Like the Kardashian sisters and large amounts of makeup, the NBA draft and same-day trades go hand-in-hand.
Thursday was no exception, with 15 deals getting done within a span of 60 selections.
However, the one trade that everyone is talking about occurred before the draft began, in the form of the Chicago Bulls sending Kirk Hinrich and his $9 million contract, along with the 17th overall pick (Kevin Seraphin, a 20-year-old raw talent who most recently played in France) to Washington for a future second-round pick.
The deal will not be deemed official until July 8, when the new salary cap is instituted.
In doing so, the Bulls have lodged their horns in a prime position to ink two maximum-salary players (can anyone say "LeBron James and Chris Bosh?") once the free agency frenzy starts on July 1.
With that said, here are the top five draft-day deals that flew under the radar (at least compared to the aforementioned):
Bledsoe Traded To The Other L.A. Team
Oklahoma City sent the draft rights to Kentucky's Eric Bledsoe (who was taken 18th overall) to the Clippers for a future protected first-round pick.
Bledsoe has all the makings to be a legitimate NBA combo guard in due time, and with Steve Blake becoming a free agent in a matter of days, Bledsoe will serve as a solid back-up to Baron Davis, not to mention a protege to the 11-year vet.
Pondexter and Brackins Bounced To The Big Easy
Oklahoma City was involved in more than one draft-day deal, this time trading Iowa State's Craig Brackins (21st overall) and Washington's Quincy Pondexter (26th overall) to the New Orleans Hornets for Kansas' Cole Aldrich (11th overall) and swingman Morris Peterson, who averaged just 7 points (his second-lowest single-season output in his 10-year career) this past season.
The Pondexter-Brackins one-two punch provides the Hornets with two potential sidekicks for Chris Paul. However, their talent is still somewhat raw and will need considerable time to develop...time that Paul might not want to give New Orleans.
Conversely, Cole Aldrich will surely have an immediate impact in Oklahoma City, at least on the defensive side.
His shot-blocking and rebounding abilities give the Thunder a physically-improved front line, which they certainly lacked in the first round of postseason play against the much bigger and stronger Lakers.
Mark Cuban's Mavs Tangled Up In Two Trades
The Mavs acquired Dominique Jones from the Memphis Grizzlies, who grabbed the 2010 first-team All-Big East selection at No. 25, in exchange for cash.
A 6-foot-5, 216-pound guard from South Florida, Jones averaged over 21 points for the Bulls last season.
Aside from the overrated DeShawn Stevenson, the Mavs' top two shooting guards are height-challenged (Jason Terry and Rodrigue Beaubois are listed at 6-foot-2 and an even 6 feet, respectively), so Jones gives Dallas a better opportunity to contend with the vertically-gifted likes of Kobe Bryant, Brandon Roy, and Jason Richardson.
Dallas also dealt the draft rights to Florida State's Solomon Alabi (the 50th pick) to Toronto for a future second-round selection and financial considerations.
Alabi, a 7-foot-1 center, is the tallest player in the draft, but there are questions surrounding his physical health.
Hawks and Nets Swap First-Round Selections
Atlanta traded Texas forward Damion James (whom the Hawks took at the 24th slot) to New Jersey for Xavier guard Jordan Crawford (the 27th selection).
Additionally, Atlanta acquired the No. 31 pick, German center Tibor Pleiss, who was then sent to Oklahoma City for financial considerations.
James averaged a double-double last season for the Longhorns (18 points and 10 rebounds), while Crawford led the Musketeers in scoring (20.5 point per contest).
If free agent Joe Johnson does not land with the Hawks (all indications are that he will not) Crawford could potentially take his place as the Hawks' primary scorer.
As for James, he has been compared to James Posey in that he can play both forward positions, but if he truly wants to pattern after Posey, James will have to improve his jump shot.
Pleiss is of the Serge Ibaka variety. Defensively he is NBA-ready, but offensively he still needs to make significant strides. He will likely spend some time in Europe before making his debut with the Thunder.
Blazers Say Goodbye To Webster, Hello to Babbitt
After selecting Luke Babbitt with the 16th overall pick, the Minnesota Timberwolves traded the Nevada forward and Ryan Gomes to Portland for Martell Webster.
While Webster and Babbitt are both very good shooters, Babbitt is an upgrade from Webster in that he can utilize his 6-foot-9 frame on the box as well.
However, Babbitt's critics question his ability to defend quick threes and big fours, while Webster was one of the better Blazer defenders.
You can contact Josh Hoffman at JHoffMedia@gmail.com.
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