Whewwww-eeee! What a fun draft. A good four-and-a-half hours after the draft start time I had picked my 17th player, and I think I really like my team. But with a lot of picks, I did feel a bit like Jerry Lundegaard in Fargo trying to defend them; “it’s a real good deal this one, real good!” Thanks again for filling out the league loyal Razzball Nation, and again thanks to our friends at RotoGold.com and the TDBSportsNetwork (which you can catch me on their “The Double Bonus” Show throughout the season and from last Wednesday) for helping class up the joint.
So if you missed the post launching the league, the Razzball Elite Dynasty League had our inaugural draft last night, an all-out brawl of an Auction draft with some really interesting bidding wars. Looking at you Ben from RotoGold and you pumping up Giannis Antetokounmpo for $15 late! The league is 20 teams, 12 starters (two of every position and two UTIL) and five bench spots. Using my abacus over here, that’s 340 players owned. Neeedless to say, things got really interesting once we were in the bottom end of starters. There is no inflation, we voted on a true Dynasty application, with lifetime contracts. Free agent pickups all must be done with your $100 yearly FAAB, and those players can be kept on a $1 lifetime contract. So FAAB bidding will be a critical element through the season.
I didn’t really go in with any preconceived strategies, I just knew I’d be throwing my Auction Rankings (which I made for RCL Standard-size leagues – 12-team with standard line-ups) out the window faster than Martin Sheen in The Departed. I know I’m higher on Serge Ibaka and John Wall than most, and given their relative age and situations, would be great in the format and top-line guys I initially targeted to build around. Ibaka went for a tremendous discount at $40 (Lundegaard – “real good deal ya got there!”) and Wall went for a huge premium at $61 (Lundegaard – “oh, geez, I guess I need to fake kidnap my wife!”). I still like the term we created in the draft of “Kobe Bryant money.” He went for an unreal $17 when it was still in heavy spending mode. Despite his age and injury, that is probably the best deal in the draft. I am going to use the term throughout the year. Application? Not fully known yet. Maybe for guys you should’ve paid or reached for that pan out….
Anyway, nabbing Ibaka first at a good price gave me a well-rounded team, and I’ll start from the top down and go through my line-up.
PG – Brandon Knight – $15 I really like Knight to emerge this year in a new situation in Milwaukee, and at the point in the draft he was nominated, there were only a few starting PGs left, making me a Knight buyer at virtually any price. Not in love with what the value ended up being, but given a non-inflating contract, he could easily work himself into a top-50 overall player. Hard to believe he’s only 21 too.
PG – Raymond Felton – $14 Felton was nominated right after Knight, and he was by far the best starting PG available. I told myself, “if he goes for around the same price, I can shore up a nice pair of points.” Shorn up! Sounds like what an Australian sheep herder would say… Anyway, I like the value here, and while he obviously is in the twilight of his career, should give me a few solid seasons at the price.
SG – Kawhi Leonard – $37 While it was still fairly early in the draft, Kawhi was my second player and I saw the talent pool mercilessly thinning. I may have gone a few bucks too high (can’t remember who was bidding him up with me), but as Spock would say, I think it’s only logical he becomes the face of that team while they rebuild once Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili finally hang up their sneaks. Think he’s a solid long-term commitment, and I don’t mind the slightly higher price than I would’ve hoped.
SG – Wilson Chandler – $11 I think this is a solid price for a guy with his upside. Sure his hammy is bothering him right now, and eventually Danilo Gallinari will be back, but if the hammy can get right it should be a strong start to the year for him, then they can always move Chandler to the 2 instead of Randy Foye, which I think is the long-term solution would be anyway.
SF – Corey Brewer – $9 It may have looked a bit high at the time, but once some real scrub-a-licious guys were going for prices in this range later in the draft, I’m loving this pick. It’s nothing flashy, and even if Brewer doesn’t start, his minutes (which would still be a lot) as a sixth-man will be very valuable.
SF – Omri Casspi – $3 Definitely a ThrAGNOF I was targeting, Casspi could end up starting at the 4 in Houston. Sure it’s not exactly an ideal starter’s spot, but Casspi will get minutes regardless on a team that likes to drive and dish. He’s had a great preseason to boot.
PF – Jeff Green – $27 There were some murmurs after I got Green at this price that it was crazy, which I found a little surprising. We all saw what he could do with the opportunity last year and he’ll be the lead guy until Rajon Rondo gets back. He’s still got a lot of years ahead of him as well. I really liked his value.
PF – Serge Ibaka – $40 My #1 guy, this was a fantastic value given I have him ranked as a first-rounder. Later in the draft, Andre Drummond went for $31 and Enes Kanter for $30 to give you an idea of the great value here. It’s hard to believe he’s only 24 too. Great center-piece (See what I did there! Although… I have him at PF technically…)
C – Andrew Bynum – $8 Official “Lemony Snicket’s Series of [Un]fortunate Events” pick. So I switched computers when Bynum was nominated thinking I wanted no part of him, closed the draft, relaunched on the new computer, and viola. I had Bynum. At first it was outrage (bear in mind this was still pretty early). “Bynum got autopicked and no one bid him up?!” I hate Bynum this year. But after seeing what some guys went for late (Taj Gibson for $12, Stevan Adams for $11), this could easily be the steal of the draft. And with so little capital in him, the one pick I auto-picked for may be the biggest blessing, and if it’s a curse, well, he was cheap. Ugh, now I have to cheer for Bynum….
C – Greg Stiemsma – $3 I love this value. Sure the stats he’ll put up will be ugly. About as ugly as he is. But he’s going to get minutes and get boards, and for a center to get that kind of run to only go for $3 was a nice buy.
UTIL – Kentavious Caldwell-Pope – $12 A guy I’ve been pumping hard, even before the Rodney Stuckey and Brandon Jennings injuries, I think KCP has great opportunity now and a great long-term outlook as a “Dynaster” (term we coined in the draft, but not really it’s original use). The price might be a little high, but I wanted him.
UTIL – Archie Goodwin – $6 Virtually the same analysis. I think he gets a lot of run in the second unit and I’ve pumped him hard all preseason. Goran Dragic is still on a pretty big deal the next three years, but if something doesn’t happen I could see him traded. Goodwin will have to prove it, but I could see him starting in Phoenix down the road.
BN – Thomas Robinson – $8 Impulse buy! It was near the register! Sorry I kept ya up Mr. Green… Anyway, Robinson has some great dynasty upside and could end up starting if LaMarcus Aldridge gets traded. Has great raw ability that could turn into something. I got burned on him last year thinking the trade to the Rockets would make him a huge late-season contributor… but that was more than wrong. Double-or-nothing, T-Rob!
BN – Will Barton – $1 Flashed some great potential late last year after Wesley Matthews got hurt. Willing to see what happens with the youngster.
BN – Antawn Jamison – $1 Hey, he’ll put up point on that Clips second unit. Suck my unit!
BN – Greg Smith – $1 If Casspi ends up being a failure, Dwight gets hurt, or I dunno, something else nutso happens, Smith has looked good every time I’ve seen him play. Throwing darts at this point.
BN – Toney Douglas – $2 My Mr. Irrelevant, I actually think Douglas is a little interesting given Stephen Curry’s ankle-injury history. Worth a stash.
|JB Gilpin – Razzball|
All things considered, I like this team. Seeing some of the guys filling out other rosters, I think I like spreading out my budget somewhat, which wasn’t an intentional plan, just how the draft played out. I think I have a great young core as well, so this team should hold up the sands of time. My biggest regrets were: A) Jeff Teague went for so friggin’ much. I really wanted him. And B) I got up for a beer after Andray Blatche got nominated, and saw the time go 0:00 when I sat down on John Henson for $12 the next pick. Compared to Thomas Robinson at $8, wish I had gotten Henson for $13 or $15 there, which I would’ve done had beer not been so tasty. But I like my team and think it will compete year-in to year-out. What say you to my squad, REL mates and Razzball Nation?