With all the rumors floating around in this years NBA draft, you can’t help but imagine all the team scenarios if these deals go down. Let’s look at team situations if these rumors were to ever turn into actual trades. I will continually update this article as more rumors spill through.
1. Boston Celtics trade Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry to Brooklyn Nets for Kris Humphries, Gerald Wallace, Mirza Teletovic, Keith Bogans, Reggie Evans and multiple first rounders.
This is the only rumor right now that might actually come into fruition. Boston is basically announcing to the world that rebuilding time has begun just on these rumors alone. With Pierce and Garnett not getting any younger, they think it’s time to unload them. The Nets, on the other hand, are preparing themselves for a serious playoff run and acquiring serious veterans like Garnett and Pierce fits in perfectly for them. In this scenario, the key to the deal is the first rounders. Boston is trying to stockpile picks in preparation to acquire new young talent. Given the fact the Nets will probably be one of the top seeds if they make this deal, the first rounders will be relatively high picks, thus the Celtics come out on the short side of the deal. Let’s also mention how worthless Kris Humphries is to Brooklyn given the emergence of Reggie Evans and Andray Blatche.
Potential team rotations
Nets: Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Brook Lopez. (Gerald Wallace, Marshon Brooks, Jason Terry, Andray Blatche, C.J. Watson)
Celtics: Rajon Rondo, Avery Bradley, Jeff Green, Brandon Bass, Kris Humphries (Jared Sullinger, Courtney Lee, Reggie Evans, Fab Melo)
The Nets lineup will end up being the most overall dangerous lineup in the NBA with this trade, but this lineup will only last three years tops given the age of KG and Paul Pierce. Brooklyn is in no way sacrificing bench depth in this deal as “Crash Wallace” headlines a solid crew of reserves for the Nets, who will be able to provide some spark for this veteran laden lineup. As for the Celtics, the weight of the team will be on Rajon Rondo. The development of Jared Sullinger and Fab Melo will be pushed even more as the two will be given even more minutes in hopes they develop into quality starters. Nonetheless, this Celtics lineup is bound to stay in the cellar of the division for a while.
2. Cleveland Cavaliers trade 1st pick, Tristan Thompson and Dion Waiters to Minnesota Timberwolves for Kevin Love
Flip Saunders has already rejected this deal, but this won’t stop fans from fantasizing the duo of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love balling on the youngbloods of the NBA. The Cavaliers are seeking another NBA superstar to join forces with Irving in the city LeBron left and with the youth and talent of KLove, he is a very enticing option. This is also why Minnesota won’t trade him. The Cavs are trying to make a playoff push and are trying to unload young talent in order to push themselves in at least the bottom half of the NBA playoffs.
Potential team rotations:
Cavs: Kyrie Irving, Alonzo Gee, C.J. Miles, Kevin Love, Anderson Varejao (Tyler Zeller, Marereese Speights, Daniel Gibson, Wayne Ellington)
T’Wolves: Ricky Rubio, Ben McLemore, Dion Waiters, Tristan Thompson, Nikola Pekovic (Andre Kirelinko, Alexey Shved, Derrick Williams, Luke Ridnour, Chase Budinger)
This deal, while providing the superstar the Cavs look for, will sap the depth in not only their bench, but their starting lineups. Gee and Miles should not be starters on any team and the Cavs strategy will be too predictable with this lineup. Although the amount of boards Varejao and Love can pull together is salivating. As for the T’Wolves, they will have the same problem the Cavaliers had: no superstar. Let’s assume Ben McLemore goes to Minnesota with the first pick. I don’t see a big man being picked due to the frontcourt of Pekovic and Thompson. I just don’t see McLemore as a bonafide superstar. At best, I think McLemore will be like Danny Granger: a starter who has incredible range, makes a couple all star games, but will not be the face of the franchise. While this lineup would be incredibly deep, the star power hole is big.
3. Cleveland Cavaliers trade 1st pick and 19th pick to Portland Trail Blazers for LaMarcus Aldridge
Another Cavs trade offer that got rejected right away involved the giant trade asset that is Aldridge. The issue with this trade is that the Blazers are trying to make a playoff push of their own and dealing their best player wouldn’t be a smart idea to try to make the playoffs. If the Blazers were rebuilding, this deal would make a little more sense but would still be a bad deal for the Blazers.
Potential team rotation:
Cavs: Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters, Tristan Thompson, LaMarcus Aldridge, Anderson Varejao (Tyler Zeller, Jamaal Franklin, Alonzo Gee, C.J. Miles, Marereese Speights, Daniel Gibson, Wayne Ellington)
Blazers: Damian Lillard, Wesley Matthews, Nicholas Batum, Mason Plumlee, Alex Len (J.J. Hickson, Eric Maynor, Meyers Leonard, Nolan Smith, Luke Babbitt)
This is the better deal for the Cavaliers frankly because they won’t give up depth. This deal would give the Cavs a complete lineup along with an acceptable bench. It’s still missing a true sixth man. You could assume that Jamaal Franklin, my pick for the Cavs 19th draft selection, could be that guy, but I just don’t see it. The frontcourt defense is a bit concerning for the Cavs because of Aldridge’s lack of defense. This lineup would push the Cavs into the playoffs, but keep them in the first or second round. As for the Blazers, if they got those picks, I would assume it would be used to fortify their frontcourt. I don’t see Nerlens Noel going to Portland due to the Blazers and their luck with injury riddled players (does the name Greg Oden ring a bell?). Alex Len would be a safer pick for the Blazers. I also see the Blazers reaching to pick Mason Plumlee to finally add some defense to their frontcourt. The Blazers won’t lose star power either due to the rising talents of Damian Lillard and Nicholas Batum. Given a few years, this lineup will be playoff contenders, but since the Blazers are looking to the playoffs, this deal would not help them immediately.
4. Cleveland Cavaliers trade 1st pick to New Orleans Pelicans for 6th pick, Grevis Vasquez and future first rounder
This deal contradicts the Cavaliers mission to find a superstar to team up with Kyrie Irving. Not only do they get a solid starter, not superstar, in this deal, but they also get a lower draft pick. I like Grevis Vasquez, but he is no franchise changer. As for the Pelicans, they simply give up way too much in this deal for it to be seriously considerable. They’re rebuilding and all, but there isn’t one player in this draft that is a true franchise changer.
Potential team rotations:
Cavs: Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters, Tristan Thompson, Anthony Bennett, Anderson Varejao (Grevis Vasquez, Jamaal Franklin, Tyler Zeller, Alonzo Gee, C.J. Miles, Marereese Speights, Daniel Gibson, Wayne Ellington)
Pelicans: Austin Rivers, Eric Gordon, Al Faroq-Aminu, Anthony Davis, Alex Len (Ryan Anderson, Brian Roberts, Roger Mason Jr., Robin Lopez)
The Cavaliers would have a solid lineup if they were rebuilding. I assumed the Cavs would fortify their frontcourt with picks like Anthony Bennett and Jamaal Franklin. Bennett will end up a solid starter, but no franchise changer. Franklin might be a starter at best. The move does add more bench depth for a playoff push, but the team lacks a second superstar that would push them to playoff domination. The Pelicans would probably take the safe Alex Len with this pick since the role of defensive big man belongs to Anthony Davis. The Pelicans would have to push the development of Austin Rivers if this deal were to go down, and if you paid attention last year, Rivers struggled mightily last year. The Pelicans bench will still be bare and it would take a couple years for them to acquire enough talent to make the playoffs, but they would already have traded their future first rounder so there’s a bump in that step.
5. Chicago Bulls trade Luol Deng to Wizards for 3rd pick and Emeka Okafor
This deal puzzles me since this does not help either team’s cause. The Bulls are trying to make a deep playoff push and trading away an all-star like Deng doesn’t make sense, given he helped carry the Bulls into the playoffs last year. The Wizards are trying to rebuild and what they would want is young talent, not the aging Luol Deng. The Wizards have also said they plan on keeping the 3rd pick so it seems a deal seems out of play here.
Potential team rotation:
Bulls: Derrick Rose, Jimmy Butler, Otto Porter, Carlos Boozer, Joakim Noah (Taj Gibson, Emeka Okafor Tim Hardaway Jr. Nate Robinson, Kirk Hinrich, Marquis Teague)
Wizards: John Wall, Bradley Beal, Luol Deng, Nene, Kevin Seraphin (Trevor Ariza, Martell Webster, Jan Vesley, A.J. Price, Trevor Booker)
The Bulls would probably take Otto Porter with the third pick. It seems Porter is bound to be the third pick for sure. I also see Tim Hardaway Jr. and the Bulls as a match made in heaven. Although Porter is a good long term pick, he won’t help the Bulls right away. And who knows how much time Derrick Rose has left in the NBA with all his injuries. It might also be hard for the Bulls to sustain the “Bench Mob” due to salary restrictions. As for the Wizards, there will be a giant gaping hole at center. Seraphin should only be used off the bench. He isn’t ready to join the starters. The bench also looks very dry without the energy off the bench Serpahin provided. But it’s not like Seraphin made a huge difference in this already horrific secondary corp.
6. Los Angeles Clippers trade Eric Bledsoe and Caron Butler to Orlando Magic for Aaron Afflalo, Andrew Nicholson and future first round pick
The Clippers have locked up Chris Paul with the hiring of Doc Rivers, so now what? It’s time to get rid of his biggest threat: Eric Bledsoe. The Clippers are in the market for a SG and Aaron Afflalo is a solid option. The Magic are also looking to find a replacement for the ever-aging Jameer Nelson. Bledsoe would be a key piece in the Magic’s rebuilding efforts and Afflalo would be a key piece in the Clippers championship drive. Frankly, why hasn’t this deal happened yet?
Potential team rotation:
Clippers: Chris Paul, Aaron Afflalo, Matt Barnes, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan (Jamal Crawford, Lamar Odom, Chauncey Billups, Andrew Nicholson)
Magic: Eric Bledsoe, Tobias Harris, Moe Harkless, Nikola Vucevic, Nerlens Noel (Glen Davis, Jameer Nelson, Al Harrington, E’Twaun Moore, Hedo Turkoglu, Caron Butler)
Wow, both lineups are scary with this trade.The Clippers finally gain the last piece to their championship hunt in a serviceable shooting guard. Sure Matt Barnes starting will raise some questions, but he was a solid player off the bench last year and will definitely be a solid option as a starter. Both teams gain more bench depth with this trade and the Magic can package “Big Baby” Davis and Nelson and try to acquire more depth or upgrade at a different position. This is due to my prediction that Nerlens Noel will be drafted by Orlando given the Cavs are locked up on Alex Len. Or are they….
7. Cleveland Cavaliers trade 1st pick to Phoenix Suns for 5th pick and 30th pick
Once again, this pick doesn’t help the Cavs with their efforts in acquiring a superstar. This move will give them depth if they pull it off. As for the Suns, I guess they’re afraid their guy will get scooped up earlier and want a shot to get him while he can. The Suns have no reason to part with those two picks and the Cavs should go elsewhere to deal the first pick.
Potential team rotations:
Cavs: Kyrie Irving, Victor Oladipo, Dion Waiters, Mason Plumlee, Anderson Varejao (Tristan Thompson, Tyler Zeller, Tony Mitchell, Alonzo Gee, C.J. Miles, Marereese Speights, Daniel Gibson, Wayne Ellington)
Suns: Goran Dragic, P.J. Tucker, Jared Dudley, Nerlens Noel, Marcin Gortat (Shannon Brown, Kendall Marshall, Jermaine O’Neal, Marcus Morris, Markieff Morris, Michael Beasley, Wesley Johnson)
The Cavs gain depth and the Suns lose depth. Plain and simple. But do the Cavs really want all this depth? What they are looking for is a game changer, not prospects. They are looking to make the playoff push and although Plumlee and Oladipo look nice (My assumed picks), there’s no way those two are franchise changers. As for the Suns, are they really going to give up two prime picks for one prospect? They are rebuilding and they need every last pick they can get their hands on.
About the Author
Written by Mark Kim
A student at the University of Missouri-Columbia looking to major in Sports Journalism.