2015 NBA Mock Draft 1.0

Photo Credit: Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Photo Credit: Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The NBA Draft lottery balls were selected and the draft order is now officially locked in. The Minnesota Timberwolves became the first team with the best odds to actually land the #1 pick since 2004. The Wolves technically will have the first overall pick for the third straight season after acquiring the two previous #1 overall picks (Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett) in the Kevin Love trade from the Cavaliers. The Lakers moved up two spots to the #2 overall pick while the Knicks fell to fourth in the draft order. The rest went exactly as it was setup before the lottery.

Now it’s time to have some fun mock drafting, projecting what players teams can potentially land at their draft spot. However, predicting what an NBA team/GM is going to do is next to impossible and even the draft “experts” only get a handful of their mock draft projections correct. So, instead of guessing who I think teams will actually select, I will instead put myself in their GM’s shoes and tell you who I would personally select if I were drafting for each franchise in the first round.

This is my mock draft 1.0 and there will be two more versions before the actual NBA Draft occurs on Thursday, June 25th in Brooklyn. This one is so far out that I’m just putting my initial thoughts on who I would take where without over-analyzing just yet. In version 2.0 (mid-June) I will update my picks and add reasoning as to why I made each selection the way I did, and in version 3.0 (a couple days before the draft) I’ll dish out my final choices for each team at each draft slot, analysis of each player selected along with the reasoning for each mock pick made from my mock GM point of view.

Without further delay, here is my 2015 NBA mock draft 1.0: 

2015 NBA Mock 1.0

I look forward to your comments on who I have going where but again keep in mind this is who I would take personally in each spot and this is just version 1.0. I’ll be doing a ton more research on both players and teams between now and the 2.0 version.

For more fantasy hoops analysis and to have any questions you may have answered, follow Zack on Twitter @BigZack44

2015 Fantasy Basketball: Jahlil Okafor vs. Karl-Anthony Towns

Okafor v Towns

If your favorite team lands the number one or two pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, the consensus says the decision is instantly narrowed down to two names — Jahlil Okafor or Karl-Anthony Towns. Which one should go at the top spot? No better way to figure it out than for it to be settled in a head-to-head fight to the finish Street Fighter style, but in this case we’ll call it “Court Fighter.”

Let’s start with the tale of the tape. Remember all of these measurements were from late-2014 and neither player is participating in the NBA combine, so we likely won’t get renewed measurements for awhile but it’s doubtful much has shifted. [Read more…]

2014-15 Fantasy NBA Awards: The Fixies, Part II

Welcome, you’ve either liked what you’ve seen from Part I and needed to know the rest, or you’ve clicked the page link accidentally and are drawn in by the bright lights of hyperlinks.

MATT:  

Put aside the 2013-14 season in which he played all 82 games, and Ricky Rubio has played in just 52% (120 of a possible 230) of the Timberwolves’ games. When he does play, he is strictly a two category guy owned purely for his assists and steals.

His field goal percentage is deplorable – it’s the worst in the modern era for players with a min. of 1750 field goal attempts. He doesn’t hit a three per game or get to the free throw line enough to make a true impact, and his negatives (don’t forget career 2.9 turnovers) far out way his positives.
[Read more…]

2014-15 Fantasy NBA Awards: The Fixies, Part I

Welcome fantasy basketball enthusiasts, to the second (yes they let us do another) annual Fixies fantasy basketball awards.

The Fantasy Fix team has done some scouting as the season winds down, signing two of the ‘higher-upside’ fantasy minds out there – to 10 day contracts of course.

Seth Klein of Razzball and FantasyPros acclaim, and Matt Smith of RotoWire, Fantasy Hoops Insider, and FantasyPros will join The Fantasy Fix NBA writers (Zack Rewis, Max Haldeman and myself) to round out a pretty decent starting five.

What we lack in height, athleticism, wing-span and coordination, we make up for with sound fundamentals, above average grammar, and an ability to rattle off a random NBA stat from out of nowhere (did you know Jalen Rose is the only member of the 15 assist/6 block club? Now you do).

It’s easy to stick to the script and ask for generic type awards, so we’ve gone a little sideways with our approach and we’ve added some tacky graphics in the hope it masks any flaws you may see in the writing. Enjoy!

Without further ado, here are the 2014-15 Fixies. [Read more…]

2014-15 Fantasy Basketball: Fantasy Championship Preview

leonard

Photo: Mark Runyon | BasketballSchedule.net

 

6 Games: ATL, BOS, CHA, LAL, MIN, NO, POR
5 Games: BKN, CHI, CLE, DAL, DEN, DET, GS, HOU, IND, MEM, MIA, MIL, NY, OKC, ORL, PHX, SAC, SA, TOR, UTA, WSH
4 Games: LAC, PHI

On Fire

Kawhi Leonard has been playing like he did in the 2014 NBA Finals against the Miami Heat. He was held back by multiple injuries at the beginning of the season, including an eye injury to start the year. He’s showing in his short career that he has the ability to turn it on when the games matter the most, which is good for the Spurs down the stretch. The Spurs have won seven straight games and are 9-1 in their last 10 (via NBA.com), and a large part of it seems to be due to the play of Leonard. He doesn’t always do it for you by scoring, which sometimes flies under the radar. He will contribute in every single category for you, which makes him one of the most elite players in fantasy basketball when he turns it on like he has of late. [Read more…]

2014-15 Fantasy Basketball: Week 3 Playoff Preview

lopez

Credit: Rodrigo Díez Vignola

We’re getting down to the end of the regular season in the NBA, which is very hard to believe. Players will continue to sit to rest until the end of the season, which makes the playoffs in standard leagues, and DFS leagues, very interesting.

4 Games: BOS, BKN, CHA, DET, GS, HOU, IND, LAC, LAL, MIA, MIL, PHI, POR, SAC, TOR, UTA
3 Games: ATL, CHI, DAL, DEN, MEM, MIN, NO, NY, OKC, ORL, PHX, WSH
2 Games: CLE

On-Fire

DeMarre Carroll is one of those players on the Hawks that seems to be in the lineup because of defense and the hustle he brings to the starting lineup. The former Mizzou and Vanderbilt basketball player has been playing great basketball over the last two weeks, making him an interesting option down the stretch. The guys that are the most intriguing in fantasy basketball are the guys that do it all. Russell Westbrook scores, assists, rebounds and steals the ball. He does it all. DeMarre Carol has been one of those guys, to some extent, over this time frame. He will chip in on the stat sheet in just about every category, and especially in DFS leagues where free throw shooting won’t hurt you, he’s going to be even more of an intriguing choice.

Brook Lopez has been doing it all for the Nets as of late. Which isn’t saying TOO much considering the Nets options, but it’s good news for Lopez owners going in to their fantasy championship rounds. Lopez will cost you $7,800 in DraftKings daily leagues, but he has been putting up numbers consistent with the guys ahead of him. What you won’t get with Lopez is that explosion of 60 points or more in a DFS league, which is the reason his cost isn’t higher. Depending on the approach you take in your DFS leagues, Lopez is a nice, consistent option at center.

Ice Cold

Since moving to the Miami Heat, Goran Dragic has underperformed as the team’s starting guard. Especially with Chris Bosh being out for the rest of the season, Dwayne Wade seems to be questionable for every game going forward for the rest of his career, and then the rest of the team going through some kind of injury. Chris Anderson, Hassan Whiteside, Mario Chalmers, etc. have all missed time recently with injuries, and Dragic hasn’t appeared to have picked up much of the slack. To be fair, Dragic has gone through some injuries of his own, but in his last outing against the Pistons on March 30th he had 21 fantasy points – 10 points, two rebounds, five assists (according to DraftKings statistics) while playing 35 minutes. Especially with the way that Heat players having been dropping lately, I wouldn’t advise inserting Dragic into your DFS lineup anytime soon.

Stream Options

Marcus Morris has been playing like his twin brother, Markeiff, as of late and is worth a look.

Ersan Ilyasova

Jordan Clarkson

Evan Turner

Zaza Pachulia

Zach LaVine has been filling in nicely while Ricky Rubio has been nursing his injury.

Dennis Schroder will likely see more action for the Hawks down the stretch while they allow Jeff Teague to get some more time off to nurse his injury before the playoffs.

Injury Report:

Jeff Teague has missed some time recently and doesn’t appear to be 100% because of an ankle injury. Keep an eye on him daily in both standard and DFS leagues to see if he’s in the lineup. Even if he is, you might want to stay away.

Draymond Green has been dealing with a lower leg injury. Keep an eye on his status as he will likely get back in the lineup once he is feeling better, as Steve Kerr has said that he doesn’t seem to be jumping on the bandwagon of sitting players out of games to rest them for the playoffs.

Serge Ibaka will likely miss the remainger of the season with knee surgery. They said initially 3-4 weeks, however, there doesn’t appear to be a sign of his return.

Kyle Lowry continues to sit with a back injury. The Raptors have listed him as out “indefinitely” with this injury as they likely will try to get their star point guard some rest going into the playoffs.

Derrick Favors seems to be day-to-day with a back injury. He has now missed the past two games and should be considered questionable going forward until he gets back in the lineup consistently.

Blake Griffin said that he had some swelling appear in that elbow that he sat out with, but it doesn’t appear that it is anything serious at the moment. With the trade deadline over in standard leagues, Griffin owners (like myself) must be holding their breath as they will likely need their star PF to be healthy and ready to go for the stretch run.

Greg Monroe has not played since March 14th with his knee injury and will likely continue to sit. No word on his status as it seems to be a question mark.

2014-15 Fantasy Basketball: Box Score Browsing – Redickulous!

JJ Redick

I know I’ve used this before as have countless others, but JJ has been redickulous lately.

Sure, Blake Griffin has returned which has helped open the perimeter up for Redick, while Chris Paul has been playing insanely good lately, but Redick has been the unsung hero in the absence of the injured Jamal Crawford.

On the season it looks like another ‘ho hum’ Redick year – a few threes a night, elite free throw percentage and below average rebound, assist and steal numbers for a shooting guard.

Delve deeper into his stat-line and you’ll see the elite turnover rate of just 1.2 per night in 31 minutes per – good for a top four mark across the entire NBA for those that qualify. His career high field goal percentage of 46.8% also can’t be overlooked, as it marks the third consecutive increase in that category for him – not bad for a player who’s sole purpose is to shoot the ball from the outside.

Just look at his last dozen games, they’re actually kind of a big deal. He’s scored at least 15 points in every game and hasn’t missed a free throw. The elite 50% shooting from the floor and 100% from the line is accompanied by 3.1 threes and an absurd 21.5 points a night. Be honest, did you know Redick had been averaging over 20 points a night in March?

He’s been even better as of late, which is what prompted him to lead this week’s scribble – even factoring in his last ‘quiet’ game after the Clips flogged the Knicks.

Over his last four games he’s averaged 22.6 points, 2.6 assists, 3.2 threes and just 0.4 turnovers a night while going Duke Nukem on the league to the tune of 56% (on 15.0 attempts) from the field, 49% from deep, and predictably, 100% from the line.

Redick’s missed just one free throw since January 5th, going 68 from 69 in that span. That’s ridiculous. In that same time-frame Hassan Whiteside has registered three total assists (an equally ridiculous stat!). [Read more…]

2014-15 Fantasy Basketball: Week 2 Playoffs, March 23-29

jackson

Source: Driller Photography

 

On Fire

Reggie Jackson seems to be finding his role for the Pistons lately, recording double-digit assists in his previous four games and five of the last six. Jackson had 23 points and 20 assists on St. Patrick’s Day against the Grizzlies, and then followed it up the next night with a triple-double. Jackson is no Russell Westbrook when it comes to fantasy numbers in the last few weeks, but he’s sure worth the value in DFS leagues at his current price. I’m sure that price will go up, but I would take advantage of this hot streak while it lasts.

The last three games, Chris Paul has been playing at the level of an NBA MVP. He’s had double-digit assists the past three games while scoring in bunches as well. He’s been carrying the Clippers, who recently got Blake Griffin back in the lineup, which makes it look like this success is here to stay, at least in the assists category. He’s one of the higher priced point guards in DFS leagues, and with play like this, that price will continue to go up. [Read more…]

2014-15 Fantasy Basketball: Box Score Browsing – Kyrie, Kanter, Khris and Kenneth

Kyrie Irving

In case you’ve been sleeping under a rock or you’re hibernating til the Rugby World Cup (just me?) starts in September, you may have missed Irving’s otherworldly shooting performances.

If you haven’t seen the Cavs-Spurs thriller in San Antonio, do yourself a favor and watch it, or as much of it as you can. The duel between Kawhi Leonard and LeBron James was enough in itself, but Irving’s ridiculous shooting would have merited a slow clap from even the most skeptical Irving critic – he was that hot.

We know he makes his free throws (10-10 against the Spurs), but his three point prowess always seemed to play second fiddle to his impressive ball-handling and driving ability, as he finishes at the rim with either hand, with equal success. Making seven threes in a game is a rare thing, but hitting that mark and missing none is even rarer (seriously, Ben Gordon went 9-9 from deep…TWICE), let alone on a nationally televised game against an equally hot Spurs team, at home. [Read more…]

2014-15 Fantasy Basketball: March 16-22 Playoff Preview

boogie

Credit: Sacramento Press Media

 

For many of you, the playoffs begin now. This week, as usual, I’ll fill you in with players to watch out for, players to add, an injury report, and I’ll fill you in on some superstars around the league to keep an eye on that might possibly start sitting games down the stretch to rest. [Read more…]