The NBA Draft is almost here, less than a week away and teams are throwing up smokescreens left and right. It seems like Michael Porter could go anywhere from 2-10, same with Trae Young and further back wildcards like Elie Okobo could go anywhere from bottom 5 to just outside the lottery. That being said, there are a lot of teams who are going to be looking to trade up or down if they don’t like their spot.
The Clippers, Celtics, Hornets, Trailblazers, Sixers, Cavs, Kings, Grizzlies, Spurs, Mavs and the Hawks are all teams I could see shuffling up or down or in the case of the Celtics and Sixers trading for a star. Let’s go over some potential swaps.
Disclaimer: Most of these trades I have thought of organically or heard experts talking about it speculatively with little hope they will actually happen.
Clippers Receive Chandler Parsons, 4th Pick
Memphis Grizzlies Receive Tobias Harris, 12th Pick, Patrick Beverly
Grizzlies:The Grizzlies have made their intentions known, they want to win now. Tobias Harris is a young, talented player who has made big improvements every year he’s played. Patrick Beverly is one of the best defenders at the guard position in the league and the Grizzlies still get back a decent pick at 12 where they could fill out their roster with a nice three and d type player.
Clippers: The Clippers lose a talented player in Harris but enter the top 5 where the could potentially land a player like Luka Doncic, Michael Porter, Marvin Bagley III or Mohamed Bamba. If they make the right pick here they could have their next franchise player in the making and still have another pick in the lottery. Not a bad deal. They also drop an expiring contract in Beverly for value.
Celtics Receive 6th Pick
Orlando Receives Terry Rozier, 27th Pick
Celtics: They have shown interest in Mo Bamba, if he is still around at 6 this trade could be very possible. At the least Danny Ainge wants a spot in the top ten, and after Rozier greatly improved his value this season and is slated to be a free agent in 2019, this seems like the perfect time to capitalize.
Magic: Rozier is a great two way player no doubt, and he tore up the playoffs this year for the most part(except game 7 of the ECF) If Trae Young is off the board when their pick rolls around, the Magic may get desperate to find a point guard. Rozier is young and has potential star qualities that could really help the Magic get to the next level.
Atlanta Hawks Receive 4th Pick, Chandler Parsons
Memphis Grizzlies Receive Taurean Prince, 19th Pick, 30th Pick
Atlanta: The Hawks like Taurean Prince a lot, but having consecutive picks in the top five of a loaded draft would be insane. If Doncic falls to them they could end up with Doncic and Jaren Jackson or Bagley depending on how Sacramento picks. That’s huge, the chance of two top five picks busting would be pretty small and if the picks go right they could end up a contender in a few of years.
Grizzlies: Taurean Prince fills the need at wing for the Grizzlies and they could still find a few good fit players later on in the draft. More importantly it frees up the cap space for them to land a quality free agent.
Sixers Receive Kevin Love
Cavaliers Receive Dario Saric, 10th Pick, 26th Pick
Sixers: Kevin Love would fit in with the Sixers well. Offensively, Love, Simmons and Embiid would tower over most matchups they face. Love is a great shooter and would be able to space the floor well for Simmons and Embiid to go to work attacking the basket. If Lebron leaves Cleveland it may be enticing to play with love again, in a new city with two young superstars.
Cavaliers: If Lebron James leaves this may be the best option for the Cavs. They for sure will not be a contender this year without him. Kevin Love is their most trade-able asset and landing the 10th pick plus Saric who has developed into a great young player may be worth it.
Charlotte Hornets Receive 6th Pick, 2019 first round pick
Orlando Magic Receive Kemba Walker
Hornets: The Hornets could decide its time to rebuild, Kemba Walker is in a contract year and although his intentions are to resign as of this point, the Hornets could have other plans. If the front office sees the 6.7 or 8 seed as their ceiling with Walker it may be time to part ways. At 6 the Hornets could possibly take a high ceiling player who could dramatically help their franchise and still draft a great player at 11.
Magic: As stated before in this piece, the Magic need a point guard, preferably someone who can score. That’s Walker. What he lacks on the defensive end he makes up for with his effort and persistence. Surrounding him with Aaron Gordon and Jonathan Issac could potentially pay huge dividends.
Sacramento Kings Receive 5th Pick, Dallas Mavericks 2019 First Round Pick
Dallas Mavericks Receive 2nd Pick
Kings: The Kings have shown interest in Michael Porter Jr. If they are serious about him chances are they could pick him up later in the lottery. The 2019 pick will make up for the one the Celtics own in next years draft.
Mavericks: If the Mavericks are choosing a win now approach, this is the way to do it. Taking a high ceiling high floor player like Doncic will pay off immediately. With Dennis Smith Jr and Doncic in the backcourt, good things will happen.
Philadelphia 76ers Receive, Kawhi Leonard, Derrick White
San Antonio Spurs Receive Markelle Fultz, Dario Saric, Tj McConnell, Jerryd Bayless, 10th overall pick
Spurs: This is an interesting trade for the Spurs, sure they don’t get an all star in return for their top five player but they get nice building blocks. Is there a better person to help Markelle Fultz become a better shooter than Chip Engelland? Could Dario flourish under Pop? There is a bit of uncertainty in those questions but I’m leaning towards yes.
Sixers: This trade is a no brainer for the Sixers if they can sign Kawhi long term. Sure they will miss Saric and wonder what could of been with Fultz but Kawhi Leonard is a top five player. He instantly makes them a viable contender and will certainly attract the likes of Paul George and Lebron.
Celtics Receive Kawhi Leonard
Spurs Receive Gordon Hayward, 27th Pick ,2019 Sacramento Kings Pick
Celtics: Could you imagine throwing Kawhi Leonard into that starting lineup? Kyrie and Kawhi on any team is a deep playoff team. Yes losing Hayward after he only played 5 minutes for the team would be sad( and funny) but the Celtics could create a dynasty with the talent on that team.
Spurs: This might make the most sense for the Spurs, getting an All Star back for Kawhi is ideal. The Sacramento pick could be top 5 and will most likely be a lottery pick. This still gives the Spurs a chance to be relatively competitive and still focus on their future.
Sixers Receive Cj McCollum
Trailblazers Receive Markelle Fultz, 10th Pick, Robert Covington
Sixers: CJ McCollum is an offensive weapon, he can create his own shots and will make life much easier for Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. Philadelphia needs another scorer, too many times in the postseason were they stagnant on offense for stretches. CJ would help solve that problem. A starting 5 of Simmons, Saric, McCollum, Embiid and Redick would offensively dominate.
Trailblazers: There were rumors that the Blazers wanted to “blow it up” after getting swept by the Pelicans. Adding Fultz, Covington and the tenth pick could end up being a steal. Covington a respectable three and d wing, Fultz and Athletic guard with huge upside and the pick could end up being a great player in this loaded draft. Why not?