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Monday July 30, 2007 9:10 am

Dropping Dimes Mock Draft Blog: Round 2, Pick 2

Chris Paul
Fig Cap: “Oh man, I’m going to put the sickest move on this guy, I’m about to crap my own shorts!”

Over here at Dropping Dimes, we love us some Chris Paul.  So much so, we sponsor his page on every stat/historical geek’s favorite basketball website, Basketball-Reference.com... ahem, hopefully, we’re every fantasy basketball geek’s favorite blog - thanks for the support by the way!  That’s also something every Hornets player on the other end of a CP3 dime says as well.  Paul has proven that he has all the tools and talent for being the next big thing as far as point guards go (Deron Williams be damned!) and soon enough (when Steve Nash and Jason Kidd finally keel over and retire), CP3 will be PG1. 

At the end of 2006 there wasn’t much holiday cheer for Paul owners as he went down to injury with a severely sprained ankle and missed a little over a month of play.  And he also got screwed right after the regular season in April, okay, his left foot had a screw inserted into it, which sidelined from play for about two months… not that it matters much to us fantasy basketball managers since it happened during the offseason.  However, I thought I’d mention about the only downside to owning Paul, which is past injury and it really shouldn’t scare you away from drafting CP3.  Seriously, look at this rookie season averages and last season’s sophomore effort. 

2005-06: 78 G; 36:00 Min; 43.0 FG%; 0.6 3PTM; 84.7 FT%; 5.1 RPG; 7.8 APG; 2.4 TO; 2.2 SPG; 0.1 BPG; 16.1 PPG
2006-07: 64 G; 36:47 Min; 43.7 FG%; 0.8 3PTM; 81.8 FT%; 4.4 RPG; 8.9 APG; 2.5 TO; 1.8 SPG; 0.1 BPG; 17.3 PPG

And before I dissect the above stats, let me say that after the All-Star break last season, after several games of getting into the swing of things, Paul averaged about 17/5/9 with two steals and triple made per game.  Yeah, don’t worry about the injury factor because it’s Herve Villachaize - miniscule.  In any case, for the most part Paul improved last season, upping his point production, finished dishes, treys made, and even a small uptick in his proficiency from the floor.  So, there was a small drop in rock rippages, boards, and charity stripe conversion… boo hoo.  Overall, the boy improved and just like Jessica Biel owning the dopest body in Hollywood, you can’t deny it.  The Hornets are on the comeup with returning players like Tyson Chandler, David West, Peja Stojakovic (IF he can stay healthy) and new faces, Morris Peterson and rookie Julian Wright.  Considering the aforementioned players’ ability to either finish with the flush on the break and/or drain jumpers on the regular, CP3’s assists average should be right at the nine per game level.

One thing that I really like is that Paul is scoring more and improving on his three-point shot.  If he can remain on point (excuse the pun) with his strengths - assists and steals - and improve his scoring and hitting from downtown as a part of it, I don’t know if there’s anything to complain about in drafting Paul here.  He’s a borderline first rounder because of the games missed, but he just might give you first round value as Sarge was banking on when he took Paul tenth overall in our mock draft last season.  Oh, and of course, you like the rebounds, particularly from the lead guard slot.  The only thing that would make Paul a guaranteed stud is if he shot Steve Nash-like shooting percentages. 

Perhaps in due time, but for this year’s mock draft, I’ll be happy with combining Paul with Elton Brand making this current team strong in all standard categories, mixing the assists and rebounds, steals and blocks, converting from the field and the line, and getting that guard and forward position filled in.  From looking at my fat gut you wouldn’t be able to tell that I’m all about balance, but I really am, especially with my fantasy basketball teams and this dynamic duo is one heck of a way to start.

Previous Picks
NOTE: Fantasy basketball mock draft teammate in bold.

1.1. LeBron James, SF, Cleveland Cavaliers
1.2. Kobe Bryant, SG, Los Angeles Lakers
1.3. Shawn Marion, SF/PF, Phoenix Suns
1.4. Kevin Garnett, SF/PF, Minnesota Timberwolves
1.5. Dirk Nowitzki, PF, Dallas Mavericks
1.6. Gilbert Arenas, PG, Washington Wizards
1.7. Steve Nash, PG, Phoenix Suns
1.8. Amare Stoudemire, PF/C, Phoenix Suns
1.9. Dwyane Wade, PG/SG, Miami Heat
1.10. Chris Bosh, PF/C, Toronto Raptors
1.11. Elton Brand, PF, Los Angeles Clippers
1.12. Yao Ming, C, Houston Rockets

Previous Picks This Round

2.1. Pau Gasol, PF/C, Memphis Grizzlies



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