Fantasy NBA Mock Draft – Round 1

James Harden NBA mock draft
Getty Images – Ezra Shaw

Take It To The Hizzy Fantasy NBA Mock Draft

 

1. Luka Doncic 

Luka should be taken first overall in all NBA fantasy drafts! First, Doncic led the NBA in triple-doubles last season (17). Next, he averaged 28.8 points, 9.4 rebounds, 8.8 assists, plus 1 steal per game. While I believe he’ll take a dip in rebounds, he’s going to continue to be the focal point of this team on both ends of the floor. He has the talent to do it all: driving into the lane, creating his own Shot, can set up teammates, play defense, and all while playing nearly 30 minutes every night.

His production is the most valuable in Nine Category Leagues. His ability to make free throws and three-pointers every night on top of the numbers mentioned will give your team a great head start. He locks up six categories consistently and seven if he’s protecting the ball more in a given week. He’s a lock for me at #1, but I feel I could still land him anywhere from picks two through four.

I see many people selecting Harden and Davis 1.01, but their situations don’t compare to Doncic’s in Dallas. He’s going to feast in a less than desirable starting lineup. With Kristaps Porzingis out for an indefinite amount of time, we’re looking at Doncic, Richardson, Hardaway Jr., Powell, and Cauley-Stein. Harden and Davis will get theirs, but their lineups feature more talent and depth, and they also sit out more games; they just aren’t leaned on the same as Doncic is in Big D. You can’t pass on Luka at #1. 

2. Karl Anthony Towns

Karl Anthony Towns has endured an intense offseason. The six-year veteran lost seven of his family members to Covid-19. Among the seven was his mother, Jacqueline Cruz-Towns. KAT has been vocal about his losses and how they’ve affected him. Despite the heartbreak, I have him atop my fantasy rankings. He’s critical to the Timberwolves’ success and will be needed this season.

He’s returning from a wrist injury but will be physically ready to go to start the season. Many are discounting his value due to his losses away from basketball; I’m going the other direction here. Towns always fills the stat sheet in significant ways. He’s developed an excellent three-point shot as well; he averaged 3.3 made three-point shots last season. Kat’s a double-double machine, but he also shoots at a high percentage, distributes the ball, and loads up on blocks.

His ability to play inside and on the perimeter allows him many opportunities to grab easy assists; he averaged a career-high 4.4 assists last season. His production is going to fill many categories – he’s a home run top-five selection. Barring any injuries, Towns will play more games than Giannis Antetokounmpo and Anthony Davis, the only other big men I’d consider selecting at the top two spots. 

3. James Harden

James Harden has averaged over 30 points per game for the last three seasons and I see no change this year. He averaged 34.3 points per game last season, but I feel we’re going to see him increase from that total this year. With the departure of Russell Westbrook, Harden should be back in the driver’s seat of this offense. I could easily see him scoring 36+ points per game in 2020; he posted that total just two seasons ago.

I believe Harden’s value could climb even more so if we see another injury to new teammate John Wall. Wall’s injury history is shaky, we should expect to see him out of the lineup every so often. Harden’s value will always be through the roof because he gets so many shots off. He led the league with 1514 shots attempted and registered a .444 shooting percentage. Again, I could see these numbers climbing in 2020, especially if he can avoid sitting out of some games. Harden hasn’t finished a full season and can catch the rest spot randomly.

Harden is also streaky with his assists and rebounds. Some nights he’s pushing close to a triple-double, and others, he’s only rocking 3 to 4 assists or rebounds. When you draft a pure scorer like Harden, it buys you a round or two to attack other positions to make up for his lack of elite contributions from different statistical categories. He also led the NBA in steals last year; he’ll cause a healthy diet of turnovers again in 21. If you draft Harden in the top-five, you’ll want to follow up with a rock-solid big man! 

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