NBA Trade Deadline 2020: 5 trades that could change the NBA draft

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4. Gordon Hayward to the Thunder

The Celtics have been able to incorporate Kemba Walker into their team this season successfully, finding themselves in a position where they could have home-court in the first round of the playoffs. Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum have continued to progress and have seen an increase in their production this year. The combination of Walker, Tatum and Brown is a solid core that the Celtics can build with as they continue to be one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference year after year.

Danny Ainge and Brad Stevens have to be happy with the production they’ve gotten from Daniel Theis, who stepped into the starting center spot this season after Al Horford signed with the Philadelphia 76ers in free agency. But if they’re going to be matched up against the other top teams in the Eastern Conference like the Milwaukee Bucks or Philadelphia 76ers, they’re going to need more size and experience than Theis, Robert Williams or Enes Kanter can provide.

The success and maturation of Tatum and Brown has created a situation where Gordon Hayward is a luxury that they don’t need. Robbed off the promise that he came to the organization with after suffering a horrific ankle injury, Hayward has not been able to live up to the expectations that came with the salary he received after leaving the Utah Jazz. With this season being the last year on his contract, he’s an enticing expiring salary for the Oklahoma City Thunder, who have to carry Chris Paul’s salary for the next two seasons (the final year is a player option for $44 million).

Swapping Hayward for Steven Adams gives the Celtics a player that can stand up in the post to some of the big centers in the Eastern Conference, while acquiring Andre Roberson’s expiring contract gives them some cap relief as they look to reload in the coming offseason. The Grizzlies pick was long seen as a future treasure chest of gold, but with their unexpected success this season, the pick seems unlikely to fall in the top 10 of the draft.

The Celtics would be able to keep their pick, so they can still grab a player in the first round, but this trade would give the Thunder a third pick in the first round this season. Oklahoma City owes its pick to the Philadelphia 76ers, but the pick is protected 1-20. Moving Adams improves their odds of keeping that pick as well.