We continue our Mock Draft, with Round Eight.
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
85. Steve – DeMarcus Cousins
86. Jeff – Mike Conley
87. Greg – Anderson Varejao
88. Tom – Jrue Holiday
89. Steve – Trevor Ariza
90. Jeff – Rodney Stuckey
91. Greg – D.J. Augustin
92. Tom – Channing Frye
93. Steve – Andrei Kirilenko
94. Jeff – Tony Parker
95. Greg – Ben Gordon
96. Tom – Ray Allen
EIGHTH ROUND ANALYSIS
Steve Alexander: Round 8 saw me land DeMarcus Cousins, Trevor Ariza and Andrei Kirilenko. This might have been a reach for Cousins, but it felt right after he went a full two rounds earlier in my last mock draft. But there are a lot of bigs in Sacramento and Carl Landry is going to be a beast this year. But this was the time to take Cousins, and if I’d waited, he would have been gone. As for Ariza and AK-47, I assume both will be improved this year. Ariza couldn’t throw it in the ocean, as his cover was blown. He simply didn’t look like a guy prepared to carry the offensive load for an NBA team. But this year, Yao should be back and Kevin Martin is on hand, and when you combine those two with Aaron Brooks, Ariza is going to be able to linger in the shadows and perform his role. He’s not going to lead the team in scoring, but his shooting should be much improved, and he’ll get enough steals, blocks, assists, boards and threes to return solid 8th-round value. I really don’t see any bad picks here, although I am not expecting a repeat performance from Channing Frye, or a big year from D.J. Augustin, depsite the fact the Bobcats still don’t have any point guards. But this was the right spot to take both of those guys, as well.
Jeff Andriesse: DeMarcus Cousins is one of those cats you just know is going to make you wish you took him, and Steve did just that. Beat me to it. I ended up taking three point guards here, so the eighth round should give you a good idea of where the middle-tier PGs can be had. I like Mike Conley to improve his numbers this season without the specter of Allen Iverson looming. Rodney Stuckey has to compete with plenty of guards in Detroit capable of taking his minutes, but he has proven he is a legit NBA player. Tony Parker has fallen thanks to a blah season, but the Spurs could lean on him again if he’s healthy. I know Tom is a big Jrue Holiday fan but with Evan Turner and Lou Williams looming he might not get a chance to take off this season. I’m not sure I want Channing Frye as one of my fantasy starters as you’re going to have to carry a center/forward who doesn’t rebound or block. One of these years D.J. Augustin has to take off, right?
Greg Fox: The eighth round is where we begin to find a few diamonds in the rough and that is what I think I have in Varejao at No. 87. Shaq, along with LeBron’s little buddy Zydrunas Ilgauskas, are both gone leaving the middle to the hard-nosed Brazilian. A double-double with a block-and-a-half per game is not out of the question. I’m also taking a chance that D.J. Augustin is ready to man the point with Ray Felton out of town. Augustin is capable of big 3-point numbers, but I’m concerned that he’ll be vying with the cockeyed Brandon Jennings for worst shooting percentage in the league. I tapped Ben Gordon at 95. The explosive UConn product lost seven points on his scoring average last season, but that was in large part due to injury and a pathetic coaching job by John Kuester. I think he gets his average back up to the 18-point range with tons of threes and nice shooting percentages. I’m a big fan of Tony Parker in real life and I consider him an underrated fantasy player. As we saw two years ago, if an injury befalls Tim Duncan or Manu Ginobili, Parker is capable of putting up stupid scoring numbers. He can also average 5-6 assists per night and is one of few point guards who can flirt with 50 percent shooting from the field. Jeff grabbed Conley at 86, banking on the fact that he turned it on late last season. The problem with Conley is that for three straight years he has turned it on late, but his overall totals are mediocre at best. Ariza is a nice value pick for Doctor A at 89. He produces tons of grotesque 2-for-12s, but every night he provides relief in different areas, particularly steals and threes.
Tom Lorenzo: Cousins should be the second rookie to come off draft boards — as he was in our case. I like the young point guards in this round. Conley always starts off slow, but maybe this is the year he puts a complete season together. Holiday, in mind, has the potential to be a Russell Westbrook type of point guard this year. Not as good as Westbrook was in year two, but on his way to reaching that level. I also like Augustin. It appears that Larry Brown does too, which is good news for Greg. Toward the end of the round I jumped on Channing Frye. I’m not sure he can match his ’09-10 season numbers, but if I can get 1.5 threes out of my center that’s a nice bonus. At the end, two shooters went in Gordon and Allen. Gordon had an awful year last season, and there’s some reason to believe that he can turn it around this year. He has to, right? Allen is on the downturn of his career, but I drafted him for his 3-point shooting and FT%. Those should still be there this year.