Wednesday, October 24, 2012

How (NOT) to Build an NBA Keeper League Juggernaut

Welcome to the Route 30 Detour! US Route 30 intersects at I-95 in Philadelphia and goes from coast to coast, including passing through Pittsburgh and the home of Drexel University SMT student and blog contributor, Bryan Fyalkowski (@fyalkowski)...

The following is based on a true story...

Phase 1: Gee, an NBA Keeper league sure sounds swell.

Step 1.1: Join an NBA Keeper league in 2007 with 11 strangers you met on the internet at age 16.

Step 1.2: Create a team and call it "El Supersonics" because it is a hysterically funny Spanish add-on to the nickname of your favorite NBA team.

Step 1.3: Receive 12th overall pick in a snaking draft and watch NBA stars such as Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Dirk Nowitzki get swept off the board before you can itch your ass.

Step 1.4: Decide to go with value youth picks and embrace the "keeper" mindset.

Step 1.5: Pick year-before-his-breakout-season Chris Paul in the first round and Josh Smith right after. Round out your roster with rookie Kevin Durant, Emeka Okafor, Danny Granger, Monta Ellis, Al Harrington, Jameer Nelson, Rudy Gay, Devin Harris and others.

Phase 2: Trash the "keeper" mindset and make as many trades as possible, while thinking as little about the future as possible.

Step 2.1: Inexplicably drop Devin Harris (24), just because he missed three of the first six games, for Chris Duhon.

Step 2.2: Trade Josh Smith (22) and Emeka Okafor (25) for Marcus Camby (33).

Step 2.3: Trade Chris Paul (22) and Monta Ellis (22) for Allen Iverson (32) and Lamar Odom (28).

Step 2.4: Trade Kevin Durant (19) and Al Harrington (27) for Mo Williams (25) and Marvin Williams (21).

Step 2.5: Trade [the artist formerly known as] Ron Artest (28) for Andris Biedrins (21)

Step 2.6: Rudy Gay (21) for Richard Hamilton (29) and Andre Miller (31)

Step 2.7: Thaddeus Young (19) and Richard Hamilton (29) for Vince Carter (30)

Step 2.8: Jameer Nelson (25) for Monta Ellis (22)

Step 2.9: Finish in 4th place. Name Granger, Iverson, Carter, Camby, Ellis, Williams, Odom and Biedrins as keepers. Could have been Paul, Smith, Durant, Granger, Ellis, Nelson, Gay and Harris without any moves whatsoever.

Phase 3: Allen Iverson, Vince Carter and Marcus Camby are three of your keepers in 2008, but do not worry about it.

Step 3.1: Rename your team "Oakland Zoo" because Pitt basketball is the shit.

Step 3.2: Draft Kevin Love and Jameer Nelson in the first two rounds of the 2008 waiver draft.

Step 3.3: Trade Kevin Love (20) and Allen Iverson (33) for Ray Allen (33).

Step 3.4: Trade Lamar Odom (29) and Mo Williams (25) for Zydrunas Ilgauskas (33) and Ramon Sessions (22).

Step 3.5: Finish in 7th place. Name Granger, Carter, Ellis, Camby, Allen, Biedrins, Nelson and Nate Robinson as keepers. Could have had Kevin Love in the mix.

Phase 4: Make more boneheaded trades to make up for the lack of player movement from last season.

Step 4.1: Choose Tyrus Thomas and Stephen Curry in the first two rounds of the 2009 waiver draft.

Step 4.2: Trade Nate Robinson (25) and Courtney Lee (24) for Russell Westbrook (21).

Step 4.3: Trade Jameer Nelson (27) and Vince Carter (32) for Tony Parker (27) and Wilson Chandler (22).

Step 4.4: Trade Stephen Curry (21) and Ray Allen (34) for OJ Mayo (22).

Step 4.5: Trade Tony Parker (27) for Brandon Jennings (20).

Step 4.6: Trade Brandon Jennings (20) for Manu Ginobili (32).

Step 4.7: Trade Monta Ellis (24), Marcus Camby (35) and Manu Ginobili (32) for Rudy Gay (23), Roy Hibbert (23) and Steve Nash (35).

Step 4.8: Finish in 7th place. Name Granger, Nash, Gay, Westbrook and Mayo as keepers.

Phase 5: What you have been doing has been horrible, try building an actual damn team.

Step 5.1: Have a nearly perfect 2010 waiver draft, including drafting Roy Hibbert, Eric Gordon, Luol Deng, Lamar Odom, Beno Udrih, Spencer Hawes, Mike Dunleavy and Marvin Williams in the first eight rounds.

Step 5.2: Trade Luol Deng (25) for Tyrus Thomas (24).

Step 5.3: Trade Danny Granger (27) and Marvin Williams (24) for Monta Ellis (25).

Step 5.4: Trade Roy Hibbert (24) for Marcus Camby (36) and Nicolas Batum (22).

Step 5.5: Finish in 6th place. Name Ellis, Westbrook, Gay, Gordon and Nash as keepers.

Phase 6: Systematically build a team that can compete, like you should have done five years ago, you freaking idiot.

Step 6.1: Choose Marc Gasol in the first round of the 2011 waiver draft. Also pick good value guys like Tony Allen, Emeka Okafor, Thaddeus Young, Trevor Ariza and Jarret Jack in later rounds.

Step 6.2: Trade Russell Westbrook (23) for Spencer Hawes (23), DJ Augustin (24) and Danny Granger (28).

Step 6.3: Trade DJ Augustin (24), Eric Gordon (23) and Monta Ellis (26) for Paul Pierce (34), Gerald Wallace (29) and Jeff Teague (23).

Step 6.4: Finish in 2nd place. Name Granger, Gasol, Gay, Pierce, Nash, Wallace, Teague and Young as keepers.

Phase 7: Win (maybe).

Step 7.1: Draft Lou Williams, DeAndre Jordan, Nikola Pekovic, Rodney Stuckey and Ed Davis in the first five rounds of the 2012 waiver draft.

Step 7.2: Line up a well-rounded roster.

Phase 8: Profit...

Enjoy your trip back to I-95 and I'll see you next week!

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