On the eve of the 2019 NBA Draft, teams prepare to make trades to move in the draft and add players to benefit them going forward. There are many rumors circling around these potential trades. Overtime Heroics writers Rocco Nuosci and Nick Bushart got together to break down a few of these rumors and discuss why each team would or would not go through with the trade.
Trade 1: Pelicans and Wizards
Pelicans receive: Bradley Beal
Wizards receive: 2019 No.4 pick, Jrue Holiday
Rocco Nuosci: New Orleans has had all kinds of interest in Bradley Beal and have been openly shopping the fourth overall pick. For Washington, one would assume they’ve given up on the backcourt of John Wall and Beal ever bringing the Wizards consistent postseason success. Back in the 2016 season, Wall said he and Beal disliked each other at times. At the end of last season, Shams Charania of The Athletic reported a “volatile” practice for the Wizards that left Beal incredibly upset. The Pelicans could use a sharp-shooting star after finishing 24th in three point percentage last season. Beal, a 35% shooter from deep, can be just that and much more for New Orleans. Beal also led the league in total minutes and minutes per game last year, so he might enjoy playing with a deeper team in New Orleans.
The Wizards would get a new combo guard to pair with in the backcourt with Wall, as well as a chance to get a rookie stud with the fourth pick. Both Beal and Holiday have two years of team control left on their contracts. The Wizards are also reportedly ready to offer Beal a three year, $111 million deal, which he could very well take and spoil this blockbuster move.
Nick Bushart: New Orleans can turn their team from a quick rebuild to a playoff contender with this trade. Bradley Beal is young, but is an NBA veteran, and a dynamic scorer. Beal gives a team that has young weapons, like Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart, a mentor. For the Wizards, John Wall will likely be out all season with an injury. There is not enough firepower on the Washington team without Wall to make a playoff push, so getting assets for Beal is a great option. With the fourth pick in the draft the Wizards can add a young wing in Jarrett Culver or DeAndre Hunter. They also add a proven point guard who could lead the team with Jrue Holiday. In the end, I cannot see these two sides agreeing on this trade based on the Wizard’s love for Bradley Beal.
Trade 2: Pelicans and Suns
Pelicans receive: 2019 No.6 pick, 2020 protected (picks 1-7) 1st rd pick OR Josh Jackson OR T.J. Warren
Suns receive: 2019 No.4 pick
Rocco Nuosci: The hype around Darius Garland has certainly increased as we creep closer to draft day. The self-proclaimed “best guard in the draft” displayed a skillset to match despite playing just five games in a Vanderbilt uniform. And if there’s any team that could use a high-level ball handler, it’s the Phoenix Suns. There’s no guarantee Garland drops to sixth overall, so trading up with New Orleans ensures they get Garland, provided the first three picks go as planned. The Pelicans would still get a top 10 pick in this scenario, as well as a bonus — either a protected first rounder next year or a choice between Josh Jackson and T.J. Warren would all be reasonable requests.
Nick Bushart: This trade at a glance seems lopsided with the Suns sending two firsts or a first and a starter to the Pelicans for the fourth overall pick. However, the Suns are in desperate need of a point guard. With the young core of Devin Booker, DeAndre Ayton, and Dragan Bender, the Suns will look for a guard to be the court general. There have been many rumors that the Suns have looked via trade for that piece as they’ve been connected to Mike Conley and Chris Paul; however, this trade allows them to trade up to get Darius Garland. Garland who sat out most of the season his freshman year at Vanderbilt has a great amount of potential. However, I think he would be there for the Suns at pick number six making the idea of them trading up not needed.
Trade 3: Rockets and Celtics
Rockets receive: Al Horford
Celtics receive: Clint Capela, Nene
Rocco Nuosci: The Houston Rockets roster could look very different come next season. Chris Paul and James Harden’s relationship seems to be all but dead, potentially meaning the end of the isolation heavy duo. Houston was also disappointed with the performance of Clint Capela last postseason, mainly in the Western Conference Semi-finals against the Golden State Warriors. Capela averaged just 8.8 points and 10 rebounds per game against the Warriors. He posted 16.6 and 12.7 averages a game in those respective departments in the regular season. With reports of Al Horford ready to leave Boston, it’s likely he is looking to play on another contender. Horford gives the Rockets even more floor spacing and could allow them to run bigger lineups without sacrificing perimeter shooting. Capela gives Boston some legitimate rim protection, with Nene adding depth to the frontcourt.
Nick Bushart: The Boston Celtics are imploding as it looks like Kyrie Irving and Al Horford both will part ways with the team this offseason. For Horford, Houston could be a great place to continue his career as he would be paired with James Harden. For Boston, Capela adds a young dynamic center to an up and coming talented roster headed by Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum. This trade would balance on the fact of the Rockets being more willing to give Horford the four year contract that he desires and a sign and trade taking place. This trade is possible and could happen as the NBA transitions into free agency.
Trade 4: Cavaliers and Heat
Cavs receive: 2019 No.13 pick, James Johnson
Heat receive: J.R. Smith, 2019 No.26 pick
Rocco Nuosci: The Miami Heat roster is littered with bad contracts. So much so that they led the league in paid salary last year despite finishing four games under .500 and missing the playoffs. James Johnson possesses one of those bad contracts, featuring a $15.3 million payout next season for a player averaging under 8 points per contest. The Miami Herald also reported the Heat’s interest in moving Johnson’s contract. He has a player option this year.
Another bad contract belongs to J.R. Smith, albeit not quite as harmful. Only $3.87 million of the $15.6 million on Smith’s salary next year is guaranteed if he is waived before June 30th. Johnson does have a player option for 2020-2021, which one would assume he opts-in on. The Cavaliers could use this to bargain for the 13th pick in this year’s draft since they will be taking a big cap hit on Johnson the next two seasons. Miami would still receive a first round pick in return. This move also opens up enough space for the Heat to use a full mid-level exception this summer.
Nick Bushart: This trade is very likely based on the Cavs desire to move J.R. Smith’s contract. With the Heat looking to also move the bad contract of James Johnson, this trade seems to work out. Johnson’s contract would come off the books after next season for the Cavs as they also move up in the draft, potentially adding a young big man such as Jaxson Hayes or Brandon Clarke. For the Heat, they can immediately cut Smith and free up some cap room while still staying in the first round of the draft.
Trade 5: Celtics and Pelicans
Celtics receive: 2019 No.4 pick, E’Twaun Moore, Josh Hart, and Christian Wood
Pelicans receive: 2019 No.14,20,22 picks, Gordon Hayward
Rocco Nuosci: This might be the most far-fetched one of the night, but hear me out. As mentioned, New Orleans continues to shop the fourth pick, while reports are that Boston is active in trying to move higher in the draft and does not want three rookies on the roster. Hayward has clearly lost a step, with his Player Efficiency Rating hitting its lowest mark since his second season in the league at 15.6. His points per game were also at a career low since his rookie season at just 11.5.
Still, Hayward could prove useful to a contending roster, even if relegated to bench duties once again. After being taken out of the starting lineup in November to provide aid to a struggling Celtics bench, Hayward flourished, including a 30 point performance in early December. This deal lets the Celtics get their wish of a top pick in the draft as well as add a legitimate piece to a Pelicans team with playoff aspirations.
Nick Bushart: The Pelicans are assuming in this trade that Gordon Hayward is the same player he was before his injury a few years ago otherwise this trade would not make sense. Gathering more picks in this draft does not seem like something the Pelicans would do unless they feel they need to go into a larger rebuild. However, a starting lineup that has Lonzo, Ingram, Hayward and Zion in it would be fun. For the Celtics they would get to add another young cornerstone to their team, more than likely Darius Garland, without giving up a ton. I think the Celtics say yes to this trade, but the Pelicans may pump the brakes.
Trade 6: Thunder and Kings
Thunder receive: Buddy Hield
Kings receive: Steven Adams, 2019 No.21 pick
Rocco Nuosci: With major cap issues in Oklahoma City, they should be looking to attach the 21st pick to either Steven Adams or Dennis Schroder to help alleviate the financial trouble. The Sacramento Kings have reportedly been looking for a center to add to their roster, and the departure of Harrison Barnes opens up the cap space for Adams. Adams, coming off his best rebounding season, would provide the dominant frontcourt presence the Kings need. The Thunder should look to add Buddy Hield, who finished seventh in three point percentage last season and is developing into one of the nicer young guards in the league. Something has to give in Sacramento, however. The emergence of De’Aaron Fox and Bogdan Bogdanovich in the backcourt should make the Kings comfortable making this decision to add a legit big. Not without the 21st pick in this year’s draft, however.
Nick Bushart: Is Steven Adams’ career done in Oklahoma City? Adams is a defensive-minded, veteran center who could help the Kings with their youth. The Thunder have looked for a two guard since the James Harden trade back in the day. Buddy Hield has struggled in his career but has shown flashes of being a great scorer and role player. The West is wide open with Golden State’s injuries and super teams dispersing. This allows the Thunder to have a shot at making a playoff run with Russell Westbrook and Paul George. This trade would be accepted on both sides as both teams get better from this trade.
Trade 7: Timberwolves and Rockets
Timberwolves receive: Chris Paul
Rockets receive: 2019 No.11 pick, Andrew Wiggins, Dario Saric
Rocco Nuosci: With a report from Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports saying Chris Paul wants out of Houston, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that the Rockets move the 34 year old point guard. With the disappointment of Wiggins in Minnesota, the Timberwolves might be willing to part with the wing for elite guard play. Mike D’Antoni could find a way to utilize Wiggins’ isolation ability within his offense, while Saric adds floor spacing in the frontcourt. The 11th pick could let Houston play with some options in the draft.
Nick Bushart: Chris Paul is done in Houston, and the question comes down to where will he land during the offseason. The Timberwolves have been trying to move Andrew Wiggins for the past season and the Rockets would be a team that makes sense to take on Wiggins contract. The Rockets are also compensated with a young stretch four in Dario Saric and the number 11 pick in the draft. Minnesota immediately becomes a playoff threat as they pair CP3 with Karl Anthony-Towns.
TRADE 8: Pelicans and Bulls
Bulls receive: Lonzo Ball, 2019 No.4 pick
Pelicans receive: Zach Lavine, protected 2020 first
Rocco Nuosci: This is a win-now move for the Pelicans, and a long-term deal for Chicago. Lavine saw a career high in field goal percentage and points per game last season with the Bulls. New Orleans could also feature one of the most, if not, THE most athletic lineup in the league with Lavine paired with Zion Williamson (should New Orleans take him first overall). Chicago gets a solid, young point guard for the future with a chance to hit big with the fourth pick.
Nick Bushart: The Bulls are looking for their franchise point guard while Lonzo Ball is seeking a bigger market. Chicago has young pieces that they look to grow in the 2019 season and putting Ball with that group could help. The number four pick which turns into Culver or Hunter for the Bulls. For the Pelicans they do this to reach the playoffs this season. Jrue Holiday takes over the point guard reins leading a starting lineup with Lavine, Ingram and Zion. This seems like a fair trade that would benefit both teams.
Trade 9: Timberwolves and Spurs
Timberwolves receive: Demar DeRozan
Spurs receive: Andrew Wiggins, Dario Saric, 2019 No.11 pick, 2021 1st lottery protected, 2020 second round pick
Rocco Nuosci: This is similar to the Wiggins-Paul trade. Wiggins gets a needed change of scenery while Minnesota gets a top tier guard in DeRozan. I could see Saric making a huge impact in Gregg Popovich’s offense, and we know the Spurs can do a lot with a pick that high in the draft. Not to mention they’ll find a way to turn those 2020 and 2021 picks into useful assets. High risk-high reward move for Minnesota here, but one that could lead to a postseason run behind the trio of Jeff Teague, DeRozan, and Karl-Anthony Towns.
Nick Bushart: This would be the Timberwolves dream trade for Andrew Wiggins. There are rumors where the Spurs are looking to move on from DeRozan and give him a fresh start. DeRozan would pair well with KAT and Jeff Teague. For the Spurs they quickly rebuild as they add Wiggins, Saric and three picks. With the 11th pick they would sit with three during the first round of Thursday’s draft.
The Draft is full of mystery and surprises and as June 20th rolls around be prepared to go on the ride.
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