By: Heath Montgomery
This has been one of the craziest NBA offseasons I can remember… and it’s only been 8 days since the NBA Finals ended. Rumors of superstars being traded are coming from every direction, there is a plethora (that’s when you know it’s a high number) of draft picks being traded, and it seems like no one really knows what is going on. It is madness. Don’t get too comfortable though because the NBA Draft is tomorrow and you can expect plenty of drama, so let’s look at the biggest questions going into the draft:
How many more trades will be made?
There have already been three important trades this week: DeAngelo Russell to the Nets, Dwight Howard to the Hornets, and the 76ers acquire the #1 pick from the Celtics; these trades have paved the way for what some teams are planning to do with the rest of their offseason. With the Lakers getting rid of DeAngelo Russell and Timofey Mosgov, you can see that they are dumping salaries and trying to make room for Paul George and potentially LeBron next year. For the Celtics, they can use their stock pile of draft picks to go after a superstar like Jimmy Butler, Paul George, or Anthony Davis. The Hornets acquisition of Dwight Howard may finally give them the team identity they have been looking for, and ultimately might change the way the second half of the draft may look like.
These three trades have set the tone early for this offseason. The rumors have stepped up with Indiana shopping Paul George after he announced he wanted to leave the team, Butler leaving Chicago to team up with other superstars, and many other stories. It seems like with such a loaded draft class that everyone team wants a piece of, many teams are willing to trade superstars for a potential great in the 2017 draft.
Who will be the best player in this draft?
This draft is one of the deepest we have seen in a while with 10 players who could be legit players in the league in a few years. Many people are comparing this draft to the 1998 draft where Dirk Nowitzki (taken 9th) and Paul Pierce (taken 10th) turned out to be the best players in the draft. Could we potentially see that in this draft?
Obviously, it wouldn’t be surprising if Markelle Fultz turns into a star and the best player in this draft, but on the flip side of that, it wouldn’t surprise anyone if a player projected around 10, like Jonathan Isaac or Dennis Smith, turned out to be the best player in the draft. That is why there are so many trades being dealt or talked about, many teams are believing that they don’t have to get a top 3 pick to be able to have the chance to draft a franchise player. This deep draft will be fun to watch on draft night and for years to come.
How many interviews will Lavar Ball have?
Everyone’s favorite dad will be at the draft Thursday watching the first of his three Hall of Fame talent sons (HA) get drafted. The question is though: How many interviews will he have during the draft? Lavar will be the #1 personality in the green room and every reporter will want to catch his next “I’m better than Michael Jordan” type statement. I’m thinking the over/under is 5 interviews, or enough to make you have a drink or two.
Which team will have the best draft?
I think it is based a lot off of what trades are going to happen the night of the draft, but right now I have to give the 76ers the best draft grade. Markelle Fultz is believed to be the best talent in the draft and is expected to be a future all-star, so if he pans out correctly then I think the 76ers gave up very little for a franchise player who will help their young core compete for a championship in the future. With the amount of trade rumors out there it will be hard to tell before the draft however.
I think with the madness around the league right now this may be the most entertaining draft we have seen in a while. Many trades will be made, dreams will come true, and Lavar will make outrageous comments, it’s going to be a fun night.