NOTE: This is a series of articles written by individual authors, both in and out of The Draft Class. These are all part of The Draft Class’ NBA Re-Draft, in which all of the current 30 NBA teams are represented and will undergo a simulation through NBA 2K20, with the goal to build the best team over the next five years. All teams have already been formed through the snake draft. These pieces will break down why each team’s representative drafted the way they did, as well as the approach the representative had heading into the draft.
GM: Aram Hanessian (@aramgh)
Player (Pick #):
Devin Booker (25), Victor Oladipo (36), OG Anunoby (55), T.J. Warren (66), Kevin Huerter (85), Ivica Zubac (96), Tyus Jones (115), Tristan Thompson (126), Juancho Hernangomez (145), Darius Bazley (156)
My strategy early in the draft was to find primary scoring and hopefully a main driver of efficient offense in the first round. Also, to never take anybody who would age out of effectiveness over the five-year window, preferably pre-prime players that would allow me to be competitive early, then a championship contender in Years 3-5. Finally, I didn’t want to take any non-centers who can’t space the floor. When my pick came up in round 1, I was between Donovan Mitchell and Devin Booker, but ultimately thought Booker’s added efficiency was more valuable and his deficiencies could be covered up in a draft like this.
After taking Booker, my focus turned to fitting pieces around him. I figured I would need a sort of 1b level of creator, somebody who could guard primary ball handlers and somebody to guard bigger wings. Oladipo is a little older than I would have preferred, but he checks two of those boxes in one player, so I thought he was too valuable to pass up.
Booker has really thrived this year playing off a real point guard for the first time in his career, and I’m hoping Oladipo can let Booker stay off the ball while guarding other teams’ best perimeter option. OG is a perfect fit for what I was looking for in Round 3; he’s one of the best on-ball defenders in the league, can match up with the bigger wings, is young and is shooting well from deep.
In Round 4, T.J. Warren adds some shot creation and a pretty good defender who is probably going to have to take most opponents’ power forwards. Kevin Huerter can come off the bench and probably replace any of the four guys already taken as a 2/3 combo player, while adding shooting and a touch of creation. At this point I realized how poor of a rebounding team I was building, so any center I took had to be able to do that and Zubac fills that need.
Later on, I selected Tristan Thompson, who is also a plus rebounding center and adds some switch-ability on defense. I also decided that I needed a true PG just for some stability (if necessary), and so I went with Tyus Jones, who is a very steady back-up with the right age/shooting profile. At the end of the draft, I was really just looking for a combo forward who can shoot and that has some upside, which I filled out with Juancho and Bazley.
Overall, I have some questions about my team’s rebounding and passing, but if Oladipo can age well, I think everybody else other than Thompson (who should still hold on to play back-up minutes at the 5) should be in or around their primes in Years 3-5 of the simulation, allowing me to compete for a title. There is a pretty big playmaking burden on Booker, but he is so well covered defensively that I think he should be able to do it.