This summer hasn’t seen me at the movie theater.
I haven’t been to a professional ball game in my free time — only to cover J.A. Happ pitch for the New York Yankees against the Chicago White Sox.
Honestly, I haven’t even played much NBA 2K because of its lackluster servers.
What I have been doing over the summer, besides writing thousands of words a week, is paying close attention to the NBA offseason.
Wow, has it been entertaining.
Just to name a few: Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving to the Brooklyn Nets, Jimmy Butler to the Miami Heat. Kemba Walker to the Boston Celtics. Anthony Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers and Kawhi Leonard and Paul George to the Los Angeles Clippers.
I’m excited to see how Durant comes back after his Achilles injury.
Will Butler really be the guy and lead a team or does he turn out like Irving did in Boston and become labeled as just a stats guy — not a leader.
Plus, the battle in Los Angeles will be a captivating storyline as long as Davis and LeBron James are paired on the Lakers’ roster and the Clippers have Leonard and George.
This upcoming season might not be banner years for the top two attention grabbing storylines for me but seeds have been planted with 2016 Dixon graduate Isaiah Roby being selected in the 2019 NBA Draft and the next step of the Chicago Bulls rebuild.
Since Dixon is in the Big Northern Conference with Mendota and a Class 3A basketball school along with La Salle-Peru, I saw a lot of Roby games.
The 6-foot-8 small forward was forced to be the center for Dixon, but you could see his versatility and ability outside of the paint.
L-P coach Jim Cherveny and former players — Brady Huebbe, Christian Soderholm, Isaiah Tubbs, Ryan Atilano and company — should get cap tips or a head nods since the Cavaliers defeated Roby and Dixon for the 2015 Plano Christmas Classic 79-74 in a three overtime thriller and then eliminated Roby from the playoffs during his senior year with a 49-39 victory in the Class 3A Dixon Regional championship.
After bowing to the Cavs, Roby went on to the University of Nebraska where he played three solid seasons filled with many highlight reels before being drafted by the Detroit Pistons with the 45th pick in the second round and then traded to the Dallas Mavericks on draft night.
Although it is usually hard to say about guys selected in the second round, Roby has a future in the NBA.
In 2019, where a lot of organizations are using small-ball strategies and phasing out the big guy, Roby fits in perfectly because of his versatility and wide-range of skills.
The Dixon grad can shoot the 3-ball, he can score from mid range, he can dunk, he can handle the ball and his field goal and free throw percentages have always been high. Defensively, he can man the post since he did for most of his prep career, is a talented shot blocker and he can read the floor.
In three NBA Summer League games with the Mavericks, Roby had a stat line of 10 points, four rebounds, two blocks, an assist and a steal against Brooklyn on Friday. Saturday against the Houston Rockets, he scored 14 points, grabbed seven rebounds, dished three assists, snagged two steals and blocked two shots.
Roby followed with six points, four rebounds, two assists, a steal and a block Monday against the Sacramento Kings.
I’m excited to see what lies ahead for Roby in his rookie season and his NBA future.
Real quick about the Bulls — I’m happy with their offseason moves.
The draft went way better than I thought it would since Chicago went after its team needs and selected what looked like the best player available for the Bulls needs when they were on the clock.
Coby White, a 6-5 point guard from North Carolina selected No. 7 by Chicago, seems to be a better scorer, a better play maker and a better decision maker than Kris Dunn, who has been the Bulls starting PG for the last two years.
Although Dunn is a better defender, a revamped offense and someone to lead it is what the Bulls really need.
A White, Zach LaVine, Otto Porter, Larui Markkanen and Wendell Carter Jr. starting lineup could be very fun to watch and a step up from what we saw from the Bulls last season.
Also, I like where Chicago went with their 38th pick in the second round with 6-11 power forward Daniel Gafford from University of Arkansas.
He’s a big guy who can grab rebounds and finish around the hoop, which is exactly what the Bulls needed with no Bobby Portis, who also came from Arkansas.
I’ve read Oklahoma City star point guard Russell Westbrook could be headed to the Bulls, but I seriously hope he doesn’t.
With the players I’ve listed, the signings of 6-7 point guard-shooting guard hybrid Tomas Satoransky (Washington Wizards, John Wall’s backup) and 6-8 power forward Thaddeus Young (Indiana, helped the Pacers into the playoffs without Victory Oladipo), the Bulls have the pieces to get into the playoffs and develop as a team.
There is no reason to pay Westbrook — 30 with a history of knee issues — way too much money to not make enough difference with a young squad.
Chicago should be patient and wait for the right piece whether it’s at the draft or in a team-bettering trade.
Brandon LaChance is a NewsTribune Sports Writer. LaChance can be reached at 220-6995, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @NT_LaChance.