This summer, the hottest commodity in basketball will come via the first 14 picks of the 2014 NBA draft. With so much hype surrounding this year's rookie class, general managers picking in the lottery have the opportunity to improve their franchise by either selecting an elite prospect or leveraging their draft spot in a trade for someone who is more proven.
There are pros and cons to both strategies. If a team chooses to keep their pick, they will be rolling the dice that whomever they select will pan out. Sometimes, you get a Kevin Durant (No. 2 overall, Seattle Supersonics, 2007); other times, you end up with a Darko Milicic (No. 2 overall, Detroit Pistons, 2003).
If a team chooses to deal the pick for a more established player, they have to cross their fingers that both the veteran works out and the rookie whom is ultimately selected with the pick they dealt doesn't become a star. Remember when the Charlotte Hornets traded Kobe Bryant to the Los Angeles Lakers on draft day for Vlade Divac? Needless to say, that didn't go work out great for the Hornets.
With the 12 teams in this year's lottery, I was kind enough to offer my two cents on what option would be in each team's best interest. Naturally, there are a few ground rules to consider before going forward.
First, each slide is based on what the team should do, not what they will do. Also, for those that I am pushing to trade the pick, the idea is that they'd move the pick in the right deal. Obviously, I'm not advocating for the Cleveland Cavaliers to trade the No. 1 overall pick for someone like Derek Fisher.
Lastly, the "trade" only refers to the team's lottery pick (or picks, in some cases). While each team's other picks (be it later first-round picks or spots in the second round) will be mentioned, the main concern here is the actual lottery pick being featured on each slide.
If there's a scenario where I think a team should trade up or down, I will specify that as well.
Are we all on the same page? Good. Let's get started.