NBA Draft Day is finally here and there’s all sorts of rumors swirling about the futures of the incoming class of NBA stars. Let’s take a look at what’s been going down on the longest day of the year for NBA GMs, and everybody else in the northern hemisphere, because you know…summer solstice.
The First Two Draft Picks are Locked In Already
Much unlike the NFL Draft where we didn’t know who was going to be number one until Baker Mayfield’s name is called, Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports reported that the Phoenix Suns will select DeAndre Ayton. The big man out of Arizona was at the center of controversy last college basketball season when it was reported that he received $100,000 to play for Sean Miller at the University of Arizona. Ayton is set to make a whole lot more money now, and will apparently be staying in Arizona to play ball for the ailing Phoenix Suns. Ayton is the perfect complement for the Suns who have a bunch of solid young guards, and forwards, but not big men to speak of outside of an aging Tyson Chandler.
Interestingly, once the news dropped about Ayton, Marc Spears of ESPN reported that the Sacramento Kings have locked in their decision to select Marvin Bagley III out of Duke. This is all assuming that Ayton goes to Phoenix, which hints that if Ayton was still there the Kings would jump on him.
So there you have it, it’s fun to get leaked information about draft picks, but at the same time, if this is all true, then the first couple of picks of the draft won’t really be that interesting. It’s still very exciting for Suns and Kings fans. If I was an Atlanta Hawk fan, I’d be ecstatic at the fact that Luka Doncic, who was mocked as the number one pick for quite some time, will still be available at the number three pick.
Spurs Shut the Door on Kawhi to Lakers Talk
As little as three hours ago, the Kawhi to Los Angeles (Lakers) was heating up. Now the most recent news is that the Spurs “basically shut the door” on the Lakers regarding a trade for Kawhi. Ramona Shelburne of ESPN reported that the Spurs. Little else was reported regarding the Kawhi situation, but as of now the Spurs weren’t interested in dealing Kawhi to the Lakers.
This is merely my own speculation, but perhaps the Lakers offered some sort of lowball offer, and the Spurs are playing hard to get until the Lakers come back with something over the top. If I’m the GM of the Spurs I wouldn’t trade Kawhi for anything less than an unprotected first round pick, like Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, and maybe another pick or another solid rotation player like a Julius Randle or Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Yup, that’s pretty much everything the Lakers have minus Lonzo Ball, if they want Kawhi so bad they can have him, they just have to pay.
Nets to Negotiate Buyout of Dwight Howard
After agreeing with the Charlotte Hornets to trade for Dwight Howard on Wednesday, Chris Haynes of ESPN reported that the Nets have decided they will buyout Dwight Howard in order to free up cap space. Howard will become an unrestricted free agent where some lucky team (AKA sucker) can bid for his services.
Howard was set to enter his final year on his contract with Charlotte worth $23.8 million. Over his 14 year career Howard has averaged 17.4 points, 12.7 rebounds, and 2.0 blocks per game for five different teams. After playing his first eight seasons with the Orlando Magic, Howard has now bounced around to four different teams in the last six seasons. It’ll be interesting to see what kind of offers a 32-year-old center who’s been known to be “not the hardest worker” and a problem in the locker room. The Dwight Howard train is on the move yet again.
Kevin Knox Accidentally Hints That He’s Getting Drafted by the New York Knicks
The video cuts in mid-way, but Kevin Knox was being asked about New York City when when the Kentucky one-and-done prospect slips up and says “we got a new coach–they got a new coach.”
As a New York Knicks fan myself, that could’ve been me saying “we got a new coach”, because yes, I am one of those fans that uses the term “we” when talking about my favorite sports teams. While it’s possible that Knox is a Knicks fan using the pronoun “we”, it’s probably more likely that the Knicks told him that if he was available at the number nine pick that they’d select him. We shall see tonight…
Kevin Knox while talking about the Knicks slips up and says "we got a new coach … they got a new coach." pic.twitter.com/1GvHK0WJFD
— Jordan Heck (@JordanHeckFF) June 21, 2018
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Video Credit: Hot 97