By: John Morgan Francis
Due to the NBA Finals ending so soon, and this summer’s draft being one week from today, I’ve decided to post a story each day leading up to draft night.
This summer’s NBA draft is as deep and talented as the legendary 2003 Lebron James draft. While four of the top-5 picks belong to rebuilding teams, the first overall pick belongs to the Eastern Conference runner-up. Here I examine one trade for each of the picks we could possibly see on draft day.
- Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks and Golden State Warriors
- The Celtics send the first overall pick and Jae Crowder to the Bucks, Avery Bradley and Marcus Smart to the Warriors for Giannis Antetokounmpo and Klay Thompson.
Boston decides to pass on their pursuit of Gordon Hayward in free agency, and instead grab two All-NBA wings to aid their path to the NBA Finals. Milwaukee parts with what appeared to be their future but instead capitalize on one of the best contracts in the NBA along with the first overall pick who will likely be their new starting point guard. Golden State may seem crazy to trade away one of their splash brothers but it’s no secret Klay has been the fourth man out and his contract makes it nearly impossible for the Warriors to pay both Steph and KD in FA. Bradley and Smart give them not only cheap contracts but young, defensive guys who can stop Kyrie Irving and as well score when needed to.
- Los Angeles Lakers, Phoenix Suns
- The Lakers send Timofey Mozgov, D’Angelo Russell, Brandon Ingram and the second overall pick for Eric Bledsoe, Devin Booker, Marquese Chriss and the fourth overall pick.
L.A. decides to pass on Lonzo Ball and his father; the Lakers opt to swap picks with Phoenix to acquire players to better suit the coming of Paul George next summer. Phoenix gives up their two young stars of Chriss and Booker, along with their starting point guard, but retains two rising offensive studs to pair with their pick: Ball.
- Philadelphia 76ers, Los Angeles Lakers
- The 76ers trade Gerald Henderson, Jahlil Okafor and the third overall pick for Luol Deng, Nick Young and the second overall pick.
Philly makes the move to grab Lonzo Ball who they believe will thrive with Ben Simmons. The Lakers, who aren’t sold on Simmons, move back just one spot, dump Deng, obtain Okafor and draft Josh Jackson all in the same move.
- Phoenix Suns, Chicago Bulls
- The Suns swap Brandon Knight, Dragan Bender and the fourth overall pick for Jimmy Butler.
The Suns have a top-12 point guard, a rising star shooting guard and many efficient role-playing big men. What they’re missing the most is a win-now wing like Butler. They could take a guy at #4 like Josh Jackson or Jayson Tatum who might end up like Butler, but why not get the sure thing? The Suns will have to give up last year’s fourth overall pick but it’s worth it to win-now in the West. Chicago would hate to lose Jimmy Butler but receiving talented young players to rebuild with sounds like an offer they wouldn’t refuse.
- Sacramento Kings, Minnesota Timberwolves
- The Kings move back to seventh, acquire Ricky Rubio and Zach Lavine for their fifth pick and Aaron Afflalo.
The Kings are notorious for making weird decisions. Here they make a smart move by leaking the rumor of being interested in Jonathan Isaac. Minnesota doesn’t want to gamble, gives up Lavine and Rubio to move up to five. Sacramento wanted a point guard in this draft but with picks seven and 10, could make an offer to fellow rebuilders L.A., Philly or Phoenix they simply can’t turn down. That, or they could take the best available at both seven and 10. Minnesota gives up a couple pieces of their young core but gets their long-term answer alongside Karl Anthony-Towns.
Stay tuned throughout the next week for more hot takes and draft analysis.
Twitter Handle: @MonJorgan