On Tuesday, May 21, the 2013 NBA draft lottery will transpire as 14 teams vie for the first overall selection. As it presently stands, the Orlando Magic hold the best odds at 25.0 percent, which beckons the question: Should the Magic land the top pick, who might emerge as potential trade options?
In a draft with no perceived superstars, the cream of the crop appears to be center Nerlens Noel of the Kentucky Wildcats. Due to the presence of center Nikola Vucevic, however, the Magic could pursue a trade down the draft board.
Even if they aren't to target a move, there's a high probability that other franchises will propose potential deals.
While multiple teams will have offers to extend, that doesn't mean the Magic would, or should, jump at any chance they have to trade down. Instead, they'll weigh their options and either remain in place or accept the most beneficial deals.
The question is, which teams pose the most logical trade options for the Magic to consider should they retain the rights to the top pick?
First Round Pick(s): No. 5
Second Round Pick(s): N/A
Key Pieces: Al-Farouq Aminu, SF; Eric Gordon, SG; Greivis Vasquez, PG
Of the teams that would like to trade up, the New Orleans Pelicans appear to be the only team with the necessary trade pieces. Not only do they currently own the No. 5 overall draft choice, but they have a crop of attractive trade pieces.
Most notably, shooting guard Eric Gordon.
According to John Reid of The Times-Picayune, the Pelicans are interested in trading Gordon during the forthcoming offseason. Due to his history of injuries and the lucrative contract that New Orleans signed him to, however, Orlando would likely hesitate to execute this deal.
When the opportunity arises to land Gordon and a top-five prospect, however, the interest will likely be present.
New Orleans does have other options in Al-Farouq Aminu and Greivis Vasquez, but Gordon would likely be the key to this deal. With Maurice Harkless and Tobias Harris emerging as rising stars at the 3 and 4, however, the deal is far from a certainty.
Even still, if any team is to get it done, New Orleans certainly appears to be the most likely suitor.
First Round Pick(s): No. 4 and No. 30
Second Round Pick(s): No. 57
Key Pieces: Kendall Marshall, PG; Marcus Morris, PF; Markieff Morris, PF
The Phoenix Suns would be a bit of a long shot here, but they certainly have the pieces to get this deal done. Not only do they possess two first-round draft choices, but they have a young team with players to fill Orlando's needs.
Most notably, point guard Kendall Marshall.
Marshall was a lottery pick in 2012 and remains one of the more promising young facilitators. Even if he fails to pan out as a starter in Orlando, the Magic are weak at point guard with Jameer Nelson aging and battling injuries.
Acquiring Marshall could provide quality depth, and potentially a lead facilitator.
The truth of the matter is, the real value here is that the Suns possess the No. 4 and No. 30 overall draft choices. This enables Orlando to potentially acquire a quality point guard and still address needs via the draft.
Options at No. 4 could include Victor Oladipo, Anthony Bennett and, if Marshall isn't their cup of tea, either Trey Burke or Michael Carter-Williams.
This is a long shot, but the Suns certainly have the draft choices and a prospect to at least intrigue the Magic. Chances are a third team would need to be used to get this done, as Phoenix would likely need to use Marcin Gortat to entice a potential suitor into aiding their pursuit.
Again, the odds would be stacked against Phoenix—just don't call it an impossibility.