We’ve finally reached the final segment of our Beale Street Fantasy Draft, in which you guys can vote on your favorite lineups to let us know who won our draft!
A reminder of how this works: four of us participated; Hal, Daniel, Kevin, and Andrew. We randomized the names and the resulting draft order was Daniel, Hal, Kevin, Andrew. The order “snaked,” meaning that Daniel picked first, but will pick last in the second round, and so on.
We’ll had a post for each round, with everyone listing their picks and their reasons for picking them. Each post ended 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.
So, without further ado, the Beale Street Writing Squad’s final lineups! Don’t forget to vote on a winner!
With the 17th pick, I’ll select Klay Thompson.
This is a complete reach, but you can’t undervalue shooting in today’s game. I need someone to keep defenses honest when Kyrie and Lebron are attacking the basket. And a Love,Thompson duo is about the best duo you’re going to find in that regard. He’s also an understated, disruptive defender at 6’7.
With the 18th pick, I’ll take Deron Williams. Deron has been a “slump” for the last couple years, and it really felt like maybe Deron just wasn’t the superstar he had seemed to be after shooting a paltry 37% from the floor and 31% from 3 by the all-star break this season, mirroring numbers from the last two years.
Then Deron exploded. He’d had ankle injuries that we’d all been pooh-poohing, but after starting a regimen of cortisone shots into his ankles he looked like old Deron again. 22+ PPG, 40+% from 3, 50+% from the floor.
No one wreaks more havoc on a defense than a healthy Deron. Not only is he a DEADLY shooter (remember him breaking Kobe’s 3s-in-a-half record?) but he is one of the absolute best passers in the league. Deron understands that passing win games, which is what my team needs as much a 3-point shooting. Last season, he assisted on 37% of all of the possessions that included him, and he’s assissted on over 40% at a point his career.
With Deron at the helm, we have a superstar caliber player establishing a high energy, high ball movement, 4-out, deceptive offensive system. Good luck defending.
Time to reach for a shooting guard to finish this lineup. I could go with NBA champion Dwyane Wade, but with the 19th pick, I’ll take one of the losers in the NBA Finals, Kawhi Leonard. Leonard beside Paul George is just a really fun combination of perimeter defenders on the wing, and as a three-point specialist offensively, he makes for a very nice compliment to CP3, Paul George, LaMarcus Aldridge and Dwight Howard
With the final pick in the draft, I’ll take Kevin Garnett of the …Brooklyn Nets. (That’ll take some getting used to.) Garnett and Gasol down low will form a wall around the basket on defense. KG is probably the best pick and roll defender in the league, great at positioning himself and using his length to stifle midrange and even perimeter shooters.
Don’t count him out on offense, either. His scoring dipped from about 20 to about 15 PPG in the last few years, but that’s all we’ll need to supplement a Rose – Harden – Ray Allen backcourt. As for spacing, KG is fluid on offense, comfortable in the paint and from midrange, which opens up driving lanes for Rose and Harden and will allow position for rebounds (10 per game career average) when the shorts aren’t falling.
Not that it matters in a simulator, but Garnett is also fiercely loyal and a “heart and soul” kind of teammate, easily the most excitable guy on my roster.
THE FINAL TEAMS
Daniel: Kyrie Irving, Klay Thompson, LeBron James, Kevin Love, Tim Duncan
Hal: Deron Williams, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Chris Bosh, Joakim Noah
Kevin: Chris Paul, Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, LaMarcus Aldridge, Dwight Howard
Andrew: Derrick Rose, James Harden, Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, Marc Gasol
So now, don’t forget to vote on which team you think is the best!