'It's Brilliant': NBA Insiders Intrigued by Fake 3-Team Trade with No. 1 Pick

Eric Pincus@@EricPincusLA Lakers Lead WriterMay 13, 2020

The value of the 2020 No. 1 draft pick played a key role in an epic three-team trade in B/R's Fantasy League on Tuesday. Most scouts and draft analysts project Georgia's Anthony Edwards to go No. 1 overall.
The value of the 2020 No. 1 draft pick played a key role in an epic three-team trade in B/R's Fantasy League on Tuesday. Most scouts and draft analysts project Georgia's Anthony Edwards to go No. 1 overall.Associated Press

The B/R Fantasy League's Atlanta Hawks were at the center of a controversial whirlwind on Tuesday, agreeing to three trades, including two for John Collins, and one fake-out fake trade. 

Unfortunately for the Dallas Mavericks, Hawks fantasy general manager Noah Chestnut reneged on a deal sending Collins to Dallas with Dewayne Dedmon for Maxi Kleber, Delon Wright and the No. 18 pick in the upcoming draft. 

After starting off the day sending Clint Capela to the Boston Celtics for Marcus Smart and Robert Williams, the Hawks instead reached an agreement in principle on a four-player, three-team deal:

  • The Hawks reroute Smart to the Golden State Warriors.

  • In return, Atlanta jumps from No. 6 to the top overall pick in the draft.

  • The Warriors drop two slots, getting the No. 3 pick from the Cleveland Cavaliers.

  • The Cavaliers get John Collins while falling three spots in the draft (No. 6 pick from Atlanta).

  • Atlanta will also get Cedi Osman and the Milwaukee Bucks' protected 2022 first-rounder, via the Cavaliers.

  • The Hawks also get Jordan Poole from the Warriors.

The agreement cannot be executed until after the NBA moratorium, when the Warriors' hard cap restriction is lifted. Golden State will be acquiring Smart via their Andre Iguodala trade exception. They'll get a new $2.1 million trade exception for Poole. The Cavaliers also get an $8.8 million trade exception for Osman; the Hawks get exceptions for Smart ($4.6 million) and Collins ($2.1 million).

B/R polled a real-world agent, a current Western Conference executive and a former Western Conference executive for their takes on Tuesday's events.

"It's brilliant," the agent said, complimenting the complexity, but he also blasted Chestnut. "Hawks get screwed in that. The other teams do well."

"Atlanta moves from No. 6 to No. 1 for Collins and Capela? I'm not fond of that move," the executive said.

The former executive had a different opinion. "I don't like it for Boston. Love it for Atlanta. Like it for Cleveland. Don't like it for Golden State. It's not even [Atlanta moving up to No. 1] that's the good stuff, it's the 2022 Bucks pick [because Giannis Antetokounmpo could have moved on by then]."

Both the current and former executives have concerns about the top of the coming draft.

"There's hardly a consensus at the moment for the top picks," the executive said. "I like the gamble that the Warriors take. They need depth more than anything because they're [still] in win-now mode."

"I hate No. 1 this year," the former executive said. "I'd rather have No. 2 or No. 3."

As far as the Hawks backing out of a deal?

“I may be the heel this league needs,” Chestnut said.

“It's a dog-eat-dog world! No friends in this business," the agent said. "I'm all for the ruthlessness."

Meanwhile, Warriors fantasy general manager Sean Jordan was relieved once the agreement was finalized. "I had my eyes on Marcus Smart from the beginning," he said.


Nets Get a Third Star; Spurs Add Depth

In addition to the drama surrounding Atlanta, the B/R Fantasy League was extremely busy on Tuesday. The Brooklyn Nets were able to land a third scorer next to Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant in San Antonio Spurs guard DeMar DeRozan.

Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

DeRozan, who agreed to opt in to the final year of his contract at $27.7 million to play with Irving and Durant, will join the Nets after the moratorium with Derrick White and the player taken with No. 41 pick in this week's draft.

San Antonio gets a sizable return in Spencer Dinwiddie, Taurean Prince and Jarrett Allen, along with the player taken at No. 20 in the draft.

"Spurs won that trade, quite easily," the agent said. "I actually do think [DeRozan] is a very good fit there [in Brooklyn], but I still think the Spurs won the trade."

"I don't like DeRozan's game," the former executive said. "But he'll be a good third wheel. It's an interesting trade. The [Spurs] will love the No. 20 pick. I prefer 20-30 in this draft [over higher]."

"That's a good return on DeRozan," the current executive said. "Dinwiddie was nearly an All-Star and is on a great contract."


Trades! Trades! Trades!

Rounding out the trades Tuesday:

  • The Sacramento Kings sent Marvin Bagley III and Nemanja Bjelica to the Houston Rockets for PJ Tucker, Danuel House and an unprotected 2022 first-rounder.

  • The Houston Rockets also picked up Troy Brown Jr. from the Washington Wizards for Ben McLemore.

  • The Toronto Raptors acquired Brandon Clarke from the Memphis Grizzlies for OG Anunoby and an unprotected 2021 first-rounder.

  • The Los Angeles Clippers acquired Devonte' Graham and Cody Martin from the Charlotte Hornets for Landry Shamet, Mfiondu Kabengele and two second-rounders (No. 57 this week and one in 2022).

  • The Phoenix Suns traded for Lauri Markkanen, sending Mikal Bridges, Ty Jerome and a first-round pick to the Chicago Bulls. The pick will only convey in 2021 if it's top-three, otherwise it's unprotected in 2022.

On the Kings' deal, the agent had some harsh words.

"I hate it for Sacramento," he said. "[They] took Bagley over Luka [Doncic] and took major heat for it … [can't let] Bagley go for less than an All-Star purely on principle.

Kings fantasy general manager Grant Hughes told B/R, "[We] had discussions on Bagley with at least 15 other teams, and this was the best offer."

Additionally, the former executive was concerned about the future of the Raptors with several free agents such as Marc Gasol, Serge Ibaka and Fred VanVleet. Even if the team re-signs VanVleet, it may not stay in contention in 2020-21.

"I love Clarke, but not like that. If the Raptors blow it up next year, they need the asset," he said. "Unprotected? Oh, hell no. [Toronto] may need that pick."

There was some general surprise that the Clippers gave up Shamet, only matched by the surprise that the Hornets let Graham go.

Finally, the former executive didn't love the Chicago side of the deal with Phoenix.

"The [Suns' pick] is 1-3 protected? Nah, no thanks. Need it unprotected," he said. "You need the asset to convey that year. They need the players now. When you give up a player like Lauri, you need immediate returns. Put Lauri in [coach Monty Williams'] system and he thrives.


Boylen Out, Griffin In

NBA head coach job security does not extend to B/R's Fantasy League.
NBA head coach job security does not extend to B/R's Fantasy League.Paul Beaty/Associated Press

With so many fireworks on Tuesday, the Bulls' coaching change almost flew under the radar. Jim Boylen, who joined the franchise as an associate head coach in 2015 under Fred Hoiberg and was promoted to head coach in December of 2018 when Hoiberg was let go, was replaced by Raptors assistant Adrian Griffin.

Griffin, who played for the Bulls in 2004-05 and 2006-07, also served as an assistant under Tom Thibodeau in Chicago from 2010 to 2015. He's also been on the bench for the Orlando Magic and Oklahoma City Thunder. Griffin earned a ring last June with the Raptors as part of Nick Nurse's staff.

The Bulls held a 22-43 record upon the NBA's stoppage, eight games behind the eight-place Magic.


Other Buzz

  • The fantasy New York Knicks are still not trading Mitchell Robinson, despite a flurry of offers. And while the Knicks insist he won't be traded, sources indicate general manager Alex Larsen may be willing to deal the young center for a high-level point guard.

  • Similarly, the Utah Jazz aren't interested in trading Rudy Gobert unless they too are blown away by an offer. Instead, Mike Conley could be on the move, though he has yet to decide on his early termination option.

  • The Portland Trail Blazers are holding firm on CJ McCollum, but they have been listening to more substantial offers over the past 24 hours.

  • The Minnesota Timberwolves have tired of waiting for the Suns to decide on Devin Booker, choosing to move on barring a "strong change." Minnesota may look to see if Zach LaVine can be pried from the Bulls. Word out of Chicago is that LaVine is available.

  • The Grizzlies are extremely active and may even be open to moving on from Justise Winslow. Look to the Denver Nuggets as a potential destination.

  • Michael Porter Jr. continues to be in serious demand out of Denver. The Nuggets are believed to have some interest in Chris Paul of the Oklahoma City Thunder and could be willing to part with young star Jamal Murray.

  • Jrue Holiday is still in demand, and there's no word yet on if he'll sign an extension with the New Orleans Pelicans. The Bucks remain interested. New Orleans is looking at Aaron Gordon of the Orlando Magic.

  • With Tucker out of Houston, other teams tell B/R the Rockets are looking to get out of Eric Gordon's contract next. The Knicks’ Julius Randle may be a target.

  • Kelly Oubre is being shopped by the Suns.

  • The Indiana Pacers don't intend to move T.J. Warren, their leading scorer and starter at small forward, but might be willing to let him go in the right deal. Having traded Myles Turner on Monday to the Detroit Pistons for Blake Griffin, the Pacers are looking to add a replacement defensive-minded center.

  • The Miami Heat have several teams interested in Kendrick Nunn, but his minimum salary would need to be paired with someone earning substantially more coming out of Miami, unless the return is a lottery pick.

  • The Philadelphia 76ers are open to moving Al Horford, but to date they have found his contract to be prohibitive.

  • The Pistons are close to finalizing another deal...


Email Eric Pincus at eric.pincus@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter, @EricPincus.


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