1) iccoachb: Wilt Chamberlain,
Wilt 2.3 (4,2,1)
WTL: Mortal LOCK for the league MVP if the 66-67 season is used. LY in the sim made 4 fewer shots than LeBron in 445 fewer attempts, his impact on a team’s efg can’t be stressed enough. Led my championship squad in assists at 7.7pg, meaning Wilt is basically 2/3 of a PG (32 more than LeBron LY). Also won the rebounding title LY in the sim. Can be used for a full 48mpg with minimal fatigue, NEVER fouls. Gives you an advantage in so many areas he should almost be banned from use in this league.
WNTL: Serious hack at the stripe (218 for 475 .469% LY) so you better draft a closer from the line or he can cost you many a game at the end. Only 18.5 usage, so to maximize his attempts you need to keep him as your 2nd or 3rd usage guy, meaning one or two top-tier usage guys are still needed for the team AND some lower usage players as well. Turns the ball over A LOT. Salary hit of $12.3 mill in a $47mill cap league is a MAJOR issue to overcome when trying to draft enough quality minutes at the other positions with less than $35mill to play with, so your flexibility to build a winner with him is severely limited IMO.
Value: I’d take him #1 if given the chance. It’s a difficult build so you can really blow your draft if you are not very careful with your budget, but knowing Wilt will anchor your C position for 48mpg as long as you rest him during the blowouts gives you great piece of mind in this league.
Ray Allen 35.7 (45,37,25)
Gary Payton 61.3 (48,76,60)
Looks a lot like last season’s championship squad with the insertion of Payton over Kobe. Allen is the other player I was personally considering way back at the 27th pick; his performance in the playoffs last season literally carried me to a title, in 15 playoff games he averaged 30.9ppg, going 70/144 from the arc (48.6%) and 74/80 (92.5%) from the stripe, his efg was 59.6% and he only had 25 fouls in 15 games. Tar took him in this league in season 42 with the 25th pick, I did not let him get out of the 2nd round in the previous two seasons, Allen’s D rating of 40 keeps others here from taking him, but with this 6-point usage season he gives you outside shooting that is on a very short list of the best in the entire sim. I love this pick obviously. Payton is not Kobe, both from a good and from a bad point of view. He does not hog the ball like Kobe and brings more assists to table, both sport a 90D rating which is CRITICAL when you already have Allen in your backcourt. There are a few different seasons to pick from here. With this start icc will be hard-pressed not to be a serious playoff contender.
Remaining Needs: more rebounding help in the front court is a critical issue to address, Wilt is a monster but he needs some help to win the rebounding battle. Wilt and Allen never foul, this team is set up nicely to take on some rebounding foul monsters. Being VERY CAREFUL with the remaining cap space is also critical now, take another high-priced player and it will be near impossible to reach 19,100 minutes which IMO is the absolute floor for minutes in this league.
2) jhsukow: LeBron James,
Lebron 3.0 (6,1,2)
WTL: If surrounded with the proper set of players can give you everything you want and more from one of the G positions: boards, assists, high usage at insane 60% efg with 90 D and plays and guards any position on the court. The ultimate in flexibility. NEVER fouls, can win you many, many games all by himself (carried the #6 seed to the conference finals here LY). Adequate range from the arc.
WNTL: efg in the sim LY was only 56.4% LY, likely to exceed 300 turnovers if running up tempo. Gives you fewer than 36mpg for his $9.5mill+ investment in salary. I got LBJ into the mid-60’s in efg% in an OL because I loaded up on assists, IMO he needs that to excel in this league as well. Doesn’t give you any orb’s either so that needs to be addressed.
Value: Somehow both he and Wilt slipped to me at the #4 spot LY. I spent some time agonizing between the two as I have them ranked 1A and 1B on my own board. Give LBJ some assists and orb’s and keep the rest of your rotation out of his way and he can take you to a title in this league.
Mookie Blaylock 48.1 (44,47,55)
Ho Grant 61.7 (59,72,54)
Gus Johnson 111.0 (110,NA,112)
IMO Mookie is a fantastic player to pair in the backcourt with LBJ. He has a number of solid 90D season’s, one of which comes with 199 triples. Mookie creates the ability to assure that this squad can keep a 90D guard on the court at ALL times. I assume the plan here is to user a higher usage Mookie and for both to start then LeBron can complete Mookie’s minutes at the 1 or the 2. This entire league has trended heavily toward’s better D at the expense of efg. Mookie is a little light in the efg department but LeBron gives you so much of an advantage that you can afford some of the tradeoff. LeBron HAS to have ast% to be maximized, Mookie fills this need, and adds additional range for this squad. With this selection jhsukow is still ahead in the efg battle thanks to LeBron and is able to stay near the top in the D race as well, this is a solid pick.
Grant also has a number of solid seasons to select from with two generally being the choice to make between. There is the 1 usage point 78D, 57.8% efg, 30.6 creb, 8.3 ast% season or there is the 2 usage point 80D, 52.6% efg, 26.0 creb, 11.3 ast% season with 289 fewer minutes but is also about $1.2 mill cheaper. Both are solid season’s at SF in this league and Grant is a clean player that does not foul or turn it over much. It will be interesting to see which direction is taken with the season selection as the tradeoffs are between a lower impact at a higher rate in the shooting battle with a little less D and boards OR saving $1.6 mill for more impact on the shooting battle in slightly fewer minutes with less rebounding and a little more passing.
I’m not a big fan of the Gus Johnson pick, clearly this is for the 90D 38.6 creb season but the 20.0 usage with a 46.7% efg is a MAJOR shooting hit IMO. I think Johnson will be taking more shots than jhsukow may realize and he will be missing more than half of them. Yes, rebounding was needed but IMO in jhsukow’s chase to finish near the top of the team D battle he may have traded off too much of the overwhelming efg advantage Lebron game this team at the start.
Remaining Needs: rebounding is still needed of course as is being careful with any further tradeoffs between D and efg. At this point I would protect my efg, another mid-usage poor shooting player is last thing I would add to this squad now.
3) steelers821: Moses Malone,
Moses 4.0 (2,6,4)
WTL: A few different versions to choose from but the one used here LY played 42mpg and averaged 30.5ppg and 14.4 rpg and led banditone to a division title. Very low foul rate, gives you all the oreb’s you need, gets to the stripe and makes them at an above average rate (LY 450 for 578 .779%). Moses puts you way ahead in both the FTA and rebounding battles in this league. $10.3mill in salary is actually not a bad price in terms of per minute cost.
WNTL: Turnover machine at 347 LY. Missed 926 shots LY as his efg was good LY at 52.5% but far from elite. Doesn’t pass the ball, so you MUST take an excess of assists somewhere else on your squad or your team will not hit their RL pcts.
Value: IMO it’s a matter of preference pick here. Moses in on the perennial top-6 short list in this league and players 3-6 depend on how you want to build your squad.
Buck Williams 65.0 (54,61,80)
Steve Nash 62.0 (57,68,61)
Charles Oakley 94.3 (97,99,87)
I like this pick a lot for this team. Super strong rebounding and if you want he can give you an elite efg with 70-80D that can be used at the 3 or the 4 depending on what season is used, and there are a number of strong season’s to pick from. Uncle Buck does foul a lot both Moses has a low foul rate so you can afford to take on that negative here. Large range of usage to pick from here also, going from13.3 to 20, this is a great pick for flexibility later in the draft.
I like the Nash pick here as well. We all know what Nash brings: elite passing, elite shooting, few fouls, super elite arch shooting from a mid-usage guy. He also brings turnovers, a very low D, and does not rebound but his positives far outweigh his negatives IMO as long as you protect your squad from adding additional players with the same weaknesses.
On paper, the Oakley pick makes sense here as well. My assumption is that Steelers intends to play Oakely at the 4 and will most likely use his 41.1 creb 70D season. Oakley beings the efg down a but steelers positioned this squad to absorb that hit with the elite shooting of Nash and Buck and solid shooting of Moses. This team is now officially an absolute beast on the boards even with Steve Nash.
Remaining Needs: D help at the G position is needed desperately and the draft board is rapidly thinning out in terms of what’s left.
4) cmcafeeky: Michael Jordan,
MJ 3.0 (1-5-3)
WTL: If you pick one of the correct seasons then MJ can be pure gold in this league. However, if you botch both the season and the surrounding players then you can end up with a 59-loss team like icc did LY. MJ does NOT need another scorer on his squad, the team should be HIS and his alone IMO. There are at least two seasons that are neck and neck, and MJ can round you out in a number of areas, but much like RL give him a group that knows their roles and he can also head a championship squad.
WNTL: My only knock on MJ is that he primarily played before the 3ptFG was what it is today. He does have some adequate range seasons but they come with tradeoffs. There are very few negatives with MJ and he’s a darn fun guy to see in the boxscore twice a day.
Value: Like Moses and the next two guys on this tier he is a matter of preference pick IMO from 3-6 in this league. I have him 4th overall on my own board.
5) eleibowitz: Dennis Rodman,
The Worm 3.7 (3,3,5)
WTL: Seeing eleibowitz with the Worm may force me to alter my division draft board and actually face one of the three guys I noted below that I prefer to avoid this time. Pure domination on the boards (at the SF position nonetheless), and a 90D to boot. Does not get in the way on offense. Serious bang for the buck in terms of cap space for this league.
WNTL: Fouls a little bit more than other elite guys but it’s worth the tradeoff. Obviously much usage is needed later in the draft when the elite efg guys are off the board. Tends to have high turnovers for the usage rate. Drafting enough quality scoring has been the downfall for recent Rodman owners in this league.
Value: I have Rodman 3rd on my own board because of the overwhelming advantage he gives you on the glass and at a salary that won’t make things difficult later in the draft. Given what I know about how eleibowitz drafts this really is the LAST guy in the league the rest of us should be comfortable with having his hands on the Worm.
6) mikee1: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar,
Kareem 5.0 (5,4,6)
WTL: Kareem is an inside scoring machine if the proper season is selected. However, if you don’t use one of his monster scoring seasons then he should not be selected this high. LY the 91D 78-79 season was used in the ODL, IMO that is not a season worthy of the top-6. The 71-72 season on the other hand currently leads the dh$52 league in scoring at 34.1ppg. Use the proper season and you have all of the inside scoring you need. He does have a number of quality season’s to select from, but if you are picking him this high then IMO you should be locking yourself into a high usage / high scoring season unless something crazy happens later in the draft and you have the option to draft numerous players that should already be off of the board.
WNTL: If the high scoring season is used it generally comes with at least 300+ turnovers. Kareem’s best scoring season come with adequate D and rebounding but he is far from elite in these areas. His 71-72 season is good for 44mpg but it comes with an almost $11.6mill cap hit.
Value: If you plan to use one of Kareem’s monster scoring seasons then IMO he should be 6th on the board and there is a tier break below him. If you don’t plan to use one of those seasons then he does not belong in the top-6 and the tier break is after the 5 guys above him.
7) smokey57: K. Malone,
The Mailman 8.7 (9,7,10)
8) malone9975: Dwight Howard,
Superman 8.3 (7,11,7)
9) theyard: Shaquille O'Neal,
The Daddy 10.7 (11,12,9)
10) ashamael: Kevin Durant,
KD 13.0 (8,8,23) (23 was prior to 12-13 season)
11) dh555: Chris Paul,
CP3 13.0 (11,15,14)
12) banditone: Julius Erving,
Dr J 22.7 (29,20,19)
13) jcred5: Dwyane Wade, Stephen Curry, Donyell Marshall, Larry Sanders, Samuel Dalembert
14) jkaye24: David Robinson, Chauncey Billups, Carlos Boozer, Brent Barry, Chris Gatling
15) tarheel1991: Artis Gilmore, Shawn Marion, Tracy McGrady, Al Horford, Don Buse
16) ncmusician: Charles Barkley, Manu Ginobilli, Serge Ibaka, Dale Davis, Nate McMillan
17) amerk1180: Larry Bird, Dikembe Mutombo, Fat Lever, Josh Smith, Chris Webber
18) xxevilivexx: John Stockton, Scottie Pippen, Elton Brand, Wes Unseld
19) benhoidal: Magic Johnson, Kevin Garnett, Arvydas Sabonis, Clifford Ray, Andre Drummond
20) carbonjones: Hakeem Olajuwon, Walt Frazier, Bobby Jones, Joakim Noah, Ron Harper
21) thisredbox: Tim Duncan, Kobe Bryant, Gerald Wallace, Tree Rollins, Bo Outlaw
Tim Duncan 21.0 (21,14,28)
The Big Fundamental
WTL: Some flexibility as you can go with a 4-point 100D better efg with slightly less boards and assists or a couple of different 6-point 90+D adequate efg with better boards and passing seasons. Deciding on the season generally is determined by what the rest of your draft brings you. No matter what Duncan you pick he can give you 40+mpg of very clean play down low of elite defense, adequate rebounding and passing and adequate to really good efg.
WNTL: The 6-point usage seasons don’t come with 100D and the efg for these seasons is just above or at the league average, so if you pick one of these more efg is needed. The 4-point season gives you the 100D you want and a rock solid 54.9efg but this version will shoot the ball far less in the sim and his 32.5 creb if far from elite for a big in this league, he keeps you in the game on the boards but at least ½ of te league is likely to have an advantage over you. All-in-all there is little not to like about Duncan, except maybe that his FT shooting is a drag for his 100D season at 66.2%.
Value: An average draft position of 21.0 in the previous three leagues and thisredbox took him with the 21st pick this time, so his value in terms of the pick used to take him is spot on. He is a guy that gives you a clean start to a squad and a nice advantage on D for a league that as I have mentioned before has trended heavily that way.
Kobe Bryant 64.7 (52,67,75)
Gerald Wallace 85.3 (67,139,50)
Tree Rollins 116.5 (115,118,NA)
Bo Outlaw NA (NA,NA,104)
If there is one person that would swear by Kobe in the ODL then it’s me. His 90D keeps the elite shooting guards of your opponents honest. He draw fouls and closes games for you on the level of MJ, Wade, and LeBron. He has some flexibility of season use depending on your cap situation, I have used three different season’s for him in this league, 07-08 got me to the finals, 05-06 strolled to the scoring title and a 2nd round exit, and 08-09 played a slightly lessor role with Ray Allen and Wilt last season. 05-06 is best used only if you want to win the scoring title and put a lot of low usage players around Kobe. 08-09 costs about $1mill less in cap space and is the one to use if your budget is tight, 06-07 and 07-08 Kobe are very similar, the first in on the 8-point tier and the latter just below it at 31.9 usage. The bottom line with Kobe is that his efg is likely to end up between 50-51, he will cost you 10-15 games by missing 25 or more shots, but he is also likely to win you 30-35 games in this league all by himself for the games when no one, and I mean no one in the sim can stop him.
Some people here may think Kobe went WAY too early, but it was highly doubtful that e would have fallen to the end of the 3rd round for thisredbox, so taking him when he did was the only way to get him IMO. His next three picks of G Wallace, Rollins and Outlaw show a complete commitment to his previous strategy of utilizing 90-100D for as many minutes as possible and winning by completely shutting down opponents. Both Wallace and Rollins were part of his league best 57-win finals appearance squad from last season. Reach member of this trio brings a little something to the table with him along with a 90-100D rating.
Remaining Needs: The scary thing for 20 teams in this league is that thisredbox may pick YOU to be in his division. IMO it will take a really elite efg to take a division from this squad. Teams that sport a mediocre efg and D will be in serious trouble against this squad. I expect the final two picks to maintain the D, thisredbox may have to dip a little below 90 to add some triples and I pretty much know who he may select since I could not make him fit my own roster, he will also likely add some more passing or rebounding, however Outlaw and Wallace chip in well for assists and Rollins gives you great boards, so this squad is not too far behind in those areas. His efg will be far from elite in this league, but it’s clear that the plan here is that elite D can win a title here without elite shooting, we will see.
22) natenoy: Ben Wallace, Jerry Lucas, Amare Stoudemire, Clyde Drexler
23) felonius: Bill Russell, Anfernee Hardaway, Marques Johnson, David Lee
Bill Russell 28.3 (28,21,12)
The Lord of the Rings
WTL: A complete lockdown of super-elite rebounding minutes for virtually the entire game with solid D, great passing for a big, and a super-low foul rate. Russell puts you way ahead in the rebounding battle and gives you solid down low D with passing that allows you to neglect both passing and rebounding at some other positions. As felon has pointed out many a time, WIS screws Russell by not making him a 90-100D player in all seasons except one, but he gives you enough of an advantage in the aforementioned areas that he is a real prize anywhere in the mid to late first round.
WNTL: The good news is that his usage is low enough not to crush you in the efg battle but when he does shoot the ball it is more likely to be a miss than a make. Also Shaq is a proud graduate of the Bill Russell school of free throw shooting, so don’t expect any miracles when he goes to the stripe.
Value: He has gone as high as 12 in the previous three drafts and never dropped below 28. I spent a ton of time giving him serious consideration at the 22nd pick. There is no doubt that his areas of weakness can be offset by your remaining picks and that his advantages are so overwhelming that he gives you serious padding in a number of critical areas for the rest of the draft. Plus for the minutes he offers at the cap hit you take for him he becomes one the best “value” picks anywhere from about pick 12 onward in this league.
Anfernee Hardaway 31.0 (30,32,31)
Marques Johnson 69.7 (69,77,63)
David Lee NA (NA,126,NA)
Penny’s status as an early 2nd rounder has been solidified in the previous three drafts as he has not fallen past the 32nd pick. Thisredbox used Penny as the primary sidekick for D Wade last season and rode his premium team D and that combo to a league best 57 wins and a finals appearance. Unlike other players in the sim when you draft Penny you are almost certainly locking into a specific season. He was two that are plausible and one comes with only 60D versus the other with 83D, so you pretty much lock into the 95-96 Penny when you take him this early no matter what happens in the remainder of the draft. This Penny is super-clean, low foul rate, really low tov% for a floor general , 4-point usage with a great 54.9 efg, a handful of triples and a low FGA/FTA ratio meaning he will draw fouls but won’t commit many of them. His ast% is a little low for a primary PG at 23.9, felon’s boost from Russell goes a long way in offsetting that, his boards are average, but again Russell can carry a team in that area unless it’s completely neglected.
Marques is a solid 3 that be utilized at the 2 at 95% if you dare. He has one truly elite season available as well but it offers 74D, a solid 53.1 efg in the 2-point usage tier and an absolutely insane 30.3 creb. This pick keeps felon way ahead in the rebounding battle and even though the fouls are a tad on the high side both Penny and Russell are so low that he can easily absorb that.
Lee actually offers a few seasons worth using here, his efg ranges from really strong to elite, his boards also range from strong (mid 30’s creb) to elite (40+creb) and he can pass a little. The biggest knock on Lee is his sub-40 D. He does have the one partial season that offers a 60% efg, 40D and 40.1creb, which is the one I assume felon intends to use.
Remaining Needs: Patience, enjoy the draft more and savor that extra time to analyze what everyone is doing. In terms of his squad I expect that felon will add an elite 3-point shooter and perhaps some more assists with his final three picks. His usage in the paint is very low at this point so I think we will certainly see another scoring big added to this squad. There is a chance felon will take another 4-point PG to maintain a consistent backcourt usage as well.
24) scudmissle: Oscar Robertson, Jason Kidd, Patrick Ewing, Swen Nater
Oscar Robertson 32.3 (38,16,43)
Jason Kidd 23.3 (22,24,24)
WTL: This is a unique pairing of two of the most elite PG’s in the sim. There is a serious range of season flexibility for both of these guys, it will be interesting to see what direction scud takes with this combo as they both have a large range in usage as well. Both play solid D and can pass. Both also offer season’s in the sim that are near the very top of any search of rebounding advanced stats for both the PG and SG positions. Scud will be able to assure himself a floor general is on the court at all times as the plan is likely to have one backfill any remaining PG minutes the other cannot fill.
WNTL: Big-O costs a ton for his most elite seasons and the pace of the NBA was so different when he played that a majority of his RL numbers could never be reached in the sim. Kidd’s best efg seasons are low usage and his best D seasons are sub-50 efg. Picking the proper combination of seasons could be a challenge. The Big-O also can be a turnover machine at times.
Value: Kidd has gone to the person on the turn in two of the previous three drafts and went 22nd in the other draft, so his value on the board has been well established and is very consistent. Oscar on the other hand has gone anywhere from mid-1st to mid and late-2nd. IMO this combo offers a unique opportunity to dominate rebounding at the G position and is worth the gamble.
Patrick Ewing 66.5 (43,NA,90)
Swen Nater 87.0 (102,106,53)
Ewing is a very unique player for this league and is the kind of player that is either taken in the 2nd or 3rd round or not at all. He has three great seasons to pick from for this league, two from the 4-point tier that offer either 82D with 56.7 efg or 92D with 55.5 efg. He also has 6-point 88D 55.1 efg season. Basically Ewing can offer a squad the majority of the inside scoring it needs at a near elite efg level and plays elite D in the process. One of the issues people have with Ewing (aside from turnover on the high side) is that is light on rebounding and heavy on fouls, which can be a real nasty combination down low in this league when facing bigs that either out-rebound him, draw a ton of fouls from him, or do both like a Wilt, Shaq, or Admiral are likely to do. Given the rebounding advantage at G and his subsequent pick IMO scud can afford the lack of rebounds and the tradeoff of adding D and efg is a net positive with this pick.
Nater is an elite rebounding big with a great efg who gets passed over because of the heavy trend towards rebounding in this league. This pick was the best of the draft for scud IMO, because a Ewing/Nater combo balances out the team. Nater can get the boards Ewing can’t and Ewing can play the D that Nater can’t, and BOTH have a solid efg down low.
Remaining Needs: Certainly not rebounding at this point. Kidd can offer some arc range and Oscar can provide a moderate amount but it’s obvious that some volume range shooting is a critical need at the 3 for scud. He can afford to go sub-50D if he has to or can keep his above average D intact. The best bombers in the D can be less than ideal in this league because they usually either can’t pass, can’t play enough D and can almost never give you enough boards, but scud has his ast% locked up, has his floor generals and has locked down a upper-level rebounding team even with Ewing on it. Cap space may be tight now as well, but I except scud to land some serious bombers with his final picks and perhaps another big to round out the Ewing/Nater combo.