Major draft night moves have become more common in recent years. In 2017 we saw the Celtics trade down to three for Jayson Tatum, and the Timberwolves trade away their 7th pick for Jimmy Butler. In 2018, we saw the Hawks and Mavericks swapping Trae Young and Luka Doncic. With the 2020 draft now scheduled for October, here are some draft involved trades that could significantly alter the future of the league.
No. 3 – Atlanta Pushes for the Playoffs, Chicago hits Restart again
The Deal: Dwayne Dedmond and Atlanta’s 2020 first-round pick for Zach LaVine
This year, Chicago was supposed to sneak into the playoffs in the weaker Eastern Conference. Instead, Lauri Markannen and Wendell Carter Jr had seasons below expectations, and Coby White only picked up his slack right before the hiatus. Even with Zach LaVine having himself an All-Star caliber season, the Bulls may look to move on from him, to avoid paying him his full contract, and to get players who fit their timeline better. Atlanta currently has the 4th best lottery odds, while Chicago has the 7th, meaning that the Bulls could end up with two top 10 picks. This could set the Bulls up for the future.
Trading for Clint Capela at the deadline signaled the Hawks’ intent to make a run at the playoffs next season. They now have Trae Young, John Collins, and a plethora of young wings to pair with Capela. While it is likely that the Hawks lean towards Georgia native Anthony Edwards in the draft, he will probably only be available in the top two. If their pick falls outside of the top two, they could instead go for LaVine. LaVine would give the Hawks someone who averaged over 25 points per game this season, and a much needed secondary playmaker. A starting lineup of Young, LaVine, De’Andre Hunter, Collins, and Capela would surely make the playoffs in the East.
No. 2 – Minnesota Trades for Another Star, Washington Rebuilds
The Trade: Jarrett Culver, Josh Okogie, Jarred Vanderbilt, James Johnson, and Minnesota’s 2020 First Round Pick for Bradley Beal
The Timberwolves put an end to Karl-Anthony Towns trade rumors in February by trading for All-Star D’Angelo Russell. With the additional emergence of Malik Beasley, the Timberwolves should aim to make the playoffs next season. Pairing Bradley Beal in the backcourt with Russell could make for one of the best offensive pairings in the league. This trade could leave Minnesota with a starting lineup of Russell, Beal, Beasley, Hernangomez, and Towns, which could make a run into the playoffs.
The Wizards have been poor this season, with a 24 – 40 record. While John Wall may be coming back, he is turning 30 very soon. And with the roster that Washington has, it is unlikely they will be making it past the first round. It could be time for a rebuild, and this trade gives them plenty of young pieces. Jarrett Culver has had a disappointing rookie year but still has potential. Josh Okogie has developed into a premier wing defender at just age 21. The biggest part of the deal in Minnesota’s pick this year, where they could draft the future face of their franchise.
No. 1 – Philly Breaks up the Duo, Golden State gets Another All-Star
The Trade: Andrew Wiggins, Eric Paschall, and Golden State’s 2020 first-round pick for Joel Embiid
Philadelphia has been one of the biggest disappointments in the league this season, currently holding the 6th seed in the East. The duo of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons seems to not be working together, so trading one of them away might be their best option. As Simmons is around three years younger, they might opt to trade Embiid instead. The Warriors have the best odds to get the first pick. Therefore, Philly would be able to draft either Anthony Edwards or LaMelo Ball. They would also get a career 20 PPG scorer in Andrew Wiggins, who has flashed elite defensive ability so far in Golden State.
The Warriors would be sacrificing a top rookie with their pick this year. However, the prospect of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Joel Embiid on the same team may be too good for GM Bob Meyers to pass up on. Embiid gives the Warriors the dominant inside force that they have not had during their championship runs this past decade. Embiid also has the ability to stretch the floor from deep, which would give the Warriors five shooters in their starting lineup. This trade could spark an incredible comeback from Golden State, and they would definitely have a good shot at winning it all next season.