NBA Free Agent Fits

By: Dylan Stagge

Now that the NBA Draft is over, it’s time to move into NBA Free Agency! In this article, I am coming up with 5 free agent fits that make sense (Not where I think they’ll end up, but a fit that is fun/makes sense).

REUNION IN PHILLY

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Andre Iguodala goes back to the place where he spent the first eight years of his NBA career, Philadelphia. The Sixers are able to make Iguodala a much bigger offer (probably about 3 years, $60 million) than Golden State will be able to. With two championships and a Finals MVP under his belt from GSW, Iggy bolts for the money and teams up with the Process to help mentor the young guys.

BLAKE & RUSS

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Although I don’t think this will happen and certainly hope it doesn’t as a Clippers fan, Blake Griffin teaming up with Russell Westbrook would certainly be fun to watch. Two of the most high-flying, explosive dunkers on the same team would create an insane highlight reel. Although OKC can’t afford Blake right now, they would probably do a sign and trade with the Clippers, parting with either Steven Adams or Enes Kanter to make room (which I’m sure they’d be willing to do).

BUTLER TO BOSTON

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Not Jimmy Butler, but a Butler University reunion in Boston. Gordon Hayward heads to Boston to team up with his college head coach, Brad Stevens and the Celtics. Jae Crowder can slide down to the 4 and the Celtics could create a starting lineup of IT, Avery Bradley, Hayward, Crowder, and Horford with Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown, and Jayson Tatum coming off the bench. The Cavs better watch out.

LOWRY CHASING LARRY

NBA: San Antonio Spurs at Toronto Raptors

Tony Parker is too old and Patty Mills is a free agent. The Spurs need a spark in their roster and Kyle Lowry needs out of Toronto if he ever wants to see a Larry O’Brien trophy. If the Spurs can get rid of Tony Parker’s $15 million next year get back Pau Gasol, Dwayne Dedmon, and Johnathan Simmons along with Kyle Lowry, they just might have a chance at competing with the Warriors next year.

KING-TAVIOUS CALDWELL-POPE

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The Kings are losing Rudy Gay, Ben McLemore, and Tyreke Evans to free agency. Their only remaining wings are Buddy Hield and new draftee Justin Jackson. With only $50 million currently on the Kings payroll for next season, they might as well take a chance on a young wing with lots of potential.

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Final 2017 NBA Mock Draft

Check out Dylan and Jason’s final mock drafts before the NBA Draft tonight!

Check out our Live Mock Draft on our YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/WzPvGBkuINU

Team Dylan’s Pick Jason’s Pick
1. Philadelphia 76ers Markelle Fultz Markelle Fultz
2. Los Angeles Lakers Lonzo Ball Lonzo Ball
3. Boston Celtics Jayson Tatum Jayson Tatum
4. Phoenix Suns Josh Jackson Josh Jackson
5. Sacramento Kings De’Aaron Fox De’Aaron Fox
6. Orlando Magic Johnathan Isaac Johnathan Isaac
7. Minnesota Timberwolves Malik Monk Lauri Markkanen
8. New York Knicks Dennis Smith Jr. Malik Monk
9. Dallas Mavericks Frank Ntilikina Frank Ntilikina
10. Sacramento Kings Zach Collins Zach Collins
11. Charlotte Hornets Donovan Mitchell Luke Kennard
12. Detroit Pistons Lauri Markkanen Dennis Smith Jr.
13. Denver Nuggets OG Anunoby Donovan Mitchell
14. Miami Heat Luke Kennard Justin Jackson
15. Portland Trail Blazers Harry Giles John Collins
16. Chicago Bulls John Collins Harry Giles
17. Milwaukee Bucks Jarrett Allen Jarrett Allen
18. Indiana Pacers TJ Leaf TJ Leaf
19. Atlanta Hawks Justin Patton OG Anunoby
20. Portland Trail Blazers Ike Anigbogu Justin Patton
21. Oklahoma City Thunder Justin Jackson Terrance Ferguson
22. Brooklyn Nets Terrance Ferguson Ike Anigbogu
23. Toronto Raptors Tyler Lydon Bam Adebayo
24. Utah Jazz DJ Wilson Tony Bradley
25. Orlando Magic Jawun Evans Jordan Bell
26. Portland Trail Blazers Isaiah Hartenstein Isaiah Hartenstein
27. Brooklyn Nets Anzejs Pasecniks DJ Wilson
28. Los Angeles Lakers Ivan Rabb Derrick White
29. San Antonio Spurs Bam Adebayo Jawun Evans
30. Utah Jazz Derrick White Kyle Kuzma

Michael Bailey’s NBA Mock Draft

2017 NBA Mock Draft

Michael Bailey

 

  1. Boston (From Brooklyn) – Markelle Fultz-PG/SG-Washington

Boston, coming off of the first seed in the East are in no place to start rebuilding, but definite changes are needed if they want to contend with the LeBron James-led Cavaliers team which is poised to return to the NBA finals seeking vengeance over the Warriors. Fultz could be the last piece of the puzzle for the Celtics and could be needed if they wanted to sign a stud in free agency like Gordon Hayward. Although I think it would be smart to trade this very valuable pick to gain a player like Paul George or Jimmy Butler, Fultz is the definite pick if they are to keep it.

 

  1. Los Angeles Lakers- Josh Jackson-SG-Kansas

After lucking out and keeping their pick this year, the Lakers are in a prime spot to help their team out tremendously at this number two pick. Many thought Lonzo was no doubt the guy to take here, it appears the Lakers weren’t that convinced by his workout with them. They like Jackson in his workout with them and it is likely that they will take him here.

 

  1. Philadelphia (from Sacramento)– Lonzo Ball-PG-UCLA

The Sixers have plenty of young talent with the likes of Simmons, Okafor, etc. But they have a dearth of talent in the backcourt. If Lonzo falls to them at 3, they should no doubt add his talent to their team. He has superstar potential and even if he becomes half the player his dad thinks he will be, he will be well worth the number 3 pick.

 

  1. Phoenix- Johnathan Isaac-SF-Florida St.

Isaac is a great athlete and if he can develop a solid jumper, could develop into a star in the NBA. The Suns could use a strong starting SF to go alongside Booker on the wing. Taking a chance on Isaac is the best move at 4 unless they want to trade down to get a center assuming they let Len walk.

 

  1. Sacramento (from Philadelphia)– De’Aaron Fox-PG-Kentucky

With Darren Collison and Ty Lawson becoming free agents this offseason, the PG position is the number 1 need for the Kings this offseason. Fox showed a lot of upside at Kentucky his freshman year and could be the next star of the Sacramento Kings organization if he falls to them at 5.

 

  1. Orlando– Jayson Tatum-SF-Duke

Orlando currently only have Terrence Ross and Aaron Gordon as their forwards for the upcoming season. Drafting Tatum will give them the opportunity to possibly develop a star SF and have Terrence Ross coming off the bench.

 

  1. Minnesota– Malik Monk-SG-Kentucky

Monk can socre. Averaging 19.8 points per game in his freshman year at Kentucky showed that he can put the ball into the basket. Minnesota has a lot of young talent and adding Monk gives them leeway when deciding if they want to give LaVine major mullah when deciding or not to extend his contract.

 

  1. New York– Frank Ntilikina-PG-INTL

Derrick Rose will be a free agent this offseason and it looks like New York will not bring him back. Ntilikina is a solid prospect at PG that the Knicks can hope for and develop alongside their other young star Kristaps Porzingis.

 

  1. Dallas- Dennis Smith Jr-PG-NC St.

Dallas is pretty limited in cap space this offseason so will most likely look to upgrade at PG in the draft and will grab whichever one between Ntilikina and Smith Jr. that the Knicks do not.

 

  1. Sacramento (From New Orleans)– Zach Collins-C-Gonzaga

After predicting them to draft De’Aaron Fox with the 5th pick in the draft, the Kings will try to find a full time replacement for Demarcus Cousins. Zach Collins can score and be presence for the Kings on the boards as well.

 

  1. Charlotte- Donovan Mitchell-SG-Louisville

The Hornets need to find some way to improve their team. Mitchell will give them good scoring off the bench and provide depth in the backcourt.

 

  1. Detroit- Luke Kennard-SG-Duke

The Pistons will most likely lose Kentavious Caldwell Pope in free agency due to another team offering him a crazy amount of money. Kennard can shoot and could be the SG for the Pistons next season.

 

  1. Denver- Justin Patton-C-Creighton

If the Nuggets decide to let Plumlee go in free agency, getting a center in the draft is necessary. Patton has some of the best upside out of all the centers in the draft.

 

  1. Miami- Harry Giles- PF/C-Duke

Although coming off of a knee injury, Giles still has great potential. If he can stay healthy he could blossom into a great starter in the NBA. At 14, I think the Heat can afford taking a risk on Giles and hope that he can stay healthy.

 

  1. Portland- Lauri Markkanen-PF-Arizona
  2. Chicago- Jarret Allen-C-Texas
  3. Milwaukee- Justin Jackson-SF-North Carolina
  4. Indiana- OG Anunoby-SF/PF-Indiana
  5. Atlanta- John Collins-PF-Wake Forest
  6. Portland (From Memphis via Denver and Cleveland)– Terrance Ferguson-SG-INTL
  7. Oklahoma City-Juwan Evans-PG-Oklahoma St.
  8. Brooklyn (From Washington)-Bam Adebayo-C-Kentucky
  9. Toronto (From LA Clippers via Milwaukee)-Tyler Lydon-PF/SF- Syracuse
  10. Utah- Ike Anigbogu-PF/C-UCLA
  11. Orlando (From Toronto)-T.J. Leaf-PF-UCLA
  12. Portland (From Cleveland)-Semi Ojeleye-SF/PF-SMU
  13. Brooklyn (From Boston)-Isaiah Hartenstein-PF/C-Germany
  14. Los Angeles Lakers (From Houston)-Jordan Bell-PF/C-Oregon
  15. San Antonio-Ivan Rabb-PF- California
  16. Utah (From Golden State)-Derrick White-PG/SG-Colorado

Why the Lakers Should and Shouldn’t Take Lonzo Ball

By: Jason Gandhi

Lonzo Ball is down-to-earth and not very outspoken. His dad, Lavar Ball, is the complete opposite. With exalted expectations, outlandish statements regularly, and a lofty shoe price, Lonzo, and Lavar have dominated the sports talk the last few months. It is no secret that the Ball’s want Lonzo to go the Lakers in this year’s draft. Lonzo told multiple analysts he would rather play for the Lakers than to go #1 in the draft. He also will not work out for the Celtics, so that the Lakers have the highest chance to take him. That all sounds great… but does he really fit and do the Lakers want him? Here is why the Lakers should and shouldn’t draft Lonzo Ball:

 

Why They Should:

There is no question on Lonzo Ball’s talent. This article isn’t being written if not for Lavar and the Big Baller Brand fiasco. Lonzo is a perfect fit for the Lakers on a pure basketball level. He is a playmaker. He and D’Angelo Russell could form a dynamic backcourt together with both being able to run the point or play off-ball. D’Angelo Russell played off-ball the last few games of the season, one that included 40 points against the defending world champs. If the Lakers decide Lonzo is their guy, it brings a chance to “revive Showtime” and jumpstart the offense.

With Magic Johnson in the front office, it is assumed he would love to have “Showtime” back in Los Angeles. Magic was asked which player in the draft reminds him most of himself and he said, “That’s easy Lonzo Ball”. He is consistently creating open shots for his teammates, and his vision and creativity is what has people comparing him to Magic. Bringing that type of player in will help any team, because of the selflessness he plays with. It is hard to imagine another player in the draft that fits so well with the Lakers. The Lakers have two (hopeful) budding stars in Russell and Ingram, but also lots of good shooters to fill out their roster. It’s not just his passing though. He can shoot the rock efficiently as well. He ran the second-highest efficient offense in the NCAA last year. Ball was 45.6% on “catch and shoot” shots and shot 41% from 3 last year.

Why They Should Not:

The concern with Lonzo is defense and his dad. The publicity is nothing new for Los Angeles, but all of the headlines and statements from Lavar would be. When someone becomes a Laker, they know about the media and how public their life will be. What can be a red flag is when Lonzo has a bad game, will Lavar be able to keep quiet and not make a big deal about someone else making it happen? Back to on the court, the Lakers were not good

Back to on the court, the Lakers were terrible on defense last year. They had the 6th worst defense since 2000. Drafting Lonzo at #2 does not fix this problem. Lonzo and D’Angelo both do not have the “twitchiness” or the quick movements to keep up with the point guards in the league. Josh Jackson, De’Aaron Fox or if Markelle Fultz falls, all have shown that they are much better defenders. Watch the Sweet 16 game. De’Aaron pesters Lonzo all game long. The Lakers will be a defensive nightmare no matter who they draft, but drafting Lonzo definitely, does not take a step in the right direction. If defense wins championships, the Lakers can’t afford to have Lonzo on their team.

 

Decision:

It is worth the risk. Ultimately, a team drafts the player, not the family. Although his defense is sub par, the energy and aura he would bring back to Los Angeles would be too great to pass on. If Coach Walton and the Lakers really want to “run-and-gun” like the Warriors, Lonzo needs to be the pick. He would be the best player available as well as fill a need. Lonzo Ball should and needs to be the #2 overall pick to the Los Angeles Lakers.