Dr. A's mock first-round fantasy draft
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Steve Alexander /
Posted: 4 hours ago
I thought I'd throw a mock first-round fantasy draft out there this week.
I know this is only one round, but it should prompt some interesting discussions. I may try to do a round per week for the next few weeks, recapping the previous rounds each time. We'll see what happens.
Mock Fantasy Draft, First Round 2005
1. LeBron James
While most people will tell you Kevin Garnett is the automatic first pick, I'm not so sure. His knee scares me a little; he has a new coach and Minnesota's franchise is in a bit of turmoil after last season's debacle. I'm thinking LeBron is set to start dismantling records and will be playing with much more confidence than ever this year. Don't be afraid to take him with the first-overall pick.
2. Kevin Garnett
As I said above, his knee is a little shaky, making him a slightly risky pick, at least compared to LeBron. Like LeBron, KG does it all, and where you take him in the first round is almost a matter of personal preference. Needless to say, he'll have another fantastic year as long as he is healthy. Fantasy hoops is all about games played, and I see him missing more games than LeBron this season.
3. Tim Duncan
Duncan may be the safest pick in the draft, although his nagging ankle problems, combined with his Shaq-like performance at the line at times makes him a little more risky than usual. However, he's still Tim Duncan, and you can't go wrong taking him in the first round.
4. Tracy McGrady
T-Mac is set to have a huge year, as he's now comfortable in Jeff Van Gundy's offense. The addition of Stromile Swift should make him an even more valuable player this year. He's going to be draining a ton of threes and taking it to the hole every night.
5. Kobe Bryant
Kobe is another injury concern, but Phil Jackson is back and the offense is going to start and end with Kobe. After playing in all 82 games in 2002, he played in just 65 in 2003 and 66 games last year. You need 80 games out of your first-round pick, so Kobe gives a few reasons for concern. Again, if you love Kobe, you can take him with any pick in the first round without too many worries, unless he plays in 60-something games again.
6. Andrei Kirilenko
AK-47 played in just 41 games last year after missing a total of six games over the previous two seasons. He literally does it all, and his potential for blocks makes him a great fantasy player. He should be fully healthy this year and go back to playing close to 80 games for a depleted Utah team. He will be the focal point of the Jazz's offense and is a great pick anywhere in the first round.
7. Amare Stoudemire
We all saw how dominant Amare was last year, and he should fare even better this upcoming season. There's a slight concern that Kurt Thomas may eat up some of his boards, but I think Thomas will hurt Shawn Marion's numbers more than he will affect Amare. If you can get him at seven, I would think that's a great pickup.
8. Dirk Nowitzki
Dirk may be a little low at eight, but he's dealing with his best friend and mentor's legal problems in Europe, and his gimpy ankles always concern me. However, he's a warrior and will likely play in most games. He's only missed 11 games in the past three seasons, but he could miss that many this year alone. Without Michael Finley around (the Mavs are going to part ways with him), Dirk could be poised for his best year yet. We'll see.
9. Shaquille O'Neal
Shaq is always a tough call, as his free throw percentage is just scary. If your league doesn't count free throw percentage, he's a solid first rounder. If you do count the percentage, he's probably better suited for the second round. If you take Shaq, and keep him all year, it will be almost impossible for you to finish better than last in that category. He only missed nine games last year, which was somewhat surprising, as he had missed 15 in each of the previous two seasons. My advice in free-throw pecentage leagues is to pass on Shaq altogether. But if Stoudemire and Duncan are gone, he's the next best big man around.
10. Allen Iverson
Iverson was a great point guard last year, despite the injury risk, and took Steve Nash to the ropes for the MVP award. He should have another great year in Philly and is worth every bit of a first-round selection. He probably won't miss more than 12 games this year.
11. Dwyane Wade
Wade is another injury risk, playing in just 61 games his rookie year. He did play in 77 of 82 games last year, but he played hurt in a lot of games. Maybe he will avoid the injury bug this season, and if he does, look for huge numbers from him.
12. Steve Nash
Nash is a tough call at the end of the first round, and many people will tell you to take Shawn Marion or Jason Kidd in front of him. I'm saying to take Nash, as we all know what's going to happen with him. He's going to run the Suns' offense all year and rack up huge assist numbers along the way, to go along with good shooting percentages and points.
Marion's rebounds will likely take a hit with Kurt Thomas around, and Kidd has so many offensive weapons around him that his points per game will likely decline. Moreover, his shooting percentage will continue to bring his value down.
Other guys I considered for the first round included Vince Carter, Jermaine O'Neal, Kidd, Marion, Baron Davis, Gilbert Arenas and Paul Pierce. However, I see them all going in the second round.
Steve Alexander (Dr A.) runs the NBA coverage for Rotoworld.com. He also covers the PGA Tour, NFL, MLB and AFL as well, and successfully represents Rotoworld.com in expert fantasy hoops leagues. The 2004-2005 season marks his third year of covering hoops for Rotoworld.com.