With Mike Conley and Anthony Davis already moved this past week in blockbuster trades, what are some other realistic blockbuster trades that could happen Thursday night? I actually don’t think there are that many, but the three I have listed and explained below have a very real chance of happening.
(Assets listed are Players or Picks received by each team)
Cleveland Cavaliers: #10 and #17 Picks
Atlanta Hawks: #5 Pick
This trade makes a lot of sense for both teams, especially if the Hawks are as high on Culver as the reports say they are (although I think Hunter would fit in well here too). Atlanta would still be able to draft Reddish or possibly package the number 8 pick to slide back down to the middle of the first round to grab the center they need. If the Cavs demand the #8 pick instead of the #10 pick, Atlanta should still at least consider it (and probably do it if they like Culver that much). Ideally for the Cavs, this trade would be #8 and #17 and they would land Reddish and a high risk, high reward player like Bol Bol at #17. A Sexton-Reddish combination could be dangerous for years to come and the Cavs could really use a high upside big man like Bol to pair with those two. I do expect Atlanta to move up to either #4 or #5 and I think #5 is a little more likely because the Pelicans asking price for #4 is reportedly pretty high (I also think they can get Culver at #5 and not pay the extra price for #4, depending on who ends up with the #4 pick).
Cleveland Cavaliers: #4 Pick, Solomon Hill, E’Twaun Moore
New Orleans Pelicans: Kevin Love
Okay, now here me out here. The #4 pick seems like a pretty hefty price for Love, who has been injured the past couple years (22 games last year and hasn’t played more than 60 since 2015-2016), but when you think about it, it actually makes sense. This trade would be wholly dependent on what the Pelicans expectations for next season would be. If they feel like they could compete in a packed West with their lineup+Love, (which even with their lineup, that’s no guarantee-side note: there is a very real scenario in which the Warriors don’t make the playoffs, which will likely require 45+ wins for the 8 seed in the West) then they should pull the trigger for Love. The Pelicans would get the last four years of Love’s prime and also maximize the center of Holiday’s prime. With Love being more of a stretch five, it would still allow Williamson to dominate the paint and wreak havoc in transition (remember those Love-LBJ outlet passes, think about Love-Williamson). From the Cavs perspective, they probably can’t do much better than the #4 pick for Love and from the Pelicans perspective, there is no clear player to take at #4 who can help them right away. Love’s large contract would end right when Williamson is extension eligible, so the long-term money shouldn’t be too much of a factor (although juggling Holiday, Love, and possible extensions for Ingram and Ball could be difficult). The Pelicans still have plenty of future assets and if they think at all that they can compete in the wide open West next year, then they should pull the trigger on this trade. The Cavs would then come out of this trade with the #4 and #5 picks and they would likely trade at least one (likely to Atlanta). Hill and Moore get sent here to help make the salary work out.
Phoenix Suns: #14 and #20 Picks
Boston Celtics: #6 Pick
The Celtics might also have to throw in their second rounder this year or a future second, but depending on how much they like Garland or White, I could see them pulling the trigger on this one. If the Suns are honest with themselves, they are still a few years from contending and the West looks to be packed for the next couple years. With Kyrie likely leaving and Rozier’s future uncertain, Boston could use some long-term security at PG and a player like Garland/White makes a lot of sense. From the Suns perspective, it’s all about assets. The ability to possibly land two solid starters in this draft might be better for the Suns than taking a chance on Garland or White. Although Phoenix certainly does need a PG for the future (which is why this trade is more unlikely than the other two). If Phoenix were to make this trade, I could see them drafting a player like Tyler Herro (who should convert to a Jamal Murray type PG, but bigger) at #14 and either a wing (Keldon Johnson) or another front court player (Mfiondu Kabengele) at #20.