With NBA Draft day on June 22 quickly approaching, members of the talented 2017 draft class have limited opportunities left to prove they are worth a first-round selection.
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While top players like Markelle Fultz, Jayson Tatum, Josh Jackson and Lonzo Ball are likely locks for top-five picks in some order, pre-draft workouts and interviews will still be valuable for many with questions left to answer. Here’s how version 7.0 of Sporting News’ Big Board prospect rankings looks with less than a month to go until NBA commissioner Adam Silver starts announcing draft picks.
Because of the luxury tax, the Cavs have very limited ability to add much in the offseason. They’ll need to find veteran players willing to give up some money to sign small, one-year deals in order to have a chance at a championship. Allen might well stay put in Memphis, but he would be perfect off the bench for the Cavs, providing a defensive weapon against a wing star like Durant who could give James a break. Tucker would add some depth to that fight.
Cleveland also has a question at backup point guard, where Deron Williams was erratic in the postseason. They might not be able to get much better than Williams if he is willing to stay, but a guy like Darren Collison could be a fit if they move on. There will be talk about possible trades of Kevin Love, but that remains a long shot.
James worked on his eighth straight season of leading the NBA in VORP (value over replacement player), while Wade needed help to add to his previous King-less ring. They were 1-2 for Miami in both points and assists while also playing terrific defense. They came through in a tough pair of NBA Finals battles with the Thunder and Spurs with James leading as series MVP twice.
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For all the heat James got for wanting to play with Wade and Chris Bosh, the level of individual results that added up to ultimate team success lived up to expectations in Miami.