A couple days ago, we here at Beale Street Bears decided on a fun experiment for both ourselves and for you readers: we would do a fantasy draft using all the active players in the league, and then when the draft is completed, we’ll include a poll for all of you wonderful Grizzlies fans to tell us which of our teams is the best.
Here’s how this works: four of us are participating; Hal, Daniel, Kevin, and Andrew. We randomized the names and the resulting draft order was Daniel, Hal, Kevin, Andrew, and the order “snakes,” meaning that Daniel picked first, but will pick last in the second round, and so on.
We’ll have a post for each round, with everyone listing their picks and their reasons for picking them. Each post will end in a summary of each writer’s team up to that point.
The success of the team is based off of real-life skill and construction, not the stats someone would use for actual fantasy basketball. So, for example, the floor spacing that Marc Gasol brings to the table would be relevant in picking him for this team, while it wouldn’t matter in real fantasy. In that sense, we’re trying to build teams that would really work.
At each step, let us know what you think of the teams! Do you agree with the picks? Disagree? What would you have done?
So, without further ado, the results of the first round:
Daniel Nicks of Beale Street Bears selects Lebron James with the first overall selection in the ultimate NBA re-draft.
Because he’s a hybrid of Magic Johnson and Charles Barkley, a four-time MVP, two-time champion and has a legitimate chance in surpassing Jordan as the GOAT. There has been no better foundation to build a team around in the last decade, bar none.
With the second pick of the fantasy draft, Hal Brown selects Kevin Durant. If it wasn’t for the sheer brilliance of LeBron James, Durant would have been far and away the MVP of the league for 2013.
Not only is he one of the league’s most prolific scorers, (multiple time scoring champ, and second highest scorer last season) but he’s also one of the most efficient, putting up the second highest scoring 40-50-90 (40% from 3, 50% from the floor, 90% from the line) season behind only Larry Legend.
His scoring ability may even be underrated by the fact that he scores so well off of such simple, basic offensive set construction. He scores whenever and however he wants, but in a way that only helps his team. He’s a wizard with the ball who’s clear brilliance is sometimes overshadowed by the other all-time great of his generation.
I’ll select Clippers point guard Chris Paul with the third overall pick in the draft. Paul is on a completely different level as a point guard, and few players can match his playmaking ability.
He combines that playmaking ability with very reliable scoring and a presence in the clutch, as Grizzlies fans may remember from that Game 2 of the first round. Sign me up for his career averages of 18.6 points, 9.7 assists and 2.4 steals on 47.3% shooting from the floor, 35.6% from three, and 88.5% from the line!
CP3 sets a great foundation for me to build my team from. Point guard is a position with a lot of good players, but nobody matches Paul. I’ve got one of the most important positions handled with the best player at that position, and going forward, getting to work with Paul makes things infinitely easier.
With my first pick, I’ll take Bulls point guard Derrick Rose. Sure, there are plenty of other high caliber options still available, but for my (fantasy) money, the best place to start building a team is with an all-around point guard – and Rose is one of the best.
The former league MVP averages more than 20 points, 7 assists, 4 rebounds, and a steal per game. He has a lightning-quick first step, he’s nearly unguardable at the rim, and his 3-point shooting is always a threat. Although he’s coming off a prolonged knee injury, Rose is a freak athlete and a next-level competitor who, once he’s back at full strength, will be hungry to make up for lost time.
Teams so far:
Daniel: LeBron James
Hal: Kevin Durant
Kevin: Chris Paul
Andrew: Derrick Rose