Hornets247 NBA Mock Draft – Rounds 5-8
The writers of Hornets247.com bring you a one-of-a-kind, 8-team basketball league with the common goal of building their respective franchises into the ultimate dynasty.
We’re back to bring you the middle four rounds of this 12-round NBA mock draft! For a refresher on the rules, refer to the introduction for the first four rounds.
Team McNamara – Kenneth Faried, PF, 22; $1.3 million cap hit
Faried is a guy that I strongly considered taking at the beginning of round three, and I am frankly shocked that he is still available. When you look at production relative to cost, Faried might be the top player in the league. Faried ranked 18th in the NBA in PER last season, yet more than 200 players will command a higher salary this season and next. #BangForYourBuck
Team Ginsberg – Nikola Pekovic; C, 26; $4.8 million cap hit
Pekovic is an ideal pairing with Aldridge in my frontcourt thanks to his interior presence and toughness. Hell, ESPN’s Zach Harper referred to him in a column a couple months ago as “the Chuck Norris of the NBA.” He finished with the second highest offensive rebound rate in the NBA; his defensive rebounding numbers weren’t at that kind of level, but when Kevin Love is gobbling up so many, how could they be? He worked excellently with Rubio in the pick-and-roll game, and should be just as effective when paired with the ultra-quick Lawson. He simply wears down defenses inside with his physicality, and the space that physicality creates for the rest of his team is tremendous. Besides, who wouldn’t want this guy on their team?
Team Schwan – Kawhi Leonard, SF, 21; $1.8 million cap hit
Time to fill in with a cheap 5th man who doesn’t need the ball in his hands, but can defend well and stick the corner three while posting one of the lowest turnover rates at the position. Oh, and only a handful of small forwards posted better rebounding numbers than Kawhi. With Howard, Anderson and Leonard, the glass is mine.
Team Calmes – Elton Brand, F/C, 33; $2.1 million cap hit
At $2.1m, Brand is an ideal frontcourt pickup. He’s got a different body type than either of his teammates under the rim, but is a force that is incommensurate with his low salary. That low salary is the lowest of his NBA career, in fact, thanks to the Amnesty provision. That career that includes two All-Star appearances and pretty consistent above-to-well-above-average play.
Team Gerrity – Marcin Gortat, C, 28; $7.3 million cap hit
He can start or come off the bench, and play with either Duncan or Blake to make up a three headed beast of a front court that should be able to counter just about anything thrown at them.
Team Smith – Harrison Barnes, SF, 20; $2.8 million cap hit
After shooting guard, small forward is the thinnest position in the NBA, with Lebron and Durant as the only superstars. The next tier features a bunch of overpaid players that I don’t want soaking up my cap space. Enter Harrison Barnes. With his tremendous athleticism, high basketball IQ, and beautiful shooting stroke, he has a chance to become a star in this league at while still on his rookie contract.
Team Madison – Chase Budinger. SF, 24; $885K cap hit
The Wolves saw enough to give up a mid-first round pick in a deep draft for Budinger, and I can see why. He is money on his corner three’s, plays solid defense, and is an elite athlete at a position that doesn’t have much depth in the league. Combine that with the fact that he basically makes the league’s minimum, and I think Budinger is a steal in the fifth round.
Team Grayson – Klay Thompson, SG, 22; $2.3 million cap hit
I hope to God that Ryan and Mason had this guy on their board and that I stole him from them, because I was really hoping Stephen Curry would fall. That being said, Thompson is a great consolation prize because he’s a sophomore coming off a good rookie season. His team may have had a rough year, but he was the lone bright spot. He’ll go perfectly next to Deron Williams in the backcourt and brings needed shooting seeing as though MKG is pretty ineffective in that area.
Team Grayson – Derrick Favors, PF/C, 21; $4.8 million cap hit
This one was relatively straightforward. I had one space left for my “rookie-contract” space and I took Favors. As the third big in my lineup he will give us size on the interior when paired with Bynum and Millsap. It gives coach Brett Brown (who I signed from the Australian Boomers for head-coach) a number of options on the front-line. Favors is quickly emerging around the league as a solid power-forward/center. I think he can grow even further on this roster.
Team Madison – Chandler Parsons, SF, 23; $888K cap hit
I took Chase Budinger in round five and now I steal his former teammate Chandler Parsons in round six. Parsons, like Budinger, is a highly productive player on a ridiculously cheap contract. As a tandem, Budinger and Parsons give me everything that the good, but overpaid small forward’s in this league (Gay, Granger, Batum, etc.) would give me, but at about 1/8th the price.
Team Smith – Serge Ibaka, PF, 23; $2.3 million cap hit
Serge “iBLOCKa” led the league in blocks by a wide margin this year, was fantastic on the glass, and developed a 16 foot jumper that teams have to respect. He impacts the game more than anybody not named Chandler or Howard on the defensive end and he hasn’t even hit his prime yet.
Team Gerrity – Bradley Beal, SG, 19; $4.1 million cap hit
Bradley Beal is an Eric Gordon clone at 1/3rd the price and might have the prettiest stroke since Ray Allen. He can also handle the ball, which would allow me to play Derrick Rose off the ball from time and he would simply be deadly when teams double Griffin or Duncan in the low post.
Team Calmes – Ray Allen, SG, 37; $3.1 million cap hit
One of the premier shooters in the NBA comes to Team Calmes for less money than he’s made since Clinton was in office. I’ve had a gaping hole at shooting guard, and I just effectively filled it in round six for the kinds of bargain NBA champions get.
Team Schwan – Thomas Robinson, PF, 21; $3.4 million cap hit
This draft was three deep for me at the top – with Davis and MKG joined by Thomas Robinson. Happily Robinson is still on the board and will help this team form a versatile frontcourt rotation with Howard and Anderson. Robinson’s rebounding prowess also further accentuates this team’s domination on the glass.
Team Ginsberg – Isaiah Thomas, PG, 23; $762K cap hit
Simply too great of a value to pass up Thomas here. He is signed to a minimum salary in both the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons, and proved in his rookie season that he can be a solid PG in this league. He started 37 games as a rookie for Sacramento, posting an impressive PER of 17.6. If he managed to play that well running the show in his first NBA season for a team as dysfunctional as the Kings, I would absolutely love to see what he could do as a member of this squad.
Team McNamara – Gustavo Ayon, F/C, 27; $1.5 million cap hit
Gran Valor! Ayon is an intelligent big man with a PER above the league average (16.71) and yet he makes 30% the league average salary wise (1.5 mil) for the next two years. That’s great value in any language!
Team McNamara – Jason Kidd, PG, 39; $3.1 million cap hit
This team is going to put the ball in Ricky Rubio’s hands for the next 15 years, and what better player to show him the intracacies of the open court game than perhaps the 2nd best transition point guard of All-Time; Jason Kidd? At 39, Kidd is no longer a starter in this league, but he balances out the youth on this roster with some title experience and veteran savvy.
Team Ginsberg – Tiago Splitter, C, 27; $3.9 million cap hit
Taking the next guy on my board would mean adding a 3rd PG (Jennings), so that’s not really an option. Therefore, enter Splitter. After having a decent first year in the NBA in which he showed off his physical style of play, Tiago really broke out for the Spurs last season, finishing in the top 10 in PER among NBA centers thanks to strong rebounding and his ability to finish inside. Splitter has limited shooting range, but that’s about his only true negative, and with a team full of guys who can score the basketball, having a guy like him who can have so much success without the ball is essential.
Team Schwan – Patty Mills, PG, 24; $1.1 million cap hit
Need to go cheap with my team’s salaries closing in on the danger zone. Mills has proven in the NBA and on the international stage that he’s fearless and quick with the ball. He can step in and keep the attack going with Westbrook on the bench, and team with Robinson on a solid pick-and-roll attack off the bench. Plus, someone needed to make our resident Aussie burst into tears by taking Mills before he could get his hands on him. Take that, Grayson!
Team Calmes – Andre Drummond, C, 19; $2.4 million cap hit
This A.D. needs more time to develop that his new teammate, but he’ll get it on Team Calmes, and he’ll have a fantastic mentor in Tyson Chandler. It was questionable whether NBA teams would draft him in the top ten, but in round seven, he’s the pick. (AD)^2 will the premier defensive front court for a decade . . . once they are 21.
Team Gerrity – Jared Dudley, SF, 27; $4.3 million cap hit
When you compare players around the league with similar production and age, Jared Dudley has one of the best contracts in the league at 4 years/17 million. He has a high basketball IQ, plays solid team defense, and is an elite three-point shooter that can play three different positions. He also has steadily improved every year he has been in the league, and I see no reason why that won’t continue.
Team Smith – O.J. Mayo, PG, 24; $4.0 million cap hit
It’s not Mayo’s fault that he was drafted third overall, but people seem to hold him up to that lofty standard and therefore call him a bust because of it. While Mayo has not lived up to the hype, he is still an above average NBA player who can guard three positions and, at 24, still has quite a bit of upside. He is a consistent jumper away from being worth two or three times this salary.
Team Madison – Tony Allen, G, 30; $3.3 million cap hit
If a guy is great offensively but below average defensively, fans bow down and call him a star. But if it is the other way around, those same fans will call him a liability. Not me. Tony Allen is one of the five best perimeter defenders in the NBA and he makes two million less than the league average. In this small league, I gotta go against a superstar wing or point guard every night and Allen can guard either position, allowing my superstars to save themselves on the defensive end.
Team Grayson – C.J. Miles, G, 25; $2.3 million cap hit
It’s such a shame that Schwan thwarted my hopes of landing Patty Mills as my back up point-guard. No shame though as I select C.J. Miles as a shooter off the bench. He can spell both MKG and Klay Thompson and is on a nice, cheap little contract.
Team Grayson – Dorell Wright, SF, 26; $4.1 million cap hit
One of the more underrated players around the league, Dorell Wright had an outstanding season last year for the Warriors. Another shooter for coach Brett Brown.
Team Madison – Brandon Jennings, PG, 23; $3.2 million cap hit
Jennings gets some flack for not being a “true” point guard, but on this team he will be coming off the bench and will be encouraged to be a change of pace for a team led by the cerebral assassin Chris Paul. And remember, Chris Paul has been deadly in two point guard lineups (Speedy Claxton, Jannero Pargo, Chauncey Billups) because of the ability to attack the defense in a multitude of ways. Jennings and Paul in the backcourt, with Harden shifting to the small forward position will give me three elite ball handlers on the court that can all get to the bucket or drain it from deep- a true nightmare scenario for any defense.
Team Smith – J.R. Smith, SG, 26; $2.8 million cap hit
One of the twenty most talented players in the league, but he is a headcase who has worn out his welcome in several cities and will never live up to his potential. You know who else they said that about? Zach Randolph. But then he finally matured and became the dominant force he was always destined to be. For less than three million bucks, I will roll the dice on JR Smith and hope he can be the X-Facror off the bench in the playoffs.
Team Gerrity – Antawn Jamison, PF, 36; $854K cap hit
I know that the Lakers got Howard and Nash, but picking up Jamison was a huge move that has flown under the radar. On a championship team, he can be Stephen Jackson, but without the drama and with the ability to grab some key rebounds. How often do you see a guy who put up over 17 PPG the previous year sign for the league minimum? Jamison is the best player on a minimum contract in the NBA, and now he is on my squad!
Team Calmes – Ronnie Brewer, G/F, 27; $854K cap hit
Ronnie Brewer is a great value on the wing. Wing players are hard to come by, but this pesky defender has gone from making nearly $5m a year to pulling in the minimum, and his production has not suffered commensurately. Value, value, value, and value right where this team needs it.
Team Schwan – Jodie Meeks, SG, 25; $1.5 million cap hit
Meeks gives me yet another guy who can spread the court, giving Howard room to operate inside. He also is quite good at drawing fouls when he steps inside the arc and he gives me a guy who can knock down free throws at the end of games (91%). All that for just 1.5 million.
Team Ginsberg – Brandan Wright, PF, 24; $854K cap hit
With Jake grabbing Jennings, no one else besides me can take any more rookie-scale contract players, so I may as well wait until the 12th round to grab my third. Therefore, I’ll go with Brandan Wright here. I’ll be able to get talented wing scorers for my second unit later, but cheap, talented and athletic big men like Brandan are going to be much harder to come by. Finally playing his first full season away from being senselessly buried by Golden State, Wright showed his potential with the Mavericks, playing 16 minutes per game off of the bench and boasting a fantastic PER of 21.7. Even with last season’s improvement, I’m still don’t think he’s been put in an ideal situation to succeed, but being able to get out and run with the athleticism that exists throughout this new team’s roster should really allow him to flourish.
Team McNamara – Josh Smith, PF, 26; $13.2 million cap hit
And now, my nightmare starting five is finally complete. Ricky Rubio running the point with Wade and Josh Smith racing to the rim, Kevin Durant spotting up for open threes that are like lay-ups to him, and Greg Monroe trailing. It seems like Smith has been in the NBA forever but he is only 26 which means he is just entering his prime and last year he was 2nd amongst starting PF’s in Assist Ratio, 3rd in Estimated Wins added, 8th in Defensive Rebound Rate, 2nd in blocks, and 3rd in steals. Can you say all-around stud?
Team-by-Team Breakdown through 8 Rounds
At this point, the average team salary is just under $51 million. Team McNamara and Team Grayson will be confined to near-minimum salaries from here on out, whereas Team Ginsberg, Team Calmes, and Team Madison all still have room for at least one player making $14 million or more. In Team Calmes’ case, he could actually offer one player as much as $26 million (assuming minimum salaries of $854,000 for all other roster spots, since all twelve spots must be filled).
An interesting residual effect of all 8 teams’ current cap situations? We can definitively say that Kobe Bryant will go undrafted in this mock league, as his $27.85 million contract will not fit into any team’s budget. That’s right – a league without Kobe! Don’t everyone jump for joy at once.
Calmes clearly has the best team, aside from Dunleavy. (WTH?) Everyone else is trying to win a championship THIS YEAR. Calmes is taking the Demps approach. Waiting a season or two then being Dominant over the next decade. Everyone else is building a team. Calmes is building a FRANCHISE. Great picks.
Thumbs up to McNamara's team, Rubio won't take away too many positions from the stars, durant provides spacing so that the perimeter skill sets aren't redundant, hopefully someone will tell Smith not to take 3s, and Monroe was a fantastic pick (as was Faried). Kidd had a pretty awful season last year and seemed generally unwilling to drive, but solid picks so far. I worry a bit on D. Thumbs up to Ginsberg too, definitely a lineup that allows for a lot of variation, giving opponents different defensive tries they'll have to deal with. I'm not a huge Aldridge fan, but he, George and James will make them strong defensively, and it's a group of good offensive players that can be efficient with various amounts of usage. With cap space left, I'll enjoy seeing where this team ends up Thumbs down to Schwan's team. I like Curry, but man, Westbrook is not my cup of tea. The Dwight & Anderson combo is always fun, but Westbrook is going to spend so many possessions on average efficiency. Liked the Leonard pick, and not a big fan of the bench, though Meeks was a clever pick. Would have preferred Leonard as the SF for Calmes' team, but he gets a thumbs up anyway. Jesus is love, Irvining and Davis are legit studs, Chandler is a defensive force, and despite being low usage requires defenses to follow him very closely as he finishes fantastically around the rim. Plus cap space is delicious. I like Dunleavy, but want a bigger defensive wing, ideally a cheeper Iguodala. He's got the space, my only problem here is struggles to defend dangerous wings on the perimeter (cause the interior D will be sexual). A nice wing pick would round this out well for me.
For me, it's Schwan, Mason then MM. Something that's underrated with Schwan's team is that he has freaking Westbrook and Curry - 2 very creative scorers on the perimeter. It's not like he's replicating the Orlando Magic - who have no dependable perimeter player besides a one season aberration from Turk. Schwan has 2 NOT TO MENTION ANDERSON who I think we can all agree is GREAT. Add to that the fact that he got Kawhi Leonard and I actually think he has the best fit starting 5 of the bunch.
Madison's team would have the best regular season record, but my gut tells me that it loses to Ginsberg in a conference final/ final due to a bad matchup. Those are my top two teams. Madison for it's versatility, I love an offensive team that can hit you in every way possible. Post scoring, fast break, 3 shooting, 3 top level ball handlers who can penetrate, pass, and shoot. Fun, effective team. Ginsberg for its ridiculous athletism and defense. Lbj and George smother perimeter athletes, Lawson swarms. Pek is very underrated. Also, when in doubt go with the centuries best two way player.
I like Michael's team the best, with Schwann in a close second. I just don't think the Curry-Westbrook tandem would work that great.
Dwayne Wade Tony Parker Paul Pierce Kobe Bryant Kobe Bryant Dirk Nowitzki LeBron James Those are the last seven NBA Finals MVP's. All guys who get their points on the perimeter. All swing men (except Dirk) and yet people still think that dominant big men win because that is what they grew up with. It's just not true anymore. Forget what you used to know and embrace the new face of truth. I would love to face Schwan's team. Who is the go-to guy late? Who is the alpha-dog? Personally, Madison's team scares me the most but Ginsberg and Smith still have $$ to spend. Can't wait to see how it all ends!