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Rasheed Wallace.  Yep, I dared team Ballin Like Smush to do it and he is now the proud owner of ‘Sheed for $1 (until waivers on Thursday kicks in at least).  This, in a way, shows the beauty of an auction.  You can start nominating the top guys like LeBron James or try to squeeze a sleeper like Aaron Brooks past the other owners who aren’t sure how to spend just yet.  In this post, I’m going to go over the draft from Monday, explain my strategy, and what I thought the steals and reaches were.  Here are the results from the draft. (If you want to participate in your own draft, create a league and invite others to join the fun! – ed.)

My strategy going into the draft:

I go into my auction drafts with a general strategy that gets more specific as the draft wears on.  This way you aren’t stuck thinking in a specific manner and then thrown off by some guy determined to bid you up on a particular player.

General Strategy (Stars and Scrubs): Option A.  Get LeBron/Kevin Durant/Chris Paul if the price is right.  Option  B.  If those 3 are too expensive, get as many of my Top 20 players as possible (attempt to get deals) while trying to save some money for the end game.

Man, that was complicated (sarcasm).  The hardest thing to consider is: what is too expensive?  The projected auction value for LeBron was $69 (from Yahoo!, #1 player).  I repeatedly say projected values are garbage, but for the top players they can be used as a bare minimum for what they’re going to go for in the draft.  It’s very similar to a snake draft where the Yahoo! projected ranking of a player may force you to take someone you love earlier than you were planning.  So what I’m trying to say is, if you’re going to go after Bron, then you are going to be the market setter.  That’s right, you have the power to control what the top of the market is.  Every other player in the draft will be compared to what the top player goes for (OK, fine.  You can argue that it is Bron or Durant).  I usually let somebody else set the market with the top player and then jump in on the #2 guy (Bron or Durant) if the market is low.  Anyway, with the minimum being $69, I decided that I would jump on LeBron if the price stayed below $80.  He ended up going for $82 (IMO, I think that’s even money).  The rest fell in line… Durant went for $81 and Paul went for $77.  I could’ve gone after Paul but I didn’t think a $5 difference from the best player was a good enough value for me to bid on.  So instead, I wanted to try and execute option B.

Along came James Harden, who I am very high on and put him top 10 in my bold 5-24 rankings.  The bidding was fast and furious and eventually, I ended up the victor at nice price of $41.  He’s my #1 SG and in my top 10 so getting him for HALF of what LeBron went for seemed like a pretty good deal.  A similar deal happened with Carmelo Anthony (top 15), who I got for $40.  For the price of $81, I got Anthony and Harden.  Does Anthony + Harden = KD?  Depends on the person.

Intermission 1:  As I mentioned earlier, sometimes you can get sleepers on the cheap early in the draft.  Obviously, opinions differ but here are some names thrown out early (First 20 nominations):

Goran Dragic ($30), Jonas Valanciunas ($3), Gerald Wallace ($20), Derrick Rose ($1), Aaron Brooks ($3), and Raymond Felton ($8)

I’m not saying any of these are great values, but if Aaron Brooks went at the end of the draft then he might’ve gone for more to a team that had some extra money laying around.  Or maybe a team that was desperate for a PG.  Same goes for Felton.

Now it’s time to get a little more specific.  Build on strengths while attending to weaknesses. I managed to come away with Harden, Anthony, and Felton while spending $89.  Looks like I’m trying to get strong in 3’s, PTS, and FT% while staying solid in assists, steals, and rebounds.  Major weaknesses include FG% and BLKs.  I want to target players that will add to 3’s or FT% while helping as many of the other categories as possible.  I ended up with the next 3 players:  Ty Lawson ($30, PTS, 3’s, FT%, FG%, AST, STL), Paul Millsap ($34, PTS, FT%, FG%, STL, REB), and Al Horford ($28, PTS, FT%, FG%, STL, REB, BLK).  Does this fix the BLK problem?  Absolutely not, but all 3 players are in my top 20 and help out a lot of other categories.  Total money spent:  $181.  Now here’s the worst part.  Sitting here and waiting for the end of the draft to roll around so I can fill out the rest of my roster.  This is otherwise known as, yelling at your computer monitor because guys are going for great prices and you don’t have money to bid them up.  It can be frustrating but this is the Stars and Scrubs strategy (“guaranteed” production + lottery tickets).

Intermission 2: The Jump Bid:  Here’s a little risky strategy you can employ during the auction.  About 40 nominations deep, PG’s were flying off the table (14 of ‘em gone) with Mike Conley going for $23 very recently.  Up came Ty Lawson, a highly touted PG and beloved by me.  Owner’s wallets were getting lighter and the bidding started out slow going up dollar by dollar.  Around $18 I decided to do a jump bid by entering in a bid of $30.  10 seconds later, Ty Lawson was mine as the 27th highest paid player.  If the bidding continued dollar by dollar, owners can get the mindset that it’s “only another 2 dollars” and therefore keep driving up the price in a bidding war.  The jump bid makes the owner think in much larger numbers which can act as a deterrent.  Is this effective?  Sometimes.  Other times you might end up paying more than you would normally have.  Kyrie Irving went for $38 a couple nominations later, so maybe I made the right move.  Or maybe everyone just loved Irving that much more than Lawson.

End Game:  Find high upside guys.  If they help out areas that you are weak in, that is a bonus.  Do not simply go after guys to help out in one category.  You will change your roster so many times over the course of the season, it is better to just go after guys who have a lot of upside/opportunity.  If they don’t work out, then whatever.  Add/drop the newest guy who went off.  Any glaring deficiencies in your team will most likely be corrected via trade or the stud that always appears off the waiver wire.  My upside guys:  Jeff Green ($1), Glen Davis ($6), Kevin Seraphin ($6), Omer Asik ($1), Luke Ridnour ($1, while Ricky Rubio is out he should be owned).  You may be like… what about the $3 you spent on Avery Bradley or $1 on Drew Gooden?  I’d reply “Oops.”

Regrets – I really wish I had about $10 more in the end game so that I could make more sleeper bids (i.e. Nikola Pekovic for $7).  I got stuck with only $19 heading into the end game because I couldn’t say no to Horford for $28 (the bid that took me to $19), a top 20 player for me.  Shit happens.

So there’s my Stars/Scrubs strategy.  Some of you may like my team and some may hate it (my team name is “Emilia Clarke“).  For another approach, click on the results link and look at team “Cigar Smoking”, “Ron Swanson 4 Pres”, or “Clever Internet Meme”.  They all took a more balanced approach.  In the end, I’m pretty happy with my team.  I have 5 guys I think are great to elite (looking at my bold prediction piece, I have my #8, 9, 10,11, and 13 ranked players) as well as an undervalued PG (Felton) to go along with a bunch of lottery tickets.  Let’s hear it in the comments.

Steals of the Draft:

Brandon Jennings ($24) – I don’t love him like some people do but this was a nice steal.

Ryan Anderson ($17) – This price tag basically gives him no risk.  Zero chance his value is below this, barring an injury.

Monta Ellis ($16) – Sometimes when a player is nominated late (#63), you see things like this.

Tony Parker, Chris Bosh ($12) – Unsexy names.  Sexy Prices.

Brook Lopez ($7) – I paid $6 for Big Baby (albeit, later in the draft).  ‘Nuff Said.

Reaches of the Draft:

Serge Ibaka ($42) – Was the 12th highest paid player.  I just don’t like paying for blocks.  Or backup centers on the Spanish Olympic team.

Paul George ($31) – I hate putting this guy here because I absolutely love the potential.  However he hasn’t put up the numbers yet to justify the price.  Could he make the leap and be a top 20 player? Yes.

Rajon Rondo ($33) – Bad in TO’s, FT%, 3’s, PTS, BLK, and FG%.  I don’t think the awesome assists and steals are worth it (OK, fine.  The rebounds are good for a guard).  Much better in real life and might be an alien.

Glen Davis ($6) – Looks worse than it was cause it was near the end of the draft when owners start dumping the rest of their money.  However, with Pekovic and BroLo going $7, I should have bid on those guys instead.  I do like the opportunity Davis will be getting in Orlando though.  The NBA will require them to field a full team.

From Around The Web

  1. Clever Internet Meme (will) says:
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    Jonas for Pres. of Lithuania.

    I can only hope he and Ibaka swat as many balls as I think they could.

  2. Amy says:
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    Good Read!

    seems like Rajon Rondo only gets better each year, wasn’t he dropping 3’s in their last few playoff games? which means nothing and jokes aside but he prob is alien. which adds to the upside perhaps? wait or does it do the opposite?? hmm!

    AND when someone seems to question him, or piss him off, or say he gets a stupid tech, he will show up next game and get 20/20/20 and a F you. if he grows up, watch out. serial.

    none the less, he can give u 17 boards easy on a off night, 10 points( with ray gone and pp always out) if he improves on any one of those cats you mentioned, even just a bit, 33 is very decent, he comes with risk but very little, considering he’s the celtics future, youngest and the only one who will get consident(a hell of a lot) of mins

    Celtics and Spurs – only guys you should draft on both teams should be the starting PG’s, everyone else is old and prob won’t be playing too many back to backs, for those two teams is win a ring or break it all up.

    word on the street, ray town and Rondo did not get a long, which showed on the floor at times Rondo still needs to grow up, maybe he will have a clearer mind and be playing even better with ray gone?
    he won’t find his shot im sure but, say he does
    Mr alien is MVP, ship offf all those old d00ds on the celtics, get some young bigs with +rondo… thats what will happen once they get smoked this season and the only decent player showing any sign of all-star ab is Rondo.
    remember this.

    • James Redacted

      James Redacted says:
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      @Amy, Thanks and I appreciate your opinion. He really is one of the more interesting players in the league. One night an MVP kinda guy and the next a bench player on the bobcats (haha, nobody is that bad. Well, except the actual bench players on the bobcats). We’ll see how often he is able to stay motivated and have his head in the game. As far as your Celtics/Spurs statement… There are alot of guys on those teams that could be great values late in drafts (Lee, J. Green, Terry, Leonard, D. Green). Do not write them off!

      Also, I think the Celtics will be a top 4 team in the East.

      • Amy says:
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        @James Redacted, thanks! (Lee, J. Green, Terry, Leonard, D. Green) ? those are fillers, very late picks
        IM talkin big wigs :)
        too must resting and what not going and too focused on rings! why when u could score a young gun( is what im saying)

        don’t take my word for it, see what LBJ/wade says, plus after a 17/20/14 game id think he trade value would be pretty decent for 33 ;)

    • Amy says:
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      @Amy,

      http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/sports/basketball/nba/story/2012-05-31/Rajon-Rondo-performance-one-for-record-books/55296810/1

      “First of all, Rondo was absolutely amazing tonight,” Heat forward LeBron James said. “The performance he put on tonight will go down in the record books. … He showed tonight why he’s an all-pro and one of the superstars in the league. He’s a unique player. He’s an unbelievable player.”

      “Rajon Rondo is the best PG in the league hands down, he does it all ppl,” former teammate Jeff Green Tweeted.

      “There was nothing you could do about it,” Heat guard Dwyane Wade said. “He was out there every minute of the game. And he made a big impact.”

      “He’s flat-out incredible. He does everything. I just love the guy. What an Ironman performance,” teammate Keyon Dooling said.

      “Rajon demonstrated last night why he is one of the greatest competitors the league has seen in a while. He truly has as much heart as anyone who has ever played the game in my opinion,” his biased and proud agent, Bill Duffy, wrote in a text message to USA TODAY Sports late Wednesday night.

      • James Redacted

        James Redacted says:
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        @Amy, Haha you don’t have to remind me. I watched those performances. Need consistency though!! Also, keep in mind I said he’s a much better real life PG.

        • Amy says:
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          @James Redacted, d00d, regardless heh you have the best player in the world, along with is side kick wade saying he’s the best of the pg best? that gives him a lot of value when trading, trust that.
          real life or not, trade value is there lol
          matchinh him up with the right players, like howard is dominate.

          • Amy says:
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            @Amy, go look at this stats for the season(s) he’s always consistent, maybe not in shooting and 3’s /ft but.. lol
            Those things he can get better on, he’s not going to decline in the other aspects!
            just sayin

            • James Redacted

              James Redacted says:
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              @Amy, It’s interesting that you mention Dwight. In a H2H league I would be 100% on board with what you’re saying. Howard and Rondo are a match made in heaven for that setting. In roto, you’re pretty much guaranteeing last in FT% and low 3’s. You can definitely overcome it, but the margin for error is slim in your other picks. I wish you the best of luck!!

              • Amy says:
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                @James Redacted, Rajon Rondo remains one of the most unique players in the NBA for a lot of reasons; he is an athletic, energetic guard with an unreliable jump shot, who nevertheless is one of the most productive offense players in the game. This is because he knows his shortcomings and players to them, deferring his own scoring in favor of setting up teammates. As a result of this, he led the league in assists per game for the first time last season, with 11.7 per game. He also saw his scoring bump a bit to 11.9, but his value will always come from the assists he racks up in bulk. He has missed 27 games combined over the last two seasons, so injuries are something of a concern, however he should be a top-10 guard in all Fantasy formats. (Updated 8/21/12) Rawr! hehehe thanks !! it was fun!! see you next post ;)

              • Amy says:
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                @James Redacted, punting sometimes works ;) very, very well.. if you do it right
                if you have enough bigs to take rebounds and blocks with easy
                so howard is a much, along with 3/4 other great bigs.

                • James Redacted

                  James Redacted says:
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                  @Amy, Definitely not for the feint of heart. I like to monitor those teams and see how well they fare.

                  • Shawn says:
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                    @James Redacted, good signs!

                    Rajon Rondo has shot 17-for-22 from the free throw line in the preseason.
                    It’s a 77 percent mark for a career 61.9 percent shooter, so it’s a notable difference. Still, we’re going to need to see Rondo do it in the regular season to believe it’s for real, but it’s obvious that Rondo has made it a point to work on his deficiencies. If he can shoot above 70 percent from the line this year, it would boost his already sizable fantasy value.

                    • James Redacted

                      James Redacted says:
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                      @Shawn, Bit of a small sample size but we shall see!

  3. tony starks says:
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    good article. auction drafts are the best. so much fun. until you spend most of your $$$ early and see all the deals pass you by. was shocked no one else bid on d-rose though. i nominated him hoping to see a couple knuckleheads drive up his price to the $5-6 range. no such luck though. oh well

    • Amy says:
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      @tony starks, Gottta pay to play sometimes!
      If it’s a keeper league that’s an amazing price lol if not, he might not play at all, his words.. not mine.

    • James Redacted

      James Redacted says:
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      @tony starks, Yea, I thought he would go for a couple dollars more but if you get stuck with him for a buck then it’s not gonna hurt you.

  4. Mike says:
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    Reason I pulled out of the league was I hate the 82 game limit. I like most of your players except Millsap. I like Green, Lillard, Gordon Hayward and Kawhi Leonard. I have Lillard on all my teams.

    • James Redacted

      James Redacted says:
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      @Mike, Fair enough. The hype on Lillard is getting pretty high. He could be great but I usually don’t overpay for rookies.

  5. Diego A. says:
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    Man I wasn’t able to attend the draft cause I had class. So I told my friend to draft for me. He ended up getting BLAKE FOR $25 WHEN I TOLD HIM SPECIFICALLY NOT TO DRAFT HIM. Sucks. Man it sucks. But it’s alright. I might have a chance.

    – LeBron’s Mom

    • James Redacted

      James Redacted says:
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      @Diego A., Oooh dagger. Defriend him on facebook. The good news is that $25 is an OK price to pay for him. I dislike him because people tend to draft him in the 2nd/3rd round (or >$30). Not worth it, IMO.

      • Diego A. says:
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        @James Redacted,

        And I think he went too high on K. Love or was the $54 ok for him? I think my team is just ok. I don’t think I can with with it though…

        Aaron Brooks, P. George, Iggy, Gay, Griffin, Love, AL HARRINGTON (WHAT SHOULD I DO WITH HIM), MKG, R. Allen (?), Frye (!!!!!), H. Barnes, B. Rush, and Brandon Bass.

        • James Redacted

          James Redacted says:
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          @Diego A., Love for $54 will work out fine. Maybe slightly high but they’ve been optimistic about his return. Just make sure to work the wire and make savvy trades. You’ll be alright. Also, I’d prob drop Harrington and frye ASAP. Allen could be OK.

  6. bostonfan says:
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    Adam,

    if you don’t mind tell you me what you think of this team
    (8 cat league, 8 person)

    Guards:
    Kyrie Irving
    Stephen Curry
    Jrue Holiday
    Darren Collison
    Mo Williams
    Jason Terry

    Forwards:
    Rudy Gay
    Paul Pierce
    Glen Davis
    Al Horford

    Centers:
    Andrew Bynum
    Tyson Chandler
    DeAndre Jordan
    Nikola Pekovic

    What am I missing/should i trade a player?

    • Shawn says:
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      @bostonfan, I think adam was canned

      • ChrisV

        ChrisV says:
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        @Shawn, Adam wasn’t canned, he stepped down due to professional and personal obligations that made were not going to allow him to give him the attention to the site that he used to.

        Adam may still pop his head in from time to time.

        For now, you’re stuck with me, James, Blairtch and anyone else who wonders in.

    • James Redacted

      James Redacted says:
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      @bostonfan, If Curry and Bynum are healthy, you should have a strong team. Since the league is so shallow, you should be able to replace guys who are underperforming. Don’t make any trades till some games have passed.

  7. CC says:
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    Auction draft is always a blast. I was a bit rusty and ended up leaving a chunk of money on the table (never again). Got most of the players I wanted to target (Jennings, Lowry, Kawhi, Hayward, Vasquez..) but I definitely feel like I could’ve done better.

    -Carolina Cougars

    • James Redacted

      James Redacted says:
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      @CC, Glad you could participate. You did get some great prices on players (i.e. Jennings) and i’m pretty high on lowry. Honestly, in a league where everyone knows what they’re doing you usually leave with a feeling that you could’ve done better. Stay active on that wire, the draft is about 25% of the battle.

  8. Booya says:
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    Hey can you post some tiered rankings?

    Thanks

    • James Redacted

      James Redacted says:
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      @Booya, Yeah, I hear ya. ChrisV has some that he’s been trying to post, but there have been some difficulties in formatting. We will try and get those up ASAP. I may try to post my own tiers for tomorrow (rather than a recap of the preseason games) in a list format to avoid the formatting issues.

  9. Booya says:
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    Yea that would be great to have your tiered rankings as well as his…

    Thanks again!

    • ChrisV

      ChrisV says:
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      @Booya, I told James we should both do them, but it’s hard to shake the hot women off our arms so we can type.

      If you believe that, I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.

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