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Liberty Ballers drafts the NBA’s top 100 players for 2023-24

As has become tradition, us here at LB picked teams amongst the top 100 players in the NBA. Now is your chance to tear them to shreds!

2023 NBA All-Star - NBA All-Star Game Photo by Juan OCampo/NBAE via Getty Images

For the fifth straight season, Liberty Ballers assembled its NBA player rankings by holding a 10-team draft. While no ranking system can ever be perfect, this is a fun way to get consensus and put some context around the debate of how to rank a star on a bad team vs. an elite role player on a good team. The goal is easy: draft the best team for the 2023-24 season only, pretending each team were to be assembled in real life and competing against the other teams. Drafters must take into account everything typically taken into account when assembling a team — such as talent, fit, and injury history.

Speaking of injuries, injured players with no current timeline were ineligible to be drafted. Pending contract players were also ruled ineligible. The only relevant player who met both criteria was Lonzo Ball.

The drafters were 10 Liberty Ballers writers (ordered from pick 1-10): Dan Volpone, Josh Grieb, Steve Lipman, Sean Kennedy, Jackson Frank, Paul Hudrick, Erin Grugan, Bryan Toporek, David Early, and Harrison Grimm.

The results of the draft (our 2023-24 NBA player rankings) are shown below. Next to each player is the writer who drafted him, followed by where that player was taken in last year’s draft (LY).

This will be followed by each writer’s explanation of their thoughts on their draft choices. At the end, please vote in the poll to let us know whose team you think will be the best this season.

  1. Nikola Jokic (Dan) LY: 6
  2. Giannis Antetonkmpo (Josh) LY: 1
  3. Joel Embiid (Steve) LY: 2
  4. Luka Doncic (Sean) LY: 4
  5. Stephen Curry (Jackson) LY: 3
  6. Kevin Durant (Paul) LY: 7
  7. Jayson Tatum (Erin) LY: 8
  8. Jimmy Butler (Bryan) LY: 12
  9. Devin Booker (David) LY: 11
  10. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Harrison) LY: 39
  11. LeBron James (Harrison) LY: 5
  12. Damian Lillard (David) LY: 16
  13. Anthony Davis (Bryan) LY: 17
  14. Donovan Mitchell (Erin) LY: 15
  15. Anthony Edwards (Paul) LY: 23
  16. Paul George (Jackson) LY: 14
  17. Kawhi Leonard (Sean) LY: 9
  18. Jaylen Brown (Steve) LY: 13
  19. Trae Young (Josh) LY: 20
  20. Tyrese Haliburton (Dan) LY: 46
  21. Mikal Bridges (Dan) LY: 35
  22. Brandon Ingram (Josh) LY: 25
  23. De’Aaron Fox (Steve) LY: 60
  24. Bam Adebayo (Sean) LY: 26
  25. Evan Mobley (Jackson) LY: 41
  26. Jamal Murray (Paul) LY: 55
  27. Domantas Sabonis (Erin) LY: 64
  28. Jaren Jackson Jr. (Bryan) LY: Ineligible
  29. OG Anunoby (David) LY: 37
  30. Ja Morant (Harrison) LY: 10
  31. Pascal Siakam (Harrison) LY: 28
  32. Lauri Markkanen (David) LY: Not Ranked
  33. Darius Garland (Bryan) LY: 32
  34. Fred VanVleet (Erin) LY: 49
  35. Zion Williamson (Paul) LY: 22
  36. LaMelo Ball (Jackson) LY: 27
  37. Jrue Holiday (Sean) LY: 24
  38. Bradley Beal (Steve) LY: 19
  39. Desmond Bane (Josh) LY: 44
  40. Jalen Brunson (Dan) LY: 66
  41. Aaron Gordon (Dan) LY: Not Ranked
  42. Kyrie Irving (Josh) LY: 33
  43. Draymond Green (Steve) LY: 34
  44. Zach LaVine (Sean) LY: 40
  45. Victor Wembanyama (Jackson) LY: Ineligible
  46. Brook Lopez (Paul) LY: 71
  47. Julius Randle (Erin) LY: Not Ranked
  48. James Harden (Bryan) LY: 18
  49. Kristaps Porzingis (David) LY: Not Ranked
  50. Myles Turner (Harrison) LY: 67
  51. Paolo Banchero (Harrison) LY: 78
  52. Derrick White (David) LY: 93
  53. Andrew Wiggins (Bryan) LY: 53
  54. Tyrese Maxey (Erin) LY: 51
  55. Karl-Anthony Towns (Paul) LY: 30
  56. Franz Wagner (Jackson) LY: 87
  57. Khris Middleton (Sean) LY: 21
  58. DeMar DeRozan (Steve) LY: 31
  59. Jerami Grant (Josh) LY: 56
  60. Cade Cunningham (Dan) LY: 52
  61. Dejounte Murray (Dan) LY: 42
  62. Rudy Gobert (Josh) LY: 29
  63. Jalen Green (Steve) LY: 86
  64. Nic Claxton (Sean) LY: Not Ranked
  65. Michael Porter Jr. (Jackson) LY: 61
  66. Jaden McDaniels (Paul) LY: Not Ranked
  67. Scottie Barnes (Erin) LY: 43
  68. Klay Thompson (Bryan) LY: 47
  69. Josh Giddey (David) LY: Not Ranked
  70. Devin Vassell (Harrison) LY: Not Ranked
  71. Jarrett Allen (Harrison) LY: 48
  72. Cameron Johnson (David) LY: Not Ranked
  73. Marcus Smart (Bryan) LY: 36
  74. Steven Adams (Erin) LY: Not Ranked
  75. Anfernee Simons (Paul) LY: 95
  76. Jalen Williams (Jackson) LY: Ineligible
  77. Kyle Kuzma (Sean) LY: 62
  78. Chet Holmgren (Steve) LY: Ineligible
  79. CJ McCollum (Josh) LY: 57
  80. Chris Paul (Dan) LY: 38
  81. Deandre Ayton (Dan) LY: 45
  82. Amen Thompson (Josh) LY: Ineligble
  83. Jabari Smith Jr. (Steve) LY: Not Ranked
  84. Bruce Brown Jr. (Sean) LY: Not Ranked
  85. Alex Caruso (Jackson) LY: Not Ranked
  86. Trey Murphy (Paul) LY: Not Ranked
  87. Kevin Huerter (Erin) LY: Not Ranked
  88. Austin Reaves (Bryan) LY: Not Ranked
  89. Tyler Herro (David) LY: 79
  90. Keldon Johnson (Harrison) LY: 77
  91. Jordan Poole (Harrison) LY: 69
  92. Robert Williams III (David) LY: 63
  93. John Collins (Bryan) LY: 50
  94. Tobias Harris (Erin) LY: 73
  95. Markelle Fultz (Paul) LY: Not Ranked
  96. Wendell Carter Jr. (Jackson) LY: 89
  97. Josh Hart (Sean) LY: 84
  98. Scoot Henderson (Steve) LY: Ineligible
  99. Herb Jones (Josh) LY: 98
  100. Keegan Murray (Dan) LY: Not Ranked

For fun, we drafted coaches in reverse draft order. Here are the results:

  1. Greg Popovich (Harrison)
  2. Erik Spolstra (David)
  3. Steve Kerr (Bryan)
  4. Nick Nurse (Erin)
  5. Tyronn Lue (Paul)
  6. Quinn Synder (Jackson)
  7. Mike Malone (Sean)
  8. Willie Green (Steve
  9. Taylor Jenkins (Josh)
  10. M̶o̶n̶t̶y̶ W̶i̶l̶l̶i̶a̶m̶s̶ Mike Brown (Dan)

Dan Volpone (Nikola Jokic, Tyrese Haliburton, Mikal Bridges, Jalen Brunson, Aaron Gordon, Cade Cunningham, Dejounte Murray, Chirs Paul, Deandre Ayton, Keegan Murray, HC: Mike Brown)

I didn’t feel good about it, but with my first pick, I had to go with Nikola Jokic. At the moment, he’s proven himself to be the best player in the league, and he now has a championship ring to prove it. From there, I tried to surround Jokic with players who can dribble, shoot and defend. Tyrese Haliburton and Mikal Bridges are both 6-foot-5 and threats on and off the ball, and Bridges is also a plus defender of guards and wings.

When Jalen Brunson fell to me at 40, there was no thought involved — he was going to be the pick. My starting lineup all of a sudden became guard heavy, so I went with Aaron Gordon, a forward who knows how to play with Jokic and has become a much-improved shooter, defender and off-ball mover in Denver.

Moving to the bench, I decided to go with Cade Cunningham as an upside play — if he’s fully healthy, he could be a steal this late in the draft. I took Dejounte Murray next for his well-rounded guard skillset and especially his strength on defense. At this point, I didn’t want to take another guard, but Chris Paul fell to me, so I had to grab him. He’s not the player he once was, but he still can do a lot to help a team win. Needing size, I went ahead and grabbed Deandre Ayton to be my backup center, as I felt he was the clear best center available.

Finally, I finished off the draft with an upside shot in Keegan Murray, a former fourth overall pick who showed great flashes and started on a playoff team as a rookie and looks to take a big step forward in year two. I may have had the last pick of coaches, but I still landed this season’s coach of the year in Mike Brown, so I can’t be too upset. Ultimately, I’m really happy with how my team turned out, and I think we are set up to compete with anyone.

Josh Grieb (Giannis Antetokounmpo, Trae Young, Brandon Ingram, Desmond Bane, Kyrie Irving, Jerami Grant, Rudy Gobert, CJ McCollum, Amen Thompson, Herb Jones, HC: Taylor Jenkins)

Very early in this draft I had the choice between picking the best fit for my hypothetical team or drafting the best available talent. It should be pretty apparent which strategy I leaned on for most of the draft.

Surrounding Giannis with iso-heavy, ball-dominant players like Trae Young, Brandon Ingram, and Kyrie Iriving wasn’t the idea I had going in. But I struggled to find better value at picks 19, 22 and 42 respectively. I had a similar thought process taking Rudy Gobert at 62, though I imagine him sharing the floor with Giannis would be a disaster offensively.

However, adding Desmond Bane and Herb Jones, I should be able to lock down all comers on the wing. I had the second-to-last pick when it came to selecting coaches, and was really happy when Taylor Jenkins fell to me there, though recent evidence may suggest he’s not the man to whip my hypothetical locker room into shape.

Steve Lipman (Joel Embiid, Jaylen Brown, De’Aaron Fox, Bradley Beal, Draymond Green, DeMar DeRozan, Jalen Green, Chet Holmgren, Jabari Smith Jr., Scoot Henderson, HC: Willie Green)

Hello everyone, I hope you’ve been well. I am very happy to have once again drafted the best team in the Top 100 draft. With my first pick, at No. 3 overall, I took Joel Hans Embiid. I, like you, am exceedingly disappointed in our superstar for his failure(s) in this most recent playoffs, which have amounted to an ugly reckoning about Embiid’s career playoff performances. And yet, with all that being said, he felt like the single most impactful and dominant two-way player at No. 3, given his ability to captain both elite offense and elite defense.

Around Joel, I was able to build a starting five of Embiid, Jaylen Brown, De’Aaron Fox, Bradley Beal and Draymond Green. Brown, while an overrated defender, gives the offense lots of juice and standstill shooting, while Beal has become extremely underrated due to his horrendous contract. Beal can fly around screens and make plays for himself, leveraging advantages created by Embiid and Fox, who just took the leap to stardom. One concern would be spacing in the lineup with Embiid, Draymond and Fox, but Draymond’s gargantuan defensive impact and guile when playing in the pick-and-roll made his selection too tantalizing to pass up.

Off the bench, I’ve got more scoring with DeRozan and Green, defensive game-wreckers like Smith and Holmgren, and a high upside choice with my final pick, Scoot Henderson. Want an all-defense lineup? We’ll go Scoot-Brown-Smith-Green-Embiid. Want to run a team off the floor? Fox-Scoot-Green-Brown-Smith. This team would solve the age-old ‘what the hell do we do when Joel sits?’ problem, as Green, Holmgren and even Smith would see time at the five.

I also happen to think that DeMar DeRozan is annually under-drafted in this exercise, but his tough shotmaking will make him perfect for the team in the playoffs if any of the team’s top players are enduring a cold spell. My head coach is my second favorite Sixer of all time, Willie Green.

Sean Kennedy (Luka Doncic, Kawhi Leonard, Bam Adebayo, Jrue Holiday, Zach LaVine, Khris Middleton, Nic Claxton, Kyle Kuzma, Bruce Brown Jr., Josh Hart, HC: Mike Malone)

After the last three players to win MVP were off the board, I love getting Luka Doncic, who is still just 24 years old, getting increasingly swole and adding more to his bag every year. With Luka as the central hub of the offense, I next looked to form an elite defense around him. Kawhi Leonard will reportedly be 100 percent come training camp, and if he’s any version of healthy, I’m getting a top-8-ish player at pick 17. Bam Adebayo is one of the most versatile big men defenders in the league, as he just showed in Miami’s run to the Finals. Jrue Holiday is an elite point-of-attack defender who proved he can be a versatile weapon for a contender during Milwaukee’s title run. Then, Zach LaVine fell to me at pick 44. Although my starting lineup will be a tad small, I couldn’t pass up such an outstanding scorer who will help space the floor for everyone as a 38.4 percent career three-point shooter on high volume.

Coming off my bench, Khris Middleton is a former All-Star who can fit interchangeably in any number of lineups. Nic Claxton is another elite perimeter defender as a big man, ably filling a similar role to Adabayo when Bam needs a blow. Kyle Kuzma will help on the boards from the four spot and is just enough of a threat from range to keep floor spacing intact. Bruce Brown just showed what a perfect swiss army knife he is on the floor in Denver’s championship run; he’ll do the same for my squad here. Likewise for Josh Hart, who didn’t back down from any defensive challenge across a number of positions during the Knicks’ postseason. Finally, Michael Malone just proved he has the coaching chops to win it all (and is a fun hang at a parade to boot). He’ll do the same in leading my team to glory.

Jackson Frank (Stephen Curry, Paul George, Evan Mobley, LaMelo Ball, Victor Wembanyama, Franz Wagner, Michael Porter Jr., Jalen Williams, Alex Caruso, Wendell Carter Jr, HC: Quin Synder)

Drafting fifth put me in a spot where I was likely to be choosing whichever mega-talent slipped and that happened to be Stephen Curry. Blending versatile outside shooting, driving and playmaking, he played at an All-NBA First Team level a year ago. While there’s the risk of a decline at 35 years old, his offensive impact and the way he simplifies the game for everyone else is rivaled or bested around the league only by Nikola Jokic, in my estimation. He was the easy choice for me.

Paul George brings his own injury worries, but his slippery screen navigation, dexterous hands and offensive versatility were a welcomed fit alongside Curry. I like how multifaceted my top two picks are offensively. They’re both dynamite shooters who can rock on and off the ball.

After nabbing a pair of veteran, established stars to kick things off, I shifted into a youth movement to bank on some continued development among my core that could soon make these picks look like discounts.

Despite his playoff struggles offensively, Evan Mobley is a top-five defender in the league who showcased significant strides as a scorer during the regular season last year. I expect he’ll compete for an All-Star berth while anchoring my defense and providing high-level finishing with some self-creation mixed in as well. LaMelo Ball endured an injury riddled third season, but he’s a virtuoso playmaker and shooter who functions comfortably on and off the ball; the dude was a well-deserved All-Star in year two. I love his fit with Curry, George and Mobley. The elite traits of my top-four picks are encouraging.

I may have reached for Victor Wembanyama a tad, yet I wanted to have some fun with this draft, so I snagged him in the fifth round. He should be a tremendous finisher and defensive complement to Mobley. If the willingness as a shooter is paired with efficiency, I love how he fits alongside Mobley offensively, too, and having my bigs both be plus passers for their position is wonderful.

Already a top-50ish player, Franz Wagner is one of the most underrated dudes in the NBA right now. He’s a tremendous driver, viable shooter, good secondary playmaker, and a malleable and high-level defender who scores all over the floor. Much like Curry, George and Ball, he’s another perimeter player who toggles on and off the ball with ease. I expect he’ll jockey for All-Star-caliber impact and loved landing him in the sixth round.

Michael Porter Jr. is one of the best shooters and cutters in the league. He’s improved defensively and helps shore up some rebounding woes my team holds. He’s just a really clean fit with this roster.

Jalen Williams is a good secondary ball-handler who, much like Porter, is an adept cutter. His slashing game pops. I love his defensive versatility. He can battle at the point-of-attack, rotate as a low man and play the nail. He’s awesome and I expect big things from him this season.

Alex Caruso is the NBA’s premier perimeter defender, and a useful connective passer and cutter. He’s a terror on defense in so many ways. I love how well Curry and Ball are insulted defensively with this roster and Caruso is a chief reason why.

Wendell Carter Jr. fills the gaps with his interior defense, particularly in the post, perimeter presence as a big, high-post playmaking and ball-handling comfort. He’s just a real solid complementary player who defenses respect beyond the arc, despite the middling three-point numbers, and that spacing helps the offense a good deal.

I love how this draft fell to me, especially over the final five picks, and think it’s an absurdly harmonic group. With Curry and Mobley, I have my anchors on both ends and the requisite talent around them to thrive. This is a rocking group, even acknowledging some of the injury risks littered across the roster.

Paul Hudrick (Kevin Durant, Anthony Edwards, Jamal Murray, Zion Williamson, Brook Lopez, Karl-Anthony Towns, Jaden McDaniels, Anfernee Simons, Trey Murphy III, Markelle Fultz, HC: Tyrone Lue)

Right off the bat, I wanted scoring. This is the way the league is going. With my first three picks, I got three of the best perimeter scorers in the entire league. What’s nice about KD, Anthony Edwards (have you watched him carry Team USA?) and Jamal Murray is that all three can play on or off the ball and can score at all three levels. With my fourth pick, the value with Zion was just too good to pass up. To get a player of his potential in the 40s? Yeah, sign me up. I rounded out my starting five with Brook Lopez — the perfect mix of rim protection and outside shooting to complement the rest of the starting five.

Again, KAT is a pure value pick here. I get the defense is an issue, but using him as a sixth man to provide a little offensive punch in the front court, where he can play next to Lopez or Zion? Hell yeah. With Jaden McDaniels and Trey Murphy I get size, defensive versatility and more shooting. Anfernee Simons gives me microwave scoring if one of my guards is banged up or having an off night. And Markelle Fultz is solid depth to have as another ball handler and he continues to grow as a defender.

Erin Grugan (Jayson Tatum, Donovan Mitchell, Domantas Sabonis, Fred VanVleet, Julius Randle, Tyrese Maxey, Scottie Barnes, Steven Adams, Kevin Huerter, Tobias Harris, HC: Nick Nurse)

I honestly wasn’t sure who was going to be available at No. 7. The order of the top 10 of this league as it stands is absolutely stacked right now and could be – and often is – hotly debated. That being said, I was extremely pleased with what I got.

As much as taking a Boston Celtic hurt, especially after this past Sixers’ postseason, I had to go Jayson Tatum with my first pick. Tatum is a monumental, two-way talent with consistent production that has only gotten better each season with age and experience in the NBA. That consistency crucially carries throughout the regular season AND the playoffs, with Tatum averaging a 27.2-point, 10.5-rebound double-double throughout the Celtics’ postseason run this past year. Donovan Mitchell, my second pick at No. 14, has as similar reliable productivity that any team would be lucky to have. Mitchell might be a little less defensively aggressive than Tatum, but he makes up for it commanding the floor on offense from all ranges.

With my third pick at No. 27, I went with Domantas Sabonis. I wanted to get size in a big that could work a pick-and-roll with Mitchell. That size and rebounding will come in handy, since with my fourth pick at No. 34, I went with Fred VanVleet. Perhaps I reached and grabbed him a little early in the draft, but the idea of him splitting the workload bringing up the ball with Mitchell as well as his defensive ability piqued my interest. I rounded out my starting five with some size and physicality in Julius Randle, who can be a bit volatile but still contributes on both ends of the court.

My bench, maybe a bit silly. I went with Tyrese Maxey. Yes, I’m a homer, of course, but I genuinely think with the right lineup around him with a mix of young players for him to lead alongside a few veterans to help guide him, he could continue to make leaps and bounds in his play. He took on a bit of a sixth man role for the Sixers this past year to mixed results, but they weren’t exactly rolling with the same bench unit than that one I’m building here. Give him veteran big Steven Adams (pick No.74), perimeter threat Kevin Hueter (pick No. 87), and add in teammate Tobias Harris (No. 94) and I think Maxey would be set up for more success as a sixth man.

That Harris pick might turn some heads, but I think with some younger guys around him, in a bench setting where I personally don’t have to pay his monstrous contract, he could be a consistent producer, especially if his three-point shooting gets a bit more consistent. With Huerter in the same lineup nailing 38% from three in his career, Harris could even focus more on cuts and drives toward the net rather than forcing his own long-range shots if they aren’t falling.

Phew. I wrote more than I intended. Whoops.

Bryan Toporek (Jimmy Butler, Anthony Davis, Jaren Jackson Jr., Darius Garland, James Harden, Andrew Wiggins, Klay Thompson, Marcus Smart, Austin Reaves, John Collins, HC: Steve Kerr):

To steal a term from Mike Levin of the Rights to Ricky Sanchez podcast, I wanted to build my team around some playoff m-f-ers. Jimmy Butler might not be the eighth-best player in the NBA on paper, but there are few guys I’d rather go to war with in the playoffs after what he’s done over the past few years.

Much like Pat Riley, I wanted to pair Jimmy with Damian Lillard in the second round. However, Dave sniped Dame Diva one pick before me, so I pivoted to Anthony Davis instead. Between AD and Jaren Jackson Jr. (my third-round pick), I have two of the league’s top two-way bigs, and they should be largely interchangeable, too. If AD doesn’t want to play center until the playoffs, I’m more than happy to trot JJJ out there at the 5 instead.

Since none of Butler, Davis and JJJ are elite, high-volume three-point shooters, I wanted a floor-spacing point guard, so I was thrilled to take Darius Garland at 33. That pick looks even better in retrospect after James Harden fell to me at 48. (I know we all hate him right now, but... really? 48?!) Garland should be able to operate off-ball alongside Harden and run the offense whenever Harden is off the floor.

With Steve Kerr as my head coach, I went with a pair of Golden State Warriors next in Andrew Wiggins and Klay Thompson. Wiggins gives me an elite three-and-D wing to pair with Butler in smaller lineups, and Thompson adds more high-volume long-range shooting to help counter any spacing issues my squad might have. I was also ecstatic to land Marcus Smart at No. 73, as I could put him alongside either Garland or Harden if those two are too much of a defensive liability to play together. (Hearing Smart chew out Harden for falling asleep on defense is worth the price of that pick alone.)

Austin Reaves might have been a slight reach at No. 88, but he’d fill a role on this squad similar to his current setup on the Los Angeles Lakers. His playoff production of 16.9 points, 4.6 assists, 4.4 rebounds and 2.4 threes per game on a team with Davis and LeBron James was hard to turn down. And to round out my squad, I went with Philadelphia favorite John Collins, who should have a new lease on his NBA life in Utah this year. I personally cannot wait to see how bad that salary dump looks for the Atlanta Hawks in retrospect.

As long as everyone stays healthy—and Harden doesn’t show up in a fat suit—this squad would make life hell on both ends of the court for any opponent that dares to challenge them.

David Early (Devin Booker, Damian Lillard, OG Anunoby, Lauri Markkanen, Kristaps Porzingis, Derrick White, Josh Giddey, Cameron Johnson, Tyler Herro, Robert Williams, HC: Erik Spoelstra)

Booker was probably my easiest pick. And everything else was trickier. On the way back, I hoped to snag LeBron but have to admit I may wind up glad I didn’t, as Dame might just be poised to make a Finals run if he makes his way to Miami. And now I’ve got the top backcourt here unless maybe you’re willing to count Paul George as a two on Jackson’s team.

But wings go fast in this draft and I had to reach on OG at pick three in order to avoid getting locked out of any true stud two-way wings. In hindsight, I could have opened with Kawhi and PG, and then picked for value at guard with names like Ja, Bane, Garland, Brunson or Kyrie. But this is where picking best player available with my top two got me.

Lauri seems to have been one of the rare year six breakouts and I’m excited to see his Finnish Yams highlight reel dunks and threes all year. I burned sage hoping Siakam would fall because I had a little tier drop there but Grimm sniped me so Lauri it is.

KP looked like he was the healthiest he has been since before his ACL tear a season ago. And sadly, as a Sixers fan, I think he might show more flashes of the original unicorn who once tantalized us with his rim protection and three point prowess. That starting five can go five out, with Lauri as our roll threat, and everyone can shoot making it impossible to stop Dame and Book, two potential Finals MVP candidates, trade dependent.

White isn’t a sexy pick but he’s extremely useful as a two-way perimeter wing. With him, my last pick and Rob Will and OG I can field some really stalwart defensive lineups to balance my five-out three-point heavy looks.

Giddey figures to be a most improved player candidate. And I think both Cam and Herro are probably a little underrated at this point in the draft. So I scooped the value. I built an unbeatable super team last year. This draft was much, much more challenging for me. But we might go as far as my top three picks carry us.

Harrison Grimm (Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, LeBron James, Ja Morant, Pascal Siakam, Myles Turner, Paolo Banchero, Devin Vassell, Jarrett Allen, Keldon Johnson, Jordan Poole, HC: Gregg Popovich):

Last year, I built a team around a mega talent (Luka). Coming into this year, I wanted to draft mostly based off of talent, with a few players that can play on and off the ball while surviving on the defensive end.

I was ecstatic to land Shai Gilgeous-Alexander with the last pick in the first round. He’s a huge guard that’s capable of scoring in bunches and playing on and off the ball. It gave me lots of flexibility early on in regards to who I wanted to draft without sacrificing on talent.

The next pick wasn’t so easy for myself. I felt like Damian Lillard might take a step back next season, whether that’s in a limited role in Miami or being miserable in Portland. And a lot of other players in this range were injury prone. I ended up going with LeBron; he’s coming off a monster year, and again — he’s someone that can play a variety of roles. At worst, I ensured I had an elite wing that’s capable of providing a bit of everything.

The fact that Ja Morant and Pascal Siakam rounded out my third and fourth picks is wild. If Ja would stop streaming on Instagram Live, he would’ve gone 2-3 rounds earlier. Siakam had an incredible year last season that went under the radar due to the Raptors simply being miserable to watch. While shooting is a bit iffy between my first four picks, I knew I could help compensate for this in later rounds.

I thought about Karl-Anthony Towns at the 50th pick, but opted for Myles Turner. He’s coming off a career year, and he’s always been a defensive monster. He provides floor spacing and rim protection that simply couldn’t be had elsewhere at this point in the draft. I went with Paolo Banchero with my next pick; another iffy shooter, but he’s shown he’s capable of playing multiple positions and could very well improve next season.

I snagged Devin Vassell later in the draft, who is a breakout candidate next season. He’s a sneakily good shooter on high volume, and is athletic and lengthy enough not to get picked on on the defensive end. I drafted another rim protector, Jarrett Allen with the following pick, to back up Myles Turner.

Finally, I finished the draft with Keldon Johnson and Jordan Poole. Johnson has always been good, and it’s hard to find a two-way wing at this point in the draft. He helps provide additional size on the wing without sacrificing the floor spacing. Poole is coming off a playoff flameout, but he should put up massive numbers in Washington this year. At worst, he’s a combo guard that’s capable of making long-range shots. Not bad for a final pick.

To coach this squad, I went with Gregg Popovich — who I think is the greatest coach of all-time. My only other consideration was Erik Spolestra, who you can very well argue is the best current coach in the league.

Overall, I think my team has a ton of talent, athleticism, and length. Shooting, general floor spacing, and Ja’s Instagram Live streams are my only concerns. I think they have just enough shooting to get by against any of these squads, and we’ll base this team in the heart of Amish Country to keep Ja off the internet.

Survey Results:

For the second year straight we anonymously polled the entire drafting crew post-draft to see where everyone’s opinions on their colleague’s teams. Here are the results for those questions:

Best team:

3 votes — Jackson

2 votes — Harrison

2 votes — Sean

1 vote — Paul

1 vote — Dan

Worst team:

5 votes — Erin

2 votes — Josh

1 vote — Dan

1 vote — David

Biggest steal (w/ position drafted):

2.5 votes — Karl-Anthony Towns (55)

2 votes — Ja Morant (30)

1 vote — ‘A healthy’ Zion Williamson (35)

1 vote — DeMar DeRozan (63)

1 vote — CJ McCollum (79)

1 vote — Jalen Brunson (40)

.5 votes — James Harden (48)

Biggest reach:

3 votes — OG Anunoby (29)

2 votes — Jalen Green (59)

1 vote — Fred VanVleet (34)

1 vote — Markelle Fultz (95)

1 vote — Kevin Huerter (93)

.5 votes — Mikal Bridges (21)

.5 votes — Derrick White (49)

Most surprising inclusion:

4 votes — Amen Thompson

1 vote — Rudy Gobert

1 vote — Jabari Smith Jr.

1 vote — Markelle Fultz

1 vote — Josh Hart

1 vote — James Harden

Biggest snub:

2 votes — Norman Powell

1 vote — Jakob Poeltl

1 vote — Nikola Vučević

1 vote — Russell Westbrook

1 vote — Clint Capela

1 vote — Alperen Sengun

1 vote — Buddy Hield

1 vote — Paul Reed

Best backcourt:

7 votes — David (Devin Booker, Damian Lillard)

1 vote — Harrison (Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Ja Morant)

1 vote — Jackson (Stephen Curry, LaMelo Ball)

Best frontcourt:

4 votes — Bryan (Anthony Davis, Jaren Jackson Jr., Jimmy Butler)

2 votes — Steve (Joel Embiid, Jaylen Brown, Draymond Green)

2 votes — Sean (Kawhi Leonard, Bam Adebayo, Luka Doncic)

1 vote — Jackson (Evan Mobley, Paul George, Victor Wembanyama)

1 vote — Paul (Kevin Durant, Zion Williamson, Karl-Anthony Towns)

Best fitting team:

2 votes — Sean

2 votes — Jackson

2 votes — Harrison

1 vote — Paul

1 vote — Josh

1 vote — Erin

Below is a summary of this year’s top 100:

Vote here to let us know who has the best team for the 2023-24 season!


Who assembled the best team?

This poll is closed

  • 13%
    Dan Volpone
    (4 votes)
  • 3%
    Josh Grieb
    (1 vote)
  • 30%
    Steve Lipman
    (9 votes)
  • 3%
    Sean Kennedy
    (1 vote)
  • 3%
    Jackson Frank
    (1 vote)
  • 0%
    Paul Hudrick
    (0 votes)
  • 3%
    Erin Grugen
    (1 vote)
  • 3%
    Bryan Toporek
    (1 vote)
  • 16%
    David Early
    (5 votes)
  • 23%
    Harrison Grimm
    (7 votes)
30 votes total Vote Now

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