Solid guy and I had to keep Kristian from drafting Tim Hardaway Jr. with our first pick.

Kristian: The George Hill pick made sense for our first selection. Here is a veteran leader, competitor, a two-way player and stability at the most important position in basketball. We couldn’t risk letting Seattle get him.

Whitney: Taking Hill first sets the tone of the team. Solid guy and I had to keep Kristian from drafting Tim Hardaway Jr. with our first pick.

Keep in mind that Towns is eligible for an extension next summer that would kick in for the 2019-20 season. Butler can opt out in 2019 and sign a fatter deal. Depending on cap growth and All-NBA berths, he could double his salary. This is all going to pinch Minnesota hard, especially if Glen Taylor remains the owner.

Taylor hasn’t paid luxury tax in a decade. In fairness, Minnesota has been mediocre or worse for more than a decade. There hasn’t really been an opportunity. But it’s unclear how much management will be willing to shell out given its market size.

Let’s point out that Wiggins’ contract isn’t by default the problem here, just as Towns’ contract wouldn’t be the problem in 2019. The $36 million committed to Gibson, Gorgui Dieng, and Cole Aldrich in 2018-19 is a much bigger deal — that’s a third of the salary cap sheet dedicated to rotation big men who can essentially never share the court. You can’t pay two Towns caddies and a back-up that much money when your young Online Cheap Jerseys stars start to get paid at market rate.

Gibson and Aldrich come off the books before Towns’ new deal will kick in (barring extensions), but 2018-19 — with Wiggins’ pay raise — will be awful sticky. This situation also makes one raise an eyebrow at the Rubio trade followed by the Teague signing. Rubio was much, much more affordable than Teague, and quite possibly Patriots Cheap Jerseys a better fit for the roster as a pass-first defender.

7 LeBron James trade ideas for the most untradeable player of all time

During a quiet moment on a nondescript offseason night, NBA finals MVP Kevin Durant and advertising-copywriter-turned-moderately-successful-rapper NFL Cheap Jerseys Nike Lil’ Dicky engaged in a casual conversation about the Cavaliers possibly trading LeBron James. It was civil, sincere, and engaging; a total rarity for Twitter.

The conversation was topical in that LeBron is a free-agent-to-be who’s reportedly frustrated with the Cavaliers’ dysfunction. It was also a complete fantasy because LeBron James cannot be traded — legally because he has a no-trade clause and functionally because no team would ever trade LeBron freakin’ James.

Still, it got us thinking: What if the Cavaliers actually could trade LeBron and decided they needed to do so? What could possibly be fair value for the greatest basketball player of this generation?

The biggest question in all of this is how good a Butler-Towns-Wiggins-Teague team can be in the Western Conference. Some analysts are suggesting a low-end playoff berth is in the cards. Some are predicting an even better result.

The truth is likely somewhere in the middle: the Wolves don’t quite have the depth to hit 55 wins, but this isn’t merely a .500 team with Butler and the ascendant Towns. Given health and a reasonably smooth transition for Butler — who has the benefit of linking up with the coach under whom he found his stardom — the Wolves should find themselves in the 45- to 48-win range.

In terms of the salary cap sheet, the Wolves are already in a sticky situation. A max contract for Wiggins would put the 2018-19 Wolves near the expected luxury tax threshold without accounting for Nemanja Bjelica, who will be a Nike NFL Jerseys Cheap restricted free agent in 2018.

Here were the NBA Christmas Day games we wanted

How do you know you’re not a kid anymore? When you stop waking up at 7 a.m. on Christmas Day, eager to sprint downstairs to tear apart wrapping paper clinging to your presents, and instead roll out of bed a couple hours before noon, killing time before the five-game slate of NBA games that happens each and every Buy Cheap Jerseys year.

The league displayed the Timberwolves last year, and showcasing them again with Jimmy Butler in tow would have made even more sense. The Los Angeles rivalry and the Cavaliers vs. Warriors showdown are both inevitable, we’re betting. UPDATE: Guess not on the LA showdown! No Clippers!

There are few surprises in terms of who will be getting national TV games: plenty of action on ABC, ESPN, and TNT for the Warriors, Cavaliers, Rockets, Thunder, Celtics, and, uh, Lakers. Y’all really have to stop being surprised the Lakers are on TV so much: they draw, and as a Pacific Time Zone team they have the advantage of scarcity. Some West Coast team has to host late games. You can only give the Warriors, Clippers, and Blazers so many of them.

The 18-7 Sparks needed every bit of Johnson’s production against a 13-14 Wings squad that watched Candace Parker and Nneka Ogwumike score 21 points apiece. This was a huge win for the Wings as they are fighting for a playoff spot.

It was Toliver’s night to shine, as she tallied 20 points on 7-of-12 shooting to lead the Mystics to an 85-80 win over the Mercury. Toliver came up big down New Vikings Jerseys Cheap the stretch, scoring seven of Washington’s last 11 points, including a clutch step-back jumper to give the Mystics a three-point lead with 13 seconds left.

The Mystics now have a two game lead over the Mercury for the fourth seed in the WNBA Playoffs. They also play each of their next three games at home, since this was their first home game since the All-Star Break ended.