Since Thursday is the start of the 2017 NFL Draft, and because the NBA playoffs are in full swing, we got to thinking: Which professional basketball players could have had alternate lives as NFL stars?
Some of the answers are obvious, while others might leave you thinking twice. But either way, here are the 11 NBA superstars we'd love to see play in the NFL, plus their hypothetical positions on the football field.
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LeBron James: Tight end
LeBron at tight end is such a common thought that it borders on cliche at this point — and there's a reason for that. The 6-foot-8, 265-pound LeBron would be an absolute monster lined up on the end of the line.
He could use his massive frame to block in the run or pass, and he'd outleap every defensive back in the NFL for the easiest touchdown catches you'll ever see.
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James Harden: Quarterback
Kevin Love is the easy choice for QB, given his outlet passing, but we're not sure Love could stand in the pocket and take a repeated beating.
Harden, on the other hand, is an unselfish teammate who's used to contact; and he has a little bit of that Ben Roethlisberger body going on that should help keep him safe under center.
Plus, Harden can pull the ball down and take off if everyone's covered downfield.
John Wall: Running back/returner
Wall's the fastest player in the NBA, so we'd love to see him returning kicks and punts — and taking read-option handoffs from Harden in the backfield.
Isaiah Thomas is a solid option as a change-of-pace back, as well.
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Russell Westbrook: Safety
Although he's an offense-first player on the court, we'd want to unleash Westbrook on defense on the gridiron.
Can you imagine the triple-double machine headhunting in the secondary, blitzing the QB and generally creating havoc all over the field? We can, and it's glorious.
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Kawhi Leonard: Cornerback
With his size, intelligence, speed and those ridiculously large hands, Leonard would shut down every top wide receiver in the NFL.
Leonard's reluctance to show any emotion whatsoever could be a problem, though, as cornerbacks tend to have a flair for the dramatic. We probably wouldn't see Kawhi high-stepping down the sideline after a pick-six.
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Giannis Antetokounmpo: Wide receiver
We're guessing most cornerbacks would surrender upon seeing a near-7-foot Greek Freak lined up across the line of scrimmage. How do you stop someone whose arms extend from one end zone to the other?
DeMarcus Cousins: Defensive end
We're going to let Boogie release all the pent-up anger he accumulated in Sacramento (and maybe even in New Orleans this year) by telling him one simple truth:
The quarterback must go down, and he must go down hard.
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Jimmy Butler: Linebacker
Butler would need to add quite a bit of bulk to play on the defensive front seven, sure, but he basically plays middle linebacker for the Bulls already. He'd be right at home acting as the heart and soul of a defensive unit...
Bogut was the king of setting illegal screens when he was with the Warriors. Put him on a football field, where most of that contact is not only allowed but also encouraged, and he might open up holes big enough for Shaquille O'Neal to run through.
Wait, can we bring Shaq out of retirement as an offensive lineman, too?