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Villanova Wildcats in the NBA could be shuffling around as free agency approaches

Here’s who to keep an eye on before Monday’s opening bell.

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Happy Tuesday Nova Nation. With the NBA Draft behind us and teams starting to assemble their summer league teams, it’s time to take a look at which Wildcats could be on the move with free agency quickly approaching. Here’s a quick rundown on the names and places to keep an eye on:

Kyle Lowry: While Kawhi Leonard may be the face of the franchise (or at least the championship run), Lowry is the heart and soul of the Raptors. He’s entering the final year of his contract, and it’s doubtful that he gets moved coming off of a Championship. But this will be Lowry’s 14th season in the league, and it’s not unthinkable that by mid-season his expiring contract could be traded, or that next year he’s off to a new team through free agency.

Dante Cunningham: Cunningham just completed his 10th season in the NBA, as well as his contract with the San Antonio Spurs. He’s still a serviceable role player and veteran presence in the locker room, so the Spurs could bring him back on another 1-year deal. Otherwise, he’s an unrestricted free agent as of Monday.

Ryan Arcidiacono: News came out yesterday that despite drafting a PG with the 7th overall pick, the Bulls plan to give Arch a qualifying offer which would make him a restricted free agent and allow the Bulls to match any other offers he receives. This is great news for the backup point guard, as it looks like this news means he’ll likely be back in the windy city for another season.

Josh Hart: Hart was notably part of the blockbuster trade this season which sent him to New Orleans. Hart’s team option for 2019-20 was picked up (relatively low as a late first round pick) and the Pelicans will then have an option to extend him again in 2020-21. They’ll be able to make him a qualifying offer in 2021-22. The Pelicans have a ton of young talent right now, and almost all of them have yet to play a game in New Orleans. We’ll see how this season shakes out to see if Hart sticks with the organization.

Mikal Bridges: Bridges fell just short of making an All-Rookie team, and he was a bright spot in an otherwise not so great season for the Suns. With another year guarunteed on his rookie deal followed by two seasons of team options and then a qualifying offer in his 5th season, it’s safe to say that Bridges should be a part of the Suns for a while.

Donte DiVincenzo: Coming off a season plagued by injury, DiVincenzo is looking to bounce back in his 2nd NBA season. Like the rest of his teammates coming off rookie deals, he’s guaranteed this year, followed by two seasons of team options and then a qualifying offer. It’s unclear if DiVincenzo will participate in this year’s summer league, but those details should be out soon.

Omari Spellman: Like Josh Hart and the Pelicans, Spellman’s Atlanta Hawks have been acquiring a ton of young talent. Spellman had an up and down rookie year, but as a first round pick he’s still guaranteed this year, followed by two seasons of team options and then a qualifying offer. Reports are that he will be playing in Summer League, and should have a chance to have a Josh Hart-esque impact now that he has a year of playing at this level under his belt.

Jalen Brunson: Brunson is also entering the final garunteed year of his rookie deal, followed by two seasons of player options. But unlike his former teammates in the 2018 draft, he will be an unrestricted free agent in his 5th season. Brunson was arguably the steal of the draft last year, and even started several games for Dallas. It’s unlikely he’ll play in Summer League, and rather be focused on trying to secure that starting PG position to start the season.

In other “news”, we’re already mocking up the 2020 draft, a UConn invitation has officially been extended, and some Nova track stars are gearing up for the PanAm games. Enjoy!

Villanova Wildcats

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Three of the athletes qualified by winning their events at the USATF U20 Track and Field Championships -- Penn's Marc Minichello in the men's javelin and Mayyi Mahoma in the women's hammer throw, and Villanova's Lydia Olivere in the women's 3,000-meter steeplechase.

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