The lottery is over and the Lakers are the big winners as the NBA Draft order is officially set.
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College basketball, meanwhile, is about to endure more significant changes in the coming days. The NCAA’s deadline for players who are testing the waters of the draft process to decide whether to leave or return to school for good is May 24 — 10 days after the completion of the NBA pre-draft combine. There are still 15-20 true Division I difference-makers that have not pulled the trigger yet, and many coaches are anxiously in wait-and-see mode.
The infrastructure of college basketball will be tweaked in the coming week based off the decisions. These are the five most interesting and probably five most important.
Bradley isn’t a household name by any means, but he’s got such a tough call here because he projects as a nice pro player vs. what little we saw of him last season. If he goes, he’s going to get picked in the top 40, I have to believe. That’s tempting, and he’s absolutely going to be picked off potential. But if he returns, he could play himself into being a top-20 player in college hoops, and if that happened, he’d probably be a lottery lock in 2018. More money, weaker draft, so what do you do?
Bradley’s decision could be helped by the fact that Joel Berry II and Theo Pinson have already announced they’re returning to Chapel Hill. If Bradley cares about being a UNC legend, him coming back for a sophomore season would put UNC’s chances at repeating officially on the table. Bradley would become the guy in the paint, as Kennedy Meeks and Isaiah Hicks have graduated. The Tar Heels would have to be considered one of the five or six best teams in college basketball entering the season if he comes back.
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The Golden State Warriors won’t have Andre Iguodala available for Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals on Tuesday due to knee soreness, according to ESPN’s Chris Haynes.
Iguodala had been relatively healthy throughout the regular season and played a big role for the Warriors throughout the first two rounds of the playoffs. Unfortunately, his knee injury was evident during Game 1 against the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday.
The veteran played just 10 minutes, all in the first half, and finished with just two points and one assist. He was minus-19 on the court during that short span.
The start of free agency is still a few months away, but Los Angeles Lakers fans are already making a full-court press on Pacers All-Star Paul George. The 27-year-old L.A. native is expected to opt out of the final year of his current contract and become a free agent in 2018, when the Lakers will undoubtedly come calling.
George appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live on Monday, and the talk show host pressed the four-time All-Star on the prospects of playing for his hometown team. During the conversation, George said hes planning on working out with Lakers icon Kobe Bryant and hopes to pick his brain.
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The answer will come Monday night, when the series comes down to one game. The winner moves on to oppose the Cleveland Cavaliers in the East finals beginning Wednesday.
Mimicking what the Wizards had done before a regular-season game, the Celtics wore black into the Verizon Center for Game 6, and it may have backfired and helped add fire to the home team. Still, the Wizards were facing elimination and needed a 3-pointer with 3.5 seconds left and the added drama of the final seconds to finish it off and bring it back to Boston.
So does Diallo opt to never play a college game and bolt to the nba jersey discounts if a team gives him a first round guarantee? It might the better call. If not, he returns to Kentucky and will be part of a preseason top-10 team that will be the youngest John Calipari has ever coached. What he does next season in Lexington is certainly to be determined, because UK will have Kevin Knox and Jarred Vanderbilt both coming in and capable of averaging 15 points. Kentucky would be much better suited with Diallo than without, but at this point I think Cal is prepping for him not to return.
The Cavaliers appear on a fast track to the NBA Finals again, which is no surprise because pretty much any team with LeBron James has a guaranteed slot in the final series. But all of that could change next year as Joel Embiid and the 76ers are rising fast.
Sure, Philly went 28-54 last season to finish with the fourth-worst record in the league. But the 76ers came away with the third overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft at Tuesday night’s lottery, so they could add a player like Josh Jackson or Jayson Tatum.