"Why Not Isaiah Rider?" The Fantasy Team for the Ages
Andrew Kamenetzky on the building of team "Why not Isaiah Rider?"
After much fanfare, deliberation and media speculation, the First Annual Kamenetzky Brothers All-Lakers Fantasy Draft officially entered the books. Exciting as a two person league comprised entirely of players from one team is, there was still one anti-climactic moment. It's not really all that thrilling when there are only 2 ping pong balls involved. And ghetto as we are, we didn't even have actual ping pong balls, instead settling on two golf balls with "1" and "2" written in marker. As the elder brother, I drew first and defeated the staggering 50-50 odds to pluck the first pick. Immediately, I was on the clock for thirty seconds. Here's my take on the next 20 rounds.
As anyone who's been in a fantasy league knows, the first overall pick carries enormous pressure. The opportunity to get the best player. You won't pick again until everyone else goes and it swings back your way. (In this case, I'd be waiting 2 rounds!) And if you select a lemon, you'll never hear the end of it. Thus, I weighed my options carefully, then boldly called out a name...
AK: Round 1 - Kobe Bryant - I briefly debated Odom for a second, wondering if he might fill out a stat line a little more completely. Then a thought hit me. "Dude! It's Kobe Bryant! What are you, an idiot?" That kinda took care of that.
BK: Round 2 - Lamar Odom
Round 3 - Kwame Brown
Savvy vet that he is, Brian immediately gravitated towards Odom, the incredibly obvious and only logical pick at #2. But I wonder if he screwed himself with Kwame, still a question mark, both as a player and in the triangle. Mihm's a proven, if unspectacular, producer. Oh, "upside!" You are indeed a dangerous lure.
AK: Round 4 - Chris Mihm
Round 5: Devean George
No brainer. Mihm is the only other guy, period, in terms of dependable, legit fantasy value. And Yahoo tabbed him potential sleeper, so there you have it. (I literally just read this. I swear I didn't actually do research for a 20 player draft) I'm hoping Devean becomes the team's sixth man, perhaps echoing a red hot '03-04 start when he was the unguarded fifth Beatle. Of course, being the bench's leading scorer makes him a marked man, which basically kills that theory. But he's good for some 3's and steals. On a high note, Brian did declare at this point, "Your team is shaping up to be so much better than mine." He was right.
BK: Round 6: Aaron McKie
Round 7: Luke Walton
I don't like McKie with this pick. Unless his health has significantly improved, I'm predicting he spends most of the time bringing up the ball, giving it up at just the right time, then getting out of the way. He's a heady player, but "heady" don't pay the fantasy rent. Brian is not heady. I was hoping, however, Walton and his assists would slip to me. When the hammy heals, that's a solid addition. Nice recovery, younger brother. You are indeed a somewhat worthy nemesis.
AK: Round 8: Smush Parker
Round 9: Andrew Bynum
Confession. I've never actually seen Smush Parker play in person. But I hear he's hitting shots, playing some steal-potential D, and may start. The nickname pretty much sealed the deal. Similar to Mitch Kupchak, I drafted Bynum on pure potential: Mine, however, was the potential for DNP-CD's, a designated stat. The plan is that he remains parked on the pine, "learning at the NBA level." If, however, he's consistently playing in either 45 seconds worth of garbage time or a Ft. Worth Flyers NBDL jersey, then I, like the Lakers, may also have risked drafting this kid too high.
BK: Round 10: Sasha Vujacic
Round 11: Slava Medvedenko
Sasha? Brian, there's no stat for "looking 12 years old." Actually, this could be a sweet pick. He's either not gonna play, clocking precious DNP-CD's, or end up a pleasant surprise, which makes him a steal. Slava's Slava. If he gets minutes, he'll give you points. And if there were a category for "errant shots that make Phil grimace," he'd be the greatest draft pick ever. However, given the makeup of Brian's team and the fact that nobody shoots consistently from beyond the arc, I would have left Slava on the board and selected...
AK: Round 12: Brian Cook
Round 13: Jumaine Jones
...Either of these cats. Assuming they get the green light, they'll be chucking from distance and hopefully making a decent percentage. And Jones is actually a pretty underrated rebounder.
BK: Round 14: Von Wafer
Round 15: Laron Profit
I knew Brian would take Von. Von Wafer's his boy. Seriously. He's been saying this since July. And he may hit a lot of those 3's Brian needs. Unfortunately, his stats in Ft. Worth won't transfer to our league, so it's a moot point. He took Laron Profit because the guy plays D and he's got a cool name. As a man who drafted Smush Parker seven rounds earlier sight unseen, I can't argue with that logic.
AK: Round 16: Tony Bobbitt
Round 17: Corie Blount
I'm not positive Bobbitt's gonna make the team, but the Lakers don't have a ton of depth at the 2, so why not play the percentages? I don't know exactly what stats he'll bring me, since he didn't play much last year, but the pickings are slim. As for Blount, I'm concerned being injured could hurt his odds of making the roster, but I'm hoping Phil's affinity for vets earns him a spot, where he'll get me a couple of boards, a couple of points, and many a DNP-CD.
BK: Round 18: Will Conroy
Round 19: Devin Green
Admittedly, you're not getting much for your fantasy dollar at this stage. Brian picked Conroy out of respect, I believe, since he loved his game in college. As for Green, he's a young kid with a dream, and Brian's always on board with that.
AK: Round 20: Adam Parada
Because you never know.
AK ("Why Not Isaiah Rider?"): Kobe, Mihm, Devean George, Smush, Bynum, Cook, Jumaine Jones, Bobbitt, Blount, Parada
BK ("Rambis Glasses"): Odom, Kwame, McKie, Walton, Sasha, Slava, Von, Laron, Conroy, the other Devin
Now I ask you: Who's team would you rather have? I thought so.