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Offseason Beat

NBA Expert Draft sneak peek

by Steve Alexander
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

The Rotoworld hoops staff joined a few all-stars for an 8-category, head-to-head, expert hoops draft on September 17. This draft was exclusively held for its inclusion in the new Rotoworld NBA Draft Guide, but I figured some of you non-subscribers would enjoy a sneak peak. So here are the first three rounds of our Yahoo! draft, and the entire thing took just 40 minutes to complete, despite being 12 teams and 13 rounds deep. The one-minute clock helped, of course. You’ll find the results of the first three rounds, as well as some commentary, below. The final 10 rounds can be found in the Draft Guide. Click here to check it out!


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Participants and Draft Order:


Ryan Knaus – Rotoworld

Matt Stroup – NBCSports.com

David Klyce – HoopsKlyce.com

Steve Alexander – Rotoworld

Rick Kamla – NBA TV

Raphielle Johnson – NBCSports

Mike Gallagher – Rotoworld

Tommy Beer – Rotoworld

Jared Johnson – Rotoworld

Brian Rosenworcel – Rockstar, drummer for Guster

Jonas Nader – Rotoworld

Dalton Del Don – Yahoo!


Round 1


1. Anthony Davis – Ryan Knaus

2. James Harden – Matt Stroup

3. Giannis Antetokounmpo – David Klyce

4. Karl-Anthony Towns – Steve Alexander

5. Stephen Curry – Rick Kamla

6. Nikola Jokic – Raphielle Johnson

7. Damian Lillard – Mike Gallagher

8. Kevin Durant – Tommy Beer

9. Victor Oladipo – Jared Johnson

10. LeBron James – Brian Rosenworcel

11. Paul George – Jonas Nader

12. Ben Simmons – Dalton Del Don


There were no real surprises in Round 1 and any of the Top 4 could have gone No. 1 without causing a disturbance in the Force. Most would agree that Anthony Davis should be the No. 1 pick, and he was, but his history of going to the locker room every other game will always be hanging over his owners’ head. Lillard over Durant is interesting, and LeBron James at 10 will turn heads (he could go No. 1 in some drafts), but I don’t love or hate anything that happened here. This draft happened well before Jimmy Butler decided to bail out of Minnesota, and the fact he’s leaving makes me love Karl-Anthony Towns even more. Especially given the fact he’s never missed an NBA game in three-year career (knock on wood). Kamla got Stephen Curry at No. 5, which is a good indicator of just how deep the first round and top picks run in fantasy hoops. I mean, LeBron James, arguably the best player in the NBA, went at No. 10, so it’s hard to make a big mistake in Round 1. Jared took Victor Oladipo at No. 9, and Dipo recently said he’s going to be a ‘killer’ this year, and I believe him. I honestly think you can look at 50 NBA fantasy drafts, and you’ll see 50 different orders for the first round. There are a ton of close calls out there, and none of them look like big mistakes. Of course, it will likely come down to how healthy they’ll all stay this season.


Round 2


13. Joel Embiid – Del Don

14. Kawhi Leonard – Nader

15. Donovan Mitchell – Rosenworcel

16. Jrue Holiday – J. Johnson

17. Jimmy Butler – Beer

18. Kemba Walker – Gallagher

19. Russell Westbrook – R. Johnson

20. Bradley Beal – Kamla

21. Kyle Lowry – Alexander

22. John Wall – Klyce

23. Chris Paul – Stroup

24. Rudy Gobert – Knaus


Del Don scooped up a couple baby-Sixers with Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid at the turn, which looks like a pretty good time. I was even a little jealous when he did it, and grabbing them at the turn could be a pretty constant theme in a lot of fantasy drafts this year. DDD loves TTP (Trust the Process)! Jonas is rolling the dice on Kawhi Leonard, but with all the positive reports out there about him, I don’t blame him at all, despite Kawhi’s laugh (and interview in general) in this trending video. And had he been there at 21, I would have taken him myself. Russell Westbrook fell all the way to 19 in a league that doesn’t count turnovers, and I’m guessing Raph got one of the steals of this draft. Yes, Westbrook recently had his fourth surgery on his right knee, but I’m still down with Westbrook. I took Kyle Lowry here, and I hope Gallagher is correct when he keeps telling me Lowry’s going to go nuts this year. You have to start two centers in this league, and Ryan scooped up Anthony Davis at No. 1 and then got Gobert at No. 24. So he’s all set with blocks, along with all the other centery-type of stuff that comes along with owning two elite big men.


Round 3


25. Devin Booker - Knaus

26. Andre Drummond - MS

27. Kevin Love - DK

28. Otto Porter Jr. - SA

29. Draymond Green - Kamla

30. C.J. McCollum - RJ

31. Khris Middleton - MG

32. Kyrie Irving - TB

33. Clint Capela - JJ

34. Marc Gasol - BR

35. Myles Turner - JN

36. DeMar DeRozan – DDD


Small forward is a tough position to get a stud at, so I went ahead and grabbed Otto Porter Jr. here, mainly because I love his all-around game and I already had a big and a point guard. There was also a run on centers, with Andre Drummond, Kevin Love, Clint Capela and Myles Turner all going in Round 3. Had Drummond been available to me, I probably would have taken him, free throw percentage be damned. I was also hoping that Turner would fall to me in Round 4. Maybe I was lucky that he didn’t, but I am still a Turner fan, and I will not be surprised when he has a huge bounce-back this season.


So there it is. If you’re dying to see the rest of this draft, just go ahead and grab the draft guide. Even if you know a ton about fantasy hoops, and consider yourself an expert, the amount of data, information, columns, rankings and mock drafts included make it well worth it. I’m still amazed at how we get it done every year. I love it.



Steve Alexander

Steve "Dr. A" Alexander is the senior editor for the NBA for Rotoworld.com and a contributor to NBCSports.com. The 2020-20 NBA season marks (at least) his 20th year of covering fantasy hoops for Rotoworld. Follow him on Twitter - @Docktora.