Culture of Hoops

Fantasy Basketball: 2012-13 Baller Mind Frame Mock Draft – Round Four

Here are the particulars: ROTO, 12-team league, standard nine categories (points, assists, rebounds, FG%, FT%, three-pointers, steals, blocks, turnovers), roster (PG, SG, G, SF, PF, F, C, C, Util, BN, BN, BN, BN).

Fourth Round Results:

1. Erik Ong (@FantasyHoopla) – Marcin Gortat, Phoenix Suns
66 G; 15.4 PPG; 0.9 APG; 10.0 RPG; 55.5 FG%; 64.9 FT%; 0.0 3PTMPG; 0.7 SPG; 1.5 BPG; 1.4 TOPG

In a two-center start league, this is a great pick to begin the fourth round with. Gortat should once again average a double-double for the Suns and make his fantasy basketball managers very happy. He’s definitely a C1 in any format and will contribute in all of the big man stats – points, rebounds, field-goal percentage, and blocks. He’ll even do a bit of good at the line, relatively speaking of course. When compared to the Dwight Howards and Andrew Boguts of big men that stink when they stand all alone at the line, Gortat’s career 67.4 free-throw percentage isn’t so bad. Gortat even shot 73.1% in 55 games during his first (partial) season with the Suns. If he can shoot that again, he’ll prove his value to be at least one round better than the fourth. Love this pick here.

2. Dennis Velasco (@BallerMindFrame) – Al Horford, Atlanta Hawks
11 G; 12.4 PPG; 2.2 APG; 7.0 RPG; 55.3 FG%; 73.3 FT%; 0.0 3PTMPG; 0.9 SPG; 1.3 BPG; 1.5 TOPG

Horford had an off-year last season due to injury before the campaign even started. He came back at the end of the season for, to borrow MLB jargon, a cup of coffee and maybe made an impact in H2H leagues. Horford should be healthy to begin the season and get his near double-double numbers to go along with solid percentages and defensive stats. It’ll be interesting to see how the trade of Joe Johnson will affect his offensive production since “Iso Joe” won’t be holding the pill. Horford was incrementally improving his scoring average in his career until last season. I’d expect/hope it picks up again in 2012-13.

3. David Klyce (@HoopsKlyce) – Brook Lopez, Brooklyn Nets
5 G; 19.2 PPG; 1.2 APG; 3.6 RPG; 49.4 FG%; 62.5 FT%; 0.0 3PTM; 0.2 SPG; 0.8 BPG; 1.2 TOPG

This could turn out to be a great pick, especially since the last two seasons have been either injury-filled or a battle to recover from mono, and not a true indicator of Lopez’s ability to produce. Oh, not points because we all know he can drop 20 a night, but rebounds. Getting boards has been Bropez’s Achilles heel, but he seems to be back fully healthy and stronger, and should grab at least seven boards per game. Remember, rebounding machine Kris Humphries will be next to him, as well as a vastly improved cast of players, should give Lopez a lot of space to work in and, even better, a lesser propensity for defenses to double. At the 39th pick in a two-center league, Lopez will at least end up ranked here with nice upside to give greater value. I honestly feel like I’m going to regret not taking him with the previous pick. However, I skipped Bropez thinking his perceived value by others was low and I could actually get him coming back. Don’t make that mistake.

4. Brian Flood (@BrianSFlood) – Andre Iguodala, Denver Nuggets
62 G; 12.4 PPG; 5.5 APG; 6.1 RPG; 45.4 FG%; 61.7 FT%; 1.2 3PTMPG; 1.7 SPG; 0.5 BPG; 1.9 TOPG

Iguodala doesn’t do anything great, but does just about everything very well. Yes, even shooting free throws, at least relative to his career-low 61.7% last season. I’d rather judge Iggy on his seven previous seasons when he shot in the 70s for five seasons, 80s once, and 69.3% the other. It’s hard to ignore the excellent assists you’ll get from either the two or three spot, as well as the rebounding. Iguodala is also an excellent ball thief with a lifetime 1.7 SPG average.  Since averaging 19.9 points in the 2007-08 season, his scoring average has gone down in each subsequent season – 18.8, 17.1, 14.1, 12.4. However, going to a new city and with an excellent point guard in Ty Lawson and just as excellent coach in George Karl, it has to be assumed that Iggy will at least average over the 12.4 he did last season. However, in fantasy, it’s the overall contributions that makes Iguodala such a great player, not just the points. Great value here as he could have easily been taken in the previous round.

5. Tracy Fay (smartly, a Twitter Luddite) – Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors
66 G; 12.5 PPG; 2.0 APG; 2.4 RPG; 44.3 FG%; 86.8 FT%; 1.7 3PTMPG; 0.7 SPG; 0.3 BPG; 1.6 TOPG

In the few mock drafts I’ve been in, Thompson has been a favorite of the room as we all chatted away about him. Look at his stats above and consider he did all of that in 24.5 minutes and you’ll understand why Thompson has been a target for some. However, I’ve seen him mostly go in the fifth round and agree with that general draft position, but it all depends on the league settings, number of teams, and how a person drafted in previous rounds. I don’t hate this selection in the fourth because Thompson does have some nice upside, particularly if Andrew Bogut can stay healthy and make defenses double-down, so players such as Thompson get open looks and if that happens while his feet are set behind the arc, it’s over.

6. Aaron Bruski (@AaronBruski) – Mike Conley, Memphis Grizzlies
62 G; 12.7 PPG; 6.5 APG; 2.5 RPG; 43.3 FG%; 86.1 FT%; 1.0 3PTMPG; 2.2 SPG; 0.2 BPG; 2.0 TOPG

I’m a huge fan of Conley as he gets solid offensive numbers in regards to scoring, drops dimes at a good rate, and is an excellent steals contributor. In Memphis, Conley will never score 18 points because of other personnel on the floor, but I think he can get up to 15 points per game (his career-high is 13.7) and will always be a solid producer in dimes. But where Conley truly finds his value is in swiping the rock. He should continue to see solid minutes, but the 35 minutes he’s gotten the past two seasons may drop a bit because of Jerryd Bayless’ presence. Regardless, Conley is the undisputed starting point and should replicate last season’s success.

7. Patrick Madden (@PatrickAMadden) – Paul Millsap, Utah Jazz
64 G; 16.6 PPG; 2.3 APG; 8.8 RPG; 49.5 FG%; 79.2 FT%; 0.1 3PTMPG; 1.8 SPG; 0.8 BPG; 1.8 TOPG

Looking at some other rankings, Millsap going down in the fourth is very low for him, as I’ve seen him ranked as high as in the late teens! That seems a bit high, especially with Derrick Favors ready to step up and do some big things this upcoming season. Favors is very capable, especially on the defensive end, of making some noise, but finds himself blocked by Millsap. However, if you’re the Jazz, this is a great problem to have. Favors, Millsap, and Al Jefferson will rotate between the four and five to make this work, but someone is going to see less touches and time and it very well may be Millsap. However, Millsap could be motivated by his upcoming free agency in 2013 if he doesn’t sign an extension with the Jazz and produce no matter how much burn he’s getting. Either way, fourth round for Millsap seems to be a steal.

8. Nels Wadycki (@GiveMeTheRock) – Paul Pierce, Boston Celtics
61 G; 19.4 PPG; 4.5 APG; 5.2 RPG; 44.3 FG%; 85.2 FT%; 1.6 3PTMPG; 1.1 SPG; 0.4 BPG; 2.8 TOPG

Pierce is one of the great Celtics players of all-time and it looks like he can continue to build on that for the next few seasons because he doesn’t seem to be breaking down at all. Look at the numbers from last season at age 34 in his 14th season and it’s kind of amazing that Pierce has been this consistently good for that long. However, the hammer has to drop at some point with a natural decline in skill and ability, but will it be this season? I’ll never bet against Pierce, but I honestly feel like Pierce has it in him to produce at least one more season at this high level, especially when the Celtics are once again considered contenders to battle the Miami Heat to get to the NBA title. I really like this pick at this juncture of the draft.

9. Eric Mack (@EricMackFantasy) – Monta Ellis, Milwaukee Bucks
58 G; 20.4 PPG; 6.0 APG; 3.4 RPG; 43.3 FG%; 79.6 FT%; 1.1 3PTMPG; 1.5 SPG; 0.3 BPG; 3.1 TOPG

The question that hounded Ellis while with the Golden State Warriors (with Stephen Curry) is still one with the Bucks. Can Ellis and point guard Brandon Jennings co-exist in the backcourt? Can both continue to thrive and help the team win? For our purposes, will Ellis’ numbers suffer from playing with Jennings? In 21 games with the Bucks last season after being traded, Ellis saw a dip in a few key categories versus his numbers while while with the Warriors in 37 games: 17.6 from 21.9 points per game, 16.0 from 19.0 shot attempts, 0.6 from 1.4 three-pointers made, and 2.1 from 4.2 trey attempts. However, Ellis still produced in steals, assists, rebounds, and shot similar percentages from the floor and charity stripe. There’s definitely some upside  here relative to draft position. Solid pick here late in the fourth.

10. Eric Andrews (@aka_MR-FANTASY) – Jrue Holiday, Philadelphia 76ers
65 G; 13.5 PPG; 4.5 APG; 3.3 RPG; 43.2 FG%; 78.3 FT%; 1.0 3PTMPG; 1.6 SPG; 0.3 BPG; 2.1 TOPG

Holiday is a very good player, but did regress a tiny bit last season after his breakout 2010-11 campaign in most categories. However, the big one was to assists where Holiday went from 6.5 to 4.5, a full two dimes per game gone. It’s hard to say if that was an anomaly since there’s a relatively small sample size to judge from (three seasons), so it’s possible that Holiday bounces back in assists, but it will be tough. Consider that Andre Iguodala had the rock in his hands a lot and could create for others, one would think that with him traded, Holiday would definitely control the offense more. However, Iguodala’s replacement in the starting lineup, Evan Turner, also can facilitate the offense. It’ll be interesting to see if Holiday can improve or stay level with how he’s performed these past two seasons. It’s a gamble at this point in the draft, especially with other point guards available that should outperform Holiday.

11. Chris Towers (@CTowersCBS) – Ryan Anderson, New Orleans Hornets
61 G; 16.1 PPG; 0.9 APG; 7.7 RPG; 43.9 FG%; 87.7 FT%; 2.7 3PTMPG; 0.8 SPG; 0.4 BPG; 0.9 TOPG

Anderson was one player I was interested in seeing where he was drafted. Last season was a breakout season for Anderson, although to be fair, he did average 10.6 points and 5.5 rebounds in only 22 minutes of play the previous season. However, last season with 10 more minutes of play was on another level. The theory goes that Anderson was a product of playing with Dwight Howard who drew attention from the defense down in the block. There’s some truth to that, but in ten April games without D12, Anderson averaged 16.3 points while shooting 43.2% from the floor and 96.0% from the line, 9.0 rebounds, and 1.9 triples per game. It’s a small sample size, of course, but it does prove that Anderson is effective because he’s a very good player and not necessarily because of an inside presence on offense. While Anthony Davis does have some upside, it won’t fully happen for him his rookie season with the Hornets. After Eric Gordon, Anderson is the only proven scorer on the team. I like this pick here.

12. Jason Hahn (@FBasketballBlog) – Nicolas Batum, Portland Trail Blazers
59 G; 13.9 PPG; 1.4 APG; 4.6 RPG; 45.1 FG%; 83.6 FT%; 1.8 3PTMPG; 1.0 SPG; 1.0 BPG; 1.5 TOPG

Batum is obviously a very good all-around player and could be a Shawn Marion Lite type of player (sans the rebounds) if Batum’s defensive numbers continue to be over one per game each. In 34 games as a starter last season, Batum averaged 15.2 points, 5.2 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.9 triples, 45.2 FG%, 84.2 FT%, 0.9 steals, and 1.0 blocks in 34 minutes of play per game. Very good overall numbers and I’d imagine that Batum will at least average that this coming season, especially without any real glut at the wing position as there was last season with Gerald Wallace and Jamal Crawford to begin the season.

Don’t forget to read all of the Baller Mind Frame Mock Draft End-Of-Round Reviews!

You can contact and find me on Twitter @BallerMindFrame or e-mail me at [email protected].

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