With the NBA draft rapidly approaching the trade talks are heating up. Teams like the Celtics,Timberwolves, Pelicans, and the Lakers have all been rumored to be shopping their draft pick in hopes of landing a “difference maker”. Of course, all four of these teams likely will not trade their pick- in fact, if I had to put a number on it, I’d say only one of these teams will actually pull the trigger on a trade. But the question looms: Which team will?
That is a question I cannot answer, but what I can do is examine trades that would shake up the landscape of the entire draft.
- Timberwolves receive: Thaddeus Young
Nets receive: 5th overall pick
Of all the supposed trades this one makes the most sense for both sides. Honestly, who says no? The Timberwolves are looking for a stretch four to play along side Karl-Anthony Towns in their front court- while the Nets are as desperate for a draft pick as Gollum was for the ring inThe Lord Of The Rings.
Young fits perfectly alongside Towns in their frontcourt. Not only would he spread the floor with his ability to hit a 15 footer, but he also would clear the lanes for the likes of Andrew Wiggins,Zach LaVine, and Ricky Rubio to finish at the rim.
The Nets would get the pick they desperately need. Despite a lack of draft picks over the next three years, they’re in rebuilding mode. They need to get younger and the only way to do that is to unload some of their more talented veteran players such as Young.
- Celtics receive: Jahlil Okafor
76ers receive: 3rd overall
Despite qualifying for the playoffs the Celtics own the number three overall pick thanks in part to a one-sided trade with the Nets in 2013. Since the night of the draft lottery the Celtics have been rumored to be shopping the pick, and who would blame them? The two premier players in the draft, Ben Simmons and Brandon Ingram are perfect fits for the Celtics, but unfortunately both Simmons and Ingram will not be available. The Celtics have a plethora of guards making their selection at number three even less desirable for them.
Jahlil Okafor would fill a need for the Celtics that no player in the draft can. They need a center that is capable of playing more than 20 minutes per game.
Unlike the Celtics, the 76ers have a surplus of capable big men on their roster. In addition to Okafor, the 76ers have Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid on their roster. Baring health (yes I’m looking at you Embiid) all three players are capable of being solid NBA starters. All reports indicate that Okafor appears to be the odd man out, making a possible trade to Boston even more tantalizing.
- Lakers receive: Jimmy Butler
This trade would indicate that the Bulls are transitioning into full on rebuild mode. With the departure of Jimmy Butler, Derrick Rose, and Joakim Noah the three players who defined the Bulls for the last half-decade would be gone. Two top six picks would allow second year head coach Fred Hoiberg to bring in his type of guys- players that fit the system he wants to run. Jrue Holiday is a player Hoiberg has expressed interest in, and Holiday’s contract is up after the season-which means even if he ended up being a disaster it wouldn’t set the franchise back.
The Lakers would get the superstar they covet in Jimmy Butler. Not only would he become the face of the franchise, but also he would immediately propel this team from unwatchable to watchable. Butler is young, a two-way player, and a legitimate super-star in this league.
The Pelicans would be taking on huge risk bringing in Derrick Rose, but if it pans out it could be worthwhile. Like Holiday, Rose has been plagued with injuries for the last three seasons, and will most likely continue to deal with these problems- but Rose’s upside is much higher than that of Holidays. If Rose were to capitalize on that upside and return to half of what he was in 2011 then the Pelicans would suddenly be one of the most exciting teams in the league. Gibson would provide the team with a replacement for Ryan Anderson. Gibson’s tough demeanor and gritty play style fits the Pelicans much better than the stretch four that Anderson is.
Spark Sports NBA Analyst