2. Will we see any trades?
It wasn’t draft-related, but Wednesday brought us the first move of what could be many before the end of the 2018 NBA Draft. The Charlotte Hornets dumped Dwight Howard on the Brooklyn Nets in return for Timofey Mozgov and two future second-round picks. Avoiding the luxury tax is a goal for many mediocre teams and Charlotte’s willingness to take on an extra year of Mozgov’s contract was the key portion of getting this deal done.
With a focus on Thursday night, the glut of point guard-needy teams mentioned in the previous slide could be very active in trying to get ahead of each other in order to have their choice of one of the top three point guard prospects. The Clippers have notably the most active of that group with their eyes on potentially acquiring a top-five selection–the Grizzlies seem to be the target for most teams and Memphis is reportedly open for business at four as long as they can shed Chandler Parsons’ contract too (the New York Knicks are also serious threats o snag number 4).
Another team attempting to make a leap up for a point guard is the Toronto Raptors. They have their eyes on homegrown talent, Gilgeous-Alexander and are willing to part with anybody on their roster to get into the eight to 10 range on draft night.
There will surely be moves made, there always are on draft night. However, the uncertainty of what will happen after Ayton goes first to Phoenix has made potential deals even more likely. Last year the Bulls surprised everyone by sending away Jimmy Butler on draft night, what other big names could be on the move this year on Thursday? Could we see the Spurs take a similar path and move Kawhi Leonard for a high lottery pick? The one deal that can for sure be counted on happening is the Golden State Warriors buying a second round pick. The most likely suitor: the Sixers. They have four second round picks in this draft and have already draft-and-stashed half of Europe.