With the 2017 NBA Draft right around the corner, the league has been heating up with news of trades and possible new futures for franchises and players. Center, Greg Monroe, of the Milwaukee Bucks has decided to opt-in to his $17.9 million contract for the 2017-18 season. After losing to the Toronto Raptors 4-2 in the first round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs, Monroe expressed his desire to stay with the Bucks, to continue to compete in the Eastern Conference. Having averaged 11.7-points, 6.6 rebounds, and 2.3 assists in 81 games this past season, I believe Monroe plays a key role along side teammates Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker.
In other news, after having returned to his hometown of Atlanta, center, Dwight Howard’s reunion was short-lived. The Atlanta Hawks have decided to trade Howard and the 31st pick in tomorrow’s draft to the Charlotte Hornets for center, Miles Plumlee, guard, Marco Belinelli, and the 41st pick in the draft. While I believe that Howard’s bouncing from team to team has hurt his performance in the league, this move could work out in his favor. The Hornets are coached by Steve Clifford a former friend and mentor of Howard’s who assisted him back in Orlando. If the Hornets can insert Howard and utilize him properly, the eight-time All-star could make a comeback.
The Lakers have also made waves in the news, trading point guard, D’Angelo Russell and center, Timofey Mozgov to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for center Brook Lopez and the 27th pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. With the Lakers landing the No. 2 overall pick, this deal allows the Lakers to draft back to back with the No. 27 and 28 picks. This also frees up cap space in order to make room for possible stars in the 2018 free agency. Indiana star, Paul George has already expressed his interest in joining the Lakers in the summer of 2018. George notified the Indiana Pacers of his intentions to leave the franchise to prepare the team ahead of time. As an Indiana native, I’d hate to see George go especially after the return of Lance Stephenson. However, I can understand George’s frustrations in not being part of a championship contending team. Rumor has it that the deal done by the Lakers and the Nets, was in preparation to acquire George and possibly Lebron James. Should this move go down, George would be the first NBA star in years to choose L.A. in the free agency.