Today is one of the most exciting days in the NBA, in my opinion. I love seeing young guys finally have their hard work pay off, and I love seeing the future of the league unraveling right before our eyes.
It’s already been an exciting few days. Yesterday, two big name point guards switched teams. Former MVP Derrick Rose was traded, along with Washington Husky Justin Holiday, to the New York Knicks in exchange for Robin Lopez, Jose Calderon, and Jerian Grant (nephew of former Sonic Horace Grant. See, I’m tying it in, it’s cool). The Atlanta Hawks also shipped out their point guard, as they sent Jeff Teague to Indiana, who sent George Hill to Utah, who sent the #12 pick in today’s draft to Atlanta. Rumors are that Atlanta is looking to package their two picks, the other one being #21, to clear cap space so they can re-sign free agent center Al Horford.
There are already some other rumors heating up out there, including the Brooklyn Nets offering Thaddeus Young to “the highest bidder” in an attempt to get into the first round. The Suns allegedly offered Eric Bledsoe and a first round pick for Gordon Hayward, but the Jazz refused. The Suns are reportedly determined to send out either Bledsoe or Brandon Knight before the season starts and have both the fourth and thirteenth picks to dangle to potential trade partners. The Celtics are also offering up the number three overall pick but so far they haven’t found any takers. They have tried to exchange it for Hayward, Jimmy Butler, or Jabari Parker but have been denied at every turn.
Yes, I know many of you don’t care about the NBA and don’t want to talk about it, however, there are three players with ties to Washington state who are projected to be drafted in the first round.
Domantas Sabonis, son of Portland Trail Blazers legend Arvydis Sabonis, is a 6’10” power forward out of Gonzaga. Last season he averaged 17.5 points and 11.8 rebounds for the Bulldogs. Draft Express predicts him going number 11 to the Orlando Magic.
There are two Huskies in the draft, Marquese Chriss and Dejounte Murray. Chriss is a big body power forward, 6’10” and 233 pounds, who averaged 13.8 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks last season. Teams see a raw potential in him and DX has him going #4 overall to the Phoenix Suns.
Murray is a long combo guard at 6’5” who averaged 16.1 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 4.5 assists in his freshman year. DX predicts he will go #21 to the Atlanta Hawks (unless, of course, they trade that pick as was rumored above).
Obviously I would rather be talking about who the Sonics will take with their pick, breaking down a multitude of players and cringing at the idea of drafting a big man, but today is not that day. So let’s just enjoy it for what it is.
The NBA Draft starts at 4 pm Pacific time and airs on ESPN.