It’s finally here, the 2017 NBA draft is upon us! The best and the brightest young stars are to find out where their respective NBA careers will start, and where the next stage of their basketball careers are about to unfold.
Draft night is also highly anticipated due to the amount of trade activity that usually takes place. Teams obsessed with a certain draft pick may make moves to acquire him, other teams feel they might not need their high draft pick and so will trade to those hungry for more.
Every year the draft class is judged overall on its estimated quality and depth. From this, people gauge whether or not a draft class is good or not. Of course this is extremely premature, these guys haven’t even played a summer league game yet but you can at least get a feel for what they will be like.
This year is predicted to have a deep and talented draft class. There are many big names on the board such as Lonzo Ball, Markelle Fultz and Josh Jackson, each predicted to make immediate impacts in the NBA and to have productive careers.
But what about current players that are on the trading block? A high draft pick in a draft such as this is a very attractive bargaining chip to have. Team might dislike their current squad and choose to hit the reset button now rather than go through a sub par year. Some big names are on the trading block this year, this draft night should be one to remember.
Here are my top five blockbuster trades that could happen this draft night. I am using ESPN’s trade machine to see if these trades are viable or not.
5. Kristaps Porzingis - New York Knicks
Someone should seriously test the mental health of the Knick’s president of basketball operations, Phil Jackson. The man who has already dug the Knicks into a huge hole now has said that they are looking to move Kristaps Porzingis, the biggest unicorn in the NBA, just because he didn’t turn up to the end of year team meeting out of disgust for the Knicks organization as a whole.
Porzingawd being on the trade block makes no sense; he’s 7 foot 2 who averaged 18 points 7 rebounds 2 blocks and shot 35.7% from three, but if Phil Jackson wants to be a fool then so be it.
Jackson reportedly wants a top four pick in this year’s draft and with the top three tied down the only option is the Phoenix Suns at 4th.
A straight trade of Porzingis to the Suns for the 4th overall pick and Derrick Jones Jr. would see the Suns get a pair for Eric Bledsoe and Devin Booker to run with and the Knicks get their pick with a very athletic forward who could bring some excitement back to Madison Square Garden.
4. Paul George - Indiana Pacers
Paul George has said that he wants to become a Laker in 2018 when he becomes a free agent. It’s his hometown team and as one of the best two-way player in the league, the Lakers would welcome him with open arms.
This leaves the Pacers with the problem of trying to trade him so they can at least get something in return. The only logical place to start is by actually trying to trade him to the Lakers. Now the Lakers may hold out and think to themselves that they can get PG for free next year so why trade anything now?
A lot can happen in a year. He could get injured playing for Indiana, Lonzo Ball might not be as good as they thought. George is great now, so why not go get him now.
The Pacers could trade George for Jordan Clarkson, Corey Brewer and Metta World Peace. Clarkson is a young, athletic combo guard with lots of potentials. Brewer is a good defender and corner three shooter and Metta World Peace is a fan favorite in Indiana having already played there before.
PG is headed out the door whether the Pacers like it or not. This trade ensures that they can actually keep their dignity once he does.
3. LaMarcus Aldridge - San Antonio Spurs
Another big name star on the trading block is LaMarcus Aldridge. Aldridge came up small in the Playoffs against the Warriors only averaging 15.5 points and 5.8 rebounds which was a big reason why the Spurs got swept.
The Spurs reportedly want a top-ten draft pick in return for Aldridge who still has a lot to offer teams. None of the top five are going to want to offload their pick, but the Sacramento Kings have two top ten picks in this year’s lottery.
The Spurs need a ball handler due to the absence of Tony Parker due to injury and will need another big man as well. Trading Aldridge to the Kings for the 10th overall pick, Tyreke Evans and Kosta Koufos would fit both teams well. Evans is a driver and slasher like Parker was in his prime and the Kings would get a nice pairing of Buddy Hield and Aldridge.
Happy days for everyone.
2. Jimmy Butler - Chicago Bulls
For me, this has to happen.
Jimmy Butler is known to dislike the Bulls front office and Chicago isn’t going to win anytime soon. They need to trade him now to in order to get into rebuilding mode as soon as possible.
Boston needs to add firepower to have a chance to contend with the Cavaliers in the Playoffs and they need a ball-handling wing player that plays defense. There is no other option better than Butler.
Isaiah Thomas at 5 foot 9 is just too small for the Celtics to rely on him against the best teams in the league. Adding Butler would be huge for him as it would give Thomas a running mate and someone who can take the ball out of his hands when needed.
The Celtics currently have Jae Crowder at the Small Forward so a trade of him, Tyler Zeller and the 3rd overall pick for Butler would satisfy both parties.
1. Carmelo Anthony - New York Knicks
Melo needs to get out of New York. He’s has been slated by Phil Jackson every opportunity he gets and the Madison Square Garden crowd don’t deserve a guy like Melo to watch every night with their incessant booing.
For the Cavs LeBron and Kyrie are always going to bring it intense situations like the Finals, but Kevin Love just isn’t a big time player. He only averaged 16 points a game on 38.8% from the field in the Finals. Against the Warriors that just isn’t going to cut it.
This trade is simple; Love for Anthony.
Love gets to be the man in New York like he was in Minnesota and Anthony gets a fresh start with his friend LeBron James and Kyrie Irving. The thought of a revitalized Anthony deep in the playoffs is a scary thought.
For the sake of his mental health I hope the trade pulls through.