We are so used to the NBA moving at a rapid pace, transitioning from the regular season to the playoffs, then the Draft followed by free agency, that when there’s a lull, we find ourselves asking: “Now what?”
And there’s not just a lull in the real-life NBA. No, not at all. There’s a lull in fantasy as managers are yearning for another season.
Let’s conclude this series by picking from the No. 11 spot.
I don’t think you’ll find Durant here at No. 11 overall, but I do have to admit that I did find myself considering taking Trae Young here, given the Brooklyn drama. But I’ll take one of the best players in the league here to build my team foundation.
Breakout season for Edwards? Breakout season for Edwards. The new-look Timberwolves are going to be stout defensively inside, and they’ll be counting on Karl-Anthony Towns to space the floor and shoot more threes. The court will open up for Edwards, who will vault into the first round next year.
The wheels have to fall off eventually for Paul, but it won’t be this year. The Suns are somehow overlooked this year all because of the blowout season-ending loss in the playoffs. Paul played 65 games last year and 70 the two prior seasons. If we can get at least 65 from Paul again, we’ll return the value.
I’ve regretted waiting too long on big men in my last two mocks, so this is as far as I was going to push it to get my first center. Give me Allen, who will help me defensively and on the boards.
Maxey elevated his game last year and didn’t slow down with Harden’s arrival. We are seeing some correction with the rankings with Maxey, as he’s up about two rounds from where he was before. Capitalize on his value here for the third-year guard out of Kentucky.
Last mock, it was Zion Williamson that I got in Round 6. This mock, it’s his teammate. Why is Ingram here at No. 69 overall? I have no idea, but it doesn’t make sense as he should be a Round 3 or 4 player. But I’ll “jump” ADP to get him here in the first part of Round 6 instead of him going at the tail end.
“Sexton, the focal piece of the Mitchell deal, lost rounds upon rounds of ADP in Yahoo’s latest update. If you can get him in the last round, enjoy the huge W. We are looking around huge volume, huge scoring opportunities, and a player I’d feel good about taking in Round 7.” That’s what I said in the last mock two weeks ago. In the latest upgrade, Sexton is here, in Round 7. I’ll keep my word.
Capela’s game doesn’t play well in this era of the NBA, and the Hawks would be well-served to clear room for Onyeka Okongwu. But until then, I get a big boost in blocks and rebounds.
With Kyle Anderson gone and Jaren Jackson Jr. hurt (again), the Grizzlies are going to need Clarke and Zaire Williams to step up in a big way this year. Clarke will provide really good rebounding and defensive stats for you.
Barrett is staying in New York, as the Knicks missed out on Donovan Mitchell. What’s more, they locked him up to a long-term deal. Look, he might not ever be the 1A guy on your team, but he can be 1B. For fantasy, he’s an underrated scorer that will contribute across the board as the focal point of the offense.
We saw glimpses of what Jackson could do last year when he got the run we wanted him to have, and while he won’t be starting, we could see him finish. What’s more, with Myles Turner likely to be dealt – we’ve said this so many times before, I know – Jackson could take the starting role and run with it. It’s worth the upside here.
Simons finished No. 102 last year on the Player Rater, so I like getting him here at this price. I’m expecting a huge year from Damian Lillard, but there will still be enough usage for Simons to put up top-100 numbers.
Is there a risk? Yes. Do we have many updates? Not really, no. But the thing is – if Simmons doesn’t work out, you’re fine since you’re passing on guys like Bruce Brown and Grant Williams for him. But if he hits, you’re getting a former All-NBA player and fourth- to fifth-round value with your last pick.
PG: Chris Paul
SG: Anthony Edwards
G: Tyrese Maxey
SF: Brandon Ingram
PF: Kevin Durant
F: Brandon Clarke
C: Jarrett Allen
C: Clint Capela
UTIL: Collin Sexton
UTIL: R.J. Barrett
Bench: Isaiah Jackson
Bench: Anfernee Simons
Bench: Ben Simmons
I have to be honest here. I love this team. Of the four I mocked, this stands above the rest for me.
It’s more of a veteran-led, boring team, but boring is good.
The biggest risks I have are Simmons, Paul’s age and health, and Durant’s, well, situation.
I’m definitely hurting in three-point shooting, but I trust my ability to make up for that deficiency with the scoring and defensive depth I have.
In all, I give my team an A.