This article is part of our NBA Draft Kit series.
On Wednesday night, Alex Barutha and I each took part in an NFBKC draft as part of the RotoWire Online Championship. As luck would have it, we ended up in the same league.
I drew the second overall pick and went with Giannis Antetokounmpo, while Alex, picking from the No. 5 spot, grabbed Anthony Davis with his first selection. From there, we went about building out our respective rosters in the 12-team, eight-category roto league.
Read on for a quick review of how the draft transpired.
12 starters: 4 Guards, 4 Forward, 2 Center, 2 FLEX; 4 reserves
3-Point Field Goals Made
Free Throw Percentage
Field Goal Percentage
Overall thoughts on your team?
Alex Barutha: I like my team, which is surprising since I thought there were a lot of smart picks being made. Starting off with Anthony Davis and Jimmy Butler gives me plenty of upside, though it's not ideal from an injury-potential standpoint. One of the biggest decisions I thought I would have to make was whether to take Mitchell Robinson in the fifth round, but he got picked immediately before my selection, so I went with Otto Porter. I was more upset when Kelly Oubre got sniped in the 7th round, and I ended up with Jeff Teague (which I'm fine with).
Nick Whalen: I have no complaints, of course, about starting with a foundation of Giannis Antetokounmpo at No. 2 overall, and I was thrilled to land Pascal Siakam at No. 23. But since NFBKC drafts use third-round reversal, my next pick didn't come until the end of Round 3, when I had to settle for Khris Middleton. I like the stability Middleton brings, but we basically know what he is at this point in his career, so I would've preferred to get my hands on someone with more upside, like Deandre Ayton, Donovan Mitchell or John Collins, who all went ahead of Middleton in Round 3.
I felt good about landing Kristaps Porzingis at No. 38, but beyond that, the rest of my draft was fairly uneventful. Eric Bledsoe (59), Aaron Gordon (62), Joe Ingles (83) and Terrence Ross (86) rounded out my selections in the top-100.
Did you have a particular strategy heading into the draft? If so, what was it, and were you able to stick to it?
Barutha: I wanted to make a point not to reach for anyone, and to make sure I had plenty of roster flexibility. I think I achieved both those things, with a ton of my big men having Forward/Center eligibility. That will make the waiver wire and start/sit decisions much easier.
Whalen: In a league like this one that employs fairly flexible rosters – i.e. guards and forwards, as opposed to more-specific positional designations – I entered the draft mostly looking to get the best player available with each pick. I felt like I stuck to that through the first four rounds, though I'm a little nervous about Porzingis and whether the Mavs will make a point to rest him throughout the season. Typically, he's the type of player I would stay away from, but I felt the upside at 38 was too high to pass up. Even so, I'm wondering if I should've pivoted to Lauri Markkanen or Jaren Jackson. Draymond Green, who went with the last pick in Round 4, was also in consideration.
Which were some of the biggest reaches of the draft?
Barutha: Ja Morant at 53. Some players that went after him include Otto Porter, Jamal Murray, Brook Lopez, Eric Bledsoe and Robert Covington – all of whom I would strongly prefer over Morant. I think drafting him at 53 is probably peak value. Even if you're a person who attacks drafts aggressively, I think you can wait until the 6th for Morant, maybe even the 7th. I think he'll have a good APG mark, but I'd be concerned about his efficiency, threes and defense.
Whalen: I'm with Alex on Morant. As much as I love him as a prospect and can't wait to see how he fits in Memphis, I wouldn't pull the trigger on a rookie point guard that early. I'm also a little lower than most on LaMarcus Aldridge (he went 36th), and, as much as I like him long-term, I felt 42 was a bit too ambitious for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
Which players were some of the top bargains?
Barutha: Can my answer be: all of Round 7? Almost everyone drafted there has top-50 upside if things break right. They're the exact right type of buy-low guys for auction drafts if you're going stars and scrubs.
Whalen: Paul George at 24 will be a bargain if he only misses a week or two to begin the year. Draymond Green at 48, Robert Covington at 60, Terry Rozier at 72, Jeff Teague at 80, and Gordon Hayward at 95 are some others that stood out.
Any players you were targeting but weren't able to draft?
Whalen: Bam Adebayo and Jeff Teague. I was fully prepared to take Adebayo with my 38th overall pick, but he went much earlier – 33rd overall – than I expected. He's been a target of mine all preseason, but he really wasn't a consideration with my previous pick at No. 24. Meanwhile, Teague is a player I've been able to snag late in a few drafts already, and I thought he'd fall into my lap once again in Round 7. But in a Cain and Abel-level betrayal, Alex took him three picks ahead at No. 80 overall. I know Teague missed a ton of time last season, but he very quietly topped 8.0 assists per game, and I think he'll be one of the year's best values by the time we get to January.
Which category you think you'll most need to improve as the season goes on?
Barutha: I'll probably be short on threes, but those are easy to find on the waiver wire. Any shooter playing 20 minutes per game on a four-game week can be streamed in for threes if needed. It's one of the most common player types in the league at this point.
Whalen: Starting with Antetokounmpo and Siakam, who combined for 1.7 made threes per game last season, means I'll probably need some long-distance shooting, but my hope is the additions of Middleton, Porzingis, Ross and Eric Gordon will keep me afloat. Despite having Antetokounmpo, rebounds might also be an issue. For his size, Porzingis is not a great rebounder, and neither is Alex Len, who I anticipate will serve as my No. 2 center in most weeks.