Apr 7, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Kentucky Wildcats forward Julius Randle (30) blocks the shot of Connecticut Huskies forward DeAndre Daniels (2) in the first half during the championship game of the Final Four in the 2014 NCAA Mens Division I Championship tournament at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
The San Antonio Spurs should not just watch the NBA draft for their own efforts. What are some scenarios they must be wary of?
Julius Randle to the Los Angeles Lakers
Last season was not anywhere near the customary level expected of the Los Angeles Lakers, but the cornerstone franchise is typically never down for long. With Kobe Bryant returning and over $26 million in cap space, they are primed for a swift turnaround, especially if they take Julius Randle in the NBA draft. The Kentucky power forward has loads of versatility on the offensive end, is a terrific rebounder and plays with a tough edge in the paint. His ball handling skill would also be a benefit, taking some heat off of Bryant. The big question mark is the health of his latest foot injury.
Dante Exum to Utah Jazz
It took some working but things look poised for the Utah Jazz. They hold two first round picks in the draft and also are projected to have around $30 million in salary cap space for free agency. It is a grand opportunity for them out west provided they get a little lucky. It would most certainly start if they landed Dante Exum. Not only does the Austrailian push the action and pass well as a typical point guard, he’s a rangy 6’6″ and shows the athleticism to penetrate and finish at the rim. If the Jazz can do that and then get some serious help at the forward position in free agency, they would become a problem for a lot of teams, including the San Antonio Spurs.
Doug McDermott to Phoenix Suns
Perhaps no team is in a better position entering the off-season than the Phoenix Suns. They already have a young, promising roster in place. On top of that they have the third-most cap space available for free agency and three first round picks in the NBA draft. That almost guarantees they have the green light to think aggressively, perhaps targeting a trade up into the top ten for a difference-maker to add to their burgeoning roster. Doug McDermott would be a tremendous snatch-and-grab. The Creighton forward is very smart and plays with a high motor. His scoring ability and precision from long range are hard to ignore. He won’t win awards for his defense, but he would give Phoenix even more offensive punch to challenge the big dogs like San Antonio in the West.