The 2013-14 NBA season is nearly upon us!Which means, alternately, that I have to set my lineup for the first time. But before I do, here’s a look at the current roster of the Derrick Rosie O’Donnells, as constructed by my trusty general manager, Mr. Otto Draaft, accompanied by some quick thoughts from me on each pick.
(Note: This was done by snake draft, and the league itself consists of 20 teams.)
1st Round (15th overall): Serge Ibaka, PF, Oklahoma City Thunder
Not as bad as I thought, actually. Ibaka’s a solid bet to average, say, 15-16 points and 8-10 rebounds, especially while Russell Westbrook’s out. He’s also led the NBA in blocks in each of the last two seasons. More importantly, the guy’s money when it comes to picking out and putting together Halloween costumes.
Notables missed: Josh Smith (16th), Dirk Nowitzki (20th), Dwight Howard (25th)
2nd Round (26th overall): Joakim Noah, C, Chicago Bulls
This one’s a tough pill for me to swallow; I’m a lifelong Bruin fan and a recent (’11) UCLA grad, so having the most reviled member of those Florida teams on my squad is painful.
But, from a fantasy standpoint, he’s a good guy to have around. He’s a double-double machine (33 last season) and knows full well how to stuff the rest of the stat sheet (two triple doubles, 4.0 assists, 3.3 combined blocks and steals in 2012-13). He’s also not afraid to play through pain, as he will on opening night against the Heat (per KC Johnson of The Chicago Tribune).
Notables missed: Al Horford (27th), Blake Griffin (28th), Tony Parker (36th)
3rd Round (55th overall): Paul Pierce, SF, Brooklyn Nets
Another pick, another player I despise. How can a long-time Lakers fan, in good conscience, keep Paul Pierce on his squad?
For one, because I’m not trying to make any changes. And No. 2, because he averaged close to 19-6-5 last season with the Boston Celtics. His numbers will dip a bit on this loaded Nets team, but he should still have ample opportunity to produce off the wing.
Notables missed: Pau Gasol (56th), Kawhi Leonard (57th), Paul Millsap (60th)
4th Round (66th overall): Goran Dragic, PG, Phoenix Suns
Either Dragic is going to see his numbers plummet next to Eric Bledsoe, or the young buck is going to struggle so mightily as a starter for the Phoenix Suns that Goran will have no choice but to pick up the slack.
In a related story, here’s hoping the (overrated) former Los Angeles Clippers backup crashes and burns in Year 1 with Phoenix!
Notables missed: Andre Iguodala (68th), Zach Randolph (72nd), Nikola Pekovic (73rd)
5th Round (95th overall): Jameer Nelson, PG, Orlando Magic
I’ve liked Jameer Nelson ever since his days at St. Joe’s.
Not enough to draft him willfully, but that’s beside the point now. He’s healthy (for now) and he was good for 15-4-7 last season, even though he shot under 40 percent from the field. I’m not a religious man, but I’m praying Victor Oladipo doesn’t get to help the Orlando Magic tank as their “point guard.”
Notables missed: Raymond Felton (96th), Kevin Garnett (97th), Wilson Chandler (105th)
6th Round (106th overall): Omer Asik, C, Houston Rockets
You can bet I’m rooting for Omer Asik to cut in on Dwight Howard’s action up front for the Houston Rockets (take THAT, D12!). Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle says Asik will start, despite his space-clogging tendencies and preseason calf injury.
And if Asik gets moved at some point, he’s a mortal lock to go H.A.M. on the boards again.
Notables missed: Eric Gordon (111th), Anderson Varejao (114th), Andrew Bynum (126th)
7th Round (135th overall): Nene, PF, Washington Wizards
It can’t hurt to have a guy on my team who can so easily be mistaken for a reality TV star…right?
Only if my Nene stays healthy, which he hasn’t for a couple years now. If he is, though, he should rack up some sturdy numbers as one of two reliable members of the Washington Wizards’ front court.
Notables missed: Arron Afflalo (137th), Manu Ginobili (141st), Nick Young (144th)
8th Round (146th overall): Kris Humphries, PF, Boston Celtics
Speaking of reality TV stars…hi, Kris Humphries!
Basketball-wise, Humphries is another double-double machine (13-11 per 36 minutes for his career), if Brad Stevens grants him the minutes he needs with the Boston Celtics.
Notables missed: Chris Kaman (152nd), Jared Dudley (154th), Taj Gibson (165th)
9th Round (175th overall): Alex Len, C, Phoenix Suns
The Len “pick” looks better and better by the day. Sure, he’s a rookie, but now that he’s healthy enough to play (per Craig Grialou of Arizona Sports) and the Suns have already dumped Marcin Gortat, the No. 5 pick in the 2013 NBA Draft should have every opportunity to work through his growing pains in a productive way.
Notables missed: Luis Scola (176th), Ray Allen (183rd), Metta World Peace (185th)
10th Round (186th overall): Tony Allen, SG, Memphis Grizzlies
A few rebounds here, some steals there, and more than the occasional entertaining tweet. That’s pretty much what Tony Allen’s good for—from a fantasy standpoint anyway—but it ain’t half bad…
Notables missed: Jason Terry (188th), Martell Webster (201st), Chauncey Billups (208th)
11th Round (215th overall): Devin Harris, PG, Dallas Mavericks
Harris has had trouble staying healthy and might not be 100 percent for the start of the season, but once he’s ready to play, he’ll be the Dallas Mavericks’ third guard (per Tim McMahon of ESPNDallas.com). Also, he’s played in Big D before, so familiarity should help to smooth out the transition.
Notables missed: Darren Collison (216th), Ed Davis (219th), Reggie Evans (224th)
12th Round (226th overall): Alonzo Gee, SF, Cleveland Cavaliers
Gee will start at small forward for the Cavs, so there’s that. He’s good for about 10 points and four boards a night, with the occasional three-ball mixed in.
Notables missed: John Salmons (227th), Jeremy Lamb (231st), Ben Gordon (237th)
13th Round (255th overall): Boris Diaw, PF, San Antonio Spurs
If my fantasy league awarded points for rotundity, I’d play Boris Diaw every week. Portliness aside, Diaw will be asked to sop up caroms for the Spurs—when he’s not busy dishing like Pistol Pete, that is.
Notables missed: Kent Bazemore (256th), Al Harrington (257th), Thabo Sefolosha (260th, Mr. Irrelevant)
Overall, the results weren’t quite as bad as I thought they’d be. I should be all set on the defensive stats. Question is, where am I going to get my scoring, three-point shooting, and free-throw shooting from?
I suppose we’ll find out soon enough.
Next up…a look at my lineup for the week and who/what I’m up against.