We continue our Mock Draft, with Round Six.
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
61. Steve – Andray Blatche
62. Jeff – O.J. Mayo
63. Greg – Devin Harris
64. Tom – Blake Griffin
65. Steve – J.J. Hickson
66. Jeff – Eric Gordon
67. Greg – John Salmons
68. Tom – Manu Ginobili
69. Steve – Brandon Jennings
70. Jeff – Caron Butler
71. Greg – Andrew Bynum
72. Tom – Paul Millsap
SIXTH ROUND ANALYSIS
Steve Alexander: Round 6 is in the books and I went all ‘young gun’ here. Blatche, Hickson and Jennings are all upside guys, and all could easily return 3rd Round value this year. Blatche’s numbers over the second half last year were simply sick, Hickson is going to be a big part of the Cleveland offense and defense this year, and we all know that Brandon Jennings has the potential to pull a Stephen Curry if Scott Skiles allows it to happen. All three picks were gambles, but I like all three guys, and won’t hesitate to take any of them in the sixth round of a real draft. I will not be drafting Devin Harris this year – just gets hurt too often. Right time for Blake Griffin, John Salmons makes me a little nervous with Milwaukee being so deep, especially at the wings (see Corey Maggette), but it’s hard to argue with how he played for the Bucks last year. Manu Ginobili looks like a steal to me, Caron Butler offers extreme value in the 6th, as does Paul Millsap. And if Mr. Bynum can stay on the court for 70 games or so, he might end up being the steal of this round.
Jeff Andriesse: I’d consider myself fortunate to nab both O.J. Mayo and Caron Butler in the sixth round, although Butler does worry me a bit. Remember when he was mentioned in the same breath as late first-rounders just a few years ago? He should be more comfortable in Dallas this season and ready to contribute. It is tough to get steals this late from someone who can also do a lot of other things. I’m high on Eric Gordon, I think he takes it to the next level. Hickson can be good, but how many categories will he actually help you in? Remains to be seen, and I suspect he will be available in later rounds in most drafts. My knee aches seeing Blake Griffin’s name on the board, and that’s certainly a high-risk, high-reward (TM) selection. I never really want Manu Ginobili at drafts but always wish I had him at points during the season. Andray Blatche flat-out won me a championship last year. I do worry about him fitting in with Wall and Arenas, partly because Wall is a rookie and Arenas is nuts, but partly because Blatche is a bit of a head case himself who now craves shots. The chemistry here is suspect.
Greg Fox: I’m a little jealous of some of my colleagues’ choices in this round as I thought some of these guys would drop to the seventh. Blatche was a one-man gang the last few months for the Wizards in ’09-10 and remains their only low-post threat. Even with Arenas armed (literally) and ready to fire at will, Blatche should average 17 and 8 with more than a block. I like Tom’s selection of Blake Griffin at No. 64. He will be a perennial 20 and 10 man with excellent peripherals, but it may take him a few months to get in stride after missing a full year. Doctor A bedazzled us by grabbing J.J. Hickson at 65. I’m a big Hickson fan and truly believe that Mike Brown dug his own grave by giving him little to no daylight in last year’s playoffs. I plucked Devin Harris at No. 63, which is about 50 spots lower than he went last year. As a long-suffering Harris owner I should probably be shipped to an asylum for even considering drafting him again, but as brutal as he was last season, his numbers don’t look as tragic in comparison to his actual performance. I like Jeff’s pickup of the sweet-shooting Eric Gordon at No. 66 and I pounced on John Salmons a pick later. Salmons was about as impactful as Abner Goldstein as a member of the Bulls last season, but turned it all around after being traded to the up-and-coming Bucks (Salmons, not Goldstein). For my final pick of this round, I looked to the big feller, who quietly posted 15.0 points, 8.3 boards and 1.5 blocks last season for the Lakers. He is only 23, and as long as his knees allow it, has several terrific years ahead.
Tom Lorenzo: Blatche was a popular pick this round. I think we all had him on our radar. Steve got a nice one there. I also like the O.J. Mayo pick. I think we’re going to see him take a step in the right direction this season. He’s too talented not to. I went upside with Griffin. That’s the kind of pick — and this is the kind of round — where you end up winning your league. We know that Griffin is a super talent, it’s just a matter of whether he realizes that talent this season and if he’s able to stay healthy. I was willing to take the chance in the 6th. Hickson and Gordon are two other upside picks who can really pay off in the end. Hickson may end up being the most valuable Cav this season, though I’m not sure that’s saying much. Manu I couldn’t leave on the board. He’s a nice value pick in this round. Probably could have even jumped on him sooner. Finally, I took Millsap at the end of the round thinking that he’s going to break out this season. I’m not really worried about the addition of Al Jefferson to the Jazz. Maybe if I were a Mehmet Okur owner I would be, but not as a Millsap owner. I think both can and will co-exist in the paint nicely.