It’s been five months since the end of the initial UBAS season – five long months (UBAS site)! While it was an agonizingly long time, I spent it well by pouring over all of the unsigned, remaining players and cooking up trade idea after trade idea.
Then, about two months ago, Adam (the commissioner) updated everyone with the new crop of rookies. Blake Griffin is the most promising of the bunch, and John Wall was a solid project, but the field was fairly strong with an influx of European and Australian players, as well. The draft was so strong, in fact, that I quickly realized many newly available players were better than some of those gathering dust on my bench.
So, I went back to the database – finding the best players to fill holes in my squad. I hope I did alright. I’ll quickly recap how I did in the draft and why I dropped the players I did and what made me select the players I drafted.
My New York Rens finished 38-44 which “won” me the 11th pick in the draft. However, the team that had the 8th spot abstained from selecting in the draft so everyone moved up and I took 10th. I dropped Bob Houbregs to have a spot on my roster. His original selection was a bit of a mistake – the method I used to create my season 1 team didn’t account for games played or minutes played. As a result, towards the end, I began to pick up really productive players that either missed a ton of games or barely saw the court. So, Houbregs was an easy dump.
I knew the promising young rookies (Griffin, Wall, Demarcus Cousins, etc.) would be hot properties in the first 10 or so picks so I concentrated on the European and Australian players. Most of these players followed the same pattern: the first half of their career would be incredibly productive followed by mediocre years. So, focusing just on the first 5 years, I chose Australian shooting guard, Al Green, who had hands-down the best first 5 years of anyone on the board. He wasn’t a perfect fit for my squad as Clyde Drexler was going to be manning the SG spot for a decade, but I went with production over fit for this one. In fact, it wasn’t too terribly bad a lineup problem, either, as Drexler could slide up to SF, Barkley could slide up to PF and Leroy Edwards and Harry Gallatin could each play C.
I knew this draft class was extremely strong and I felt I could jump in with another early pick if I made the right trade. Luckily, the GM who owned the 15th selection asked me about Derek Harper. Harper was a great, long-term player but I felt I could find one who would produce more in less time at the 15th pick, so I shipped him out. As if this wasn’t enough good luck already, the two teams with the 13th and 14th picks decided to sit out for the draft so my 15th pick now was 13th (12th including the 8th spot who dropped out, too).
Anyway, I have always been slightly concerned with Leroy Edwards. He’s one of my favorite players and a phenomenal talent but is injury-prone for the first couple of years. When he goes down Harry Gallatin or Vlade Divac can take over for the C spot, but depending on lineups, sometimes Barkley will have to step up from the SF to the PF spot. Long story short, I wanted someone who could cover the PF and SF bases and Scott Fisher was the best bet for the next 5 years.
Jack Coleman was going to be a servicable backup big for the rest of his career, but with Scott Fisher I felt he was expendable. This decision was made even easier with the realization I could pick up even better players at my final spot (32nd pick). Looking over my squad I felt I still was a little top-heavy so I wanted to pick up a guard.
It was my turn and I even drafted the email saying I would be selecting a PG when I decided to do one more type of formula. This one averaged players’ best first season against their entire career and a gem popped out: Frank Ramsey. He wasn’t a PG but at SG/SF he could help fill in for Ron Harper who wouldn’t be able to play a full season.
And that was it! I think I did pretty well although I guess I still probably won’t see what I’ve missed until the season starts. Last year, I had a strategy for the draft and stuck to it pretty well but it was pretty clear afterward that my methods had a few kinks. A full season under my belt I now also am better aware of what it takes to be successful in the league. I think I shored up some gaping holes in my lineup (for this year and future years) and am on the right track. I can’t say I’ll compete for the championship in season 2 – but I should make the playoffs. I’ll keep you all updated!