We continue our Mock Draft, with Round Four.
Rules: 8-category rotisserie league, 12 teams, 10 rounds, picking best available player (not building teams).
The participants: Steve Alexander (Rotoworld), Jeff Andriesse, Tom Lorenzo and Greg Fox (Damn Lies).
DAMN LIES & STATISTICS MOCK DRAFT
37. Steve – David West
38. Jeff – Troy Murphy
39. Greg – Marc Gasol
40. Tom – Zach Randolph
41. Steve – Jason Richardson
42. Jeff – Stephen Jackson
43. Greg – Kevin Martin
44. Tom – John Wall
45. Steve – Antawn Jamison
46. Jeff – Paul Pierce
47. Greg – Joakim Noah
48. Tom – Kevin Love
FOURTH ROUND ANALYSIS
Steve Alexander: Round 4 featured several safe, boring picks for me, which is generally not the way I like to do it. But David West, Jason Richardson and Antawn Jamison are all going to have good years, just like they always do. And Jamison is especially intriguing, as he looks like the lone gunman in Cleveland (yes, Mo Williams and J.J. Hickson are going to also be pretty good). Nothing too shocking here. I like Steve Jackson and Zach Randolph in Round 4, and it’s the right time to take Kevin Martin, as well. However, the thing about Kev-Mart is not deciding when to take him, but if to take him. You need to decide before your draft starts if A. you want to deal with him, regardless of how far he falls and B. What is the earliest you’d consider taking him? The fourth round sounds about right, but I won’t be drafting him this year. John Wall became the first rookie off the board, while Paul Pierce went a little higher in this draft than he did my last couple. I think Pierce in Round 5 or 6 is great value, but Round 4 makes him just a tad risky. And for the record, I have become a huge Joakim Noah fan.
Jeff Andriesse: Troy Murphy felt like a disappointment last year, but the final numbers – 14.6 PPG, 10.2 RPG, 1.8 3FG – are only a tad worse that his other-worldly 2008-09 campaign. I grabbed Stephen Jackson next, he of the 21.1 PPG-5.3 RPG-3.6 APG-1.6 3FG-1.6 SPG-78.6 FT% stat line as a Bobcat. Who cares if I left out his field goal percentage and turnovers. S-Jax should have the green light again this year, and should see his assists rise as Ray Felton is out of town. Paul Pierce is a safe pick at the end of the fourth, and should present a solid investment if he repeats his numbers from a year ago. Elsewhere, I almost grabbed David West in the third round and agree that a healthy Chris Paul will be good for his numbers. John Wall this high? Sure, why not? I got Stephen Curry in the 16th round of a draft last year and fantasy owners are not going to let the clear top rookie slip. If Kevin Love isn’t traded by David Kahn for a point guard before the season starts, he’ll get nearly every rebound in Minny.
Greg Fox: How ridiculous was Zach Randolph last year? Just when we thought he’d get lost in the shuffle on a talented Memphis squad, he comes through with nearly 21 and 12 with a steal to boot. There’s no way he does that again, but at No. 40, it’s worth finding out. Taken one spot ahead of him by yours truly is no longer the answer to “Who was on the other end of the most lopsided trade of brothers in the history of sports, both organized and disorganized”? While Marc is not at the level of the uber-talented Pau, he is closing the gap. His numbers in last season’s breakout (14.6 ppg, 9.3 rpg, 1.6 bpg, 1.0 spg, 58% fg) speak for themselves and he accomplished this as one of few non-ballhogs in the Grizzlies starting five. A chill ran down my spine seeing Stephen Jackson go off the board at No. 42, and Tom insists that John will not hit the rookie Wall as the 19-year old will try to right the disaster in the nation’s capitol. I was thrilled to absorb Joakim Noah at No. 47, but can’t you see him pulling a Ricky Williams at some point and taking a few years off to roam the earth and smoke some ganja? I think Kevin Love is going to have a big year… at least as long as he remains on the floor when the T’Wolves are down 40 midway through the third quarter.
Tom Lorenzo: I really like the David West pick by Dr. A. As I said in my third-round blurb, I was considering taking him at the end of the third. With Chris Paul back at the helm West should be in for a big year. I took Randolph after both Gasol and Murph came off the board. I’m not looking for a career-year out of Randolph, but it is worth noting that he is playing for a contract. Money talks. The Kevin Martin pick works, but only if he can remain on the court. We’ll have to see. I jumped on John Wall toward the end of the fourth round because I didn’t think he would get back to me. Of course, with the way that the rookie point guards performed last season I might get great return on that investment. I was also happy to snag Kevin Love at the end of the round. Without Al Jefferson in Minny there is a possibility that Love could lead the league in rebounding — or at least finish in the Top 5.