The 2018 NBA Draft is fast approaching. With just over a week until the Suns are officially on the clock with the first overall selection, the trade rumors will be out in full force. Last year, there were Jimmy Butler trade rumors, there were Paul George trade rumors and there were top picks in the draft trade rumors. This year should be no different. It is expected to be one of the most active off-seasons in the NBA, and that will start on draft night. So, what kind of deals would make NBA fans lose their minds? Let’s get into “Three Shocking NBA Draft Day Trades.”
Disclaimer: These trade ideas are for fun and there is practically no chance these trades would actually happen.
1. The Phoenix Suns and Minnesota Timberwolves pull off a blockbuster deal
Suns get: Karl-Anthony Towns
Timberwolves get: #1 pick, T.J. Warren
This trade idea stems from recent reports of Karl-Anthony Towns’ potential discomfort with the Minnesota Timberwolves. After that report, former teammate of Towns in college, Devin Booker went right to recruiting, posting a picture of Towns in a Suns jersey. Although this trade will never happen, it is an interesting trade on paper. The Suns would get Towns to pair with Booker, a combo that would be unstoppable on the offensive end. The Suns would also be getting that second star player, which teams need to be successful in the modern NBA. And for the Timberwolves, it isn’t all bad either. They would get the first overall pick in the draft, which they would likely use on DeAndre Ayton to fill the hole that was left by Towns. And in T.J. Warren, they would acquire a high-quality backup wing for their bench that can provide a big-time scoring punch.
While the trade won’t happen, if the Timberwolves for some reason decide to move on from KAT, this would not be a bad option to go to.
2. Celtics and Spurs pull off a one-for-one swap
Celtics get: Kawhi Leonard
Spurs get: Kyrie Irving
Boy, NBA fans around the league would absolutely lose their minds if this trade went down. Kawhi Leonard has been a part of trade rumors a lot in the last six months because of his odd injury situation, and the growing disfunction between him and the Spurs organization. In addition, Kyrie Irving’s name is starting to float in the rumor mill. There was a recent interview that Irving took part in when he wouldn’t commit to Boston past this season. And if you know Danny Ainge, nobody is ever safe from being traded (see Isaiah Thomas last summer.) If it comes to it, this trade would be smart for both teams. The Spurs were on Kyrie’s reported wishlist last summer, and Kyrie would provide Pop and the Spurs a star point guard to build the franchise around. For the Celtics, how deadly would a Kawhi and Tatum wing combo be? That is the definition of a frightening duo on the wing: a young and blossoming star matched with the best two-way player in the NBA? Good luck.
However, unfortunately for NBA fans, it looks as if this trade won’t even be talked about. Leonard is reportedly going to sit down with the Spurs and hammer out their differences so Kawhi can sign the supermax deal to stay with the franchise. In addition, it is likely that Boston will also keep Kyrie this summer. Boston made it to the Eastern Conference Finals without him last season, so that has to have the team wondering how far they can go with him.
3. Hornets and Cavs make a last-minute mega-deal
Hornets get: #8 pick, Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance Jr.
Cavs get: Kemba Walker
This deal would be a last-ditch effort for the Cleveland Cavaliers to keep LeBron in town. Getting a point guard like Kemba Walker would at least have to make LeBron think twice before leaving town. Walker would provide the Cavs with another All-Star that can fill it up at any instant. Pairing Walker with LeBron and Love would certainly give the Cavs a shot to go back to the NBA Finals next season. However, even without LeBron, a team with Walker and Love would have a great case to be a playoff team in the weaker Eastern Conference. For the Hornets, the trade would be a complete reset. Taking on Clarkson would not be ideal for Charlotte, but it would be necessary to make this deal work. Nance Jr. is a piece that has the potential to be a very solid backup and potential starter down the line. At just 25 years old, there is value in getting Nance Jr. for Charlotte. Then, the major piece in the deal would be the eighth overall selection in the 2018 NBA Draft. The Hornets could either pair that selection with their 11th pick and try to move up in the draft. Or, they could stay at eight and take a very high-quality youngster.
This is probably the most likely of the three trades to happen. The trade would need two things to go right in order for it to happen. First, the Hornets would have to decide they are going all in on a rebuild. Second, the Cavs would have to decide they are going all in to convince LeBron to stay. However, in the end, both teams will likely go in different directions.
While none of these trades will likely go down next week, these trades would completely change the landscape of the NBA, something fans love.
Photo Credits: A Sea of Blue, AP