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Offseason Beat

July Fantasy Hoops Mock Draft

by Mike Gallagher
Updated On: July 11, 2019, 1:05 pm ET

Now that free agency is almost over, we have a great idea of what the 2019-20 NBA teams will look like. Sure, things will change with trades and late signings, but the sleepers, breakout picks and stars we want to build around look to be developing into solidified draft value.

The Rotoworld crew is going to be our usual diligent selves in July and August as we dig in and look up countless stats to put in our NBA Draft Guide. Before we do that, I always like to do an early mock to see how the tiers, flow and depth of positions are going to fill out. One quick lesson was how point guards in this eight-cat league really drove how people had to strategize. We'll be doing close to double-digit mocks in our draft guide and probably close to 30 columns on top of rankings, player outlooks and all the tools you need to dominate your drafts.

Before we get there, this was a 13-team, head-to-head mock draft with most of the Rotoworld crew and a few loyal pod listeners. Plus, Jim McCormick from ESPN and Mark Strotman from NBCS Chicago were some savvy drafters. And yes, you can't do 13-team H2H leagues, but it really doesn't matter in a mock, so this is basically a hybrid 12-14 team league (PG, SG, SF, PF, C, C, G, G, F, F, UTIL starting). To the new fantasy people, the eight categories are points, rebounds, assists, steals, blocks, threes, FG% and FT%, so no turnovers in this one.

Tommy Beer and I also did a pod to break it all down, so give that a listen as you check out all these picks.

Round 1

1. Jared Johnson (@Jae_Tha_Truth) - Stephen Curry 

2. Jim McCormick (@_JimmyMcCormick) - Giannis Antetokounmpo

3. David Eeckhout (@EeckhoutDavid) - James Harden 

4. Mike Gallagher (@MikeSGallagher) - Karl-Anthony Towns 

5. Raphielle Johnson (@raphiellej) - Anthony Davis

6. Mark Strotman (@markstrot) - Damian Lillard

7. Tommy Beer (@TommyBeer) -Nikola Jokic

8. David Leggieri (@legsanity) -  Paul George

9. Matt Stroup (@MattStroup) - Joel Embiid

10. Elie Mondesi (@Haitian_Mamba) - Rudy Gobert

11. Jonas Nader (@JonasNader) - Bradley Beal

12. Ewell Collins (@noremaksnilloc) - Zion Williamson

13. Mark Ethen Sagun (@MarkEthen) - Kemba Walker

Right off the bat, we had a big surprise with Harden falling to three. Respect to my guys Jared and Jim, but that's a hot take with Harden offering the highest floor by far along with arguably the best upside. Steph is definitely a top-three pick, but I'm a little nervous about Giannis' knee, especially if the Bucks have to rest guys. The first eight picks look to be clearly ahead of the rest, which makes pick nine really tough. Embiid offers one of the highest upsides, but there's almost no chance he'll get to 70 games - Stroup said he wanted to shoot for upside to offset the late pick. I'm fine with Zion in round one despite how his knee issue is a little scary from Vegas. I love Beal, but the Wizards are going to be a dumpster fire.

My pick - Going KAT was easy. He's young, durable, doesn't rest, is getting better and can do so many things on the stat sheet. He's my No. 2 pick in eight- and nine-cat leagues. 

Round 2

1. Mark E. - Trae Young

2. Ewell - Jrue Holiday

3. Jonas - Russell Westbrook

4. Elie - Devin Booker

5. Matt - Nikola Vucevic

6. David L. - LeBron James

7. Tommy - Mitchell Robinson

8. Mark S. - Kyrie Irving

9. Raphielle - Luka Doncic

10. Mike - Myles Turner

11. David E. - Andre Drummond

12. Jim - Kawhi Leonard

13. Jared - Clint Capela

The first turn has Mark E. going PG-PG, which makes a lot of sense in an eight cat. As you'll see there are some big spots where the PG tiers drop off a cliff, and now Mark won't have to reach for one like many other had to do. I love the idea, but I would have definitely taken Jrue. The up-tempo Pels and Jrue being healthy lately makes him the No. 9 pick in an eight-cat league to me. That said, I absolutely love Trae and now he's expected to play 35-plus minutes. Premium position, young, healthy and focal point of his team. Sign me up early in the second round. Besides the Luka pick, it's pretty wide open in the second round with really anyone in the second round going as high as 12. It helps to pick early and just get who ever falls. Kyrie also makes sense, but it'll be very important to 'cuff him to Spencer Dinwiddie. Booker was a top-five player per game in his final 20, but there's risk on his health. He's SG Embiid, basically. Kawhi is obviously a top-eight potential guy, but it would be a shock to see him play 70 games. He was basically healthy last year and only played in 60.

My pick - I was hoping for Trae, but I was happy with Turner. With Domantas Sabonis set to play a lot more four, Turner's minutes floor should increase, and his per-minute output should rise with Victor Oladipo on the shelf. The Sabonis-Turner lineup was very successful late in the season for the Pacers, and Turner was much better from deep. 


Round 3

1. Jared - Pascal Siakam

2. Jim - Ben Simmons

3. David E. - Ja Morant

4. Mike - Donovan Mitchell

5. Raphielle - Jimmy Butler

6. Mark S. - John Collins

7. Tommy - Mike Conley

8. David L. - Bam Adebayo

9. Stroup - Kristaps Porzingis

10. Elie -  Jaren Jackson Jr. 

11. Jonas - De'Aaron Fox

12. Ewell - Deandre Ayton

13. Mark E. - Draymond Green 

Besides the reach on Ja, this feels a lot like how the third round will go. All these PF/C guys won't go past 40 and some will go closer to 20. I have Collins as the class of the bigs in this round, especially with talk of him playing 35 minutes. Conley is 31 and he hasn't played more than 70 games in each of the last four seasons -- just 12 in 2017-18. Big upside and the Jazz will compete for the top seed, though. Jimmy slips with his increased age and all the dings racking up on his body lately, but that's a great spot for him. I could see myself drafting any of the bigs in this round, which kind of hammers home the point of wanting to get a guard in the first two rounds.

My pick - If I didn't go C-C, I would've been all over John Collins. However, I couldn't wait 18 picks to grab a guard, especially with many guys behind me failing to get a smaller player. Still, I am sold on Donny in the third and EVP Dennis Lindsey said the Jazz tried to put as much shooting around Donovan and Rudy "as humanly possible." He could up his efficiency while adding plenty of goodies on the stat sheet.


Round 4

1. Mark E. - Tobias Harris 

2. Ewell - DeMarcus Cousins

3. Jonas - D'Angelo Russell 

4. Elie - Khris Middleton

5. Matt - Buddy Hield

6. David L. - LaMarcus Aldridge

7. Tommy - Chris Paul

8. Mark S. - Robert Covington

9. Raphielle - Malcolm Brogdon

10. Mike - Jamal Murray

11. David E. - Eric Bledsoe

12. Jim - Blake Griffin

13. Jared - Kyle Lowry

It was a pretty boring round here with a lot of very safe picks in Tobias, Buddy, Middleton, LaMarcus, Bledsoe and my Murray pick. CP3 certainly carries risk with his hamstrings, but he is truly elite per game. The same with RoCo's knees after missing 15+ games in three of his last four years with serious knee concerns. Brogdon and D-Lo carry a lot of risk in their new situations, but it could pay off ... and again, it's eight cat. Boogie and Blake could be bargains, but they carry as much risk as CP3. Maybe more.

My pick - I continue my 23-and-under ways here, and Murray checks all the boxes of things I want from players. Youth, a coach's trust after Malone kept him in through slumps, being on a team that should fight for seeding, and a fairly clean bill of health. Perhaps Murray hasn't hit his ceiling yet either, so I was really happy to land him here.


Round 5

1. Jared - Otto Porter 

2. Jim - Zach LaVine

3. David E. - Thomas Bryant

4. Mike - C.J. McCollum

5. Raphielle - Kevin Love

6. Mark S. - Danilo Gallinari

7. Tommy - DeMar DeRozan

8. David L. - Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

9. Stroup - Lauri Markkanen

10. Elie -  Caris LeVert

11. Jonas - Jayson Tatum

12. Ewell - Lonzo Ball

13. Mark E. - Derrick Favors

Only a couple surprising picks here with Lonzo and Thomas Bryant. Bryant should get all he can eat, but he isn't an elite shot blocker and there haven't been many steals, dimes or treys. He is still just 21, though. I love the Pelicans, but drafting Ball this high is tough with J.J. Redick in the mix. I love SGA and I was hoping he would slide back to me in the next round, but multiple owners told me they were going to take him with their next pick. He's going to go top 60 in most legit drafts even if Westy is around. Love and Gallo have upside, but age and injury history is a tough sell in this load management era. I also can't push my chips in for Lauri with his multiple back issues.

My pick - Excluding his knee injury last year, C.J. has been extremely durable over the past few years. He looked outstanding in the playoffs last year and coach Terry Stotts hasn't really sat the 27-year-old McCollum. Just a safe pick with added upside on a very, very thin Blazers squad.


Round 6

1. Mark E. - Delon Wright 

2. Ewell - Dejounte Murray

3. Jonas - Montrezl Harrell

4. Elie - Julius Randle

5. Matt - Terry Rozier

6. David L. - Jonas Valanciunas

7. Tommy - RJ Barrett

8. Mark S. - Jonathan Isaac

9. Raphielle - Domantas Sabonis

10. Mike - Kelly Oubre

11. David E. - Miles Bridges

12. Jim - Josh Richardson

13. Jared - Brook Lopez

On Wednesday, Mark Cuban made it sound like Delon was a lock to start and play most of his minutes next to Luka. He could be big time and should see heavy minutes. Tommy had to take RJ for the brand, so I'd expect him to go a little later in most drafts. The same with Dejounte, who could lead the NBA in steals to give him a high floor per game. Rozier is a risky play, but PG is a wasteland in multiple spots of this draft. I don't see myself drafting Harrell or Randle with Harrell set to lose usage and Randle having some holes in his fantasy game.  Miles Bridges went a little early, but he could really put up numbers in a lot of areas. He should see massive opportunity. 

My pick - Assuming he heads back to Phoenix, Oubre could be in a big spot. He absolutely went off in the final 12 games, averaging 20.2 points, 5.7 boards, 1.6 dimes, 0.9 blocks, 2.1 steals and 1.9 treys on a 47/34/75 line. Sure, the Suns are annoying, but they like Oubre and he's still just 23. By the way, I realize trusting the Suns is a "famous last words" scenario.


Round 7

1. Jared - Ricky Rubio 

2. Jim - Al Horford

3. David E. - Marvin Bagley

4. Mike - Hassan Whiteside

5. Raphielle - Bojan Bogdanovic

6. Mark S. - Lou Williams

7. Tommy - Gary Harris

8. David L. - Jaylen Brown

9. Stroup - Wendell Carter Jr. 

10. Elie -  Aaron Gordon

11. Jonas - Larry Nance

12. Ewell - Jeremy Lamb

13. Mark E. - Kyle Anderson 

Lots of solid picks here in Rubio, Horford, Harris, Gordon and Lamb with all offering some ceiling along with the downside. Nance is going to be very productive when Love sits, but it's really tough to count on Cleveland to play him a lot, especially with his injury history. Anderson could take a step forward with a lot of young players around him and the same for Bagley. I'm not totally sold on the upside of Lou, Jaylen and Bojan. I love Wendell, but this new injury setback is enough to move him down a tad.

My pick - I spent about 10 minutes trying to talk myself out of Whiteside, but nobody left on the board carries his upside. Coach Terry Stotts said he's "a perfect fit" and that C.J. and Dame will make him a better player. A change of scenery will help. Also, he doesn't really "fit" my team, but he's not part of my core and I'd be willing to trade him. Nothing wrong going best available in the later rounds.


Round 8

1. Mark E. - Patrick Beverley 

2. Ewell - Steven Adams

3. Jonas - Derrick White

4. Elie - Joe Ingles

5. Matt - De'Andre Hunter

6. David L. -T.J. Warren

7. Tommy - Zach Collins

8. Mark S. - Marc Gasol

9. Raphielle - Reggie Jackson

10. Mike - Fred VanVleet

11. David E. - Serge Ibaka

12. Jim - Gordon Hayward

13. Jared - DeAndre Jordan

Not too many sexy picks here besides Zach Collins and De'Andre Hunter. I'm in on Collins with a major lack of competition, but I'm not ready to pounce on Hunter even after Schlenk said he will play a lot. Gasol was a major bargain here and I'm on board to draft Ingles, White, Adams and Hayward. A little soon for Pat-Bev, and maybe Warren can stay healthy.

My pick - I was really happy to get FVV here with Kawhi and Danny gone. Plus, there's a little added upside in Lowry's age and his propensity to miss games.


Round 9

1. Jared - Brandon Ingram 

2. Jim - Bogdan Bogdanovic 

3. David E. - Jeff Teague

4. Mike - Darius Garland

5. Raphielle - Coby White

6. Mark S. - Dewayne Dedmon

7. Tommy - Marcus Smart

8. David L. - Mikal Bridges

9. Stroup - Tomas Satoransky

10. Elie -  Willie Cauley-Stein

11. Jonas - Jarrett Allen

12. Ewell - Kevin Huerter

13. Mark E. - Klay Thompson

I had considered Ingram here because the Pelicans may be one of the most productive fantasy teams, but he's been a fantasy letdown in his career. Still just 21. Coby White should take over at PG soon, but he's been uninspiring in Vegas. Could see a lot of upside in Allen, Bridges, Smart and Huerter. Smart was surprisingly efficient after the break. This is a no IR league, so it's really tough to stash.

My pick - I'm all about upside and I wanted more chips placed on PGs in this eight-cat league. Garland is going to play next to Collin Sexton, and he can bury a ton of treys. A little bummed he's not playing in summer league.


Round 10

1. Mark E. - Jakob Poeltl 

2. Ewell - Dennis Smith Jr.

3. Jonas - Brandon Clarke

4. Elie - Isaiah Thomas

5. Matt - Elfrid Payton

6. David L. - Kyle Kuzma

7. Tommy - Victor Oladipo

8. Mark S. - Danny Green

9. Raphielle - Enes Kanter

10. Mike - Tyler Herro

11. David E. - Dario Saric

12. Jim - Paul Millsap

13. Jared - Tyus Jones

Really solid picks all around here and it's tough to see too many negatives. Upside wise, I'm into Tyus, IT, Clarke and DSJ. The other vets in the round could all easily be top-100 guys.

My pick - If you follow me on Twitter, you probably noticed my account has become a Herro Stan account. I love his confidence and how much he's handled the ball has really caught my eye. The possible OKC-Miami deal could put him in a big spot.

Round 11

1. Jared - Joe Harris 

2. Jim - Taurean Prince

3. David E. - Jerami Grant

4. Mike - Kevon Looney

5. Raphielle - J.J. Redick

6. Mark S. - Rudy Gay

7. Tommy - Goran Dragic

8. David L. - Alex Len

9. Stroup - JaVale McGee

10. Elie -  Kent Bazemore

11. Jonas - Jarrett Culver

12. Ewell - Cam Reddish

13. Mark E. - Evan Fournier

A couple Nets off the board to start it off and can sign off on those picks. Not really sure Grant is worth a pick on Denver's bench now, but McGee should be decent as a blocks guy even behind an injury-prone Boogie.

My pick - Looney's steals numbers should be very good for a big and he could be elite in FG%. I'm not totally sold on WCS playing 22 minutes, and Looney may need to play some PF because of this thin GSW roster.

Round 12

1. Mark E. - Collin Sexton

2. Ewell - Harrison Barnes

3. Jonas - Derrick Jones Jr. 

4. Elie - Anfernee Simons

5. Matt - Cedi Osman

6. David L. -Spencer Dinwiddie

7. Tommy - Dwight Powell

8. Mark S. - Thaddeus Young

9. Raphielle - Dylan Windler

10. Mike - Dwayne Bacon

11. David E. - Bruno Fernando

12. Jim - Kelly Olynyk

13. Jared - Eric Gordon

Spencer Dinwiddie was a tremendous steal here and I really liked Powell, Olynyk and Airplane Mode (DJJ). At this stage, getting a piece of the MIA-OKC potential deal is smart in the late rounds.

My pick - Someone has to produce for the Hornets and Bacon is likely to start. He can score a bit and was efficient last year, so maybe he can get hot if he can somehow get some steals.


We're still drafting! I'll be adding the details in the last two rounds as soon as we're done.

Round 13

1. Jared - Malik Monk

2. Jim - Cody Zeller

3. David E. - Aaron Holiday

4. Mike - Will Barton

5. Raphielle - Bobby Portis

6. Mark S. - Terrence Ross

7. Tommy - Markelle Fultz

8. David L. - Robert Williams

9. Stroup - Jaxson Hayes

10. Elie -  Andrew Wiggins

11. Jonas - Bruno Caboclo

12. Ewell - P.J. Washington

13. Mark E. - Nerlens Noel


Round 14

1. Mark E. - Luke Kennard

2. Ewell - Michael Porter Jr. 

3. Jonas - Landry Shamet

4. Elie - Bruce Brown

5. Matt - Rui Hachimura

6. David L. - Norman Powell

7. Tommy - Kevin Knox

8. Mark S. - Darius Bazley

9. Raphielle - Lonnie Walker IV

10. Mike - OG Anunoby

11. David E. - Rodions Kurucs

12. Jim - D.J. Augustin

13. Jared - Tim Hardaway Jr.

Fun draft! Check out the pods for things that Tommy and I learned, but some of the drafters added their thoughts.


Mark Strotman's thoughts

Perhaps because this was just a hypothetical fantasy draft, I rolled the dice quite a bit on health. Four of my top five picks have legitimate injury/rest concerns – Collins and Covington both missed big chunks of last season and Gallinari is always injury-prone, while Irving could get the load management treatment in Brooklyn. But I love the value I got with all those picks and even if three play 70+ games I’ll be in great shape. Jonathan Isaac should explode in Year 3, and I was thrilled to get him in Round 6. I waited pretty long on centers for it being a two-center league, but coming away with Marc Gasol and Dewayne Dedmon in Rounds 8 and 9 was solid value. Center feels deep this season despite the traditional position going away. Because I rolled the dice in the early rounds, I decided to go with trusted veterans late. Thaddeus Young is a Lauri Markkanen (or Wendell Carter) injury away from being a top-70 guy, Danny Green was built for a LeBron James offense, and both Rudy Gay and Terrence Ross are going to provide steady volume numbers.

Elie Mondesi's thoughts

After skimming through the results of Mike’s eight-cat, 13-team mock draft, my biggest takeaway was how fast the point guard tiers dried up. Eight-cat leagues definitely favor point guards because turnovers aren’t a factor. I definitely didn’t take that into account throughout my draft. I drafted as if it was a nine-category mock. The first round is basically a crap shoot after the first eight picks. The discrepancy between the late first round through the third round was minuscule. It seems like this year people will be more daring in the early rounds and draft high upside players. Everyone loves the new toys. I’d still draft high volume safe guys in the first four rounds. I think taking players from uptempo systems will be crucial for fantasy this year. And like Mike, in the early rounds I’m taking players under 30. There should be a lot of value from rounds 4-7 for bigs since it seems that the new trend will be to draft guards early. This potential development goes against the grain of most draft strategies in recent seasons. Guards mostly impact assists, threes and free throw percentage. However, the league is such a position-less league that even if I miss out on elite guards I can still draft efficient bigs who don’t hurt percentages and still provide defensive stats. And you can also find threes at any position, so it comes down to steals. I can also find that with bigger wings and pickups. I think anyone playing in a 14-team league who misses out on point guards they can still compete at a high level with the right build.

Matt Stroup's thoughts

No matter what order you put them in, I think there’s a pretty clear top eight this year, so you could say that my draft went off the rails the second I drew the No. 9 pick. I still think Embiid is the right call, because when he’s on the court he’s a top-10 player, but I hate starting my squad out with a guy who has yet to play 65 games in a season during his brief career. With that said, I actually like my draft for the seven rounds that followed that, right up until the point that I apparently blacked out and took Tomas Satoransky and Elfrid Payton with back-to-back picks in the 120 range.

One thing I learned/was reminded of during this draft: Get your point guards early. I was pretty happy to get Terry Rozier at No. 70 (he averaged 13.1 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 5.0 apg, 1.7 spg and 2.3 threes in 14 games as a starter this past season and has the keys to the car in Charlotte), but it’s an absolute wasteland if you go too much further down the road at that position. (See Satoransky and Payton, above)

David Eeckhout's thoughts

This was my first eight-cat draft and it changes more than you would think. Getting at least two guards with your first four picks seems a must. Otherwise you end up reaching for guards with more baggage (low FG or low steals). Below some thoughts on my more unconventional picks.: Andre Drummond (24): Harden and Drummond is the worst combo in terms of low FG and low FT, so this was a pure value pick as Drummond was No. 11 in eight-cat after the All-Star break. Ja Morant (29): Morant averaged 5.2 turnovers in college but taking him at 29 was at least a round to early. Still, he averaged 24.5 points with 10 assists and 1.8 steals in college at 49 FG and 81 FT (on 6 attempts) and should get a lot of easy assists in the PnR with JJJ, Valanciunas and Clarke. Thomas Bryant (50): The Wizards are going to give Bryant all the minutes he can handle. Per-36 min Bryant averaged 18 points, 11 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 0.7 steals 1.6 blocks, 0.8 threes on 61 FG / 78 FT. His blocks aren’t elite, but I am hoping he gets a boost from how bad the Wizards are going to be on defense. Miles Bridges (55): Bridges is a member of the highly desired 1-1-1 club with per-36 stats of 13/7/2 with1.5 steals and 0.8 blocks after the all-star break. Those numbers are his floor in my opinion now Kemba is in Boston and if he starts at PF, that also helps his rebound numbers. Rest: Bruno Fernando has Mitch Robinson-esque upside in blocks (seven blocks in 52 min in Vegas summer league) later in the season as Alex Len always has trouble staying healthy. I took Aaron Holiday as a late round flier, the Pacers desperately need some scoring and playmaking of the bench, especially with Oladipo out for the first weeks/months of the season.

Mike Gallagher

Mike Gallagher has covered fantasy hoops for eight years and this season is his second with NBC Sports Edge. You can find him on Twitter talking about a player's shots at the rim.