So... Nobody wants to know how to build a championships team? I'll tell anyways. My current team and league specs are on the sig, you can check it out from there. We have one day left on our leagues finals, but I'm leading comfortably and have 8-5 edge on games. My opponent is not coming back from the decifit he is in.
Before I go into my draft, I'll talk a bit about my principles in drafting and constructing my team. I'm known to have up and coming guys and few suprise players in my team. I usually don't have the most familiar names or steady-but-boring veterans that you know what you are getting. I base my philosophy to find value in draft, trades and waiver picks. I'll gamble on waivers, take calculated risks on drafts and try to buy low on trades.
I always try to draft value early on with some upside. I prefer trustworthy players that are steady in their production and don't get hurt. Later on the draft I want to draft players who I have good feeling about and are dropping few rounds below what they would otherwise. Sometimes you have to draft positions too, but I generally hate it. The league is so savvy that they won't let you get away with imbalanced rosters in trades. If you are desperate for PG and have abundance of centers, they going to make you pay for it.
So lets go and look into the draft...
1st Round: Andre Drummond
I picked 8th and it was basically between centers. Either Jokic, Drummond or Embiid. Embiid had the most potential, but given his injury history and 3-3-3 poffs schedule I wasn't thrilled about him. Joker and Dre had the same schedule, but Dre was the better player last season + much more steady player overall. That really put him over and I couldn't be more happier with him. No injuries, no resting, giving me consistent effort game to game AND to top that off he also hammered James Harden on the final week. Just all and all great player to own in points league. Loved every minute.
2nd Round: Rudy Gobert
Great pick. I had him pegged to play better than last season. He was even better than I thought. Unluckily I did sell him as I had my big guy rotation full. It was a mistake. Nevertheless 5/5 pick here.
3rd Round: Bradley Beal
He was the best player on the board with 4-4-4 schedule and 82 games played last season. To top that off I knew there was a realistic chance that John Wall would get injured. Which he did. And I also knew that would add 10-15 points to Beals value. No brainer of a pick. Youngish stud with growing potential AND great situation.
4th Round: Aaron Gordon
First time already having two centers came to haunt me. Steven Adams was on the board and I had him +5 points better than Gordon, but couldn't bring myself to draft third C this early. Gordon did well in the end this season, but his playoff schedule was horrible. Luckily I did cash in on his "hype" and got him flipped for another player that was better... Basically a pick that looked like me. Up and coming player with some upside. This time I worked that in my favor in a trade.
5th Round: Julius Randle
BOOM! I was so excited to get him. It seemed that there was an abundance of great young bigs on the board and for me this was a no brainer. In the end he crushed my expectations. Loved every minute of owning him this season. This did set me up with some pressure with PG and SF players though...
6th Round: Kris Dunn
I had Vuce as the best player on board, but couldn't draft yet another big man (with uncertainty of trade and horrible schedule). I looked at point guards and had Trae, Fox, Russell and Dunn on board. I felt like Dunn had most upside, but was wrong on this. Mike Conley was there too, but he just isn't my kind of a player.
7th Round: Josh Richardson
Needed SF. He was best on the board. Didn't dissapoint. He did burn me two season in a row before this one, but I took a leap of faith and it panned out.
8th Round: Jarrett Allen
I had him as a sleeper. He was decent at the beginning, but Atkinson never gave him the minutes. Funny that I had him and Spencer Dinwiddie marked as breakout players. In the end it was the one I didn't believe in - D'Angelo Russell. And LeVert in the early going. I did flip Allen before he bottomed out. I already decided that he wouldn't get the burn and I was right on that one.
9th Round: Joe Ingles
He was not as good as I hoped this season. Has gotten better late in the season, but I already sold him before that. I was pretty high on him, but in the end he is meat and potatoes kind of a player. And bad to own if you want some value in trades. Nobody gets hyped with a ugly white guy...
10th Round: Spencer Dinwiddie
I'm still bewildered by this one. He was humming along great, playing well off the bench (we have bench boost so its gravy) and then... He just lost his touch and Russell ran away with the reigns. Then he got injured and I had to drop him. I'm so bummed with him. Was my favorite player to own and then... It was over.
11th Round: Elfrid Payton
Lol. Another heart broken. I owned him three times this season. I have believed in him every year in Orlando and even in Phoenix. Always owned... He started great and I was orgastic. Then injury. I held. He came back, sucked and injured himself. I dropped him as I was hammered with injuries. I picked him up immediately I could and waited and waited and waited him to come back. And then he sucked and played WORST b-ball of his career. Had to drop. And when I tried to pick him up pre-emptive... Someone just blindly had offered more money and got him. And the rest is history.
The longer this draft recap goes the more I'm understanding that I saved my season by being great on trades or waiver picks...
12th Round: Jae Crowder
Good pick that I flipped for value later.
Rest of the picks are misses. Osman, Ellington, KCP. Just swinging for the fences. Not many good picks overall here for anyone, but would have liked to get Ariza or Siakam here. Siakam was so my kind of a pick that I'm embarassed to not pick him. I had him hyped up last season when he had his mini breakthrough. Just didn't see it after Kawhi was added. My bad.
Rudy Gobert, Malik Monk <-> Victor Oladipo, Buddy Hield
At the time of the trade I was sure I won in a landslide. Oladipo never got it going (bailed myself out tho) and Buddy Hield did. So it was not that bad, but being a little more patient with Gobert could have gotten me Stephen Curry or Kawhi Leonard (luckily not tho lol) or something like that.
Aaron Gordon, Vic Oladipo, Monte Morris, Jae Crowder <-> Jimmy Butler, Monster Harrell, Josh Hart, Dario Saric
Bailed myself out on Oladipo WHEN he had his first knee injury going on. Netted Harrell basically with Gordon and Crowder. Monte had some value for some time. I did this also to make some room to waiver picks as my team had no one else than Morris to drop. Very pleased with this in the end.
Jarrett Allen, Joe Ingles <-> TJ Warren, Al Horford
I decided to be fast and trade Allen before he bottomed out. Was a good trade for Horford. He was much easier to sell as a known entity. I analysed that Warren was better player than Ingles so that sweetened the deal even more. I was right, but Warren bummed out with his ankles (flipped him too luckily).
Dario Saric <-> Terry Rozier <-> Darren Collison
Just a long shot bet to get Rozier as he was in trade rumours. When it didn't pan out later I gave him back to his previous owner for Collison and future considerations. Collison was good for me in the semis and finals. Two decent games in semis and one very good game in finals (against Orlando). I used him sparingly, but found the way to make him useful.
Al Horford <-> Lou Williams
My second favorite 1on1 trade of all time! First one was to sell Spencer Hawes BACK IN THE DAY (10 years ago) when he had few weeks of good games in Philly. I got Marcin Gortat back and he was a beast rest of the way. Lou Will is my favorite NBA player, hands down. I love him ❤️
Buddy Hield, Kris Dunn <-> Nikola Mirotic, Nic Batum
Oh well... I had too many SG's after Lou Will trade and had owner who was hot for Dunn and Hield -> ready to pay. Mirotic at this time was still injured but had great season as far fantasy points go. I did not think for a second he would be traded. He got traded and sucked in Bux and got injured too. Not gonna own him ever again. Buddy Hield rocketed after the trade and Dunn sucked. Did get Dunn back for free later so it was basically Miro to Hield. Still bad. Stings a bit still.
TJ Warren <-> Kris Dunn
Hield - Miro trade was in early December. It felt so bad that I didn't want to another bad trade. Completely shut it down after it. Only this one and the Rozier - Collison after it. Made my mark in the waivers.
Trades all and all were okay this season. Loved getting the Clippers duo. They were a backbone for me this season. Hated losing Buddy and Gobert. Miro and Butler will not feature in my team ever again... The jury is out on Oladipo. I feel I ended up winning but only slightly as far as trading goes.
Most Notable Waiver Picks
JaVale McGee (semi finals last week!)
Cousins came in for a dollar. Good one for that price even when I had to be patient with him. Satoransky cost fortune, but he was worth the money with his poffs schedule too. McGee clinched me the semi finals and did great thus far on the finals too. Best waiver pick in the playoffs I have ever made, hands down.
I made big blunders on the waivers too. Threw money to Mitchell Robinson in November but it was WAY TOO EARLY. Winslow also cost a lot and didn't pan out. Maybe few others too where I thought they might break out but didn't. All and all didn't have too much money left for the playoffs but managed well what I had.
We also have FLEX position for weekly waiver picks and I have done well on those this season. Couple mistakes but mostly gotten good value. I have Miles Bridges for the finals and he has been hot as a blow torch! Tyus Jones, Seth Curry and Kenrich Williams also feature in my team now as I have worked overtime with the waivers. My work in the draft, trades and waiver made up for a good base on my team and gave me the luxury to work the waivers actively with rest of my slots.
We had 5 other teams with realistic chances to win the 'ship. No way of building a super team as managers are very alert with trades, waivers and do decent job in the draft too. All of these guys had some strong weeks leading up to playoffs and in the playoffs too. What was the reason that I won this season? In the end my team was the one with most consistent players, most depth and a manager that knew how to boost the team off the waivers. I didn't have the best score every week, but I was almost always up there in the Top5 and belting out regular Top3 performances too.
For the playoffs we have "league winner picks first" kind of a bracket and I was third to pick. Two managers above me thought too complicated and it left the door open for me to get weak opponent on quarter finals. I got him, had super week (would have beaten every other manager too) and went head to head with the best team for February-March. I got great flex player, I got McGee and nailed my decisions on who to play - I also built the team for semifinals with abundance of games. Planning is half of the victory! In the finals I have been consistent, no injuries, good flex pick and good decisions on the games. Consistency, quality choices, well built team with games on hand in the playoffs.
That is what makes me a champion.
See you all next season!