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Friday August 29, 2008 4:19 pm

Dropping Dimes Mock Draft: Round 1, Pick 12 - Dwyane Wade

Dwyane Wade The end of the first round appears to be the land of boom-or-bust.  Just a pick earlier, we saw Gilbert Arenas fly off of the board.  Not long before him, Caron Butler’s entrance into the first round could make or break a few seasons.  Needless to say, getting this guy with the 12th selection this season could prove to be quite a steal, assuming he plays to even half of the level which we saw against the rest of the world during the Olympic games.

Though he ruined many of fantasy seasons last year, I have no hesitation in selecting…

Dwyane Wade, PG/SG, Miami Heat

It was not all that long ago when Dwyane Wade was a top five or six draft selection.  Some fantasy owners last year were a bit worried about his health, and rightfully so.  Others point to the fact that he simply does nothing from the three-point area which stings a bit from the guard position.  However, similar to LeBron James and the free throw percentage, you have to take the good with the bad when it comes to Wade.  And in this case, the “good” is really good.

Wade has never averaged less than 16 points per game during his entire NBA career.  Now, he is comfortably scoring between 24 and 27 points per game, while adding in over seven assists and four rebounds per game.  Wade is an incredible shot-blocker for a point-guard eligible players, averaging nearly a block per game.  He’s solid in the passing lanes with 1.7 steals per night, is consistently near 50 percent from the floor, and gets to the free throw line as much as anyone. 

The glaring downside is the fact that he Wade has only suited up for 51 games in each of the last two seasons.  But as mentioned, we’ve seen what Wade is capable of when he’s healthy.  Last year, he was forced to take an entire Heat team on his shoulders.  Now, he has a contract year version of Shawn Marion by his side, along with a rookie of the year hopeful in Michael Beasley.

There is a chance that we may see Wade play off of the ball a bit more this season, which is not exactly his strength, but will allow him to stay fresher longer.  Fear not though, as the ball will be in Wade’s hands more often than not - especially when the game is on the line.  You can’t go wrong with a potential top-five fantasy player near the end of the first round.  Just make sure you pair him up with the right teammates given your format; in this case, head to head owners should be able to follow up with a big man right behind Wade, forming one of the better tandems right out of the gate.

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