I’ve got good news and bad news. The good news is the NBA fantasy draft has been completed. Ironically enough, the bad news is also that the NBA fantasy draft has been completed.
STAT says he dedicated a lot of the offseason working on his defense, primarily to help our fantasy team with some steals and blocks of course.
Don’t worry, I think the Suns.com team did a fine job representing and like the real Suns will be a team to reckon with come the start of the regular season. But like with any fantasy draft, you can’t help but look back and think of the things you’d like to have done differently.
But before we get into that, let’s take a look back at how today’s draft unfolded:
7:00 I wake up and see Micah Hart of the Atlanta Hawks has already sent out an e-mail informing everybody of the draft order. Yesterday I discussed the simplicity of picking early in a draft, the benefits of picking later and the stress of picking in the middle. The Suns.com Newsroom Team will be selecting sixth out of twelve. No comment.
8:30 On my way to a video shoot for class and weighing my options. I discussed my desire to draft Amaré Stoudemire yesterday, and while I feel he would normally slide a bit later, I don’t have much of a choice as he definitely will be gone come the second round. On the way down I’m going to complete the one-two punch ideally with an Allen Iverson-type player.
10:55 Not a good sign. I’m literally getting to my desk five minutes prior to the draft. I think I’m having a bit of a panic attack from the rush here and the thought the computer would auto draft Greg Oden for me.
11:01 Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James are the first three names off the board, no surprises there. With just three teams ahead, I’m starting to wonder if Shawn Marion will drop my way forcing me to make an interesting decision.
11:02 And just like that, the Matrix is off the board with the fourth overall pick. The only person left even debating taking instead of Stoudemire is big Dirk Nowitzki…. But there he goes.
11:03 And with the sixth overall pick in the 202007 Fantasy Basketball Draft, the Suns.com Newsroom selects… Amaré Stoudemire of the Phoenix Suns. Understandable I would want to make sure to grab a key Suns player, but I’m sure people are wondering why it wouldn’t be their two-time MVP Steve Nash. For starters, I think the scoring system in this league is going to favor STAT over Nash. I also think Boris Diaw is going to bounce back and have a solid season and Grant Hill will return to All-Star form. With other playmakers around him, I don’t think as much will be demanded of Nash and I wouldn’t be surprised if his numbers fell a little (to the benefit of the team of course). Finally, Stoudemire has center eligibility and good centers in the NBA are hard to come by these days – especially ones who could potentially average up to 30 points-per-contest this season.
11:05 Steve Nash is selected eighth overall. You’ve got to love an NBA team which has three players selected within the first eight picks. Dwight Howard (who I’m a huge fan of) follows and the first round closes out with two solid point guards, Jason Kidd and Chris Paul, followed by Philadelphia’s Andre Iguodala.
11:09 Coming back my way again and believe me, my fingernails are paying for it. Carmelo Anthony just went off the board which gives me a tough decision to make. I’d love to have partnered Anthony with Stoudemire, but I still have Iverson available to complete the one-two scoring punch. Tim Duncan is still out there, but I refuse to give in to temptation. My other options are Yao Ming, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce.
11:13 Went the route of Allen Iverson. I’ve learned from past drafts that switching things up on the fly generally doesn’t result in much more than aggravation (i.e. Tom Brady). I worry about the wear-and-tear on Iverson’s body, but love the fact I can play a guy at point guard who can explode for 50 points on any given night. The guys in the Suns.com Newsroom are quite disappointed in me, but I doubt they’ll have complaints when we’re hoisting that Championship trophy above our heads… there is a trophy, right?
11:15 Jeramie McPeek is really lacing into me about the Iverson selection. Says he doubt the guy will even show up for our fantasy practices. Practice?!? I stand behind Iverson and while he may miss a few games here and there with injuries, the second round is too early to take a guy who isn’t a sure thing. Yao Ming and Ray Allen are both as susceptible to injuries as Iverson, and Pierce is a question mark in terms of where he’ll fit in with KG and Jesus Shuttlesworth. I expect great things from Pierce and should he be available come round three will be doing back flips over it, but Iverson is a guarantee and in round two that’s what I’m looking for.
11:25 With our third overall pick we’ve gone the route of Milwaukee’s Michael Redd, who happened to be my first non-Sun NBA interview by the way. He’s a great guy and will make a great addition to this team… Plus, Stefan Swiat vowed to take the heat if he gets injured which is an added bonus.
11:28 Charlotte’s Emeka Okafor just went off the board to the Grizzlies.com team. I like Okafor and think he’s due for a breakout season. Thought his injury problems would allow him to slip a little but guess not. At this point in the draft all your explosive scorers have pretty much gone off the board and I’m pretty comfortable with our trio of Stoudemire, Iverson and Redd. Jermaine O’Neal is still out there as is Kevin Durant. Those forwards can definitely light it up, but I’m not too big on O’Neal’s injury history or the fact that Durant is a rookie with the weight of the world on his shoulders. I would happily grab either though were they still available come our next pick.
11:33 This is it. All the superstars are off the board and this is when fantasy titles are won or lost. If you go with those can’t-miss players early like I suggested, you know what you’re going to get out of them. Now is the time for gambling and those guys who could potentially put your team over the top. I’m realizing I haven’t been in a fantasy draft with this many teams before. O’Neal would be a steal if he falls to me with six teams choosing ahead– and there goes O’Neal to OrlandoMagic.com followed by Rashard Lewis. There’s something wrong with that picture.
11:35 We now have our fourth player in the form of Washington’s Antawn Jamison. You’ve got to be happy with getting an All-Star in the fourth round. Jamison is a great all-around player when he’s healthy and can score from both the inside and outside while also contributing rebounds. Leandro Barbosa was selected just before him which was kind of a surprise. I thought with him being a sixth man, teams would wait on him a little longer. Speaking of surprises, our selection was followed by Ron Artest who I think is suspended the first eight games of the season.
11:42 Although I did not agree with the pick, we’ve gone with Sacramento’s Kevin Martin here in round five (thanks to Swiat). Martin was great for me a couple years back when my dad suggested I grab him towards the end of the draft, but round five just seems way too early for the guy. I scrolled down to look for Grant Hill who is ranked #149. That is a huge mistake for whoever pre-ranked these players. I know the other guys drafting won’t sleep on him that long, but I am very interested in seeing how late I can allow him to slide. If I could draft him come the seventh or eighth round, that would be the kind of pick that really carries a team.
11:46 Jason Richardson has been drafted to close out round five. As we prepare for round six, I’m seeing names like Randy Foye, Andrei Kirilenko, Corey Maggette, Andrew Bogut and Eddy Curry. This is a big round in my opinion as those guys can go one of two very different directions this season. In a league with standard settings, Kirilenko would be the guy hands down. I’m not sure how his type of statistics would work with this kind of scoring, however. Maggette meanwhile will be playing without injured All-Star Elton Brand for a large chunk of the season and will probably be much more productive in Los Angeles.
11:53 Wow, what a series of events which just took place in the Suns.com Newsroom. During a heated debate between the possibilities of Kirilenko, Maggette and Detroit’s Richard Hamilton, the computer auto selected Danny Granger for us. Should Granger live up to his potential and play like he’s capable of playing, we may have just secured that championship… by complete accident.
12:00 Made my pick intentionally this time, Los Angeles Clipper Al Thornton. I’m going to put my stock in Hill being available in the next round and went with our first rookie. I remember watching Thornton when he worked out here in Phoenix over the summer and was more than impressed with his game. With Brand out, he’s definitely going to get some opportunities to shine alongside Maggette and former Sun Tim Thomas.
12:10 The trigger has been pulled, Hill is finally a member of our fantasy team. Maybe a little early in terms of how long we could have waited, but definitely a steal nonetheless. I said I wanted to wait until round seven or eight to grab the five-time All-Star and patience has paid off (maybe I’ll apply that lesson to life sometime). Hill is going to contribute here in Phoenix and expected averages of 15 points, four assists and three rebounds are more than you can ask now that we’re past the midway point. Right now, we’re hoping Jameer Nelson can slip to us so we can grab him as our backup point guard.
12:15 Nelson went the pick just before us to the Bourbon Street boys. I made a controversial move of sorts in selecting Houston’s Steve Francis over Daniel Banks’ suggestion, Cleveland’s Daniel Gibson. Banks was working with the Spurs last season and got the chance to watch Gibson up close and personal in the NBA Finals. Banks says he likes the fight in Gibson and I’m not opposed to the sophomore, but Francis to me has tremendous upside. Don’t get me wrong, I acknowledge he can be a complete bust, but back in Houston and playing alongside Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming, big things could be ahead for Francis. And if you can get big things from a guy selected in round nine, you’re team is probably doing big things.
12:29 We were busy debating between Mike Dunleavy and Daniel Gibson when Hawks center Zaza Pachulia was selected for us. I’m not complaining too much as I had all three of them in the queue and had no idea where to go anyway. Each of those three players is so completely different, how can you choose?
12:35 Round 11 now and I’m looking in the direction of Memphis’ Hakim Warrick next. The Newsroom seems to agree and the fact we’d be in unison about anything is definitely a concern. Too bad Chicago is so forward-heavy right now, otherwise Tyrus Thomas would be a solid– And as I type that, there he goes.
12:50 Warrick it is. Hopefully Memphis’ new Head Coach and former Suns assistant Marc Iavaroni will hook up that run-and-gun system and make him the go-to man for that ballclub. I’ll have to get the message to their new Director of Media Relations Dustin Krugel (AKA Meat) and insure that’s the case.
12:55 Round 12 and I’m very, very hungry. Right now anybody is looking like a good choice as long as they get us to the end of this draft. Derrick Zimmerman of New Jersey is still available, isn’t he?
1:00 Just grabbed Dunleavy who was still available. We’re in agreement that we’re going Acie Law IV next and are currently debating how to close things out here. DJ Strawberry or Sean Marks? I’m in Marks’ corner, but it appears I’m outnumbered. Marks has center eligibility, but the consensus is that Strawberry will make more of an impact with the Suns this season.
1:16 Just waiting to wrap things up. I’m going with Strawberry as our final pick.
1:18 Strawberry is off board and following the selection of Dallas’ DeSagana Diop (Mavs.com, what a surprise) the draft is complete. Here is our roster as it stands:
Acie Law IV
3:51 Following lunch and a few assignments, I’ve had some time to reflect on our team now. I think if I can accept the fact this is a 12-team league and therefore teams aren’t going to be as loaded with talent, I’ll be more than happy with our squad. My projected opening day starting lineup consists of Allen Iverson, Kevin Martin, Grant Hill, Michael Redd, Antawn Jamison, Hakim Warrick, Al Thorton, Amaré Stoudemire and Danny Granger. All guys with heart (something which the Boston Red Sox could definitely use right about now) and all guys I’m confident will contribute throughout the 202007-08 campaign. I also like the fact that we’re not relying heavily on guys like Steve Francis, Zaza Pachulia, Mike Dunleavy, Acie Law IV and DJ Strawberry, but have them on standby should their services be needed.
Barring any huge, blockbuster trades, I’ll check back in to update you come the start of the 202007-08 season. Go Suns and go Suns.com Newsroom Team (we’ve definitely got to shorten that name).