5 Blockbuster NBA Trades That Would Blow Up Draft Night
With the agreed-to trade of Anthony Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers, the No. 4 pick in the 2019 NBA draft has already switched teams.
What other top selections and players could be on the move?
While Davis was the top prize on the trade market, he could be far from the only big name to change teams. Players like Bradley Beal, Kevin Love and Mike Conley could be dealt given how poorly their teams performed in 2018-19 and their need for young talent.
There are also teams—like the Atlanta Hawks with three first-round selections—that could be looking to package picks to move up or use a pick (or two) to land an established player.
Per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, even the No. 4 pick that was already traded from L.A. to the New Orleans Pelicans is drawing "significant interest" from teams around the league.
Whether based on a pick, player or combination of both, the following five trades would significantly shake up the draft.
Bulls, Pelicans Trade Lottery Picks, Kris Dunn
Bulls Receive: No. 4 pick
Pelicans Receive: PG Kris Dunn, No. 7 pick
The Chicago Bulls need a point guard and should be eyeing Vanderbilt's Darius Garland or UNC's Coby White at No. 7.
The problem? Both could be gone by then, with the Cleveland Cavaliers (No. 5) having attended a private workout for Garland and the point guard-needy Phoenix Suns picking at No. 6.
The solution? A jump to No. 4, where they would have the choice of Garland or White.
Point guard isn't a need for the Pelicans, who have Jrue Holiday on the roster. With their agreed-to trade for Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart and Brandon Ingram and likely selection of Zion Williamson, New Orleans needs only a center and some depth. No center in this draft appears worthy of the fourth pick, and plenty of talented players will still be available at No. 7.
Moving back a few spots shouldn't be a big deal for the Pelicans, especially if they pick up a player like Dunn. The 25-year-old hasn't proved worthy of being a franchise point guard yet, but he'd be a great backup to Holiday and is still on a rookie contract. Dunn would be a quality rotation piece, as would whomever they could select seventh overall.
Kevin Love Helps Convince Kemba Walker to Stay
Hornets Receive: PF Kevin Love, SG Jordan Clarkson
Cavaliers Receive: C Bismack Biyombo, PF Marvin Williams, SG Malik Monk, No. 12 pick
Sure, an extra $80 million in guaranteed money should be enough for Kemba Walker to return to the Charlotte Hornets, but putting some guys around him who can create their own shots would help, too.
With Jeremy Lamb also hitting free agency, the Hornets' leading scorers under contract are Marvin Williams and Cody Zeller, who both scored just 10.1 points per game. Walker has perhaps the worst supporting cast of any star in the NBA and is even willing to take less than the supermax for Charlotte to bring in more talent. With this deal, he wouldn't have to.
Love, 30, is a five-time All-Star who averaged 17.0 points and 10.9 rebounds per game last season for the Cavs. Clarkson, 27, was one of the NBA's best sixth men, putting up 16.8 points and 2.4 assists per contest in 81 games off the bench. Those two scoring averages would have ranked second and third on the Hornets behind Walker last season.
Parting with Love would mark the end of an era in Cleveland but allow him to join a team with playoff aspirations once again. In return, the Cavs could add a third first-round pick to help with their rebuild, and they could then try to package the Nos. 12 and 26 picks to move up.
Monk has averaged just 7.9 points per game on 37.6 percent shooting in his two pro seasons but is still only 21 and would get a crack at the Cavs' starting shooting guard job. Williams and Biyombo represent $32 million worth of expiring contracts and would push the Cavaliers' 2020 summer savings to over $86 million, even without factoring in restricted free agents and JR Smith's likely departure this month.
Lonzo Ball Settles with Suns
Suns Receive: PG Lonzo Ball, Nos. 39 and 57 picks
Pelicans Receive: No. 6 pick
Though he's not officially with the Pelicans yet, there should be a second move planned for Ball.
The Suns need a pass-first point guard, someone who can defend and set the table for Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton, T.J. Warren and others. While Ball's offensive shortcomings are well documented (9.9 points per game, 40.6 percent shooting from the field last season), he's got elite passing and defensive potential.
Still just 21, Ball would be the perfect complement to the Suns' young core. While giving up a lottery pick would sting Phoenix, New Orleans would send back two second-round picks.
Adding another top pick in the draft would give David Griffin and the Pelicans the Nos. 1, 4 and 6 picks. With Holiday under contract for the next two seasons with a player option after that, Ball would be a backup or starting shooting guard...who can't shoot.
Another lottery pick would be more trade bait for the Pelicans, or they could select a player like Texas Tech's Jarrett Culver, Virginia's De'Andre Hunter or Duke's Cam Reddish.
Knicks Finally Land a Star
Knicks Receive: SG Bradley Beal
Wizards Receive: G Frank Ntilikina, No. 3 pick
With Davis off the star big board, the New York Knicks could turn to the next-best player potentially on the trade market.
Acquiring Bradley Beal would not only give New York a 25-year-old shooting guard who averaged 25.6 points per game last season, it would provide it with a face for its superstar summer recruitment. Unlike in a trade for Davis, the Knicks would actually get to keep most of their young core (Dennis Smith Jr., Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson) to use as rotation pieces or future trade bait.
For the Washington Wizards, what's sure to be a disappointing 2019-20 season would carry the promise of watching RJ Barrett begin his development into a star. The 6'7" guard-forward could slide into Beal's starting spot and take the keys to the offense as John Wall continues to recover from his Achilles injury.
Ntilikina, the eighth pick in the 2017 draft, could use a system reset outside of New York. He's got All-Defensive potential, even if he's shown little to no offensive game (5.9 points, 3.1 assists per game, 35.4 percent shooting in two seasons).
While parting with Beal would be tough, he's under contract for just two more seasons. His trade value will never be higher, and the compensation (Barrett) may never be greater. The Wizards would get to start fresh with Barrett on a rookie deal and zero pressure on Wall to speed up his recovery.