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Friday October 3, 2008 3:23 pm

Dropping Dimes Mock Draft: Round 3, Pick 9 - Joe Johnson

Description
Surprisingly, Joe Johnson saw an uptick in dimes per game in the second half of last year, the half where Mike Bibby was manning the point for the Hawks.

This is promising news for those trying to make JJ your number one PG this year.  Although he has more value sitting alongside a true PG and manning your SG slot, he’s a viable PG given that you draft accordingly.  He was 16th in assists per game last year, behind guys who haven’t yet been taken in our mock.  But at the same time, he averaged 4.5 boards per and over 2 threes a game.

Round 3, Pick 9 - Joe Johnson

Johnson is versatile in the sense that you’ll get some rebounds from the guard position.  He shoots plenty of threes to play in your SG slot, and will produce assists for you like a PG.  Add 22 ppg and you’ve got a third rounder.

He’ll shoot a very sexy FT%, and an average FG% for a guard.  He should also turn the ball over less this year with Bibby doing more ball handling.

Post All-Star Break last year, he shot 48% from the field, a trend that may have something to do with Bibby’s presence.  His scoring, threes per, and assists were all up as well.  This may be a bi-product of the Hawks surge into the playoffs, or just the effect of Mike Bibby, even though Bibby disappointed more than a few Hawks fans himself.

So what type of team does he fit?  Well his team for this draft so far is Caron Butler, Chris Bosh, and himself.  That’s a decent build, assuming this team goes after a true PG in the next round or two.  Johnson is likely a third rounder, as it’s hard to imagine him much higher and definitely no lower, so you’d be best to draft him with a big and either a swingman or even another PG.  A Chris Paul/JJ duo would be deadly and would be no push over in rebounds for a pair of guards.  Just make sure if JJ is your main PG, you get some decent backups, because even his 6.6 apg in the second half of last year won’t carry a fantasy team.

This year, it’s safe to say we can expect similar numbers as his post-AS line.  Bibby will get to see a whole camp, and the young guys continue to grow on this upcoming team.  JJ will always be the leader of the Hawks, and he should benefit from the talent around him as teams adjust to him playing off the ball more often.  The third round is a fine place to draft him, and the 9th pick of the round may even be a bit lower than he usually falls.

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