Pre-Season Draft Grades and Power Rankings
NMAA PRE-SEASON POWER RANKINGS
by Waaris Zaheer
What’s going oooooon NMAA Family? You’re probably used to hearing that and not reading that. But your podcast host Waaris is back, this time in written form and this time with power rankings for the website weekly. And for the pre-season rankings I’ll be doing draft grades! So let’s get into it.
(FYI: EVERY TEAM HAS A CHAMPIONSHIP CHANCE, NO TEAM IN OUR LEAGUE SUCKS)
1. Sultans- Draft Grade: B+
The number one pick Sultans, coached by Siddique, did a great job with their draft. Romello Bates #1 overall was not a hard choice. Deangelo is another defensive beast on the perimeter and is a perfect do-it-all compliment. JP Friday in the 3rd brings an unknown element but played with Mello so chemistry shouldn’t be an issue. Ayinde and Jerome bring size for the sultans. The unknown makes it a B+ instead of an A. But this is definitely a championship contending team.
2. Revengers – Draft Grade: A-
Revengers picking no. 5 had Josh Filmore fall into their lap, the runner up for last seasons MVP going 5th overall is a steal. Pair him with Ish, that’s a deadly backcourt. Tim Nightingale, Scorsome as the bigs are a versatile duo. Darius Vanegas, Joel Smith and Derrick to compliment those 4. Definitely a contender. Ozzy might be back.
3. MIB – Draft Grade: A
Now obviously I’m a little biased, but the draft fell a great way for me. Trading up to 7th gave me a chance to pick Clee. Then Alex Forde, the finals MVP from two seasons ago, after going top 3 last season, fell to the 14th pick to MIB in the 2nd round. Marv Jeter also fell to the 3rd, who some had going late first round in some mocks. The run and gun bucket getters are back. Jai Ware and Clark Calixte are unkown players with upside, with Debo and Rayyan rounding out the squad. If this team can click, we need that ring.
4. Kamisars – Draft Grade: B+
Tareq and Ameer put together a VERY solid team. Ryan Atkins might be the best pure scorer in the league, complimented by Demetrius Moore and James Nicholson. Isaiah, Kwan and BG are great complimentary pieces to that big 3.
5. Jund – Draft Grade: B-
To be honest, I feel like Dev could’ve done better with this draft. Obviously David Butler #2 overall is a monster. Lai and Austin Pack to compliment him is amazing. The problem (in my opinion) is Kamose, Keith Walker, Bryan Brown and Rich Branche after that. Jund lacks a shooter and has a bunch of facilitating guards. In my opinion around David Butler you gotta go ’09 Magic, Dwight Howard and shooters. But Jund still top 5 because that big is unstoppable. Still a legit contender.
6. Haqq – Draft Grade: B
Welcome back Ahmed Shah! Shah after missing a season is back to coach his team, and he did a good job with his draft and took some risks which is needed when you back towards the back. Greg St. Remy 9th overall, this was one of the surprises of the draft because nobody really knows him. Deaire and Bird Mitchell next to him leading the way. Akber is a sniper, Q is a pure PG. If Remy is a top 3-5 player in our league this team is nasty. If he’s a top 15-20 player then not so much. But that’s a risk Haqq has to take.
7. Showtime – Draft Grade: B-
Showtime picking 3rd was a little underwhelming in my opinion. Sharif at 3 is solid. Darius Donaldson is a top 3-4 defender in the league. But after that, I don’t know. Akeem had a solid season last season, Chrys has a lifetime contract with Showtime, Kimar and Mike Nichols are solid. But I feel like this team may have some issues fitting the pieces together. There’s definitely talent there though.
8. Al Fateh – Draft Grade: C+
I think the whole room and IG Live had penciled in Sharif for 5th overall. When Showtime took Sharif 3rd, I think Nader was scrambling a bit. Faysal isn’t a bad pick, Kelvin and Marcus can play. I think Isaac Lang and Anthony Gomes are gonna make or break this team. If Lang is a top 5 scorer and Ant can play within the offense, they can be scary. Right now though, I don’t know.
9. 99ers: Draft Grade: C
Ramzi and the 99ers start the season at 9. Two centers in the first two rounds. Hani and Chris Malcolm are both defensive beasts, both can hold down the paint and dominate rebounds. But do you need 2 of them? Brisky, Norris, John Fuentes and Elgani have to carry the scoring load. They’re capable but it might take some time.
10. Legends: Draft Grade: C-
New coach Jay Barnett named his team Legends, and that can’t be more accurate. Noodle, Joe, Dane, Steve, Jay himself. All players that have been in NMAA for dang near 10 years. This team will not have issues with chemistry. However, I think while Legends might be the highest IQ team in the league, they might be the least athletic. Noodle is the key to this team, if he can become pre-injury Noodle then this team can outsmart and out-savvy everyone.