Mike Gallagher

Offseason Beat

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June NBA Fantasy Mock Draft

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Well, the 2016-17 season is officially over. We had some good times, some bad times, and some predictable times. We can talk about how fun this season was, but how about we just move forward and talk 2017-18?


Over the past week or so, a group of us took part in a nine-category, 14-round fantasy hoops draft. We're still going through this slow mock, so today we'll just go over the first half of it.


Before we get to the picks, one thing that really jumps out is the lack of centers out there. There are also a lot of wings to get later in the draft, so it makes sense to lean big early in the draft. Also, we're doing this before free agency, so there is a lot that is factored in on these picks. Could Kyle Lowry, Paul Millsap, Chris Paul or Gordon Hayward change teams? All this stuff goes into our draft selections.


I'll go through each round with some analysis, I'll explain my pick, and I'll hit on my favorite value pick from the other owners.


Here we go!



1 Owners NBA Player
1. Scott Bogman (@BogmanSports) James Harden
2. Jared Johnson (@JaredJ831) Kevin Durant
3. Ryan Knaus (@Knaus_RW) Karl-Anthony Towns
4. Your boy (@MikeSGallagher) Giannis Antetokounmpo
5. Matt Stroup (@MattStroup) Stephen Curry
6. Chris Welsh (@IsItTheWelsh) Russell Westbrook
7. Tommy Beer (@TommyBeer) Anthony Davis
8. Jonas Nader (@JonasNader) Kawhi Leonard
9. Steve Alexander (@DocktorA) Nikola Jokic
10. Ethan Norof (@EthanNorof) LeBron James

Best value: KAT at three is awesome. As mentioned above, centers could be tough to come by this year, so KAT gets a slight boost there. Of course, there's the obvious stuff with how amazing Towns is: 82 games in both seasons, he's probably going to be like a 28-13 guy with defense, elite percentages and probably more dimes. He's my No. 1 player this year and I would still take him even if he wasn't a center.


My pick: While I did want KAT at four, I was very happy to get the No. 2 player on my board. Giannis Antetokounmpo is arguably the best player for defensive stats (shoutout to Draymond Green), he's probably going to get around six dimes per night, he's basically a power forward when it comes to rebounding, and getting his free throw percentage up to 77 percent last year is a very interesting development. He's also working on his 3-pointers, but that category is easy to get later. As Steve would say, he's also very, very fun to own. Vine Star!


Analysis: Not really many surprises here. Perhaps the biggest takeaway is the first round is really deep. You can make a case for any of the top-nine picks to go in the top three. Nikola Jokic does get a small boost for being a center, so that helps him make his case as a top-10 pick.

R. 2 Owner NBA Player
1 Ethan John Wall
2 Doc Chris Paul
3 Jonas Jimmy Butler
4 Tommy Paul George
5 Welsh Rudy Gobert
6 Matt DeMarcus Cousins
7 Mike Damian Lillard
8 Ryan Kyrie Irving
9 Jared Draymond Green
10 Bogman Isaiah Thomas


Best value: I still can't get my head around Chris Paul going 12th, but that just shows the depth of fantasy right now. Maybe a move to the Spurs could hurt CP3 slightly, but he's just such a great asset in fantasy with no strikes against him thanks to his elite assist:turnover ratio. I also really liked where Rudy Gobert went, and the same goes for Jimmy Butler.


My pick: I was really pleased with landing Damian Lillard. He was a top-five player after the break and he seemed to mesh really well with Jusuf Nurkic. Dame has also played in at least 75 games for each of his five seasons.


Analysis: Not really many surprises again. Isaiah Thomas broke out last year as a top-10 player, so I guess most of us aren't buying the Pizza Guy to do it again. DeMarcus Cousins is also an interesting option. He was really good as a Pelican last year, averaging 24.4 points, 12.4 boards, 3.9 dimes, 1.1 blocks, 1.5 steals and an eye-popping 2.1 treys per game. 


R.3 Owner  Player
1 Bogman Myles Turner 
2 Jared Hassan Whiteside 
3 Ryan Kyle Lowry 
4 Mike Mike Conley 
5 Matt Kristaps Porzingis 
6 Welsh Joel Embiid 
7 Tommy Gordon Hayward 
8 Jonas C.J. McCollum 
9 Steve Otto Porter 
10 Ethan Al Horford


Best value: Just like Dame, C.J. was outstanding last year. When the no-brainer Most Improved Player from 2015-16 gets even better, that has to count for something. McCollum has also been on the court a ton with back-to-back 80-game seasons.


My pick: I was considering C.J., but I went with Mr. Mike Conley. The Grizzlies are likely going to push their pace a little more and coach David Fizdale really talked up Conley in the playoffs. Plus, Conley was a top-20 player in the 2017 portion of last season. There was also a drop off at point guard after Kemba Walker, so I wanted to get myself two elite point guards and didn't want to roll the dice on a big.


Analysis: Trust The Process! Embiid gets the nod for the first sexy/trendy pick. I was actually considering him with my selection, but there was just too much risk. Jonas also told me he was thinking TTP, but he went in front of him. If you want to TTP it up, it'll probably cost you a pick in the 25-30 range. He said he wants to play in every game, but you know the 76ers will be limiting him at some point. Plus, he also will sit at any sign of trouble. Still, he's a monster and he could get even better. Hayward has a lot of uncertainty with his free agency, but that man is too good to fall off wherever he goes.


Kristaps Porzingis was also a really solid pick. He has huge upside, especially with the Melo Drama. There are some durability concerns and the Knicks probably won't be good, so that explains why he didn't go in the second round.


R.4 Owner  Player
1 Ethan Brook Lopez 
2 Doc Kemba Walker 
3 Jonas Kevin Love 
4 Tommy Bradley Beal
5 Welsh Klay Thompson 
6 Matt Paul Millsap 
7 Mike Marc Gasol 
8 Ryan Nikola Vucevic 
9 Jared Eric Bledsoe 
10 Bogman Jrue Holiday 


Best value: I am all about Bradley Beal, and I almost took him with my Conley pick. I wrote about him last week, so check that out on why he has turned the corner as an elite scorer.


My pick: I absolutely had to take a big man, so I was very happy to get Gasol. He also looks like the best value even taking positions out of the equation. I went back-to-back on Grizzlies, so take that for data, too. Gasol staying healthy last year despite a foot fracture in 2015-16 is a great sign.


Analysis: Ethan was in my boat where he had to go with a big man, so he double dipped because he knew it was going to be very thin at C on his next pick. There were also a lot of bigs coming off the board here as teams wanted to get their first or second C -- this is a two-center league. Eric Bledsoe is so good when he's on, but that shutdown last year looms very large. Jrue Holiday was also terrific last year and he should still be able to sustain value even with a hit to his scoring. Paul Millsap was kind of a letdown last year and his free agent status makes it tough to tell what he'll be doing stats wise. 

R.5 Owner   Player
1 Bogman Khris Middleton
2 Jared DeMar DeRozan 
3 Ryan Trevor Ariza 
4 Mike Blake Griffin 
5 Matt Jeff Teague 
6 Welsh Ben Simmons 
7 Tommy Goran Dragic 
8 Jonas Ricky Rubio 
9 Steve Andrew Wiggins 
10 Ethan Carmelo Anthony 


Best value: I really wanted Khris Middleton, so I thought that was a terrific value to start the fifth. This time last year, we were talking about Middleton as a top-20 pick and also not having Jabari Parker around should make Middleton a fairly high-usage guy. Jeff Teague was also a nice pick after a really strong finish last year. Plus, he could be a scoring machine if PG-13 is traded. There is a mild shutdown risk, though.


My pick: I wouldn't say I'm a Blake guy, but Griffin in the fifth works. Sure, he has the bad knee stuff and that foot injury to end his year isn't nothing. Still, he made 76.0 percent from the line last year, he's been a five-dime guy for three years, and he's an elite scoring big man.


Analysis: The Welch is about the TTP life, taking Ben Simmons here. There are some concerns about his percentages, he won't take treys and the 76ers will probably manage his minutes, but Simmons could be a Giannis Light in his rookie season. Besides that, basically everyone went boring here. Rubio is an interesting pick after he crushed in the final two months. Trade, though?


R.6 Owner Player 
1 Ethan D'Angelo Russell 
2 Doc DeAndre Jordan 
3 Jonas Robert Covington
4 Tommy Serge Ibaka 
5 Welsh Devin Booker 
6 Matt Nicolas Batum 
7 Mike Victor Oladipo 
8 Ryan Gary Harris 
9 Jared Jusuf Nurkic 
10 Bogman Marcin Gortat  


Best value: Ibaka used to be a fantasy stud just a couple years ago, but he sure looked a lot older/slower during the postseason. The days of him playing power forward are dropping off, but round six is still a really good value. As long as he can get 24 minutes per game and not have yet another drop in blocks, he'll be worthwhile here. Although, Ibaka's blocks per game have dropped in each of his last six seasons. It's hard to believe he's still just 27.


My pick: Muscle Watch! Dipo has lost 10 pounds this offseason and he looks like he's really going to try to bounce back from a letdown season. He won't score much, but that's fine as long as he's racking up the steals. He is also expected to play more point guard as coach Billy Donovan staggers him.


Analysis: Not many "wow" picks here except for maybe Jusuf Nurkic. The Nurk Alerts were flying in Portland, so clearly his upside is massive. I can't wait to see him play against the Nuggets next year. Make sure you get your Nurk Fever shots before that one. Robert Covington is a really tough one to project. He was an absolute fantasy star after the Joel Embiid injury, but now he'll have to find shots with The Process and Ben Simmons out there. As long as he gets minutes, he should still be a fine mid-round guy. Josh Jackson could potentially hurt him.

R.7 Owner  Player 
1 Bogman Nerlens Noel 
2 Jared Avery Bradley 
3 Ryan Gorgui Dieng 
4 Mike Tobias Harris 
5 Matt Dennis Schroder 
6 Welsh Markelle Fultz 
7 Tommy LaMarcus Aldridge 
8 Jonas Jonas Valanciunas 
9 Steve Andre Drummond 
10 Ethan Harrison Barnes 


Best value: Considering Steve is punting, getting Drummond at 69 is very nice. Nobody else is punting FT%, so he has a huge advantage with such a low demand for the bad FT% guys.


My pick: I went boring again with Tobias. The Pistons possibly trading people could really help Tobias get more shots and he's very capable of filling it up everywhere.


Analysis: The Welch is the wild child here with TTP, Simmons and Fultz. I'm not too sure Fultz makes a big impact on a very good Boston team. Boston is such a tough team to project with Hayward potentially signing there, which is part of the reason some Heat and Celtics players slid a tad. LMA looked terrible in the postseason, so he's another guy we all didn't want to take. The seventh round is still a fantastic value. I used to be Mr. JV, but Serge shifting to more of a five man is a concern for me.


That'll do it for now! We'll be talking about this a ton on the Wednesday podcast with Ryan Knaus, so check back for that.


Mike Gallagher has covered fantasy hoops for eight years and this season is his second with Rotoworld. You can find him on Twitter talking about a player's shots at the rim.

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