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Thursday September 4, 2008 12:17 am

Dropping Dimes Mock Draft: Round 2, Pick 1: Al Jefferson

Al Jeff vs Amare
The long weekend is in the rear view mirror, school has started, and our mock draft kicks off September with the first pick in the second round. Dwyane Wade is a fun pick even in the worst of times, but 22 players fly off the board before this team makes its third round selection. With Flash coming back from injury, it seems wise at this point to 1) go for a younger player who can log a bunch of games and 2) go for a big man so that even if Wade misses some time, this team can change up its strategy and remain competitive.

Make sure you check our master list for a recap and links to all the picks made thus far. The list should eventually feature some round by round commentary as well.

Here are Al Jeff’s highs and lows over the past three seasons in all the major fantasy categories:

Best: 82 GP, 51.4 FG%, 72.1 FT%, 21.1 ppg, 11.1 rpg, 1.4 apg, 0.0 3pg, 0.9 spg, 1.5 bpg, 1.1 topg

Worst: 59 GP, 49.9 FG%, 64.2 FT%, 7.9 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 0.5 apg, 0.0 3pg, 0.5 spg, 0.8 bpg, 2.0 topg

Al Jeff enters his fourth season in the NBA, his second with the Minnesota Timberwolves. He remains the top option in their offensive scheme. He easily cleared the 20-10 barrier and shoots very well from the field. I have him ahead of Carlos Boozer in head-to-head leagues because Al Jeff swats a bunch of shots. His free-throw percentage has improved. The Wolves soldier on with their rebuilding program, which means Al Jeff will get ample playing time all year long. Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan are great, but their teams may be able to give them a bit of a break when their playoff position becomes clear. Also, compared to those hall-of-famers, Al Jeff is on the way up in his career and could conceivably post new career highs across the board this year.

With Wade as the first pick, it looks essential to have big men who can shore up the blocks and negate Wade’s tough shooting nights. Even with Kevin Love on the team, Al Jeff should retain his center eligibility. Marcus Camby trumps everyone in blocks, but if Wade is the poster child of the team, scoring should be emphasized.

In the third and fourth rounds, there should be some three-point shooters and next tier big men available. It’s a long wait, but this duo looks pretty good for 2008-09.

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