I had the honor of participating in a 20-team draft run by the guys at Give Me the Rock on Saturday morning, despite it being the last weekend before my impending nuptials. How’s THAT for dedication?!
True, the future Mrs. was carping on how the draft was inhibiting our ability to get out and do the errands we needed to, but I persevered nonetheless.
Mercifully, the teams are only 10 deep (PG, SG, G, SF, PF, F, C, U, two Bench spots) so the 200 players drafted is only slightly larger than a normal 12 team, 13-round draft.
The draft order was randomly generated five minutes before the draft and I would with the 17th overall pick. Two days later and I still have no idea how to feel about that. I really should have spent more time devising what strategy I would take if I landed picks 1-5, 5-10, etc. But I kind of winged it and it may have hurt me just a little.
Here’s how the draft proceeded for me:
1st Round (17th overall): With my first and second picks being a relatively close eight away from each other, I tried to decide quickly whether I had a better chance of getting two big men or two point guard types. Even though Al Jefferson was on the board, I chose Chauncey Billups and immediately regretted it.
It’s not that I don’t like having Billups, but I’ve been cursing the fact that I haven’t been able to draft Jefferson in any of my leagues and there I let him slip right by. I had my reasons though, because I didn’t think I’d get a solid enough second big guy without reaching too far on my next pick.
2nd Round (24th overall): Here I landed Jose Calderon and combined with Billups have a strong shot at 3-pointers, assists, steals and FT% every week. This pick I love nearly as much as I doubted the first pick.
In retrospect, I wish I would have gone big/small for my first two picks (Jefferson/Calderon) and let my third pick determine my team strategy. It’s a little against conventional draft strategy on loading up on similar categories early, but in such a deep draft I think it could have worked wonderfully. Oh well.
3rd Round (57th overall): Looking for a rebounder that could help boost some of the stats I was already solid in, I picked Lamar Odom. I’ve made no secret that I’m down on Odom this year, but his potential for a rare combination of rebounds and assists with some steals, blocks and few 3-pointers thrown in was a kind-of-perfect fit for the small ball team I was building.
4th Round (64th overall): In such a deep league, I don’t expect there to be much quality on the waiver wire, so I gambled here with Manu Ginobili. Piled on more assists, steals, FT% and 3-pointers and added a boost in scoring. I’ll wait out the injury and have faith. Plus I knew no player of his caliber would be around once I was back on the clock more than 30 picks later.
5th Round (97th overall): Since all the true double-double guys were gone (which was fine because this was a small-ball team anyway), I went with a center who fit the style in Troy Murphy. He rebounds a little, his FT% is fine and he’ll shoot 3’s. Fits this team well. Plus he’s from Jersey.
6th Round (104th overall):Here I went for Kirk Hinrich for the second time in a draft this season. I know Rose was drafted and Hinrich was so-so last season, but I feel he’s slipping too far in a lot of drafts. And to repeat the theme of this team: FT%, 3-pointers, assists and steals. He fits the bill.
7th Round (137th overall):At this point I couldn’t take the woman’s badgering any more and got in the shower with a list of players queued up. I had Monta Ellis in the queue as the fifth preferred player and wouldn’t you know it, he was drafted for me. It’s the second league in which I’ve gambled on Ellis. Not sure if he’ll be his old self when (if?) he returns, but I’ll be he’ll be one of the league’s top 137 players.
8th Round (144th overall): Here I made a blunder. Instead of bolstering the small ball team I went with a player who I felt was the best on the board and had slipped a bit too far in Andray Blatche. He’ll rebound a little and block shots, but not enough to make this small team competitive in those cats.
It’s OK though. I’m confident he’ll be valuable enough that a trade can be worked out in the future for a big team that wants some added blocks.
9th Round (177th overall): Jeff Foster. As the pickin’s became slim I went with a guy who very well could average double-digit rebounds per game this season. Because I’m starting to think when my injured guys get healthy, a front line of Odom, Foster, Blatche and Murphy may be able to help the squad win rebounds on occasion.
10th Round (184th overall): Never imagined being so happy with my final pick in this draft before landing Jarret Jack. He’s always had solid per minute numbers and is now the primary backup to T.J. Ford, who is as frail a point guard as there is. If he gets 30 minutes per game, he’ll fit this team perfectly.
Overall I’m OK with this team but it was probably the most disappointing of my six drafts this season. Maybe everyone feels that way because of the depth of the pool of players picked.
The starting lineup when fully healthy will be Billups, Calderon, Ginobili, Ellis, Odom, Murphy and Blatche. Jack will fill in for Ellis at the utility spot and Hinrich for Ginobili at shooting guard in the meantime. The big problem is both my bench are taken by guys with long-term injuries.
But all I have to do is stay close, make a surge when they return and make the playoffs and hope everyone is healthy for the postseason.
Please heal fast boys.