While many NBA teams are in the midst of reviewing prospects for the 2013 NBA draft, some will also be coming up with and proposing trades in order to get the player they want.
There were several trades at the draft a year ago, most notably the deal that sent Tyler Zeller to the Cavs with Kelenna Azubuike for three picks. Cleveland could again be involved in a couple of trades come draft day, and even one that involves the No. 1 overall pick.
Plenty of teams with lottery picks could move down, while there’s the potential for organizations with later picks to move up.
Three teams in particular should look into moving up in the draft. Let’s take a glance at these teams, what picks they have, who might be interested in making a deal and which prospect they could be looking to select.
Draft Picks: Nos. 9, 26, 52 and 59
The Timberwolves were bad this year, but not bad enough. Minnesota finished the regular season with a 31-51 record, the fourth worst in the Western Conference, but the ninth worst in the league. Minnesota didn’t have any luck in the NBA draft lottery either, remaining in the No. 9 spot.
The Timberwolves should have a lot of solid players to choose from at No. 9, but Darren Wolfson of ESPN 1500 reports that Minnesota would like to take Indiana’s Victor Oladipo. The problem is that Oladipo will likely go within the first five selections, meaning Minnesota would have to trade up.
Wolfson believes that Minnesota will try to pry the No. 4 pick from the Charlotte Hornets. Charlotte is likely just to take the best available player once it's on the clock and could get by with a pick outside of the top five.
But acquiring the No. 4 pick from the Hornets might mean Minnesota has to give up both of its first-round draft picks. If it were to acquire a player of Oladipo’s caliber, though, it would certainly be worth it.
Draft Picks: Nos. 5, 30 and 57
The Suns need someone who can revamp their struggling franchise. Phoenix finished the year at 25-57, the fourth worst record in the NBA, but moved down a spot in the draft after the lottery.
The No. 5 pick in the draft should get the Suns a face-of-the-franchise-like player, but moving up even further would definitely benefit Phoenix. The Suns can definitely get in contact with the teams ahead of them to see if they’re interested in moving down a couple of spots.
The Cleveland Cavaliers will entertain offers for the No. 1 overall pick in the draft, according to Brian Windhorst of ESPN. The Washington Wizards might also be interesting in moving back, according to J. Michael of CSN Washington. The Cavs have more flexibility in the draft and could afford to give up the No. 1 pick if Phoenix would fork up No. 5 and No. 30—if not even more.
Having the No. 1 pick in the draft would give the Suns a lot of scenarios to play with. They could take a big man like Nerlens Noel or maybe a guard or forward such as Ben McLemore, Trey Burke or Otto Porter, among others. Either way, if Phoenix can get its hands one the first pick, it should jump at the opportunity.
Draft Picks: No. 22
Brooklyn will enter the draft in a tough spot. The Nets only have one draft pick and desperately need to find someone who can shoot besides Joe Johnson. Tim Bontemps of the New York Post writes that Brooklyn will look to add a solid role player in the draft.
While the Nets could certainly find a role player at No. 22, it would be easier if they were a little bit higher in the draft, which would mean securing a player with a high potential who still fits their needs. One player to keep an eye on is Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who could go at the end of the lottery.
Caldwell-Pope averaged 18.5 points in 33.9 minutes per game as a sophomore at Georgia last season. He shot 43.4 percent from the field, 37.3 percent from downtown and 79.9 percent from the charity stripe. For a guard, he grabbed a ton of rebounds, averaging 7.1 per game. He seems like an obvious fit with Brooklyn.
Chad Ford of ESPN reports that the Dallas Mavericks don’t want their No. 13 pick, and with the 13th pick, it would be highly likely that Caldwell-Pope would still be on the board for Brooklyn. The Nets likely wouldn’t have to give up much, taking into consideration that the Mavs don’t want to add any cap room.