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NBA Mock Draft: RotoWire Staff Mock Draft

James Anderson

James Anderson

James Anderson is a University of Minnesota graduate, with allegiances to the Packers, Brewers, Bucks (sigh) and Gophers (double sigh). He is an editor and scribe at Rotowire.com, primarily focused on basketball and baseball. In 2013 he was a FSWA finalist for Fantasy Basketball writer of the year.

We recently conducted a mock draft with the fantasy basketball experts at RotoWire. The 12-owner draft was based on standard head-to-head, nine-category scoring (FG%, FT%, points, three-pointers, rebounds, assists, steals, blocks, and turnovers).

Round 1 Player Pos Team Writer
R1 P1 James, LeBron SF MIA Justin Mertes-Mistretta
R1 P2 Durant, Kevin SF OKC Ed Kensik
R1 P3 Love, Kevin PF MIN Shannon McKeown
R1 P4 Westbrook, Russell PG OKC James Anderson
R1 P5 Paul, Chris PG LAC Mike Barner
R1 P6 Smith, Josh SF ATL Kyle McKeown
R1 P7 Nowitzki, Dirk PF DAL Jeff Stotts
R1 P8 Wade, Dwyane PG MIA Peter Schoenke
R1 P9 Jefferson, Al PF UTA Eric Caturia
R1 P10 Bryant, Kobe SG LAL Jacob Guth
R1 P11 Anthony, Carmelo SF NY Andre Snellings
R1 P12 Gasol, Marc C MEM Chris Morgan

Round One
Expect LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Kevin Love to be the top three players off the board in the majority of drafts, as was the case here. I agree with Justin's selection of LeBron with the top pick, but I'm guessing Ed wasn't too broken up about getting Durant at two. After that, it gets a lot more interesting. Westbrook is money in the bank every year, and I'm expecting him to be even better this year after the invaluable experience of playing with Team USA this summer. Dirk Nowitzki was expected to go in the first round, though I would've opted for someone younger with more upside and less health-related questions. Bryant probably shouldn't go in the first round ahead of guys like Greg Monroe, James Harden or Deron Williams, but there's no guarantee that Jacob could get Bryant with his second-round pick, and there's nothing wrong with guaranteeing that you get the guy you want in the first round. It was also interesting to see Al Jefferson and Marc Gasol as the first two centers off the board. Center is definitely a position this year where you'll find a lot of disagreement among experts on where guys should be ranked.

Round 2 Player Pos Team Writer
R2 P1 Aldridge, LaMarcus PF POR Chris Morgan
R2 P2 Monroe, Greg C DET Andre Snellings
R2 P3 Williams, Deron PG BRO Jacob Guth
R2 P4 Gortat, Marcin C PHO Eric Caturia
R2 P5 Harden, James SG OKC @PeterSchoenke
R2 P6 Millsap, Paul PF UTA Jeff Stotts
R2 P7 Curry, Stephen PG GS Kyle McKeown
R2 P8 Granger, Danny SF IND Mike Barner
R2 P9 Irving, Kyrie PG CLE James Anderson
R2 P10 Cousins, DeMarcus PF SAC Shannon McKeown
R2 P11 Jennings, Brandon PG MIL Ed Kensik
R2 P12 Gasol, Pau PF LAL Justin Mertes-Mistretta

Round Two
Getting Williams with the 15th overall pick might have been the steal of the draft for Jacob. I was considering D-Will 11 picks earlier. The Monroe and Pau Gasol picks are also excellent for where they went in this round. Personally, I'm taking Monroe over Jefferson and Marc Gasol, who both went in the first round. Gortat goes off the board, before guys like Andrew Bynum and Al Horford, based on his breakout season last year with the Suns, but it will be interesting to see if his numbers remain the same in the post-Steve Nash era. With shooting guard as week as it is this year, getting Harden in the middle of the second round in a 12-team league could pay off big time for Peter. Curry coming off the board in the second round was surprising, just because of the question marks surrounding the health of his ankles, but if he has a healthy season, he could win plenty of leagues for his owners. I went with back-to-back point guards this year, simply because there are plenty of great opportunities to get rebounds and blocks later in drafts, and I'm betting on this being the year where Irving establishes himself as a top-15 player in the NBA.

Round 3 Player Pos Team Writer
R3 P1 Bynum, Andrew C PHI Justin Mertes-Mistretta
R3 P2 George, Paul SG IND Ed Kensik
R3 P3 Lawson, Ty PG DEN Shannon McKeown
R3 P4 Horford, Al PF ATL James Anderson
R3 P5 Lee, David PF GS Mike Barner
R3 P6 Ibaka, Serge PF OKC Kyle McKeown
R3 P7 Conley, Mike PG MEM Jeff Stotts
R3 P8 Garnett, Kevin PF BOS @PeterSchoenke
R3 P9 Ilyasova, Ersan SF MIL Eric Caturia
R3 P10 Howard, Dwight C LAL Jacob Guth
R3 P11 Bosh, Chris PF MIA Andre Snellings
R3 P12 Johnson, Joe SG BRO Chris Morgan

Round Three Justin was able to get Pau Gasol and Bynum back-to-back on the snake, giving him a pretty ridiculous frontline with LeBron already on the side. Don't expect Bynum to fall this far in most drafts. Paul George getting drafted ahead of guys like Joe Johnson and Rudy Gay seems like a stretch, especially when the latter two will get significantly more minutes than George. Kyle looks to have blocks all but locked up with Josh Smith and now Ibaka on his team. I was deciding between Horford and rookie Anthony Davis with this pick, and opted for Horford with the hope that Davis would be there in the fourth round.

Round 4 Player Pos Team Writer
R4 P1 Anderson, Ryan PF NO Chris Morgan
R4 P2 Evans, Tyreke PG SAC Andre Snellings
R4 P3 Gay, Rudy SF MEM Jacob Guth
R4 P4 Rondo, Rajon PG BOS Eric Caturia
R4 P5 Davis, Anthony PF NO @PeterSchoenke
R4 P6 Bargnani, Andrea PF TOR Jeff Stotts
R4 P7 Dragic, Goran PG PHO Kyle McKeown
R4 P8 Gordon, Eric SG NO Mike Barner
R4 P9 Batum, Nicolas SG POR James Anderson
R4 P10 Thompson, Klay SG GS Shannon McKeown
R4 P11 Gallinari, Danilo SF DEN Ed Kensik
R4 P1260% Nash, Steve PG LAL Justin Mertes-Mistretta

Round Four
There is a distinct drop off from the third to the fourth round when it comes to sure things this year in fantasy basketball drafts. Half of the players to go off the board in this round are either guys with injury histories (Bargnani, Gordon, Gallinari) or guys who lack a track record of more than a year in their current roles (Anderson, Davis, Dragic, Batum, Thompson). But, that's not to say these aren't mostly astute picks. Peter grabbed Davis before I could, so I was forced to reach a little on Batum with the 45th overall pick. Rondo went off the board in the fourth and Dwight Howard went off the board a round earlier because of their horrible free-throw shooting percentages, but Jacob and Eric clearly thought they offered too much in the other seven categories to slip any further.

Round 5 Player Pos Team Writer
R5 P1 Ellis, Monta PG MIL Justin Mertes-Mistretta
R5 P2 Hilario, Nene C WAS Ed Kensik
R5 P3 McGee, JaVale PF DEN Shannon McKeown
R5 P4 Holiday, Jrue PG PHI James Anderson
R5 P5 Chandler, Tyson C NY Mike Barner
R5 P6 Stoudemire, Amare PF NY Kyle McKeown
R5 P7 Iguodala, Andre SG DEN Jeff Stotts
R5 P8 Pekovic, Nikola C MIN @PeterSchoenke
R5 P9 Griffin, Blake PF LAC Eric Caturia
R5 P10 Thornton, Marcus SG SAC Jacob Guth
R5 P11 Hibbert, Roy C IND Andre Snellings
R5 P12 Williams, Mo PG UTA Chris Morgan

Round Five
There was a run of centers in the fifth round, starting with Ed's Nene pick, which led to McGee, Chandler, Stoudemire, Pekovic, and Hibbert all flying off the board. With Horford already on my team, I grabbed my third point guard in Holiday, with hopes of locking up assists and steals. After grabbing Rondo in the fourth round, Eric grabbed Griffin in the fifth, essentially punting free-throw percentage, but getting one of the league's best rebounders in Griffin and last year's assists leader in Rondo.

Round 6 Player Pos Team Writer
R6 P1 Lowry, Kyle PG TOR Chris Morgan
R6 P2 Ginobili, Manu SG SAN Andre Snellings
R6 P3 Noah, Joakim PF CHI Jacob Guth
R6 P4 Martin, Kevin SG HOU Eric Caturia
R6 P5 Faried, Kenneth PF DEN @PeterSchoenke
R6 P6 Wall, John PG WAS Jeff Stotts
R6 P7 Wallace, Gerald SF BRO Kyle McKeown
R6 P8 Lopez, Brook C BRO Mike Barner
R6 P9 Deng, Luol SF CHI James Anderson
R6 P10 Bogut, Andrew C GS Shannon McKeown
R6 P11 Matthews, Wesley SG POR Ed Kensik
R6 P12 Pierce, Paul SG BOS Justin Mertes-Mistretta

Round Six
Kevin Martin comes off the board a little too early here, based on the direction of the Rockets' franchise and the way he finished last season, especially when Matthews goes to Ed seven picks later. Kyle adds Wallace to a team that already has Josh Smith, pairing two of the better across the board stat stuffers at the forward positions. Shannon was able to get Bogut at a steep discount in the sixth round, and if he remains healthy, he could have as good of a season as any of the big men who went a round earlier.

Round 7 Player Pos Team Writer
R7 P1 Walker, Kemba PG CHR Justin Mertes-Mistretta
R7 P2 Boozer, Carlos PF CHI Ed Kensik
R7 P3 Lin, Jeremy PG HOU Shannon McKeown
R7 P4 Humphries, Kris PF BRO James Anderson
R7 P5 Parker, Tony PG SAN Mike Barner
R7 P6 Randolph, Zach PF MEM Kyle McKeown
R7 P7 Billups, Chauncey PG LAC Jeff Stotts
R7 P8 Dalembert, Samuel C MIL @PeterSchoenke
R7 P9 Afflalo, Arron SG ORL Eric Caturia
R7 P10 Hawes, Spencer C PHI Jacob Guth
R7 P11 Rubio, Ricky PG MIN Andre Snellings
R7 P12 Duncan, Tim PF SAN Chris Morgan

Round Seven
Mike getting Parker after Walker and Lin to start off this round seems like good value. Parker is the type of guy who will go in the middle rounds of a draft and won't garner much attention, but will be extremely consistent and won't hurt your field-goal percentage like Lin and Walker will. He should once again be the only Spurs player to get more than 30 minutes per game. I got Humphries to help shore up rebounding after ignoring the category early in the draft.

Round 8 Player Pos Team Writer
R8 P1 Kirilenko, Andrei SF MIN Chris Morgan
R8 P2 Teague, Jeff PG ATL Andre Snellings
R8 P3 Rivers, Austin PG NO Jacob Guth
R8 P4 Vasquez, Greivis PG NO Eric Caturia
R8 P5 West, David PF IND @PeterSchoenke
R8 P6 Okafor, Emeka C WAS Jeff Stotts
R8 P7 Hayward, Gordon SG UTA Kyle McKeown
R8 P8 Jordan, DeAndre PF LAC Mike Barner
R8 P9 Davis, Glen PF ORL James Anderson
R8 P10 Knight, Brandon PG DET Shannon McKeown
R8 P11 Kaman, Chris C DAL Ed Kensik
R8 P12 Scola, Luis PF PHO Justin Mertes-Mistretta

Round Eight
We had back-to-back Hornets guards go here with Jacob grabbing the young gun, Rivers, and Eric grabbing the incumbent, Vasquez. Rivers going ahead of fellow rookie guard Damian Lillard is pretty surprising since Lillard has a firm hold on a starting job in Portland. Steady power forwards with limited upside like West and Scola go here along with similarly predictable centers in Okafor, Jordan, and Kaman. I grabbed Davis assuming he will get plenty of minutes and at the very least help with rebounds. Shannon then takes Knight with the next pick, a guy I would much rather have ended up with, but I already had so many point guards that need trumped ability.

Round 9 Player Pos Team Writer
R9 P1 Varejao, Anderson PF CLE Justin Mertes-Mistretta
R9 P2 Brand, Elton PF DAL Ed Kensik
R9 P3 Turner, Evan SG PHI Shannon McKeown
R9 P4 Rose, Derrick PG CHI James Anderson
R9 P5 Felton, Raymond PG NY Mike Barner
R9 P6 Smith, J.R. SG NY Kyle McKeown
R9 P7 Young, Thaddeus SF PHI Jeff Stotts
R9 P8 Leonard, Kawhi SF SAN @PeterSchoenke
R9 P9 Terry, Jason PG BOS Eric Caturia
R9 P10 Mayo, O.J. SG DAL Jacob Guth
R9 P11 Williams, Derrick SF MIN Andre Snellings
R9 P12 Stuckey, Rodney PG DET Chris Morgan

Round Nine
Turner has possibly the most upside of anyone left in the draft, and Shannon gets him with the 99th overall pick. Rose is the last of the injured star point guards to go after Wall and Rubio, which makes sense with his injury being a bit more severe. Felton is falling big time in drafts, but he's in better shape this season, and a change of scenery should make him a steal with the 101st pick.

Round 10 Player Pos Team Writer
R10 P1 Asik, Omer C HOU Chris Morgan
R10 P2 Kidd-Gilchrist, Michael SF CHR Andre Snellings
R10 P3 Favors, Derrick PF UTA Jacob Guth
R10 P4 Biyombo, Bismack PF CHR Eric Caturia
R10 P5 Williams, Louis PG ATL @PeterSchoenke
R10 P6 Collison, Darren PG DAL Jeff Stotts
R10 P7 Hill, George PG IND Kyle McKeown
R10 P8 Crawford, Jamal PG LAC Mike Barner
R10 P9 Valanciunas, Jonas C TOR James Anderson
R10 P10 Lillard, Damian PG POR Shannon McKeown
R10 P11 Allen, Tony SG MEM Ed Kensik
R10 P12 DeRozan, DeMar SG TOR Justin Mertes-Mistretta

Round 10
Kidd-Gilchrist goes off the board right around where expected, and Lillard slips further than he should have, with Shannon once again grabbing a high-upside guy late in the draft. Lillard could very well have a better year than any of the veteran point guards to go ahead of him in this round. Valanciunas is one of the only starting centers left, so I felt compelled to grab him here.

Round 11 Player Pos Team Writer
R11 P1 Thompson, Tristan PF CLE Justin Mertes-Mistretta
R11 P2 Lopez, Robin C NO Ed Kensik
R11 P3 Vucevic, Nikola PF ORL Shannon McKeown
R11 P4 Barnes, Harrison SF GS James Anderson
R11 P5 Davis, Ed PF TOR Mike Barner
R11 P6 Hickson, J.J. PF POR Kyle McKeown
R11 P7 Beal, Bradley SG WAS Jeff Stotts
R11 P8 Waiters, Dion SG CLE @PeterSchoenke
R11 P9 Marion, Shawn SF DAL Eric Caturia
R11 P10 Parsons, Chandler SF HOU Jacob Guth
R11 P11 Allen, Ray SG MIA Andre Snellings
R11 P12 Morrow, Anthony SG ATL Chris Morgan

Round 11
People start taking flyers on power forwards and centers with a little upside in Thompson, Vucevic, Davis, and Hickson. Rookies Barnes, Beal, and Waiters all go within five picks of each other. Some of us had contrasting styles in this round, with some opting for the upside the rookies offer and others going for the consistency expected out of guys like Marion, Parsons, and Allen. There's nothing wrong with either approach, it just comes down to personal preference.

Round 12 Player Pos Team Writer
R12 P1 Odom, Lamar SF LAC Chris Morgan
R12 P2 Miller, Andre PG DEN Andre Snellings
R12 P3 Williams, Marvin SF UTA Jacob Guth
R12 P4 Beasley, Michael SF PHO Eric Caturia
R12 P5 Gee, Alonzo SG CLE @PeterSchoenke
R12 P6 Mullens, Byron C CHR Jeff Stotts
R12 P7 Turkoglu, Hedo SF ORL Kyle McKeown
R12 P8 Gibson, Taj PF CHI Mike Barner
R12 P9 Bass, Brandon PF BOS James Anderson
R12 P10 Thomas, Isaiah PG SAC Shannon McKeown
R12 P11 Green, Danny SG SAN Ed Kensik
R12 P12 Seraphin, Kevin PF WAS Justin Mertes-Mistretta

Round 12 At this point everyone is just trying to fill out positions of need and/or take a big swing on high-upside guys. Troubled yet talented players like Odom and Beasley, who are each in new situations, make great flyers this late in a draft.

Round 13 Player Pos Team Writer
R13 P1 Jamison, Antawn PF LAL Justin Mertes-Mistretta
R13 P2 Robinson, Thomas PF SAC Ed Kensik
R13 P3 Chandler, Wilson SF DEN Shannon McKeown
R13 P4 Brooks, Marshon SG BRK James Anderson
R13 P5 Hinrich, Kirk PG CHI Mike Barner
R13 P6 Roy, Brandon SG MIN Kyle McKeown
R13 P7 Henderson, Gerald SG CHR Jeff Stotts
R13 P8 Calderon, Jose PG TOR @PeterSchoenke
R13 P9 Ridnour, Luke PG MIN Eric Caturia
R13 P10 Novak, Steve SF NY Jacob Guth
R13 P11 Richardson, Jason SG PHI Andre Snellings
R13 P12 Dudley, Jared SG PHO Chris Morgan

Round 13
Ridnour jumps out as great value this late in a draft. He falls under the same category as Tony Parker. There's nothing exciting about drafting him, but he produces every year, and he should be a strong contributor early in the season with Ricky Rubio out.

James Anderson also writes RotoWire's weekly Category Strategy article. He can be found on Twitter @RealJRAnderson.
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