Lopez experienced a lot during his time with the Nets. He went from playing in front of a passionate fan base in New Jersey to playing in front of an initially unenthusiastic hipster crowd in Brooklyn. He saw the franchise go from mid-seed playoff contender to embarrassingly bad lottery squad. His name was in trade rumors no matter how the team was doing.
Almost half of Russell’s shots have come from midrange, a high number for a perimeter player, per Cleaning The Glass. Russell has a habit of gaining inside position with a shifty move, and then giving the advantage right back by slowing down, picking up his dribble and bricking a fading midranger:
When he came out of the NCAA racket, scouts feared Russell lacked the athleticism to get to the rim and finish. That was mostly true in his first two seasons. He has solved the finishing part so far in Brooklyn — Russell has hit 69 percent in the restricted area, an elite number — but he’s not getting there nearly enough. Brooklyn scores at a league-worst level when Russell runs the show solo, without Spencer Dinwiddie at his side, per NBA.com. Let’s not mention his defense.
Russell is still so young, and point guards develop in fits and starts. That same instinct to slow down with the ball serves Russell well when he uses it to pin defenders on his hip, keep his dribble alive, and probe. He has good vision, and projected before this season as someone who could hit pull-up 3s.
The Texans have more than $56 million of cap space, and they need to spend most of it to fill holes on both sides of the ball. Houston doesn’t have a first- or second-round pick in the draft, so the team will need to address its glaring needs along the offensive line and in the secondary through free agency. The Texans might not have to spend much to keep any of their own players, so expect most of it to go to external options. — Sarah Barshop
Talent like Kirk Cousins doesn’t hit the open market all that often. The Vikings need to shoot their shot to land the quarterback, but even if they get outbid, they’ll need to play their cards right with Case Keenum, Teddy Bridgewater or Sam Bradford and work out a deal to re-sign one (or more). With roughly $57 million in available cap space, the Vikings can be as aggressive as they want when looking for a quarterback.