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Monday August 11, 2008 2:21 pm

Dropping Dimes Mock Draft: Round 1, Pick 1 - LeBron James

LeBron James It’s the time…
Of the season…

For the third annual DD Mock Draft.  The mock where the fellas over at this here blog will aim to bring you as many mock selections as possible before the start of the regular season.  But while other mock drafts will give you an entire round with little analysis with each selection, we here will give you one pick at a time.  With each pick, you’ll get the thoughts behind it as well as the up/down side to taking said player at each respective slot.

With that said…Let’s get into it.

Round 1, Pick 1: LeBron James, SF, CLE

I know, I know.  There are plenty of ways that this selection can go this year.  Similar to last season, there are legitimately four or five guys that could be taken first overall.  Plus, we can now justifiably add Chris Paul to the mix.  But what this says is that you do not necessarily have to get the first pick of the draft to get a top-tier guy.  Anywhere from one-to-six will likely nab you a guy that could finish tops overall.  But if I get that choice before the rest of my leaguemates, I’m going with King James.

Cleveland ties aside, James is a fantasy gold mine.  Sure, you have that considerably awful free throw percentage.  However, when you can get a triple-double on any given evening, but one that features about 30 points per game (cough, Jason Kidd).  James blocks shots (1.1/game in 2007-08; three in the first Olympic game, for example), is a solid defender in the lane that leads to steals and plenty of transition points.  James hits at least one long-ball per game, and is coming off of a career high in rebounds with 7.9 per game.

And if you need a silver lining of sorts, James’ free throw percentage did improve from his 2006-07 season.  An increase from 07-08 is not out of the realm of possibility.  Sure, you can get a guy that won’t kill you in any give category with the first overall spot, but none of them will deliver 30, seven and seven with nearly two steals and two threes per game.  Every game.  It’s worth noting that James has never played in fewer than 75 games through his career. 

Oh, and if this whole $50 million per year thing is a possibility, you can bet that James still has a lot to play for.  Couple that with the fact that the Cavaliers have added next to nothing in this offseason, and there won’t be any concern of someone taking his shots away.  Walk up to your draft board and slap that “James” sticker in your spot.  You won’t regret it.

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