A Long Day's Journey into Knight

A Long Day's Journey into Knight

Postby fabfries » Sun Jun 21, 2020 3:04 pm

(Note: For this dynasty, I'm using a 27-team league set to start in 1975 - all team names and players are fictional)

Cleveland, 1975

It's a big day for everyone here in Cleveland as a 27-team league has announced its creation - the King Basketball Association, founded by oil tycoon James King, is set to begin a league-wide fantasy draft today. Small leagues across the U.S. agreed to put their funds, and players, together and commit to a more lucrative T.V. contract. Cleveland was among the final teams to be extended an invitation to join. In an effort to drum up fan support, a vote was held on what should be the team's nickname. Fans voted on the Cleveland Knights. In more important news, GM Ellis Thompson has been picked by Owner Noah Dutton to man the front office. Thompson proved to be an efficient basketball mind overseas where he oversaw the development of a competitive European basketball club that made back-to-back semifinal appearances in the top-rated Spanish league.

The fantasy draft will be in a snake format, with Cleveland getting the 25th pick in the first round.
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Re: The Fantasy Draft

Postby fabfries » Sun Jun 21, 2020 5:17 pm

The Fantasy Draft
(The G.M.'s thoughts have been logged here during the draft.)

Rd. 1, Pick 25

My thoughts are that this pick has to be someone on a long-term deal. I want to be competitive at the very least, as the owner has a desire to win, win, win.. he wants arena attendance maxed out. I can't take any chances with this pick - it has to be safe. Preferably, a wing to serve as the team's foundation. In discussions, the name Dan Hayward comes up. He's the no-brainer pick here. I can't believe he fell this far! The 24 y/o 6-9 forward has elite defensive potential (DPOY-level) and backs it up with elite basketball IQ and scoring ability. He can shoot it from anywhere and has the tools to be a defensive foundation for the squad. His only weakness is his passing and ball-handling ability, so I'll need an offensive initiator to pair with him. He's on contract for five years, at an average of 31 million a year. It's a lot, but it's worth it for a guy with this skill and work ethic.
Pick: Dan Hayward (24 y/o, 6-9 forward - 4.0/5.0 rating)

Rd. 2, Pick 3

So, we need an offensive initiator - a gifted passer and ball-handler to make up for Hayward's weaknesses. He also needs to be able to shoot the 3 and not be a total liability on defense. I prefer a younger player who will be in his prime when Hayward hits his. Charles Thompson is 25 and on a cheap contract, but he's not quite as talented as I would like (3.0/3.0). Mark Pruett is 23, and fits all the needs. His contract is a bit high (29mil/yr), but if he ends up reaching his potential (3.5/4.0), it will be worth it. Paul Tuggle is also intriguing. He is a bit less polished when compared with Pruett, but his contract is 10 million less per year and his potential is about the same. His defense is respectable, but he's not a great shooter and not quite the passer Pruett is. Lastly, we look at a dutchman in Thomas Barculo, who is the most talented, highest-paid, and oldest of the group. In the end, I go with Pruett, because his upside is as good as Barculo's, but on a cheaper contract.
Pick: Mark Pruett (23 y/o, 6-4 guard - 3.5/4.0 rating)

Rd. 3, Pick 25

We've had a good draft so far. I feel like Pruett and Hayward balance each other out very well. There's a lot of ways for me to go with this next pick. I don't need a point guard, and I'd rather not pick a center so high. I want someone who will blend in well with both of our main guys, and won't hurt our offense or defense. I'm not sure what to do with this pick, so I ask my coaching staff about the small forwards and shooting guards on the board. A lot of the guys they suggest would wreck our cap space. It's possible I pick someone who'll do that, but I don't want to set my team up with no cap flexibility. Plus, my owner would rather not go deep into the luxury tax if he doesn't need to. I end up going with Sylvester Layne, a offensive-minded swingman who, at 28, has a 2-year deal that I can walk out of If I don't want him back. He's a great passer, and I like his intangibles. His contract isn't great, but it's good enough for me.
Pick: Sylvester Layne (28 y/o, 6-3 guard - 3.0/3.0 rating)

Rd. 4, Pick 3

There is a guy I've had my eye on that I didn't pick last round because I knew he'd be available here. James England is a terrific 3-and-D guy on a 7 million dollar deal. He's listed as a guard, but he's tall enough to play at a forward spot. He'll mesh into my team and certainly could be a great 6th man if not starter at the small forward spot. I think he's more valuable than what meets the eye.
Pick: James England (27 y/o, 6-8 guard - 2.5/2.5 rating)

Rd. 5, Pick 25

At this point, I would like a young rebounder at the center spot. I'm looking for defense, rebounding, and shot selection here. I don't want a center that will jack up 3s even though he has no business doing so. I opt for Petras Kazlauskas, a 28-year-old Lithuanian who is on a 1-yr, 18-million-dollar contract. I'll plan to extend him at a more team-friendly deal during free agency. He rebounds unlike many others, and knows not to shoot the three unless I tell him to. He's also 7-foot-3.
Pick: Petras Kazlauskas (28 y/o, 7-3 center - 3.0/3.0 rating)

Rd. 6, Pick 3

It's a lot more wide-open now, because I feel like my core has been completed and now I'm looking for 3 abilites - shooting, defense, and court IQ. In my philosophy, these are the 3 most vital things for a competent rotation player to have. It's hard to find all 3, but if you do, that's a guy who can play in a playoff game for at least 8 or 10 minutes. PG Brandon Bandy has all three. I don't know how he fell this far. I really don't. He can score, defend, and handle the ball, and has good court IQ and endurance. He's a perfect backup guard and could start on many teams. He's on a 3-year deal worth about 11 mil/year. At this point, I'm just gonna disregard salary slightly. I really like our team and I can trade some pieces later on if it's too much. I'm not going to draft anyone who's on a crazy contract, though.
Pick: Brandon Bandy (25 y/o, 6-2 guard - 3.0/3.0 rating)

Rd. 7, Pick 25

I need a forward at this spot, because I have 3 guys under 6-5 in my first six picks. So, I look around and I see Bobby Powers, a spectacular shooter with defensive ability. He's well-rounded, and even though he is 32, I think he is the best player left on the board that doesn't have a ridiculous salary, although at $14 mil per year for 2 years is about as high as I'm willing to go.
Pick: Bobby Powers (32 y/o, 6-11 forward - 3.0/3.0 rating)

Rd. 8, Pick 3

At this point, my rotation is nearly finished, so I'm gonna try to get a prospect who will develop down the road. I'm looking for a guy who will become a solid role player down the line once Layne, England and Powers leave. Think of this as essentially a rookie draft pick. J.J. Thompson, a 20 y/o 6-9 forward looks intriguing. I like Butch Fizer a lot, too, who plays center and is 22. I think a lot of these guys, though, will be available later so I pick up a guy who I think is clearly better than his rating. SG Bill Tyler is another 3-and-D guy with balanced abilities. He's on a cheap contract and that's good, too, because I just got a call from the owner telling me to stop picking guys with high salaries.
Pick: Bill Tyler (26 y/o, 6-8 guard - 2.0/2.0 rating)

Rd. 9, Pick 25

I liked Butch Fizer last round and he's still available here. I think he's going to outwork his rating in our team system and he's on a 3 year deal worth 5mil per year. He defends well, gets his share of rebounds and doesn't take many bad shots. Apparently he's not the friendliest guy in the clubhouse but I think I can work on that if things start to sour. He's young and still has a little room for improvement. There are a lot of more skilled options here, but their salaries are too high for what the owner wants so I'm going to take Fizer here.
Pick: Butch Fizer (22 y/o, 6-9 center - 2.0/2.0 rating)

Rd. 10, Pick 3

I'm looking to take a forward here who can provide depth for Dan Hayward and preferably play some small forward minutes in a pinch. He can't have a large deal. It's going to be tough to balance. It's tempting because there are probably 7 or 8 starting-caliber forwards left on the board but they are all just too expensive for me. Maybe in the post-draft free agency we can pick one of those guys up (I think it's very feasible that we will be able to.) With this pick, I'll pick a veteran forward who can pass, defend, shoot, and handle the ball at a respectable level. He's not a good rebounder or scorer, but he is certainly serviceable for us. Nick Foster is the pick here in the 10th round on a minimum deal.
Pick: Nick Foster (30 y/o, 6-10 forward - 2.0/2.0 rating)

Rd. 11, Pick 25

Considering our guard depth, It's looking we need another forward for emergency purposes. When considering that we just drafted a guy who doesn't rebound well, I'm going to look for a rebounder to compliment him. I may even end up taking a center here. I figure that none of these guys will ever be playing big minutes, so why not take a veteran that can at minimum be a good presence in the locker room? I find a guy who is actually a serviceable player in Dwayne Bergeron. He has good touch and is a good enough rebounder, but he is also good defensively and has good court IQ. It's a steal in the 11th round - he's on a 2yr deal at 3mil/yr.
Pick: Dwayne Bergeron (29 y/o, 6-9 forward - 2.0/2.0 rating)

Rd. 12, Pick 3

This is the last round, so I'm going to get one more guard as a depth player. I take PG Phillip Drennen, who I'll probably let go at year's end but can give us good minutes in case of emergency on a minimum contract. He's capable of running a second unit offense even though he's our third-string point guard. He has a small frame but won't get burned by opposing backup point guards.
Pick: Phillip Drennen (32 y/o, 5-11 guard - 2.0/2.0 rating)
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Undrafted Free Agency

Postby fabfries » Sun Jun 21, 2020 5:42 pm

Undrafted Free Agency
There's a lot of players to be had in undrafted free agency. The salaries that these players were going to be paid (if drafted) were way too high, so now due to league rules they can be signed for minimum deals. It's open season, as about 20 starter-quality players are going be signed on one-year minimum deals.

We are still on the market for a starting small forward. I intended to play Bobby Powers at small forward, but I'd like to have a true small forward incase Powers doesn't perform well at the 3 spot (even though I think he will.) We could also use a better backup center, as Fizer isn't quite the fit I envisioned and his personality doesn't mesh well with the team.

I end up signing Jake Waddell (27 y/o, 6-8 forward - 3.5/3.5 rating) to play small forward minutes. He's a strong all-around player and I can't believe we got him for that deal. I also sign Nate Patten (27 y/o, 7-2 center - 3.0/3.0 rating) to play rotation minutes at the 5. He is the best offensive rebounder in the league, and is a traditional big man otherwise, but I love his rebounding ability. With the signing of these two guys, I feel very confident that we are a 50-win team at minimum. I think this squad will play very well together, especially when we find the best lineup possible.
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1975 Season, Part I

Postby fabfries » Tue Jun 23, 2020 2:34 pm

1975 Season, Part I
After about a dozen games, I've finally settled on a lineup that I think'll work.

Code: Select all
Info                                            Scouted Ratings (by Coaching Staff)
Pos  No.  Name                Ht   Wt   Overall | SCR  PAS  HDL  ORB   DRB   DEF   BLK   STL
PG   #0   Mark Pruett        6-4  173   3.5/4.0 |  B+   B+   B+   D     C     B     D-    B-
PG   #8   Brandon Bandy      6-2  173   3.0/3.0 |  B    C    B    F     D     B     D-    C-
SF   #23  Jake Waddell       6-8  219   3.5/3.5 |  B+   C    C+   D     B-    B     F     C+
PF   #6   Dan Hayward        6-9  254   4.0/5.0 |  A-   D-   D+   C     C+    A-    B+    C-
C    #53  Nate Patten        7-2  279   3.0/3.0 |  B-   D-   D    A+    C     B-    C-    B-
SG   #4   Sylvester Layne    6-2  173   3.0/3.0 |  B    B-   B-   D     C+    C-    D-    B+
C    #13  Petras Kazlauskas  7-3  293   3.0/3.0 |  C    D    D+   A     B     B-    D-    C-
SG   #12  James England      6-8  192   2.5/2.5 |  B-   D+   B-   D     C-    B-    F     D-
PF   #22  Bobby Powers      6-11  229   3.0/3.0 |  B-   D+   C    D+    C+    B     D-    C-

Barring injuries, this will be our regular rotation. Bill Tyler and Dwayne Bergeron will also be playing regular minutes in the regular season, although their minutes will be limited. Bandy will be playing shooting guard in the starting lineup, and Sylvester Layne will be running the point on the second unit due to his passing ability. We've started the season 12-4, going undefeated at home. Our strategy is going to be straight man to man, although at points I will order the guys to play a passive defense, which means loading up inside the perimeter and daring teams to shoot. On offense, I'm running pace and space, emphasizing driving ability, although at points I'm going to try perimeter focused and balanced offenses.

It's kind of clear that this team is going to be an offensive juggernaut this season. We're rated 3rd in Offensive Rating, and 2nd in PPG. We're 6th in FG% and 3FG%. Our defense is not where I'd like it to be - we're 15th in Defensive Rating and 23rd in PPG Allowed. Our net rating is 6th, which means we should have home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs - that's my prediction.
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