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NBA offseason leading right into wild draft

The NBA Draft is on Thursday night in New York City, and the stars are going to be out. The NBA regular season tends to be boring, and this year, the playoffs were as well save for a solid NBA Finals, albeit a five-game set. Now, the real fun has begun, with general managers running amok.

Most leagues only see trades happen around the deadline, but not the NBA where things have gotten completely out of hand. We have rumors flying all over creation about the New York Knicks somehow convincing themselves that moving Kristaps Porzingis, a 22-year-old wunderkind, is somehow a good idea. Much in the same way that a person convinces themselves they don’t need to save for retirement, because the lottery is going to save them anyway.

Then there has been the trades we’ve already seen come to fruition. The Los Angeles Lakers are clearing cap space for the inevitable run at LeBron James and Paul George, trading off D’Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov to the Brooklyn Nets for the 27th-overall pick in the draft and Brook Lopez. The Lakers are getting nothing but a decent big man and a crappy pick, but they are really shedding that awful Mozgov deal. Brooklyn gets a young talent and contract that doesn’t matter on a team with no hope of contending for another decade.

All of this brings us to the draft. The first pick belongs to the Philadelphia 76ers, who dealt the third-overall selection and a future first-round choice to the Boston Celtics. We know Philadelphia will take guard Markelle Fultz, followed by the Lakers taking Lonzo Ball and his big-mouth father. The third pick is where things get interesting. Do the Celtics actually make that pick or swing it to the Knicks in a deal for Porzingis, allowing Phil Jackson to take Josh Jackson? If they do keep the pick, the most logical selection is Jayson Tatum in terms of need and fit.

After that, all bets are off. The group of Jonathan Isaac, Malik Monk, De’Aaron Fox, Dennis Smith Jr., Lauri Markkanen and Jackson are on the table for the Phoenix Suns, Sacramento Kings, Orlando Magic, Minnesota Timberwolves and Knicks, in that order. Each team could go a different direction, although it seems the Kings are locked into Fox.

After what was a very boring season, we are entering perhaps the wildest offseason the league has seen since LeBron and The Decision at that Boys and Girls Club in Connecticut. If nothing else, the NBA knows how to entertain, even if 28 (and maybe 29) of the teams have no chance of doing anything meaningful come tip-off in October.

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