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.
We now finish up the draft with the final picks of the fifth round, and then in a follow-up post we’ll vote on the best rosters. Here you can see explanations for picks 1-10, 11-20, 21-30, 31-40, 41-50, 51-60, 61-70, 71-80, 81-90, 91-100, 101-110, 111-120, 121-130 and 131-140.
141. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson — Dale Redman
For the final piece of my starting five, I went with probably the most underrated young defender in the game, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson. At only 21 years old, Hollis-Jefferson has plenty of time to grow his limited offensive game. His real talent, however, lies on the defensive end. Voted to the All-Pac-12 Defensive Team his final year at Arizona, the 6’7” wing has a ridiculous 7’2” wingspan. His long arms helped him post an impressive per-36 average of 2.3 steals and 9.0 rebounds in his short NBA career. Because he plays his games for the highly disappointing Nets, Hollis-Jefferson seemed to have been forgotten in this draft. A mistake many teams before me will come to regret.
First-round pick: John Wall
Second-round pick: Derrick Favors
Third-round pick: Harrison Barnes
Fourth-round pick: Greg Monroe
Follow Dale on Twitter @DTRedman
142. Cory Joseph — Trenton Jocz
I was heartbroken about two things for my final pick:
-That I couldn’t pick Joakim Noah (both wrong position and age for the team I built)
-That Rondae Hollis-Jefferson survived all the way to…one pick before me.
140+ picks in, I resorted to Basketball-Reference and sorting players under 28 by Win Shares (rough estimate of talent over a larger sample size). I was left with two choices: Cory Joseph or Ben McLemore. With a loaded group (Russell/Gordon/Mirotic/Capela), I flip-flopped between the 25-year-old Joseph’s clutch play and emerging consistency on both ends, and the 23-year-old McLemore’s “he might just stink but it’s also not his fault he’s on the Kings, wait for an actual NBA organization to swipe him” dilemma.
Ultimately I didn’t need to swing for the fences considering the sky-high potential already in-house, so I went with Joseph to round out a couple parts of my squad: three ball handlers (Russell, Joseph, Mirotic) and three plus players on the defensive end (Joseph, Gordon, Capela). Plus I get someone who’s already played a bit role on a champion with a great organization like the Spurs. I think I’ve assembled a nucleus that can surely contend for titles, without waiting until 2020 to start making noise in the playoffs.
First-round pick: D’Angelo Russell
Second-round pick: Aaron Gordon
Third-round pick: Nikola Mirotic
Fourth-round pick: Clint Capela
Follow Trenton on Twitter @TrentonJocz
143. Darrell Arthur — Nekias Duncan
I was torn between Arthur, Matthew Dellavedova, and Ed Davis. Ultimately, I didn’t want Jimmy Butler or Khris Middleton (crying emojis) defending 4s, and I opted for the shooting and defense of Arthur over the rebounding and rim-rolling of Davis. Arthur is one of the most underrated bigs in the NBA. He possesses a pure jumper from mid that expanded to three-point range last season. He can defend two, sometimes three positions in a pitch, and is a smart player overall. By all accounts, he’s also great in the locker room, and is only 28 years old. He seems like the perfect glue guy here.
First-round pick: Jimmy Butler
Second-round pick: Khris Middleton
Third-round pick: Marc Gasol
Fourth-round pick: Avery Bradley
Follow Nekias on Twitter @NekiasNBA
144. Brandon Jennings — Larry Fleisher
Jennings was picked because of his experience as an effective backcourt guy who can drive and shoot from the outside. We’re curious to see if he is fully recovered from a serious injury and how he bounces back.
First-round pick: DeMar DeRozan
Second-round pick: Jeff Teague
Third-round pick: Pau Gasol
Fourth-round pick: Thaddeus Young
Follow Larry on Twitter @larryfleisher
145. Meyers Leonard — Thomas Duffy
Every time I watched Meyers Leonard play last year, I felt like the guy knocked down either a big shot or several long-range bombs.
At 24 years old, the 7’1” big man continues to evolve and add to his game. Jrue Holiday should have no problem using Leonard’s outside abilities the same way he’s used Anthony Davis’ in the past. Leonard is versatile on both ends and has the potential to emerge as a true presence in the coming years.
First-round pick: Devin Booker
Second-round pick: C.J. McCollum
Third-round pick: Bismack Biyombo
Fourth-round pick: Jrue Holiday
Follow Thomas on Twitter @TJDhoops
146. Goran Dragic — Wes Goldberg
I went a little off script (that script being long, young players) here just because of the value. While I would have rather had a long point guard such as Reggie Jackson running the point — or a young prospect who could develop — Dragic is just too good to pass up as I look to fill the point-guard spot. He likes to run, and this team will run, and his steady, veteran hands could be exactly what my young team needs. At a young 30 years old, Dragic should play at a high level for the next three-to-four years.
First-round pick: Draymond Green
Second-round pick: Brandon Ingram
Third-round pick: Trey Lyles
Fourth-round pick: John Henson
Follow Wes on Twitter @wcgoldberg
147. Kyle Korver — Jason Hall
Basically, I needed a three-point threat and shooting guard. Who better than Kyle Korver, at least at this point in the draft? Sure, his percentage took a dip last season, but he’s still a threat from behind the arc. Plus, I needed to have a veteran presence beyond Dwight Howard. I know this is a long-term deal, but I assume I can get at least two decent years out of Korver at this spot.
First-round pick: Blake Griffin
Second-round pick: Kemba Walker
Third-round pick: Jaylen Brown
Fourth-round pick: Dwight Howard
Follow Jason on Twitter @JasonHall1289
148. Markieff Morris — Troy Tauscher
I’ll be honest, I didn’t know really what to do with this last spot. By this point a lot of the players that I thought to include were already taken. But then I thought of Morris. I think he brings a well-rounded approach, and I think the drama with him in Phoenix sort of undersold the fact that he’s really an effective power forward. He brings a good balance to my roster.
First-round pick: Kyle Lowry
Second-round pick: DeAndre Jordan
Third-round pick: Buddy Hield
Fourth-round pick: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
Follow Troy on Twitter @tt_sports
149. T.J. Warren — Andrew Bailey
All that was left in my starting lineup was a spot for a 3, and I was a bit surprised T.J. Warren was still around at the second-to-last pick of a draft focused on building for the future. Warren’s still just 23 years old and averaged 11 points last season. Three-point shooting was forecast as a weakness for him during the lead-up to the 2014 draft, but he appears to have already addressed that. He hit 40 percent of his attempts from downtown in 2015-16.
First-round pick: Rudy Gobert
Second-round pick: Jabari Parker
Third-round pick: Ricky Rubio
Fourth-round pick: Gary Harris
Follow Andrew on Twitter @AndrewDBailey
150. Trevor Ariza — Tyriq Butler
As a die-hard Lakers fan, Ariza will always hold a place in my heart because of how valuable he was during that 2009 championship run. His performance against the Magic in Game 4 of the NBA Finals (on both ends) was a joy to watch. He made some huge plays in critical moments. Obviously, that was seven years ago, but I do still think he’s a very talented player that could be impactful on both ends. He shot 37 percent from downtown last year, which is solid.
First-round pick: Hassan Whiteside
Second-round pick: Mike Conley
Third-round pick: Kris Dunn
Fourth-round pick: Chandler Parsons
Follow Tyriq on Twitter @TyDButler