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Redrafting the NBA (08/25)

August 24, 2011
Redrafting the NBA
Round Three

Basketball Prospectus

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After Drew Cannon ranked the NCAA's top 100 players, we wanted to do the same for the NBA. In the interim, a host of player rankings popped up all over the Internet. So instead, we decided to try something different: Redrafting the NBA.

Over the next three weeks, Basketball Prospectus' four NBA analysts will be drafting two teams apiece for a total of eight teams and 96 players. We will be selecting players strictly on the basis of expected performance during the 2011-12 season, giving our own ranking of sorts--though one affected by positional scarcity and other outside factors.

Previous rounds: 1 | 2

17. Dan A - Zach Randolph, PF, Memphis Grizzlies
OK, Randolph doesn't really fit, but maybe "Seven Seconds or Zach" will work. Randolph is just a value pick at this point. If LeBron can't be convinced to post up more, Randolph can certainly provide that dimension

18. Bradford A - Rajon Rondo, PG, Boston Celtics
I've got the chief of my interior defense, so now I'm going for the ballhawk defender and offensive playmaker. On the defensive end, Rondo is going to be able to take a lot of chances with Howard behind him. Offensively, I've got a squad taking shape that's going to need a pass-first, primary decision maker and Rondo fits that particular bill as well as any player in the league. With Howard, Love and Rondo I've got a team with some attitude. I am, however, a bit concerned about the lingering effects of Rondo's elbow injury..

19. Kevin A - Paul Pierce, SF, Boston Celtics
This is the first time I've felt like roster construction has really hurt me. I hoped either Kevin Love or Randolph would still be on the board. Now I'm left with a lot of PGs who don't fit well next to Dwyane Wade and bigs who don't rebound well enough to play with LaMarcus Aldridge. So instead I'm going to the perimeter and hoping that Pierce can defy SCHOENE and put together another top-20 season.

20. Sebastian A - Russell Westbrook, G, Oklahoma City Thunder
I am fully aware that Chris Paul is on the team, but after seeing Westbrook in the playoffs, I'm not so sure that Westbrook is the answer at point guard for a team looking to win the championship, so he'll be playing the 2-guard spot for me. On a team with Paul and Duncan, I'm going to need some athleticism and Westbrook definitely provides that. Also, maybe now that he isn't worried about distributing the basketball, he can focus a bit more on defense and turn into a shutdown guy on that end of the court.

21. Sebastian B - Jason Kidd, PG, Dallas Mavericks
On my second team, we currently have Dirk Nowitzki and Manu Ginobili. We need a point guard who is smart, can distribute the basketball, score in a pinch, but doesn't have to dominate the basketball. Again, taking advantage of the one-year style of this draft, I'm going old and I'm taking Jason Kidd. Kidd is a perfect fit for playing alongside guys like Nowitzki and Ginobili, a terrific distributor and a guy who has no problem playing that role.

22. Kevin B - Carmelo Anthony, SF, New York Knicks
Taking a poor defender this high gives me pause, but when you look at the alternatives on the wing there really aren't many other players who belong in the first three rounds of the draft. If we could get him to do more without the ball on offense--and that's a big if, but he's also never played with Derrick Rose and Blake Griffin--I think Anthony's improved three-point shooting could make him more valuable in that role than other go-to scorers.

23. Bradford B - Joakim Noah, C, Chicago Bulls
With Deron Williams and Kevin Durant laying my offensive foundation, I need an interior presence to anchor the defense, control the boards and serve as a functionary on offense. Noah fits that job description to a T and also has the added benefit of being one of the best floor runners at his position in the league, which will come in handy on what is shaping up to be a high-flying, uptempo squad.

24. Dan B - Kevin Garnett, PF, Boston Celtics
I survived an earthquake to send this.

Complete draft order

1. Dan A - LeBron James, SF, Miami Heat
2. Bradford A - Dwight Howard, C, Orlando Magic
3. Kevin A - Dwyane Wade, SG, Miami Heat
4. Sebastian A - Chris Paul, PG, New Orleans Hornets
5. Sebastian B - Dirk Nowitzki, PF, Dallas Mavericks
6. Kevin B - Derrick Rose, PG, Chicago Bulls
7. Bradford B - Kevin Durant, SF, Oklahoma City Thunder
8. Dan B - Kobe Bryant, SG, L.A. Lakers
9. Dan B - Pau Gasol, F/C, L.A. Lakers
10. Bradford B - Deron Williams, PG, New Jersey Nets
11. Kevin B - Blake Griffin, PF, L.A. Clippers
12. Sebastian B - Manu Ginobili, SG, San Antonio Spurs
13. Sebastian A - Tim Duncan, F/C, San Antonio Spurs
14. Kevin A - LaMarcus Aldridge, F/C, Portland Trail Blazers
15. Bradford A - Kevin Love, PF, Minnesota Timberwolves
16. Dan A - Steve Nash, PG, Phoenix Suns
17. Dan A - Zach Randolph, PF, Memphis Grizzlies
18. Bradford A - Rajon Rondo, PG, Boston Celtics
19. Kevin A - Paul Pierce, SF, Boston Celtics
20. Sebastian A - Russell Westbrook, G, Oklahoma City Thunder
21. Sebastian B - Jason Kidd, PG, Dallas Mavericks
22. Kevin B - Carmelo Anthony, SF, New York Knicks
23. Bradford B - Joakim Noah, C, Chicago Bulls
24. Dan B - Kevin Garnett, PF, Boston Celtics

Complete rosters

Dan A - Nash/James/Z. Randolph
Bradford A - Rondo/Love/Howard
Kevin A - Wade/Pierce/Aldridge
Sebastian A - Paul/Westbrook/Duncan
Sebastian B - Kidd/Ginobili/Nowitzki
Kevin B - Rose/Anthony/Griffin
Bradford B - D. Williams/Durant/Noah

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Premium Article Can He Bounce Back? (08/24)
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Redrafting the NBA (08/25)

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