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Barstool Basketball Mailbag: Eastern Conference Guards, Duke Starters, Knicks Roster & More

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Basketball is a year round sport, so due to that we’re going to do a year round mailbag. We’re still going to run this every Friday like we do during the season, but we’ll be talking about college hoops, transfers, NBA Draft, NBA and recruiting questions. That’s right you get an NBA and college hoops mailbag all rolled into one every Friday. Reminder you can always submit questions on Twitter @barstoolreags

Yeah, I think Bolden starts the season at the five spot for Duke. They are in a bit of a weird spot there as there’s not a whole lot of depth. K does prefer to always play at least one traditional post player, when you look at Bagley/Carter, Jefferson, Okafor, Plumlee, etc. No matter how small they go, there’s always that traditional post player, just something that K always prefers. The question will be 1) can Bolden stay healthy and 2) just how good is he? We’ve never really gotten to see Bolden play a bunch of meaningful minutes and now he’s going to be a key part for this Duke roster. I still want to see them go super small and run Jones/O’Connell/Reddish/Barrett/Zion just for how fun that will be. I almost think that will be their best lineup as well.

Yeah, I’m looking forward to this. There are so many personalities in that locker room and now you add Dwight Howard? There will be fireworks. Now, I will say this. Dwight was actually good last year in Charlotte and proved he still has a spot in the NBA. I mean, yeah, this could workout, but I still think there’s some massive holes in the lineup. But, Dwight has a spot setting the high screen for Wall and diving to the rim. I mean, I don’t think they are favorites to win the East or anything like that, but they can win a playoff series.

Yeah, I still want to see them play together before I put them ahead of the other two. But, the backcourts in the East, especially these three are really good. Now as for the who is the best, it’s Oladipo or Wall for me. Trying to avoid recency bias with Wall being hurt last year and Oladipo being so damn good is tough to do. So I’ll go with this list:
1. John Wall
2. Victor Oladipo
3. Bradley Beal
4. Kyle Lowry
5. DeMar DeRozan
6. Tyreke Evans

Yeah, I think he’ll be fine translating to the NBA. He’s athletic enough to defend multiple positions and has good size to play both on or off the ball. That’s the key for him – is his versatility. He can be a secondary ball handler and set up teammates or he can be the scorer. I think he’s a perfect fit coming off the bench for the Jazz during his rookie year and then pairing him with Mitchell in the backcourt. He’s going to continue to be a pain in the ass, but he’ll be fine.

None. If I thought someone outside of the top-25 would make a run, I’d have them in the top-25. Now, obviously that can change once we see games being played and how the teams look, but I don’t see anyone outside of the top-25 making a run.

So the Knicks are currently at 18 players under contract if I saw and read correctly. They can have 20 during the preseason but need to be at 17 when the season starts. I think the somewhat obvious choice here (assuming there’s no trade) is you cut Ron Baker. That wing spot is the most crowded and he’s probably the one you have to cut if you can’t trade Lee or anything like that.

I mean it helps a little but one of the biggest myths is that a big season all of a sudden moves you up a bunch of draft spots. We just talked about Grayson Allen – who struggled this past season and he went 21. Then you look at someone like Trevon Bluiett who was an All-American and went undrafted. Just how successful your college season is doesn’t hold a bunch of weight. Scouts look at games, not stats. As for Jalen Adams, I’m not sure what his outlook is as a NBA prospect.

I think that whole locker room is a mess right now. I mean if you’re KAT, are you thrilled with the way Thibs is using you? I know I wouldn’t be. Plus, what are they trying to do here? The signings just haven’t made a bunch of sense and they don’t really seem to have a sense of direction. So, yeah, I believe there is some sort of beef there between pretty much everyone. I also think Butler’s camp may have leaked the information and starting to put it out there that him and Kyrie want to play together. Look around the league, next summer is set up to be an absolutely wild one with more teams with cap space and a lot of people one 1-year deals.

Great question. We don’t have a lot of options as there’s not a lot of guys to hate like we had with Grayson. I mean look at the guys who are returning – Carsen Edwards, Luke Maye, Ethan Happ, the Martin twins, etc. No one there is really easy to hate. The key is to be on a good team too. Part of me thinks it could just be Kyle Guy from Virginia. I wish he still had the manbun.

Yeah, the Sexton loss is huge obviously but one of the names that seems to be getting lost in transfer talk is Tevin Mack. I think Alabama should be right around where they were last year as an 8/9 seed. The SEC is deep again this year so they’ll rack up some losses, but that team with Mack/Jones/Ingram/Petty is a real solid core. They should be a tournament team.

Yeah, I mean, they are a consensus top-20 team, which is fine. The question is will they even player defense. They have the talent with Kris Wilkes and Jayeln Hands – even though they lost Thomas Welsh and Aaron Holiday. They will look to get up and down the court, but if they can put together spots they’ll potentially be a top-10 team. So I disagree about the lack of love, they should be somewhere in that 15-20 range to start. Show you can defend and expectations go up. But, the core of Wilkes/Hands/Ali is a good start.