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How much would an opinion change, in regards to a career, if you could review the complete production all at once? Take a band like U2. Will people born in the future enjoy their more recent albums more because they are not saddled with expectation from their prior albums? Or will songs like “Sunday Bloody Sunday” and albums like “War” and “The Joshua Tree” always still stand out?

This next player has been recording seasons to the tune of 21 points, 11 rebounds and 2 blocks for 12 years now. Future NBA enthusiasts may wonder why he was not appreciated more in the fantasy realm as they, unlike us, hold the advantage of not being saddled by expectation and the need to be entertained.

Round 2, Pick 7: Tim Duncan, PF/C, San Antonio Spurs

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In a month where Kanye West further distinguished himself with his antics and Serena Williams suggesting she could overcome laws of physics and anatomy by shoving a tennis ball down a line judge’s throat, perhaps what set the sports blogosphere the most ablaze was the Hall of Fame speech from his Airness, Michael Jordan. Something tells me that when this next pick, a two-time MVP, steps up to the podium, he will be nothing but gracious as he reflects on the good life that this game of basketball has given him.

Some might argue against his credentials for being a Hall-of-Famer, but I for one believe it is a no-brainer. Him, Amar’e Stoudemire and the rest of the “7 Seconds or Less” Phoenix Suns brought back fast-break fun to the league.

Round 2, Pick 6: Steve Nash, PG, Phoenix Suns

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So who wins the bronze medal in fantasy point guards heading into this season? Chris Paul gets consideration for first pick overall, so calling him the first point guard to be taken comes across as a big understatement. Deron Williams sits solidly in the #2 position. As you prepare for week 1 of the NFL season, keep in mind that NBA teams will open their training camps in just a few weeks. At least four to five point guard-eligible players will come off the board in between the early second round and the beginning of the third round. I always like a point guard who can score as well as shoot the three, plus of course dish the rock in elite fashion. “Mr. Big Shot” took his trade to his home state team in stride and led them to the conference finals last season.

Round 2, Pick 5: Chauncey Billups, PG, Denver Nuggets

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KG

A sure sign you are starting to lose touch with the pulse of popular culture is when you discover new songs and/or new bands while watching a TV show or a movie. By the time you catch Natalie Portman mentioning that the band name was “The Shins,” two years have passed, the movie has been out on DVD forever, and the band has not put out an album since.

Along the same vein, if the NBA has for whatever reason removed itself from your life for the last couple of years but now you return, it might come as a mild surprise that KG remains available here. After all, as recent as a couple of years ago, he was in the running for the first overall pick. Plus, if anything, his profile increased after the trade to Boston where the Celtics won a championship two seasons ago. Last year the ending was not so happy for the guys in green, as their captain missed the playoffs due to injuries. In mock drafts this summer, it seems folks are confidently calling his name in the early part of the second round. Let us put his fantasy game under the microscope.

Round 2, Pick 4: Kevin Garnett, PF, Boston Celtics

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Gilbert Arenas

Summertime generates buzz, and the buzz found here and here might have you going “ga ga” over this guy. Is he over his injuries? Can he be trusted enough that you can pick him with confidence in the fourth…third…SECOND round? Let this pick become an exercise in examining this very question.

Round 2, Pick 3: Gilbert Arenas, PG, Washington Wizards

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Kevin Garnett. Gilbert Arenas. Yao Ming. Steve Nash. Tim Duncan. Jason Kidd. Be it the injury bug or Father Time shortening the list of tried and true first round fantasy talent, there is a palpable drop in headlining players even though the second round has only just started. Thus, mock draft gurus have this next player going off the board within the top fifteen picks. For a roto league, this center-eligible player deserves early round consideration. In a head-to-head league, consistency remains important, but big game explosions can win match-ups almost by themselves. So let us examine whether drafting this player is merely a safe play; can he ride shotgun on your championship team?

Round 2, Pick 2: Pau Gasol, PF/C, Los Angeles Lakers

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The first major injury disclaimer proclaimed in this mock draft, in the 50 games he played last season, this guy delivered. Battling back from an ACL injury can prove to be a tough task indeed, but the word on the street regarding his rehab has been quiet this summer, which hopefully indicates that it has gone well.

Drafting at the turn basically breaks down into two strategies when it comes to the top two picks: 1) Take one guard and one big man so you have the option of tailoring your team depending on what players are available in the later rounds or 2) Stacking two players who have similar strengths in an attempt to become very formidable in a few core categories at the expense of other categories you effectively punt. Generally at the top of a draft, the NBA players are so good that you do not have to give up on a category so early, with the notable exception being Dwight Howard and his free-throw percentage.

A friend of mine we call Dice, tabbed these two guys last year as his top two picks, so in a tribute to him, let’s see how the one guard/one big guy tandem can work out for you.

Round 2, Pick 1: Al Jefferson, PF/C, Minnesota Timberwolves

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Deron Williams

Following the all-time leader in assists and steals is a lot of pressure, both for the management who must try to find “the next one” and for the player who must work to fill the shoes of one John Stockton. Plus, the Utah Jazz picked this player over Chris Paul! The Portland Trail Blazers continue to receive ridicule for picking Sam Bowie over Michael Jordan, but the Houston Rockets generally get a pass because they drafted Hakeem Olajuwon, a player who became a two-time champion and MVP over a hall of fame career.  Expect the noise to be as quiet as it was for Hakeem for this player, as he is on track to do almost as well as Paul, moving forward.

Round 1, Pick 12: Deron Williams, PG, Utah Jazz

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Bosh jam

Part of the big free agent class of 2010, this next player is one of the three players most mentioned as guys who went off the board after the infamous Darko Milicic pick (Carmelo Anthony and Dwyane Wade are the other two guys). After two playoff appearances, everything went wrong with the Toronto Raptors last year. “CB4” however was a monster in head-to-head playoffs to close last season. In my friends and family league, a three-headed monster of Danny Granger, Troy Murphy and this player destroyed my team in the finals.

Round 1, Pick 11: Chris Bosh, PF/C, Toronto Raptors

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