hope to get for $1-$2 in REL Bucks.

 

JB’s Top 10 NBA Rookies for 2014-15 Fantasy:

1. Jabari Parker

2. Andrew Wiggins

3. Marcus Smart

4. Noah Vonleh

5. Dante Exum

6. Gary Harris

7. Julius Randle

8. Adreian Payne

9. Aaron Gordon

10. James Young

 

Thoughts on the draft or my early, early rookie fantasy ranks?  And we’ve got more in our first Razzball Basketball Podcast up now!  We break down the draft and the fantasy impacts of the other players impacted by this elite draft class.

  1. Slim

    Slim says:
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    Oh where to begin…

    I’ll give a first impression top 10 for next year and only for next year…

    1. Wiggins (I think he plays major minutes and gets to 1/1/1 , 3s/stl/blk, 15+ PPG)
    2. Parker (Larry Drew. If he’s immune to the crazy rotations then maybe he’s #1. But… “There’s an old saying in Tennessee, I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee that says, ‘Fool me once, shame on… shame on you. Fool me… You can’t get fooled again!’” – G-Dub)
    3. Smart (Is Rondo staying? Either way Smart should get 25+ minutes immediately. If Rondo is traded and Smart is the starting PG then I would rank him #1.)
    4. Napier (Chalmers could be gone. Cole isn’t that good. Napier might start day 1. Assuming LeBron returns then Napier won’t be a big assists guy but he’s a very good long range shooter which is where I think most of his value will be… and the steals.)
    5. Payne (25+ min off the bench, some 3s, boards, maybe even a block.)
    6. Payton (Depends on what happens with Nelson but might be starting immediately)
    7. Gordon (Maybe he can coexist with Tobias. Deep front court though. They can afford to sit back and let him develop.)
    8. Vonleh (Love the upside but he’s going to a pretty good team that already has an established pecking order.)
    9. Adams (I felt like Memphis would be a great landing spot for a wing due to mediocre competition for playing time and Adams is one of my favorites with what he does on the stat sheet. I think this is the steal of the draft.)
    10. Hairston (I’ve never been a fan of Hendu and Hairston is NBA ready. I’m not convinced he’s merely a ThrAGNoF just yet.)
    11. Bonus Pick: Early (This is if the Knicks lose Melo. Playing time would be wide open and I think Cleanthony could separate himself from a bunch of less than stellar talent.)

    That looks very different than yours but I had to put the older guys a little higher. Why draft a 4-year senior unless you want them to contribute immediately? I don’t have Randle on the list cause he isn’t my type of player. He could be like 12/9 from the get go but with nothing else on the stat sheet I don’t think that puts him in the top 150. Looming ankle surgery could delay his progress too. I need to be convinced Exum can play with the big boys before I put him on this list. Summer league will be telling. I like Gary Harris a lot but I’m nervous about his playing time. James Young is definitely not for me.

    Oh and my REL team got DESTROYED!

    Gordon takes minutes from Tobias.
    Exum takes minutes from Burks.
    Randle destroys RKelly.
    Warren hurts Tucker and Marcus Morris.
    McGary might hurt Steven Adams. (doubtful)

    I don’t think it could have gone much worse. There’s a whole lot of player movement still to happen though and I will absolutely do everything within my power to repeat. “Not 1… Not 2… Not 3…”

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Slim: Haha yeah, stating with Young, I didn’t feel great about who to put 10. Of the guys you ranked I didn’t – Early is interesting but so much will depend on what the Knicks do, Hairston needs minutes and I think rookie year is a ThrAGNOF, Adams I don’t think gets enough minutes especially early on, and Napier need a lot to happen including Cole trade and LeBron to stay, etc. etc. The big one is Payton, who I don’t think is that great. I know I’ll be in the minority for him, but don’t know much about him. Interested to see how he looks through Summer and early preseason.

      We both love Smart obviously, and I think Payne went to the perfect team. That’ll be a popular Razzball guy since he won’t be too sexy on draft day as a reserve.

      While I don’t like Randle either, I just think the guarantee of near dub dub production is worth a top 10 fantasy rank. But that could change as roles get a little more defined through the Summer.

      I’m surprised you don’t like Exum that much, I think he could be interesting. Agree Summer league could greatly sway opinions either way.

      PS – I didn’t see the news earlier, but Archie Goodwin got arrested resisting arrest and disorderly contact at…. a skating rink! Hahahaha, yeah I think I’m letting him go

      • Slim

        Slim says:
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        @JB Gilpin: Zbo coming back hurts Adams. I guess it means Memphis isn’t going to go for a rebuild. Still though the wings in Memphis aren’t good and can’t really stretch the floor. I’m looking at you Tony Allen… For Napier I don’t think the other PGs play too much into it. Cole isn’t a starter in the NBA. 20ish minute bench guy max and can’t really cover too many opposing PGs. Chalmers is going to walk. With Wade and Bosh opting out I think all signs point to LeBron returning. The worry I have is if they bring in Lowry but that’s kind of a long shot and really they should be looking to bring in bigs.

        I know Payton has some shooting issues but I think he could give Rubio-esque numbers with a starting job which granted might not be this year. The thing is if I’m drafting a rookie then it better be for some serious upside because they probably won’t be consistent and could easily lose their minutes. This is why Randle doesn’t cut it for me, I just feel like his rookie ceiling is still not going to be in the top 150, yes ceiling.

        It’s not that I don’t like Exum and I’ll more than likely be in on him big time in the REL. I’m just not going to go off what everyone says he looks like without seeing it myself, against equal competition. The other guys on my list have proven something to me and I have a decent sample size to look at. I have no idea how much Exum will help in 3s, or steals, or even assists, I just haven’t seen enough to make any kind of projection. One thing Exum to the Jazz really does is scare me away from Trey Burke next year. If he struggles again then he could be the one losing minutes not Alec Burks.

        That’s not a good sign. Archie at $6 isn’t worth it. I bet you could get him back cheaper if you wanted.

        • JB Gilpin

          JB Gilpin says:
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          @Slim: For sure. Zbo = Slim’s favorite fantasy skill set.

          But if Cole stays, I think it’s a time share or at least still worrisome early on. I dunno. I’m tempering expectations until LeBron airs “The Decision 2″. Agree on Randle, but I don’t think Payton is Rubio enough. Then again, I have a soft spot for Rubio. He could be on tapas me anytime he wants.

          Agree I’m scared on Trey Burke, and less on Burks. Burks will still get 6th man minutes. I just think upside is there on a horrific team that needed G minutes. John Lucas?! Diante Garrett (JB’s REL superstar!)?! I think since he’s almost certain to play a good bit – I think he will have more consistent minutes than say, Oladipo last year (prob won’t average 31 though, I just mean game-to-game) – I’m willing to be more gamble-iffic at this point.

          Also agree on Archie. Ennis pick doesn’t help even though Archie is a straight 2. But you could pair Ennis with either starting combo guard and be fine. Ugh. A skating rink?! Jfc.

  2. Peter Nincompoop says:
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    “Do you think a pirate lives in there?” Excellent write-up per usual.

    I agree with a lot of your pick-by-pick analysis, but let’s just get the elephant out of the room from the get-go. There is NO WAY that Vonleh is the #4 rookie fantasy option next season. I like his upside just like every other draft pundit does, but he is a quasi-project due to his youth. You don’t need to cancel your Vonleh jersey order from Fanatics, but we need to temper our immediate expectations for Vonleh in 2014/2015.

    Okay, I feel better now. Whether it’s a year-to-year or a keeper league, my rankings would change that much outside of Embiid, Gordon and LaVine moving up, but let’s just assume we’re looking at immediate impact for a redraft league this upcoming season.

    1. Marcus Smart (BOS) – Only two domestic players out of this draft class were invited to Team USA’s minicamp last summer. One was Doug McDermott (your favorite). The other? Marcus Smart. He is a bad, bad man and if Rondo get’s shipped out of Boston like this pick more than likely indicates, he will be putting up quality numbers from the get-go. He’s a more physical/durable version of Derrick Rose in my opinion.

    2. Andrew Wiggins (CLE) – You and Slim already touched on his potential for next year, so I won’t belabor the point. Solid pick.

    3. Julius Randle (LAL) – Outside of Smart, Randle could be the most NBA-ready player in the entire draft and is going to get heavy minutes on a front-court depleted Lakers team. If it were any other year, Randle would’ve been up for consideration at #1 and nobody would’ve though twice about it. I’m a little worried about his foot, but Slim is missing the boat here in my opinion.

    4. Joel Embiid (PHI) – Many people smarter than myself have been scared away from Embiid’s injuries (i.e., back and foot), but not this Nincompoop. Embiid is going to be a future STUD and if it weren’t for him projected to be out till December, he’d be #1 on my rankings. If he plays for just three-fifths of the year this ranking is justified. If it’s more? Watch out.

    5. Jabari Parker (MIL) – Maybe it’s Duke. Maybe it’s the fact that he’s a SF and has ballooned up to 260lbs. Maybe it’s because he supposedly tanked workouts for teams that he didn’t want to end up on. I just don’t like the dude. The only reason he’s #5 on my list is because of peer pressure. “Shhhhhh? You smell something?” I smell a BUST!

    6. Dante Exum (UTA) – Considering he’s apparently an eldery disheveled Polynesian man, I was a little surprised at Slim’s jingoistic attitude towards leaving Exum COMPLETELY OFF HIS LIST. In a keeper-league I would contemplate taking Exum #2 overall as I like his skill set and opportunity that much, but for next year, following a slow start I see him putting up solid SG numbers the rest-of-the-season.

    7. Doug McDermott (CHI) – Oh Yeah, Dougy McBucket’s. The dude has more polish than that pedicure/manicure shop in the strip mall, “Digits”, and has landed in the perfect situation with Chicago. He’s going to shoot well from the get-go, which may be about it for 2014-2015 so temper your expectations, but given his skill-set, I see a potential ceiling of Dirk Nowitzki here. Sneaky good keeper-league pick.

    8. Adreian Payne (ATL) – See Slim’s write-up as I agree with everything he said.

    9. Elfrid Payton (ORL) – The guy can’t shoot with any consistency outside of the paint, which isn’t promising for a PG, but I believe he’s going to get 20-25 minutes a game from the get-go and work his way into a starting roll by mid-season. He won’t help you in all categories, but will give you consistent assists and quality defensive statistics.

    10. Noah Vonleh (CHA) – I already talked about why I don’t like Vonleh for 2014/2015, but I do think he’ll be a contributor by season’s end. In a keeper league, I’d move him up a slot or two, but this is where I see him next season.

    BONUS TRACK(S)

    Jordan Adams (MEM) – The young man can score and he ended up in a situation where he can do so.

    Shabazz Napier (MIA) – I like him a lot especially as the floor general in Miami (if the “Big Three” return to South Beach), but his #4 ranking is WAY TOO HIGH.

    C.J. Wilcox (LAC) – Outside of McDermott, he’s probably the best shooter in the draft. Comes to a veteran team with a lot of polish at age 23. Don’t expect anything huge, but if and injury happens he could be poised for big things.

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Peter Nincompoop: Haha thank man! Yes I might’ve been overly Vonleh-ish after the draft. A lot of quick reactions.

      Yes I did my ranks for redraft leagues, I agree, Gordon and LaVine get big upticks in the dynasties. I love Smart, but especially this rookie year, I don’t know if he’ll give enough (if any really) treys and dimes for a PG. I still will rank him higher than ADPs, but if you’re seeing him 1, looks like he’ll have buzz everywhere.

      See Slim’s write-up on Payne?! What about mine! I said ti first! Haha just kidding, Slim and I had same thoughts independently.

      Finally, I think you’re too low on Parker and way too big on McDermott. Comparing him to Dirk is… schnitzelenfriggin! Which is to say, a little silly :) But just my opinion man, and always love the discussion!

      Thanks for dropping by!
      I don’t see how anyone could draft Embiid unless a dynasty. Even the deepest of redraft leagues, you’re out a roster spot more of the year. I think it’s easily 2015 before he plays.

      I’m more with Slim on Randle – boards a plenty with marginal scoring and nothing else. Just not enough fantasy wise unless a Pts league.

    • Slim

      Slim says:
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      @Peter Nincompoop: Awesome stuff. I have a few thoughts.

      There may not be two rookies I dislike for fantasy more than Randle and McDermott. How I feel about Randle is already pretty well known but… One of these is my 1st look Randle projection with 30 min, one is Tristan Thompson last year in 31 min (rounded off a little).

      .480/.710/0.0/12.0/8.5/0.5/0.5/0.5/2.5
      .475/.700/0.0/12.0/9.0/1.0/0.5/0.5/1.5

      That won’t be on any 12er redraft of mine. 16er, maybe but super late. In REL, 20er dynasty, maybe $10-$15 and no way I get him for that.

      I’m not seeing the Dirk comparison for McDermott either. I made a Dirk comparison last year with RKelly and I still think that’s much closer. Dirk almost averages a block a game for his career. McDermott won’t get close to that. Dirk is also an 8+reb guy. I don’t think McDermott ever gets near that. McDermott compared his game to Wally Szczerbiak and I think that’s a good statistical comparison too.

      Wally for his career…
      .485/.860/0.9/14.1/4.0/2.4/0.6/0.2/1.5

      I could see McDermott getting to that for his career with a few minor adjustments. For next year, if he gets 30 min, I’m thinking something closer to…

      .460/.840/1.7/14.0/4.5/1.5/0.5/0.2/2.0

      I think he’s closer to 20 min next year but there’s a lot riding on what the Bulls do in free agency. In REL, $10… tops.

      This is just for me but RKelly per-36 last year… my Dirk-lite. Truth be told I’m a little bitter about losing this guy in fantasy, even in a 12er. I was really hoping the Lakers were going to bring in a PG in the draft.

      .423/.815/1.3/13.0/6.0/2.6/0.9/1.2/1.3, That’s real close to top 50.

      I’m staying away from Embiid next year. I could easily see him getting the Noel treatment and the sixers will have no desire to play him as they will be in full tank mode again. In REL, I don’t know, not under $20 but I won’t go over $30. The guy I’m interested in from the sixers is K.J. McDaniels. His competition for playing time is terrible and he offers some 3s and good blocks upside, a decent rebounder, and a plus plus overall defender. Both coaches and media voted him as the defensive POTY in the ACC.

      • Peter Nincompoop says:
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        @Slim: I’m not straight comparing McDermott to Nowitzki (that would be silly), just saying that his ceiling has the potential to be that of Nowitzki’s. Whether he ever actually gets there? Probably not, but it wouldn’t shock me that in 3-to-4 years he’s a perennial All-Star. You & Slim are probably 100% correct in your assessment of Jabari Parker for next year, I don’t know what it is, I just think he’s going to disappoint in comparison to all the hype.

        • JB Gilpin

          JB Gilpin says:
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          @Slim: Yeah I don’t want Randle either, he’ll be a big Razzball avoid.

          I like the Doug McD projection, I might go 1.5 treys and 12.5 Pts though.

          R Kelly is Slim’s hero! Let’s get the gift shot open, we need that bumper sticker… If he got 36 minutes, I would be on board too, but the Lakers hate him. And Jordan Hill. And love Randle. Haha.

          Yup, I will like McDaniels a lot too as a sleeper. Out of position blocks is awesome. He’s an REL target, but he already is getting buzz.

          We love you, @Peter Nincompoop: ! I think Doug McD would have to make serious strides in his post game. But 7 yrs down the road, who knows what he’ll have done?

          Interesting you’ve got cold water on Jabari, I haven’t really heard much. He did hit a wall for a stretch in ACC play. Maybe he hits a bad rookie wall. We’ve seen it before…

          • Slim

            Slim says:
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            @JB Gilpin: I’ve never owned Zach Randolph. High volume low FG%, high TO big. Now add in that he’s an over-the-hill non-shotblocking big. Is there really anyone out there that likes that skill set… for fantasy? Now I absolutely concede that he’s a very good real life player and is invaluable for Memphis but my league doesn’t have that as a category.

            Napier is a late round PG in a 12er for me. An upside pick. Late round PGs don’t really exist so I’m willing to take the risk when one presents itself. For reference, I’m taking Beverley ahead of Napier.

            I know you like Rubio and I do to but for what he does, not what I hope he becomes. 10/3/7/2 is where I think Elfrid can get to, a little short of Rubio. Maybe a few more points because I think he’s better at the rim than Rubio, oh and a better FG% with the added layups but worse FT%. This is assuming 30+ min which isn’t going to happen until Nelson gets traded or injured (the latter will happen).

            Pete likes Randle a bit too though. I think razzball is going to be split on him. My only chance for solid minutes from Kelly is at SF, which he did play a little of last year. Offensively he should be just fine there, asking him to cover a SF is a whole nother issue.

            I don’t think McDermott gets to 30 minutes so I don’t think he makes those projections either. Also the Bulls play their starters more minutes than anyone so if he doesn’t start, McDermott might not see 15 min per game.

            I’m not too surprised McDaniels is getting buzz. In the REL I don’t know if he’s really a long term play so I might get priced out pretty quickly. As a late round sleeper in redraft though I’m very interested.

            Trying to figure Quin Snyder’s rotation is kind of tough right now. I used to really like him back in his Mizzou days but I can’t tell yet if he’s a big starter minutes guy, or heavy bench guy, I just don’t know yet. I can’t look at his rotations in the DLeague and make a call based off that but for what it’s worth there were a bunch of 40 min per game guys when he was coaching the Austin Toros from ’07-’10.

            It’s tough for me to hate on Parker since his game is so refined. He feels like the safest bet out of all these rookies but effin Larry Drew can not be trusted. Someone will reach for him in a redraft and I won’t get him, I’m fine with that. So yeah I agree with Peter in that the hype will be higher than the actual value… probably…

            • JB Gilpin

              JB Gilpin says:
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              @Slim: I think I owned Zbo his first or second Memphis year as a late pick and it worked out. But these days nawwwww. Yeah PBev over Napier that sounds about the right zone. Payton 7 dimes/2 swipes? I dunno feels high, but could happen.

              Agree McDaniels might have too much buzz for REL. I’m hoping to make big plays for Vonleh/Smart then pickup Kyle Anderson. And hopefully fill out with decent contributors.

              Also agree with you both that Parker overall might be overvalued. I still think he’s the best rook though

  3. Slim

    Slim says:
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    Looks like I might be doing a sleeper post for Napier…

    My 1st thought projection…

    .410/.830/1.7/12.0/3.0/4.5/1.7/0.1/2.0 in 30 min.
    .410/.830/1.5/10.0/2.5/4.0/1.5/0.1/1.7 in 24 min.

    Sure my projections could be no where near but based off that I don’t see anyone outside of my top 3 who can match it and is as NBA ready as Napier. I really think there’s upside for more too. If we assume Wade returns then he will get rested again leaving even more playing time available. Obviously a lot could happen in free agency but if they don’t play Napier immediately then it’s a complete waste of a pick, he isn’t there to develop.

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Slim: The Wade getting rested is a really good point… I dunno, seems high on the steals to me. I know he had a lot of swipes at University, but as I think I mentioned in the article, if they indeed translate he’ll be valuable. 3s and points are totally buyable as are 4ish dimes. The value will be in those sweet stls, aka, Slim’s fav stat. I see why you like him :) Nothing to do with Miami :)

      • Slim

        Slim says:
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        @JB Gilpin: I don’t think you need to worry about me over-hyping Heat players. And really is that even possible? The problem I have is with University of Florida players, not over-hyping but under-hyping. I try to not let my Gator pride effect my fantasy opinions and I think I tend to over compensate. Patric Young ROTY!!! Err… I mean D-League ROTY!!!

        The Heat are a defense 1st team and I think Napier will fit right in, especially when compared to Norris Cole. Chalmers in 30 min last year went (rounded)…

        10/3/5/1.6 with 1.2 3s.

        So I’m basically saying Napier can come in and be Rio immediately. I don’t think that’s asking too much and Rio was a solid last PG on a 12er for most of the year.

        So where do we think Burke will be next year. If I do a projection I have to decide if he gets a bunch of growth or just a little. Too early to say but what do you think about this line in 32 min (same minutes as last year).

        .400/.860/1.7/14.0/3.0/6.0/0.8/0.1/2.2

        Kinda boring really… no?

        • JB Gilpin

          JB Gilpin says:
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          @Slim: Hahaha I hear ya. Is Napier gonna be able to guard the bigger PGs aight? I dunno. But that Rio line is better than I remember, he was really frustrating to own even though we both backed him. Yeah that projection actually looks spot on. Maybe he gets up to 2 treys (womp womp) a game, just because I think Exum will be slashing more and Burke spotting up. Exum really hurts Burke’s upside.

  4. Slim

    Slim says:
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    So you know I actually got 3 of my 15 mock draft picks right? Smart #6 obviously but I also had Saric at #12 and Napier #24. Granted not for the team they went to but still I think I got those right, I wouldn’t say I didn’t get any, “read: at all”. That’s 20%. I’m hitting the Mendoza line! Still better than my middle infield draft picks of B-Rad and Gyorko. Which on my $250 now is B-Rad and Mookie with EverthCab on the bench and Danny Santana on the DL. So not much better…

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Slim: Haha I know, I was just being self-depricating. You did better than I did! I think…

      Let’s see, I got Wiggins (only half counts), McGary (to OKC but not at the right pick, half counts), and ummmm, that looks like it. Yikes.

      I coulda/shoulda picked Payne at 15 to ATL. Makes so much sense. If the Bulls didn’t trade around to get Doug McD, Kyle Anderson would’ve made a lot of sense at 19. LaVine and Payton as big risers threw it off – but most was pretty close given we did it a month out.

      Damn, yeah rough year for your MI! In my main league, I picked up Mark Reynolds for 3B today since that’s been a black hole, Rickie Weeks for UTIL since he crushes Jorge DLR, already have Lucroy/Braun/Scooter (MI) with Gomez and Segura on my bench since they’re out today. What do you think, too many Brewers?

      • Slim

        Slim says:
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        @JB Gilpin: Yeah the more I think about Trey Burke the less I like the situation. Alec Burks is a decent assist guy, obviously Gordon Hayward is a very good assist wing. I’m liking 2.0 3s from Burke but that should go with less than 6.0 assists. With the low end steals It’s going to be tough for me to put him in the top 100.

        I’m really impressed by the videos I’ve seen of Elfrid Payton. My 1st impression looks something like this in 32 starters minutes…

        .470/.680/0.2/13.0/4.5/7.0/2.0/0.4/3.2

        So plenty of issues with the FT%, 3s, and TOs but in the REL… that looks like a perfect guy to pair with my Lillard and he should be significantly cheaper than Exum and Smart both of whom I’m pricing over $30.

        I could see McDaniels getting to the $8-$10 range which is probably going to price me out.

        For Napier I could see bringing the steals down a tick to 1.5/1.2 for 30/24 min respectively, but I could also see 3s up to 2.0/1.7.

        In baseball I don’t worry about a bunch of guys on the same team. I don’t think it really makes much of a difference. I think my expectations for Mookie might be a little too high, but it’s not like there’s someone better available.

        • JB Gilpin

          JB Gilpin says:
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          @Slim: Agree, Burke won’t be on any of my teams. I’d rather take upside gambles. I just still can’t buy 7 dimes and 2 steals from Payton… I dunno, I just don’t see him consistent enough minutes either, even though he should be starting. I could change my tune through summer though. See I would think Payton would go about the same as Exum. Maybe because REL is so deep, people will want Exum’s upside for years to come. Agree on McDaniels, he won’t be like a $1 flyer.

          I don’t worry about it on baseball either, but was funny I had I think 7 hitters from my real life team at once. Reynolds and Weeks have been dropped already – they were just stream bats for one game.

  5. Slim

    Slim says:
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    Larry Drew losing his job to Jason Kidd should make us feel better about drafting Bucks players, right? I would like to think so but looking at Kidd’s rotations last year I won’t be surprised if he’s just as frustrating. Playing Pierce at the 4 and benching their only decent big, Blatche, for large stretches after Lopez went down could be a sign of things to come for Henson. Right this second I think Kidd is going to be a Larry Drew clone as far as rotations are concerned.

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Slim: I think so, I think a lot of Kidd’s rotations were limiting vet minutes, right? Sure Plumlee/Blatche should’ve played more, but the Bucks don’t have any HOF guys to give chunks of time though… Will still be hard to rank/trust Henson though, but for Parker/Giannis/Knight I’m encouraged.

  6. Slim

    Slim says:
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    Magic released Nelson. So much for a cheap Elfrid, still MCW went for under $20. So maybe… I’m going to get one of those top 3 though. I’m pretty sure of that.

    Exum has superstar hype. I think he’s going to be the most expensive rookie PG in the REL.

    Wouldn’t Plumlee get 30 minutes one night then a DNP the next? I feel a little better about Parker I guess, encouraged isn’t the right word though. What about Middleton? Sanders? Sanders is going to be really tough to rank.

    I saw Calathes is going to sign oversees. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Slim: I figured they would. Well MCW I think was even a lesser prospect. Plus in year 1 people had to buy up all the stars, I think budgets will be a little looser now. Really, Exum more $ than Smart? I think Smart has legions of fans to overbuy, I didn’t think his buzz would be this loud.

      Sanders indeed, very tough. I think the thing with Plumlee was on a lot of Garnett DNPs. I think Kidd should be more stable, we can only hope.

      Yup, no Calathes for me, was a good pickup though. That 3 weeks or so he started he was awesome. Makes sense, he’s getting more money and failed a drug test. I think the drug was Rogaine.

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Slim: Damn Meeks to DET… Hurts KCP. Maybe Meeks can play the 3? Optimism?

      • Slim

        Slim says:
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        @JB Gilpin: I understand your logic about people and their REL budget but I don’t know… I think everyone in this league has learned a lot from last year and I think the biggest lesson from last year is that spending $60+ on one player is very difficult to make up for. I think people might actually be a little more stingy with their money as they realize they need it to go a lot farther than they had thought last year. My guess, and really it’s just a guess, but Smart, Exum should go $30-$35 and I think the Elfrid on the Shelfrid has enough issues that he should be in the $20-$25 range. All be in on all 3 at those prices.

        Kidd’s rotations are something I’ll be following closely, along with Quin Snyder.

        Calathes… and that is why he’s gonna be missed!

        Meeks signing makes NO sense to me! Non! KCP can do everything Meeks does and I would argue he can do a little more. Meeks at the 3, maybe if the match-up is right but in general I don’t think that’s going to work. Meeks is going to be in the conversation now for being draftable in a 12er but I’ll probably stay away. KCP is untouchable now. I find this signing a little disappointing for fantasy.

        What else…

        Livingston to Warriors… don’t care.

        Gortat resigns with Washington… obviously.

        Patty Mills out 8 months… he can kiss his season goodbye.

        Looks like Bosh and Wade are going to take huge pay cuts, $11 and $12 mil respectively. With LeBron getting the max that should leave a decent amount of money to spend on a mid level FA. Personally I hope they add a center so Bosh can go back to playing the 4 exclusively and Napier can get a legit shot at minutes. Pau Gasol maybe?

        Gordon Hayward is about to get a huge payday. Reports that the Celtics and Suns could offer him a max deal. I imagine Utah resigns him but it’s going to really cost them.

        • JB Gilpin

          JB Gilpin says:
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          @Slim: Eflrid on the Shelfrid! Effing amazing.

          Yeah people might be, it’ll be interesting to see how many people keep too. Those prices sound about right, but some bounce back vets might be good value.

          I of course hate it too. No faith in KCP. Detroit always feel like they’re winners now and yet they’re always losers.

          Livingston – me either

          Gortat – fa sho

          Poor Mills man, at least that’ll help my $1 Joseph early on.

          Gasol on Heat… I could see it… Good for Hayward. He’s sometimes a labradoodle kennel, but he’s made the most on such a horrible team for being a guy NBA scouts were unsure about.

          Magic give Ben Gordon 2 years?! Elfird might see even more time on the shelfird now. How awful is that signing?!

          What you think about Sweet Lou to Toronto? I think a little interesting if Lowry goes elsewhere.

  7. Peter Nincompoop says:
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    A couple things to discuss…

    I cannot BELIEVE the Bucks traded two second rounders for Jason Kidd. He couldn’t coach the AARP All-Stars this past season in Brooklyn, so I’m not sure why Milwaukee wants him to lead their young squad (also, do I need to mention “watergate”?). I agree on the rotation(s) assessment. Promising news for the backcourt players, a little ominous for Henson and Sanders (sigh…as I have him on my keeper team).

    Jameer Nelson…HE GONE! Good riddance in my opinion as squatty bodies are never good options to run the point in the NBA, #KhalidElAmin. I agree with Slim, that this is good news for Elfrid Payton. This is where I would suggest that we adorn the “mitten” moniker for Elfrid, as his jumpshot looks as if he’s wearing them, but then I worry that the greatest Supersonic of all-time will be upset. Deep sigh…shrug shoulders and walk away. End scene. Anyway, I liked the earlier comparison to Ricky Rubio as a reasonable expectation for Payton’s numbers this season. With that news, I’d move him up alongside Jabari Parker in my rookie rankings. With regards to the Exum comparison, I think Elfrid is going to hit the court running from the get-go, but Exum will surpass him numbers-wise by the middle of their sophomore years.

    I’m holding a garden spade, so I can dig a little bit of what Slim’s saying about Shabazz Napier next season, but I’m still not sold on him. I like his game a lot more than Mario Chalmers or Norris Cole, but if the “Big 3″ come back next year, his numbers are going to be suppressed just like the other two. Patrick Beverley is going to be a FAR BETTER alternative next season, especially after Len is shipped out and LeBron is signed (what you say?)

    Good stuff as always fellas…happy free-agency.

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Peter Nincompoop: Haha, Milwaukee is like “can’t coach old guys, maybe he can coach younguns!” I’m pumped as a Brandon Knight owner. Maybe Kidd can help develop him into a 1.

      Haha El-Amin! Haven’t thought of him in a while. THERE IS ONLY ONE GLOVE! Hah. I don’t know what it is about Payton… Indeed if the minutes are there he will be useful… Maybe I need to re-assess – just with Exum, Summer ball will be interesting.

      LeBron to Houston?! I think we know your team now :) Agree PBev over Napier. Also, if the big 3 go back to MIA, they could negotiate contracts to get a big name in there too. We shall see.

      Happy FA day!

      • Peter Nincompoop says:
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        @JB Gilpin: Olajuwon is one of my favorite players of all-time, but I’m a SuperSonic 4 Life!

        • Slim

          Slim says:
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          @Peter Nincompoop: I’d like to see Seattle get their team back. I always thought they had a real loyal fan base.

          Sean Kemp… ugh… What about Detlef Schrempf, I had to double check that spelling, with his all-around game? Sam Perkins near the end of his career draining 3s. Nate McMillan bringing some big time defense off the bench. Those are the Sonics I remember. I guess I just dated myself. So there is no doubt left I will add that the Sonics were my team back when NBA Jam was only an arcade game. A little before JB was around I imagine.

          • JB Gilpin

            JB Gilpin says:
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            @Slim: Oh I was huge in the NBA when I was a youngun. Love Schrempf! Love parks & rec too, awesome cameo. Sam Perkins = former tar heel! But he was old old old when I was young young young and gettin into NBA. NBA JAm! Yeah those were fun, but when I started Arcades, the new shizz like Wave Race and um, Hydro Thunder, and my real shizz was Silent Scope. Awesome stuff

          • Peter Nincompoop says:
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            @Slim: Back when I was a young blood, I bought Vincent Askew’s (#17) warmup pants at a Thrift Shop for $8.99. I have no clue how they ended up there and were 6x larger then what I could actually fit into, but they were immediately purchased. I have all types of old school (i.e., before they changed jersey’s in the Ray Allen years) Sonic paraphernalia. All time favorite Sonic? Dale Ellis. Dude could DRAIN.

            There’s an retro arcade a couple blocks from my house that has NBA Jam’s. I was trying to teach my wife how to play, but she doesn’t get the subtle nuances. Go to combo’s were Payton/Kemp and Schrempf/Miller. Barkley and Majerle aren’t too bad either. Good times.

            • JB Gilpin

              JB Gilpin says:
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              @Peter Nincompoop: Vincent Askew?! Awesome! DALE ELLIS?! Yeah man, he was good, but no glove or Schrempf.

              The Suns were awesome. Payton Kemp was a big one for me too, wasn’t it Stockton Malone on one too? Tough to pass that up. Drexler Olajuwan? My Jam years were muddled with young age and distractions by shiny objects.

    • Slim

      Slim says:
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      @Peter Nincompoop: LeBron isn’t going to Houston but in that scenario, Harden, LeBron, Howard, I’m not sure Beverley would ever touch the ball on offense. Whereas on the Heat, Bosh isn’t the offensive ball hog Howard is and Wade won’t play nearly the minutes or have nearly the usage rate of Harden. I think Napier would get significantly more offensive opportunities. Now defensively I love what Beverley brings to the table but in that scenario I would expect everyone’s offensive numbers in Houston to come down. Oh and I still think Lin is no threat to Beverley in any scenario.

      Exum could be the face of that organization very quickly… or he could be Johnny Flynn. OK, I don’t actually think he’s Flynn and in the REL I’m pricing him right next to Wiggins and Parker but in a 12er redraft I need to see it first.

      • JB Gilpin

        JB Gilpin says:
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        @Slim: Geez, I thought Exum might turn into a value! Slim, ya killin me! Even if you’re kidding around with the Flynn comparison. Burn, Exum, burn!

        • Slim

          Slim says:
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          @JB Gilpin: Yeah Detroit is one of those teams that seems to get better every year on paper but it doesn’t seem to translate into winning. Sounds like Josh Smith getting kicked out of town is only a matter of time. I read something about the Kings. Gay, Smith, Cousins, I hope you don’t like ball movement.

          I feel like those couple of GMs are vindicating my adoration for Hayward. I’m glad I’m not alone.

          So now Patty Mills signs for 3 years. I’m not surprised I guess given no one else was going to sign him post injury. Unfortunate but I don’t think it should change how you see Cory Joseph, especially for next year.

          The Ben Gordon signing is a real head scratcher, especially this early in the free agent process. But I don’t think they signed him to be a starter and I think they drafted/traded for Elfrid because the Oladipo experiment at PG is over. Does it effect Elfrid? I’m going to say very very little. It could effect Oladipo if the Magic for some god awful reason decide to bring him off the bench behind Gordon (I say no way this happens). I think Gordon was brought in to be a bench scorer/ potential trade bait if he works out and I’m going to put the over/under at 41 games played for Orlando and 20 min/game. I’m taking the under for both.

          Looks like Lowry is going to resign with Toronto. I imagine Vasquez, a RFA, will get a better offer elsewhere and Sweet Low takes over 15-20 min off the bench. Or he takes 30 minutes and Ross gets shafted again. I’m a little nervous that’s going to happen.

          With the hype for this draft I think value is going to be tough to come by. I don’t think there will be any value in the top 5 and probably not for the entire lottery. Just got to pick the guys you’re willing to go a little overboard for. I have a pretty good idea who that’s going to be for me. At least for the rookies.

        • Slim

          Slim says:
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          @JB Gilpin: Darren Collison to the Kings is interesting. I don’t see him playing with Isaiah Thomas since I don’t think either can guard a decent wing so we’re looking at either a timeshare (doubtful), one of them only getting 15 or so minutes off the bench (slightly more likely), or IT2 signs elsewhere as a RFA (most likely).

          • JB Gilpin

            JB Gilpin says:
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            @Slim: GMs love the labradoodles! Except Josh Smith’s… He needs to not shoot the ball and be a PF Ben Wallace.

            Yeah but TP is so injury prone and Mills is more a 2 than a 1. I’m fine if Joseph only contributes here and there, I wonder how many roster spots last year had injured or no-producing players in the league. At least 60-80 at any given time.

            Man, I wanna say under for your Gordon predictions, but that’s a lot of money for that… I think the 2nd year isn’t guaranteed, so the trade makes sense, but still, horrible decision ORL. Geez, Ben Gordon has really destroyed his career.

            Yeah with Lowry back, I’m less interested in Sweet Lou again, but think he could be a value.

            I have rooks I like too. Too bad I don’t have your flexible budget. Especially since I’m keeping Larry Sanders.

            Dude, poor IT2. What’d he ever do?! I think he’s moving on too. Collison could be a value in drafts, but might get buzzy.

            • Slim

              Slim says:
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              @JB Gilpin: Let’s see… 20 teams, 17 player rosters equals… 340 total players owned. 30 NBA teams with 10 man rotations is only 300 players. Good luck finding a league any deeper. So yeah the trick to winning the REL is definitely limiting the DNPs.

              I’m not going to let Ben Gordon effect my rankings of Elfrid or Oladipo. Harkless on the other hand was already sliding down my rankings with Aaron Gordon set to steal some forward minutes. But the biggest take away… No minutes left for Fournier. That’s just wrong.

              hahaha. Yeah right you’re keeping Sanders for $36. What’s that leave you with, about $1.75 in S&H Green Stamps? I’m looking at pricing Sanders at about $10-$15 since there’s still a little bit of upside there if the planets align.

              I’m wondering if you could get KCP for less than $12 if you let him walk. You have to keep Mike Scott for $1 but Payne might really hurt his minutes. The toughest one for me right now is Amir Johnson. $13 is an average price, he isn’t that old although he has plenty of injury risk, and I’m really short on bigs.

              Lillard, Reggie, Burks, Ross, Tobias, Adams $102
              DJ, Brewer, Adrien, Kelly, Marcus Morris, Tucker, Amir $31

              4 spots left and $67 left is still plenty of flexibility. 1 rook at $30, 1 at $20, 2 at $8 a piece. Something like that.

              I’m wondering if I can get Tobias at less than $27. Seems a little risky considering the age and upside though.

              All this player movement in real life makes me want to make a trade in the REL. If you have one of these players and want one of my players then let’s talk! I want Hayward, Taj, Parsons, Oladipo, RoLo, Faried, Beverley, McCollum, Giannis to name a few.

              Kaman to Portland doesn’t matter much to me. The lack of defense should make him no threat to RoLo’s playing time. Big man minutes in Laker land is wide open right now though. I think Pau Gasol returns since a contender can’t afford his $12+ mil price tag and the Lakers will have plenty of money to spend once LeBron and Melo sign elsewhere.

              • Peter Nincompoop says:
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                @Slim: Ben Gordon is only an insurance policy on Evan Fournier to begin the season. When Fournier got quasi-consistent run in Denver last year, he put up quality numbers. He’ll end up beating Gordon out for minutes.

                • JB Gilpin

                  JB Gilpin says:
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                  @Slim: Magic G past Elfrid and Oladipo look sad…. I agree, @Peter Nincompoop: , Fournier should beat our Gordon, but you don’t give that kind of money to a guy to not play right away. Maybe Gordon hits fire and the Magic can trade him, but Fournier is untouchable in virtually all redraft leagues now. So is Gordon, but we knew that haha.

                  I need all the stamps I can get! Haha of course I’m kidding :)

                  I’m indeed holding KCP and Scott. Have to. I think you have to hold Amir J. Depth for not too much of your budget is worth it. Especially since you have all sorts of flexibility. Tobias I doubt goes for $27, but it’s risky. All the people with money aren’t gonna chase Tobias, they’ll chase rooks.

                  I made a few offers for RainbOladipo. No avail.

                  Kaman to POR makes huge sense. Their backup C minutes were awful. Meyers Leonard and Freeland and ummm… Sam Bowie? Yeah, not good.

                  • Slim

                    Slim says:
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                    @JB Gilpin: If I let Tobias walk I could go after both Wiggins and Parker then fall back to Tobias if need be. But you are probably right that Tobias goes for less than $27, considering Aaron Gordon is around to take minutes and he was already coming off the bench behind O’Quinn. Yeah, you’re probably right.

  8. Peter Nincompoop says:
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    I’m in a long-standing 12-Team Keeper League and entering year three following being an expansion team in 2012/2013. The expansion rules essentially relegated me to fantasy irrelevancy for 3-to-5 years, but decided to go with an “Under 25″ policy from the get go and have been building up a decent squad. I get to keep 10 players and the following are no-brainers: Walker, Oladipo, Batum, DeRozan, Leonard, Drummond and Jordan. I asked JB a similar question a couple weeks back before the draft, but wanted to see if anything’s changed.

    For the final three spots, I need to decide between: Sanders, Sullinger, Jackson, Beverley, Ross and Scott (i.e., I have O’Quinn and Sims as well, but they’re getting cut). Our lottery hasn’t been determined yet, but I have our third-to-last place team’s 1st round pick (so pretty good odds it’ll be in the Top 4) and then two 2nd round choices to add some more quality depth. Big guys are hard to come by, but looking to keep some positional depth at every position. Thoughts?

    Happy 4th guys!

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Peter Nincompoop: I’m gonna not look back at what I said before and see if I answer the same… Scott is out. Love him, but not a great situation. I think R-Jax is out too behind a healthy Westbrook. Sure he’ll get decent minutes when it’s all said and done, but too many superstars. P-Bev is a huge real-life guy over fantasy, so I go Sanders, Sully, Ross. So much more upside with those 3. Was that what I said before? :)

      Happy 4th man! May the grill have served you well and fireworks light up the sky like Mike Trout’s walkoff homer!

    • Slim

      Slim says:
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      @Peter Nincompoop: I have to very much disagree with cutting Reggie Jackson. I think there’s a very real chance Reggie starts at SG with Thabo out of town and even if he doesn’t I still think Reggie hits 30 min/game backing up both the 1 and 2. I think he will continue to improve too. I’m looking at some numbers and an early look at Reggie vs Beverley looks like this. (This could easily be a player vs player post)

      Reggie… In 30 min… .450/.840/1.2/14.0/4.5/4.5/1.2/0.1/2.0
      Beverley… In 33 min .420/.810/1.7/11.0/3.5/3.0/1.6/0.5/1.5

      Certainly a case can be made for either but I looking at these numbers I feel like Reggie has a better chance of surpassing them. I take Reggie #1.

      Ross vs the other PG is tough. But Ross is still growing and probably has the most potential of anyone on the list. So yeah Ross is my #2.

      Sanders vs Sully. They offer such different things… Points/3s vs Blocks. There’s plenty of risk with both. I think Sully is going to be a popular sleeper this year but I won’t be buying in. 0.5 a steal and 0.5 a block is all I see Sullinger doing. Maybe he gets to 15/10 with 1.0 3PTM, all be it on a very low FG% for a big. Sullinger is safer and offers enough upside that I’m ok with keeping him. Personally, and without any sort of reasonable reasoning I would keep Sanders.

      • Peter Nincompoop says:
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        @Slim: So, the one consistent choice between both you and JB (i.e., Terrance Ross), was one of the guys I was initially leaving out of the equation strictly because he’s a former-Husky. On the real though, Ross does have tremendous upside as indicative of improvement to most of his peripherals (e.g., most notably FG%, FT% and PER) but I still worry about his minutes and offensive touches going forward as Demar DeRozan is clearly the #1 option in Toronto.

        I’ve had similar difficulty in deciding between Jackson and Beverley, as I really like both, but tend to agree with Slim’s take on PT in Oklahoma City. I have time to make a decision, so I’ll keep an eye on what ends up happening to Sefolosha and Lin (I still think he’s going to get dealt), respectively, as if either of them get moved they’ll have made my decision for me.

        Telling you the league dynamics could be useful in this circumstance as position eligibility and schedules loom extremely important. It’s an old school (i.e., we still do everything via email) 12-Team Keeper League where you end up only playing on nights where the NBA has scheduled 10+ games (e.g., there may be weeks where a player’s team is scheduled to play on all of the matchup nights, and other weeks, that team may not be playing at all). All that being said, you definitely need to do some preseason analysis of the league’s scheduled match-up nights and stay privy of that with acquisitions, not to mention making sure your roster is diversified (team-wise). “You gotta diversify that portfolio, son!” What ever happened to Dave Chappelle?

        Your roster on a matchup night has to consist of 3 Guards, 3 Forwards and 2 Centers. A player’s position eligibility is determined by how they’re listed on either Rotoworld, Fox or NBA.com so it’s the individual owner’s responsibility to check eligibility and then report changes to the league commissioner (it costs a waiver claim). For instance, last year I traded Gallinari and Vucevic for DeAndre, Sullinger and a 1st round pick. The other owner is too busy working for the Mothership and only had Sullinger listed as a “F” when in fact he was listed as a “F/C” on Rotoworld. I made the change afterwards and gained dual eligibility. The scoring is pretty primitive. Essentially there’s PTS/REB/AST/STL/BLK and at the end of the night you take the top three producing columns and that’s the players output (e.g., If Drummond goes for 20pts, 20reb, 5blk, 4ast and 1stl, that’s a total of 45).

        So this is more information then either of you EVER wanted, but as you can see eligibility and players team looms large. That being said, here’s my roster with positions (I should have posted this before) in case it factors into your previous decision.

        G – Kemba Walker
        G – Victor Oladipo
        G – Reggie Jackson
        G – Patrick Beverley

        G/F – Nicolas Batum
        G/F – DeMar DeRozan
        G/F – Kawhi Leonard
        G/F – Terrance Ross

        F – Mike Scott

        F/C – Andre Drummond
        F/C – DeAndre Jordan
        F/C – Larry Sanders
        F/C – Jared Sullinger

        Thanks guys and hope your having a good holiday weekend.

        • Slim

          Slim says:
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          @Peter Nincompoop: Jackson v Beverly is still pretty close. Pts/Reb/Ast vs Stl/Blk. I’m still leaning Reggie. With 3PTM not being a category Ross’ value takes a huge hit. He doesn’t make the cut. With all the guard/forwards and the lack of centers I would keep both centers over the other PG. Yep, I’m going with Reggie, Sully, Sanders.

          Thabo has already signed with the Bulls so Reggie’s biggest competition looks to be Lamb. I feel pretty good about his minutes. Lin is as good as gone but it shouldn’t matter, Beverley played 31 min/game last year.
          So at best he should gain 5 min/game, but so should Reggie. The biggest advantage Beverley has is his steals but with Kemba, Oladipo, Leonard, and Drummond I think that category is already one of your best. Where as I would put assists as one of your worst (of the 5 categories).

          • Peter Nincompoop says:
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            @Slim: I appreciate your feedback and I’m assuming knowing the rules of the league was putting our analysis on Terrance Ross in different spots.

            Larry “Colonel” Sanders is an enigma. I liked him at VCU, kept an eye on him for two years and then finally picked him up at the beginning of the 2012/2013 season. He goes off that season for nearly a double-double a night + 3 blocks, I order a bobble-head of him in homage to his emerging greatness and life is good. Fast forward a year, he signs a huge contract, goes breaking Cristal bottles on patron’s domes, jams up his thumb and essentially misses the whole season (I know he had that orbital bone thing as well). To keep, or not to keep, the Colonel. That is the question…the aforementioned bobble-head says yes, but I’m scared either way. How do you see the whole Milwaukee frontcourt working out minutes-wise? You got Ilyasova, the Colonel, Henson, Pachulia and even Raduljica to consider + now you got Jason Kidd and his incredibly idiotic rotations to boot. Balls Murphy is all I gotta say.

            Moving onto Jared Sullinger. Quick fact: Did you know the only numerical difference between Sullinger’s physique and that of Jabari Parker’s (at one of his last scheduled pre-draft workouts) is the 1 inch Sullinger has on Parker? They WEIGH the same (i.e., I still think he’s going to extremely underwhelm)! Fatty Patty 2×4. Moving on, Sullinger got some good run last year under Stevens’ system and put up some pretty good numbers. Eye popping numbers for stretches. Unless you’re seeing something I’m not with regards to their frontcourt depth (i.e., Bass, Olynyk, Humphries, Faverani etc.), the PF job is his to lose correct?

            • JB Gilpin

              JB Gilpin says:
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              @Peter Nincompoop: Well one thing I’m gonna note – OKC seems to play on Thursday all the time. So that’s gonna really cut into RJax’s production if I’m reading your rules right. I’ve never been in a league like that, but to miss him on, I dunno, 15-18 primetime games (total guess), would be huge.

              I’m sticking with my 3, so Slim and I just disagree with the PG of choice vs. Sully. Since Pts, I just think Sully is gonna outperform those two PGs, especially given you’ll be missing some OKC games.

              Totally agree. No one is really interesting for the Celtics to pick up FA wise. He had some lingering injuries too, so it’s a little risky, but I like the upside.

              Back to the Bucks, Ilyasova has shattered ankles and the Bucks wanted to move him during the draft. Too bad every other team knows he’s awful too. Pachulia is a free agent – likely he’s moving on. Raduljica is just depth and still a young prospect. So Sanders/Parker/Henson should get majority of 4-5 minutes, Ilyasova with backup PF minutes. I think they wanna start Giannis at the 3 next to Parker at the 4. If Sanders can bounce back with Knight playing as I think he can, the Bucks won’t be god-awful next year. Just awful. Hah

              Hope you had a good holiday as well!

  9. Bye Felicia says:
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    I’m making the call right now!
    Neither Jabari nor Wiggins wins ROY. That’s my prediction.

    So who do I think will? You’d be Smart if you thought Smart ;)

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Bye Felicia: Haha it’s possible! Fantasy-wise, the buzz is starting to get too big – a PG who can’t shoot treys and won’t get a ton of assists… I love him to death , but sounds like everyone is!

  10. Bye Felicia says:
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    Also can’t wait for the NBA season!
    Let’s just skip FF altogether. Don’t think im playing football this year. I’m already drained managing 12 baseball teams. I need a break from fantasy for a few months. Can I join a REL this year or is it on Yahoo only? I don’t really like Yahoo. Well not so much not liking it. I’m really not familiar with the way it’s set up. Tried a league one year and it didn’t feel mobile phone compatible?

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Bye Felicia: Me either man! I am playing in maybe 2 football leagues. I retired from football on Razzball (even though that’s where I started) and just over it. All luck based. well mostly, and certainly many times more so than the other 2.

      I think the REL is filled up with alternates, but haven’t started it up again yet. Hoops hasn’t opened up on Yahoo yet.

      It’s pretty compatible now with the new Yahoo system in web browsers on mobile. Also, they have an app, but it’s not great. I’m usually managing on computers though anyway, but I know mobile isn’t hard anymore (the drag and drop was annoying – but it’s easier now).

      • Slim

        Slim says:
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        @JB Gilpin: Filled with alternates? I still think it should be something other than 1st come, 1st serve. I think we should have some kind of competition to get in. Maybe a game along the lines of the guess Kobes stat line and whoever’s closest gets the spot. Something in the preseason once we know if/how many spots will be open. Just an idea…

        I had another idea… this one might get some kickback though. I was thinking what if the 2 managers that finish in last and 2nd to last lose their team!!! One thing it would do is create a ‘playoff’ type atmosphere at the end of the year for the worst teams in the league instead of inactive managers because if you go inactive at the end of the year you’re probably going to lose your team. Something I’m thinking about offering up to a vote.

        • JB Gilpin

          JB Gilpin says:
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          @Slim: It’s not first come, Seth is taking one team and High as Greg Kite I think is deserving and asked. There could easily be more openings to which I def would wanna do a competish.

          Eh, problem with that is it’s a dynasty and if I was last (which is unlikely simply because I would keep checking my team. Things would have to go horrifically wrong), I would be pissed to lose the team.

    • Slim

      Slim says:
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      @Bye Felicia: I’ve hung up my fantasy football cleats too. I always said that winning in fantasy football comes down to one play, does the safety make the tackle. Then there’s the lack of categories, a weekly win or loss instead of 5-4 wins or 2-7 losses for the week is something I am completely done with in any fantasy sport.

      There is only one REL (Razzball Elite League), a 20-team, auction, dynasty, but I think you’re probably referring to RCLs (Random Commenter Leagues). 12er, snake, redraft. There were about 7 or 8 of em last year and I imagine that number will double. I’ll commish one this year if anyone thinks they can handle my level of competition. <– Sarcasm.

      Both are Yahoo, I've only ever played on Yahoo for basketball, the app for the phone last year saw some major upgrades. But like JB I almost exclusively use a web browser.

      It crossed my mind to start another REL but I don't know if I want to play in both so if another gets started it would have to be with someone else leading the way.

      I only have 2 baseball teams this year because of how draining the basketball season was for me last year. I think I'm starting to turn into a 1-fantasy player but I'm good with that, I've always said basketball was my favorite due to all the number crunching and fuzzy math.

      • Bye Felicia says:
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        @Slim: Rcl or Rel doesn’t really matter? I just want to play against other reader/commenters etc. I don’t like public leagues for the simple fact that people quit midseason, ruining it for everyone else. I never quit a league, regardless how shitty my team was! I’m also done with football for now. I think baseball & basketball are more challenging fantasy wise. I agree, theres too much luck involved in football, plus I rather watch football since its the best sport to watch. I’ll always be a baseball 1st guy but basketball is a close 2nd. I gotta run its almost time for work. I’ll be in touch with you guys.

        • JB Gilpin

          JB Gilpin says:
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          @Bye Felicia: Aha, yes we’ll have RCL for Basketball open up for everyone once league open in Yahoo. They’re a ton of fun, and the grand prize was fun to pay off: http://basketball.razzball.com/2013-14-rcl-champion-branded-scalp

          I agree, Baseball then Basketball a close 2nd. Hoops is more fun to write for though, a lot more people to clown on haha.

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