NBA Draft 2011: The Washington Wizards and 5 Teams Looking to Trade Up
In a professional draft, a team trading up in the first round is one of the more exhilarating events of a draft. Initially, the fans whose team traded up get all excited that their team may grab a player they never dreamed of getting, and the fans whose team traded down are flat-out baffled.
Once the pick is selected and the subsequent trade is announced, fans' opinions will change, but it's always exciting to be a part of a trade in the first round of a draft.
With the NBA Draft only consisting of two rounds, teams must move fast if they hope to trade up, considering it isn't a marathon like the NFL and MLB Drafts.
It's obvious to anyone that's followed the draft that the talent pool this year is severely lacking in star power. Only two players, Kyrie Irving and Derrick Williams, are believed to be likely All-Stars.
Fittingly, the team with the No. 2 selection, the Minnesota Timberwolves, have been actively shopping their pick as they really don't have a need for either player. This has caused much speculation as to whether the pick will be traded, and who the likely candidates are to obtain this highly desired selection.
Here is a look at five teams who will be looking to move up in the draft, though not necessarily all the way up to the second pick.
New York Knicks
Let's be honest, when aren't the New York Knicks a candidate to move up in the draft? The only difference this year as opposed to recent ones is that these guys are actually a decent team now.
New York is currently lacking a bomber from the outside after they dealt Danilo Gallinari as a part of the 'Melo acquisition. In the draft, the two top outside shooters are Klay Thompson and Jimmer Fredette.
Both Fredette and Thompson are not believed to be available when the Knicks pick at No. 17, so they're going to have to move up if they hope to grab either player. One of them should be available if they get up into the lottery, so it probably won't take much for them to make the move.
They don't have many assets, but if they offer up a future first-round pick, that should be enough.
The Houston Rockets' biggest problem is that they don't have a superstar but a ton of solid players. Too bad this caused them to miss the playoffs this season.
Their biggest need is at center due to the uncertain future of Yao Ming, and this draft class actually has a few quality bigs, namely Enes Kanter and Jonas Valanciunas. The Rockets will need to move up probably into the top five if they hope to grab either player.
With all of their assets (New York's 2012 first-round pick and Memphis' 2013 first-rounder) and two first-rounders (No. 14 and No. 23) this year, the Rockets could certainly make a package that would entice teams to deal with them.
The Phoenix Suns have made it no secret that they really want to grab Derrick Williams. Not only did he play at Arizona, but his size and athleticism make him a perfect fit for their system.
At 6'9", he'd be their power forward and could possibly have a similar career track as Amar'e Stoudemire did when he was playing with Steve Nash.
With the Timberwolves having a need at center, the Suns could use Marcin Gortat as a valuable trade piece to get the deal done. Their first-round pick isn't too far down (No. 13), so the Timberwolves could still grab a solid player there if they deal with the Suns.
Shocked to see the Cleveland Cavaliers on this list? Don't be. Despite having the first overall pick, owner Dan Gilbert is trying to move up from their second pick at No. 4 so they can draft Williams and Irving.
A duo like that would certainly speed up the rebuilding process the Cavs are undergoing.
Considering the Cavs only need to move up two slots and are reportedly open to dealing almost anyone on their roster, the Timberwolves would get their pick of which players they want. It also wouldn't be difficult to get another team involved if the Wolves are uninterested in the Cavs' players.
There had been a rumored trade about a month ago, which would involve the Detroit Pistons dealing Richard Hamilton and their No. 8 pick to the Cavs (Cleveland could absorb Hamilton's contract with their trade exception from the LeBron sign-and-trade). The Cavs would then deal the No. 8 and No. 4 pick to Minnesota for the No. 2 pick.
Looks like a solid deal for all involved in my eyes, so I wouldn't be shocked if something like this happens.
Yup, it was a rough year for John Wall. Sure, he had a good statistical year and would've won the Rookie of the Year had it not been for Blake Griffin, but it was pretty clear that Wall needs to find a running mate.
The Washington Wizards are hoping that it's Derrick Williams. They have two first-round picks at No. 6 and No. 18, and if they're willing to part with JaVale McGee (not sure if I would be), the Timberwolves would probably deal with them and I doubt would ask for both picks.
McGee's a talented seven-footer, which are dwindling in numbers, but if they're able to hold on to the No. 6 pick (give up their 2012 first-rounder instead), they could draft his replacement in either Enes Kanter or Jan Vesely.
A nucleus of Wall, Williams and either Kanter or Vesely would turn the Wizards from a dysfunctional, aging team into the next young team with tons of potential in just a couple years.
Now if they could only figure out a way to dump Rashard Lewis as well...
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