Last season, a group of Today’s Fastbreak contributors got together to conduct a Franchise Player Draft, which involved picking 30 NBA players based on who’d be best to start a franchise with. The Today’s Fastbreak Franchise Player Draft is returning for 2016, but this time, it’s expanding to an entire starting five of players and is in a snake draft format.
Again, these players are being selected based on both current play AND their long-term potential. Furthermore, current NBA contracts aren’t relevant for this exercise.
111. J.J. Redick — Colby Giacubeno
I thought at this point in the draft, J.J. Redick was an absolute steal. Last season, he was the league leader in three-point percentage (47.5), eighth in three-point makes (200) and 10th in true shooting percentage (63.2). More importantly, he understands his role and is extremely efficient. Redick has come a long way since his rookie season when he was being put on the inactive list by the Orlando Magic. Since being paired with Chris Paul in LA, Redick’s impact on the game has increased drastically.
In accordance to my team, Redick would be a great complementary player next to Russell Westbrook. His ability to space the floor would give Westbrook plenty of space to attack the driving lanes and also give Westbrook something he has never had next to him at shooting guard — an elite long-range marksman.
First-round pick: Russell Westbrook
Second-round pick: Julius Randle
Third-round pick: Jae Crowder
Follow Colby on Twitter @ColbyGiacubeno
112. Wesley Matthews — Jared Mintz
As I watched both Danny Green and J.J. Redick get selected just moments before I was up, I was worried that my plan to add another 3-and-D wing to my backcourt was going to be foiled. Enter Wesley Matthews. Despite an Achilles tear ending his 2014-15 campaign, Matthews played in all but four games in his first season with the Dallas Mavericks, and he shot above average from downtown while playing serviceable defense.
Again, Matthews isn’t exactly as dependable as guys like Redick or Green, but like George Hill, he’s proven year after year that he can be a dependable three-point shooter and defender, and with his ability to get to the basket and even finish at the rim (he knocked down 55.1 percent of layups in 2014-15 and 59.9 percent in 13-14), he’s the 2-guard I want paired with LeBron and Melo to help win a ring (or two) for my franchise.
First-round pick: LeBron James
Second-round pick: Carmelo Anthony
Third-round pick: George Hill
Follow Jared on Twitter @JMintzHoops
113. Ryan Anderson — Jeff Berest
My goal was to get a true rim protector to shore up the frontcourt defensively after taking Kevin Love in round 2, but I had to make a detour here. I was looking to take Willie Cauley-Stein with this pick, but he went several picks before. At this point of centers I moderately liked I was choosing between Gorgui Dieng and Alex Len, and neither really got the juices flowing inside me.
So I’ve bagged adding balance to my lineup and now my team is just going pure run ‘n’ gun. In case you didn’t know, three points is more than two points, so we’re going in the pure analytics direction and taking a crap-ton of threes and occasionally some layups and dunks. I’m not sure you could pair together two better shooters at PF and C.
Now, we’re unsure who will be playing center, but it honestly doesn’t matter. Our goal is just to outscore opponents, and hopefully we’ll be so deadly from the perimeter other teams will have to conform to us and the true center position just won’t exist when teams play us. With Klay, Love, Hezonja and now Ryan Anderson, that’s almost too much shooting for a team to defend. So obviously next round I’m looking to fill out this lineup with another sweet-shooting guard to just further this experiment.
First-round pick: Klay Thompson
Second-round pick: Kevin Love
Third-round pick: Mario Hezonja
Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeff_berest
114. Brandon Knight — Jackson Sanders
At this selection, I have two needs remaining: a backcourt companion for James Harden and a 3-and-D wing. I began scouring the remaining player pool, and I was pretty surprised to find that Brandon Knight was still available. Are we really saying — at 24-years-old – that Knight isn’t a top-100 asset in the NBA?
As far as how he fits in with my current squad, Knight checked quite a few boxes for me. He can hit three-pointers (36 percent career shooter from three), he should function nicely as a secondary ball handler next to Harden, and he provides my suddenly potent offensive lineup with an excellent third scoring option; the youth was just a (massive) bonus.
First-round pick: James Harden
Second-round pick: Nerlens Noel
Third-round pick: LaMarcus Aldridge
Follow Jackson on Twitter @6thManHoops
115. Enes Kanter — Dave Leonardis
The selection of Enes Kanter flies in the face of my plan to build a strong defensive starting five. After all, Kanter is the worst defender of any big man and arguably the worst defensive player in the league. Still, what Kanter lacks in defensive effort, he makes up for in offensive versatility and tenacity on the glass. He’s an elite offensive rebounder, and his sneaky mid-range jumper makes him a pick-and-pop dynamo. With most of my targets off the board, pairing Brook Lopez with Kanter and giving my squad a huge offensive advantage up front isn’t the worst thing in the world.
First-round pick: Kawhi Leonard
Second-round pick: Justise Winslow
Third-round pick: Brook Lopez
Follow Dave on Twitter @FrontPageDave
116. Otto Porter — Jack Magruder
Like a lot of young, thin forwards, Porter needed some time to adjust to the physicality of the NBA game after being the third overall pick in the 2013 draft by Washington. A hip flexor limited him to a half season in his rookie year, but he turned the corner last season, especially late, after point guard John Wall urged him to be more assertive on the offensive end.
Porter, 6-8 and 190, averaged 11.6 points and 5.2 rebounds in his first year as a starter last year with an adjusted field goal percentage of 54.1 while taking his game to the perimeter. He made 98 three-pointers, a big jump from previous years, and appears to have hit his stride. He just turned 23, and his best days are in front of him.
First-round pick: Stephen Curry
Second-round pick: Victor Oladipo
Third-round pick: Nikola Vucevic
Follow Jack on Twitter @JackMagruder
117. Kent Bazemore — Donnie Kolakowski
Wings who can shoot, make plays and defend well are at a premium, and I’ll grab another one here who’s still on the front end of his prime. There’s a reason Bazemore got a big deal this offseason. His long arms (6’11.5 wingspan) make up for his slight height disadvantage against good forwards on defense, and he’s proven to be an excellent complementary offensive player. He’ll thrive next to my other two wings, and his presence allows me to play Kevin Durant at the 4, which is a terrifying mismatch for other squads.
First-round pick: Kevin Durant
Second-round pick: Rodney Hood
Third-round pick: Steven Adams
Follow Donnie on Twitter @donniebuckets
118. Langston Galloway — Sara Peters
Langston Galloway might not leap off the stat sheet, but the boy’s got hops. When he launched his 6’2” frame in the air for a monster put-back dunk in the faces of Dwight Howard and Josh Smith on day two of his NBA career, he earned a spot for himself in the hearts of all Knicks fans. The combo guard’s shooting stroke was wobbly last season, but he is hustle, heart, an injection of energy, a higher +/-, a one-man fastbreak and a buzzer-beating three wrapped up in one small package. Galloway simply makes his team play better, and for that reason, I have no bones about selecting him as a key piece for my young backcourt.
First-round pick: Andre Drummond
Second-round pick: Jordan Clarkson
Third-round pick: Bobby Portis
Follow Sara on Twitter @3fromthe7
119. Al-Farouq Aminu — Keith Smith
He’s a versatile fit who can play 3 or 4 and guard 2-4. His much improved outside shot is also a fit. I wanted a versatile team that could switch a defend all over the court. Aminu fits that perfectly alongside AD and KCP.
First-round pick: Anthony Davis
Second-round pick: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
Third-round pick: Isaiah Thomas
Follow Keith on Twitter @KeithSmithNBA
120. Elfrid Payton — Cray Allred
The Elfrid Payton/Victor Oladipo backcourt was something of a disappointment or failure, depending on your expectations. But Payton is already a decent defender and as proven a distributor as you’ll find in his age range (he’s still just 22). He was 14th in Assist Percentage among point guards who played more than 20 minutes per game last season. It’s no secret that he’s struggled as a shooter, but he improved significantly during his sophomore season and I’m surrounding him with shooters. For my purposes, Payton merely needs to remain a steady game manager who can help make our long, tall defense a monster. Any other offensive development is just gravy.
First-round pick: Karl-Anthony Towns
Second-round pick: Tobias Harris
Third-round pick: Dragan Bender
Follow Cray on Twitter @crayallred