With the Cleveland Cavaliers now the 2016 NBA Champions, the focus for the NBA has shifted towards the NBA Draft today. The first two picks are pretty much locked-in to be LSU’s Ben Simmons and Duke’s Brandon Ingram, but past that the draft is wide open and there are some intriguing trade options. The trade flurry started on Wednesday, as the Atlanta Hawks, Utah Jazz and Indiana Pacers engaged in a three-team trade that moved Jeff Teague to the Pacers, George Hill to the Jazz and the No. 12 pick to the Hawks. The Bulls and Knicks also engaged in a trade that sent Derrick Rose, Justin Holliday and a second round pick to New York in exchange for Robin Lopez, Jerian Grant and Jose Calderon. Here are two possible trades that could further shake up the NBA landscape.
1. The Boston Celtics trade Avery Bradley, Jae Crowder and the No. 3 pick to the Chicago Bulls for Jimmy Butler.
The Chicago Bulls failed to make the playoffs last year and don’t have the cap space to improve drastically over free agency. With Pau Gasol and Joakim Noah set to leave in free agency, and Derrick Rose recently traded to New York, the best players remaining on the roster will be Jimmy Butler and the newly acquired Robin Lopez. The Bulls simply will not get better with their current roster. They need to start rebuilding immediately. Jimmy Butler is a lock down perimeter defender and a ferocious scorer, and should be able to net the Bulls a good return if he is traded. The Boston Celtics had a good year this past year finishing fifth in the NBA Eastern Conference. While the Celtics do have a budding star in Isaiah Thomas, they will not win a championship without adding another star to the roster. It’s time for the Celtics to move some of the quality role players and multitude of draft picks they have. This trade gives the Bulls two solid role players and a No. 3 overall pick that could possibly produce a star, while the Celtics get the star power they desperately need.
2. The Orlando Magic trade Nikola Vucevic, Mario Hezonja and No. 11 pick to the Sacramento Kings for Demarcus Cousins.
Simply put, the Kings are not going to win an NBA title with Demarcus Cousins. Despite adding players like Rajon Rondo and Rudy Gay, the Kings just can’t put together a productive season. They need to go a different route, and this trade could do just that for them. Mario Hezonja is a player who has shown promise as a future NBA scorer, and while Nikola Vucevic isn’t Demarcus Cousins, he is great at scoring and rebounding inside and has shown improvement on the defensive end as well. The No. 11 pick is also a piece that could really help develop the Kings. With Hezonja, Vucevic and two early picks in the draft, Sacramento would add a lot of young talent. Orlando has a core of Victor Oladipo, Elfrid Payton and Aaron Gordon. If you throw Demarcus Cousins down low, the team gets maybe the top big man in the game, which would surely expedite its rebuild. With Gordon’s athleticism next to the constant threat of Cousins scoring down low, the Magic would have a deadly frontcourt.