Fantasy Basketball 2022-23 mock draft: Kevin Durant is sixth overall, paired with Kyrie Irving

I reviewed an expert draft last week and this will be my final simulation before the 2022-23 season. I picked sixth place this time in a CBS H2H point league draft and got stuck on the superstar pair of Brooklyn Nets in the early rounds despite their injury issues in recent years. Sometimes you have to take risks to win big, and I did it with the potential of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Should I have avoided them due to recent history?

Here is the complete draft board for the 12 teams involved in my simulation. Take a look to get feedback on what I thought were my best and worst choices:

Round 1-6

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There is no shortage of talent in the Brooklyn Nets and Ben Simmons will finally join the Eastern Conference team on hardwood in 2022-23. Kevin Durant will undoubtedly act as the highest scoring option and may have to carry a heavy load as Simmons gets back to things after a heavy layoff. Scoring will be a given with Durant, especially as the Nets don’t have a clear third option at the moment. He could easily score 30 or more points per game to get ahead with 6.0 rebounds. His career record of 6.4 assists per game last season convinced me to believe in him at the start of this mockery.

Bam Adebayo may have been somewhat able to reach 19th place overall, but the troubling depth of the Miami Heat frontcourt makes me think the big man may still be in his best season. His direction dwindled once Kyle Lowry arrived in South Beach, but he nearly reached career highs in points, rebounds and steals in 2021-22. He will have to be a defensive anchor while the position of the Miami striker is a question mark.

Dejounte Murray and Kyrie Irving felt like steals in the third and fourth rounds. Murray is already flirting with triple doubles despite him sharing a backcourt with Trae Young. Irving equaled a career record with 27.4 points per game while in and out of the squad. He won’t start this season as a part-time player and will need to be Durant’s 1b.

Collins looked like a breath, and I would have preferred to have a player like Josh Giddey at that point, but I ran out of time and had to make a choice. He is a respectable striker, but I like more different selections in the last few rounds.

Round 7-12

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Maxey looks ready to take another leap and has averaged 20.0 points by shooting 63 percent better from the field and beyond the span of his first three preseason games. He has pulled cover from the ball with efficiency and will get an abundance of good looks along with healthy James Harden and Joel Embiid. His stock is increasing every day, and All-Star level marginal production in the seventh round could be a major win.

Gordon Hayward is expected to play Miles Bridges more in limbo and Jamal Murray will be useful once I get back to game speed, but I wasn’t crazy about any of those choices. However, I am optimistic about Cam Johnson in the 12th round as the fourth stretch could enter a starting role with Jae Crowder looking for a new team. He recorded 16.3 points and 4.9 rebounds per game as a starter in 2021-22 and could be based on those numbers with less depth in his position than him.

Laps 13-15

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Caris LeVert is getting the first shot at the Cleveland Cavaliers’ small starting point, and Jonathan Kuminga seems likely to play a bigger role for the Golden State Warriors behind Draymond Green. However, Killian Hayes may end up being my favorite pickup in the last three rounds. The French guard looked set to be buried behind Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey, but confidence in him is rising ahead of his third NBA season. He averages an impressive 7.4 assists every 36 minutes as a rookie and his shot has shown improvement in recent outings. He piqued my interest as an underrated sleeper and could get a lot more time than expected as he becomes a more complete player on offense.

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