3 NBA Trades That Could Happen on Draft Night
The NBA Draft hasn’t even begun, and the trade market is already buzzing.
Heading into the draft, the trade winds are likely going to keep blowing. These are three more trades that could very well happen before, during, or right after the draft.
Jahlil Okafor to the Pelicans
With the Sixers set to take Ben Simmons with the number-one pick, Philly is still heavy on big men this offseason. Nerlens Noel's name has been linked to multiple teams this offseason, and with Joel Embiid set to be healthy for the first time since being drafted, Jahlil Okafor might be the guy the Sixers would want to deal first.
Okafor had a nice rookie season, averaging 17.5 points and 7.0 rebounds while posting a 53.9 True Shooting Percentage. However, his lack of defense and the Sixers’ wealth of big men has put him squarely on the trade block.
|Per-Game Stats||Points||Rebounds||Blocks||True Shooting%|
A deal that might make sense is sending Okafor and the 24th overall pick (or the 26th overall pick) to New Orleans in exchange for the sixth pick. New Orleans could be looking for a big man who can be paired with Anthony Davis. Okafor could also take some pressure off of Davis offensively and could very well be better than any player they could draft at six.
The Pelicans ranked 19th in points in the paint in 2015-16 with 41.4 per game. They were inside the top 10 in percentage of shots taken within three feet, but they ranked 25th in their field goal percentage within three feet at 59.7 percent. New Orleans does have Omer Asik locked up for the next three seasons, but Okafor would be a huge upgrade on offense and likely fit better next to Davis than Asik.
The Sixers have been rumored to be looking to trade for another top-eight pick, and Okafor to the Pelicans might be the answer. If a guy like Marquese Chriss is gone and Buddy Hield is still available at six, the Sixers might pull the trigger on sending Okafor out of town and potentially draft Hield.
Danilo Gallinari to the Celtics
Outside of Boston, the Nuggets probably have more assets than any other team heading into draft night. They have three first-round picks, including the seventh overall pick, and if Boston exhausts their efforts of bringing in a superstar by dangling the third pick, they may fall to a backup plan of Danilo Gallinari.
Plus, now that I'm talking about him, I can show you this sick dime he dropped last season.
Gallinari has been hampered by injuries during his career. He missed the entire 2013-14 campaign with a torn ACL and has missed 23 and 29 games, respectively, over the last two seasons. However, considering he is coming off posting a career-high 19.5 points per game and his best True Shooting Percentage since before his knee injury, he would be a worthwhile addition for the Celtics and might not be that expensive.
Gallo also posted a nERD of 5.7 this season, which ranked 37th among all players.
The difference between the three and seven picks may be worth it for Boston of they can get Gallinari in return. If the Nuggets really like Kris Dunn, Chriss, or Jaylen Brown at three, they may look to pull the trigger with Gallinari, who is only under contract one more year. He has a player option after that, but after another good season, he would certainly opt out.
DeMarre Carroll to the Suns
First things first: this is a farfetched trade. Phoenix could really use some defense and three-point shooting at the wing. If Toronto has soured on DeMarre Carroll after an injury-riddled season, they could use him to move up five spots to number four. It really comes down to whether or not that is enough compensation to move up to four and if the Raptors have their eye on one of the players projected to go around four or five.
There is incentive for both teams. The Suns already have a lot of young players and could use some guys with some experience and leadership. Toronto could want to get younger and save money for the open market. There is also the incentive for Phoenix because they were awful on both ends of the court last season.
|2015-16||Offensive Rating||Defensive Rating||eFG%||Opponent's eFG%|
|Phoenix Suns||102.2 (28th)||109.0 (25th)||48.7 (26th)||52.3% (27th)|
P.J. Tucker is still under contract for next season, but Carroll would be the unquestioned starter of that group in an offense in which he could thrive. Last season, Tucker was the fifth-worst starter in the league in Net Rating at -7.8, so even though the Suns also need help at power forward, they may also want to get two players out of the deal: Carroll and the ninth pick. The Raptors are already dangling their pick for the right price, but I think they could also use it to move up to draft Chriss.
Chriss would be an intriguing target for the Raptors if they can go from nine to four. He almost certainly will still be there at four, and the Raptors are really lacking a good power forward to pair with Jonas Valanciunas in their frontcourt. Moving up to draft the Washington product could be the answer. Chriss is only 18, but he is hyper-athletic and has a lot of upside. He posted a 58.5 True Shooting Percentage in his one year at Washington, and while he is still raw, the Raptors could use some young athleticism at that position.