I pounded the coffee, we live-podcasted the draft, and my hopes at the 15-16 REL title now dance in my dreams like sugarplums and Ricky Rubio’s face!  My favorite basketball league, I brought my limited chips to the table then went all-in on a rookie I have to stash…  Wahhhhh!  Hopefully other teams like their backend roster more than I do, and with an added IL spot this year, we have some early FAAB money getting spent on the wire.  Here’s how the draft and first round of FAAB went down in the REL:

RAZZBALL ELITE LEAGUE

(if you’d like to join a similar league, CTMN in the comments has launched a commenter dynasty league that is hoping to be a 20-teamer of Razzball Nation readers as well!  Here’s the league invite, be prepared for the madness of a deep dynasty!)

1. Yappers  (0-0-0)

FAAB Remaining: $87  FAAB Moves this week: Joe Young ($13)

First of all the most important stuff. Since last year, our Barking Basset Hound Lucy has gone to her eternal reward in dog heaven, and after a period of due mourning we have a new puppy named Maxwell Smart. We were told at purchase that he was Yorkie and Chihuahua mixed breed, so thus the team name Yapping Yorkies. However our vet informed us that his father was definitely not Yorkie, so thus the name was shortened to just Yappers.

Anyway, there is a lot of stuff to to go over in respect to Yappers (formerly Barking BassetHounds)
and the challenge here is to make it brief. To summarize:

Out released to free agency: Carlos Boozer ($12), Paul Pierce ($11), Jeremy Lin ($10), Nene Hilario ($9)

Out via pre-auction trade with Foreign Affairs: Luol Deng ($12)

In via same trade: Mason Plumlee ($1), O.J. Mayo ($1)

In via auction: Roy Hibbert ($13), Devin Harris ($3), Iman Shumpert ($3)

In via FAAB: Joe Young (2nd round 2015 draft Pacers – $13 FAAB and $1 keeper)

Current contracts renewed: Marc Gasol ($41), Jeff Teague ($32), Deron Williams ($20), Pau Gasol ($20), Kyle Lowry ($17), Wesley Matthews ($14), Danilo Gallinari ($11), Tyson Chandler ($9), Kevin Martin ($8), C.J. Miles ($1), Chase Budinger ($1), Tarik Black ($1).

My four cuts were all nobrainers in my estimation. I was over budget due to the Marc Gasol trade of last year, and cutting overpriced disappointments from last year were the minimum required to get me under $200 budget.

But they were not the minimum to get me to where I wanted to be. I wanted a decent center who did boards and blocks, and a max bid of $9 just was not going to cut it in this league. Thus I was delighted to be able to trade my $12 Luol Deng for useful $1 O.J. Mayo and $1 Mason Plumlee. I figured $23 for three players would leave a max bid of $21, which should be more than enough to meet my primary auction objective. Which it was for Roy Hibbert, who was the best target available by a long shot for what I had available to spend.

Considering how the auction went later on (for example my plan B Bogut went for $15), I was very pleased to snag him at a bargain price of $13. Now I was not pleased that I left $4 at the table (that tells me that maybe I could have done better), but Devin Harris (Deron Williams handcuff) and Iman Shumpert (steals) were on my short “get ’em if you can get ’em cheap” list, having been outbid for all the players on my short “get ’em next with the money after Hibbert” list. So that is that.

Which leaves just my FAAB buy. Now my first year in REL I spent $60 for the immortal Xavier Henry my first week in. Last year I spent..I can’t remember but about $27 for the immortal Kostas Papanikolau or however it is spelled. So one would think I had learned my lesson.

Well maybe. I had about 15 players lined up with bids from $4 to $1 figuring I did not care all that much who my 18th player would be (Iman Shumpert occupying my IL slot). But then I got to googling the players on this list, and as I did, 2nd round Pacers pick Joe Young just seemed to stand out as having already earned minutes this year, and having at least a decent chance of a “spark-plug-off-the-bench” type career sort of like my $1 C.J. Miles. If so, then cutting my $27 bid for Kostas in half again to $13 still might be an overpay (which it was), but in the end would be money well invested. Anyway, I would by far prefer overpaying on the current NBA draft with FAAB as opposed to auction money. Put this one in the “We Shall See” department.

Anyway that is the skinny on how I got from last year to this year. I can nitpick and second guess some things, but overall I still am happy with how things turned out. Let the games begin.

2. Breaking Batum  (0-0-0)

FAAB Remaining: $100  FAAB Moves this week: John Jenkins ($0)

Our strategy for the draft was to look for values. We had planned on keeping MKG at $7 and Shumpert at $4, but threw both back due to injuries. At least we still have Mirotic at $5. That gave us a little less money to play with (2 more roster spots to fill), but still with the 2nd most overall money. With the talent in PG available, we also wanted to make sure we got at least 2 of Lawson, Russell, Mudiay, and Payton. We were thrilled to get Russell early for $30, but were outbid for Payton. Lawson for $22 was fantastic, and less than we had budgeted him for.

Unfortunately, we didn’t see the values (for the most part) that were present the last 2 years. Most players went for what they were worth or more. Listening to the podcast, Harden is lucky he didn’t try bidding us up more on Batum. We had hoped to get him at $30 or less, and barely decided to go $36. We weren’t going $38.

We bought several veterans to round out the team. Short on big men, we bought Taj Gibson, Pierce, Mahinmi, and Varejao for $10 or less each. We did love the Crabbe pick for $3, surprised he went so low. At the end of the draft, we had hoped to get Oubre and Lamb with our last $20. We decided to let JB have him at $15, knowing that we wouldn’t be able to afford both. Turned out we were right, as we got Lamb for $11. Higher than we wanted for sure, but maybe he can earn it with MKG out. I think we are still bitter for missing out on Lamb during last year’s FAAB bidding.

There are still trades to be made to help round out the roster, but overall we are very happy with our team. After coming SO close last year (only two 3PM OR two blocks from the title!), we have been waiting all summer for this league to start up again. We are very excited to have active owners. It’ll be nice to have every player available, rather than nearly half being dead teams. Good luck to everyone this year!

3. Martyball – IFBL  (0-0-0)

FAAB Remaining: $100  FAAB Moves this week: n/a

4. JB Gilpin – Razzball  (0-0-0)

FAAB Remaining: $100  FAAB Moves this week: n/a

Well, Slim decided he would try and thwart my only real draft target in getting Oubre late in the draft, and when I put all my available dollars into snatching up my stash, it really hurt my final picks.  Taking a step back, I made a deal with Adam (HateAnus in a fun way to shorten his team name) to bring in Monta Ellis ($23) for two $1 guys (Kyle O’Quinn & Cory Joseph) which I still like, but coming into the draft with $20 wanting Oubre and then costing $15, hamstrung me.  Not like it was a bad value though, as other rookies without defined roles also went for respectable money.

My final picks ended up being a hodgepodge of likely drops with Seth Curry (hoping someone would $2 that one), Donald Sloan (hey, he was awesome for the first month last year!  Maybe he can surprise as a backup and Jack is fairly old, he might stick around), James Michael McAdoo (meh, we’ll see), Jeremy Evans (kinda liked that one), and R.J. Hunter (with no clear role he’s iffy, but a rookie and only long SG Boston has right now).  Needless to say, I need waiver help early.

Even so, I didn’t put any bids down yet, even with some options to put in IR.  Booker seemed like the most assured role player, but Lyles looming to take minutes and a boneheaded face slap in preseason already is costing a game.  I figured Joe Young would cost the most, and don’t want to dabble in my FAAB yet.  I’ll be grabbing a guy or two hopefully for $0 in the next waiver period next Sunday.

Good luck this year, everyone!

5. Slim – Razzball (0-0-0)

FAAB Remaining: $94  FAAB Moves this week: Trevor Booker ($6)

Finally the REL is back!  As one of only two teams to make the postseason both years the goal remains the same, just make the playoffs.  I went into the draft with $64 to spend and looking for 2-3 young players with as much upside as possible. First and foremost I needed a shot blocking big, then I needed a point guard with good 3s, steals, and low TOs, and finally a wing with upside.  The options were blatantly obvious. For the big I wanted Towns, then Turner, and if they went for too much I would fallback on Porzingis and pay whatever he came to. For a PG I was looking at Elfrid although he didn’t fit what I was looking for too well, Russell, Mudiay, then Marcus Smart as a cheaper fallback. For a wing I wanted Stanley Johnson, then Winslow, and if they went for too much then I would challenge JB for Oubre.  Since I was looking at all of these guys as potential keepers my main goal was to not overpay, and the early indications are that I managed to accomplish that.

The most important position to fill for me on draft day was a big.  I came in with Nurkic, Adams, Henson, and Sullinger for a combined $44. A solid group for sure but still in need of one more guy.  I had no chance at Towns and Turner went for a bit higher than I had him priced at, $30, but I managed to get my 3rd choice, Porzingis, at what I consider an affordable price, $28, which was actually $2 less than I had him priced at predraft. If he starts day one, which is looking more and more likely, then that pick was obviously my best. I added one more big man in Seraphin with my last $1 bid, although this bid was mostly just a backup in case Porzingis failed to earn minutes in the early going.

Coming into the draft my PGs were Lillard, Clarkson, Burks, Galloway, and Goodwin for a combined $47.  Pretty cheap overall but in need of another starter.  I missed on my top 3 targets, even though they went for about the amount I was willing to pay, and ended up with Marcus Smart for $21, $1 more than I had him priced at predraft. A price I would have definitely kept him for had I drafted him at last year, which I tried to do.

The wings I came into the draft with were Wiggins, Tucker, Marcus Morris, and Justin Holiday at a combined $45. I got priced out of Stanley immediately so I went for Winslow. I couldn’t afford what he came to since I already had 2 of my 3 targets so I waited for Oubre, which came 66 nominations after the 2nd player I drafted. Alas JB had 1 more dollar to spend than I did so I completely whiffed on a wing. However with 110 picks in the books there was a lottery pick that had somehow managed to slip through the cracks so I drafted Trey Lyles at a completely respectable $6, and immediately put him on the trade block.

After a day or 2 of negotiations with Adam we agreed upon Tucker $5 and Lyles $6 for Beverley $10 and Jeff Green $13. This is obviously a win now move for me as I really doubt I keep either of the newly aquired players. Also Nurkic finds his way onto my IL spot and I make a waiver claim for Trevor Booker ($6 FAAB) to help fill my need for another big. I’m shocked, nay flabergasted, that he went undrafted. When I picked Seraphin I was debating between him and Booker.

After everything was said and done this is how my team stacks up. PGs and SGs of Lillard, Clarkson, Smart, Beverley, Burks, Galloway, and Goodwin. SFs of Wiggins, Jeff Green, Marcus Morris, and Justin Holiday. PFs and Cs of Porzingis, Adams, Nurkic, Henson, Sullinger, Seraphin, and Trevor Booker. However as we all know, I’m not even close to done making moves. The primary position I’ll be looking for is another SF since I only have 4 and 1 of those is merely an upside gamble. As for my strengths and weakness: I punt FG% which means FT% is extremely important, it looks merely OK. I think I added a bunch of 3s in the draft and with my trade so I feel good there. Points are fine, mostly due to strong depth. My boards aren’t great due to a lack of top 50 big men but like points I’m hoping to stay competitive with my depth. I like my assists, but once again nothing amazing but the depth. I’m not that strong in steals, especially with the loss of Tucker, and as I look for another SF steals will be the main category I seek. Blocks aren’t a strength either but I added 3 bigs in the draft and free agency so hopefully it’s enough to keep me competitive, and I’m still looking for more just in case Porzingis doesn’t work out. Finally since I already punt one category its important for me to stay competitive in TOs vs the top teams, something I think I was able to maintain. Oh yeah, in case it isn’t painfully obvious I’m just tickled pink with how my team looks heading into the season.

6. Scurry to the Left  (0-0-0) 

FAAB Remaining: $100  FAAB Moves this week: n/a

7. The Nature Boy  (0-0-0)

FAAB Remaining: $100  FAAB Moves this week: James Young ($0)

8. Hoopus Alleyoopus  (0-0-0)

FAAB Remaining: $100  FAAB Moves this week: n/a

9. Hardenoutherr4apimp  (0-0-0)

FAAB Remaining: $100  FAAB Moves this week: n/a

10. Kap’s Team  (0-0-0) 

FAAB Remaining: $100  FAAB Moves this week: Chris Kaman ($0)

Going into the draft, most of my keepers were forwards and centers. I had a few cheap big men (Bismack Biyombo, Zaza Pachulia, Kris Humphries, etc.) and invested in Carmelo Anthony and Chris Bosh as my superstars to build around. With those keepers, my main concern at the draft was securing guards who could fill up the stat sheet, especially in the assist and steal categories.

I had plenty of money to spend, having dropped Kevin Love ($63), and only had 5 spots to fill. I wanted to leave the draft with a couple point guards and either Bradley Beal or Nicolas Batum. I ended up drafting Beal, Michael Carter-Williams, Jose Calderon, Gerald Henderson, and Nene Hilario. Having a surplus of  money at the end of the draft, I wish I would have gone higher with Batum or even Dwyane Wade, but was happy that I got MCW and Beal, who should allow me to compete this year, while also keeping me competitive for future seasons.

11. Pete Nice – Razzball  (0-0-0)

FAAB Remaining: $83  FAAB Moves this week: Willie Tavares ($10), Delon Wright ($7)

We poop-canned our GM the second the draft closed. Wasn’t really fair, given that he had next-to-nothing to spend and a gaping nine holes to fill, but the errors were numerous. From generously nominating late-round options such as Richaun Holmes and Tibor Pleiss (aka Mini-Gobert) for other owners, to drafting someone who could be playing for the State Pen All-Stars (Mike Scott), to “upgrading” from D-Howard to fellow FT brick-layer Josh Smith, it was a nightmare. One bright spot was the selection of Justise Winslow. Some might consider it a waste of dough to spend $19 on a rook who won’t see much court this year (or so the Heat say), but for our rebuilding team, we consider getting Winslow a win. Heck, the Sixers were looking at him at Number 3, even after the Joel Embiid injury that opened the door for Jahlil Okafor. (still can’t believe he went for $25 – I’m sure no one who was drafting live last week is tired of hearing me say that. Ha.) We’re also pleased with the addition of Mitch McGary, who flashed some skillz last season when injuries forced him into action.

A mild sense of redemption arrived this morning, as we were able to get Big Walter Taveras, the Hawks’ 2014 second round pick who dominated over in Spain last year and is now back and already turning heads in the pre-season. True, his own head got turned when Old Man Richard Jefferson posterized him earlier this preseason, but other than that he’s looked good, posting 11 points on 5-5 shooting to go along with 4 boards and a pair of steals in his debut.

We also scooped up guard Delon Wright, who went to the Raptors at number 20 in this year’s draft. Yes, the backcourt in Toronto is a bit crowded, but we don’t see that as a problem as Dwayne Casey has stated a commitment to playing all his guards to keep Demar DeRozen and Kyle Lowry fresh.

12. Miami Heat Apologist   (0-0-0)

FAAB Remaining: $98  FAAB Moves this week: Jared Cunningham ($2)

Basketball is back. Thank god, cause football is killing me. So, I entered the draft with a good chunk of money to spend, and not too many spots to fill. I believe I had the third most to spend per pick entering the draft. I had two plans in mind. If I got KAT and if I didn’t. As I said on the podcast, $50 was my upper limit. I just don’t see him bringing $50 in value back, but was willing to, what I thought, overpay for the upside. The biggest weakness on my team was the bigs. Olynyk and Cody zeller as my starting centers isn’t scaring anybody. I have three starting pg (I’m assuming Collison will overtake Rondo or at least earn enough minutes at the two to call him a starter), decent wings with some upside, and Tobias. So, when Towns went, plan b was Jefferson. Jefferson is solid, if unspectacular big, but in 20 team league, $31 isn’t bad. He also allows me to handcuff him with Cody Zeller. The Big Al algorithm had me going all in on this year. I wanted a middle tier wing, middle tier big, two lower tier pg, accounting for the scarcity. My next buy was Eric Gordon at $19. Obvious injury risk, which became a theme, but the talent is there. I almost missed him talking the guys on the podcast. Still being light on block, I bought Bogut for $15. I’m buying some of the hype on the slimmed down Bogut. I’m hoping for 60 games at 1.5 blocks. I think he will earn his price tag. Joffrey fell to me at $5, which could be a tremendous bargain. Even with healthy Nurkic, I think he can easily earn that with Arthur, Hickson, and Jokic splitting minutes at PF/C, with upside to monopolize the minutes. My final two buys were Norris Cole and Shane Larkin. I assume Cole will earn his $5 with Holiday on a pitch count, err, minutes limit. Larkin I overpaid for at $11, but I needed his steals. I probably could have got him for $8 or so, but if Larkin shines, he could be a starter next year. Three to one turnover in 24 minutes last year, 1.5-1.8 steals per 36. It’s low end, but he’s my pg5.

For the first round of waivers, I saw about half a dozen players I wanted. With Sauce Castillo banged up, I thought I would strengthen my sg position, so I put what I thought was a healthy bid on mighty Joe Young at $5. Yappers wanted him more. I went with Jared Cunningham. Obviously, he is buried on the bench, but I saw some of the highlights against the sixers and he looked good.

I look forward to a fun year. I’m gonna play for it, needing some things to break my way, and people to get and stay healthy. If I fall out of it, I will have some potentially valuable pieces to sell. I put pg available on the trade block and everyone is available. Good luck everyone.

13. The Chosen Ones  (0-0-0)

FAAB Remaining: $100  FAAB Moves this week: n/a

The plan for the draft… youth and upside. I only wanted one 1 dollar player, a couple single digit guys, and one “higher” priced guy. I knew going in that despite being a very big NBA fan I wasn’t ready for an auction this deep but really until you are in one it’s hard to be.

So how did I do… I was pretty happy with the first 3 guys I bought despite paying more for them than I had hoped. Parker (38), Henzonja (15), Booker (12) all fit the youth and upside plan but they all need me to be patient. Parker is coming back from injury so hopefully by the second half of the year I will feel better about the few extra bucks I spent. I do like him better than any of the rookies minus Towns. Everything I have read about Henzonja potential sounds great but they all worry about Skiles and playing time so we shall see. Devin Booker is really young so he’s another one where I wonder how much I can really expect early.

At this point in the draft I was down to 3 players for 3 bucks, not where I wanted to be. It’s tough waiting for your turn to nominate and trying to find someone that fit the plan (youth and upside) and you think will cricket through for a dollar. I ended up with Nance (1), Karasev (1), and Rivers (1). At least they are all young. Nance was panned some when he was picked so apparently we aren’t that deep. I have been able to talk myself into the fact that while Karasev and Rivers are both young, both have also been in the league a couple of years so we should get a pretty good feel this year if they are going to develop into at least solid pros. It’s amazing what we can talk ourselves into when the players are on “our” team.

One other small move… I traded LeBron James (77) for Kevin Love (37). I am surprised that I traded LeBron this quickly and I’m a little worried that I didn’t shop him around more. But I really do like Love coming into this year and was surprised at the 37 dollar price tag. While I’m not sure his numbers rebound to Minnesota levels I do think they rebound across the board. The Cavs really seemed to be getting him more and more involved as last year went along. And all the talk in Cavs camp is that they want Love more involved so I guess we shall see. At this point I’m counting on Parker and Love being the foundation of my team going forward and I’m good with that.

14. I Ain’t No Jok(ic)  (0-0-0)

FAAB Remaining: $100  FAAB Moves this week: Pierre Jackson ($0)

My favourite league is finally back! Basketball has started, albeit the sloppy preseason brand of basketball. The REL has drafted, teams have taken shape, and the first round of FAAB has gone through. It’s like spring is in the air. Except the leaves are changing color and falling off the trees. It’s like the winter version of spring is in the air! Everyone has hope again. Well, in a league like the REL, almost everyone has hope again.

This is the year! This is the year I have a team full of rotation players. This is the year I don’t bury myself in a whole early. This is the year I play meaningful games until the very end. This is the year I compete for the playoffs. This is the year I put my team name, my newly changed team name, on the REL championship trophy. This is the year!

My roster was pretty set pre-draft, minus a PG, a big and some end of bench pieces. I didn’t get my top choices, but I did get a lottery ticket at PG in Derrick Rose, a 20yo upside big playing in Denver’s crazy rotation with Nikola Jokic, and some spare parts. I was also able to snag a big question mark at PG in Pierre Jackson via FAAB. A big question mark who can shoot the three and dish, which is just what I needed. Plus he didn’t cost me any of my FAAB despite being number one on my list. So maybe he’s the starting PG or maybe he’s barely in the rotation. Either way I should find out early and since he was free, no harm no foul.

I’ll let everyone else cover their teams, but I think this team can be in the top three this year. The draft was crazy as usual. This time people didn’t hoard their money until the end when there was nobody left to spend it on, which was different. I think only one team left more than $13 on the table which is in stark contrast to last year if I recall correctly.

For individual picks, I see Kobe is still getting Kobe money. Some great buys I saw were Kaminsky for $11, Hezonja for $15, and even Love at $37 looks pretty solid for a top end guy. Some guys that seem a little…..steep perhaps….were guys like Stanley Johnson $35, Jabari Parker $38 (apparently serious injury made his price go up), Miles Turner $35, and Justin Anderson $28. But i think since they’re rookies and getting lots of summer league/preseason hype that it’s sort of to be expected in a dynasty. Other than one rookie, the real shocks to me were the guys that went in the “more money left than talent available” portion of the draft. Josh McRoberts $18, Spencer Hawes $12, and of course Raul Neto for $12. The last guy I’ll mention is the biggest fish in the pond. I think Towns has all the upside in the world, but he is already being paid like a top 7 player in this league so I’m not sure where the value will ever come from. And in a league like this I think value trumps most things in the end.

Now that I’m done critiquing, I’m sure someone else is ripping me for spending $25 on an injury prone (is there something worse than just injury prone?) Derrick Rose, and $12 on a Nuggets backup big in Nikola Jokic. To each their own I guess.

Sorry for the novel, but as you can tell, the real games can’t start soon enough!

15. Greek Freaks  (0-0-0)

FAAB Remaining: $100  FAAB Moves this week: n/a

16. HateUsCauseTheyAnus  (0-0-0)

FAAB Remaining: $100  FAAB Moves this week: n/a

This is my first year in the REL, and taking over a losing team is definitely a challenge.  The good thing is, I had some nice pieces to work with, in Westrook and Brook Lopez.  Pre draft, I traded Monta Ellis ($22) to JB for O’Quinn and Cory Joseph ($1 apiece).  This freed up some extra salary, and gave me solid young pieces to rebuild with.  Going into draft day, I had $92, and since I didn’t want to be left with any budget remaining, I attacked early.  Generally in auction drafts, members tend to be a bit hesitant to get into major bidding wars at the beginning, and that held true of this one, with a couple exceptions.  At any rate, my first buy was Frank Kaminsky ($11), and I was really happy about this price.  Even if he bombs, I should still get solid trade value out of him at that price point.  With $81 remaining, I decided to try to move into contention by taking Love at $37 next.  Because of his solid keeper price, I was able to flip him for Lebron ($77) post draft.  The combo of Westy and LBJ should be deadly, and even though I likely won’t keep both next year, I’ll contend this year, and have plenty of budget freed up for next.  There’s also a possibility of trading LBJ in the off-season, so we’ll just see how that pans out.  The rest of the draft was fairly boring for me.  I did take Beverly ($10) and Jeff Green ($13), who I traded to slim for PJ Tucker ($5) and Trey Lyles ($6).  Trey should be a nice piece to build for the future, and PJ should have a great role for this year.  Overall, I’m extremely happy with how this draft turned out for me.  The main goal was to put together a contending team, with a couple of pieces that could carry over into the future, and I think I succeeded at that.  Should be a good year!

17. High as Greg Kite  (0-0-0)

FAAB Remaining: $98  FAAB Moves this week: Robert Upshaw ($2)

18. Cigar Smoking Monkey  (0-0-0)

FAAB Remaining: $100  FAAB Moves this week: n/a

19. No Glove No Love  (0-0-0)

FAAB Remaining: $100  FAAB Moves this week: n/a

20. Foreign Affairs  (0-0-0)

FAAB Remaining: $100  FAAB Moves this week: n/a

To go full Hinkie or not to go full Hinkie was the question for me heading into this draft, especially with risky high upside guys that would be open for a discount, that I like, such as Embiid and Exum-2000 (hey where are those other 1000 players between him and Clint yahoo, there could be fantasy gold there that your hiding from us).  Unfortunately in true Raptors, Hornets and other middling franchisees fashion I went with dragging the near carcass’s of yesteryear’s fantasy titans (Kobe, Dirk) out of the closet to pair with my cheap and solid young core of Butler,Hayward,Isaiah, Gorgui (Total cost 54) with a hope on competing this year.  Of course I went and miffed up the plan by getting to much enjoyment on trying to bid everyone up to clear some money and saddling myself with $51 on rookies Mudiay(31) and Willie Cauley-Stein(20) after having flown very close too the dangerzone by being the second bidder in the Towns is he really Anthony Davis 2.0, Wow we’ve just broken 50 game of chicken me and No Glove No Love played.

My preference instead would have been using that $51 towards Wade(18), Reddick(14) Eric Gordon(19) with my additions of Zach this Jeff Green PF is nonsense right Randolph(21) and David I think im the only one that believes your not done Lee (10) to then have a strong risky core to go for the gold this year.

With my team in a shaky state where if the wheels fall off im going to suck pretty quickly, and me being broke for my last three spots I decided to aim for value  for the future above anything else picking up Tiago (4) great bench big, and MKG(4) my permanent IL spot holder and if my team doesn’t explode he could be a great help this year if he comes back before the season ends.

Im alot happier now though about getting Mudiay and especially Willie as both look great (Mudiay’s learning okay look at Westbrooks pre-season stats from his rookie year and the to’s and % are just as terrible) and if Karl’s being honest it looks like I got two rookies that will be full time starters all year so I’m not as trade them now as I was at the draft. So if my old horses and give me one last ride before needing to be sent to the glue factory then who knows this year, if its looking bad then I’ll be wheeling and dealing to move my vets to those competing this year to build for the future.

Roster Run Down
The Keepers
The Real Bulls Captain Jimmy Butler(17)
Online Video Game Expert Gordon Hayward (22)
Run out of town twice Isaiah Thomas (14)
Retire already KG Gorgui Dieng (1)
Miracle runs on bad teams is my specialty Kendall Marshall (1)
I Hate the Nets but your..tolerable for that price Bojan Bogdanovic (1)
Please don’t be over the hill Luol Deng (12)
Dario Saric place older and making my team feel even more early 2000’s Jason Richardson (2)

Pouring one out for
Jabari Parker, dropped because he cost $37 and I wanted no part of that cost so I tried to get him for a lower price and went all the way up to that $37 and when he went on to be tied with Andrew Wiggins price from last years draft at $38 I let him go. May you never be dropped again so you may stay tied with Wiggins forever Jabari even if you never produce like him.

The “New” Recruits
Get off my lawn Kobe Bryant (15)
Height helps when you can’t jump any more Dirk Nowitzki (22)
Please be Westbrook 2.0 Emmanuel Sanders, I mean Mudiay (31)
Your a back up not a start Kosta Willie Cauley-Stein (20)
All smarts no athletics Zach Randolph (21)
I still believe in you David Lee (10)
Been friends with the IL before yahoo made it Michael Kidd Gilchrist (4)
That last season was a fluke right? Tiago Splitter (4)
Your here because no one bid on my last nomination Quincy Pondexter (1)

Excited for the season and to see what happens with this team, obviously punting fg% and to’s and focusing on the other cats with blks my weakest but not punted thanks to Big Willie.

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @CTMN: No bother at all! I’ll tweet it out

      • A Hill O' Beans says:
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        @CTMN: @JB Gilpin: I don’t know why I’m going to subject myself to this, but I’m throwing my hat in for this league. Assuming it gets to 20 teams though, if not I’m gonna have to withdraw.

        • CTMN says:
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          @A Hill O’ Beans: Well, I hope it does…you wouldn’t settle for 18 or something though?

          • A Hill O' Beans says:
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            @CTMN: Let’s hope it gets to 20, ha-ha. I’d probably have to drop out if its short of 20, but, its not you its me, ha-ha. Since I’m the REL I’d be looking for something of equal size, anything less and I’d probably stick to just the REL.

            • CTMN says:
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              @A Hill O’ Beans: Oh wow didn’t know you’re in the REL…yeah that might be a bit over the top, 2 crazy leagues with different settings. I understand if you need to drop out.

              • CTMN says:
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                @CTMN: And by settings, I mean teams.

              • A Hill O' Beans says:
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                @CTMN: yeah I’m the proud owner of I Ain’t No Jok(ic).

                  • OldMilwaukeePounders says:
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                    @CTMN: I would be interested in joining, but I am on the West Coast and my work schedule may keep me from making a draft that begins at 4pm.

                    • CTMN says:
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                      @OldMilwaukeePounders: I’d make it later than 7pm eastern but from what I understand about the REL, this draft could take like 5 hours. If I made it Sunday would it work?

                    • CTMN says:
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                      @OldMilwaukeePounders: I can probably make it Sunday the 25th, would that be possible for you?

                    • OldMilwaukeePounders says:
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                      @OldMilwaukeePounders: This is supposed to be @CTMN, but for some reason I could not reply to you directly…

                      Upon checking my schedule again, I think I can make the original time just fine. I overlooked some time I will be able to shave off due to travel on the weekend.

                      Now I don’t have to quit my job as JB so sagely suggested. I had my resignation letter ready prior to my discovery. I’m joining now.

                    • CTMN says:
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                      @OldMilwaukeePounders: Hahaha good to see..we’re at 11 teams now…pretty good for one day.

      • CTMN says:
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        @JB Gilpin: Thanks!

        • JB Gilpin

          JB Gilpin says:
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          @CTMN: You’re right below the intro as well!

          • CTMN says:
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            @JB Gilpin: Oh wow, thanks a ton!

            • JB Gilpin

              JB Gilpin says:
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              @CTMN: Any time, hope it’s helping!

              • CTMN says:
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                @JB Gilpin: Yeah it is, we got 9 now, thanks man

      • OldMilwaukeePounders says:
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        @JB Gilpin: Don’t think that I wouldn’t quit my job to join a league like this. Don’t you know I’m loco??

        • JB Gilpin

          JB Gilpin says:
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          @OldMilwaukeePounders: Hahahaha leaving it for that league would be the sane decision for sure!

  1. Clyde Prompto says:
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    This league is effin’ CRAZY.

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Clyde Prompto: Haha that’s for sure! Tarik Black having one errant assist one week helped me to the playoffs

      • Kevin says:
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        @JB Gilpin: We lost the title last year because CJ Miles (banned for life from Breaking Batum!) hit four 3’s on the final day, with us losing by one 3PM. Stupid CJ Miles

        • JB Gilpin

          JB Gilpin says:
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          @Kevin: @Clyde Prompto: @Kevin: Yeah the amount of games that hinged on one scrub is hilarious

  2. A Hill O' Beans says:
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    I’ll throw out there that I really like the Joseph Young FAAB pickup by Yappers. He was #1 on my list until the day before bids were due when I moved him down to #2. He seems like a young Lou Williams. Even if I’d kept him at #1 in my list I’d have lost out since at this point I wasn’t willing to actually spend any of my FAAB dollars. Nice grab though.

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @A Hill O’ Beans: Yeah I agree, but I felt he was a $2-$3 add, still a lot of bodies there. I didn’t feel like spending money yet either though

    • Rob says:
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      @A Hill O’ Beans: Thank you.

      Hopefully I am getting less stupid on how I use this resource. I still laugh now at how I blew $60 on Xavier Henry week 1 of year 1.

      If in fact his career is like that of Lou Williams, I will not regret this.

      • JB Gilpin

        JB Gilpin says:
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        @Rob:@A Hill O’ Beans: @Rob: hahaha the X man! Wheels! Had a nickname for him then he completely disappeared…

  3. fiends says:
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    hey JB, any advice for doing an auction for the first time (in fantasy bball)? This is my second year overall doing fantasy basketball. I’ve done football auctions before, but I’m not sure how to value players. 9 cat h2h, 10 team, 4 bench slots instead of 3.

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @fiends: Cool, yeah so my main strategy is get two elite guys usually. So I would love a… Gobert + Harden start or something like that. Brow + Lillard even. Then find a few values in the mid-range, then fill out with cheaper guys. One or two of those mid-range guys will likely be PG. Hope that framework helps!

      • fiends says:
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        @JB Gilpin: Thanks for the help. Do you think everyone else will be trying to get a superstar too? We’re doing auction this year because last year people were bitter about being in the back half of the draft and not getting a superstar.

        Where is a good resource for valuations, or at least converting your top 200 to auction values?

  4. Youth movement says:
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    Formally youth movement, but with addition of big al and bogut, kinda hard to keep that name. I will forever be a heat fan and thus an apologist for all the boneheaded stuff they do. So heat apologist fit and doesn’t require me to come up with a pithy name based on a player, like curry burns my ass. God that was stupid. I was talking to slim and I realized something I meant to put into my first synopsis about my team. The big thing I wanted to come out of the draft with was depth. Minutes is the most important stat in this league. You can have two three top 25 players but if players 10-17 are waiver wire worthy, you can’t complete in this league. I look forward to this league, it’s the only basketball I’m doing after getting burned out on baseball (and football already). My family needs a break and I need to make an occasional appearance.

    • A Hill O' Beans says:
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      @Youth movement: “Minutes is the most important stat in this league.”

      That is the truth and I’ve said it since my horrible first year. Minutes are the undisputed king of this league!

      • JB Gilpin

        JB Gilpin says:
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        @Youth movement: @A Hill O’ Beans: Hah, minutes is probably the most important stat in family too! Yup I just hope one of my $1 guys pans out, I’ve gotten some good value on the wire as fillers

  5. spo says:
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    when are you guys going to update the top 200 list for 2015-2016? I feel like it could use a couple tweak here and there

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @spo: tomorrow morning! And yes it needs a good facelift

  6. manosun16 says:
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    The REL League is always fun to read about, great run downs from you guys. Guy in my 14-team H2H league (9-cat) just offered his Butler and Wiggins for my Harden. Very indecisive about moving my star but this offer is tempting. Thoughts?

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @manosun16: Thanks for reading man! Appreciate it!

      It’s tempting, but unless you drafted a hoard of PG, I don’t think you could give up on the assists. In redraft I would have to decline that one

  7. Fahed Misho says:
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    H2H 9 cat. Weekly lock 7th pick. 10 team. Ft punt

    (1)Chris Paul
    (2)Drummond
    (3)Gobert
    (4)Jordan
    (5)Batum
    (6)T. Evans
    (7)Favors
    (8)J. Jack
    (9)D. Carroll
    (10) JR Smith (considering dropping him for covington)
    (11) W. Matthews(to place on IR)
    (*) I’ll probably be picking up Elfird Payton from waiver wries.

    ..any suggestions?

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Fahed Misho: Wow, odd draft! Yup definitely getting Elfird off the wire, and suddenly you look great in dimes if you can get him. I would indeed go Covington over Smith. Yeah FG% will be crazy, I worry your scoring might be a little low, and even with all the big men, Paul/Evans/Jack/Elfrid will be a little hard on TO so I’d watch those

      • Fahed Misho says:
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        @JB Gilpin:

        I really appreciate your input, I’m a little worried about to’s also. COnsidering shipping Tyreke Evans out to remedy that a little.

        • JB Gilpin

          JB Gilpin says:
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          @Fahed Misho: Cool, yeah I don’t mind moving Evans, but definitely get a good haul back as he’s getting some added buzz with all the Holiday injury issues

  8. Scott says:
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    Hi JB! Need your evaluation on my second RCL draft.
    Curry
    Ellis, now injured, grr
    Covington
    Gay
    Favors
    Griffin
    Tyson Chandler
    Henson
    Colison
    Schroeder
    Justin Anderson
    Bjelica
    Capela

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Scott: Sure thing, thanks for playing RCLs as always!

      Ugh yeah I saw that Ellis. Hope it’s more a precautionary thing. Love this team! Lots of swats. Wish you had a little more depth at PG – love Colly and Schroder but who knows how consistent their PT/ast will be… Bigs and %s look pretty good, although if both henson and Capela hit, that could be rough on FT%

  9. Dorian S. says:
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    Hey JB! Thanks to the crew for the continual write ups. Thought I’d let you know where my Madness draft is at. With only 2 picks left, this is my team.

    Guard – Emmanuel Mudiay *fourth*
    Guard – Zach Lavine *fourth*
    Guard – Trey Burke *sixth*
    Forward – Draymond Green *keeper*
    Forward – Andre Drummond *keeper*
    Forward – Kenneth Faried *first*
    Centre – Rudy Gobert *keeper*
    Utility – Myles Turner *second*
    Bench – Stanley Johnson *fifth*

    I’ll own rebounds and blocks with this team easily. My guards are a weakness, I’ll admit. But Lavine is supposedly the starter with Martin coming off the bench and Johnson’s apparently as much time at 4 different positions (maybe even starting at SG, woo~), so I could go from weakness to average, which is a step up. Especially considering how awesome that front court could be. I will admit that assists and probably free throws are still going to be an issue.

    Not sure who I’ll draft next though. Caldwell-Pope is kicking around, Sauce Castillo (Nik Stauskas), Jordan Clarkson, John Henson, Avery Bradley (could’ve sworn he was picked, ow), P.J. Tucker (again, huh?), Alec Burks (why hello), Jerian Grant, Enes Kanter, and just about everyone from the 130 range onwards.

    I’ve still got like 20 picks before my last two, so very unlikely to get someone I want. There still should be enough there though that I can definitely make this team work.

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Dorian S.: Thanks for reading! Yup same thought from me, FT% and AST are the weaknesses. Luckily you have enough steals it looks like.

      Whoa, definitely get Clarkson! Burks I have close as well, but if you get both of them that would have you within range of assists, although still a little low.

      I might look to deal Faried after the draft for a PG

  10. Alex says:
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    Hey JB! Could you rate my team on your next podcast?
    It’s H2H, 9-cat with 10 teams.

    -Eric Bledsoe
    -James Harden
    -Draymond Green
    -Derrick Favors
    -Isaiah Thomas
    -Gallinari
    -Terrence Jones
    -Valanciunas
    -Darren Collison
    -Myles Turner
    -Alec Burks
    -CJ McCollum
    -Al-Farouq Aminu

  11. matthew says:
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    hey JB, got my draft coming up soon. need ur advice. its a 12 person 9 cat h2h. i have the 9th pick.
    im debating between lillard and john wall as my first pick. but who should i grab 2nd. if gobert is there, then ill take him for sure. but incase hes gone, would you go with klay, draymond, millsap, jimmy butler, ibaka or blake?

    just trying to see who would combo better with wall/lillard.
    thanks

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @matthew: Great question, yeah Gobert is #1 option for both, hopefully he falls to you. For Wall, I kinda like Klay. Adds 3s with a low TO rate. For Lillard, I like Draymond. Ibaka would be close for both, but I think I like those Warriors as pairings. Any time!

      • matthew says:
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        @JB Gilpin: ok and u prefer lillard over wall right? (Going by the ranks)
        I’m kinda hesitant to take draymond as my 2nd pick. Let’s say I have lillard, would it be bad to combo him up with millsap? Since u have him ranked higher? Or would u rather do ibaka or draymond. Thanks a lot

        • JB Gilpin

          JB Gilpin says:
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          @matthew: Yup! And no, certainly not bad with Millsap or Dray, have them back to back. Dray I think gives a tad more in blocks and adds in assists, while Wall needs no added assists for a while

  12. E says:
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    Thanks for all your pre season work. What do you think of this team with this format?

    PG – lillard
    SG – bledsoe
    SF – Middleton
    PF – draymond
    C – Favors
    UTIL – kemba
    UTIL – elfrid Payton
    UTIL – John Henson
    BN – Myles Turner
    BN – Jordan Clarkson
    BN – Aaron afflalo
    BN – Darren collision

    Thanks

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @E: Thanks for stopping by!

      Lovvvvve the guard depth. I think Henson’s high block rate will keep swats OK, but rebounding on this squad will be really really low. Also FG% will be behind the curve against most teams. Other than those, I think solid!

  13. NYFantaC says:
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    ESPN 16-Team H2H 11Cats (Including TO’s DD’s and Team Wins)

    In this scenario: Top PG,,,, does CP3 edge over Curry..? Or is Curry still a cut above..? Im just thinking Curry will provide more 3’s, but Paul is better with TO’s and gets more DD’s.

    ??? What say you???

    Thanks BTW. Razzball is the bomb.com

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @NYFantaC: Wow, team wins… Interesting…

      I’m still leaning Curry, I think some edge Paul has in DDs Curry will lessen with a few more wins. They’re certainly closer though.

      Thanks man, appreciate it and appreciate the comments!

  14. hamtime says:
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    Hi JB,

    I have 2 drafts coming up and need your help based on your rankings:

    a) 2nd pick – obviously get curry, but my mocks leave me with guys like draymond, bled, wiggins – do I get best value at 2/3 (likely dray and bled) or go for positional needs like a center or wing (favors/hayward) – (9 cat)

    b) 10th pick – hoping for lillard but might end up with wall. who is a good pair? don’t want any o the hawks due to their poor sched, and i doubt marc or vuc fall to me in round 2 (16 man league). again, do i go for best player available or try and get a big as my 2nd pick? – (11 cat)

    overall, i seem to have no set strategy for these h2h leagues!! help!

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @hamtime: Well I like Harden over Curry at 2, I think there’s a debate there! I’d get best available, especially if Dray or E Bled is there at 2 and/or 3.

      In a 16ers, I might reach a little harder for that big man though, especially since that 10th pick will have a big gap between picks 2 and 3. If Marc and Vuc are gone and Ibaka too, it means Bledsoe or someone pretty good slipped through. Likely going value, holding out hope for Ibaka.

      Hope that helps!

  15. Mathew says:
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    Hi,
    Just finished my draft and was wondering if you could rate it/give some tips on how to improve some weird picks i could not pass on(Gobert at 26) and did not really go as planned.
    10 team 9 Cat
    (6) Cousins
    (15) Marc Gasol
    (26)Gobert
    (35)Hayward
    (46)Dragic
    (55)Batum
    (66)Isaiah Thomas
    (75)Bradley Beal
    (86)C.J. McCollum
    (95)MCW
    (106)Otto Porter
    (115)Luol Deng
    (126) Marcus Morris

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Mathew: Yo! Wow, Gobert at 26 is unreal. You have some nice assisting wings/bigs, but still feel like AST are behind. Great %s. Actually really liking this squad as your TO should be good too, nice draft!

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