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Notes from Mock Draft Central

Mock Draft Central currently has data from 29 qualifying mock NBA drafts between 10/12/2010 and 10/26/2010.

While this doesn't necessarily provide enough meaningful data to make definitive statements about changes in average draft position (ADP), there is something for which it's useful – namely, to look at players with a great deal of range between their earliest and latest selections in mock drafts drafts. From this information, we can attempt to understand why owners might have such varying opinions about said players.

Below, you'll find five players with considerable range between their earliest and latest draft places. I've determined "range" by subtracting a player's earliest draft place from his latest, and then dividing the difference by said player's ADP. This way we get not just a "raw" difference (i.e. the difference between earliest and latest) but also the size of that difference relative to how sought-after a player is. Which is to say, the difference between the fifth- and 20th-overall selections is more significant than the 140th and 155th. Furthermore, for those players who've gone undrafted in mock drafts, I've counted that as the 160th-overall pick.

After that, I've provided some of the white-hot commentary that has critics calling Carson Cistulli "one of the few people with the last name Cistulli we've ever heard of."

Blam:

Player: Amar' e Stoudemire, New York
Earliest/Latest/Percent: 12/22/49.1|PERCENT|
White-Hot Commentary: Stoudemire's 2009-10 season was his weakest, on a per-game basis, of the last four. Basketball Monster has him 22nd on a per-game basis – as compared to 19th, fourth, and 11th from the season that started in 2006-2008. Those three earlier seasons average out to about 11th overall, per-game. Which, that means even 12th could be a bargain this season. Does that mean one ought to ignore last season's performance? Does that mean that one ought to be drafting Stoudemire in the first round, necessarily? No, and no. What it does mean, however, is that, if you're the sort who's going for Stoudemire early in the second round, you're likely getting even value.

Player:Tim Duncan, San Antonio
Earliest/Latest/Percent: 25/33/25.5|PERCENT|
White-Hot Commentary: It isn't shocking, per se – but, at the least, very surprising – that Duncan is only 34 years old. He's been in the league, and one of its best players, for a long time now. Nor is the case much different even now: on a per-minute basis, he scored and rebounded in 2009-10 much has did before that. But his minutes have descreased on a per-game basis each of the last four years. Also, his blocks HAVE actually decresead on rate basis, down to 1.7 per 36 minutes ast year from his career average of 2.3. Now, with DaJuan Blair AND Tiago Splitter both capable of providing minutes as the four and five, Duncan is likely to be saved as much as possible for the playoffs. Err on the side of 33 – if not later.

Player:Kevin Love, Minnesota
Earliest/Latest/Percent: 49/60/19.4|PERCENT|
White-Hot Commentary: When you talk about Carson Cistulli, you're talking about a guy who likes the hell out of Kevin Love. First, we have Love in 2009-10, establishing himself as one of the best rebounders in the entire NB of A. Next, we have Minnesota trading Al Jefferson to Utah in July, thus freeing up time at the four for Love. Then, we have Love tossing up trey-bombs, hitting 14-of-24 – or 1.8 per game – during the preseason. Seriously, over a quarter of his shots were three-point attempts. Just typing this, right now, makes me want Kevin Love on all my fantasy teams. Verdict: err towards 49th.

Player:Emeka Okafor, New Orleans
Earliest/Latest/Percent: 97/118/18.2|PERCENT|
White-Hot Commentary: Though it's probably not on the list of best practices so far as fantasy strategy goes, it's not unusual to develop a irrational fear of, or hatred for, certain players. Okafor is just such a player for this So-Called Expert. For what reason? No idea. Yet, it persists. As recently as 2006-07, Okafor was a top-50 player. Since then, his per-game rankings have done this: 87, 107, 131. Worse yet – and the reason for that last figure – is that the former Husky's minutes dropped below 30 per game last season. All told, it appears as though quite a bit wil have to go right for Okafor in order for even a 118th-overall pick to be justified. Err on the side of late.

Player:Luis Scola, Houston
Earliest/Latest/Percent: 92/109/16.2|PERCENT|
White-Hot Commentary: Allow me to spit this completely true truth, America: Luis Scola is being undervalued this preseason. Yao Ming, whose absence – along with the trade of Carl Landry – gave Scola an opportunity to break out last season, will be limited to 24 minutes per game to begin this one and is unlikely to play much on the back side of back-to-backs. Moreover, Carl Landry is still gone. As such, Scola is very, very likley a top-100 player. Even if you've drafted already, feel very comfortable treating him as such in any trade offers.

Per-game rankings courtesy of Basketball Monster.