2017 Fantasy Basketball Draft Prep: LeBron James goes ahead of Stephen Curry, James Harden in our first mock draft

NBA: Cleveland Cavaliers at Houston Rockets
Mar 12, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) shoots the ball over Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) during the fourth quarter at Toyota Center. Troy Taormina / USA TODAY Sports

In most leagues, when you end up with the No. 1 pick, you've got a tough decision to make. But not this one.

In our first mock draft of the season, featuring friends from around the Fantasy industry, we decided to eschew turnovers, settling for an eight-category Rotisserie league. As a result, Andrew Joe Potter of theScore.com had an easy call to make at the top of the draft – Russell Westbrook, and his historic production.

In a nine-category league, Westbrook is a risky call at the top of the draft. But when you aren't penalized for turnovers, your options get a lot more obvious, as you get the 2017 MVP's historic triple-double abilities, without being penalized for all those pesky turnovers.

Of course, Westbrook isn't the obvious option at No. 1. By my count, there are five candidates for the No. 1 spot this season, and Mike Gallagher of Rotoworld.com might be the luckiest guy in the room, as one of them fell to him at No. 6. James Harden might lose some of his assist production with Chris Paul next to him, but his combination of efficiency, shooting, and playmaking still makes him an option at the top, and worthwhile option anywhere in the first half of the first round.

As for me, I didn't have the chance to pick at the top, so I had to settle for Nikola Jokic at No. 10. In retrospect, I might have preferred a safer option in Kawhi Leonard, but Jokic has showed unprecedented skills for a big man, coming off a season in which he averaged 17.9 points, 10.3 rebounds, and 5.3 assists, with 97 combined blocks and steals and 42 3-pointers in 59 games after joining the starting lineup. If the 22-year-old sustains that, let alone builds on it, I've got an incredible centerpiece to build around.

Check out the rest of the draft below. This was an eight-category Roto draft, with points, rebounds, assists, steals, blocks, 3-pointers, field-goal percentage, and free-throw percentage. We play with PG, SG, SF, PF, C, G, F, three utility spots, and three bench spots.

The draft order is as follows:

1. Andrew Joe Potter, theScore.com
2. Alex Rikleen, RotoWire.com
3. Nick Whalen, RotoWire.com
4. Kyle McKeown, BasketballMonster.com
5. Alex Barutha, RotoWire.com
6. Mike Gallagher, Rotoworld.com
7. Aaron Bruski, Hoop-Ball.com
8. Joe Polito, CBSSports.com
9. Joel Bartilotta, RotoWire.com
10. Chris Towers, CBSSports.com, Senior Fantasy Editor
11. James Anderson, RotoWire.com
12. D.J. Trainor, RotoWire.com

Round By Round
Round 1
Pos Team Player
1 Andrew Joe Potter R. Westbrook PG OKC
2 Alex Rikleen G. Antetokounmpo PF MIL
3 Nick Whalen K. Durant SF GS
4 Kyle McKeown K. Towns C MIN
5 Alex Barutha L. James SF CLE
6 Mike Gallagher J. Harden SG HOU
7 Aaron Bruski S. Curry PG GS
8 Joe Polito A. Davis PF NO
9 Joel Bartilotta J. Wall PG WAS
10 Chris Towers N. Jokic C DEN
11 James Anderson K. Leonard SF SA
12 D.J. Trainor D. Cousins PF NO
Round 2
Pos Team Player
13 D.J. Trainor D. Lillard PG POR
14 James Anderson C. Paul PG HOU
15 Chris Towers J. Butler SF MIN
16 Joel Bartilotta P. George SF OKC
17 Joe Polito R. Gobert C UTA
18 Aaron Bruski M. Turner C IND
19 Mike Gallagher K. Irving PG BOS
20 Alex Barutha B. Griffin PF LAC
21 Kyle McKeown K. Porzingis PF NY
22 Nick Whalen D. Green PF GS
23 Alex Rikleen G. Hayward SF BOS
24 Andrew Joe Potter H. Whiteside C MIA
Round 3
Pos Team Player
25 Andrew Joe Potter K. Walker PG CHA
26 Alex Rikleen K. Thompson SG GS
27 Nick Whalen K. Lowry PG TOR
28 Kyle McKeown J. Embiid C PHI
29 Alex Barutha K. Love PF CLE
30 Mike Gallagher B. Beal SG WAS
31 Aaron Bruski C. McCollum SG POR
32 Joe Polito M. Conley PG MEM
33 Joel Bartilotta E. Bledsoe PG PHO
34 Chris Towers P. Millsap PF DEN
35 James Anderson D. DeRozan SG TOR
36 D.J. Trainor A. Wiggins SF MIN
Round 4
Pos Team Player
37 D.J. Trainor D. Booker SG PHO
38 James Anderson M. Gasol C MEM
39 Chris Towers K. Middleton SF MIL
40 Joel Bartilotta A. Horford C BOS
41 Joe Polito N. Batum SG CHA
42 Aaron Bruski O. Porter SF WAS
43 Mike Gallagher B. Lopez C LAL
44 Alex Barutha J. Nurkic C POR
45 Kyle McKeown R. Rubio PG UTA
46 Nick Whalen L. Ball PG LAL
47 Alex Rikleen D. Jordan C LAC
48 Andrew Joe Potter V. Oladipo SG IND
Round 5
Pos Team Player
49 Andrew Joe Potter C. Anthony SF OKC
50 Alex Rikleen A. Drummond C DET
51 Nick Whalen G. Dragic PG MIA
52 Kyle McKeown D. Schroder PG ATL
53 Alex Barutha R. Rondo PG NO
54 Mike Gallagher A. Gordon SF ORL
55 Aaron Bruski J. Teague PG MIN
56 Joe Polito G. Hill PG SAC
57 Joel Bartilotta D. Russell PG BKN
58 Chris Towers B. Simmons SF PHI
59 James Anderson D. Favors PF UTA
60 D.J. Trainor N. Vucevic C ORL
Round 6
Pos Team Player
61 D.J. Trainor J. Randle PF LAL
62 James Anderson D. Smith Jr. PG DAL
63 Chris Towers J. Holiday PG NO
64 Joel Bartilotta L. Aldridge PF SA
65 Joe Polito T. Ariza SF HOU
66 Aaron Bruski G. Dieng PF MIN
67 Mike Gallagher M. Chriss PF PHO
68 Alex Barutha M. Fultz PG PHI
69 Kyle McKeown G. Harris SG DEN
70 Nick Whalen S. Ibaka PF TOR
71 Alex Rikleen E. Payton PG ORL
72 Andrew Joe Potter H. Barnes PF DAL
Round 7
Pos Team Player
73 Andrew Joe Potter T. Harris SF DET
74 Alex Rikleen J. Redick SG PHI
75 Nick Whalen N. Noel C DAL
76 Kyle McKeown J. Lin PG BKN
77 Alex Barutha I. Thomas PG CLE
78 Mike Gallagher J. Murray SG DEN
79 Aaron Bruski R. Covington SF PHI
80 Joe Polito D. Saric PF PHI
81 Joel Bartilotta R. Jackson PG DET
82 Chris Towers D. Gallinari SF LAC
83 James Anderson R. Hood SG UTA
84 D.J. Trainor T. Young PF IND
Round 8
Pos Team Player
85 D.J. Trainor W. Cauley-Stein C SAC
86 James Anderson S. Adams C OKC
87 Chris Towers C. N'Dumba-Capela C HOU
88 Joel Bartilotta D. Howard C CHA
89 Joe Polito E. Fournier SG ORL
90 Aaron Bruski T. Hardaway Jr. SG NY
91 Mike Gallagher A. Bradley SG DET
92 Alex Barutha W. Chandler SF DEN
93 Kyle McKeown W. Hernangomez C NY
94 Nick Whalen K. Bazemore SG ATL
95 Alex Rikleen P. Beverley PG LAC
96 Andrew Joe Potter J. Valanciunas C TOR
Round 9
Pos Team Player
97 Andrew Joe Potter P. Gasol C SA
98 Alex Rikleen T. Waller-Prince SF ATL
99 Nick Whalen M. Brogdon PG MIL
100 Kyle McKeown J. Johnson PF MIA
101 Alex Barutha Z. LaVine SG CHI
102 Mike Gallagher T. Warren SF PHO
103 Aaron Bruski J. Crowder SF CLE
104 Joe Polito D. Collison PG IND
105 Joel Bartilotta R. Anderson PF HOU
106 Chris Towers E. Gordon SG HOU
107 James Anderson B. Hield SG SAC
108 D.J. Trainor W. Barton SG DEN
Round 10
Pos Team Player
109 D.J. Trainor T. Evans SF MEM
110 James Anderson J. Jackson SF PHO
111 Chris Towers R. Gay SF SA
112 Joel Bartilotta K. Dunn PG CHI
113 Joe Polito T. Johnson SG MIA
114 Aaron Bruski M. Gortat C WAS
115 Mike Gallagher R. Holmes C PHI
116 Alex Barutha D. Waiters SG MIA
117 Kyle McKeown M. Teodosic PG LAC
118 Nick Whalen B. Ingram SF LAL
119 Alex Rikleen D. Nowitzki C DAL
120 Andrew Joe Potter D. Wade SG CLE
Round 11
Pos Team Player
121 Andrew Joe Potter D. Dedmon C ATL
122 Alex Rikleen S. Labissiere PF SAC
123 Nick Whalen M. Williams PF CHA
124 Kyle McKeown B. Bogdanovic SG SAC
125 Alex Barutha C. Parsons SF MEM
126 Mike Gallagher L. Markkanen PF CHI
127 Aaron Bruski G. Monroe C MIL
128 Joe Polito R. Lopez C CHI
129 Joel Bartilotta L. Williams SG LAC
130 Chris Towers W. Matthews SG DAL
131 James Anderson D. Fox PG SAC
132 D.J. Trainor K. Caldwell-Pope SG LAL
Round 12
Pos Team Player
133 D.J. Trainor J. Clarkson SG LAL
134 James Anderson A. Crabbe SG BKN
135 Chris Towers N. Mirotic PF CHI
136 Joel Bartilotta E. Ilyasova PF ATL
137 Joe Polito C. LeVert SF BKN
138 Aaron Bruski M. Smart SG BOS
139 Mike Gallagher B. Marjanovic C DET
140 Alex Barutha E. Kanter C NY
141 Kyle McKeown M. Morris PF WAS
142 Nick Whalen J. Ingles SG UTA
143 Alex Rikleen S. Curry SG DAL
144 Andrew Joe Potter M. Morris PF BOS
Round 13
Pos Team Player
145 Andrew Joe Potter I. Smith PG DET
146 Alex Rikleen L. Stephenson SF IND
147 Nick Whalen J. Collins PF ATL
148 Kyle McKeown J. Richardson SG MIA
149 Alex Barutha Z. Randolph PF SAC
150 Mike Gallagher M. Kidd-Gilchrist SF CHA
151 Aaron Bruski T. Ulis PG PHO
152 Joe Polito D. Rose PG CLE
153 Joel Bartilotta T. Maker C MIL
154 Chris Towers D. Exum PG UTA
155 James Anderson A. Aminu PF POR
156 D.J. Trainor A. Roberson SF OKC
Team by Team
Andrew Joe Potter
Rd Pk Player
1 1 R. Westbrook PG OKC
2 24 H. Whiteside C MIA
3 25 K. Walker PG CHA
4 48 V. Oladipo SG IND
5 49 C. Anthony SF OKC
6 72 H. Barnes PF DAL
7 73 T. Harris SF DET
8 96 J. Valanciunas C TOR
9 97 P. Gasol C SA
10 120 D. Wade SG CLE
11 121 D. Dedmon C ATL
12 144 M. Morris PF BOS
13 145 I. Smith PG DET
Alex Rikleen
Rd Pk Player
1 2 G. Antetokounmpo PF MIL
2 23 G. Hayward SF BOS
3 26 K. Thompson SG GS
4 47 D. Jordan C LAC
5 50 A. Drummond C DET
6 71 E. Payton PG ORL
7 74 J. Redick SG PHI
8 95 P. Beverley PG LAC
9 98 T. Waller-Prince SF ATL
10 119 D. Nowitzki C DAL
11 122 S. Labissiere PF SAC
12 143 S. Curry SG DAL
13 146 L. Stephenson SF IND
Nick Whalen
Rd Pk Player
1 3 K. Durant SF GS
2 22 D. Green PF GS
3 27 K. Lowry PG TOR
4 46 L. Ball PG LAL
5 51 G. Dragic PG MIA
6 70 S. Ibaka PF TOR
7 75 N. Noel C DAL
8 94 K. Bazemore SG ATL
9 99 M. Brogdon PG MIL
10 118 B. Ingram SF LAL
11 123 M. Williams PF CHA
12 142 J. Ingles SG UTA
13 147 J. Collins PF ATL
Kyle McKeown
Rd Pk Player
1 4 K. Towns C MIN
2 21 K. Porzingis PF NY
3 28 J. Embiid C PHI
4 45 R. Rubio PG UTA
5 52 D. Schroder PG ATL
6 69 G. Harris SG DEN
7 76 J. Lin PG BKN
8 93 W. Hernangomez C NY
9 100 J. Johnson PF MIA
10 117 M. Teodosic PG LAC
11 124 B. Bogdanovic SG SAC
12 141 M. Morris PF WAS
13 148 J. Richardson SG MIA
Alex Barutha
Rd Pk Player
1 5 L. James SF CLE
2 20 B. Griffin PF LAC
3 29 K. Love PF CLE
4 44 J. Nurkic C POR
5 53 R. Rondo PG NO
6 68 M. Fultz PG PHI
7 77 I. Thomas PG CLE
8 92 W. Chandler SF DEN
9 101 Z. LaVine SG CHI
10 116 D. Waiters SG MIA
11 125 C. Parsons SF MEM
12 140 E. Kanter C NY
13 149 Z. Randolph PF SAC
Mike Gallagher
Rd Pk Player
1 6 J. Harden SG HOU
2 19 K. Irving PG BOS
3 30 B. Beal SG WAS
4 43 B. Lopez C LAL
5 54 A. Gordon SF ORL
6 67 M. Chriss PF PHO
7 78 J. Murray SG DEN
8 91 A. Bradley SG DET
9 102 T. Warren SF PHO
10 115 R. Holmes C PHI
11 126 L. Markkanen PF CHI
12 139 B. Marjanovic C DET
13 150 M. Kidd-Gilchrist SF CHA
Aaron Bruski
Rd Pk Player
1 7 S. Curry PG GS
2 18 M. Turner C IND
3 31 C. McCollum SG POR
4 42 O. Porter SF WAS
5 55 J. Teague PG MIN
6 66 G. Dieng PF MIN
7 79 R. Covington SF PHI
8 90 T. Hardaway Jr. SG NY
9 103 J. Crowder SF CLE
10 114 M. Gortat C WAS
11 127 G. Monroe C MIL
12 138 M. Smart SG BOS
13 151 T. Ulis PG PHO
Joe Polito
Rd Pk Player
1 8 A. Davis PF NO
2 17 R. Gobert C UTA
3 32 M. Conley PG MEM
4 41 N. Batum SG CHA
5 56 G. Hill PG SAC
6 65 T. Ariza SF HOU
7 80 D. Saric PF PHI
8 89 E. Fournier SG ORL
9 104 D. Collison PG IND
10 113 T. Johnson SG MIA
11 128 R. Lopez C CHI
12 137 C. LeVert SF BKN
13 152 D. Rose PG CLE
Joel Bartilotta
Rd Pk Player
1 9 J. Wall PG WAS
2 16 P. George SF OKC
3 33 E. Bledsoe PG PHO
4 40 A. Horford C BOS
5 57 D. Russell PG BKN
6 64 L. Aldridge PF SA
7 81 R. Jackson PG DET
8 88 D. Howard C CHA
9 105 R. Anderson PF HOU
10 112 K. Dunn PG CHI
11 129 L. Williams SG LAC
12 136 E. Ilyasova PF ATL
13 153 T. Maker C MIL
Chris Towers
Rd Pk Player
1 10 N. Jokic C DEN
2 15 J. Butler SF MIN
3 34 P. Millsap PF DEN
4 39 K. Middleton SF MIL
5 58 B. Simmons SF PHI
6 63 J. Holiday PG NO
7 82 D. Gallinari SF LAC
8 87 C. N'Dumba-Capela C HOU
9 106 E. Gordon SG HOU
10 111 R. Gay SF SA
11 130 W. Matthews SG DAL
12 135 N. Mirotic PF CHI
13 154 D. Exum PG UTA
James Anderson
Rd Pk Player
1 11 K. Leonard SF SA
2 14 C. Paul PG HOU
3 35 D. DeRozan SG TOR
4 38 M. Gasol C MEM
5 59 D. Favors PF UTA
6 62 D. Smith Jr. PG DAL
7 83 R. Hood SG UTA
8 86 S. Adams C OKC
9 107 B. Hield SG SAC
10 110 J. Jackson SF PHO
11 131 D. Fox PG SAC
12 134 A. Crabbe SG BKN
13 155 A. Aminu PF POR
D.J. Trainor
Rd Pk Player
1 12 D. Cousins PF NO
2 13 D. Lillard PG POR
3 36 A. Wiggins SF MIN
4 37 D. Booker SG PHO
5 60 N. Vucevic C ORL
6 61 J. Randle PF LAL
7 84 T. Young PF IND
8 85 W. Cauley-Stein C SAC
9 108 W. Barton SG DEN
10 109 T. Evans SF MEM
11 132 K. Caldwell-Pope SG LAL
12 133 J. Clarkson SG LAL
13 156 A. Roberson SF OKC
Fantasy Writer

Though he can be found covering three different sports depending on the time of year, there is one unifying theme in how Chris Towers approaches sports; "Where's the evidence?" It doesn't matter how outlandish... Full Bio

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