NBA Draft Night is just around the corner and teams are looking to strike gold with their first-round picks. Teams that have been tanking are looking for the next best young talent to deliver team success while contenders are actively looking to improve their roster with fresh blood. While drafting the best college players is certainly a very exciting time for the league, Draft Night also entails Blockbuster trade deals around the league.
We have seen in past NBA history how teams have managed to trade up or down in the draft to choose the players they want or make trades to benefit their teams. This season won’t be any different, as we expect some teams to make major trades that will shape the NBA as we know it. Here are the 10 trades that are very likely to happen on Draft Night.
10. Denver Nuggets Add Sharpshooting To The Team With Buddy Hield
Trade Package: Garry Harris, No. 22 pick, a future first-round pick for Buddy Hield
Buddy Hield is one of the hottest prospects in the NBA right now because of his potential and deep range shooting. He averaged 19.2 PPG on 39.4% shooting from three this season, while his all-around play took a massive jump as well. The Denver Nuggets could have used Hield’s offensive presence in last season’s playoffs because Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray were doing everything for their team.
The Nuggets need better scorers to relieve pressure off of Jokic and Murray, especially as Michael Porter Jr continues to grow into an All-Star. Hield can be a third option for the Nuggets immediately and gives them a much more potent offense if they can snatch him up. By trading Gary Harris and their No. 22 pick, the Nuggets can upgrade the shooting guard position as they look to make the Western Conference Finals again.
9. Dallas Mavericks Form A Big Three With Rudy Gobert
Trade Package: Tim Hardaway Jr, Justin Jackson, Jalen Brunson, Maxi Kleber, No. 19 pick, future first-round pick for Rudy Gobert, 2nd-round pick
Rudy Gobert might be the best overall defender in the league at the center position. He is amazing at crashing the boards (13.5 RPG last season), playing lockdown defense in the paint, and swatting shots away (2.0 BPG last season). It is what he does best and the Mavericks will have a legitimate All-Star big man to pair with Porzingis in the post if they make this deal. While NBA teams are going smaller to play uptempo ball, the Mavericks can go a bit larger to improve their defensive resistance around the rim.
The advantage of having a player like Kristaps Porzingis is that he is a fantastic shooter and can space the floor at the power forward spot. The Mavericks won’t sacrifice their spacing but on defense, they have 2 major shot blockers and rebounders to haul boards and give the ball to Luka Doncic on the break. The Mavericks need a third star to make noise in the West and this trade will help them do it.
8. Atlanta Hawks Continue Their Playoff Team Building With DeMar DeRozan
Trade Package: Clint Capela, Cam Reddish for DeMar DeRozan
The Atlanta Hawks have done an admirable job in building a future playoff contender. Even though they traded current superstar Luka Doncic for Trae Young 2 seasons ago by swapping picks, Young is an All-Star player and the franchise player for the Hawks. With young talents such as John Collins and Kevin Hierter on the squad, they could use another athletic wing that can score the ball and run on the break.
DeMar DeRozan seems to be a forgotten man in the league despite putting up strong numbers last season. DeRozan averaged 22.1 PPG, 5.5 RPG, and 5.6 APG for the San Antonio Spurs and there is no reason to expect his numbers to decline this season. DeRozan and Young will be very hard to defend because they are adept at creating their own shot, and the Hawks can push the pace very well. Overall, the Hawks want to get into the Playoffs once again to put the East on notice and also to help Trae Young gain playoff experience. A trade for former All-Star DeMar DeRozan could do the trick.
7. Los Angeles Clippers Find Their New Point Guard
Trade Package: Patrick Beverley, Landry Shamet, 2nd-round pick for Derrick Rose
A lot of names are thrown into the mix for the Los Angeles Clippers, but Derrick Rose should be among the top of the list. He is exactly what the Clippers need, as both a primary playmaker and scorer. Rose averaged 18.1 PPG and 5.6 APG this season and can create a Big Three in LA due to his playing style and charisma on the floor and will be the point guard the Clippers need to handle the ball.
At this stage of his career, Rose has plenty of experience and just wants to win an NBA title. With Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, this very well could happen. The Clippers, and Kawhi Leonard particularly, have made it known that they need a ball-handler to get to the next level. By moving on from Patrick Beverley, who isn’t a playmaker, and losing Landry Shamet, the Clippers are right back in the mix in the Western Conference.
6. Los Angeles Lakers Finally Acquire Zach LaVine
Trade Package: Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (Sign and Trade), Avery Bradley, Quinn Cook for Zach LaVine
The trade makes a ton of sense for the Lakers. LaVine is a player that is close to being an All-Star right now and can also be a franchise cornerstone alongside Anthony Davis when LeBron James retires in the near future. Los Angeles should do anything to repeat next year as well even if that means giving up 4 players for LaVine.
LaVine had a career year averaging 25.5 PPG and is the best third option that the Lakers will have. Kyle Kuzma is not the player for the Lakers right now and could do with a move elsewhere. With both Dennis Schroder and Zach LaVine on board, the Lakers will have an even better squad than they did last season and will be on course to repeat.
5. Philadelphia 76ers Add A Third All-Star In John Wall
Trade Package: Al Horford, Tobias Harris, No. 21 pick, a future first-round pick for John Wall, Ishmael Smith, Jerome Robinson and Troy Brown
76ers are lucky to have two bonafide All-Stars on their squad. Ben Simmons is one of the best pure playmakers and all-around players in the NBA while Joel Embiid might be the most skilled and talented center in the game. Rumors are circulating that the Sixers need to improve by trading one of the two stars, but what about adding more to them? We saw how a star like Jimmy Butler helped Embiid and Simmons reach the Eastern Conference Finals so another trade could be on the cards.
The Sixers, by acquiring John Wall, add an All-Star point guard to assist Ben Simmons with ball-handling duties. On both ends of the floor, this Big Three is very talented. John Wall has career averages of 19.0 PPG and 9.0 APG, so the Sixers can push the pace if they want to or slow it down and feed it to Embiid. More importantly, they move on from the absurd contracts of Tobias Harris and Al Horford.
4. Ben Simmons Joins D’Angelo Russell And Karl-Anthony Towns In Minnesota
Trade Package: James Johnson (Player Option), Jarret Culver, No. 1 pick, No. 17 pick for Ben Simmons
All-Star Ben Simmons has unfortunately not reached the All-NBA level that we all expect from him. He still has plenty of time to get there and it is almost certain he will eventually, it might not be with the Philadelphia 76ers. While Philly has claimed that they want to keep Simmons and Embiid together, they might receive an offer from Minnesota that is simply too good to reject. For the No. 1 pick in the draft and Jarrett Culver, the Sixers can draft a player that suits Joel Embiid’s style of play better.
Ben Simmons with the Timberwolves would be a massive Blockbuster deal. Simmons will handle the rock while Russell plays off the ball much more in Minnesota. Simmons would immediately improve the Wolves’ defense, playmaking, and rebounding as an oversized point guard or athletic point-forward. Simmons is also in the same age group as Russell and Towns, so this move would be a massive move for the team that would have three cornerstone players that could push them to the Western Conference Semi-final at the minimum.
3. Michael Jordan Finally Trades For Russell Westbrook
Trade Package: Nicolas Batum, Devonte’ Graham, and Cody Zeller for Russell Westbrook
This Blockbuster deal benefits Michael Jordan and the Charlotte Hornets the most. The Hornets are starved of superstar talent, especially since they lost Kemba Walker to Free Agency. Westbrook will immediately come in to sell seats and place Charlotte as one of the most exciting teams in the league. Seeing the great Michael Jordan cheer on Westbrook and his teammates on the bench would be very exciting all season long.
Westbrook had a terrific year yet again, averaging 27.2 PPG, 7.9 RPG, and 7.0 APG while shooting a career-high 47.2% from the field. Russ is one of the top-five point guards in the league and that plays best when he handles the ball to make plays for his team. Westbrook was not as useful playing second fiddle to James Harden in Houston, so he gets a chance to put up MVP numbers and carry the Hornets to an Eastern Conference playoff seeding.
2. Golden State Warriors Create Another Superteam With All-Star Joel Embiid
Trade Package: Andrew Wiggins, Eric Paschall, No. 2 pick for Joel Embiid
A player as dominant as Joel Embiid surrounded with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson will be unstoppable. Embiid averaged 23.0 PPG, 11.6 RPG, 3.0 APG, and 1.3 BPG for the Sixers last season. Embiid commands double teams in the post so one can imagine how effective the Warriors can be with Curry and Klay on the perimeter. The advantage of Embiid is that he gives Golden State a versatile offense because he offers a third guy who can score the ball in the half-court when the game slows down. Curry, Klay, Embiid, and Green once again will form a Superteam that will be hard to beat.
If the Warriors swoop in and offer the second-round pick with Andrew Wiggins and Eric Paschall, Philly might take a look. Young prospect Eric Paschall can take some of Embiid’s minutes and can be molded into a full-time starter under a good coach. Doc Rivers signed a 5-year deal with Philly so he can build around Ben Simmons, Eric Paschall, Andrew Wiggins, and whoever they draft with the No. 2 pick.
1. Nets Land James Harden In Blockbuster Trade
Trade Package: Caris LeVert, Spencer Dinwiddie, Jarrett Allen, Taurean Prince, No. 19 pick for James Harden
The Houston Rockets had another disappointing end to their season this year, and their management changes have led to both James Harden and Russell Westbrook requesting trades. There is no secret that James Harden wants to play with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in Brooklyn, so this deal is very likely to happen on Draft Night. If it does, Brooklyn will be the scariest team in the Eastern Conference without a doubt.
There isn’t a better shooting guard in the NBA than James Harden. He averaged 34.3 PPG, 6.6 RPG, and 7.5 APG this season, winning his 3rd straight scoring title and completely dominating opposing defenses. Harden is unguardable, especially in today’s NBA, and the team’s need to constantly throw 2 or 3 defenders at him every time he has the ball. What separates Harden from the rest of the guards is his ability to pick out any pass as well, so he will be the point guard for the Nets while Kyrie and Durant play off him. The league is on notice because if Harden joins Durant and Irving, we might be looking at the greatest Big Three of all-time.