As more teams are eliminated from playoff contention, fans will undoubtedly turn some of their attention to this summer's free agent crop and draft, looking for a quick-fix that will land their team back in the playoffs next year. As a result, we are sure to see an increase in the publication of free agency and draft rankings. Let's look at a few lists here, as well as some other notes from around the league:
- Amin Elhassan, formerly of the Suns front office, ranks this summer's top 30 free agents for ESPN Insiders based on the average annual value (AAV) that he believes the player deserves. Among other things, Elhassan says that he considered the following factors: age, injury history, value of recent comparable player contracts, irreplaceability of skill set, contribution to winning, history of production, fit with style and culture, marketability and current cap situation.
- Also from ESPN, Israel Gutierrez and a panel from the TrueHoop Network break down how some of the offseason's top free agents compare to one another. Of the five presented comparisons, the only consensus is that Brandon Jennings is more valuable than his teammate Monta Ellis.
- We saw a pair of underclassmen declare their intent to enter the draft earlier today. Jeff Goodman of CBS gives his take on which of the other underclassmen should follow suit. The players have until April 16 to reverse their declaration if they want to maintain their college eligibility. Also, Goodman links to his early entry tracker.
- Jonathan Givony tweets that his Draft Express Top 100 was updated today, with the players headed back to school removed. Hoops Rumors' Prospect Profile series page is sorted based on Givony's rankings, and should become more complete every week as we approach the June 27 draft date.
- David Aldridge of NBA.com gives his take on the point guards that will be available in June's draft, concluding that while there isn't a Kyrie Irving-type of star within the crop, there are plenty of solid pros available. The strength of this draft has consistently been downplayed throughout the year, but we are now starting to see more experts, like Aldridge, suggest that what it lacks in star power, the crop makes up for in depth.
- Joe Kotoch of Sheridan Hoops releases his first mock draft, projecting a top three of Nerlens Noel, Marcus Smart and Ben McLemore.
- There's uneasiness among executives regarding
the marketability of the NBA going forward, along with a "healthy"
level of doubt about incoming commissioner Adam Silver, according
to Ken Berger of CBSSports.com, who wonders
whether tanking and side stories are overshadowing the games.