X

NBA Trade Rumors: Top Reports Surfacing After 2020 Draft Lottery

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistAugust 22, 2020

New Orleans Pelicans' Lonzo Ball looks on against the Sacramento Kings during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Mike Ehrmann/Pool Photo via AP)
Mike Ehrmann/Associated Press

With the 2020 NBA draft lottery in the books and the Minnesota Timberwolves nabbing the No. 1 overall pick, there is no shortage of chatter regarding potential trades when the offseason begins.

The number of teams inside the NBA bubble in Orlando, Florida, has been cut down from 22 to 16 with the start of the playoffs, meaning roughly half the league is solely focused on the draft, free agency and the trade market.

With the offseason looming, here is a closer look at some of the biggest trade rumors making the rounds in the NBA.

                    

Lonzo Ball

Point guard Lonzo Ball is just one year into his tenure with the New Orleans Pelicans, but the organization reportedly may already be looking to move on.

Appearing Friday on ESPN, NBA analyst Jay Williams said he has heard the Pelicans may want to use Ball as a trading asset:

NBA Central @TheNBACentral

Jay Williams is hearing that Lonzo Ball may be used as a trading asset in New Orleans (🎥 Keyshawn, JWill And Zubin) https://t.co/HPiUVhNLDa

The Pelicans got Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and draft picks in the deal that sent Anthony Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers prior to the 2019-20 season. While Ingram realized his potential and developed into an All-Star this season, that wasn't the case for Ball.

The 22-year-old averaged 11.8 points, 7.0 assists, 6.1 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game. He also shot just 40.3 percent from the field, although he did hit on a career-best 37.5 percent of attempts from beyond the arc.

While the 2017 No. 2 overall pick out of UCLA is a top-flight talent and a versatile player, his offensive ceiling may not be as high as originally hoped.

David Aldridge of The Athletic also reported being told by people in the NBA bubble in Orlando that Ball "looked like he'd checked out the whole time the Pels were there."

The Pelicans were one of the bubble's biggest disappointments and failed to reach the playoffs, but there is reason for optimism in 2020-21 and beyond.

Ingram and Zion Williamson form the core, while Jaxson Hayes and Nickeil Alexander-Walker have plenty of potential as well. Also, veterans Jrue Holiday and JJ Redick are under contract for next season.

If the Pelicans feel they can keep Holiday beyond the 2020-21 campaign, then it could make sense to move Ball for a capable shooter or a big man who can be paired with Zion.

                   

Mavericks' First-Round Pick

The Dallas Mavericks don't yet know exactly when they'll be picking in the first round of the 2020 NBA draft since they are still in the playoffs, but they are reportedly open to moving the pick.

According to Jeremy Woo of Sports Illustrated, the Mavs have already made it known that the pick is available because they are "in search of immediate help" and want to "accelerate their path toward contention."

The current projection is that the Mavs will pick 18th assuming they lose their first-round playoff series to the Los Angeles Clippers. Dallas currently trails the series 2-1.

Dallas is one of the most promising young teams in the NBA thanks largely to the combination of guard Luka Doncic and big man Kristaps Porzingis, while guards Delon Wright and Seth Curry and forwards Dwight Powell and Maxi Kleber are among the top secondary players under contract next season.

A wing scorer and a center to pair with Porzingis are Dallas' biggest needs, and using a first-round pick in a trade package could boost the team's title chances.

The Western Conference is as deep and competitive as ever, and if the Mavericks want to truly improve on their No. 7 seed next season, they can ill afford to stand pat.

              

Aaron Gordon

The Orlando Magic are just two years removed from signing forward Aaron Gordon to a four-year, $80 million contract extension, but his tenure with the team could be coming to an end.

Anthony Slater of The Athletic noted that the relationship between Gordon and the Magic has seemingly become "stale." Slater also reported that there is "a little smoke" with regard to the Golden State Warriors having interest in Gordon.

The Warriors were the worst team in the NBA this season with Klay Thompson missing the entire campaign and Stephen Curry missing nearly the whole year. They have a good chance to bounce back next season, though, with a healthy Thompson and Curry, plus Draymond Green, Andrew Wiggins and the No. 2 overall pick in the 2020 NBA draft.

It is possible that the Warriors could trade that pick, but former Memphis big man James Wiseman could be too much to pass up. If they do trade it, it is highly unlikely that it would be for Gordon.

The 24-year-old Gordon has played at close to an All-Star level at times during his career, but his numbers were down this season, as he averaged 14.4 points, 7.7 rebounds and 3.7 assists. Gordon also shot just 43.7 percent from the field and 30.8 percent from three.

Gordon isn't far removed from averaging a career-high 17.6 points and 7.9 rebounds per game in 2017-18, however, and the fact that he is under contract for two more seasons means he isn't a rental.

Also, at 6'8", Gordon would give the Warriors some much-needed size, which is something they lack unless they take a big like Wiseman in the draft.

Gordon is the type of fast and explosive athlete who could thrive in Golden State's system, so if the Warriors can get him in a deal that doesn't include the No. 2 overall pick, it may be worth jumping at the opportunity.

🚨 SPORTS NEWS ➡️ YOUR INBOX

The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.