NBA’s Warriors envy turns offseason into fantasy sports for teams … – Sporting News

The NBA offseason has become even more enthralling than the actual games.

Monotony and predictability are two things that can easily describe the NBA regular season, but the offseason is vastly different. During the offseason, teams have a chance to be good. And Thursday’s NBA Draft has already sparked some interesting rumors to match an early trade that moved Philadelphia up to the No. 1 overall pick.

Every indication points to the 76ers selecting point guard Markelle Fultz with the top pick. Fultz could be the final piece needed to once again make Philadelphia competitive.

But that trade just scratched the surface of possibilities this offseason. The Celtics, who traded with the 76ers, currently will pick third overall. There is still uncertainty regarding which player they covet, or if they will even pick at three.

Teams such as the Bulls and Knicks have been rumored to be interested in Kansas small forward Josh Jackson, and Jackson, based on his lack of workouts, seems uninterested in Boston.

If a team really likes Jackson, they could move an asset to jump up and get him. This could be a perfect opportunity for Chicago to trade Jimmy Butler to Boston.

The Knicks are still a mess. Carmelo Anthony’s situation seems unresolved, and now, for some reason, Kristaps Porzingis is reportedly on the trading block. Moving up to No. 3 would be nice for the Knicks, who would likely take Jackson or Kentucky point guard De’Aaron Fox, but not at the expense of Porzingis.

Then there is a the Paul George situation. The Pacers star will be a free agent in 2018, and has already informed Indiana he will leave the team. The Lakers have emerged as his favorite, and they may even trade for George prior to next season.

Lurking in the shadows of almost every scenario is the Cavaliers, who desperately want to win another championship next season. Cleveland just let general manager David Griffin go, which has fans worried LeBron James will now leave when he becomes a free agent next year.

In the meantime, George and Butler have been heavily linked to a move to Cleveland with Kevin Love’s name being floated around as trade bait.

Once the dust settles, and the moves are made, will it even matter? Will anyone be able to compete with the Warriors next season?

The Spurs, who seem interested in Porzingis, and have been linked with pending free agent Chris Paul, would certainly be upgraded with those two moves, but wouldn’t have the chemistry of Golden State.

The Cavs are in a tenuous state trying to balance James’ situation. Cleveland is stuck in between wondering if it should try to win now, or keep an eye on building for the future.

Boston remains the most dangerous long-term threat to Golden State with a collection of solid veterans and high draft picks. But this is a pivotal offseason for the Celtics. They need to get another star.

Rumor season is certainly fun in sports, especially the NBA these days, yet it seems as though the Warriors will still be on top once everything is figured out in the next couple weeks.

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