• Devin O'Brien

Teams Most Likely to Make a Trade on Draft Night

The NBA draft is approaching and that means trades. Wait, what, trades? Yes, trades. Over the last four seasons we have seen at least 10 trades on draft night. So here are four teams that will make a move on draft night.

Boston Celtics

Boston is the topic of much trade discussion heading into draft day because of their ability to trade for a star player, but it is because of their treasure chest of 2nd round draft choices that Danny Ainge will make a move. Ainge can package his 3 second round picks and move up in this draft and get a better player, trade them for 2018 picks, or use them as part of a bigger move, but whatever the case may be, the Celtics simply do not have the roster space to accommodate 4 rookies. Best case scenario one or two of them get shuffled between the D-League and the Celtics, but that doesn’t yield much value out of them for Ainge. Expect a few draft and stashes as well as a trade or two, but no movement of the 1st pick.

Philadelphia 76ers

The Philadelphia 76ers have a lot of draft selections, 5 to be exact. They also have good corner stones to build on this offseason,Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, the #3 pick, oodles of cap space (If Kyle Lowry signs here, the 76ers are my front runners for most improved team), and Dario Saric. Thanks to Sam Hinkie, Jerry Colangelo has a lot to work with. I don’t see them taking 4 second round picks onto their roster, I think 2 is a more realistic expectation. With the 2nd round picks Colangelo has free reign to do what he wants, with young building blocks in place he is in no rush to draft assets and I wouldn’t be surprised if a team locked out of the second round this year either pays Colangelo for a pick or if he trades one or two of them for future second round choices rather than have 4 this year.

Portland Trail Blazers

Portland has 15 guys under contract for the coming offseason and has 3 first round picks (26, 20, 15). This team has a lot players with of big contracts that, quite honestly, are not the kind of contracts championship teams pay players of that caliber. I would be far fetched to find a championship team that pays Evan Turner and Allen Crabbe 17+ million. Other players are on ok deals but not great, Meyers Leonard and Moe Harkless are under contract for around 10 Million until the 2020 offseason, Festus Ezeli is on the line for 8 million this year and Ed Davis is on for 6 million this year. Portland might try and use one of those picks to unload some salary and clear some roster spots.

I look for Portland to trade up from 15 or 20 into the lottery and grab a guy that can contribute, but most importantly complement and develop with Dame Lillard and CJ McCollum. To me there are 11 high end prospects so snagging any one of those players is a win. If they don’t trade picks to purely shed salary (a practice I loathe), I would love for them to trade 20/15 and one of their PF/C’s for a pick between 8-11 picks.

Brooklyn Nets

Brooklyn, like Portland, Boston, and Brooklyn, has a lot of selections and a lot of guaranteed contracts. With three picks (22, 27, and 57) in the NBA draft and not a great deal of talent or direction, Sean Marks has essentially a clean slate to build his team. If I was Marks I would do one of two things, trade up or trade down. The reason being that if he sticks with what he has got right now, he gets two average prospects in the late first round, bringing in 2 guys like John Collins, Isaiah Hartenstein, or Terrance Ferguson won’t move the needle for your franchise. In addition, they have 14 guys on the roster for next season already, so there is not that much room. Trading up solves both issues, allowing the Nets to draft a more talented player in the late lottery that can actually make a difference.

On the flip side, the Nets have a lot of guys on their roster that make me say “Eh he is ok”, as a team trying to rebuild with no first round picks, Marks needs to embrace his inner Sam Hinkie and start making deals. If Brooklyn can get deals such as, Andrew Nicholson/Trevor Booker for 2 future second round picks or Spencer Dinwiddie and Quincy Acy for whatever they can get. Keeping portions of the contracts on the books allows for those players to be worth more on the open market, while allowing for younger lottery ticket guys to populate the roster. Sam Hinkie may have had the record for most 10 day contracts and second round picks in NBA history and Marks should emulate that tactic.

Keeping the 22nd pick, and taking the best talent available and then trading back into the second round with the 27th pick and some of the roster players is the best course of action. This is a deep draft and there are a lot (Emphasis on A LOT)of 2nd round prospects that excite me. (Juwan Evans, Semi Ojeleye, DJ Wilson, Devin Robinson, PJ Dozier, Jaron Blossomgame, Edmond Sumner, Sterling Brown, Dwayne Bacon, Davon Reed, Chance Comanche, to name a few)

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