Welcome to the 2023 Fantasy Basketball Draft Season! Today, I’ll be presenting a mock draft for one of my leagues. It’s a 12-team H2H category league on Yahoo. I’ll be using the FantasyPros Mock Draft Simulator to see how my team rounds out from the 9th slot.
Fantasy Basketball 12-Team Category Mock Draft: 9th Pick
Categories: FG% | FT% | 3PM | REB | AST | STL | BLK | TO | PTS
Roster: PG | SG | G | SF | PF | F | C | UTIL (3) | BENCH (4)
Pick 1.09: Damian Lillard (PG – MIL)
Damian Lillard’s 2023-2024 season just got a whole lot more interesting following his trade to the Bucks. Teaming him with Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton immediately catapults Milwaukee to favorites in the East. The three of them should wreak havoc on defenses and increase open outside shots for Lillard. You can rely on his pure shooting ability, scoring at or around 30 points per game while also acting as a facilitator. For a player with a 64.5% true shooting percentage, this only helps your fantasy squad. Trust that he will always find his way to productivity.
Pick 2.04: Domantas Sabonis (PF, C – SAC)
Domantas Sabonis is coming off a stellar 2022-2023 campaign and signed a five-year extension with Sacramento in July, offering the 27-year-old the same type of stability that he offers fantasy managers. Sabonis appeared in 79 games last season, averaging 34.6 minutes, 19.1 PPG, 12.3 RPG, and 7.3 APG. While he leaves something to be desired in defensive categories, his 30.5 assist percentage and rebounding capability make him a solid contributor coming off boards in the second round.
Pick 3.09: Desmond Bane (SG, SF – MEM)
Desmond Bane has steadily improved in his three years in the league and has contributed to a variety of fantasy categories along the way. He averaged 21.5 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 4.4 APG, one steal, and shot 40.8% from three-point range. He is a good all-around player whose underlying metrics support his improvement. With Ja Morant beginning the year on suspension and Dillon Brooks no longer in town, Bane should see an increase in his usage percentage, which was already 26.1%. He should vastly outperform his current ADP.
Pick 4.04: Jalen Brunson (PG – NYK)
Jalen Brunson turned his first season in New York into his best season by far in the NBA. He averaged 24 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 6.2 assists. He offers a well-rounded game in category leagues while providing enough counting stats to help in points leagues. His ADP is hovering in the mid-50s, but he can return a much higher value for fantasy managers. Brunson is a great pick if you wait on guard in favor of other positions in the first few rounds.
Pick 5.09: Deandre Ayton (C – POR)
In the 2022-23 season, DeAndre Ayton averaged 18.0 points and 10.0 rebounds per game. While his scoring improved to 18.0 points, his rebounding dropped to 10.0 per game, with 2.6 offensive rebounds, which were his career lows. Now that he is in Portland without the trio of target hogs he had in Phoenix, Ayton should see many more offensive opportunities. It’s important to have tempered expectations about the 25-year-old, but he will certainly have a chance to shine in Portland.
Pick 6.04: Jalen Williams (SG, SF – OKC)
Jalen Williams’s playing time may decrease in the 2023-24 season due to Chet Holmgren‘s return after foot surgery. Nevertheless, Williams is expected to have an important role on an improving Oklahoma City team. His versatile and efficient playing style indicates his potential in fantasy basketball. Williams’s season averages were 15.0 points, 4.9 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 1.5 steals in 62 starts, compared to 9.8 points, 2.6 assists, and 2.4 rebounds in 13 substitute appearances.
Pick 7.09: Jerami Grant (PF – POR)
Jerami Grant signed a five-year deal with Portland this summer and averaged 20.5 points per game last season. He offers strengths on both ends of the court. Grant’s true shooting percentage is 60.6, and he offers almost one fantasy point per minute. Without Damian Lillard in town, Grant is a solid mid-round pick at forward.
Pick 8.04: Tyler Herro (PG, SG – MIA)
Tyler Herro has a lot of questions surrounding his 2023-2024 season. On paper, he seems poised to take on a larger role in Miami. You can trust that Herro should be helpful in all nine standard categories while not being particularly outstanding in any of them. His current ADP of 79 seems about right for his value.
Pick 9.09: Tobias Harris (SF, PF – PHI)
Tobias Harris is consistently a solid middle-round pick in both category and points leagues. He averaged 14.7 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 2.5 assists across 74 games last year. If James Harden departs the City of Brotherly Love before the season, Harris could probably see an uptick in usage. However, he’s proved to be valuable no matter who is in town.
Pick 10.04: Terry Rozier (PG, SG – CHA)
Terry Rozier had a successful season, averaging 21.1 points and 5.1 assists per game. Despite injuries, he led the Hornets when key players like LaMelo Ball and Miles Bridges were absent. Rozier’s role may be slightly reduced with the return of other players and the addition of Brandon Miller for the upcoming season. He may be worth a pass unless you can get him in the sixth round or later.
- Pick 11.09: John Collins (PF – UTA)
- Pick 12.04: Jaden McDaniels (SF, PF – MIN)
- Pick 13.09: Harrison Barnes (SF, PF – SAC)
- Pick 14.04: Kyle Anderson (SF, PF – MIN)
- Pick 15.09: Cole Anthony (PG – ORL)
- Pick 16.04: Josh Richardson (SG – MIA)
While I typically like to fill my bench spots with young players who have upside, I went more with solid, unexciting veterans (and Jaden McDaniels). My hope is that this group will contribute in a variety of categories and offer percentage protection. If I could do it over, I might have grabbed Josh Giddey instead of Jalen Williams, but I guess I picked my Oklahoma City poison. I also realized that I will draft Tobias Harris in every category league I’m in because I feel he is undervalued.
Here’s a look at the full results:
Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to check out all of our tools here at FantasyPros, including our NBA DraftWizard, which helps you during the draft itself. Have fun mock drafting and good luck!