Since mock drafts are make believe anyway, let’s pretend the Cardinals convince a veteran quarterback to sign this offseason because Larry Fitzgerald is coming back. If those two things happen, general manager Steve Keim could stick to his motto of best player available. In this case, it’s Ward by a long shot.
This is another best player available scenario, and Ridley would arguably fill Baltimore’s biggest need on offense. Ridley could help rejuvenate the career of Joe Flacco because he’s such a dependable pass-catcher.
Here is back-to-back Alabama players in a draft where the Crimson Tide could have another double-digit draft class. An interior defensive lineman is the biggest need this offseason for the Chargers, and Payne is a player who should be able to make a difference early in his career.
The fact that Ball didn’t score another point in the quarter didn’t prevent his fingerprints from being all over the game. Terrified of him getting open again, the Knicks sent two defenders at him on the next offensive possession, paving the way for Ball to set Lopez up perfectly for a 3-pointer when he popped to the perimeter. The Lakers ran another pick-and-pop between Ball and Lopez, although this time the Knicks had Courtney Lee leave Caldwell-Pope on the opposite wing to help out. Lopez drew both Kanter and Lee out to the perimeter with a pump fake and set Caldwell-Pope up with a wide open 3-pointer that he ended up missing.
Still, it’s beneficial as NBA watchers to keep in mind this is a 20-year-old playing at the deepest position in the league.
[Ball] is a poised young man that has a lot of confidence in himself, Lakers guard Isaiah Thomas said. Any type of situation he’s in, he has the same mentality — you never see him too high or too low, and that is a trait you can’t teach.
If LeBron James and/or Paul George decide to come to Los Angeles, then the Lakers can make it happen, but they can hold to something akin to a max guys or nothing stance and simply re-enter the bidding in 2019 when Jimmy Butler, Klay Thompson and possibly Kawhi Leonard will be on the market. It would also be much less onerous to either trade or stretch Deng at that point, paralleling his former teammate Joakim Noah’s situation in New York without as much urgency to finalize the separation now.