We have an opportunity for you to hit us up with your questions in this, our weekly mailbag feature. Have a question regarding player movement, the salary cap or the NBA draft? Drop us a line at HoopsRumorsMailbag@Gmail.com.
There’s no question it was time for a change in Detroit. The Pistons had stagnated under Stan Van Gundy, reaching the playoffs just once during his four seasons there. The addition of Casey, plus having Griffin for a full season, provides the feeling of a new era. LeBron James‘ departure from Cleveland could open up a playoff spot, and the Pistons will be among the best candidates to fill it. However, a deep postseason run doesn’t seem likely. With the Celtics, Sixers and Raptors looming as the best teams in the East, winning even one playoff series will be a challenge for Detroit.
It’s certainly possible. Noah will make $18.5MM this season and Deng is due $18MM, so salary matching wouldn’t be an issue. But would there be much of a point to a deal? The Lakers could use a veteran center, but it’s hard to see Noah filling that role after two disastrous seasons in New York. The Knicks would like another productive wing player, but Deng’s numbers weren’t good in 2016/17 before sitting out all but one game last season. Both teams will be focused on creating as much cap space as possible for next summer, so Noah and Deng will be stretch provision candidates regardless of which team they’re on.
Who are the top 10rookies from this year’s draft class? — Ferdinand Rivera, via Twitter
Rookies are unpredictable until the actual games start and we get a look at how they fare against NBA competition. Donovan Mitchell might have been a marginal top 10 pick if you had asked this question a year ago, and he wound up being the best player in his draft class. Luka Doncic will be a strong candidate for Rookie of the Year based on his performance in Europe and the Mavericks’ decision to give him control of their offense. The other top five picks — Deandre Ayton, Marvin Bagley, Jaren Jackson and Trae Young — should get plenty of playing time, while Wendell Carter, Collin Sexton and Kevin Knox all appear to be headed into good situations. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Lonnie Walker may join the list as well, but a lot depends on how many minutes their coaches give them.