There is still a lot of uncertainty regarding the front part of the NBA Draft. It will become even foggier when the trades start to roll in. Here are some deals that would make sense before or during the draft tomorrow night.
Atlanta Gets Rid of Schroder
Atlanta Hawks receive: Solomon Hill, Ish Smith, 2020 New Orleans top-5 protected first round pick
New Orleans Pelicans receive: Dennis Schroder
Detroit Pistons receive: Alexis Ajinca, 2018 Atlanta Hawks 30th overall pick
Dennis Schroder has the talent to draw a lot of attention, but his maturity and off-the-court issues will sour his value a little bit. For the Hawks, he is too toxic to keep in the locker room. The Pelicans will probably try to bring Rajon Rondo back, but Schroder offers a longer-term option to pair with AD and Boogie Cousins. Detroit would get a back-end first-round pick after giving up theirs in the Blake Griffin deal, without giving up too much. I am under the impression that the Hawks, despite prior reports, are seriously considering taking Luka Doncic with the third pick if he is available. Trading Schroder would allow Doncic to build a rapport with the young team and lead Atlanta back to relevance.
Mountain States Swap Pieces
Denver Nuggets receive: Alec Burks and 2021 Washington Wizards second-round pick
Utah Jazz receive: Kenneth Faried and 2018 Denver Nuggets (via Golden State) 58th pick
This would just be a simple swap to hedge against potential free agent losses. Rising swingman Will Barton is going to demand a large salary that the Nuggets may not be willing to pay. Burks has been affected injuries the last couple years but is instant offense off the bench. Utah could move on from Derrick Favors by bringing in a high-energy big like Faried who plays a much more up-tempo style than Favors.
The Process Moves Up Again
Brooklyn Nets receive: Chandler Parsons, 2018 Philadelphia 76ers 26th pick, 2020 Dallas Mavericks second-round pick
Memphis Grizzlies receive: DeMarre Carroll, Jeremy Lin, Dario Saric, 2018 Philadelphia 76ers 10th pick, 2018 Philadelphia 76ers 39th pick
Philadelphia 76ers receive: Wayne Selden, Ivan Rabb, 2018 Memphis Grizzlies 4th pick
For the Nets, they would absorb Parsons’ brutal contract but would lose similar salaries in Carroll and Lin. The extra first round pick will aid in their rebuild, as they would get another shot at finding a rotation piece. Memphis has openly expressed a desire to ship the fourth pick if Parsons is involved. Carroll and Lin both have deals that end after next year and both are solid veteran players that will help Memphis compete more consistently. With the tenth pick, they could find another guy to plug in and contribute, like Mikal or Miles Bridges or potentially Kevin Knox. Saric is the biggest addition as a skilled four man that shot nearly 40% from three last year. Reports have been that the Sixers have been reluctant to part with the Croatian forward, which is understandable. But if you have a chance on Thursday to trade up and add another gifted playmaker like Doncic or a post presence like Jaren Jackson or Mo Bamba, I think you have to pull the trigger. The latter two provide a defensive upgrade over Saric and a Doncic- Simmons pairing in the backcourt would be a lot of fun.
Ibaka to LA
Toronto Raptors receive: Danilo Gallinari and 2018 LA Clippers (via Detroit) 12th pick
LA Clippers receive: Serge Ibaka and Norman Powell
The Clippers have back-to-back picks in the lottery and really want to package them to move into the top-10. I am not expecting that to occur with their lack of trade assets. Ibaka would give them a rim protector with real size at the four and Powell has become dispensable with the emergence of OG Anunoby. Toronto is looking for a draft pick to provide a cheap alternative to adding talent since they have so much money locked up in their backcourt. Gallinari is incredibly injury prone and is coming off one of his worst shooting seasons. When he’s on the court, his ability to stretch the floor and create mismatches will be valuable. His contract is just slightly less than Ibaka’s, but the Pascal Siakam has proven to be a competent big for the Raptors. The big move here is that the Raptors get the 12th pick where they could potentially select Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, a Canadian guard that they are reportedly high on.
Cleveland Chooses To Win Now
Hornets receive: George Hill, Cedi Osman, 2018 Cleveland Cavaliers 8th pick
Cavaliers receive: Kemba Walker, Jeremy Lamb
LeBron doesn’t seem to have his mind made up just yet. Reports are that most Kemba deals have been rejected, but if the Cavs get desperate, giving up that pick without getting one back may be the motivating piece. This deal would put Cleveland in a better position to compete next year by adding a 20-point per game shot-maker in Walker and a long, active wing in Lamb who is coming off of his best career year. The biggest plus for Charlotte is adding the eighth pick without sacrificing their own eleventh. That puts them in place to add a point guard for the future as well as a scoring wing or a big like Robert Williams to replace Dwight Howard. Hill struggled in stretches with the Cavs, but he still shot 42 percent from three on the year and has the ability to defend and run a team. Osman is the one young piece on the Cavs that teams seem enamored with due to his size and skill set as a wing. For Cleveland, a big three of LeBron, Kevin Love, and Kemba would give be one of the more feared trios in the NBA.