Welcome to the Tuesday edition of The Cooler, where I’m just thankful someone is thinking of the brands. Let’s get to it:
*The NBA Draft is a little over two weeks away. I wish I could tell you with some level of confidence what is going to happen — or at least which player the Wolves might take at No. 11 — but as ESPN’s Jonathan Givony smartly points out there are a number of factors that could make this year’s draft very unpredictable.
Among those factors: The drop-off after the presumed top three (Zion Williamson, Ja Morant and R.J. Barrett) is significant enough that the rest of the lottery could fall a lot of different ways. As a result, a lot of teams are talking about trading picks, which makes it even harder to pin down who will go where.
Add to that the record number of college underclassmen who have declared for the draft (88!) and the increasing secrecy of medical information … plus a relatively early draft (June 20 is the earliest since 1986, per ESPN) and you have even more volatility.
On the Wolves’ front, of course, there is a brand new basketball leadership team led by President Gersson Rosas. We can guess as to what he might value, but we don’t have much historical context.
All I can say with confidence right now is that if you are a Wolves fan, you should be prepared for just about anything — a trade up, a trade down, a trade for a player or standing pat while choosing either a college or international player.
*The absence of LeBron James and the injury to Kevin Durant have removed some of Nike’s biggest brands from the NBA Finals. Because, you see, it’s all about the brands. Meanwhile, Kawhi Leonard is suing Nike. As long as nobody’s shoe explodes, though, this won’t be the worst basketball PR disaster for the brand this year.
*After trotting out a flag bearing the logo corporate sponsor Enterprise Rent-A-Car during the presentation of the colors before their Game 3 blowout loss, the Blues did not bring the flag back out before their Game 4 win Monday over Boston.
I won’t do any better than the Deadspin caption, so I’ll leave it here: “The land of the free and the home of a range of stylish, functional, affordable vehicle options.”
*James Holzhauer, the Jeopardy! machine who won nearly $2.5 million … finally lost? Yeah. But he was really funny about it!