NBA PACIFIC DIVISION OFFSEASON ROLL CALL

In the wake of the Raptors victory over the Warriors to move up 3-1 in the series, with the Warriors on the brink of losing, the question is now being posed that was seemingly a forgone conclusion a month ago, will Kevin Durant consider staying?

Could Golden State do what they did last time they lost in the finals, sign Kevin Durant? Its been thought since the all star break, if not all season by most, that Durant would be looking for new opportunities after this season. Him staying put would put the kibosh on the plans of a few franchises and keep the Warriors dynasty on life support.

All these questions will be answered soon enough as the off season is now rapidly approaching. Draft night is 12 days away, which normally is the unofficial, official start of the NBA summer. This year I expect that it’ll kick off with the inevitable trade of Anthony Davis, which should come a few days before the draft.

Below you’ll find the bare bones on what each team is working with. If every player with an opt out clause exercised it, this is what the teams have for the foundation for their 2019-2020 seasons. It feels like 90% of the league is a free agent this year. There will be a few dramatically changed rosters this year, especially with the Warriors potentially giving up the throne, and the reign of Lebron at an end. More than a few execs will see that as the chance to make their move.

GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS

RETURNING PLAYERS:

  • Steph Curry
  • Draymond Green
  • Andre Igoudala
  • Shaun Livingston
  • Damien Jones
  • Jacob Evans
  • Alfonzo McKinnie

DRAFT PICKS:

  • 1st Round Pick #28
  • 2nd Round Pick #58

COACH:

  • Steve Kerr

The Warriors roster was never exceptionally deep to begin with, their bench used to be keyed by a younger Andre Igoudala, Shaun Livingston, and since retired David West. Then they started to get contributions from young guns like Jordan Bell, Patrick McCaw, Kevon Looney and Quinn Cook. Then injuries set in, and those late first rounders, undrafted pick ups, and second rounders became starters and heavy rotation players. Which was fine because they were being led by a healthy Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, and Klay Thompson. Then Durant got hurt, Thompson was banged up, Igoudala was hanging on by a thread, and Livingston clearly moved past his prime (or his second wind prime), and the end is now near. Durant, Cousins, Thompson, and Looney are all free agents. Its been presumed Durant has one foot out the door, and that Cousins will move on after a one year attempt at a ring in favor of $$$ pastures. Thompson likely returns, at which point the team will be capped out. Igoudala will be another year older, and Livingston could retire. Even if he does the team is capped out. A squad led by Curry, Thompson, and Green is still a contender, but they’d be in the fray, no longer sitting upon the mountain top.

Lou Williams

LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS

RETURNING PLAYERS:

  • Danilo Gallinari
  • Lou Williams
  • Montrezl Harrell
  • Shai Gilgeous Alexander
  • Jerome Robinson
  • Landry Shamet
  • Sindarius Thornwell
  • Tyrone Wallace

DRAFT PICKS:

  • 2nd Round Pick 48
  • 2nd Round Pick 56

COACH:

  • Doc Rivers

Thought to be the prime contenders for Kawhi Leonard’s services, they’re also positioned to bring in a big time sidekick, and have said to have at least kicked the tires on Anthony Davis. I’m not sure what they could offer if Shai Gilgeous Alexander is off the table, as he is said to be. Gallinari is a capable scorer, but is best served as sidekick, or even better, 3rd option scorer. Lou Williams is the modern day Vinnie Johnson, and Harrell is a tough banger capable of putting up 20/20 nights. On top of the 3 vets, the Clippers also have high hopes for Gilgeous-Alexander, and Landry Shamet. For that matter its not like anyone sane is ready to label Boston College’s Jerome Robinson a bust yet. The Clippers have a talented, smart front office. A steady hand coaching, and a solid core with the ability to significantly add via free agency.

SACRAMENTO KINGS

RETURNING PLAYERS:

  • Marvin Bagely III
  • Bogdan Bogdanovic
  • Nemanja Bjelica
  • De’Aaron Fox
  • Buddy Hield
  • Yogi Ferrell
  • Harry Giles
  • Caleb Swanigan
  • Frank Mason
  • BJ Johnson

DRAFT PICKS:

  • Second Round Pick #40
  • Second Round Pick #47
  • Second Round Pick #60

COACH:

  • Luke Walton

The Kings are bursting at the seems with young athletic talent. They do have some free agent decisions to make as 2019 trade deadline acquisition Harrison Barnes will likely opt out. Along with him, Alec Burks, Willie Cauely Stein, and Kosta Koufos as all free to walk as well. Should they all leave, the Kings would be positioned to have a max contract slot. Its most likely that Barnes re-signs, and it wouldn’t shock if Cauley-Stein returned. As much potential as Harry Giles has, it would be foolish to actually count on his contributions given his lengthy injury history. This year really feels like a make or break season for Giles. The back court is on the verge of being talked about with the best of them as Fox is lightning quick, and Hield can rain down a barrage of threes at any time. Toss in Bogdanovic’ emerging scoring presence and potential stardom of Marvin Bagley and the Kings are about to announce their presence with authority, Nuke LaLoosh style.

Lebron James Lakers

LOS ANGELES LAKERS

RETURNING PLAYERS:

  • Lebron James
  • Lonzo Ball
  • Brandon Ingram
  • Moritz Wagner
  • Kyle Kuzma
  • Josh Hart
  • Isaac Bonga
  • Jermerrio Jones

DRAFT PICKS:

  • First Round Pick 4

Coach:

  • Frank Vogel

Magic Johnson abruptly left without telling anyone. Brandon Ingram has health issues. Lebron James missed extended time due to injury for the first time and their draft pick landed at 4 in a draft where the top tier is believed to end at 3. The Lebron Lakers are in win now mode. The Ingram/Lonzo Lakers are a few years away. Which way will they go. The rumors persist that the Lakers are not the anticipated destination for any of the premier free agents. Do they sit tight, use the 4th pick to add to their young core, and see if they can develop quickly enough to give Lebron support before his distinguished career comes to an end? Or do they flip some of these assets for players under contract? Bradley Beal? Mike Conley? Kevin Love? DeMar DeRozan? Another summer of the status quo will see others move past them in the Western Conference pecking order.

PHOENIX SUNS

RETURNING PLAYERS:

  • Devin Booker
  • TJ Warren
  • DeAndre Ayton
  • Josh Jackson
  • Mikal Bridges
  • De’Anthony Melton
  • Elie Okobo
  • Ray Spalding
  • Jimmer Fredette

DRAFT PICKS:

  • First Round Pick 6
  • Second Round Pick 32

COACH:

  • Monty Williams

The baseline for the Suns seems to be in place. They have a potentially dynamic duo in Devin Booker paired with DeAndre Ayton. Mikal Bridges feels like a potentially outstanding 3rd piece, and I am certainly not ready to throw in the towel on Josh Jackson just yet. 2018 second rounder Elie Okobo showed flashes, but it does feel like the team needs a franchise point guard. Will that come with their first round pick, #6? Vanderbilt’s Darius Garland or North Carolina’s Coby White may be available. Do they use #6 for the best pick available and look to add a ring leader via free agency? These are the questions that need to be answered this summer.

 

  • Written by Jason Sullivan
  • Find us on Twitter at @TopDucker or on Facebook at You’re Ducking Right
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