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Everything you want to know about NBL Dreamteam

Whether you’re a seasoned NBL fan or jumping on board the league’s renaissance, there’s no better way to get involved than by putting your knowledge to the test with your own NBL Dreamteam. Ladbrokes has partnered with the NBL again to give fans an exciting way to compete with family and friends in your own private league, or against any other competitor via the vast number of public leagues that have been created. The Dreamteam format is familiar to a lot of Australian sports fans as it is common to several professional sports including AFL, NRL and A-League, but for those not yet acquainted with the ins and outs, it’s very easy to pick up. Each team starts with a salary cap of $1,000,000 and has to fill out a ten-man roster from that. A starting five of two guards, two forwards and one centre, plus a bench of the same positions are required to field a valid team. Every player in the NBL has been assigned a value based on past performance ranging from AJ Ogilvy (CTR) at $204,500 down to development players like AFL player turned Sydney King Craig Moller (FWD), at $40,900. The challenge comes from maximising the value of your dollars as you seek the greatest production each round. Players score points based on Points Scored + Rebounds + Assists + Blocks + Steals – Missed Shots - Turnovers. Each category is worth plus or minus 2 points with the exception of blocks and steals that are worth 4 points each. A team’s starting five earns full points based on their players’ real game stats for that round, while the bench players earn half points. As with other sports, Ladbrokes NBL Dreamteam allows you to select a Captain each round that earns double points and a Vice Captain as a back-up. The NBL’s schedule can be a factor also as some teams play twice in certain rounds, which can mean a big boost in Dreamteam points from those players. However, the challenge comes from managing your roster via trades each round without chasing double-game players only. Players’ values fluctuate during the season based on their performance, meaning trades can be made to earn money as well as to upgrade positions. Each league contains 8 teams and the last two rounds of the 19-round season act as the Ladbrokes NBL Dreamteam finals with the top four teams in each league qualifying. Aside from bragging rights in your own league, Ladbrokes also offers a $5,000 grand prize to the overall highest scoring team for the season, giving you some extra motivation to get your line up just right. So now that you’ve got the format down, what’s the secret to success I hear you asking? Aside from maximising those double-game rounds as previously mentioned, it’s all about finding those players who stuff the stat sheet, but in the most efficient manner. Scoring 25 points and grabbing 10 rebounds is great, but if that player goes 9-24 from the field and 7-14 from the free throw line, then you’re actually losing nearly as many points as you’re gaining by virtue of the missed shots category. So players that score efficiently; rack up higher scoring blocks and steals, while protecting the ball to minimise turnovers – well those guys are your best friends in this format. The other factor is value for money. Sure AJ Ogilvy led the league with a 49 Dreamteam point average last season, but his price tag is hefty at over $200,000 this season. That’s a fifth of your budget to fill just one tenth of your roster. Compare that with returning Boomers in David Andersen and Cam Bairstow, along with former Boomer Brad Newley, at just $60,500 (a standard price for Australian’s who didn’t play in the league last year), and you can see there is value to be had if you look beyond last year’s numbers alone. New imports tend to attract a higher starting price tag, so be wary of going for name value alone, or all imports when choosing your team. Make sure you have a good idea of the role they’ll play before committing your dollars to someone who may be coming off the bench but costing you six figures. For what it’s worth, my top five best value players this season are;
  1. Finn Delany, New Zealand Breakers (FWD) $43,500
  2. David Andersen, Melbourne United (CTR) $60,500
  3. Brad Newley, Sydney Kings (FWD-GRD) $60,500
  4. Nate Jawai, Cairns Taipans (CTR) $101,200
  5. Mitch Creek, Adelaide 36ers (GRD-FWD) $111,600
With the opening round tipping off Thursday night, there’s no time to waste. If you haven’t signed up yet and joined a league, you’re missing out on the fun. Ladbrokes are putting their money on the line, so put your knowledge to the test and claim that cash along with those bragging rights. After all, who doesn’t like to dream?  
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