Rumor has it that the Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons, and Minnesota Timberwolves are discussing a three-team trade that results in the Cavaliers owning the first two picks of the 2011 NBA draft.
As reported by ESPN's Chris Broussard, the first part of this three-team trade involves the Cavaliers absorbing Detroit's Richard Hamilton into the $14.6 million trade exception they received from the Miami Heat in last summer's sign-and-trade involving LeBron James. The Cavs would then be expected to buy out the remaining $25 million on Hamilton's contract, leaving him as a free agent.
The Pistons would send their No. 8 overall pick to Cleveland, who would then trade that pick along with the fourth pick in the draft to Minnesota for the second overall pick in the draft.
This is how the deal would be structured hypothetically.
Timberwolves Receive: 2011 NBA draft picks No. 4 and 8
Cavaliers Receive: No. 2 overall pick and Richard Hamilton
Pistons Receive: Cap relief
The Cavs having the first two picks in the draft would be a very affective way in rebuilding the franchise. The likely picks for Cleveland would be Kyrie Irving and Derrick Williams. Their front office is highly in favor of the Duke point guard Irving while Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert is a fan of Williams and sees both players as a way to jump-start his team.
The Pistons get out from under Hamilton's atrocious contract and continue to shed payroll. The team has gotten rid of previous Piston stars Chauncey Billups, Rasheed Wallace and will also be expected to not bring back Tayshaun Prince this offseason.
The 2012 NBA season—if there is one—looks to be another poor season for the Piston team and its fans, but they should have spending room to make moves for their future.
In what would be a very good move for the Timberwolves, general manager and team president David Kahn would pull a move out of his mysterious bag of tricks by making away with the fourth and eighth pick in next month's draft.
With Irving and Williams off the board in the first two picks, and the Jazz taking one of the second-tier point guards such as Kemba Walker or Brandon Knight with the third pick in the draft, the Wolves would still be able to get the best player available and a player that fills a need in Enes Kanter at pick No. 4.
The eighth pick could be used in a couple different ways. Minnesota could take the top shooting guard available in Alec Burks out of Colorado, or they could look to take a risk on the defensive phenomenon Bismack Biyombo out of Congo. Either player would fill a need and also have very high upsides.
Another move the Wolves could make is to trade down once more or make a move for a veteran impact player. At pick No. 8, though, it's unclear as to what team would be willing to give away an impact player for a low top ten pick in a weak draft.
This trade could very well get accomplished and have big implications for the futures of all three teams involved. The Cavs get the second pick like they wanted, Minnesota grabs a top five pick while also acquiring a top 10 pick, and the Pistons get much-needed cap relief.
UPDATE: While this doesn't mean there won't be a trade, Detroit News beat writer Vincent Goodwill has discredited the rumor.