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Saturday August 15, 2009 7:51 am

One Man Mock Draft, Fantasy NBA 2009: Round 1, Pick 2

Posted by Alvin Lai Categories: Fantasy, NBA,

Chris Paul

Happy belated birthday to Magic Johnson, who turned 50 years old on August 14, 2009. The world was different when news that Magic was HIV-positive hit; no one would have guessed he would live to see his 50th birthday back then. Magic remains one of my all-time favorite NBA players, as well as the standard point guards today must compare their personal and team achievements to.

One of my current faves in the NBA today is the next pick. His career thus far has him looking like the next in the line of NBA “point gods” and most would consider him a “1-A” rather than a number two pick.

Round 1, Pick 2: Chris Paul, PG, New Orleans Hornets

Here are the numbers and ranks for Chris Paul last season.

Field goal percentage: 0.503 (23rd)
Free throw percentage: 0.868 (18th)
Three pointers made: 64 (0.8 per game) (111th)
Points: 22.8 (7th)
Rebounds: 5.5 (50th)
Assists 11.0 (1st)
Steals: 2.77 (1st)
Blocks: 0.1 (did not significantly rank)
Turnovers: 2.96 (12th)

CP3 could lead the league in both assists and steals year in and year out for some time to come. Add in his top ten scoring plus his high percentage shooting, and the sum of those parts is a truly deadly fantasy point guard. He even pulled down enough boards to rank in the top 50 last year. Lack of three-point shooting remains the main hole in his fantasy game. Good fantasy teams employ guards who all can hit the money ball, and this will be something to address with your later picks. The advantages of having Paul on your roster far outweigh this weakness. Besides, jacking up more shots from beyond the arc could put a dent into his good shooting percentage. Blocks are not expected from point guards, but in comparing Paul to LeBron, the edge easily goes to LeBron there. Paul is great at what he does, but LeBron gives you more across-the-board production.

Is there anyone else to seriously consider with the second pick when LeBron is off the board?  Dwyane Wade led the league in scoring last year and ranks in the top ten in assists and steals, plus he improved his three-point shooting last year. Wade carries more injury risk than Paul does, and CP3 should go ahead of Wade in all types of leagues this year. Kobe Bryant and the Lakers come off of a championship run, but the odometer on the Black Mamba’s legs passes 1000 regular season games this year. The hype machine continues to build Kevin Durant up, but most fantasy “experts” would consider him a reach as the second pick overall, and there is no need to reach here.

The Hornets added Emeka Okafor this off-season and he should provide a strong dominating and defensive presence while receiving lots of passes for easy buckets from CP3. Peja Stojakovic needs to come back from an injury-plagued season. David West has strung together a few solid seasons in a row and should be as reliable as ever. The team lacks a premier shooting guard, but this just means the team will continue to rely on Paul for backcourt scoring. Based on MVP voting shares Paul already counts as a historically significant player, pretty amazing when you remember he has yet to win an MVP award. The pieces are all there for him to have another monster season.



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