NBA Trade Rumors: Final Outlook on Post-Draft ReportsJuly 30, 2021
NBA Trade Rumors: Final Outlook on Post-Draft Reports
The NBA draft took place on Thursday night, and in a fairly anticlimactic move, the Detroit Pistons kicked off the affair by selecting Oklahoma State's Cade Cunningham.
As many expected, G-League product Jalen Green and USC's Evan Mobley rounded out the top three. However, there were a few surprises on draft night. Trades were a big part of the evening. The Los Angeles Lakers agreed to a deal to acquire Russell Westbrook from the Washington Wizards, while the Minnesota Timberwolves got Taurean Prince from the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Other moves included players and/or draft picks, and the trade activity is likely only heating up. Free agency unofficially starts on Sunday, and more deals are sure to be in the works.
Here, we'll examine the latest trade buzz coming out of Thursday night's draft. First, though, let's take a look at how things unfolded.
2021 NBA Draft Results
Washington Could Flip Kyle Kuzma and Montrezl Harrell
In the Westbrook deal, the Wizards acquired Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Montrezl Harrell, along with the No. 22 pick in the draft. Isaiah Jackson was selected at No. 22 and was quickly flipped to the Indiana Pacers for guard Aaron Holiday.
Jackson may not be the only member of the trade package traded by Washington. According to Wizards insider Quinton Mayo, Washington views Kuzma and Harrell as "assets to acquire Spencer Dinwiddie."
"Spencer Dinwiddie has expressed interest in playing alongside Bradley Beal in a Wizards uniform, I'm told," Mayo tweeted. "The pairing would require a sign and trade."
A sign-and-trade may indeed be Washington's best path toward acquiring Dinwiddie. With the Wizards projected to be significantly over the salary cap, it may be the only way an acquisition makes sense financially.
Dinwiddie is also expected to draw glances on the free-agent market. According to SNY's Ian Begley, the New York Knicks could be among the teams interested in landing him.
Bulls, Raptors, Celtics to Have Interest in Lonzo Ball
New Orleans Pelicans point guard Lonzo Ball is set to be a restricted free agent. While signing him to an offer sheet will be the most direct way for a team to acquire him, a sign-and-trade could be on the proverbial table.
ESPN's Zach Lowe recently discussed a rumor of a sign-and-trade involving Ball and Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon.
"That's been one of the hot rumors," Lowe said on The Lowe Post podcast (h/t Michael Mulford of Lonzo Wire). "Don't know what to think of it honestly, so I haven't mentioned it because I kind of don't know if I believe it."
While Brogdon may not be New Orleans' top target, the Pelicans should be able to get something in return for Ball in a sign-and-trade. According to Shams Charania of Stadium, at least three teams are heavily interested in the player.
"Chicago, we all know about their interest going back to the trade deadline. But I'm told two more teams that have shown interest in Ball: Boston, Toronto," Charania said. "... There is significant interest in Lonzo Ball with a deal that could rise upwards of $21 million or $22 million a year."
It'll be interesting to see if New Orleans can get out in front of the situation and set up a sign-and-trade before Ball signs any offer sheets.
Several Teams Interested in Ben Simmons, Golden State No Longer Among Them
Philadelphia 76ers point guard Ben Simmons wasn't traded during the draft, but teams could revisit the situation as the offseason progresses. According to The Athletic's Sam Amick, the 25-year-old could be on the move sooner than later.
"While Portland's Damian Lillard and Washington's Bradley Beal both appear to be in their respective holding patterns when it comes to possibly requesting a trade, it's looking increasingly likely that Philadelphia's Ben Simmons will be on the move," Amick wrote.
According to Amick, the Wizards, Raptors and Miami Heat are among the teams interested in plucking Simmons out of Philadelphia.
We can likely count the Golden State Warriors among the teams that don't want to acquire Simmons. According to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Enquirer, Golden State balked at Philly's draft-day asking price.
"The Sixers asked for Andrew Wiggins, James Wiseman, the Nos. 7 and 14 picks in tonight's NBA draft along with two future first-rounders in exchange for Ben Simmons, according to multiple sources. The Warriors quickly turned down the offer," Pompey wrote.
Simmons may still have a new home in 2021, but it's not likely to be with the Warriors.