Trades That Lottery Teams Could Use to Shake Up 2013 NBA Draft
Going into Thursday's draft, there are certainly more questions than answers. Seemingly every draft pick is available for the right price; the top three picks have all been at the center of trade rumors.
Even with less than 24 hours until the draft, teams have no real idea of how this draft will unfold because of the parity of the top six prospects.
Working on Mock 7.0. Team A convinced: 1. Len 2. McLemore 3. Bennett Team B: 1. Noel 2. Oladipo 3. Porter. It's going to be a long night— Chad Ford (@chadfordinsider) June 27, 2013
There are teams at the top of the draft looking to acquire veteran players. There are playoff teams looking to get into the lottery. And with the uncertainty of this draft, any deal in the lottery has the potential to shake up the entire night.
Trading Out: Dallas Mavericks
In an effort to maximize their cap space for the upcoming free agency, the Dallas Mavericks have looked extensively into moving the No. 13 pick and the $1.655 million cap hold that accompanies it.
According to Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas, they have discussed trades with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Atlanta Hawks, two teams with multiple picks and cap space.
It is unclear who the Hawks would be targeting at the back end of the lottery, but the Cavaliers have been linked to an international prospect, Sergey Karasev.
Cleveland pushing to acquire Dallas' 13th overall pick, with a focus on drafting Russia's Sergey Karasev, league sources tell Y!
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) June 26, 2013
Previous reports had the Mavericks, including Shawn Marion, in a potential deal with the Cavaliers, but owner Mark Cuban rebuffed the reports of their interest in moving him, telling ESPN they have had "not a single discussion."
The Mavericks look poised to move out of the lottery, but any potential move becomes significantly more meaningful if Marion is involved.
Trading Up: Oklahoma City Thunder
After losing in the second round of the playoffs one year removed from a trip to the NBA Finals, the Oklahoma City Thunder are looking to move into the top five of Thursday's draft.
ESPN has reported that the Thunder have offered Nos. 12 and 29 along with center Kendrick Perkins to teams in the top five but haven't been able to find a taker. Perkins, who has struggled the past two seasons, is owed $18.6 million over the next two seasons.
If they were able to find a trade partner, indications are that the Thunder would be looking to draft a big man.
One of the primary targets of Oklahoma City's pursuit of a Top 5 pick on Thursday, sources tell Y! Sports: Maryland 7-footer Alex Len.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) June 26, 2013
Center was the weakest position for the Thunder last season, and Len's ability to score on the low block could fit nicely alongside Serge Ibaka. But to make it happen, it appears they will need to sweeten their offers, including prospects or future draft picks.
Trading Down: Washington Wizards
The Washington Wizards went 23-25 last season after John Wall returned from a knee injury, giving the front office reason to believe that they can make the playoffs in 2014.
Their biggest need is at small forward, and if they don't trade the pick, they're expected to take Georgetown's Otto Porter to fill the position. But if they're not convinced he can step in right away, there's a definite chance they could trade the pick for an experienced player.
Speaking on the B.S. Report Tuesday with Bill Simmons (starting at 21:30), Chad Ford talked about the Wizards' expectations:
They have their young players in John Wall and Bradley Beal. I think their ideal scenario is to add another veteran and to make a push for the playoffs next year. They like Otto Porter. They like Anthony Bennett . . . I think they're looking at this and saying, 'Who's the guy who can help us, push us to the playoffs next year?
The No. 3 pick has also been linked to the Minnesota Timberwolves, who would be looking to acquire Victor Oladipo. They could offer the Wizards former No. 2 pick Derrick Williams and their lottery pick this year to move up.
The Wizards would get a player more ready to contribute in Williams as well as a prospect at No. 9. The Timberwolves would get the shooting guard they covet most in the draft.
If the Wizards are serious about making the playoffs next season, moving their pick for a veteran may be their best move considering they will have very limited cap space to sign free agents.
Trading for Eric Bledsoe: Orlando Magic
Early mock drafts via ESPN Insider had the Orlando Magic selecting a point guard at No. 2 with no prospect on the roster behind 31-year-old Jameer Nelson. With a proposed trade with the Los Angeles Clippers in play, it appears they will be looking elsewhere at No. 2.
According to ESPN, the deal would send 23-year-old point guard Eric Bledsoe to the Magic in exchange for shooting guard Arron Afflalo. Other assets, such as Andrew Nicholson or future picks, could also be sent to the Clippers.
While the Clippers don't necessarily want to move a prospect like Bledsoe, he has been underutilized playing behind Chris Paul. Acquiring Afflalo would give them a solid 3-and-D 2-guard who would strengthen their starting unit.
Acquiring Bledsoe would give the Magic their point guard of the future. It would also let them use their pick on a shooting guard.
Assuming that either Len or Kentucky's Nerlens Noel is selected No. 1, the Magic would have their choice of Oladipo or Kansas' Ben McLemore at No. 2.
Pairing Oladipo and Bledsoe would create a nightmare defensive backcourt for opponents. Both players have high motors and can generate steals. With their athleticism, they would also be great in transition offensively.
McLemore is the superior offensive player of the two, with the best-looking jumper of any prospect available. There are question marks about his commitment and ability to be a go-to guy, but his upside could tantalize the Magic.
Either way, trading Afflalo would open up a wing position for whichever rookie the Magic are higher on. It would also give them one of the best under-25 backcourts in the NBA.
Trading Down: Cleveland Cavaliers
Without a consensus No. 1 pick on the board and a desire to make the playoffs this season, the Cavaliers have talked to a number of teams about a potential trade.
According to Alex Kennedy of Hoopsworld, the latest proposed deal had the Cavaliers dealing the pick to the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for Greivis Vasquez, the No. 6 overall pick and first-round pick in 2014.
The trade would give the Cavaliers a solid backup for Irving, as well as a prospect this year and in the much-heralded 2014 class.
The Cavaliers have also tried to acquire big-name frontcourt players. ESPN reported that an offer of the No. 1 pick, Tristan Thompson and Dion Waiters for the Timberwolves' Kevin Love was turned down. An offer for the Portland Trail Blazers' LaMarcus Aldridge was also turned down.
As the draft approaches, it will be interesting to see if the Cavaliers are willing to lower their asking price for the No. 1 pick or if another team comes in with a major last-minute offer. Every indication is that they want to move the pick but only if the price is right.