It is finally time, the wait is over. Ever since the Golden State Warriors defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers in four games in the NBA Finals, fans have been waiting for tonight: the NBA Draft. The 2018 NBA Draft is one of the most intriguing drafts in recent memory. The main reason for the intrigue is in the uncertainty after the first pick is announced. The Suns are expected to take DeAndre Ayton with the first selection tonight, after that, it is wide open. Let’s break down some things to watch for tonight that could shape how the draft order falls.
What does Sacramento do with the second pick?
Oh, the Kings. What a franchise. Nobody knows what Sacramento will do with the second pick tonight. I don’t even think Sacramento knows what they will do when they are on the clock shortly after 7 p.m. e.t. Recent rumors have been expecting the Kings will select Marvin Bagley III when they are on the clock, but then a report came out yesterday saying the team has not yet ruled out Luka Doncic or Michael Porter Jr. with their selection. If Sacramento ends up taking Doncic, teams below them may have to pivot as the Kings have made it seem that they don’t like Doncic to this point. Buckle up and expect the unexpected when the Kings are on the clock.
Will the Grizzlies end up trading the fourth pick with Parsons’ contract?
The rumor mill has been flowing in Memphis for quite some time now. The Grizzlies are known to be shopping the fourth pick to a team that is willing to absorb Chandler Parsons’ contract. ESPN threw out seven teams that have been talking to the Grizzlies about the fourth pick: Mavericks, Bulls, Magic, Celtics, Nuggets, Knicks, and Clippers. Ideally for the Grizzlies, they would just move back a couple of picks and have the other team take on Parsons outright. However, discussions with multiple teams have included other players going back to Memphis, or even Memphis moving towards the back of the lottery. This pick will be crucial in seeing how the rest of the draft order shakes out.
Does Cleveland trade for a veteran with the #8 pick?
Cleveland is in a tough spot. They want to put themselves in a position to entice LeBron James to come back next season. However, they don’t want to put all their chips in one basket. The Cavaliers don’t want to be stuck with a veteran player they don’t like if LeBron will not return. I think if you are Cleveland, you have to risk it. Cleveland should be on the phone with multiple teams during the eighth pick tonight. The first team they should call is the Spurs to talk Kawhi. The Cavs likely don’t have the right assets for Kawhi, but a move I think they could pull off is Kemba Walker. Walker would give the Cavs another scoring option on offense to pair with Kevin Love and LeBron James. Additionally, if LBJ decides to bolt, a Kemba/Love pairing would still be a playoff team in the Eastern Conference.
How many trades will we see?
Everyone from fans to the top reporters in the NBA are predicting a flurry of trades tonight. Western Conference teams don’t feel like waiting around for the Warriors to get worse, teams want to chase them right away. For Eastern Conference teams, they see an open conference where any team can fight for a playoff spot. There will certainly be a lot of second-round picks exchanged tonight, just based off how many seconds some teams own. In addition, there is a chance for stars to move tonight. I don’t expect to see Kawhi traded tonight, but if some team throws the Spurs something they can’t refuse, there’s always a chance. In addition, a guy like Kemba Walker being traded tonight would not shock me. The trade market will likely be the biggest reason the draft shakes out how it does. That’s why tonight is so enticing.
There is the potential for madness tonight, and everyone is ready for it. The NBA Draft is such a fun time of the year, especially after a lowly NBA Finals this season. All I have left to say is buckle up because it’s going to be a fun ride.
Visit our 2018 NBA Draft Big Board for our player rankings!