Hey, the Sixers are actually going to work out someone who could be in the mix at the top of the draft! Malik Monk came in sixth recently on the Liberty Ballers Community Big Board, as readers love his potential fit offensively alongside Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid.
Monk’s workout on Thursday will be the second time the Sixers decision makers have seen him in the span of a few weeks. General manager Bryan Colangelo attended an agency run workout featuring Monk in late May, and must have liked what he saw.
Monk would certainly fill an obvious hole for the Sixers, but questions surrounding his defensive positioning and overall playmaking abilities have lead many pundits to believe his ceiling is lower than most of the other high-end prospects. While it’s impossible to rule anything out during this time of year, Monk would make more sense as a possible trade down candidate than someone the Sixers would legitimately consider with the third overall pick.
I would love De’Aaron Fox on just about any lottery team other than the Sixers. The lack of spacing between Fox and Simmons is already making me cringe. I can’t deal with another dude who can’t shoot. Maybe it’s short-sighted, but I just can’t do it.
There has been some Fox to the Lakers buzz over the last few weeks, and it’s not totally unsubstantiated. Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson was in attendance for Kentucky’s NCAA Tournament game against UCLA, giving the former point guard a front row seat for Fox’s dominance of Lonzo Ball. There’s a possibility he won’t even be an option for the Sixers at No. 3.
Fox’s quick-twitch athleticism would potentially make him a great-fit in Philadelphia’s transition game, but there are deep concerns regarding his ability to play in a half-court offense with the talent already on hand. His fans have pointed to his free-throw numbers and less broken form than Josh Jackson, while critics will say he could not hit water if he took a jump shot off a yacht.
The numbers aren’t pretty on his shot; he made just over 36 percent of his two-point jumpers at Kentucky, and connected on 24.6 percent of his threes at UK. You have to ask yourself whether the free-throw numbers—which are only in the low 70’s—are enough to shrug off ghastly shooting percentages as a freshman. I can’t bring myself to believe that added strength is all it will take to turn him into a respectable shooter.
I’m not traditionally a “OMG they need to get the local kid!!!” guy, but I’m a big fan of Josh Hart’s game. He’s a potential second-round pick I wouldn’t mind seeing on the roster next season as opposed to trading some of those four selections for future picks or stashing some international players.
For local basketball fans, Hart is the obvious center of attention in the group workout. He’s on the older side at 22 years old and he’s not going to blow you away with his physical tools, but he’s a polished guard who Philadelphia came to love during Nova’s period of dominance over the last couple seasons. He excelled in a variety of roles on-and-off ball during his time at ‘Nova, and anyone who shoots over 40 percent from three on five attempts per game deserves a look from this team.
Brooks possesses similar size and athleticism concerns on the wing; he measured at 6’5” in shoes with a 6’6” wingspan at the Draft Combine. Despite that, he was one of the best wings in the country at creating his own shot last season, and his combination of free-throw and three-point success points to promise as a shooter. If you can create attempts for yourself at the rim and make threes, you have a place in the league.
Smokescreens everywhere! Josh Jackson takes L.A. part two!
The Lakers are asset depleted and stuck with several terrible contracts on their books, and could use their position at No. 2 to try to amend one (or both) of those problems. The more bullshit they throw at the wall, the harder they will make it for teams to get a sense of their plan and operate in the upcoming draft accordingly.
Philadelphia should be a big beneficiary here, because they can just sit and wait to watch everything unfold without feeling pressure to move up for anything other than No. 1. If that means Ball is on the board at No. 3, they can either select a good fit for their team or turn their good fortune into a course-altering trade.
Lord, have mercy on our souls because I can’t wait for this draft to be over.
I can’t say that I was pulling for the Warriors this season, but I feel like time and perspective will give me a new look on this Golden State squad one day.
There won’t be a singular moment that defines the Warriors’ championship like there was last year. There won’t be a play that encapsulates their best player in the series, Kevin Durant. How will we remember the 2017 NBA Finals MVP? Perhaps in his transformation from wing to center; Durant is a player so utterly unique, a player who essentially took Steph’s, Klay’s, and Draymond’s powers, combined them, and became Captain Planet, unlocking a new level to the Warriors’ version of total football. The puzzle has been completed.
And the team? We’ll remember them the way we have all year — in broad strokes of excellence. The Warriors’ 129–120 Game 5 victory over the Cavaliers had fallen into a familiar rhythm by the second quarter. An eight-point Cleveland lead with 10 minutes remaining in the second was completely blotted out in a seven-minute stretch that saw the Warriors pull off a 23-point turnaround, a 27–4 run that happened almost instantaneously and with the greatest of ease. The game wasn’t over by then, but it definitely felt like it.