With the NBA Draft in our rearview mirrors the focus for basketball fans throughout the remainder of the summer turns to the dealings of free agency.
Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders joined Carnahan Chronicles on AM 740 The Game to discuss a handful of topics from around the National Basketball Association.
Among those is a story he wrote about marque players choosing to leave the Wester Conference in favor of teams in the East in hopes of an easier path to the NBA Finals.
“I think it’s very possible that we’ll see players that are out West coming to the Eastern Conference, or free agents that are in the Eastern Conference staying out East, because players understand that the Western Conference is brutal right now. It’s hard to make a Finals run. You can be on a loaded team in the West and still miss the playoffs,” Kennedy said.
Kennedy touches on a handful of NBA topics throughout the segment with a focus on players and teams from both central Florida and northeast Ohio.
He talked about the kind of impact Croatia’s Mario Hezonja may have on the Orlando Magic as the No. 5 overall pick in the draft and what the Magic are expected to do with their roster this offseason.
While much is unknown about Orlando’s first international pick in 10 years, Kennedy said he had a league executive compare Hezonja’s skill set to that of Kobe Bryant. “I always hate comparing guys to legends like that, but I think his swagger and his scoring ability, and his ability to finish at the rim and knock down 3’s, has some executives drooling,” he said.
He also commented on which local NBA picks from the greater Orlando area – D’Angelo Russell (Ohio State) and Dakari Johnson (Kentucky) from Montverde Academy and Cady Lalanne (UMass) of Oak Ridge High School – landed in the best situation on draft day.
Russell went No. 2 overall to the Los Angeles Lakers while Johnson (No. 48 to Oklahoma City) and Lalanne (No. 55 to San Antonio) were each selected in the second round.
Kennedy rounded out the segment by giving his thoughts on free agency, most specifically what may transpire between free agent Kevin Love and the Cleveland Cavaliers.