rcl-basketball-logoThe NBA fantasy draft season is upon us! With plenty of terrible early projections going on, early drafts are always fun.  This is basically going to be a recap of my first RCL draft of the season, with a little of bit of sleeper info thrown in for good measure.  I really love the team I got in this league, even though I was sniped on a few picks.  Just FYI I’ll be setting up another RCL league in about a week or so – to draft in October – so I hope some more of you guys join me!  By then Yahoo’s rankings should be much closer to the ballpark of reason… At any rate, let’s dive in!

                   Adam’s Team

(Prestige Worldwide)

PG Jeff Teague
SG Andrew Wiggins
G Monta Ellis
SF Lebron James
PF Blake Griffin
F P.J. Tucker
C Joakim Noah
C Myles Turner
UTIL Deron Williams
UTIL Jordan Clarkson
BN Frank Kaminsky
BN Aaron Gordon
BN Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

(Full League Draft Results)

 

Round 1, Pick 5:

LeBron James SF, PF

Unfortunately, I didn’t squeeze into the top 4 of the draft, and Kevin Durant was promptly snagged a pick ahead of me.  This left a big dilemma, since there isn’t a clearly defined order for the rest of the first round.  The debate was between LeBron, DeMarcus Cousins, or one of the three elite PGs in Russell Westbrook, John Wall, and Damien Lillard.  The point guard position is extremely thin this year, but I ended up settling on Lebron.  With Kyrie Irving out to start the year, he should continue to put up his usual excellent numbers, regardless of any restrictions later on.

 

Round 2, Pick 8:

Blake Griffin PF, C

Another tough pick.  With Rudy Gobert and Serge Ibaka off the board, I wanted to grab a big that wouldn’t kill my free throw percentage.  At this pick it was a debate between Carmelo Anthony, Blake, or a slight reach on Eric Bledsoe.  Blake has an annoying lack of blocks, but other than that, he’s very dependable, so I went safe with my second round pick.  I prefer to take more risks in the middle rounds.  Moving on!

 

Round 3, Pick 5:

Jeff Teague PG

Bledsoe was grabbed two picks earlier, and at this point, the point guard rush was about to start.  There are other guys I would’ve rather taken at this spot, but he was the only reliable PG left on the board.  From that point the position falls off to Reggie Jackson, Mike Conley, and the oft-injured Kyle Lowry.  It was a pick by necessity, although I do like Teague.

 

Round 4, Pick 8:

Andrew Wiggins SG, SF

Ah ha!  My first reach, and probably favorite pick of the draft.  I debated taking him in round 3, but I decided to hold my breath and wait one more round.  This kid can flat out ball!  With a little improvement to his long range shooting touch, he could easily move into the elite conversation next year.  Regardless, he should easily put up 3rd round plus value with his skill-set.  I also am a big fan of Brahma Bull’s pick of Gordon Hayward with the 5th pick of the round.  Hayward has been a very consistent 3rd round plus performer in the past, and he continues to improve.

 

Round 5, Pick 5:

Monta Ellis PG, SG

Form a [email protected] wall sniped Kemba Walker two picks in front of me, so I went with the backup plan of Monta Ellis.  Ellis is due for a very solid year in the up-tempo Indiana offense, plus he should be the main ball handler.  Derrick Rose was also a possibility here, but I just couldn’t justify having my second PG be that injury prone.

 

Round 6, Pick 8:

Myles Turner!!! C

Yes, his name really does have three exclamation marks attached to the end of it.  No, don’t google that to check.  If you want my thoughts on him, just check what I already wrote about him here.

 

Round 7, Pick 5:

Deron Williams PG

In the article attached to my last pick, you can also read my thoughts on D-Will.  If he can stay healthy, I think he will be the man in Dallas.  As my 3rd PG, he’s a fairly safe gamble at this point.  I also love Skynet’s pick of Danilo Gallinari a little later in the round.

 

Round 8, Pick 8: 

Jordan Clarkson PG

In the aforementioned article link, I also talked in length about this young gun.  I felt truly privileged to have landed all three of my main sleepers, and to have them all in the same article is just a bonus!  Anyway, back to Clarkson!  The kid has received rave reviews from everyone in the Lakers organization, and he has really shown a lot of promise in every aspect of the game.

 

Round 9, Pick 5:

Joakim Noah C

Kicking off the round at pick 97, Star Diver managed to get Dwyane Wade, which is somewhat criminal.  I’m not quite sure how we all let him drop that far, but congrats on the steal Star!  I really don’t want to talk about my pick here, but I guess that’s what this article is about, so here goes.  All of the reliable centers were off the board at this point, and I had one more C spot to fill, so my hand was somewhat forced.  I’m a big fan of Noah’s talent, however, his durability is a major concern.  Plus, his role in the Chicago offense is limited at this point.  A pretty meh pick over all.

 

Round 10, Pick 8:

P.J. Tucker SG, SF

Getting back on track!  I was thrilled to see Tucker still on the board this late, since he gives solid stat production in every category.  My full thoughts on Tucker are already written in my last article.  So give that a look if you feel like it!

 

Round 11, Pick 5: 

Frank Kaminsky C

Nearing the end now, so I’m willing to take some bigger gambles.  Talent-wise, I like Kristaps Porzingis more, but for the short-term, I see Frank the Tank having a bigger role.  He looked very polished in summer league, and I think he’ll surprise a few people this season.  Plus I desperately needed some big man depth.

 

Round 12, Pick 8:

Aaron Gordon PF

SLEEPER ALERT! Aaron is likely a starter for Orlando this year, and his upside is close to limitless.  A freak athlete, with point-forward abilities, he’s definitely a sexy pick.  His main problem is going to be his questionable FT shooting, and general uncertainty with his role.  This late in the draft he’s a no-brainer.

 

Round 13, Pick 5:

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist SF

He’s struggled with injuries on and off so far in his young career, but better days are likely ahead.  His offense seems to improve every year, and the defensive stats from a SF are fantasy gold.  The Hornets have made it clear that he is a cornerstone for the future, so as a late round pick, he makes a lot of sense to gamble on.

 

That wraps up my team! Let me know what you all think!  I probably need one more big, but with my excess of PGs, I should be able to trade for one without a problem. I’m going to do a quick summary of the leagues other teams below, so hopefully they’ll be willing to comment on some of their picks in the comment section, and whether they agree or disagree with my assessments!  Over all it was a great draft, and aside from the one auto-drafted team, everyone definitely knew what they were doing, and didn’t make it easy to take advantage of early Yahoo ranks!

Let’s get into the teams!

(Here’s a link to the final rosters)

Star Diver – Started out strong with the deadly big man duo of Anthony Davis and DeAndre Jordan, and he continued to support his strong big man group with Al Jefferson and Greg Monroe in rounds 4 and 5.  The rest of the team turned out strong as well, but the PG position turned shallow quickly, and he will likely need a trade to be relevant in the assist category with only Rajon Rondo and Elfrid Payton on the roster at PG.

 

Oh My Bosh – Grabbed Steph Curry with the second pick and built a well rounded team around him.  No real points to comment on, except that he got a very solid pick of Jonas Valanciunas in the 7th round.

 

for a [email protected] wall! – Killed it with his first 5 picks, and sniped a lot of guys out from under me during that part of the draft.  Things went a little downhill in the last few rounds, but it shouldn’t matter too much with some good waiver wire work.  I do love the Meyers Leonard pick in the 10th round.

 

Walkers Wingmen – Had a great draft, with a nice pick of Stanley Johnson in the 12th round.  However, he also got left out of the PG rush and was left with Brandon Knight as the only legitimate PG on the roster.

 

UNLEASH THE MANIMAL – Had a well rounded draft as well.  Most notable pick was probably Alec Burks in the 11th round.  Definitely a great price for him.

 

Gold State – Started with the dynamic duo of Cousins and Ibaka, followed by 3 straight PG picks.  Given the scarcity at the position, I highly endorse this strategy.  At the very worst it provides great trade bait when other teams start to panic.

 

The Brahma Bulls –  Made a nice pick of Hayward in the 4th, however, the Nerlens Noel pick in the 3rd was definitely on the gutsy side.  A great looking roster, but he could get into trouble, given the injury histories of Ricky Rubio and CP3, his only point guards.

 

Team Skynet – Made great picks of Gallinari in the 7th round and Dennis Schroeder in the 11th.  Nothing else of major note, just a very solid team.

 

Jacob’s Team – Started strong with Damien Lillard, Klay Thompson, and Hassan Whiteside in the first 3 rounds.  Followed that up with solid picks.

 

Lane’s Team – Went with a lot of the under-drafted vets that fell due to younger players being the rage.  If they stay healthy, this might just pay off.

 

BUborder – Had an absolutely brilliant autodraft, and cleaned up all the injury prone PGs.

 

That wraps up this summary!  Feel free to question, criticize, or critique!  Like I said before, if you own one of the above teams, it’d definitely be cool if you’d comment a bit on your own picks, or you can just criticize my analysis.  Totally up to you!

  1. Matty says:
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    Thanks for the write-up, Adam. Love draft recaps (for leagues where owners prep, draft, and manage in-season like they actually give a darn).

    My two favorite picks of yours:

    Jeff Teague – he is at the top of the tier with Lowry, Dragic, Reggie, Conley for me. With PG positional scarcity (like you mentioned), he’s a rock solid mid-3rd round pick.

    Jordan Clarkson – getting him anywhere outside of the top-75 is giving yourself a pretty good chance at a positive ROI as far as I’m concerned. This kid can ball and despite the Lakeshow’s backcourt being a massive fustercluck, I think Clarkson emerges as the most valuable.

    My two least favorite picks of yours:

    Lebron James – he’s not in my top-15. Seriously. I get the “Kyrie is hurt, LBJ will beast early” angle, but the simple fact is that on a per-game basis last year he was 12th. Accounting for his DNPs, he drops to 19th. Everyone knows CLE has a reservation at a postseason table and LBJ is going to see a sizeable reduction to his 36.1 MPG and a number of “DNP-rest” games, likely capping him at 75 GP in PERFECT health. I would confidently take DMC, Westbrook, Paul, Lillard, Wall before ‘Bron.

    Frank Kaminsky – he’s Adam Morrison sans mustache. I think he is one of those quintessential “peaked in college” players that will be mostly non-competitive with the big boys. If he’s still getting minutes on an NBA roster by the time his rookie deal runs out, I’ll be very surprised. The Aaron Gordon pick a round later is much more likely to be a “hit” IMO.

    Good luck this season in your RCL(s). Cheers.

    • Adam

      Adam says:
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      @Matty: Normally I wouldn’t take LBJ, but in this case, I wanted a rock solid producer. I wanted consistent production in my first 3 rounds, so I could take risks later. I’m also not a huge fan of Griffin due to his lack of blocks. Wall and DMC I’d consider, but Westy has too high of a turnover rate, and KD will be back. CP3 is extremely injury prone, and although I love Lillard, who knows what he’ll do as the only man on the team. Before you had so many weapons to take a defenses focus away. On top of that, SF is pretty a pretty scarce position as well, with a lot of aging players. And like I said, it wasn’t an easy choice at all.

      As for Frank the Tank, you could easily be right, however, he’s a second to last pick, and if he doesn’t do anything, I’ll drop him for the first hot FA. Charlotte payed a lot for him, and Jordan’s team will give him every chance to succeed. The upside is worth the non existent risk at this point in the draft.

      Thanks for the input!

  2. I'm Harden for your love says:
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    How much of a bump in ADP will you give Reggie Jackson knowing that Jennings is out till December and news of this Improved 3pt stroke. We all know Van Gundy needs 3pt shooters in his system so maybe this year its 1.2 a game instead of 0.9??? Also is a possibility of a chance he improves in his steal rate?

    • Adam

      Adam says:
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      @I’m Harden for your love: Jennings being out really doesn’t change a whole lot. Reggie is the man there regardless, and it’s likely Jennings gets moved anyway.

      As for improved shooting stroke, I’ll believe it when I see it. It wouldn’t surprise me if he improved, but there’s always hype about better shooting in every preseason. If there is a bump it’s likely more of a system thing than a stroke thing. Dion Waiters was rumored to have significantly improved his stroke last off season…. Look at this 3 pt numbers from last year.

      Steals are not really a stat that get’s improved often. It may improve a touch with higher minutes, but it’s more of a quickness and IQ thing. I wouldn’t bet on his shooting or steals rate improving much. Safer to draft him as is.

      Reggie still has a high turnover rate, and I wouldn’t take him over lowry, Dragic or Teague. JB’s ranking of around 40th overall feels pretty solid to me. If you take him higher, it’ll eliminate any possible upside.

      • Slim

        Slim says:
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        @Adam: Adam… crushed that one.

        So I built a little 3-pt progression into my projection. I have Reggie at 1.1 3s per game. Steals though… I kept at 1.0 in 34 min. He’s at 1.2 per-36 for his career (6000 min) but most of that is vs 2nd unit guys so it’s tough for me to see much of an improvement vs NBA starters. Anywhere between 1.0 and 1.2 is reasonable. More or less seems very unlikely to me.

        Oh and I am shocked Aaron Gordon fell that far. I have a feeling he’s going to be one of the biggest risers in mid-late October.

        • Adam

          Adam says:
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          @Slim: Thanks Slim!

          I’d say a small gain in 3s is fair, but I would think the turnovers would increase a bit as well against 1st team opposition. An argument can be made both ways, but I’d say his initial projected area is pretty fair, since any projection tweaks don’t really move him up or down relative to the other PGs.

          Haha yeah, that’s not gonna happen once people see him in preseason. In summer league he was running the point a fair amount! Crazy talent there.

  3. kai says:
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    really don’t understand the wiggins hype on this blog. he doesn’t put up many ast/stl/blk and his tos are frequent. it’d be great if he keeps the scoring and free throw rate up next year, but the wolves won’t be (exclusively) force feeding him next year either. even if he does keep the ftr up, he’s not a good enough free throw shooter to make it as worthwhile as other high volume free throw shooters (and also giving me pause as to any improvement from outside)…plus, he’s in a system that actively de-emphasizes 3 point shooting. as a wolves fan, I love AW and really hope he meets his potential, but from a fantasy perspective I don’t think he has a chance at 3rd round value. what are you all counting on?

    • Adam

      Adam says:
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      @kai: Wiggins is a 6’8″ SG/SF with incredible athleticism, and a great basketball IQ. He showed definite improvement after the break last year as well. Now if he were a player in his prime, I would tend to agree with you, but this kid is in his rookie season. All the intangibles are clearly there for him to become a fantasy force, when he does that is simply a matter of time. His TOs are pretty standard, and 2 per game isn’t bad at all for a player of his size who is constantly handling the ball. He gets to the line at an incredible pace, knocking down almost 80% and this number should climb a bit as well.

      I’m a little lower on him than JB is, but anywhere in the 3rd-4th round range is a bargain for a player with that much upside.

      I’m not quite sure what your complaint is with the system. Kevin Martin has put up great 3 point numbers in that system, and rubio loves to feed shooters that are spotting up for the trey. Wiggins 3s will improve as he works on them, and there’s nothing wrong with his shooting form, so that will definitely come. On top of all that, he’s the only go-to guy in MIN. Who else is going to be scoring?

      I definitely see where you’re coming from, but I think you’re underestimating the jump many players make from their rookie season. There are certainly safer options in the 3rd-4th round area, but there’s also nobody there with that kind of upside. Worst case scenario he ends up around the 5th round, but he has the upside to border on the 1st round.

      Maybe JB can provide a little more background for his ranking at 21. Like I said, he’s definitely willing to take more of a gamble on him than I am.

      • JB Gilpin

        JB Gilpin says:
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        @kai: @Adam: When you say “he doesn’t put up many ast/stl/blk and his tos are frequent” that means you’re not expecting any change from his rookie season, while I see growth in all of those areas. He upped his scoring in the 2nd half to 20.0 PPG, and that was WITH KMart. TO were 2.5 in a whopping near 40 minutes, I think he’s fine there when compared to the other elite scorers. And even if he doesn’t get to 1.0 3PTM, I am confident I can stream those as I de-emphasize 3s in my draft as well. I must be in the Wolves system!

        • kai says:
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          @JB Gilpin: well, two things

          A) I don’t think stl/blk especially increase in a linear way with experience at all. stl/blk especially are far more consistent year to year than we generally expect. So, while he could improve in those counting stats, I don’t think that we should necessarily pencil it in in the same way we might other areas (fg%, points, a/to)

          B) Let’s say he improves marginally in each of these areas per 36. Isn’t that likely to be lost if he’s no longer a league leader in minutes? Going from 38 to

          As for the post ASB numbers…I’ve seen you cite the KMart evidence a couple of times but dude…those games featured some ninth circle of hell lineups. In addition to Wiggins and Kmart, most included starting at least two, and sometimes three other rookies or 10 day contract guys. They had to sign Sean Kilpatrick just to get to 8 active players one night. In addition to the change in role, the per game numbers are inflated by his nearly 40 minutes per night over that period.

          Basically, my view of Wiggins is that he’s going to have an awesome 2nd season – upping his points and fg% as his shot selection and strength get better – but the stuff around the edges isn’t going to change enough to outplay his ADP (which should settle somewhere in the 50ish range).

      • kai says:
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        @Adam: thanks for the thorough explanation. i’m not saying he won’t improve, but I also think that you gotta pay attention to sample sizes and context as well…there’s a difference between playing 40 minutes playing with LaVine, Payne, and Justin Hamilton (yes…and KMart, JB) with only four other active players, and playing w Rubio, KG/Bjelica, and Towns. Backups/depth matter too, especially in blowouts (either way). I say this not as an indictment of Wiggins the player, but Wiggins the fantasy player. What makes him substantially different from, say, Demar Derozan?

        And say you’re right about upside…aren’t most of these perceived jumps in popcorn stats? Even if he puts up an admittedly stellar 20 points / 78% ft / 1.2 3s and average defensive stats, that’s not first round material. What category is the upside coming from? Again, I’m just having a failure of imagination from a fantasy perspective. Wiggins’ game just isn’t that fantasy friendly as it stands.

        If it’s keeper, obviously this goes out the window

        • JB Gilpin

          JB Gilpin says:
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          @kai: @kai: Why are you assuming he won’t be a league leader in minutes? I def don’t see 40 MPG again like the 2nd half, but not 34:30 as in the first half either. 36:12 seems reasonable, if not a tad low. He played all 82 which counts for a bit here as well, and they ran him big minutes even in the big losses.

          And I mention Kmart, because the “improved” lineups aren’t exactly featuring iso scorers… Rubio, KG, Towns?! Dieng? Are they really gonna take a much bigger chunk of offense than Hamilton and Payne when those guys were forced to play? Bjelica can create, but I doubt he’s a 30+ MPG guy until maybe the end of the year, even optimistically. If anything, they should keep Wiggins’ shots high with better efficiency, especially a healthy Rubio. I think that mix helps his FG% in a big way, since I don’t see a huge uptick in treys.

          Really? DeRozan? Blocks plus AW on a big upswing I project and DeRozan had a major injury last year and saw major statistical regression.

          As above, I think you’re undervaluing the durability as well.

  4. TOPSZN says:
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    Wow! What an amazing write-up Adam! I’m honored that you liked the Hayward pick. He’ll definitely help with some assists since CP3 and Rubio are my only PGs. I had to reach for Nerlens because I felt that blocks would dry up soon. It’s definitely a risk. I’d feel a lot better about it if Jahlil wasn’t there, but Jahlil isn’t a great defender so hopefully Nerlens can still get those blocks! Looking forward to a great year!

    • Adam

      Adam says:
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      @TOPSZN: forgot to put the comment below as a reply lol.

  5. Adam

    Adam says:
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    Thanks man! It’s going to be a really fun year! I’m a big Hayward fan, especially with the thin back-court in Utah this year. I also love Nerlens, he won me a lot of leagues last year. He struggles with the injury bug a bit, but the fact that he can get you 5 blocks, and 5 steals is pretty crazy. Thinking more about it, I definitely like the pick. I don’t think you should be too worried about Jahlil, since he’s likely going to be in foul trouble a lot. Plus it looks like they can coexist just fine, especially given the fact that Nerlens doesn’t need offensive touches to be productive.

  6. Crusty says:
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    With these settings what players do you think I should target in my upcoming draft? Thank you very much for your time.

    Pg Sg G G Sf Pf F F C Util Util B B B – 14 man roster

    Category, value
    FGA, -.75
    FGM, 1
    FTA, -.5
    FTM, .75
    3PTM, 2
    PTS, .5
    REB, 1.5
    AST, 2.5
    BLK, 3
    TO, -2
    PF, -1
    EJCT, -5

    • Adam

      Adam says:
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      @Crusty: I would have to agree with JB on this one. Bigs are definitely the way to go, especially shot blockers with good percentages like Ibaka. I’d also target either Hassan or Gobert, since neither will hurt much in FT%. I’d also recommend Korver for his great shooting, and underrated across the board production. Draymond Green is a solid target, since I think his across the board production makes up for a slightly low FG%.

      I’d stay away from all the rookies coming out, since most will struggle with turnovers and FG% for a while.

      For the lower rounds of your draft, consider guys like Koufous that don’t hurt you in any category, but have great blocks upside.

      Hope that helps! Sorry for the late response!

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