Predicting Trade Scenarios for Top 10 Picks of 2013 NBA Draft
The phone lines should be busy for the upcoming 2013 NBA draft. Nobody seems happy with their slots, as we've already heard potential trade rumors involving the first teams drafting on the board.
So we decided to jump the gun and predict possible scenarios.
All of these trades have been approved in ESPN's Trade Machine. Of course, you'll need to expand your imagination a bit, but these are all potential deals that could make sense on draft night.
1. Cleveland Cavaliers
Cleveland Cavaliers Receive: No. 12 pick, Reggie Jackson, Jeremy Lamb, Perry Jones
Oklahoma City Thunder Receive: No. 1 pick, C.J. Miles, Tyler Zeller
I'm not sure you'd find a better fit for Nerlens Noel than Oklahoma City. And with expendable young assets unlikely to make or break the team's season, this would be an opportunity to go after a need.
Cleveland isn't in love with Nerlens Noel at No. 1. With this deal, it gets three young, promising prospects, along with a No. 12 pick.
At No. 12, Cleveland can go after a guy like Steven Adams (center from Pittsburgh), Shabazz Muhammad (small forward from UCLA) or Kelly Olynyk (center from Gonzaga).
For Oklahoma City, it can develop Nerlens Noel as that final building block—an athletic center who plays above the rim on both sides of the ball. Noel appears to be ahead of schedule with his rehab, according to Chad Ford of ESPN.com (subscription required), and on a team like the Thunder, there's no need to rush him out there.
If Noel turns out to be the defensive game-changer he projects to be, he'd be an upgrade up front as Oklahoma City's long-term rim protector.
Cleveland also has the No. 19 pick in this year's draft. This trade would reflect a building strategy for the Cavs that calls for stockpiling assets.
2. Orlando Magic
Orlando Magic receive: No. 25 pick, Eric Bledsoe
Los Angeles Clippers Receive: No. 2 pick, Doron Lamb, Kyle O'Quinn
With this deal, Orlando gets its future starting point guard and the Clippers fill a gap.
Personally, I'd say Otto Porter or Victor Oladipo would be a perfect fit on the wing between Chris Paul and Blake Griffin. They won't be able to afford Eric Bledsoe when he hits the free-agent market next summer, so flipping him now gives them options and assets.
Bledsoe has established himself as one of the game's young stars just waiting for the opportunity to break out in a full-time role. The Jameer Nelson era appears to be coming to an end, and with Bledsoe available, this is a chance for Orlando to be aggressive and strike.
The Magic could also try to steal the Clippers' No. 25 pick—a spot in the draft where talent will still be left on the board.
3. Washington Wizards
Washington Wizards Receive: No. 9 pick, Derrick Williams
Minnesota Timberwolves Receive: No. 3 pick, Chris Singleton, Kevin Seraphin
Minnesota could be looking to shop the No. 9 pick with Derrick Williams, which actually makes complete sense. There are players who will be available at No. 3, like Ben McLemore of Kansas or Victor Oladipo of Indiana, who could fill a direct need.
The Wizards would move back to No. 9, where they could still get similar value. But they'd acquire Derrick Williams as well, a young player with potential that hasn't been tapped into yet. He'd give Washington an athletic presence up front and potential offensive mismatch if Williams ever finds a niche.
At No. 9, the Wizards could still add a promising prospect, like a Steven Adams of Pittsburgh, Cody Zeller of Indiana or Shabazz Muhammad of UCLA.
McLemore would be ideal for Minnesota, who'd give the Timberwolves an elite athlete and shooter to pair with Ricky Rubio in the backcourt. Oladipo would give them an elite athlete as well, though his motor is what drives his effectiveness.
4. Charlotte Bobcats
Charlotte Bobcats Receive: DeMarcus Cousins, Isaiah Thomas
Sacramento Kings Receive: No. 4 pick, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kemba Walker
Think about this one before writing it off.
The DeMarcus Cousins-Sacramento relationship has been rocky, and a change might be necessary for both parties.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Kemba Walker are both smaller building blocks. Cousins is a giant one. And it's those giant building blocks that are usually tough to acquire.
With this deal, Charlotte adds the best player in the trade with the highest long-term upside. Sacramento loses its most volatile star and replaces him with a high-character energy guy in Kidd-Gilchrist, whose motor is badly needed in the lineup. They also get Kemba Walker, a guard with loads of talent that he's just starting to learn how to effectively channel.
And of course, they get the No. 4 pick. At No. 4, they could guarantee themselves either Otto Porter of Georgetown, Ben McLemore of Kansas or Victor Oladipo of Indiana. If they wanted to replace Cousins with a center, Alex Len of Maryland wouldn't be a bad option at No. 4.
Overall, the deal could look something like Oladipo, Kidd-Gilchrist and Walker for Cousins and Isaiah Thomas.
And now I'm exhausted.
5. Phoenix Suns
Phoenix Suns Receive: No. 23 pick, Danny Granger
Indiana Pacers Receive: No. 5 pick, Marcin Gortat, Marcus Morris
The Pacers didn't seem to miss Danger Granger, who sat out just about the whole year with a knee injury. Granger expects to be ready to go for next season, though with Paul George at the 3, I'm not sure where Granger fits in.
Assuming Granger can return to full strength, he'd give Phoenix some offensive firepower and a name in the lineup.
The Suns would also get Indiana's first-round pick, which should allow them to add another promising prospect.
Indiana could use the draft to target a point guard, say Trey Burke or Michael Carter-Williams. Marcin Gortat's contract comes off the books in a year, though he's a guy who can help them against Miami in a year where the finals is the goal.
6. New Orleans Pelicans
New Orleans Pelicans Receive: No. 16 pick, Paul Pierce, Jared Sullinger
Boston Celtics Receive: No. 6 pick, Eric Gordon
The Boston Celtics and New Orleans Hornets are at opposite stages of the rebuilding process.
New Orleans could really use that veteran leader and go-to scorer, and though Paul Pierce is creeping up in age, he's still capable of putting points on the board. Given the Pelicans' hole at the wing, Pierce would actually be a perfect fit.
Eric Gordon has star potential; however, his knee has kept him from reaching it. This could be an opportunity for Boston to strike and buy low.
With the No. 6 pick, the Celtics could guarantee themselves a big man—someone like Alex Len of Maryland, Steven Adams of Pittsburgh or Cody Zeller of Indiana.
The Pelicans can add another strong prospect at No. 16, with Shabazz Muhammad of UCLA, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope of Georgia, Dennis Schroeder of Germany, Kelly Olynyk of Gonzaga, Shane Larkin of Miami and Rudy Gobert of France all potential options.
This deal would also get Gordon's contract off New Orleans' books, which pays him roughly $45 million over the next three years.
Sacramento Kings Receive: No. 15 pick, Ersan Ilyasova
Milwaukee Bucks Receive: No. 7 pick, Chuck Hayes
With this deal, Sacramento finds a stretch forward in Ilyasova, who should be able to complement DeMarcus Cousins and help provide better offensive spacing.
The Bucks might have overpaid for Ilyasova, and this could be a chance to undo it.
The key to this deal is the Bucks getting the No. 7 pick. It doesn't appear like Brandon Jennings or Monta Ellis will be back in town, and at No. 7, there's a good chance either Trey Burke of Michigan or Michael Carter-Williams of Syracuse will be on the board.
If you're looking for a point guard in this draft, Burke and Carter-Williams are your prizes.
At No. 15, the Kings can still find a player capable of contributing to their rotation.
8. Detroit Pistons
Detroit Pistons Receive: Evan Turner
Philadelphia 76ers Receive: No. 8 pick, Jonas Jerebko, Kyle Singler
I'm not sure who helps Detroit in this draft at No. 8, so dealing the pick for established talent might be the way to go.
Philadelphia is in one of those spots where you hate to be—it's a good, crappy team. If there was ever a year to be a crappy, crappy team, next season would be it, given the talent projected to be available in the 2014 draft.
Call it the unintentional tank, which stinks in the short term but could pay off down the road. With Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, Marcus Smart and Julius Randle expected to declare next June, landing a top-four pick could mean adding a franchise-altering talent.
Turner hasn't produced like a No. 2 overall pick, and his fit in Philadelphia is questionable. With the No. 8 pick and No. 11 pick, the team can add two solid prospects. Cody Zeller of Indiana, Steven Adams of Pittsburgh, Shabazz Muhammad of UCLA, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope of Georgia and Tony Mitchell of North Texas would all be options here.
In Detroit, Turner could get a change of scenery, where he'd have some promising big men to play off of. Still young, Turner should be worth the value to Detroit of a No. 8 pick.
9. Minnesota Timberwolves
Minnesota Timberwolves Receive: No. 4 pick, Ramon Sessions
Charlotte Bobcats Receive: No. 9 pick, Derrick Williams
If Minnesota can't make a deal with Washington at No. 3, Charlotte should be a fall-back plan.
At No. 4, the Wolves guarantee themselves either Victor Oladipo of Indiana, Ben McLemore of Kansas or Otto Porter of Georgetown, all guys who'd fill a need on the wing. Derrick Williams seems stuck in between positions in Minnesota, and a change of scenery might be better for his development.
The Bobcats would get Derrick Williams, who still has the chance to grow into the player he was originally projected to be. They'd also get the No. 9 pick, where they could try to land a guy like Shabazz Muhammad from UCLA, Cody Zeller from Indiana or C.J. McCollum from Lehigh.
Porter would fit nicely at the 3 hole for Minnesota, while McLemore and Oladipo would both be big-time upgrades at the shooting guard position.
10. Portland Trail Blazers
Portland Trail Blazers Receive: No. 4 pick, Tyrus Thomas, Bismack Biyombo
Charlotte Bobcats Receive: No. 10 pick, Meyers Leonard, Wesley Matthews
Chris Haynes of CSNNW reports that Portland may be making a move up the board to snag Victor Oladipo, and If Orlando doesn't take him at No. 2, it's likely he'll be there at No. 4.
In this deal, Charlotte would get a starting-caliber 2-guard in Wesley Matthews (a 7'1'' prospect) and a 2012 lottery pick in Meyers Leonard, as well as the No. 10 pick in the draft.
With that pick, there should still be plenty of options to choose from, including Pittsburgh's Steven Adams, Indiana's Cody Zeller, UCLA's Shabazz Muhammad or Lehigh's C.J. McCollum.