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.
121. Josh Richardson — Cray Allred
A 23-year-old who shot 46 percent from three in his rookie season, mainly as a spot-up shooter? Yes, please. Richardson is nursing an MCL sprain, and there are a slew of similar guards available here. But most have recent injury woes of their own (Tyler Johnson) and/or are three-plus years older (C.J. Miles), and/or are complete defensive sieves (Luke Babbit), and/or can’t shoot themselves out of a plastic bag (Marcus Smart). I confess to not knowing much about Richardson’s defensive game, but he at least wasn’t a net drain on the Heat’s defense going by Defensive RPM and net rating. With above-average ball handlers at every other position on my team, Richardson won’t be asked to do much but hit open looks and hold up on D.
First-round pick: Karl-Anthony Towns
Second-round pick: Tobias Harris
Third-round pick: Dragan Bender
Fourth-round pick: Elfrid Payton
Follow Cray on Twitter @crayallred
122. Chris Bosh — Keith Smith
Well, I made this pick before the news that he wouldn’t be cleared. If healthy, he would have been a perfect fit next to Anthony Davis in my fictional frontcourt. He can space the floor and also post up. Almost a perfect fit for what my team needed on the offensive end.
First-round pick: Anthony Davis
Second-round pick: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
Third-round pick: Isaiah Thomas
Fourth-round pick: Al-Farouq Aminu
Follow Keith on Twitter @KeithSmithNBA
123. Evan Turner — Sara Peters
He’s a little over my age limit. And no, okay, he doesn’t shoot threes. The man can do everything else. Evan Turner is one of the nastiest wing defenders in the league, who will make sure no shot goes uncontested, no lazy pass goes unpunished, no loose goes ball uncaptured. He’s dead-on from mid-range, powerful driving to the hoop, unstoppable on the fastbreak, ever-ready with a slick pass, and occasionally he’ll pull out a circus shot for the highlight reel. If I need one veteran to keep the young crew in shape, I’m happy to take an underrated player with boundless hustle and a bit of an edge.
First-round pick: Andre Drummond
Second-round pick: Jordan Clarkson
Third-round pick: Bobby Portis
Fourth-round pick: Langston Galloway
Follow Sara on Twitter @3fromthe7
124. Andre Iguodala — Donnie Kolakowski
I got a little creative to fill my point-guard role since none of the options left were great, but Iguodala basically plays like a point guard on offense anyway. He has great vision and the offense often runs through him for the Warriors’ second unit, making me confident he can thrive as the nominal 1 on my squad.
Plus, he gives me one of the best wing defenders in the league defensively. With Hood, Bazemore and Durant all in the fold as well, my team can switch on almost anything, and Adams in the middle gives me dominance on that side of the ball. Offensively, I have shooters and ball handlers around one of the true elite players in the game, and Adams as a great rim roller. Iguodala’s age (32) is a drawback, but with no one else over 27, I could afford to take one player past his prime.
First-round pick: Kevin Durant
Second-round pick: Rodney Hood
Third-round pick: Steven Adams
Fourth-round pick: Kent Bazemore
Follow Donnie on Twitter @donniebuckets
125. Domantas Sabonis — Jack Magruder
Sabonis flew under the radar in his first season at Gonzaga in 2014-15, but his athleticism and intelligence were obvious last season, prompting his early entry in the draft. Like his father, Arvydas, Sabonis has an advanced understanding of the game. He makes the right decisions, a trait that cannot be taught and is never out of fashion. He can score with both hands around the basket, hits the glass hard, and he can find the open man when under pressure. A sturdy 240, Sabonis does not have great range, but he is the kind of self-aware player who will get better as his career advances.
First-round pick: Stephen Curry
Second-round pick: Victor Oladipo
Third-round pick: Nikola Vucevic
Fourth-round pick: Otto Porter
Follow Jack on Twitter @JackMagruder
126. Marcus Smart — Dave Leonardis
I needed a defensive point guard to round out my starting rotation. Patrick Beverley and Matthew Dellavedova got serious consideration, but once I saw Marcus Smart was still on the board, I couldn’t pass him up.The upside is he’s only 22 years old and can guard anywhere from the 1 to the 4. The downside is he’s not much of a threat from the outside, which leaves me with no shooting beyond Kawhi Leonard. Still, a foursome of Leonard, Smart, Brook Lopez and Justise Winslow is pretty strong defensively. Call us “Stop City.”
First-round pick: Kawhi Leonard
Second-round pick: Justise Winslow
Third-round pick: Brook Lopez
Fourth-round pick: Enes Kanter
Follow Dave on Twitter @FrontPageDave
127. DeMarre Carroll — Jackson Sanders
I bypassed guys like Kent Bazemore and Otto Porter in favor of Brandon Knight last round, and predictably they did not fall to my next pick. However, a 3-and-D wing was a must to me for the last spot in my lineup, and I was happy to scoop up DeMarre Carroll here. I can’t help but think recency bias played a part in Carroll not being selected until the final round, as he was a darling of the NBA community in his final season with Atlanta. He just turned 30, so that could have played a part as well, but I will gladly take his 36.9 percent career three-point shooting percentage and the solid-to-excellent defense that he can provide.
First-round pick: Jackson Sanders
Second-round pick: Nerlens Noel
Third-round pick: LaMarcus Aldridge
Fourth-round pick: Brandon Knight
Follow Jackson on Twitter @6thManHoops
128. Patrick Beverley — Jeff Berest
I was overjoyed that Beverley made it back on my wrap-around pick here, and that’s for two reasons: 1) He is a lights-out three-point shooter, and 2) He is an instigator. The mold of my team is just to have five highly lethal perimeter threats on the court at once, and Beverley fits that mold after shooting over 40 percent from deep last season. Ideally, it’d be nice if he was more of a distributor. But getting a guy who shoots over 40 percent from deep and who is a terrific playmaker and passer is unlikely, and in the fifth round beggars can’t be choosers.
But more importantly, I love P-Bev and love that he’s an instigator and gets under many players’ skin. I truly believe every team needs a player like that to rattle other teams’ guys and get in their heads. Beverley is also an above-average defensive guard, and between him and Klay I have a terrific defensive backcourt while my frontcourt is an absolute sieve. With a lineup of Beverley, Thompson, Hezonja, Love and Anderson, I don’t see how any team can play a conventional lineup and defend that. You just won’t be able to play bigs who can’t defend the perimeter.
First-round pick: Klay Thompson
Second-round pick: Kevin Love
Third-round pick: Mario Hezonja
Fourth-round pick: Ryan Anderson
Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeff_berest
129. Andrew Bogut — Jared Mintz
Both LeBron and Melo have played their best basketball with a big man who stays out of the way on offense, while putting an emphasis on protecting the rim on defense. There clearly wasn’t a better candidate to do either of those things in our draft bank than Andrew Bogut. I know, Bogut’s old, broken down, and can’t play a ton of minutes, but he’s still one of the most impactful per-minute centers in the league, and if you hadn’t noticed by now, I’m trying to win NOW.
On offense, Bogut’s passing ability should fit in well with this roster, and he’s still more than capable of anchoring a top-notch defense, which he helped Draymond Green do the last two seasons in Golden State. It was hard to pass up on Channing Frye in this spot after seeing what he did as LeBron’s teammate last season, but if I have to put five guys on the hardwood together, Bogut’s the perfect 5-man for this roster.
First-round pick: LeBron James
Second-round pick: Carmelo Anthony
Third-round pick: George Hill
Fourth-round pick: Wesley Matthews
Follow Jared on Twitter @JMintzHoops
130. Gorgui Dieng — Colby Giacubeno
Gorgui Dieng is certainly not the first player that comes to mind when you think about the Minnesota Timberwolves’ roster. Last season, Dieng had a great year by averaging 13.4 points, 9.5 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per 36 minutes. His game isn’t limited to the painted area. Dieng shot 53.2 percent from the field last season with a good margin coming from mid-range. He is slated to be the starting center next to Karl-Anthony Towns in the frontcourt. After last season, more eyes will be on Dieng as he feasts off Towns demanding so much attention.
First-round pick: Russell Westbrook
Second-round pick: Julius Randle
Third-round pick: Jae Crowder
Fourth-round pick: J.J. Redick
Follow Colby on Twitter @ColbyGiacubeno