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Dynasty Deconstructed: Rebuilding a Fantasy Basketball Roster – The Blueprint (Part 2)

Welcome to Part 2 of the Dynasty Deconstructed Series!  You can check out Part 1 here.

Year 3 of our rebuild would be the first season that results would be yielded through the accumulation of 2 years of assets. The 2013 Draft would be the first year we had control of our first round pick which we would use to select Nerlens Noel 5th overall while he sat out the entire year rehabbing his knee from his torn ACL.

The Evaluation Process (2014-2015)

2014: 95-75-1   6th place regular season | League Runner up

2015: 48-120-3 12th place regular season | 1st pick in Draft

The 2014 season would end up as a convergence of several positive developments as it led to a cinderella run to the finals knocking off two higher seeds on the way.

  • Kevin Durant’s peak statistical output during his 2014 MVP season: 32points-7boards-5.5assists on 50/39/87 splits and a ridiculous 63 true shooting percentage
  • Juicing the orange: Career seasons from a number of waiver wire pick ups including DJ Augustin, Jodie Meeks, Nick Young, JR Smith, and Robin Lopez.
  • Riding out the hot streaks to finish the season from Roy Hibbert and Andre Drummond

The bubble would burst eventually as we proved no match against the league champ. Who doesn’t love a good cinderella run? After the excitement of the deep playoff run, a splash of cold water the next year would be awaiting to bring us right back to reality.

Kevin Durant would miss 55 games over the duration of the year due to a jones fracture in his right foot which proved enough to alone derail our entire season. It was time to look in the mirror and make some tough decisions over the current direction of the squad.

Even with a healthy KD, the humbling truth was this squad didn’t have enough  to have a seat at the table yearly with the contenders in the league. In order to really have chance to build a roster with my imprint, a complete tear down and rebuild was in the best interest for the future.

The Blueprint (2015-2017)

2015: 48-120-3 12th place regular season | 1st pick in Draft

2016: 57-111-3 11th place regular season | 2nd pick in Draft

2017:  83-86-2  7th place regular season | Missed Playoffs (1GB)

The next step of the rebuild is the most frantic amount of activity since we took over the team. Which would include 8 trades over the next two years that would drastically reshape the previous iteration of the roster. A main philosophical mistake people make when shaping a team, whether that be in redraft leagues or dynasty leagues is worrying too much about filling out roster spots instead of building the strong base in targeted categories that you can count on.

Rookie picks are similar to purchasing a brand new car in that as assets they depreciate the moment you drive out of the dealership. During the liquidation sale leading up to the 2016 rookie draft we had stocked up 4 1st round picks with the idea of using the extra draft capital to acquire depth to help fill out the roster and bring balance to the team.

Note:

1. These are all real transactions agreed and negotiated upon between two independent owners in the league.

2. All trades will be highlighted red indicating what was received in transactions*

11-4-15

Heat receive

Toronto’s 1st round pick (6th overall, Dragan Bender)

Toronto receives

Roy Hibbert (28)

———-

12-27-15

Chicago Receives

Nerlens Noel (21)

Miami Receives

Reggie Jackson (25)

————–

12-26-15

Cavaliers receive

Tyreke Evans (26)

Tristian Thompson (25)

2nd round pick

Miami Receives

Festus Ezeli (26)

1st round pick

—————

2-3-16

Heat receive

Demarcus Cousins (24)

Khris Middleton (25)

Zach LaVine (22)

1st round pick (10th overall, Wade Baldwin IV)

76ers receive

Kevin Durant (27)

Jordan Clarkson (23)

2nd round pick

—————

6-23-16

Miami receives

Wesley Matthews (29)

Washington receives

1st round pick (10th overall, Wade Baldwin IV)

—————-

6-26-16

Miami receives

Kevin Love (27)

Bradley Beal (24)

Chicago receives

Khris Middleton (25)

1st round pick (6th overall, Dragan Bender)

2nd round pick

————–

12-30-16

Heat receive

2017 1st round pick (5th overall, Josh Jackson)

Spurs receive

Reggie Jackson (27)

Rondae Hollis Jefferson (22)

—————

2-5-17

Miami receives

Marc Gasol (33)

2nd round pick

Denver receives

Zach Lavine (22)

1st round pick (5th overall, Josh Jackson)

————-

10-16-17

Miami receives

Donovan Mitchell (21)

Marcin Gortat (33)

Thaddeus Young (29)

Cleveland receives

Kevin Love (29)

2018 1st round pick (7th overall, Trae Young)


 

This is where understanding the talent breadth of the incoming draft class comes in handy, after evaluating the talent that would be available with the mid to late round 1st round draft picks it became clear to me that those picks could be used in a more effective way. Wade Baldwin & Dragan Bender both fizzled out quickly as assets, which showed the volatility of rookie picks.

It’s always better to be ahead of the curve and sell off an asset before its obvious to everyone in the fantasy community that they can be safely classified as an eroding asset. The trades of Roy Hibbert, Nerlens Noel, Reggie Jackson, and Tyreke Evans all happened at the peaks of their value before this would become readily apparent and ended up netting us 4 first round picks overall by moving quickly and taking action.

The end result of the second Kevin Durant trade ended up providing us with the sustainable firepower necessary to begin moving into our next phase of success. KD would end up turning into Demarcus Cousins, Bradley Beal, Donovan Mitchell, Marc Gasol, and Thaddeus Young, who would all play a role on our next good team. While none of these guys are as good of a player as KD alone the statistical variety and the totality of strength in categories would end up giving the roster a much needed boost.

2018 Organizational Assessment:

Nucleus playersAndre Drummond (24), Bradley Beal (24),  Demarcus Cousins (27), 

Key contributors: Marc Gasol (33) , Lou Williams (31), Kentavious Caldwell Pope (24), George Hill (31) , Wes Matthews (31) , Thaddeus Young (29)

Developmental assets: D’angelo Russell (21) , Brandon Ingram (20) , Donovan Mitchell (21) , Kelly Oubre Jr (22) , Jonathan Isaac (20), Montrezl Harrell (24), Fred VanvVleet (24)

Waiver Fodder: Marcin Gortat (33)

Stay tuned for the third and final part of the series which will include full analysis of my draft history, trade negotiations, overall strategy, and bring the team into the present day up until the suspension of the NBA season..

The Author

Shawn Losier

Shawn Losier

New York City Native. Basketball Philosopher. Dynasty Sports Junkie. 2019 National Dynasty Bush League Hall of Fame inductee. St. John's University Alumni. Fantasy Sports Writers Association member. Host of the Draft SZN Podcast https://linktr.ee/draftsznpodcast_

Contact for Interviews requests: Shawnlosier@gmail.com

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