While you wallow in sadness as the NBA season comes to an end, remember this: the offseason is jam-packed with twists that would make M. Night Shyamalan jealous. When all is said and done, the NBA offseason is just like your favorite soap opera, only with real people. Here are ten fearless predictions for the next three months:
1. Paul George Will Be Traded to the Lakers
Paul George has not been shy about his opinion on rocking the purple and gold. The Palmdale, CA (about 60 miles north of the Staples Center) native grew up as a Laker fan, but more importantly wants to play for a contending team. The Lakers are one elite veteran away from returning to the playoffs, and with the No. 2 pick in this year’s draft, the Lakers will probably select point guard Lonzo Ball from UCLA, giving them the luxury to trade D’Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson, and other assorted assets for a dominant player like George. PG-13 is a superstar small forward who not only can carry a team offensively, but is also a top-notch perimeter defender.
2. Chris Paul Will Sign with San Antonio
CP3 has played for two franchises and has yet to make it out of the second round of the playoffs. He also has a reputation for not showing up in big games. As an unrestricted free agent, we see Paul opting for a change of scenery that’s, well, less colorful. With Tony Parker being old and recovering from a ruptured quad, Pop is in need of another floor leader. CP3 brings the kind of vocal leadership the Spurs are lacking, and it would be his first real chance to make a title run. Would we bet our lives on this happening? No. The Clippers are still probably the favorite to sign him, but for the first time, CP3 to the Spurs feels like it could really happen, and the momentum will just keep growing. CP3 and Kawhi would make a sick 1-2 two-way duo.
3. Gordon Hayward Will Sign with the Celtics
The Utah Jazz did an outstanding job sculpting Hayward like the famous Statue of David, yet all of that will be for nothing if he chooses to flourish and grow as a Celtic. Hayward’s best move would be to reunite with his college coach, Brad Stevens, in Boston. The Celtics need another consistent scorer who comes in with size. Sorry, Isaiah Thomas, but being the height of a leprechaun, even as a Celtic, doesn’t bring luck in the NBA. Hayward would give the Celtics a second player to create offense with the ball in his hands, something they desperately need. He also moves Jae Crowder to the bench, where he belongs.
4. Blake Griffin Will Stay Right Where He Is
The Kardashians have a better chance of voluntarily leaving TV than Blake does of leaving LA. He’s become accustomed to the LA lifestyle and has built a family here in La La Land. The Clippers can also offer him a max contract to continue performing his highflying act at Cirque du Sol…. err Staples Center. This isn’t the best move for the Clippers, but it will be a desperation move to keep an overrated All-Star in white, red, and blue.
5. Kyle Lowry Will Replace Chris Paul
Lowry has been disappointing in the playoffs, which would make his signing with the Clippers a perfect match. He opted out of his player option to test the free market, and if Chris Paul signs with San Antonio, the Clippers are going to need a replacement. An All-Star like Paul, Lowry has more playoff experience, having made it to the Eastern Conference Finals. His scoring mentality would be the perfect replacement for CP3. Also, if Paul ends up staying in LA, Lowry would be a great fit in San Antonio.
6. Paul Millsap Will Sign with Milwaukee
Since Millsap has elected to become a free agent this offseason, he will have the luxury of signing anywhere he wants. This is as bold a prediction as any, but Paul Millsap will sign with the Milwaukee Bucks. It makes the most sense for both parties because the Bucks need a true low-post scorer, and it allows superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo to move down to a more natural position at small forward. Yes, the Bucks have a small forward in Jabari Parker, but in light of Parker’s two knee injuries, Millsap brings more sustainability and more firepower to the Bucks offense. Millsap can also shoot threes and guard multiple positions, so fitting him in positionally wouldn’t be impossible.
7. George Hill Will Sign with the Raptors
If Gordon Hayward moves on from the Mormon capital of the world, Hill will look to do the same. Without Hayward, the Jazz become a non-factor in the West yet again. This is the perfect time for Hill to move back to the Eastern Conference and fill the void in Toronto that could be left by Lowry. Hill has played for multiple playoff teams and becomes a reliable second option behind DeMar DeRozan. Plus, he doesn’t choke in the playoffs (he also isn’t good enough to get them anywhere, but that’s a different story altogether).
8. Patty Mills Will End Up in Dallas
Patty Mills has proven himself to be a solid player in the NBA, and just like Matthew Dellavedova from Cleveland, Mills could be lured away from Pappa Pop for big bucks and a starting role in…….Dallas. The Mavs are in need of a reliable starting point guard. While Devin Harris and J.J Barea are good, they’re well past their prime, and owner Mark Cuban has seen Mills enough times to make him an offer he wouldn’t refuse. Also, Mills would stay in Texas, where he won’t have to pay taxes on a big salary. We have Dallas grabbing Dennis Smith Jr. in our latest Mock Draft, but that wouldn’t necessarily prevent them from signing Mills as a mentor, especially if they move on from veterans like Barea and Harris.
9. Jeff Teague Will Stay Put
Indiana will lose Paul George, either this year or next. That’s looking like a given. So it’s in their best interest to keep Jeff Teague in Indiana and try their best to entice PG-13 to stay. You know, kind of like what Oklahoma City tried to do with Kevin Durant by signing Victor Oladipo. Teague had a very solid season this year and was even able to elevate his game in the playoffs. Granted, it was only for four games, yet the Pacers aren’t strapped for cash, so they’re likely to offer Teague a deal worth close to $20 million a year.
10. Serge Ibaka Will Stay in Toronto
Serge I-block-a is not one to chase money or titles. However, with his skills diminishing as he gets older, his market shrinks. Teams are hesitant to sign an aging veteran. Ibaka is a smart man so he’ll definitely cast his line and see what nibbles he can get, but ultimately his best deal most likely comes from the Raptors in the range of three to four years, worth around $18 million per campaign.