NBA Draft 2011 Results: Analyzing the 3 Biggest Draft-Day Trades
Steve Nash, Tony Parker and Kevin Love were the big names rumored to be dealt on draft night. In the end, none of these guys were dealt, but it did provide viewers with some interesting content to watch out for.
Everyone seems to love trades—that is, until their favorite team swaps its superstar for young developing talent or a rival picks up a player you wish your team had gotten.
In this draft, I feel as if each team that made a trade received quality in return, and there were no "what was that GM thinking?" moves. The only questionable move in my opinion was the Pacers and Spurs deal.
Below is a breakdown of the three biggest trades of the 2011 NBA draft.
Pacers Trade No. 15 Pick Kawhi Leonard to Spurs for George Hill
This was the most surprising trade of the night due to the fact that earlier in the week, there were rumors of Tony Parker being dealt to either the Raptors or Kings for their respective lottery picks.
Indiana also sent its No. 42 pick, Davis Bertans, and Erazem Lorbek, its second-round pick in 2005, to the Spurs in the deal. Hill has played a total of three years with the Spurs and averaged 11.6 points and 2.5 assists last season.
The winner of this trade has to be the Pacers. This team was already in the playoffs last year as a No. 8 seed, and with the addition of Hill, it will only get better. Hill provides another scoring threat and has proven he can play in pressure situations.
The Pacers have also added Roy Hibbert, Tyler Hansbrough and Paul George in the first round on draft day within the past three years.
Bucks, Bobcats and Kings in a Three-Way Deal
The Bobcats sent top scorer Stephen Jackson, 19th pick Tobias Harris and backup point guard Shaun Livingston to the Bucks. Milwaukee was a team in desperate need of added scoring and also added guard Beno Udrih from the Kings.
Charlotte got the No. 7 overall pick from Sacramento—Congo's Bismack Biyombo—and forward Corey Maggette from Milwaukee.
Guard John Salmons went from Milwaukee to Sacramento. The Kings also got the 10th pick from the Bucks: BYU's Jimmer Fredette.
This deal seems to make a lot of sense for all three teams. The Bucks needed scoring, and they will receive this from proven veteran Stephen Jackson. The Bobcats continue to shed veterans while adding young talent, and the Kings picked up another scorer to go along with Tyreke Evans.
It's hard to gauge, but the team that wins this trade has to be the Milwaukee Bucks. This team is the most playoff-ready out of the three and is expected to make a strong push next season.
It's hard not to make a case for the Kings as well, though, just because a player like Jimmer Fredette will sell to the fans as well as provide an offensive spark early.
Blazers, Nuggets and Mavs Swap Players
This is another trade where I see all three teams improving. Raymond Felton seems to be the inspiration for Johnny Cash's song "I've Been Everywhere" (this being his fourth team in less then a year). Felton is a solid point guard, and I see him excelling with his old teammate from Charlotte, Gerald Wallace.
Denver receives a veteran PG in Andre Miller and Jordan Hamilton, a 6'7", 220-pound guard/forward who averaged 18.6 points and 7.7 rebounds per game over two seasons with the Texas Longhorns.
Dallas acquired Rudy Fernandez, a guy who can shoot the basketball and who would be perfect in its system.
The overall winner has to be the Portland Trail Blazers. With acquiring Felton, they moved 35-year-old veteran Andre Miller and received a 27-year-old PG in the prime of his career in return. The Blazers also drafted Nolan Smith, a guy who is very similar to Felton.