The Los Angeles Lakers are rumored to make a big move this offseason in an effort to create a Big 3 including LeBron James, and Anthony Davis. A few names that circled around the rumor mill are Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook, and Kyle Lowry and Demar DeRozan have expressed interest in reuniting in purple and gold.
However, the Lakers are facing a few obstacles surrounding the contracts of Kyle Kuzma and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. The Lakers may have to include young guard/forward, Talen Horton-Tucker, and/or the 22nd draft pick to gain some interest from teams that are rebuilding. Kuzma and Pope contracts’ annual values will not be easy to move for the Lakers.
Will Teams Move up in the NBA Draft
Teams have expressed moving up for the number one overall pick in the draft, but there are only a few teams that could possibly do that. The Detroit Pistons are slated to select Cade Cunningham who could be the next generational talent. As history states, it is very difficult to move up to the first pick even if a team includes a bunch of future draft picks.
The Houston Rockets expressed interest in moving up, but will most likely draft Jalen Green who only had workouts for the Rockets and Pistons. Green of Ignite from the G-League may be winning the Houston crowd over.
The other team that could potentially move up to the number one spot is the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Thunder with a 22-50 record, which was the fourth-worst record in the NBA. However, the lottery did not work in their favor as they dropped two spots and are slated to pick number six.
It may be disappointing, but the Thunder have a plethora of draft picks as they own 36 picks in the next seven drafts. This year alone, they will be making six selections, which include the sixth, 16th, and 18th pick. The team also has Kemba Walker who they got in the Al Horford deal not too long ago. Walker may bring in more assets for the team as a draft-day trade could be in the works.
Possible Move for the Third Pick
If the Oklahoma City Thunder can’t move five spots, could the Cleveland Cavaliers be the next best trade partner? After the third pick, there are a lot of question marks about who is the next best-talented player. Those include Jalen Suggs, Scottie Barnes, and Jonathan Kuminga. Kuminga is a high-risk, high-reward type player as he struggled shooting the ball in the G League. However, Kuminga is a good playmaker at the wing position.
The Cavaliers and Thunder could be great trade partners with Evan Mobley most likely available at the third pick. Mobley was slated on most mock drafts for the longest before the rise of Jalen Green.
The Cavaliers just extended a qualifying offer to Jarrett Allen, making him a restricted free agent. The Toronto Raptors are expected to be strong suitors, but the Cavaliers can match any offer sheet if they choose. It wouldn’t make sense to have Allen and Mobley in the front-court as Collin Sexton may be dealt this offseason.
Another trade partner who could intrigue the Cavaliers is the Orlando Magic as the Magic have two lottery picks thanks to the Nikola Vucevic trade with the Chicago Bulls. Cleveland could send the third pick to Orlando in exchange for the fifth, the eighth pick, and another young asset.
Evan Mobley is athletic and a well-rounded big man. Wendall Carter Jr, who they got in the Bulls, and Mo Bamba do not seem to have the All-Star potential as Mobley seems to have the highest ceiling if he gets drafted by the Magic.
Potential Move Into the Lottery
The Oklahoma City Thunder could have two lottery picks during the draft by moving the 16th, 18th pick, 34th, and/or future pick. The New York Knicks may be in the mix as they own the 19th, 21st, and a lot of future picks that may have value as the best high-school picks can make the jump straight to the NBA in the future.
The one-and-done rule will no longer exist and might be some valuable prospects in the second round in future drafts. What other teams could you see moving up in the lottery?
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