The season has been over for a couple of weeks, but the die-hards know that there is still plenty to follow in the NBA. Hip Hop and Hoop’s Eric Nehm and Jordan Swoyer exchanged some emails to discuss the draft, and the madness of free agency.
Jordan (June 29th)
: I’m learning not to buy into the hype heading into the draft, trade deadline, or free agency window. We go in wanting crazy things to happen (trades, blockbuster
acquisitions, etc.), but they usually don’t. Take this year’s draft: the consensus #1 was drafted first, the Sixers drafted another big man, Knicks fans booed, the Heat got lucky, and no blockbuster trades went through. Disappointing.
I’m still excited to see how some of these rookies will fit in the league next year: Does Winslow make the Heat a contender in the east? Will Emmanuel Mudiay force Ty Lawson out of Denver? Will Lebron or Anthony Davis be the runner up to MVP Mario Hezonja?
Am I wrong to be underwhelmed? Will free agency be more exciting?
Eric (June 30th)
: I don’t think you were wrong to be underwhelmed. We were expecting insanity on draft night and the first trade we saw was the Bucks moving a 2017 late first round pick and a second rounder to the Raptors for Grevis Vasquez. Not exactly a typical #WojBomb.
I think the biggest disappointment was everyone being much smarter than we thought they’d be on draft night. The Kings didn’t trade Boogie Cousins for hot garbage, the Knicks probably picked the right guy at 4 with Porzingis, and no one took the Celtics up on their sampler platter of mediocre draft picks.
With that being said, I’m looking forward to League Passing a number of this year’s rookies. Willie Cauley-Stein hanging out with Boogie Cousins will be an experience. Devin Booker and Sam Dekker chucking from deep in three-happy offenses in Phoenix and Houston should be fun as well.
Now, I really want to say things are going to get crazy in free agency. I really do, but I’m worried about getting my hopes up like I did for the draft.Important to note this offseason is the escalating cap. This summer’s cap will be around $67 million. Next year, it jumps to $90 million. And the year after, it will go all the way up $108 MILLION. So, in each of the next two years, pretty much everyone will have cap space. On the other hand, a smaller number of teams will have max cap space this summer.
Will the smaller market teams with money – Detroit, Milwaukee, Orlando, Phoenix, Utah – swing for the fences this summer? Will they actually be able to sign someone?
Will the Knicks and Lakers be able to lure anybody to their teams with their globs of money and tantalizing markets?