Draft Recap: RotoWire Salary Cap League Results + Analysis

Draft Recap: RotoWire Salary Cap League Results + Analysis

Earlier this week, the RotoWire staff took part in the annual Steak League Salary Cap Draft. In this league, it's less about gunning for the top spot and more about simply ensuring that you don't finish in the bottom half of the league.

At the end of the season, the 14-member league gathers together for a steak dinner, with the bottom half of the league taking care of the entire bill.  

Below are the full results from Wednesday's salary cap draft followed by some post-draft analysis:

League info:

  • 14 teams
  • 8-category roto (PTS, REB, AST, BLK, STL, 3PM, FG%, FT%)
  • $200 salary cap budget
  • 13 players per roster (1 IR slot)
    • 9 weekly starters: PG, SG, SF, PF, C, G, F, UTIL, UTIL

Note: "NO." refers to the order in which players were nominated 

 

SHANNON MCKEOWN

 

 

 

JAMES ANDERSON

 

NO.

PLAYER

VAL

 

NO.

PLAYER

VAL

2

LeBron James LAL, SF

$42

 

1

Karl-Anthony Towns Min, C

$57

10

Nikola Vucevic Chi, C

$32

 

41

Richaun Holmes Sac, C

$19

20

Domantas Sabonis Ind, PF

$44

 

44

Michael Porter Jr. Den, SF

$38

30

Devonte' Graham NO, PG

$10

 

50

Jalen Green Hou, SG

$10

64

Killian Hayes Det, PG

$3

 

69

OG Anunoby Tor, SF

$30

72

Kemba Walker NY, PG

$6

 

79

Isaiah Stewart Det, C

$10

74

RJ Barrett NY, SF

$9

 

91

Mikal Bridges Phx, SF

$26

88

Jonathan Isaac Orl, PF

$13

 

131

Jordan Poole GS, SG

$4

90

Wendell Carter Jr. Orl, C

$5

 

151

Desmond Bane Mem, SG

$1

92

Kevin Porter Jr. Hou, SG

$10

 

162

Kevin Huerter Atl, SG

$1

105

Evan Mobley Cle, PF

$8

 

168

Alperen Sengun Hou, C

$2

113

Saddiq Bey Det, SF

$6

 

176

Cameron Johnson Phx, SF

$1

119

Josh Giddey OKC, PG

$12

 

179

Immanuel Quickley NY, PG

$1

 

ERIC NEUMAN

 

 

 

KEN CRITES

 

NO.

PLAYER

VAL

 

NO.

PLAYER

VAL

4

Giannis Antetokounmpo Mil, PF

$64

 

5

Nikola Jokic Den, C

$69

14

Anthony Davis LAL, PF

$49

 

12

Fred VanVleet Tor, SG

$45

28

Devin Booker Phx, SG

$39

 

16

Chris Paul Phx, PG

$26

53

Lonzo Ball Chi, PG

$18

 

34

Clint Capela Atl, C

$15

107

Brook Lopez Mil, C

$5

 

40

Robert Williams III Bos, C

$8

110

Tyler Herro Mia, SG

$10

 

80

Marcus Smart Bos, SG

$5

140

Reggie Jackson LAC, PG

$3

 

106

Dillon Brooks Mem, SG

$12

144

Mo Bamba Orl, C

$3

 

122

Steven Adams Mem, C

$2

156

Cam Reddish Atl, SF

$1

 

127

Bojan Bogdanovic Utah, PF

$7

161

Victor Oladipo Mia, SG

$2

 

129

Kyle Anderson Mem, SF

$6

166

Cameron Thomas Bkn, SG

$1

 

154

Marcus Morris Sr. LAC, PF

$2

167

Tyrese Maxey Phi, SG

$2

 

164

Jae'Sean Tate Hou, SF

$2

170

Precious Achiuwa Tor, PF

$2

 

172

Shake Milton Phi, PG

$1

 

KURT KROLL

 

 

 

DJ TRAINOR

 

NO.

PLAYER

VAL

 

NO.

PLAYER

VAL

18

Luka Doncic Dal, PG

$69

 

7

Kevin Durant Bkn, SF

$58

25

Khris Middleton Mil, SF

$29

 

11

Ben Simmons Phi, PG

$22

42

Rudy Gobert Utah, C

$32

 

17

Kyrie Irving Bkn, PG

$13

55

Anthony Edwards Min, SG

$25

 

37

Ja Morant Mem, PG

$26

76

Jerami Grant Det, SF

$15

 

39

Jarrett Allen Cle, C

$12

89

Norman Powell Por, SG

$8

 

43

Zach LaVine Chi, SG

$38

93

Jonas Valanciunas NO, C

$11

 

60

Collin Sexton Cle, SG

$17

109

Duncan Robinson Mia, SG

$5

 

108

Jordan Clarkson Utah, SG

$7

126

Ricky Rubio Cle, PG

$1

 

123

Matisse Thybulle Phi, SF

$1

138

Luguentz Dort OKC, SG

$2

 

135

Malik Beasley Min, SG

$2

152

Eric Bledsoe LAC, PG

$1

 

136

Kawhi Leonard LAC, SF

$1

163

Hassan Whiteside Utah, C

$1

 

149

Patrick Williams Chi, SF

$2

171

Jae Crowder Phx, PF

$1

 

160

Kelly Oubre Jr. Cha, PF

$1

 

NICK WHALEN

 

 

 

JOE BARTEL

 

NO.

PLAYER

VAL

 

NO.

PLAYER

VAL

19

Paul George LAC, SF

$55

 

24

Terry Rozier Cha, PG

$18

32

De'Aaron Fox Sac, PG

$33

 

29

Damian Lillard Por, PG

$60

45

Jrue Holiday Mil, PG

$29

 

46

Jaylen Brown Bos, SG

$32

47

Bam Adebayo Mia, C

$30

 

48

Christian Wood Hou, C

$27

59

CJ McCollum Por, SG

$26

 

56

Deandre Ayton Phx, C

$23

82

Chris Boucher Tor, C

$5

 

63

Montrezl Harrell Wsh, C

$2

117

Tim Hardaway Jr. Dal, SG

$4

 

71

Malcolm Brogdon Ind, PG

$15

125

Seth Curry Phi, SG

$5

 

95

Scottie Barnes Tor, PF

$8

132

Kelly Olynyk Det, C

$5

 

112

T.J. McConnell Ind, PG

$3

139

Klay Thompson GS, SG

$4

 

114

Evan Fournier NY, SG

$6

159

Aaron Gordon Den, PF

$1

 

120

Isaac Okoro Cle, SF

$3

174

Larry Nance Jr. Por, PF

$2

 

133

Donte DiVincenzo Mil, SG

$2

175

Thomas Bryant Wsh, C

$1

 

158

Cole Anthony Orl, PG

$1

 

PETER SCHOENKE

 

 

 

AARON QUINN

 

NO.

PLAYER

VAL

 

NO.

PLAYER

VAL

38

Kyle Lowry Mia, PG

$18

 

8

Joel Embiid Phi, C

$48

52

D'Angelo Russell Min, PG

$12

 

22

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander OKC, SG

$42

54

Dejounte Murray SA, PG

$27

 

65

Kristaps Porzingis Dal, C

$17

57

Brandon Ingram NO, SF

$34

 

67

Gordon Hayward Cha, SF

$13

58

Tobias Harris Phi, SF

$31

 

70

Tyrese Haliburton Sac, PG

$21

66

John Collins Atl, PF

$26

 

94

Mike Conley Utah, PG

$13

77

P.J. Washington Cha, PF

$17

 

97

Derrick White SA, PG

$9

87

Keldon Johnson SA, SF

$12

 

98

Myles Turner Ind, C

$26

99

Daniel Gafford Wsh, C

$7

 

118

Joe Harris Bkn, SG

$5

101

Harrison Barnes Sac, SF

$7

 

145

Bobby Portis Mil, PF

$2

142

Will Barton Den, SF

$6

 

157

Terance Mann LAC, SF

$2

146

Marvin Bagley III Sac, PF

$2

 

178

Aleksej Pokusevski OKC, PF

$1

155

James Wiseman GS, C

$1

 

181

Khem Birch Tor, C

$1

 

TIM SCHULER

 

 

 

ANDREW PARR

 

NO.

PLAYER

VAL

 

NO.

PLAYER

VAL

3

Zion Williamson NO, PF

$40

 

6

Bradley Beal Wsh, SG

$48

13

Jayson Tatum Bos, PF

$62

 

9

Russell Westbrook LAL, PG

$30

21

Julius Randle NY, PF

$39

 

26

Donovan Mitchell Utah, SG

$38

23

LaMelo Ball Cha, PG

$41

 

36

Cade Cunningham Det, PG

$13

115

Jaden McDaniels Min, SF

$6

 

51

Nickeil Alexander-Walker NO, SG

$7

121

Joe Ingles Utah, SF

$2

 

62

Jakob Poeltl SA, C

$4

137

Monte Morris Den, PG

$3

 

75

Jusuf Nurkic Por, C

$11

148

Andre Drummond Phi, C

$2

 

83

Jaren Jackson Jr. Mem, PF

$24

165

Brandon Clarke Mem, PF

$1

 

86

Robert Covington Por, PF

$14

173

LaMarcus Aldridge Bkn, PF

$1

 

96

Kyle Kuzma Wsh, PF

$6

177

Rui Hachimura Wsh, PF

$1

 

124

Darius Bazley OKC, SF

$3

180

Derrick Rose NY, PG

$1

 

150

Josh Hart NO, SG

$1

182

Nerlens Noel NY, C

$1

 

169

Isaiah Roby OKC, PF

$1

 

ALEX BARUTHA

 

 

 

KEVIN O'BRIEN

 

NO.

PLAYER

VAL

 

NO.

PLAYER

VAL

27

Stephen Curry GS, PG

$60

 

15

James Harden Bkn, SG

$69

31

Caris LeVert Ind, SG

$4

 

33

Trae Young Atl, PG

$49

35

Jimmy Butler Mia, SF

$32

 

78

Jalen Suggs Orl, PG

$7

49

DeMar DeRozan Chi, SG

$15

 

81

Buddy Hield Sac, SG

$14

61

Draymond Green GS, PF

$18

 

100

Ivica Zubac LAC, C

$4

68

Pascal Siakam Tor, PF

$22

 

102

Miles Bridges Cha, SF

$8

73

Andrew Wiggins GS, SF

$11

 

103

Dennis Schroder Bos, PG

$7

84

Spencer Dinwiddie Wsh, SG

$6

 

104

Bogdan Bogdanovic Atl, SG

$17

85

Darius Garland Cle, PG

$19

 

111

De'Andre Hunter Atl, SF

$8

134

Al Horford Bos, C

$3

 

116

Enes Kanter Bos, C

$1

141

Thaddeus Young SA, PF

$3

 

128

Mitchell Robinson NY, C

$6

147

Daniel Theis Hou, C

$1

 

130

Grayson Allen Mil, SG

$1

153

Chuma Okeke Orl, PF

$3

 

143

Lauri Markkanen Cle, PF

$9

Post-Draft Roundtable

Quick assessment of your team: Are you satisfied with your roster? What went right or wrong?

Barutha: I think my team is solid. My main goal is always to try to get discounts, and I think that went well. I'd personally like a more balanced roster, but it's tough to complain about getting Steph Curry at $60 and Jimmy Butler at $32.

Anderson: I was specifically trying a punt-assists strategy. I don't think I did it quite as well as I was hoping in order to be one of the favorites to win, but I shouldn't have much trouble finishing in the top half. Karl-Anthony Towns was not in my plans, but he fit the build just fine and I couldn't let him go for $56. This ended up being a great pick, but it made it impossible for me to get both Michael Porter and Zach LaVine, which was my initial plan. OG Anunoby and Mikal Bridges were critical pieces of my build, but I willingly overpaid on both in order to get them — it was that stage of a salary cap draft where you're better off overpaying than getting stuck with way too much money at the end.

Whalen: Last season, I was way too aggressive pursuing Anthony Davis (I got him for $69) early on, so this time I tried to be more patient and pick my spots. There were very few overpays throughout the draft, so value was hard to come by, but I feel good about the prices I paid for my core of George, Fox, Holiday, Adebayo and McCollum. I let a few too many good players go in the $15-$20 range, so my roster isn't quite as deep as I'd hoped. However, if Klay Thompson ($4) and Thomas Bryant ($1) come back at full strength, I should be in good shape.

Crites: I spent big early and got Jokic, VanVleet and Paul. The bidding trends seemed to favor a stars-and-scrubs approach. Then, I laid low and got bargains such as Robert Williams, Clint Capela, Jae'Sean Tate and Marcus Smart.

Schuler: This did not go well for me. I spent $39 on Julius Randle when I really only intended to go to about $35. Randle is a fine player and all, but that being my fourth big purchase it put me down to about $18 left with nine more players to go. I'm not joking when I say that if I had a helmet on during the draft and the garage was open when I selected Randle, I could have snuck in a 20-mile bike ride before selecting my next player. (The helmet would have also helped for other purposes, based on the quality of players I was forced to select from this point on.)

McKeown: Percentages and defensive stats could be an issue with my squad, but I do think numerous players on my team will outperform their projections in those categories. I had no intention of drafting either LeBron James ($42) or Nikola Vucevic ($33), but both ended up on my roster after I tried to play the role of Price Police. I would have preferred to divide that $75 across three 3rd-5th round values.

Quinn: Overall, I like the players on my roster and generally I was able to follow my draft strategy coming in. However, I think I did a poor job balancing the categories. I'm in a rough spot when it comes to steals, in particular. 

Parr: I thought the draft went well for me. I was trying not to spend up on the top guys and have a more balanced team, and I think I accomplished that by getting Beal for $48 and Mitchell for $38. I am mostly confused about getting Westbrook for $30. I realize he has to play with LeBron and Anthony Davis, but I still feel like he is too productive to be going for that cheap. I was also thrilled with landing Nickeil Alexander-Walker for $7.

Trainor: I had no intentions of landing Kyrie Irving or Ben Simmons, but I can stomach the combined $35 risk with a core of Kevin Durant, Zach LaVine and Ja Morant. I'll just be happy if I can get a combined 82 games from the Irving/Simmons duo, and if the duo surpasses 82 games then I could be in contention to win it all.

Glancing at the other rosters, whose team do you wish you had?

Barutha: I think the draft was sharp, so it's tough to pick one team. The main thing that sticks out to me is how well-balanced Peter's team is. Brandon Ingram at $34 is his most expensive player, and I don't really think he overpaid for anyone.

Anderson: Eric Neuman and Aaron Quinn did great. Eric paid a little over market on Giannis, but he filled in great with a core of AD, Booker and Lonzo Ball. It's always safe to back Aaron's team, and while I'm not that interested in Joel Embiid or Kristaps Porzingis in snake drafts, you can't argue with those prices. He leaned into a little bit of injury risk, but SGA and Haliburton were safer, younger options to supplement.

Whalen: Barutha has the best combination of depth and potential upside in the league. Whereas my roster only has a handful of players who could conceivably finish in the top-50, Alex has a ton of guys with higher ceilings, led by a player in Curry who could finish as the No. 1 overall player. Wiggins for $11, DeRozan for $15, LeVert for $4 and Garland for $19 were all really savvy pickups.

Crites: I like Whalen's squad. I tend to judge a team first by point guards and centers. Whalen has Fox, Holiday, Bam and Boucher, with Paul George as his star. That could work. Bartel's team with Lillard-Brogdon and Wood-Ayton could also do well.

Schuler: I like Parr's team. He was getting consistently getting good value throughout the draft. Need to trade one of my bigs to him for his treasure trove of guards and hope he's feeling benevolent.

McKeown: For a league where the biggest concern is finishing in the top half of the standings, I think Team Schoenke might have the "safest" roster. Every player on his team could finish top 100 (per-game average), and he has 8-9 players who could finish top 50, if things break right. 

Quinn: I think Alex Barutha's team is the top one coming out of the draft. His team has a lot of high-quality players plus a little more depth than most other rosters.

Parr: I think Aaron had a pretty good draft. He and I were targeting the same group of players it seemed, we were always bidding each other's players up. Porzingis has had some injury issues but at $17 he could be a good pick.

Trainor: I'm not as jealous this year as I have been in past years because the room did a good job preventing skewed prices. I wouldn't be surprised if any of these rosters – mine included – ended up on the top or bottom this season, and that's a credit to the sharp draft that took place.

What were some of the best value picks of the draft?

Barutha: I'm tooting my own horn, but I got Caris LeVert for $4. Olynyk at $5 has upside, as does Bamba for $3. I like Valanciunas at $11 a lot with Zion Williamson being the injury risk that he is.

Anderson: Bam Adebayo for $30; Lonzo Ball for $18; Draymond Green for $18; D'Angelo Russell for $12; Jusuf Nurkic for $11; Robert Williams for $8; Miles Bridges for $8

Whalen: Bam Adebayo ($30); Jonas Valanciunas ($11); Precious Achiuwa ($2); Karl-Anthony Towns ($57); Alperen Sengun ($2); Robert Williams ($8); Nickeil Alexander-Walker ($7); Miles Bridges ($8); Caris LeVert ($4); Jusuf Nurkic ($11)

Crites: I was thrilled to land Clint Capela for $15. Aaron getting Tyrese Haliburton for $21 could be a bargain. Pete getting Keldon Johnson for $12 could work out well – who knows who will lead the Spurs in scoring. If Spencer Dinwiddie can stay healthy, Alex may have a real bargain for $6.

Schuler: Anthony Davis for $49. Jimmy Butler for $32. Ingram for $34. Porzingis for $17. I had all of those guys about $8-$10 higher on my list and didn't have the money to pursue. I can only hope my mother's not reading this, lest she instantly realize her son is a flop and never listened to a word she said about spending wisely.

McKeown: Aaron Gordon for $1 is an absolute steal. He underwhelmed after joining Denver last season, but I expect Gordon to see 30+ minutes and produce at a top-80 clip with upside for more. 

Quinn: The obvious one that stands out is Caris LeVert for $4. I think what happened is that the bidding started slow so everyone went to go double-check the news, but by the time they checked, the bidding was over. At least that's what happened to me. I would have gone $10+ on him if time hadn't run out on me.

Parr: Sabonis at $44 seems really reasonable for a guy who could be a top-15 player this season. As a group, this league missed on Caris LeVert going for $4 – he should have been a little more expensive for his caliber.

Trainor: Caris LeVert. Hand up, I clicked away when LeVert came up and totally missed on him because I was still unsettled about the player who had just went right before (Devonte' Graham for $10). I'm guessing a few more did the same. LeVert is still a risky player to roster, but I think this is the lone blemish in what was otherwise a sharp draft room.

Which players were the biggest overpays of the draft?

Barutha: I'm worried about Zion at $40 given his recent foot injury and injury history. I also would be nervous about Durant at $58 given his age and recent injuries.

Anderson: Damian Lillard for $60; Zion Williamson for $40; Julius Randle for $39; Russell Westbrook for $30; Pascal Siakam for $22; Ben Simmons for $22; Killian Hayes for $3

Whalen: Truly, there were very few notable overpays, but a few prices stand out: LaMelo Ball ($41); Mikal Bridges ($26); Damian Lillard ($60); Bobby Portis ($2); Kyle Kuzma ($6)

Crites: DJ Trainor was quite the gambler getting both Kyrie ($13) and Simmons ($22). Who knows how many games either will play. It's an odd strategy for a league where the top objective is finishing in the top half.

Schuler: Anyone on my team up until the last three picks. I also was surprised to see Sabonis go for $44. That's $2 more than LeBron. Has it really come to this?

McKeown: OG Anunoby ($30) and Mikal Bridges ($26) were the two biggest overpays of the draft. Both players are great talents and will out perform their respective ADPs this season, but neither should cost the equivalent of a third-round pick. Also, while I think he'll have a top-30 season, Fred VanVleet at $45 is too much when comparable players, like De'Aaron Fox ($33) or Ja Morant ($26), go for much less. 

Quinn: I thought there were a lot more underpays than overpays, in general. I really like OG Anunoby but $30 was a little high for me. He could still pay off at that price though. Josh Giddey for $13 seemed a bit high too, but with rookies you never know.

Parr: There weren't any egregious overpays in this salary cap draft, but the players I'd be most concerned about would be Ben Simmons for $22 and Kyrie Irving for $13 because of the off-court issues.

Trainor: On paper, it's Josh Giddey for $12, but Shannon only had one roster spot left and $12 remaining, so that checks out with more context. As a native Oklahoman, I hope Aaron's $42 spent on Shai Gilgeous-Alexander ends up working out for him, but I'm surprised he went for that much when the Thunder are still deep in a rebuild and have almost nothing to gain from SGA playing 82 games this season. Of course, it would be totally fair to mention my adds of Kyrie Irving ($13) and Ben Simmons ($22) here, as well.

Which end-of-draft pickups were the most valuable? ($5 or less)

Barutha: I touched on LeVert, Olynyk and Bamba. I also like Reggie Jackson at $3 and Marcus Morris at $2.

Anderson: Wendell Carter, Brook Lopez, Marcus Smart, Reggie Jackson, Tyrese Maxey, Precious Achiuwa, Luguentz Dort, Kelly Oubre, Chuma Okeke, Seth Curry, Tim Hardaway, Ivica Zubac, Terance Mann

Whalen: Chuma Okeke, Josh Hart, Larry Nance, Malik Beasley, Precious Achiuwa, Mo Bamba, Alperen Sengun

Crites: Aaron taking Pokusevski for $1 seems like a fun gamble. Larry Nance at $2 was smart. I'm not happy that Alex out-bid me for Chuma Okeke ($3), but I'm happy I got a starting point guard in Marcus Smart for $5.

Schuler: I did think I nabbed a good possible upside guy with Aldridge at $1. Elsewhere, I like Reddish for $1, Wendell Carter for $5, Marcus Morris for $2 (already a good get for that price and should do more with Kawhi out), Thaddeus Young for $3, Bagley for $2, Boucher for $5 and Seth Curry for $5. 

McKeown: Isiah Roby might start at center for the Thunder and he was a $1 dart late in the draft. 

Quinn: I liked Jordan Poole ($4), Alperen Sengun ($2), Patrick Williams ($2), Chuma Okeke ($3), Larry Nance Jr ($2), Aaron Gordon ($1) and James Wiseman ($1).

Parr: I got Jakob Poeltl for $4, and he could end up being a good source of rebounds and blocks who could easily outplay his price. One player I wish I had more money for at the end of the draft was Victor Oladipo. He's got a lot to prove coming back from injury but for $1 or $2 he could end up being a bargain if he returns to form.

Trainor: Caris LeVert has to be mentioned here again. Elsewhere, I liked Duncan Robinson ($5), Ivica Zubac ($4), Tim Hardaway ($4), Larry Nance ($2), Cole Anthony ($1), Aaron Gordon ($1), and James Wiseman ($1).

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nick Whalen
RotoWire's NBA Editor and host of the RotoWire NBA Podcast. Nick was awarded the FSWA Best Podcast -- All Sports award in 2017 and 2018. Many years ago, Stromile Swift gave Nick his unbelievably sweaty headband after a preseason game. Despite its failure to match his school colors, Nick went on to wear that headband for the entirety of his sixth grade basketball season. Catch Nick on Twitter @wha1en.
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