NBA Draft '08: Trades That Should Happen

Thomas HillContributor IJune 26, 2008

With the NBA Draft only hours away, the GMs are burning up the phones with countless trade proposals.

In the hype of the new wave of NBA players, many draft picks, veterans, cash considerations, and international player rights will be dangled in attempts to improve the quality and depth of many teams. Here are several trade ideas, coupled with an attempt to gauge how likely the deal is to be made.

1. Miami Trades No. 2 Overall Selection, Mark Blount, and Daequan Cook to Memphis for No. 5 Overall Selection, No. 28 Overall Selection, Mike Miller and Kyle Lowry.

Why Miami does this deal: It's not secret that Pat Riley doesn't want Michael Beasley, to the point where the Heat are supposedly considering OJ Mayo at the No. 2 selection. By trading down to No. 5, the Heat can take what's left of the Mayo, Brook Lopez, Kevin Love trio.

Lopez is probably the best fit if this trade is made. If the Heat don't like their options at No. 5, they can continue to deal and stockpile future picks or maybe trade for an all-star caliber big like Elton Brand.

I say they keep the pick and take Lopez after Seattle takes Mayo at No. 4 and Minnesota takes Love at No. 3. Imagine a Heat rotation of Lopez, Alonzo Mourning, Udonis Haslem, Shawn Marion, and Dorell Wright in the front-court, Dwyane Wade, Kyle Lowry, Marcus Banks, and Ricky Davis/Jason Williams(one of them is sure to be traded) at the guard spots, and having Mike Miller to shoot the lights out! That's a scary team that could definitely compete in the East!

Plus, they also get the No. 28 pick which they can use on a high-risk, high-reward project type player or trade for more assets.

Why Memphis does this deal: Two words: Michael Beasley. Jerry West and the rest of his Memphis front office team are convinced that he is far away the best prospect in this draft.

Teaming Beasley with Rudy Gay would form a dynamic 1-2 scoring punch. Cook also adds another wing player with scoring potential and was a mid-first round pick last year.

Trading Lowry doesn't really hurt as the Grizzlies already have Mike Conley and Javaris Crittendon at the point and jettisoning Miller opens up cap space to make a run at top free agent like Gilbert Arenas (to play shooting guard) or Antawn Jamison.

The pick at No. 28 will only be an upside gamble selection or backup player in this draft so that is expendable as well. Memphis's rotation (before adding players in other trades or FA signings) would have Conley, Crittendon, Cook and Gay at the guard/wing spots, while Beasley, Hakim Warrick, Darko Milicic, Marc Gasol, and Kwame Brown in the post. That's definitely an improved squad that will win more games, plus has the flexibility to add another marquee piece.

Chances of Trade Happening: 60%, Miami is entertaining a plethora of trade options for the No. 2 selection and Memphis might balk at the asking price.

2. Four Team Trade: Chicago Trades Ben Gordon, Kirk Hinrich, Tyrus Thomas, 2nd Round Pick; LA Clippers Trade Elton Brand, Corey Maggette; Detroit Trades Chauncey Billups, Rasheed Wallace; Golden State Trades Baron Davis, Al Harrington.

Chicago receives Elton Brand, Al Harrington

LA Clippers receive Chauncey Billups, Kirk Hinrich

Detroit receives Baron Davis, Corey Maggette

Golden State receives Rasheed Wallace, Ben Gordon, Tyrus Thomas, Chicago 2nd Round Pick

Chicago: Trades it surplus of guards to re-acquire Brand. Brand and Harrington provide much needed front-court depth and presence. Allows a back-court of Larry Hughes, Derrick Rose, Thabo Sefolosha ample playing time.

LAC: Trades Brand and Maggette, both in contract years and unlikely to re-sign. Acquires a top PG in Billups, as well as Hinrich who can backup Billups and play the two.

Detroit: GM Joe Dumars makes good on his promise that no one on the roster is safe and trades fan favorite Billups as well as problem child 'Sheed for Baron Davis and Corey Maggette, two highly paid scorers. Doesn't help their biggest need, which is another post player, but Dumars is the type of guy who won't be afraid to shake things up in an attempt to push his team over the top. Next move would be to trade Tayshaun Prince or Rip Hamilton for a proven big-man.

Golden State: Trades the highly paid and injury prone Davis as well as the solid Harrington in exchange for Rasheed Wallace and Tyrus Thomas, who can be plugged in with whatever big they take No. 14 overall, and Andris Biedrins to form a formidable rotation. Adding Gordon to a back-court with Monta Ellis and Marco Belinelli enables Stephen Jackson to stay at the 3, his best position.

Chances of Deal happening: 10% Too many teams and too many star players with big salaries make this deal a headache to figure out, although it could be the rare win-win-win-win.

3. New York Knicks trade David Lee and No. 6 overall pick to Seattle for No. 4 overall pick and No. 32 overall pick.

New York fans would crucify Knicks ownership if they traded fan favorite Lee, but the No. 4 selection could bring back OJ Mayo or Eric Gordon. Gordon is everyone's best bet for the Knicks to take at No. 6, but with teams backing off Russell Westbrook and scared to take Brook Lopez or Kevin Love in the top five, Gordon may not be available.

This trade ensures they get one of the top three back-court talents as well as the second pick in the second round, which can be used to take whatever high-upside player falls (possibly Nicolas Batum, JaVale McGee, or JJ Hickson).

Seattle acquires a hard-nosed hustler who can show the young Sonics (like Kevin Durant) how to compete every minute of every game. He plays all out and gets the most of his ability. At No. 6 Lopez or Love would be less of a reach for the Sonics, as would Westbrook (they're said to be enamored with the UCLA guard).

Chances of Deal Happening: 70%, Sonics GM Sam Presti is very shrewd and realizes his team is two to three years away. Acquiring such a good influence and hard worker like Lee will have benefits both on and off the court, all while still getting a player they want at No. 6. The Knicks feel the need to make a big splash, and Gordon or Mayo would certainly qualify.


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