By: Andrew Oak
As we all know, LeBron, Carmelo and Kevin Love (still under contract) are the biggest names on the market as we speak, but there are so many conflicting reports about where each player will land, I honestly think it is just coming down to wherever the best opportunity to win is.
The Cavaliers, Timberwolves and Celtics have so many potential trade assets as well, that this is going to be one of the most game changing drafts in the history of the NBA. This could potentially be an NBA re-alignment because of the offseason moves that can potentially happen. There will be at least 2 to 3 All Star players that will be dealt during the draft and heres what we can start out with.
Lets start with the basics thoughts:
1. Kevin Love will be moved. Prediction, to the Golden State Warriors so that he can go back to the West Coast.
2. LeBron will go back to Miami. It could be another way to make Miami acquire some young players (if thats even possible)
3. Carmelo will land in Chicago because its really the only thing Chicago needs and its the one place that Melo doesn't even have to play defense because his team and coach have already cemented their place as the best defensive team in the league.
4. Phil Jackson will reluctantly be relatively quiet in his first offseason with the Knicks. They really don't have the assets to bring more big names on board. Plus, they might go with the chemistry effect with Derek Fisher and try and find a bunch of role players who can compete at the highest level for their first year coach.
5. Last but not least, Rajon Rondo WILL BE TRADED.
Now for all Celtics fans, this is exactly what we have been waiting for. Yea, we could have traded him midseason last year to obtain a couple more picks but lets be honest. The current Celtics squad right now is going to be roughly in the same spot for this upcoming season thats if we do not acquire another big name. The Celtics, to keep it lightly, have a shmorgishborg of trade assets to deal with this offseason. They have young players, they have draft picks and they have a great coach. Not much more you can ask for as far as bringing people on board and on board quickly. Personally, if we get Kevin Love, its pretty obvious that Rondo stays. For now, I think he's going elsewhere so there is no reason why to keep Rondo for this upcoming year. You can acquire a few more draft picks this year without losing much in return besides Rondo.
Lets be clear, I have always been a huge supporter of Rondo, but there is one thing that I have always hated about his game.
HE CANT SHOOT THE BASKETBALL!
Your point guard should be able to have the ability to shoot the three pointer and hit free throws consistently and that has been why I am more than willing to move on from Rondo and not pay him the big $$$. There is no need to pay a max contract player for a passing point guard. Most point guards love to pass the ball, but they also like to shoot. If the Celtics find one that can do both either in the draft or through a trade, I'm all for it. So, who are the buyers....
Currently, the Kings, Rockets and Knicks have been the most talked about teams in the hunt for Rondo. No offense to the Knicks, but its this simple: No Carmelo = No Rondo. The Kings have been talked about more recently and actually have some decent assets to give back in return, but apparently its solely contingent if Josh Smith also goes to Sacramento, which I'm not quite sure if it'll happen. To me, the Rockets seem like the best choice. We can take Asik and Lin and a draft pick for Rondo and a few other role players with expiring contracts like Joel Anthony. This clears up some space to sign Rondo longterm to add to the Harden and Howard combo. You're welcome McHale!
As far as the draft is concerned, the teams that purposely tanked last year, have a lot of work cut out for them.
1. Cleveland - Just hired a new coach in Dave Blatt, who was born in Framingham MA, and have the potential to be a Top 4 Eastern Conference team next season. With this number one pick, its coming down to Wiggins or Parker, lets hope they make the right choice.
2. Philly - They are hoping for the best right now. They will most likely take some players at the end of free agency who haven't been signed yet just so they can build a groundwork to a winning mentality. Not sure what else they really have to offer, but they are probably in the worst shape of any franchise at the moment.
3. Orlando - With the right combinations with their two picks in the NBA draft, they could be a potential playoff team next season. They have good defensive players and have shown some signs of life the last couple of weeks into the season. They will most likely have a playoff caliber team with the East still being as weak as it is.
4. Milwaukee - Thoughts of Embiid have been falling, but Milwaukee might tank again for another season. Why not? They are hopeless in acquire top notch all star players so take a player who has the potential to be great and return midseason to help Larry Sanders and Brandon Knight develop.
Here are some other teams teams you need to look out for during tomorrow nights draft:
1. Lakers - Only have three players signed. Expect them to be very active.
2. Bulls - Needs to make one splash to be right back at the top of the Eastern Conference.
3. Thunder - They surprisingly have 2 first round picks this year. They are in a 'win now' mode and I can see them doing some major damage in the later stages of round one.
Final Mock Draft Tomorrow! Get Excited!