The Starting 5: A look at some of the best hoops content from around the Internet
The Knicks made some moves on draft day, taking Kristaps Porzingis with the fourth pick and trading Tim Hardaway Jr. to the Atlanta Hawks for Jerian Grant. They may have added talent for the long run, but they certainly didn’t make their roster better for the near future. Carmelo Anthony noticed, and he reportedly wasn’t happy about it. He rightfully feels like he was told they’d be dealing to “win now” when he signed his five-year, $124 million contract last year. Melo tried to diffuse the situation with some cryptic tweets and Instagram posts, but this is setting up to be an awkward summer for the Knicks and their star.
Kevon Looney slipped much further in the draft than he, and many others, expected. He got all the way down to No. 30 and the Golden State Warriors. The Warriors are expected to do everything they can to deal David Lee, and Looney is a solid pick to take up the slack for Lee’s minutes and possibly act as a backup to Draymond Green. His type of game, outside shooting and the ability to rebound should fit perfectly in Golden State.
With the 22nd pick in the NBA Draft, the Chicago Bulls selected Bobby Portis, a sophomore from Arkansas. This was a brilliant pick by the Bulls, who Kevin States from Chicago Bulls Confidential believes is a top 10 talent who fell to 22. I tend to agree with that assessment, and figured that Portis would get drafted well before the Bulls. He’s 6’11” and 240 pounds, runs the floor well, can hit a jumper and plays hard. This pick fits exactly what the Bulls will be trying to do, and States drops an understated Rasheed Wallace comp on Portis.
The big news around the Heat are their free agents, Dwyane Wade and Goran Dragic, and Justise Winslow falling to them in the draft. But to create some money for the moves they want to make this summer, the Heat are looking at dealing Mario Chalmers and Chris “Birdman” Andersen. Those two will make $9 million next season combined, and getting out from under that money would make signing both Wade and Dragic much more likely. It’s really the only way they’re going to make one final run at a championship in Miami, so they need to look at any way possible to bring them both back.
The Mavericks look to be moving on from Monta Ellis, reportedly targeting Danny Green of the Spurs. Ellis has been rumored to the Miami Heat and the Indiana Pacers recently, but supposedly he’s also interested in discussing a long-term deal with the Atlanta Hawks. I’m not sure whether it’s likely that he ends up there, as the Hawks have Paul Millsap and DeMarre Carroll to worry about paying, but it’s likely that someone ends up overpaying Ellis this offseason.