You will continue to hear the multitude in speculations, rumors, and predictions until the NBA draft tips off on June 22nd. The top 3 picks in all likelihood seem to be set.
Despite, many false reports Zion Williamson is ready to embrace a future in the city of the Mardi gras in New Orleans with the Pelicans. The Grizzlies are actively shopping their star point guard, Mike Conley and are locked in on picking Murray State point guard, Ja Morant. Duke’s RJ Barrett to the Big Apple to play with the New York Knicks is looking like a stronger possibility by the day.
While these three players seem to be the clear consensus best players in the draft, there are still many more dominoes that we at Fadeawayworld believe will fall. Draft night is always more than just who a team will pick. There are some trades we believe could go down and an interesting theory about a certain college that could dominate on draft night.
1. Anthony Davis To Boston, Not New York Or LA
When healthy, I will still proclaim that Anthony Davis is still the best big man in basketball unless we are considering Kevin Durant and Giannis Antetokounmpo to be big men. There have been many speculations that the New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets, and even the LA Lakers are vying for the services of this two-way superstar in Anthony Davis.
However, there were reports that the new GM of the Pelicans, David Griffin is going to make a strong case for Anthony Davis to stay in NOLA. The Pelicans are going to take Duke sensation, Zion Williamson with the 1st pick. Many people were starting to falsely speculate on Zion’s dissatisfaction with the lottery. Zion’s stepfather, Lee Anderson told 104.5 FM ESPN in Baton Rouge that Zion is excited about playing in New Orleans. He also shut down the possibility of a return to Duke per Andrew Joseph of USA Today. The Pelicans have a great two-way guard in Jrue Holiday, but most likely this will not be enough to convince Anthony Davis to stay.
The reason I say the Boston Celtics will be the most likely trade partner is because of how the Pelicans covet Jayson Tatum. The previous GM Dell Demps had a belief that they could land Jayson Tatum in a trade this offseason per Fletcher Mackel of WDSU in New Orleans. Things have changed as Griffin is replacing Demps in the general manager duties for the Pelicans. A report from Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald may reaffirm that the Boston Celtics are the frontrunners for AD.
Per Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald:
“There have been reports that Davis hasn’t moved from that stance [That he still wants out], and if such is the case, sources here told the Herald the Pelicans will reach out to the Celtics as the most obvious trade partner. The Celts may still not be sure about a deal because it’s not known yet what the Pels will want in return for the All-Star, but there seems to be a belief that they’d be able to work things out.
It’s also within the realm of possibility that another team could jump into the picture, but it’s hard to see the Lakers as one of those teams. New Orleans sources said the team “won’t be doing business” with that club, with the bitterness from the Lakers’ attempt to engineer a Davis deal during the season still seething within the Pelicans’ organization.
It’s still unknown how much Irving’s decision will impact the Davis proceedings, but the Celtics seem ready to make their bid for AD whether Kyrie stays or goes.”
The risk may be worth the reward for Boston and Danny Ainge will pull the trigger to get Anthony Davis.
The Boston Celtics will likely make a trade offer once the Pelicans come calling after Anthony Davis states his intentions of wanting out.
So here’s the potential deal:
Celtics Receive: Anthony Davis
Pelicans Receive: Jayson Tatum, Marcus Smart, Robert Williams and No. 14 Pick (2019 via Sacramento), No. 20 pick, 2020 first-round pick (via Memphis; top-six protection in 2020; unprotected in 2021)
Why would the Celtics do the trade?
It is no secret that the Boston Celtics have been linked to Anthony Davis for years now. They have been prepared to make a similar godfather like an offer that they made for a certain Kevin Garnett years ago. Regardless of whether Kyrie Irving is still on the Celtics, there is still optimism of what the Celtics can do with Anthony Davis leading the charge. Al Horford is willing to restructure his deal to be more team friendly instead of opting in for a large payday. Imagining the fit of Anthony Davis and Al Horford playing together is salivating. Two high IQ big men that could develop amazing chemistry playing together. Gordon Hayward has shown flashes of what he was in Utah. There is a chance Hayward could excel removing Kyrie Irving from the equation. A chance to get the ball more and show what he does as a point forward.
Maybe, Al Horford restructuring his deal opens the door for more names that have been linked to Boston such as Jared Dudley and Ricky Rubio to join the fold. There might be the chance to re-sign Marcus Morris Sr. to a reasonable deal. The biggest reason the Boston Celtics make this deal is the chance to keep Jaylen Brown over Jayson Tatum. While both players are young and possibly capable of blossoming into All-Stars. I am starting to believe as are many fans in Boston that Jaylen Brown harbors more of an upside than Jayson Tatum. Whether, its maturity, consistency, stellar two-way play, or his developing 3pt shot. Brown is maturing while Tatum is looking like the second coming of Jeff Green. A guy that has all the tools and skills to be a superstar, but doesn’t want it. Brown wants to be great. He doesn’t camp at the 3pt line or take plays off defensively.
In my opinion, the brightest spots in the Celtics postseason run were the play of Jaylen Brown and Marcus Morris Sr. In order to get someone great like Anthony Davis, then you have to be willing to part with a guy with great offensive upside like Tatum, the heart of your team and possible anchor of your defense in Marcus Smart, and the raw talent of Robert “Time Lord” Williams. The biggest thing for Boston is to hang on to either Jaylen Brown or Jayson Tatum. I think Ainge will pull it off. Watch trader Danny swindle another team.
Why would the Pelicans do the Trade?
Due to how LeBron James and his agent Rich Paul tampered with the Pelicans and Anthony Davis this season it is safe to say they will not be a first choice trade partner. We also have to consider the rumors surrounding Lonzo Ball, the fact the Lakers missed out on a top 3 pick in a draft that isn’t as deep as previous years hurts their chances, and the blood clots with Brandon Ingram don’t help their chances either. Trading away promising big man, Ivica Zubac was another dumb decision by the Lakers front office. The Knicks just do not have the assets outside of the #3 pick to even entice the Pelicans.
The Celtics, on the other hand, can give them a potential cornerstone rising star in Jayson Tatum. Pairing him with the likes of Zion and Jrue Holiday will make the future a little bit brighter in New Orleans. Tatum is 21 years old and his game is polished. Tatum just needs the ball more and needs to be involved in the offense. Holiday is a more willing distributor than Irving. Marcus Smart pairing with Jrue Holiday would make for a nightmarish backcourt for any team to go up against. There IQ’s defensively and ability to make plays for each other and others is off the charts. Smart is developing a reliable jump shot and improved his FT% over the past few years. They would hands down be the best defensive backcourt in the NBA. Possibly even better than having Rondo and Holiday together.
Robert Williams is a raw talent, but so was Anthony Davis at one point and other big men like Clint Capela of Houston or Rudy Gobert of Utah. The upsides right away for Williams are his motor, rim protection and ability to be a rim runner offensively. Imagine a potential starting lineup of Marcus Smart, Jrue Holiday, Jayson Tatum, Zion Williamson and many candidates for the Pelicans to go with at the Center maybe Robert Williams, Cheick Diallo, or Jahlil Okafor. If you’re the Pelicans, you obviously try to get both Tatum and Brown, but it is highly unlikely that will be the Celtics initial offer. In addition all of the draft picks the Pelicans will get and the competent GM, David Griffin is more than capable of making the right decisions with those picks.
2. Chicago Bulls Find Their New PG In Lonzo Ball
It seems like the Chicago Bulls are looking for more than a Kris Dunn like player to lead their team of the future. Lonzo Ball when healthy is a jump shot away from being a rising star in this league. Ball has excellent vision and an ability to run an offense. Ball only averaged 5.4 apg last season, but we have to consider that he was playing alongside LeBron “the King” James. Also, battling with heralded floor general in veteran guard, Rajon Rondo for minutes.
So, what’s the deal?
Chicago Bulls receive: Lonzo Ball
Los Angeles Lakers receive: the 7th pick in 2019 draft
Why do the Bulls do it?
Lonzo Ball did miss a decent chunk of the NBA season, but when he was healthy Ball definitely contributed to the LA Lakers being a top 7 Defense in the League. Ball led the team in steals, steal percentage and was first in deflections according to Raj Chipalu per USA Today.
According to Chipalu, “Ball’s season will end with him only playing in 47 games, an unfortunate situation as he seemed to have turned a corner on both ends of the floor. After a late start to the preseason last year due to surgery, he had started to look like he was just getting fully healthy.
The numbers started to back it up as well. For guards averaging at least 30 minutes, he was fourth in real defensive plus-minus and eighth in defensive rating.
In one of the most common actions he defended, Ball held opponents to 135 points in 157 possessions in high pick and rolls, ranking in the 83rd percentile. After a slow start to the season, from December 1 through present day, the Lakers had a defensive rating of 103.6 with Ball on the court and a rating of 112.9 with him off. That’s the difference between being the best defense in the league and the 28th-ranked defense.
It still would have remained to be seen whether or not he would crack an All-Defense team this year if the Lakers stayed healthy, but it’s undeniable he was a difference-maker on that end of the court.”
The Bulls look to be moving on from the Kris Dunn experiment. We can jokingly say he is not player that NBA 2K simulations make him out to be. Imagine Lonzo Ball setting up the likes of a Zach Lavine, Otto Porter Jr, Wendell Carter Jr., and Lauri Markkanen.
Why do the Lakers do it?
Simple, at this present moment, Lonzo Ball and LeBron James do not fit well together. Lonzo Ball shot 32.9% from 3. James needs to play with a point guard that is not in his way and has the ability to play off the ball. The offense needs to run through Mr. James. There are mumblings that Kyrie Irving, Kemba Walker and even Kyle Lowry via trade are realistically plausible acquisitions this summer for the Lakers. The best teams LeBron has been on, he has been the orchestrator of the offense and he needs to be with at least 3 other reliable shooters on the floor. Ball’s odd jumper will not work at this present moment. Is it fixable? Sure, but LeBron James is aging and cannot wait for a young player to come into his own.
3. Mike Conley To Miami
This would be a very interesting trade since both teams need to start with rebuilding. If Miami Heat land Mike Conley, they can bench or trade Goran Dragic, while Memphis Grizzlies need to clean the salary cap and start with the young players this summer.
Miami Heat Receive: Mike Conley Jr., Ivan Rabb, Jevon Carter and Bruno Caboclo
Memphis Grizzlies Receive: Ryan Anderson, Dion Waiters, Bam Adebayo, and the 13th Pick
Why do the Heat do it?
Miami should go all in on their most likely off-season acquisition. Mike Conley Jr. is an exceptional two-way guard. A point guard that can play two ways is exactly what the Heat need. In the east, Mike Conley Jr. could finally see an all-star game. Miami’s system as it presently stands is built on a tough defensive identity. Why not add a proven star to a group of dogs like James Johnson, Josh Richardson, Derrick Jones Jr., Justise Winslow, and Hassan Whiteside. Moving Dragic to the bench would make Miami much deeper too.
Other names that Miami would be getting are young players with some potential. Rabb is still a raw talent working on developing his range, but on the bright side, Rabb is only 22 years old and averaged 5.8 ppg and 4.2 rpg on 55% shooting in a limited role only playing around 15 mpg. Jevon Carter is a defensive first point guard at 22 years old. His shot is still a work in progress, but so was Marcus Smart’s. Lastly, Bruno Caboclo once dubbed as being two years away from being two years away is still in the league is a 23-year-old wing who has shown great growth this past season playing in 34 games with the Memphis Grizzlies. Caboclo averaged 8.3 ppg, 4.6 rpg, and 1 bpg in about 24 mpg.
Why do the Grizzlies do it?
The Grizzlies would be getting another lottery pick in the draft. They should remain optimistic getting to pick at 13th because remember how Michael Porter Jr fell in the draft last year due to his injury. Imagine, if we saw a name like Cameron Reddish slide to 13 or Bol Bol. Anything can happen in the NBA? Ryan Anderson deal is set to expire soon so that would help clear up some cap space. Dion Waiters is kind of being phased out of Miami’s system for guys like Derrick Jones Jr. and Josh Richardson. Maybe, Waiters needs a fresh start somewhere new and he may find himself in a sixth man role or potentially even a starting role.
All jokes aside, we saw Tyreke Evans reignite his career in Memphis. Sometimes a change in scenery is all a player like Waiters needs. Take Waiters Island to the Grit and Grind city of Memphis. The most intriguing part of the deal for Memphis would be getting a young defensive minded big in Bam Adebayo. Adebayo played all 82 games in the 2018-19 season, where the big man averaged 8.9 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 2.2 apg, and nearly a block and steal per game in around 23 mpg. The Grizzlies could roll with a lineup of Ja Morant, Avery Bradley, Kyle Anderson, Jaren Jackson Jr. and Bam Adebayo. Hear me out, with guys like Dion Waiters, Jonas Valanciunas, Delon Wright, CJ Miles and Chandler Parsons coming off the bench. Memphis would have the makings of a nice team with a good mix of veterans or youngsters.
4. Duke Meets The NBA Draft, 3 Players Taken In The Top 5
Coach K will be well pleased to hear the names of Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett, and Cameron Reddish. Zion and Barrett will most likely go in the top 3. Reddish stock is dropping because of his attitude and his knee. Most projections have Reddish sliding to a late lottery pick. Earlier in the season, it was presumed that Duke could have three players drafted in the top 5.
I believe the Cleveland Cavaliers will roll the dice on Cameron Reddish. Many have questioned his love for the game, but the offensive upside has been compared to that of a Jayson Tatum. I’m saying Barrett to the Knicks, Zion to the Pelicans and Reddish to the Cavs.
Stay with NBA 24/7 on Facebook and Fadeawayworld.net for updates on the night of the NBA draft. It should be a night for the ages. Have a blessed day!