While the NBA season is sadly over, which likely means it is officially Major League Baseball's chance to bore me into taking another break from Bleacher Report.
But don't worry folks there is still one thing that keeps me going through the summer, and that is the NBA offseason. There are many storylines heading into the draft and free agency.
I will try to guide you through and feel free to use these with your friends at the bar and make yourself look like a genius, or an idiot one of the two.
15. Blake Griffin Will Be A Los Angeles Clipper
I know it is not that bold as they have all but signed him to a contract, but Blake Griffin will be a Clipper on June 25th.
14. The NBA Draft Will Once Again Confuse Me
Last years NBA draft was as confusing as a Lost season. With all the exchanging of players after being drafted it was hard to keep up on which team got who.
The NBA should really pick up on the NFL and have the teams move up to pick their desired players. Instead of making trades later on in the draft. This would eliminate all the twists and turns of the draft and make it more entertaining for the casual viewer.
13. Marcin Gortat Will Be A MLE Player
During the playoffs, Marcin Gortat showed a lot of potential to be a effective role player in the NBA. One of those small pieces to a championship puzzle. He came in for Dwight Howard off the bench and showed lots of promise.
I don't think he is worth the full $5.6 Million that has been thrown around by the Knicks, but he could fit into a lot of systems in the NBA. Look at the Raptors and Knicks as they play a European style of basketball that Gortat would fit in nicely with.
12. Stephen Curry Will Go To Golden State
Stephen Curry was one of the players I thought should have stayed another year in college to improve his game and rise his stock. The other two were Lawson and Green from North Carolina.
But Curry will be a lottery pick and the team that will pick him will be the Warriors. Curry's athleticism and deadly shooting would fit in nicely with the run and gun style of play Don Nelson uses there.
Curry and Ellis in the backcourt would give Oakland fans visions of the RUN TMC days.
11. The Thunder Will Be The Most Hyped Team Of The Summer
The Oklahoma City Thunder had a great end to their inaugural season in the Sooner state, and have the NBA's youngest roster. Their core players are all under 25 years of age and are all locks to be All-Star players.
With the third pick in the draft the Thunder will only get better and many analysts are already predicting a playoff berth. They will improve, but with the strength of teams in the West, they will likely fall short.
I expect them to fall the way of the Blazers and have an impressive season end with a average record then make their playoff appearance the next year.
10. A North Carolina Player Will Be Picked By The Bobcats
As we all know Michael Jordan is one of the main executives of the Bobcats and had a great college career at UNC. The Tar Heels have a reputation for taking care of their own and it would be no surprise if the core players on the Tar Heels NCAA Championship team are selected by the Bobcats.
My money is on Green as he is a small forward and the Bobcats already have plenty of depth at the guard position.
9. Shawn Marion Will Become A Free Agent
Shawn Marion has been bouncing around the league lately. Being traded from Phoenix to Miami and finally to Toronto. His contract is up this year and it looks like he will be packing his bags again.
The Raptors are blowing up the roster and Shawn Marion is a pricey veteran that the Raptors have no desire in having. Look for him to be on the move.
8. Ben Gordon Will Remain A Bull
Ben Gordon has been an enigma for most of his young career. While he is one of the game's elite scorers, he has yet to perform as a starter. He can be either Ray Allen or Dwight Howard for shooting abilities.
Ben Gordon is streaky and he is demanding more than he is worth at the moment. Until he performs as a starter he will not make the money he wants anywhere else. Expect him to re-sign to a short term deal as the Bulls can go over the cap to sign him.
7. Ricky Rubio Will Stay In Spain
This will happen for two reasons.
One, his family wants him to stay at home for another year from what I have gotten out of their comments. Secondly, the buyout being asked from his team is way too pricey for a team to pay in this economy.
How I feel about Rubio being taken advantage of is an article in itself, but NBA fans will likely have to wait another year before seeing the next Spanish superstar.
6. The WNBA Will Be A Laughing Stock
Not really a bold prediction, but the WNBA is basically a league for extreme feminists or degenerate gamblers. This league maybe has two years left in it which is sad because I am a fan of the athleticism the women bring to the table.
5. Blake Griffin Will Not Win Rookie Of The Year
Not really an offseason prediction, but Griffin is not the best player in the draft in my own opinion and will have trouble with the Clippers, who no matter how much talent they possess, always seem to lose.
On the other hand, the Clippers look great on paper and could be a dark horse to make the playoffs, but that would be thanks to Davis and Camby, Griffin will be the Mike Beasley of 2009.
4. Trevor Ariza and Lamar Odom Will Re-Sign
The Lakers have two free agents coming up and both had huge roles in their ride to the Championship.
Ariza is the story of the playoffs, he is a great defensive player and has developed a deadly jump shot that helped him turn into an NBA starter. If the Lakers do not re-sign Ariza their chances at repeating take a huge blow.
Lamar Odom loves L.A. and there is no way he is leaving sunny California, he is the Lakers X-Factor. Both these guys will remain Lakers and expect talk of a repeat throughout the summer.
3. Hedo Turkoglu Will Get Overpaid
Hedo Turkoglu is this era's Toni Kukoc, a good player who is not athletic enough to be an elite superstar, but is extremely valuable because of his height and ability to hit big shots.
In my opinion Hedo Turkoglu is not worth anything over the Mid-Level exception. He is definitely not a physical specimen, is getting older, and makes no effort to stay healthy considering his horrible routine of eating pizza before games.
The Magic already have Rashard Lewis who is better than Hedo and is overpaid already, so what would be the point of giving Hedo big money this offseason.
The Magic will re-sign him though as they believe they have a good thing going with their Finals appearance as evidence. It just seems that Turkoglu is an overrated player.
2. Chris Bosh Will Be The Pickup Of The Summer
Chris Bosh is one of the NBA's most underrated players and has the ability to become a superstar if placed in a big market on a contending team.
Bosh knows this and has made it clear that he will not sign an extension until his contract is up next year. Giving many Raptors fans a feeling that he is on his way out of Toronto.
The Raptors would be wise to get something for Bosh before their hand is forced like the Vince Carter situation. My money is a trade with Chicago for Ben Gordon and Tyrus Thomas.
This would work out great for both sides as the Bulls get out of overpaying Ben Gordon and the Raptors get a shooting guard and another hard playing post player, two of their main needs.
The Raptors could then take another post in the draft and have an athletic, young team to build on for the future.
1. Shaq Will Stay In Phoenix
Shaquille O'Neal has been at the center of most of the trade talk lately and this time it is to Cleveland to partner up with LeBron James and help them win an NBA title.
This trade does not seem like a good idea for both teams as the only player the Cavs could give to match salaries would be Ben Wallace, who is not the player he used to be.
Also Shaq and Big Z would slow down Cleveland's offense to a crawl. The only incentive for this trade would be they would have a player to matchup with Dwight Howard, but I do not see the Magic contending with the Cavs next year.
Shaq will stay in Phoenix and they will make the playoffs one more time next year and the Cavs will once again finish first in the East.
So there you have it, Fifteen predictions for the NBA offseason. Disagree? Post a comment as I read and reply to all comments and we can have a little debate
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