|The risks for 2012|
So much so that, when it came to drafting my own team, I did something I've never really done in a league before. I didn't really play for 2012. The Monster is winning that. Instead, I'm trying to give him more of a run for his money in 2013.
And with that, here's the line-up; asterisk players were keepers.
PG Stephen Curry GST 46 51
SG Dwayne Wade * MIA 55 60
G Derrick Rose CHI 17 21
SF Jared Dudley PHX 1 4
PF Al Jefferson * UTA 36 41
F Dirk Nowitzki DAL 21 25
C DeAndre Jordan LAC 3 6
U Dion Waiters CLE 7 10
U Kirk Hinrich CHI 3 6
B1 Austin Rivers NO 3 6
B2 Emeka Okafor WAS 1 4
B3 Brandon Rush GST 1 4
The total cap is $200; the middle column is this year's price, and the far right one is what the player would cost if I wanted to keep them in 2013.
Curry was the de facto first round selection, when everyone still has money and it's flying around fast. (I nearly got Dwight Howard for a ridiculously low price, but so it goes.) He's a percentage monster in a high tempo offense and does everything, with the single exception of remaining healthy. I'm hopeful that the last surgery will actually stick, and he's still really young, so if he can turn around the health record -- and many people actually do this, honest -- I'll have the front-line guy that I'll need to let Wade go.
The next pick was Nowitzki. What happened here was that I threw him out as kind of a feeler move, to either draw a big number from someone who wasn't aware of the recent procedure, or take advantage of too much recent bad news getting me an over-discount. At $21, I think the latter happened. Even in his decline years, it's hard to see the Diggler losing his effectiveness in a big hurry, since he's not going to stop being 7 feet tall, with range, and with that freaky Euro leg kick he does to get separation. I'm hoping he can come back in 6 weeks and give him a full strength second half, and be a tremendous value in 2013.
Finally in the last part of the guys you've heard of portion of the program, there's Derrick Rose. I could have protected him for $29, and thought hard about it. When he's healthy, he's just special: big volume numbers, lots of goodness all over multiple categories, and capable of carrying your whole roster for a night. And if his shot isn't working, he does other things. Like Curry, he's still crazy young to be at such a high level, and not yet, in my mind, ready to just accept the mantle of chronically injured. At if nothing else, I got $12 extra to play with by successfully working the catch and release.
To fill out the rest of the roster, I went with upside plays where I'm hoping to hit the lottery once or twice. Jared Dudley does everything and will be on a Phoenix club where he could be a high usage player. DeAndre Jordan might get more minutes this year with Reggie Evans gone, and more time to allow coaching to teach him that learning how to shoot something -- anything, really -- from outside the paint might help his game. Dion Waiters could provide big numbers when the Cavs' opponents make them do anything but beat them with Kyrie Irving. Hinrich is a decent handcuff for a prolonged Rose absence. Rivers and Rush are both in battles for minutes, but have the clear athleticism upside to possibly show a breakout. And Okafor... was a mistake, but at least just a $1 one. (I didn't realize he only qualified at center. Sigh.)
Now, this could all go very, very badly: I've overdosed on injury risk plays, and could easily have a last-place team on my hands. But if I catch a little health, I could start 2013 with four players you could draft in the first round of a snake draft, for a protection amount that leaves more than enough left over for a credible fill of the starting position.
And if some of the longshots actually pay off, maybe I'll make someone play for 2014 at the 2013 draft. Doing that once was enough, really.