NBA Draft 2011: 7 Trades That Should Happen on Draft Night
With the NBA draft and a new CBA coming up, teams are looking to restructure, rebuild and reconfigure their rosters. Here are 10 trades that I think help all teams involved.
Some are big, team-altering trades; others are small player-for-player swaps.
The trades will be in order of where teams are picking in the draft.
David Kahn vs. Michael Jordan: Guess Who Wins
Minnesota is in an unenviable position at pick No. 2. It just got Ricky Rubio from Europe, and now it has to pick either another point guard or someone who plays the exact same position as its second-best player, Michael Beasley.
Since most other teams know this and are smart, no one is willing to give up significant assets to get this pick.
The Charlotte Bobcats just won the GM draft when they signed Rich Cho, formerly of the Thunder and more recently the Portland Trail Blazers. The Bobcats need impact players and are sure to get one at pick No. 2, whether it is Kyrie Irving or Derrick Williams.
So Charlotte trades Stephen Jackson, pick No. 9 and pick No. 19 to Minnesota for Martell Webster and pick No. 2. They also try to get Wayne Ellington included but don't push too hard.
Minnesota adds toughness and leadership and a starting SG in Jackson and now has more picks to take chances on some of the high-potential guys in this draft. Minnesota uses pick No. 9 on Alec Burks, who is a few years away from being ready but will be the starting SG when Jackson's contract ends in three years.
Also expect to see Minnesota on another page in this slideshow. It's not done yet.
The Jazz's First Step
The Utah Jazz are also featured multiple times in this slideshow.
After the Deron Williams trade, Utah is looking to rebuild quickly and effectively, led by capable GM Kevin O'Connor.
Utah will not be a playoff team next year and is looking to reshape its roster to get rid of some of its veterans in exchange for young talent.
With Andrei Kirilenko and his $16 million salary coming off the books, Utah can now afford to take back longer-term deals, provided it stays at an affordable total salary.
Utah's first trade is with the Golden State Warriors, where the Jazz offer Al Jefferson for Andris Biedrins, pick No. 11 and possibly Dorell Wright.
Jefferson is one of the best offensive centers in the NBA and gives the Warriors a good offensive option when teams manage to slow them down. Jefferson's biggest problem is defense, but he should be a good fit next to Ekpe Udoh, the shot-blocking 4 Golden State drafted last year.
Golden State also worries about defense less than most other teams.
Utah blocks another team from jumping over it to draft Jimmer Fredette at No. 11. It is also now willing to trade pick No. 12.
The LA Lakers front office is in a tough position. They have one of the most talented teams in the NBA, but they are getting older.
Do they trade some of their guys now while their value is high for younger talent in hopes of staying on top in the future? Or do they try to hold on one more year and risk a long rebuild?
They also have to worry about how the new CBA will affect their capacity to spend as much money as they do on players.
LA is looking to trade one of its core guys for multiple assets, cap flexibility and draft picks.
Utah now has an extra lottery pick and many such players.
LA sends Pau Gasol, Steve Blake and Luke Walton and either $3 million or a future first-rounder.
Utah sends Mehmet Okur, Paul Millsap, Devin Harris and pick No. 12.
The Lakers get more athletic, tougher and a seven-foot backup for Andrew Bynum who can hit threes. Okur is also a $10 million expiring contract that LA could package with either Harris or Millsap to get a $16 million type PG or PF if a player wanted to be traded to LA, like say Chris Paul.
LA also has pick No. 12 and the opportunity to gamble on a potential big man to replace Gasol. Last time it picked in this range it got Andrew Bynum.
Utah gets the best player in the trade (Gasol), who it will look to flip next year for a similar score of assets like it got in the Deron Williams trade.
Utah's roster for next year looks like this:
PF/C Enes Kanter PF/C Pau Gasol SF Gordon Hayward SG C.J. Miles PG Jimmer Fredette
C Andris Biedrins PF Derrick Favors SF Luke Walton PG Steve Blake
A young team with lots of talent and hard-working senior players to help them reach their potential.
Thunder Strikes Again
Sam Presti is always a busy guy on draft day, and this year is no exception.
The Thunder want to turn over some of their less successful young players for draft picks and five more years of rookie contracts. They also understand the value of picking first and getting the player you want, as opposed to supposed later value.
Houston is looking to either move up or down out of pick No. 14.
OKC trades starting SG Thabo Sefolosha and 2010 pick No. 11 Cole Aldrich for Hasheem Thabeet and pick No. 14.
Houston gets a better center prospect in Aldrich who spent a lot of time in the D-League due to the Thunder's depth at the position. He should get the NBA minutes to develop in Houston. Sefolosha gives the Rockets a much-needed defensive presence on the wing and should start at SF from day one.
OKC gets the pick of this draft's defensive SF/PF combo guys that will back up Kevin Durant and get some spot minutes as a stretch 4. More importantly, it gets a young, athletic wing forward on the rookie pay scale for the next five years.
The Thunder can also hope Thabeet becomes more motivated in their special team environment, but if not, they will just let him go when his contract is up.
This also allows the Thunder to use pick No. 24 on a Euro stash player that they like.
David Kahn keeps busy on draft night with this follow-up trade.
He offers the Phoenix Suns picks No. 19 (previous Charlotte trade) and 20 to move up to pick No. 13.
Minnesota then selects Bismack Biyombo, the 6'9" defensive center from Africa via Spain.
While Biyombo is only listed at 18, he has been playing professionally all over the world since he was 14. He has a great work ethic and the desire to continually try to improve. He is a great character guy that is no stranger to adversity and will make this Timberwolves team tougher.
Minnesota's post-draft depth chart now looks like this:
C Darko Milicic, Nikola Pecovic, Anthony Tolliver
PF Kevin Love, Bismack Biyombo, Anthony Randolph
SF Michael Beasley, Wesley Johnson
SG Stephen Jackson, Alec Burks, Wayne Ellington?
PG Ricky Rubio, Luke Ridnour, Jonny Flynn
Minnesota will now look to free agency to try to add some additional vets, probably a big body C/PF who can score in the low post.
Monta Gets Moved
Since none of these trades will actually happen, you might see some players moved more than once.
This deal is between the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavs.
Golden State trades Monta Ellis and Andris Biedrins.
Cleveland trades Antawn Jamison, J.J. Hickson and Ramon Sessions.
Cleveland gets the best player in this deal in Monta Ellis but also takes on a ton of money when combining him with Biedrins.
Golden State saves money and gets three guys you always thought would be Warriors.
Iggy to the Clippers
There has been a proposed deal around the Internet that Philadelphia would be willing to trade Andre Iguodala to the Clippers for Chris Kaman. This should have happened already, as it makes sense for both sides.
Philly apparently wants Al-Farouq Aminu included in the deal, which is the holdup. The Sixers should just throw in pick No. 16 and be done with it.
The Clippers will be getting a better small forward than Aminu in next year's draft with either its own lottery pick or Minnesota's.
So the deal that gets done is as follows: Clippers get Andre Iguodala and pick No. 16 (hopefully Nikola Vucevic, the 6'11" center from USC), and Philly gets Kaman and Aminu.