Credit the Lakers with this: They have done well picking guys at the end of the first and in the second round recently. Kyle Kuzma is the poster boy for that success.
Josh Hart, the rookie out of Villanova taken with the last pick in the first round, is another example. He has played solidly as a backup point guard but at 6’5″ can play either guard position, he’s been a very effective spot-up shooter, he’s scoring 6.6 points per game, shooing 39.7 percent from three, he can work off the ball, and knows how to run a team and push the ball in transition. He has looked like a player who will develop into a solid rotation player.
Now he’s going to be out a while, setting back that development a little. Mike Trudel of the Lakers broke the news.
Shams Charania of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports has more detail.
Los Angeles Lakers rookie guard Josh Hart has sustained a small fracture in his left hand and is evaluating surgical and non-surgical recovery options, league sources told Yahoo Sports. The injury occurred in practice Wednesday, and Hart underwent tests that revealed the fracture. He likely will miss at least a few weeks.
This late in the season, with a player they think can be part of the future, the Lakers will be cautious and not race him back. Hart could very well be done for the season.
The Lakers guard rotation the rest of the way will be Lonzo Ball, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Isaiah Thomas, and a little Tyler Ennis.
DeAndre Ayton will go No. 1 to the Phoenix Suns Thursday night. Marvin Bagley III probably goes second to Sacramento (but that’s not a lock).
After that, things get wide open in the 2018 NBA Draft. Teams value different players at very different levels this year, and there are going to be a number of trades.
Which makes putting together a mock draft for this year more random than a roulette wheel. Not that it stopped me. Here is my final mock draft for the 14 lottery picks. I present it without much confidence, but I’m throwing it out there anyway.
The Hawks’ rebuild got going with big John Collins. Though they’re reportedly eying Luka Doncic with the No. 3 pick, they could easily draft another big – Jaren Jackson Jr., Mohamed Bamba, Marvin Bagley or Wendell Carter.
And then there’s veteran center Dewayne Dedmon.
He no longer fits in Atlanta (never did, really). But he’s not bypassing a chance to earn $6.3 million.
Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:
There just wasn’t going to be that much money for the 28-year-old Dedmon in a tight market this summer.
Dedmon is a good defender, and he developed his ball skills – as a 3-point shooter and passer – in Atlanta last season. The Hawks could look to trade him. Maybe, in a deal primarily about his expiring contract, he adds extra value to the other team due to his playing ability.
If Atlanta doesn’t move him, Dedmon will be a fine player on a likely tanking team. At least he’s not good enough to subvert the Hawks’ tank, especially with the new lottery format.
Nick Young will say and do nearly anything for attention.
Empowered by the Warriors’ championship, he swung for the fences when asked about Canada passing marijuana legalization.
Young, via TMZ:
“I want people to pass cocaine,” the NBA star told TMZ Sports outside 1 OAK on Tuesday night … “Everybody needs to do cocaine!”
Predictably, that caused a bit of an uproar. Then, Young backtracked:
Too late, Nick. People are already asking questions you don’t want asked.
The 76ers have too many 2018 draft picks – Nos. 10, 26, 38, 39, 56 and 60.
Philadelphia already has 11 players under contract for next season. Plus, the 76ers have the space to add premier players. There just isn’t room for everyone on the roster.
So, Philadelphia unloaded one of those selections.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
This is good return for the 76ers, who everyone knew had to trade a draft pick. The rebuilding Bulls could easily land a higher second-round pick than No. 39 next year.
Why do the Lakers want an extra second-rounder this year? Second-round picks don’t count against the cap until signed, and they can always slightly sweeten a trade offer. They’re helpful for a team with big plans and little wiggle room.