4 Teams That Need LaVine

Why should the Bulls trade LaVine?

Lauri Markkanen, Wendell Carter Jr and Coby White’s development has been underdeveloped due to Zach LaVine’s high usage rate, which is 8th amongst guards.  Carter Jr is only getting 8 shots per game, Coby white is getting uncomfortable riding the bench especially in clutch moments and the worst aspect of this Bulls hapless season is the decline of Markkanen’s production. ‘The Finisher’ is looking more like ‘The Mirotic’ without the beard.  Last season Markkanen averaged 18.7 points, 15.3 shot attempts and shot 43% but this season he has fell off to 14.5 points, 11.7 shot attempts while shooting 39%. 

Zach LaVine knows he’s the alpha male as he dominates this young, losing and bashful Bulls squad.  It’s time for the Bulls management to admit that the 2017 Jimmy Butler rebuild trade is a failure.  Trade LaVine so Markkanen, Carter Jr &/or Coby White are forced to step up and finally lead the Bulls out of hopelessness.  If not, Chicago will get more lottery balls in hopes of landing LaMelo Ball, Anthony Edwards, James Wiseman, Cole Anthony or Deni Avdija. 

LaVine is an All-Star caliber player but he has proven that he cannot bear the burden of leading a young and unproven squad.  Since Zach LaVine is only 24, top 20 in scoring, top 15 in 3 pointers made per game and makes a modest $19.5 million per year; the Bulls won’t give him up without receiving an unprotected 1st round pick.  Here are 4 teams that need LaVine and can humble him into accepting a role as being the 2nd or 3rd option.

4. Detroit Pistons

Why do the Pistons need LaVine?

The Pistons haven’t won a playoff series since the days of Chauncey Billups, Rasheed Wallace and Richard Hamilton back in 2008 (Ben Wallace was with Chicago).  Detroit is currently drowning in mediocracy despite the return of Blake Griffin from injury, Andre Drummond putting up career numbers and Derrick Rose playing like a 6th Man of the Year candidate.  The Pistons have a couple of middle of the road wing starters in Tony Snell and Luke Kennard, which contributes to Detroit being a lowly 20th in the NBA in scoring.

In addition to that 1st round pick, what else would Detroit have to give up for LaVine’s $19.5 million?

The Pistons would have to trade away 5 players; Langston Galloway $7.3 million, Luke Kennard $3.8 million, Thon Maker $3.5 million, Sekou Doumbouya $3.2 million and Tim Frazier $1.6 million.  Most of those players wouldn’t last long on the Bulls roster except the sharp shooter Luke Kennard and rookie Doumbouya but the kicker of course is Detroit’s unprotected 1st round pick. 

Reggie Jackson has only played in 2 games this season but he’s scheduled to finally get healthy from a stress reaction in his back in the middle of this month.  A starting line-up that includes Andre Drummond, Blake Griffin, Zach LaVine and Reggie Jackson with D. Rose and Markieff Morris off the bench would significantly increase their chances of ending that 11 year playoff series win drought.

3. Miami Heat

Why do the Heat need LaVine?

The Miami Heat is the biggest pleasant surprise in the Eastern Conference as they are fighting off Boston and Philly to hold on to that #2 seed.  But can Miami sustain this success and win a playoff series or two with Jimmy Butler as their only player with star power?  Probably not.  LaVine and Butler will never be allowed to forget that they were traded for one another (LaVine came with Kris Dunn and #7 pick Markkanen and Butler came with #17 pick Justin Patton).  Now they may need to drop their inflated egos and join forces to become a scary team to face in the 2020 playoffs.

In addition to that 1st round pick, what else would Miami have to give up for LaVine’s $19.5 million?

Justise Winslow $13 million and for salary cap purposes Dion Waiters $12.1 million.  The Bulls could take a chance on Winslow to see if a change of scenery could rejuvenate his career and trade Dion Waiters whose contract expires during the summer of 2021 to a contender that can deal with his off the court issues.

A Heat starting line up with Jimmy Butler, Zach LaVine, double-double machine Bam Adebayo and all-rookie 1st team candidate Kendrick Nunn with Tyler Herro, Goran Dragic and pleasant surprise Duncan Robinson off the bench would have Heat fans fearing no opponent in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

2. Dallas Mavericks

Why do the Mavs need LaVine?

The Mavericks are in a similar position as the Heat. A vast majority of hoops fans did not see the Mavericks competing for a top 3 seed in the Western Conference.  However, skeptics doubt if Dallas can sustain this high level of play with Luka Doncic as their only star.  Kristaps Porzingis has not picked up where he left off before he tore his ACL during that 2017-18 all-star season where he averaged 22.7 points and shot 39% from 3 point range.  After sitting out last season, The Unicorn’s numbers have dropped to 16.4 points and 33% from downtown.  Zack LaVine can bring that much needed firepower as Doncic’s ultimate sidekick until Porzingis gets his groove back.

In addition to that 1st round pick, what else would Dallas have to give up for LaVine’s $19.5 million?

Tim Hardaway Jr $18.1 million and Isiah Roby $1.5 million.  Hardaway Jr has only one year left on his contract after this season, so Chicago could move him again before the February 6th trade deadline or wait until this summer. 

With the addition of LaVine in Dallas, Porzingis playing more like he did with the Knicks and Luka maintaining his All-NBA Team level of play will establish the Mavs as legitimate contenders for the Rockets, Clippers and Lakers to take very seriously.

  1. Philadelphia 76ers

Why do the Sixers nee LaVine?

Philadelphia won’t have to worry about Zach LaVine dominating some bashful teammates due to the robust personalities of franchise players Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons.  A  LaVine addition to the Sixers would loosen up the Milwaukee Bucks stranglehold as the #1 contender in the East. The loss of JJ Redick’s shooting efficiency to New Orleans and Jimmy Butler’s scoring prowess to Miami has decreased The Sixers effectiveness from outside the paint.  The 76ers are currently 16th in the NBA in scoring (last season they were 5th).  Zach LaVine found out that lifting a young Bulls team to playoff contention problematic but he has absolutely no problem finding a way to put that rock in the basket through spot up jumpers, creating his own shot or highlight finishes in the paint.

In addition to that 2021 first round pick, (the Sixers won’t have a 2020 first rounder unless they miss the playoffs) what else would Philly have to give up for LaVine’s $19.5 million?

Josh Richardson $10.1 million, Zhaire Smith $3 million, Johan Bolden $1.7 million, Raul Neto $1.6 million, Shake Milton $1.4 million and Philly would have to also dip into that $4.4 million of Luxury tax cap space to make the deal happen.

Coach Brett Brown biggest Christmas wish is for Ben Simmons to shoot at least 1 three pointer a game but Simmons continues to play the role of Grinch by ignoring his coach no matter how naughty or nice he has been.  The Sixers must establish consistent outside shooting and scoring from the perimeter and that problem would be solved with a Zach LaVine acquisition.

Bulls 2019-20 Season Preview

Spectator Sporting Episode – 35

Who is the key player for the #Bulls to become this year’s pleasant surprise? What should concern Bulls fans the most headed into the season? Will the Chicago shock the #NBA with a playoff berth? Is there any hope for the Bulls future? All of these questions & more will be answered on Spectator Sporting!

#spectatorsporting

Bulls key player————-01:20-04:10

Bulls biggest concern—–04:13-07:43

Who should start at PG?-07:44-12:18

Playoffs?!———————–13:52-18:54

Is there any hope?———18:55-26:04

References

Music by Shawn Kruel, Kruel Beatz Entertainment. https://soundcloud.com/no-fefe-996794674

& Eddie Diaz. T.I.M.E.

Bears Talk, NFL Week 15 Picks & NBA’s Great, Surprising & Awful

Spectator Sporting Episode – 29

Bears vs Rams Recap————————–00:57-4:01

Bears vs Packers Preview —————–04:05-12:44

NFLWeek 14 Confidence Pts Results—13:49-15:35

NFL Week 15 Top Games——————-15:37-29:46

NBA’sGreat, Surprising & Awful———30:38-37:44

Bulls Talk with James Black—————37:51-45:56

References

Music by Shawn Kruel, Kruel Beatz Entertainment. https://soundcloud.com/no-fefe-996794674

& Eddie Diaz. T.I.M.E.

Budleewiser. “Packers Fight Falcons After Hit on Aaron Rodgers” Online Video Clip. YouTube. Dec 9. 2018. Web. Dec 11, 2018.

FreeDawkins. “Blake Griffin Full Highlights 2018.12.09 Pelicans vs Pistons – 35 Pts! FreeDawkins” Online Video Clip. YouTube. Dec 9. 2018. Web. Dec 12, 2018.

FreeDawkins. “Giannis Antetokounmpo Full Highlights 2018.12.09 vs Raptors – 19-19-6! FreeDawkins” Online Video Clip. YouTube. Dec 9. 2018. Web. Dec 11, 2018.

FreeDawkins. “Luka Doncic Full Highlights 2018.12.10 Mavs vs Magic – 7 Pts, 11 Reb, 9 Asts! FreeDawkins” Online Video Clip. YouTube. Dec 10. 2018. Web. Dec 11, 2018.

Highlight Heaven. “Imari Cooper Insane Game-Winning Deflection Catch Eagles vs. Cowboys NFL” Online Video Clip. YouTube. Dec 9. 2018. Web. Dec 11, 2018.

House of Highlights. “De’Aaron Fox Full Highlights Kings vs Bulls 2018.12.10 – 25 Pts, 6 Ast, 4 Rebounds!” Online Video Clip. YouTube. Dec 10. 2018. Web. Dec 11, 2018.

I Love NFL. “Patriots vs. Dolphins highlights Week 14” Online Video Clip. YouTube. Dec 9. 2018. Web. Dec 11, 2018.

Jean-Sebastien Blondel. “John Paxson’s game winning three in game 6 of the 1993 NBA Finals” Online Video Clip. YouTube. May 7. 2009. Web. Dec 12, 2018.

Lance Inc. “Bears Offensive Lineman Bradley Sowell Scores a Touchdown! (Lit Celebration)” Online Video Clip. YouTube. Dec 9. 2018. Web. Dec 11, 2018.

MileHighMen. “Vikings vs. Seahawks Full Game Highlights! Seahawks Defense Dominate in 21-7 Win!” Online Video Clip. YouTube. Dec 10. 2018. Web. Dec 11, 2018.

tOSURecruiting. “Ezekiel Elliot Ultimate Rookie Highlight Mix” Online Video Clip. YouTube. Dec 29. 2016. Web. Dec 11, 2018.

Wheelz. “Rams vs Bears Week 14 SNF Highlights” Online Video Clip. YouTube. Dec 9. 2018. Web. Dec 11, 2018.

WTHR. “Colts beat Texans 24-21” Online Video Clip. YouTube. Dec 9. 2018. Web. Dec 11, 2018.

NFL Week 13 Picks, Bears Talk, Wilder vs Fury Preview, NBA Analysis & the NFL Wild-Card Race

Spectator Sporting Episode – 28

NFL Week 11 Confidence Pts Results————00:50-2:53

NFL Week 12 Top Games ————————-02:55-10:58

Is Eddie Jackson the best safety in the NFL?–12:19-15:01

Chase Daniel starting over injured Trubisky—15:02-18:30

Bears @ Giants Preview—————————-18:31-23:07

Wilder vs Fury Preview——————————23:22-28:58

NBA’s Great, Surprising & Awful——————31:30-39:19

Chicago Bulls looking pretty bad——————39:20-43:14

NFL Wild-Card Race———————————-44:13-51:13

The Rest of our NFL Week 13 Picks—————51:14-57:04

Follow Spectator Sporting on social media.

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References

Music by Shawn Kruel, Kruel Beatz Entertainment. https://soundcloud.com/no-fefe-996794674

& Eddie Diaz. T.I.M.E.

Brodie Sports. “Minnesota Vikings Defense ‘Bank Account’ 2017 Regular Season Highlights” Online Video Clip. YouTube. Jan 7. 2018. Web. Nov 27, 2018.

DaBearFan. “Bears vs Lions Chase Daniel Highlights” Online Video Clip. YouTube. Nov 22. 2018. Web. Nov 24, 2018.

Denver Broncos. “Instant Classical: Shelby Harris’ game-winning interception set to Mozart” Online Video Clip. YouTube. Nov 26. 2018. Web. Nov 27, 2018.

DEVO Highlights Presents. “Lamar Jackson EXPLOSIVE Highlights vs Raiders ‘More Than A Runner’ (2018) Week 12” Online Video Clip. YouTube. Nov 25. 2018. Web. Nov 27, 2018.

DM BOXING HD. “Deontay Wilder vs Tyson Fury – ROAD TO ANTHONY JOSHUA WIRED UP” Online Video Clip. YouTube. Nov 22. 2018. Web. Nov 24, 2018.

FreeDawkins. “Tim Hardaway Jr Full Highlights 2018.11.20 Blazers vs Knicks – 32 Pts, 5 Rebs, 4 Asts!” Online Video Clip. YouTube. Nov 20. 2018. Web. Nov 26, 2018.

Hustle Sports. “Xavier Grimble Fumbles Ball Right Before TD! Steelers vs Broncos” Online Video Clip. YouTube. Nov 25. 2018. Web. Nov 27, 2018.

I Love NFL. “Dolphins vs. Colts Highlights Week 12” Online Video Clip. YouTube. Nov 25. 2018. Web. Nov 27, 2018.

I Love NFL. “Kirk Cousins uncorks 30-yard TD to Diggs” Online Video Clip. YouTube. Nov 25. 2018. Web. Nov 27, 2018.

I Love NFL. “McCaffrey’s top plays from 237-yard day Week 12” Online Video Clip. YouTube. Nov 25. 2018. Web. Nov 26, 2018.

IMO Sports. “Deontay Wilder vs Luis Ortiz 7th Round Explained: Casual’s Theories Debunked!” Online Video Clip. YouTube. Mar 7. 2018. Web. Nov 29, 2018.

House of Highlights. “Khris Middleton GAME-WINNER – Bulls vs Bucks November 28, 2018” Online Video Clip. YouTube. Nov 28. 2018. Web. Nov 29, 2018.

House of Highlights. “Kyle Lowry Highlights Raptors vs Lakers 2018.11.04 – 21 Pts, 6 Reb, 15 Assists” Online Video Clip. YouTube. Nov 4. 2018. Web. Nov 26, 2018.

Lance Inc. “Eddie Jackson Conducting the Orchestra Celebration! (Team Celebration)” Online Video Clip. YouTube. Nov 19. 2018. Web. Nov 28, 2018.

Los Angeles Chargers. “Mic’d Up: Melvin Ingram vs. Cardinals” Online Video Clip. YouTube. Nov 27. 2018. Web. Nov 27, 2018.

NFL Highlights History. “Joey Bosa bullrushes his way to first sack of 2018” Online Video Clip. YouTube. Nov 25. 2018. Web. Nov 27, 2018.

Nick. “Odell Beckham Jr. & Saquon Barkley Mic’d Up vs Bucs” Online Video Clip. YouTube. Nov 20. 2018. Web. Nov 26, 2018.

Pac-12 Networks. “Markelle Fultz highlights: Washington point guard brings dynamic offense, defensive talent to…” Online Video Clip. YouTube. May 18. 2017. Web. Nov 28, 2018.

Pats.365. “Rob Gronkowski Touchdown Patriots vs Jets” Online Video Clip. YouTube. Nov 25. 2018. Web. Nov 27, 2018.

Prime-Time Fight-Films. “Deontay Wilder 2018 Highlights ‘The Bronze Bomber” Online Video Clip. YouTube. Mar 4. 2018. Web. Nov 24, 2018.

Raider Matt. “The Baltimore Ravens Defense ‘The Flock’ 2018 Hype” Online Video Clip. YouTube. Jul 22. 2018. Web. Nov 27, 2018.

Seattle Seahawks. “Week 12: Seahawks at Panthers Recap” Online Video Clip. YouTube. Nov 25. 2018. Web. Nov 26, 2018.

The Score. “Saquon Barkley BREAKS loose 51 Yard Touchdown RUN vs Philadelphia Eagles” Online Video Clip. YouTube. Nov 25. 2018. Web. Nov 26, 2018.

Tucci. “Every Mitch Trubisky PASS and RUSH in 2018 Week 11 vs Minnesota” Online Video Clip. YouTube. Nov 19. 2018. Web. Nov 20, 2018.

VersaceBoyEnt 2. “TOP Defensive plays from Thanksgiving WINNING TEAMS Including Eddie Jackson TD: NFL Week 12” Online Video Clip. YouTube. Nov 22. 2018. Web. Nov 24, 2018.

NFL Week 5 Picks, Bears Talk, NBA & Bulls Season Preview & Cubs Eliminated

Check out our preview & predictions of this week’s top NFL games!  Mitch Trubisky quieted his critics with a historic performance vs Tampa Bay as that Bears defense continued to dominate.  NBA analysis, Terence Cavin joins us to discuss the Jimmy Butler trade rumors and a thorough NBA season preview.  James “Jimmy Black” also makes a guest appearance to provide a Bulls season preview.  The Cubs are preparing for the off-season as they loss to the Colorado Rockies in the NL Wild Card Game.  Plus, we’ll reveal our NFL confidence points for every week 5 matchup!

NFL Confidence Pts Results—-00:47-02:31

NFL Week 5 Top Matchups—–02:32-08:16

Bears vs Bucs Recap————-09:11-17:57

NBA Season Preview————-18:08-28:21

Bulls Season Preview————28:43-36:09

Cubs Lose Wild Card Game—-36:52-40:15

The Rest of our Week 5 Picks-40:53-47:00

Follow Spectator Sporting on social media.

Instagram:

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Twitter:

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References

10K Wallace. “Zach LaVine Offseason Improvements Max Contract Player & Leading the Bulls” Online Video Clip. YouTube. Sep 7. 2018. Web. Oct 2, 2018.

AWolve. “Deandre Ayton – ‘Better Now’ (SUNS HYPE)” Online Video Clip. YouTube. Jun 21. 2018. Web. Oct 1, 2018.

BeastModeHighlights. “Akiem Hicks Ejected for Pushing Official Buccaneers vs Bears” Online Video Clip. YouTube. Sep 30. 2018. Web. Oct 1, 2018.

BeastModeHighlights. “Patrick Mahomes Game Winning Drive (HD) Chiefs vs Broncos” Online Video Clip. YouTube. Oct 1. 2018. Web. Oct 2, 2018.

Chicago Bears. “Bears vs Buccaneers cinematic recap” Online Video Clip. YouTube. Oct 1. 2018. Web. Oct 2, 2018.

Dallas Cowboys Report. “Cowboys Highlights: Ezekiel Elliot, Dak Prescott Lead Game-Winning Drive in 26-24 Win Over Lions” Online Video Clip. YouTube. Sep 30. 2018. Web. Oct 1, 2018.

DEVO Highlights Presents. “Odell Beckham Jr. vs Marshson Lattimore (2018) WR vs DB Highlights ‘Frustrated” Online Video Clip. YouTube. Sep 30. 2018. Web. Oct 1, 2018.

Digital Sports Clips. “Buccaneers at Bears Highlights LB Khalil Mack’s pressure causes fumble vs Buccaneers” Online Video Clip. YouTube. Oct 1. 2018. Web. Oct 2, 2018.

Free Dawkins. “Demar Derozan Spurs DEBUT 2018.09.30 vs Heat – 7 Pts 2 Asts Free Dawkins” Online Video Clip. YouTube. Sep 30. 2018. Web. Oct 1, 2018.

FreeDawkins. “Kevin Knox Rookie DEBUT 2018.07.07 Knicks vs Hawks – 22 Pts, 8 Reb, DUNKFEST! FreeDawkins” Online Video Clip. YouTube. Jul 7. 2018. Web. Oct 1, 2018.

FreeDawkins. “Wendell Carter Jr. & Chandler Hutchinson Bulls Preseason DEBUT 2018.09.30 vs Pelicans FreeDawkins” Online Video Clip. YouTube. Sep 30. 2018. Web. Oct 2, 2018.

Hex Highlights FB. “Saints vs Giants Game Highlights Week 4 (2018)” Online Video Clip. YouTube. Sep 30. 2018. Web. Oct 1, 2018.

House of Highlights. “Kawhi Leonard Full RAPTORS DEBUT Highlights vs Trail Blazers 2018.09.29 – 12 Pts, He’s Back!” Online Video Clip. YouTube. Sep 29. 2018. Web. Oct 1, 2018.

Joey Wagner. “2018 NL Wild Card Game Colorado Rockies vs Chicago Cubs Game Highlights 10/2/18” Online Video Clip. YouTube. Oct 2. 2018. Web. Oct 3, 2018.

Little Kids Are So Cute. “Deshaun Watson best plays vs Colts Week 4” Online Video Clip. YouTube. Sep 30. 2018. Web. Oct 2, 2018.

MaxaMillion711. “Best Jimmy Butler Highlights 17-18 Season Part 1 Clip Session” Online Video Clip. YouTube. Sep 15. 2018. Web. Oct 1, 2018.

Real GD’s Greatest Highlights. “Ben Simmons 19 Pts & Joel Embiid 23 Pts Full Highlights vs Pistons (2018.01.05) in 3 Quarters!” Online Video Clip. YouTube. Jan 5. 2018. Web. Oct 2, 2018.

Scottballa. “Here’s Why the Lakers Aren’t Getting Anthony Davis” Online Video Clip. YouTube. Sep 29. 2018. Web. Oct 2, 2018.

SkyDesigns NBA. “Bulls PF Lauri Markkanen 2017-2018 Season Highlights” Online Video Clip. YouTube. May 10. 2018. Web. Oct 2, 2018.

Tucci. “Every Mitch Trubisky PASS and RUSH in 2018 Week 4 vs Tampa Bay” Online Video Clip. YouTube. Sep 30. 2018. Web. Oct 1, 2018.

Zylos. “Josh Allen BILLIEVE” Online Video Clip. YouTube. Sep 24. 2018. Web. Oct 1, 2018.

Bulls Top 5 Players of All-Time, Acquired Through Free Agency

By Adewale Apata

When searching through the Bulls 52 year history, you’ll find that most of their greatest players were acquired through the draft. Michael Jordan, Derrick Rose, Artis Gilmore, Jimmy Butler and Toni Kukoc were all drafted by Chicago.  Then there’s a couple more guys that the Bulls acquired through a trade who are definitely on the top 10 list of greatest Bulls of all-time, Bob Love from the Bucks and Dennis Rodman from the Spurs.  Also, a draft night trade which is the best trade in Bull’s history as Jerry Krause traded Olden Polynice for Scottie Pippen during the 1987 NBA Draft.

But you’ll have a tough time finding great Bulls who were acquired via free agency.  There’s two requirements that a player must fulfill in order to make the greatest Bulls of all-time, acquired through free agency list:

  • This top 5 list does not factor in how the player performed prior to joining the Bulls or what he did after he left Chicago. This list only takes into consideration how the man performed as a Chicago Bull.
  • The player had to play at least 2 seasons for the Chicago Bulls.

Without further ado, here’s the list of the Chicago Bulls top 5 players of all-time, acquired through free agency.

stutteringhelp.com

#5. Ron Harper –Before signing with the Bulls, Harper was a dynamic scorer with the Cavaliers and Clippers averaging 19 points. But his offensive role reduced dramatically after signing with the Bulls in the summer of 1994 as Scottie Pippen and Toni Kukoc were the main scoring options while Michael Jordan was taking some swings in the White Sox minor leagues.  Harper’s role on the team became even less significant when Jordan came back wearing #45 on March 19, 1995.

However, when the Bulls were eliminated by the Orlando Magic in the 1995 playoffs, Phil Jackson got an idea on how to use Ron Harper. In an interview with nba.com’s Ian Thomsen, Ron Harper said, “When we got to the playoffs and we played Penny Hardaway, a big guard, Phil said, ‘You’re going to start.  I want you to guard Penny.’”  In the next season, the Bulls had a record breaking 72 wins, swept the Magic and won their 4th NBA Championship.

Harper’s statistical output significantly declined due to him averaging 16.5 shot attempts with the Cavs and Clippers but all the way down to 6.5 with Jordan and Pippen on his team. His recovery from ACL surgery prior to joining the Bulls also slowed him down.  But his re-focused energy on the defensive end to contain the tall 6-7 superstar point guard Penny Hardaway and his harassment of hall of fame caliber smaller point guards like John Stockton, Gary Payton and Tim Hardaway with his 6-6 frame helped the Bulls establish themselves into a lockdown defensive squad on all levels.

 

chicagotribune.com

#4. Steve Kerr – The sharpshooting Kerr is the NBA’s all-time leader in 3-point percentage with 45.4% and he shot 46.6% from downtown as a Bull. His presence in the Bulls second 3-peat run allowed Jordan, Pippen and Kukoc plenty of space to operate with due to the opponent’s reluctance to double team and leave Kerr open.  John Stockton made that mistake in the closing seconds of game 6 during the 1997 NBA Finals when he left Kerr open to double Jordan then came the assist to arguably the best spot up shooter of all-time to give Chicago their 5th ring in 7 years.

In the closing seconds of game 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals, Stockton wisely decided not to leave Kerr to double Jordan. But Byron Russell was left on an one-on-one island with the greatest hooper of all-time and Jordan flamed that jumper in his face to hand the Bulls their 6th championship.  After tough times with Cleveland and Orlando, Steve Kerr resurrected his career in Chicago and played a significant role in the Bulls second 3-peat.

nba.com

#3. John Paxson – Some Bulls fans may think John Paxson was always a Bull during his career in the NBA but he played 2 years with the Spurs before signing with Chicago in 1985. You might be wondering why Paxson is ranked ahead of Kerr on this list?  The answer is, Johnny Pax was better than Kerr in the Playoffs.  Steve Kerr was a better regular season player than Paxson averaging 8 points, 50% from the field and 46% form downtown vs Paxson’s 7 points, 49% from the field and 36% from downtown.  But Steve Kerr’s level of play dropped off in the playoffs as he averaged 5 points, shot 43% from the field and 37% from the 3-point line.  While Paxson’s level of play remained consistent in the payoffs as he averaged 6 points, shot 49% from the field and 38% from the 3-point line.

Both guys have game winning shots to clinch a NBA title under their belt: Kerr’s game winner vs the Jazz in the 1997 Finals and Paxson’s game winner vs the Suns in the 1993 Finals. But John Paxson had more clutch moments than Steve Kerr in the playoffs.  Paxson led the league in 3-point percentage for the 1993 NBA Playoffs by shooting an astounding 62.5%!  Also, I’ll never forget how Paxson caught fire in Los Angeles vs the Lakers in game 5 of the NBA Finals by shooting 75% from the field while scoring 20 points.  That clutch performance helped the Bulls celebrate their 1st ever championship.

hellisotherblogs.wordpress.com

#2. Carlos Boozer – The Booz Cruise gets a lot of flak in Chicago due to his lack of ability or effort on the defensive end. However, he was a solid offensive threat as a starting power forward on the Bulls best team since their dynasty ended in 1998.  The Bulls finally made it to the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2011 playoffs and Boozer averaged 17 points, 9 rebounds and shot 51% from the field that season.  Booz played his low post scorer role well with the Bulls for 4 seasons.

hoopshype.com

#1. Pau Gasol – During the summer of 2014, Bulls fans were getting excited with the anticipation that Carmelo Anthony would join D. Rose, Jimmy Butler and Joakim Noah. But just like other superstar free agents in the past, he was just using the Bulls to ink a bigger contract from the Knicks.  So, the Bulls turned their attention to the 34 year old Pau Gasol.

Gasol was pass his prime but he still put up some very respectable numbers in his 2 years as a Bull. Pau Gasol averaged 17 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assist and 2 blocks and made the all-star team in both his years in Chicago.  He’s the best player acquired through free agency in the 52 year history of the Chicago Bulls.

Will the summer of 2019 finally be the year that the Bulls sign an all-star caliber free agent in his prime? Or do they have to stick with just finding great players through the draft and trades?  The Bulls must develop their young core of Lauri Markkanen, Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn and Wendell Carter Jr. because according to the Bulls history books, help is not on the way through free agency.

References

Basketball reference. (2018). Sports Reference. Retrieved from https://www.basketball-reference.com/

Carlos Boozer. (2012). Retrieved from https://hellisotherblogs.wordpress.com/2014/10/24/carlos-boozer-raps/

John Paxson. (1993). Retrieved from http://www.nba.com/top-nba-finals-moments-john-paxson-jumper-game-6-1993-finals

Kerr Shot versus Utah Jazz. [Tom Cruze/AP]. (1997). Retrieved from http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/basketball/bulls/ct-bulls-steve-kerr-nba-finals-spt-0611-20170610-story.html

Ron Harper. (1998). Retrieved from https://www.stutteringhelp.org/content/ron-harper

Pau Gasol. (2015). Retrieved from https://www.hoopsrumors.com/2016/07/spurs-pau-gasol-finalizing-agreement.html

Steve Kerr in Bulls Pin Stripes. (1996). Retrieved from https://www.pinterest.com/pin/519673244473941160/

Thomsen, T. (2015). “Harper Recalls Change from Scorer to Role-Playing Winner” www.nba.com/2015/news/features/ian_thomsen/02/25/ron-harper-once-lived-kevin-loves-tough-transition

9 Reasons Why the Bulls Matched the Kings Inflated Offer for Zach LaVine

By Adewale Apata

You may be wondering why the Bulls matched the King’s 4 year $78 million dollar offer to restricted free agent Zach LaVine.  He’s a player who tore his Anterior Cruciate Ligament in February of 2017 with the Timberwolves and only played 24 games last season as a Chicago Bull.  In those 24 games, his minutes was restricted to 27 per game, he averaged 16 points but only shot 38% from the field.  However, there are 9 logical reasons why Bulls Vice President John Paxson and friends matched the Sacramento King’s offer.

 

  1. The Bulls want Zach LaVine to grow and build chemistry with the young core of Kris Dunn and Lauri Markkanen. Last season was all three of those guys first season with the Bulls but they only played 12 games together.  Markkanen missed 14 games, Dunn 30 and LaVine 58 due to injuries and tanking purposes.  Their talents should blend in together as Dunn is a proven defender and drive to the basket type point guard, Markkanen is a stretch four with All-Star potential and LaVine is a scorer with highlight reel leaping ability.

    sparksports.io

 

  1. Before LaVine tore his ACL, he averaged 19 points, shot 46% from the field and 38% from the 3 point line. LaVine put those numbers up at the age of 21 in his 3rd season.  He only played in 47 games that season before tearing his ACL in February of 2017 but before he went down he was a legitimate rising star.

    kevinsporthk.com

 

  1. Zach LaVine is only 23 years old. No one knows if Zach LaVine is going to be a 20 plus points a game leading his team in scoring type of guy or a shell of his old self.  It’s too early to tell.  The only players on the Bulls roster younger than LaVine are Lauri Markkanen and the two rookies Wendell Carter Jr. and Chandler Hutchison.

 

  1. Aaron Gordon got 4 years $84 million from the Orlando Magic as a restricted free agent. Both players

    indianasportscoverage.com

    were lottery picks in the 2014 draft, they will be 23 years old at the beginning of the season and both guys have a similar career high in points per game (Gordon 17 and LaVine 19).  Not only did the Kings set the market for LaVine but the Orlando Magic assisted the Bulls in determining his value with that Aaron Gordon contract.

 

  1. ACL surgery is not as bad as you think. I know Derrick Rose and the Bulls has never been the same since he tore his ACL in the 2012 payoffs.  However, former Bull Jamal Crawford tore his ACL in the 2001-02 season but missed only 4 games in the next two seasons and had a breakout 2003-04 year averaging 17 points and 5 assists. Kyle Lowry suffered the same injury at Villanova but now he’s a 4-time All-Star.  High flying Corey Brewer tore his ACL in his rookie year with Minnesota in 2008 but he maintained those springs in his legs after the surgery.  Just to name a few.  Players who are disciplined with their physical therapy program can overcome Anterior Cruciate Ligament surgery with the assistance of the advancements in modern medical technology.

    nba.com

 

  1. The Bulls traded Jimmy Butler and their 2017 first round pick (#16 overall Justin Patton) for Kris Dunn, Lauri Markkanen and Zach LaVine.  Letting LaVine go to Sacramento would have hindered the Bulls chances of winning the Jimmy Butler trade. Not having LaVine in Chicago would put too much pressure on Markkanen to be a perennial All-Star and Kris Dunn would have been forced to be the number two scoring option.  The Bulls have kept that core of the three young guys intact with a legitimate shot to be contenders in the East through significant player development and an addition of an impactful free agent next off-season, now that King James is gone.

    dunkingwithwolves.com

 

  1. There’s an Injury protection clause in LaVine’s contract. The Sacramento Kings were inappropriately confident that the Bulls was not going to match a $19.5 million per year deal for LaVine, so they put an injury protection clause in the deal.  It turns out that the Kings were wrong about the Bulls willingness to pay up and they did the Bulls a huge favor by adding that injury clause in the contract.  This could save the Bulls organization loads of money if Zach LaVine is hit with another serious injury.

 

  1. The Bulls have plenty of salary cap space. According to Spotrac.com, the Bulls have the 3rd best practical salary cap space in the entire league.  Plus, another $18.5 million will be freed up in 2019 when Robin Lopez and Justin Holiday become unrestricted free agents.  Also, another $8 million will be available in the 2019 off-season when the Bulls decide to exercise their early termination option on Omer Asik.  Even though the Bulls overpaid for LaVine, they can still offer max deals to highly coveted players during the 2019 off-season.

 

  1. sportsmockery.com

    NBA stars in their prime don’t sign with the Bulls in free agency. Some guys may have thought that the Bulls should have pocketed that money and offered it to Klay Thompson, Karl Anthony-Towns, Kemba Walker, DeMarcus Cousins or Terry Rozier during the 2019 free agency.  The problem with that is the fact that superstars in their prime like Tracy McGrady, Carmelo Anthony and 2010 Dwyane Wade like to pretend that they’re coming to Chicago just to negotiate for more money from the team they really want to join.  Why?!  You can blame Bulls management, cold weather, the Chicago crime rate or whatever.  The fact of the matter is, the 34 year old Pau Gasol is arguably the best NBA free agent to ever play for the Bulls.  So, Johnny Pax knows that he must keep those young guys with potential on his team at damn near all cost.

References

Aaron Gordon. [Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports]. (2018). Retrieved from http://www.indianasportscoverage.com/wojnarowski-aaron-gordon-potential-offer-sheet-target-indiana-pacers/

Carmelo to Chicago. (2014). Retrieved from http://sportsmockery.com/2014/11/carmelo-anthony-chicago/

Jamal Crawford with Bulls. (2003). Retrieved from http://www.nba.com/history/uniforms_bulls.html

Jimmy Butler. (2018). Retrieved from https://dunkingwithwolves.com/2018/07/01/timberwolves-rumors-wolves-offer-jimmy-butler-max-contract/

Lauri, Dunn &LaVine. (2018). Retrieved from https://sparksports.io/nba/how-the-timberwolves-and-bulls-both-won-the-trade/

Zach LaVine. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.nba.com/bulls/news/chucks-daily-check-21318

Zach LaVine with Wolves. (2016). Retrieved from http://kevinsporthk.com/en/products/Adidas-Timberwolves-%238-Zach-LaVine

Spectator Sporting Episode #11

It’s NBA free agency season!  We’ll evaluate the top free agents and determine where they fit best.  How should the Bulls handle Zach LaVine’s restricted free agency situation and who else should they target?  What team should the Spurs trade Kawhi Leonard to?  We’ve got the answers on Spectator Sporting.  Plus, we’ll see if Cubs fans should start pushing the panic button and check in on the White Sox rebuild.  Also, stay tuned for SS Below 60 as Adewale discuss injuries in sports and Zachary talks about fans getting upset when a player leaves in free agency.  #nba #nbafreeagency #nbatrades #bulls #nbafreeagents #cubs #whitesox #injuriesinsports #kawhileonard

 

NBA Free Agency Preview ————–00:43-11:50

Bulls Free Agency Preview————–12:32-17:45

Kawhi Leonard Trade Destinations—–17:47-21:53

White Sox————————————-22:42-24:34

Cubs –—————————————–24:35-28:47

SS Below 60———————————28:51-30:40

References

Austin Rivers & Marcin Gortat Trade. (2018). Retrieved from http://thacover2.com/clippers-trading-austin-rivers-wizards-marcin-gortat-opening-door-deandre-jordan-deal/

Buhh Productions. “Eloy Jimenez Chicago White Sox OF Prospect” Online Video Clip. YouTube. YouTube, 1 Nov. 2017. Web. 27 June, 2018.

Buzzkillerist. “CRAZY OKC FANS Reaction Compilation After Kevin Durant Joining the Warriors (Must See)” Online Video Clip. YouTube. YouTube, 4 July. 2016. Web. 28 June, 2018.

Chris Paul. [Eric Williams/USA TODAY Sports]. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.yardbarker.com/nba/articles/chris_paul_taunts_jusuf_nurkic_then_drains_shot_in_his_face/s1_12740_26121956

DaWindyCity Productions. “Kris Dunn 2017-18 Highlights ‘I’m Upset” Online Video Clip. YouTube. YouTube, 10 June. 2018. Web. 27 June, 2018.

Demarcus Cousins Injury. (2017). Retrieved from http://larrybrownsports.com/basketball/demarcus-cousins-well-wishes-kobe-bryant/424201

Derrick Rose. [Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images]. (2016). Retrieved from https://newyork.cbslocal.com/2016/06/22/knicks-bulls-derrick-rose-trade/

Devin Booker. [Getty Images]. (2018). Retrieved from http://www.sportsonearth.com/article/263323694/phoenix-sun-devin-booker-rising-star-support

Dwight Howard. [Mitchell Leff/Getty Images]. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.chron.com/sports/rockets/article/Hornets-trade-former-Rockets-Dwight-Howard-Nets-13010563.php

Female Soccer Players. [AP Photo/File]. (2014). Retrieved from https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/does-heading-a-soccer-ball-cause-brain-damage/

FreeDawkins. “DeAndre Jordan Full Highlights 2018.02.14 at Celtics – 30 Pts, 13 Reb, DUNKFEST! FreeDawkins” Online Video Clip. YouTube. YouTube, 15 Feb. 2018. Web. 27 June, 2018.

FreeDawkins. “Zach LaVine Full Highlights 2018.02.05 at Kings – 27 Pts, SAVAGE POSTER DUNK! FreeDawkins” Online Video Clip. YouTube. YouTube, 5 Feb. 2018. Web. 27 June, 2018.

Isaiah Thomas. [Mark Goldman/UPI]. (2017). Retrieved from https://www.upi.com/Boston-Celtics-Isaiah-Thomas-Surgery-not-the-number-one-option-for-injured-right-hip/3051495854461/

Lakers Top 10. “Isaiah Thomas Lakers Offense Highlights 2018 (Part 2) – HANDLES, SICK PASSES, AMAZING SHOTS…” Online Video Clip. YouTube. YouTube, 8 Apr. 2018. Web. June 27, 2018.

Milwaukee Bucks. “Bucks All-Access: The Return of Jabari Parker” Online Video Clip. YouTube. YouTube, 31 Jan. 2018. Web. 27 June, 2018.

MLB. “Yu Darvish K’s seven Rangers allows one run” Online Video Clip. YouTube. YouTube, 21 Mar. 2018. Web. 27 June, 2018.

NBALakersNation. “Julius Randle & Free Agency” Online Video Clip. YouTube. YouTube, 9 June. 2018. Web. 27 June, 2018.

NBA. “Klay Thompson All-Star Reserve Best Highlights 2017-18” Online Video Clip. YouTube. YouTube, 24 Jan. 2018. Web. 27 June, 2018.

NHL. (2017). Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wYiipKmgL2o

Real GD’s Latest Highlights. “DeMarcus Cousins Full Highlights vs Nuggets (2017.12.06) – 40 Pts, 22 Reb, 4 Blocks” Online Video Clip. YouTube. YouTube, 6 Dec, 2017. Web. 27 June, 2018.

Tomasz Kordylewski. “Marcus Smart Defense & Hustle Highlights 2017/18 Regular Season” Online Video Clip. YouTube. YouTube, 25 June. 2018. 27 June, 2018.

Spectator Sporting Episode 10

We’re reviewing the NBA Draft & the new Bulls rookies.  We’ll also discuss what some big name NBA free agents will do and address NBA trade rumors.  Plus stick around at the end of the show as Zachary Roach talks about Ice Cube’s BIG3 and Adewale Apata rants about the NBA Draft lottery reform.

NBA Draft Review ———————00:30-10:10

Bull’s Draft Review———————10:50-16:55

Teams that improved the most———-16:56-18:36

NBA Free Agency & Trade Rumors–19:10-26:45

SS Below 60 –—————————-26:55-28:26

References

Adam Silver. (2017). Retrieved from https://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/sports/csn/sixers/NBA_commissioner_Adam_Silver_responds_to_Bryan_Colangelo_investigation-484236721.html

Arizona Wildcats. “Deandre Ayton Pac 12 Player of the Year Highlights” Online Video Clip. YouTube. YouTube, 6 Mar. 2018. Web. 21 June, 2018.

Ballislife. “Zion Williamson Official Senior Year Mixtape!!! CERTIFIED High School Legend!!!” Online Video Clip. YouTube. YouTube, 26 Feb. 2018. Web. 21 June, 2018.

DEVO Highlights Presents. “Trae Young: “The Next Steph Curry” Official Freshman Highlights” Online Video Clip. YouTube. YouTube, 5 Jan. 2018. Web. 22 June, 2018.

Frankie Vision. “Michael Porter Jr. Freshman Season Highlights Montage 2017-18 10.0ppg, Future Superstar!” Online Video Clip. YouTube. YouTube, 20 Mar. 2018. Web. June 21, 2018.

Frankie Vision. “Sexton Game Winning Buzzer Beater Alabama vs Texas A&M 2017-18 Season” Online Video Clip. YouTube. YouTube, 8 Mar. 2018. Web. June 22, 2018.

FOX Sports. “3’s Company vs Ball Hogs BIG 3 Highlights” Online Video Clip. YouTube. YouTube, 26 June. 2017. Web. 22 June, 2018.

Ice Cube BIG3. (2016). Retrieved from https://clutchpoints.com/ice-cube-defends-decision-bring-lavar-ball-big3-league/

JustBombsProductions. “Duke C Wendell Carter Jr. 2017-18 Highlights” Online Video Clip. YouTube. YouTube, 29 May. 2018. Web. June 21, 2018.

Kawhi Bench. (2017). Retrieved from https://hoopshype.com/2018/06/15/kawhi-leonard-san-antonio-spurs-trade/

LeBron James Suit. [Ezra Shaw/Getty Images]. (2017). Retrieved from https://www.mensjournal.com/style/lebron-jamess-short-suit-from-thom-browne-explained/

Mikal Bridges & Mom. (2018). Retrieved from https://brobible.com/sports/article/mikal-bridges-mom-sixers-trade/

NCAA March Madness. “S.F. Austin vs Texas Tech: Zhaire Smith throws down a 360 alley-oop” Online Video Clip. YouTube. YouTube, 15 Mar. 2018. Web. 21 June, 2018.

Priority Sports. “Chandler Hutchison Senior Year Highlight Mix” Online Video Clip. YouTube. YouTube, 21 May. 2018. Web. 21 June, 2018.

Swish Cultures. “Mikal Bridges (Villanova) NBA Draft 2018 Highlights” Online Video Clip. YouTube. YouTube, 21 June. 2018. Web. 21 June, 2018.

The NBeye Official. “Luka Doncic 1st Pick of the 2018 NBA Draft?! Real Madrid Career Top Moves Highlights” Online Video Clip. YouTube. YouTube, 16 May. 2018. Web. 21 June, 2018.

The Scoop. “Texam A&M Robert Williams with the WINDMILL JAM!!!!” Online Video Clip. YouTube. YouTube, 16 Mar. 2018. Web. 22 June, 2018.

Too Mainey. “Kevin Knox-Kentucky Highlights 2018” Online Video Clip. YouTube. YouTube, 6 Dec. 2017. Web. 21 June, 2018.

NBA 2018 Mock Draft by Spectator Sporting

By Adewale Apata

How far will former McDonald’s All-American MVP and top 2 prep prospect Michael Porter Jr. fall in the draft?  Are the Suns thinking about passing up on Deandre Ayton to reunite new head coach Igor Kokoskov with European phenom Luka Doncic?  Who’s going to make the polarizing Trae Young their point guard of the future?  You’ll find the answers to these questions and much more in the Spectator Sporting 2018 NBA 1st Round Mock Draft!

  1. SunsDeandre Ayton Ht 7-1/Wt 260/C/Arizona/Age 19 Ayton will force double teams from the post plus he can step outside the paint and shoot it with a nice touch all the way to the 3 point line. The Suns hired new head coach Igor Kokoskov who coached Luka Doncic in Slovenia but the Suns shouldn’t get cute with their first ever #1 pick and select the best player in the draft.

 

  1. KingsLuka Doncic Ht 6-8/Wt 225/PG-SG/Slovenia/Age 19 Doncic is a versatile prospect that can run the point guard position or play off the ball as a wing. He gets knocked because he’s not super athletic but he’s a crafty passer and has a soft shooting touch.  King’s General Manager Vlade Divac is from Serbia and knows more than most about Doncic who played close to his home country in Slovenia.

 

 

  1. HawksMarvin Bagley III Ht 6-11/Wt 235/PF/Duke/Age 19 Atlanta should be thrilled that the Kings passed up on this rebounding and scoring machine. Bagley averaged 21 points plus 11 rebounds at Duke.  His combination of consistent intensity, skills and hustle makes him a no brainer at the number 3 spot.

    inthefrontrow.com

 

  1. Grizzlies-Jaren Jackson Jr. Ht 6-11/Wt 240/PF/Michigan St./Age 18 You don’t see many 3&D guys at 6’11”. But Jackson Jr. qualifies as one.  He shot 39% from long range and averaged 3 blocks a game to earn the Big 10 Defensive Player of the Year Award.  He needs to work on his post-game but at 18 years old, he’s one of the youngest players in the draft and Marc Gasol should take him under his wing.

 

 

  1. MavericksMo Bamba Ht 7-0/Wt 220/C/Texas/Age 20 With a 7’10” wingspan, Mo Bamba should look like Mo Mutombo out there. In today’s NBA, he has the measurements and style of play similar to Rudy Gobert and Clint Capela.

 

  1. MagicTrae Young Ht 6-2/Wt 180/PG/Oklahoma/Age 19 The Magic traded Elfrid Payton to the Suns for a 2nd round pick and created a huge void at to PG position in Orlando. Trey Young is an electric scorer and playmaker who led the nation in points and assist.  Young should be the pick here, he’s a prolific shooter but he’ll also create plays for his teammates.

 

 

  1. BullsMiles Bridges Ht 6-7/Wt 230/SF/Michigan St./Age 20 Miles Bridges is a big, explosive and versatile SF who can also provide valuable minutes as a stretch 4. The Bulls are lacking a starting wing and Miles Bridges fits right in and should flourish with his solid finishing ability in the paint.  Plus this lefty showed that he has the touch from 3 as he shot 39% from the arc last season.

    thecomeback.com

 

  1. CavsCollin Sexton Ht 6-2/Wt 185/PG/Alabama/Age 19 Sexton is a fiery PG that Cavs fans should get excited about whether “The King” leaves or stays. Sexton led Alabama to their 1st NCAA tourney since 2012 and was poised in clutch moments while averaging 19 points per game.  He’ll be an ideal player to build around during a rebuild or a formidable side kick to LeBron James.

 

 

  1. KnicksMikal Bridges Ht 6-7/Wt 210/SF/Villanova/Age 21 TheKnicks reached for French PG Frank Ntilikina with the 8th pick in last year’s draft. So, play it safe this year and select the solid 3&D junior from Villanova.

 

  1. SixersMichael Porter Jr. Ht 6-10/Wt 215/SF/Missouri/Age 19 Porter Jr. was a top 2 prospect coming out of HS but he slips to Philly due to microdiscectomy surgery on his back in November. “The most famous recent example of a basketball player to undergo a microdiscectomy is Dwight Howard.  Howard had the procedure done in 2012 before he was traded to the Lakers (SBNation, Ricky O’Donnell, 2017).”  Porter Jr. made a comeback at the end of the Missouri season and played 3 games.  But he didn’t look explosive by settling for layups on a couple fast breaks.  However, the Sixers take him at the 10 spot as a high risk high reward prospect.

 

 

  1. HornetsKevin Knox Ht 6-9/Wt 215/SF/Kentucky/Age 18 Knox is a sleeper steal type pick as he’s been flying under the radar. Kevin Knox is a 6’9” smooth SF with a nice shooting stroke and isn’t shy about driving to the paint.  He’s only 18 years old and has the potential to make people wonder why he slipped in the draft in a few years.

 

  1. ClippersShai Gilgeous-Alexander Ht 6-6/Wt 180/PG/Kentucky/Age 19 Gilgeous-Alexander is a tall versatile PG and led Kentucky to the Sweet 16 as a Freshman. Shai would challenge Austin Rivers for that starting point guard spot.

 

 

  1. ClippersWendell Carter Ht 6-10/Wt 260/PF-C/Duke/Age 19 Deandre Jordan has the option to opt out of his contract and become a free agent. Wendell Carter Jr. would be a solid replacement at the center position.  Carter is a reliable shooter as a big-man and shot 41% from the 3 point line last season.

 

  1. NuggetsTroy Brown Ht 6-7/Wt 215/PG-SG/Oregon/Age 18 Brown is a playmaker at the wing position and has a knack for driving and finishing in the paint. Expect him to play some point guard as Denver is thin at that position after trading Emmanuel Mudiay.

 

 

  1. WizardsMitchell Robinson Ht 7-1/Wt 225/C/USA/Age 20 Robinson was a top ten 2017 HS recruit. But he chose Western Kentucky then dropped out of school and prepared for the NBA Draft.  He shocked scouts again by declining to participate at the NBA pre-draft workouts in Chicago.  He remains the man of mystery but the Wizards take a chance on the nimble 7 footer at the #15 spot.

 

  1. SunsLonnie Walker Ht 6-4/Wt 200/SG/Miami/Age 19 Phoenix needs to solidify their point guard position but they shouldn’t reach for one here and select the best player available. That player is Miami shooting guard Lonnie Walker.  He raised his stock in the draft at the NBA combine and should be a solid backup to Devin Booker during his rookie season.

    zimbio.com

 

 

  1. BucksDonte DiVincenzo Ht 6-4/Wt 205/SG/Villanova/Age 21 After winning the Final Four Most Outstanding Player Award, DiVincenzo carried that momentum throughout the NBA combine workouts. DiVincenzo’s 34.5 inch vertical leap at the combine wowed NBA scouts and I’ll be shocked if he falls out of the top 20.

 

  1. SpursKevin Huerter Ht 6-7/Wt 190/SF/Maryland/Age 19 The Spurs was the 4th worse 3 point shooting team in the league at 35.2%. Huerter is the 2nd best shooter (behind Trae Young) in the draft.

 

 

  1. Hawks Zhaire Smith Ht 6-5/Wt 195/SG/Texas Tech/Age 19 Sign this guy up for the 2019 NBA Dunk contest as soon as the commissioner calls his name on draft night. Smith is not only an amazing dunker, he shot 42% from the arc and has a high motor on defense.  He slips this far in the draft due to his lack of playmaking ability off the dribble.

 

  1. Timberwolves Gary Trent Jr. Ht 6-6/Wt 215/SG/Duke/ Age 19 What was the Wolves’ biggest weakness last season? If you said 3 point shooting, you’re absolutely correct!  The Wolves was the worst team in the league by shooting a dismal 22% from long range.  Trent Jr. should develop into a 3-point threat off the bench.

 

 

  1. JazzRobert Williams Ht 6-9/Wt 240/PF-C/Texas A&M/Age 20 Jazz big man Derrick Favors could leave as a free agent this offseason. But even if he stays, Robert Williams would enter into the Utah big-man rotation off the bench.  He’s extremely athletic but relies on his athletic ability too much.  He must develop a jump shot and/or post skills in order to establish some longevity in the NBA.

 

  1. BullsJerome Robinson Ht 6-5/Wt 190/SG/Boston College/Age 21 Robinson has the ability to develop into the best scorer off the Bulls bench. He averaged 18 points as a sophomore and 20 points as a junior last season.  This guy is a shooter spotting up, on the move or off the dribble.

    bcheights.com

 

 

  1. PacersChandler Hutchison Ht 6-7/Wt 195/SF/Boise State/Age 22 Hutchison is a late bloomer who averaged 17 points and 7 rebounds as a junior and 20 points and 7 rebounds as a senior.

 

  1. BlazersGrayson Allen Ht 6-5/Wt 210/SG/Duke/Age 22 Allen can fill it up from long range and create some more space for CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard to operate. Plus the Blazers can use all the help they can get from their reserves as Portland posted the 3rd worse scoring bench in the league.  Now just sit back and wait for Grayson to trip somebody.

 

 

  1. LakersJalen Brunson Ht 6-2/Wt 190/PG/Villanova/Age 21 Before the Lakers attempt to trade for Kawhi, sign PG13 and King James, they’ve got a draft pick to make. Magic Johnson must select the most NBA ready prospect.  That’s son of former NBA PG Rick Brunson and 2-time NCAA champ Jalen Brunson.  He’ll be a steady point man off the bench backing up Lonzo Ball (If he’s still there after a potential Kawhi Leonard trade).

    fanragsports.com

 

  1. Sixers-Omari Spellman Ht 6-9/Wt 260/PF/Villanova/Age 20 The Sixers will need a big man off the bench if they decide not to resign mediocre free agent Amir Johnson. Spellman has a high motor and fits right in at that stretch 4 role.

 

 

  1. Celtics-Dzanan Musa Ht 6-9/Wt 195/SF/Bosnia/Age 19 Musa just turned 19 years old a few weeks ago and he will most likely be a redshirt guy for the 2018-19 season and continue to develop in a professional league in Croatia. He’s a scorer/shooter but he needs time to add some bulk to his thin frame before he’s asked to bang with the pros in the NBA.

 

  1. WarriorsKhyri Thomas Ht 6-3/Wt 210/SG/Creighton/Age 22 Thomas is a combo guard who made a name for himself on the defensive end. But he’s no liability on the offensive side with a 40% career 3 point shooting mark in his 3 year career at Creighton.

 

 

  1. Nets-Elie Okobo Ht 6-2/Wt 180/PG/France/Age 20 With Jeremy Lin rupturing his patellar tendon, Brooklyn can use a solid backup point guard to D’Angelo Russell. Okobo has an above average leaping ability and is not afraid to mix it up in the painted area.  However, he is still learning the point guard position and must cut down his 2.7 turnovers per game average.

 

  1. HawksAnfernee Simons Ht 6-3/Wt 180/PG-SG/USA/Age 19 Simons committed to Louisville University before last season but decommitted due to the Rick Pitino Scandal. He decided to continue to play as a post-graduate in HS then entered the NBA draft.  He remains a mysterious prospect because he declined an invitation at the NBA combine.  But this athletic scoring combo guard is worth the gamble at the end of the first round.

References

Deandre Ayton. (2018). Retrieved from http://www.tribune242.com/news/2018/mar/16/deandre-ayton-enter-2018-nba-draft-june/

Jerome Robinson. (2017). Retrieved from http://bcheights.com/2018/04/28/jerome-robinson-hires-agent-will-remain-in-2018-nba-draft/

Jalen Brunson. [Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports]. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.fanragsports.com/nba/jalen-brunson-displays-nba-value-during-final-four-run/

Lonnie Walker IV. [Ronald Martinez/Getty Images]. (2018). Retrieved from http://www.zimbio.com/photos/Donte+Ingram/Lonnie+Walker+IV/NCAA+Basketball+Tournament+First+Round+Dallas/Fo19SHDX3sy

Marvin Bagley. (2018). Retrieved from https://inthefrontrow.com/

Miles Bridges. (2017). Retrieved from http://thecomeback.com/ncaa/miles-bridges-michigan-state-national-title-contender.html