Can the Nets Poach First Rounders from the Blazers?

As the offseason comes closer into the front view mirror, it is time to take a look at pieces the Nets can add from the Blazers.

On paper, the Blazers are appealing because they have a surplus of draft picks, which the Nets need, and bloated salaries they may desire to dump in trades involving those picks.

At this point, the Blazers’ goal is to rebuild, and add different talent to surround Lillard and McCollum. While the Blazers beat the Nuggets out for the 8th seed, the trade of Mason Plumlee for a first and Jusuf Nurkic was made with the intent of rebuilding, not winning now. Plumlee was a starter, and Nurkic a banished afterthought and throw in to a deal. 

Can the Nets get a deal done with the Blazers? Maybe. However, a word of caution is necessary: as I see it, the Blazers’ need for a trade is overstated

The Blazers are approximately $31 million over the 2017-18 cap, and $17 million over the 2018-2019 cap. They NEED cheap, cost controlled contributors. The easiest way to acquire such players is with first round draft picks in a strong draft. Accordingly, why would the Blazers want to DUMP picks to offload contracts. They are much better served drafting talent, and growing that talent. If anything, the Blazers should use their pick cache to trade up, not OUT. 

Some will think the reason for a trade is cap space. However, it bears repeating; the Blazers are $31 million over the cap next year, and $17 million over the following year. Accordingly, to add even a $10 million per year player — a bench player — the the Blazers would need to clear a WHOPPING $41 million in player salaries. That requires moving two of Crabbe, Leonard, and Turner, and a third big money piece for next to no return salary, which would likely require dumping two firsts at least. This all would occur for the chance to sign a piece like Jon Leuer, given what $10 million fetches on this market. That would be asinine for the Blazers to do. 

So the Blazers should not dump contracts because they need to develop cheap young talent, not dump it, and because they are so far over the cap that salary dumps wouldn’t actually reap a basketball benefit on the free agent market. Those factors conspire to create a third reason dumps would be dumb for Portland — with there being no benefit to a salary dump, the Blazers are better off waiting a year to see if their big money pieces improve and add value. At a MINIMUM, each piece would be one year closer to expiring, and thus would have more market value. Why not table dealing Meyers Leonard 12 months, to see if he resuscitates value, or at least regains value as a contract closer to expiration? The same goes for Turner. And Crabbe to an extent, although he actually has value. 

All told, I do not see the Blazers as a hotbed for money dumps simply because were I running them, I would not execute a dump.

However, stranger things have happened than a team with a bloated payroll dumping bad contracts to save money. Accordingly, if the Blazers do look to salary dump some of their big deals, like Crabbe, Turner, or Leonard, or to an extent Harkless or Aminu, and use their first rounders as carrots, then the Nets should be all over them, trying to get in on the action. 

Beyond those types of moves, there are other options here, although Lillard and McCollum, and likely Nurkic, are going nowhere. The Blazers are not bringing back Festus Ezeli. He will be 28 next season, and while he was awful last year and underwent an experimental knee procedure, he has talent. He also has next to no market value at this point. With his upside — he was a significant component of the 67 and 73 win pre Durant Warriors — the Nets should explore a flier for his services. They say they have faith in their training staff — put your money where your mouth is here. 

Beyond that however, the pickings start to slim. It’s too late for Ed Davis in all likelihood and he makes too much money next year unless he is assumed as dead money. Noah Vonleh is the prototype for what the Nets need, but the Blazers have no reason to trade him. If they did dump him to dump salary then Brooklyn should leap at that. 

Tim Quarterman has good length for a point guard and his youth, and good per minute and D league stats, show he fits the Nets vision. But the Blazers have a team option. Similar comments apply to Pat Connaughton. Jake Layman and Shabazz Napier likely are not fits at this point. 

Nets Offseason: Any Washington Wizards available? 

As the Nets march toward a significant offseason, every single team offers something to the Nets, from a morsel to a big piece. The Wizards’ roster construction, sitting at 49-33 and looking to upgrade, may lend itself to some Nets poaching. 

The first big target is Otto Porter: as I chronicle here, he fits the Nets no matter what their plan is, but the Wizards are likely to retain him. After him however (minus Wall and Beal obviously), there are options here.

Marcia Gortat stands out as he questioned his role in Washington after the season. The Wizards could, in theory salary dump him to open cap room for a larger strike. If so the Nets should take advantage. If the Wizards seek value, the Nets can offer Brook Lopez, a significant upgrade … if the Wizards are willing to pay in the way of assets and kids. Their 2019 first and Kelly Oubre may not enough for the Nets, but those components would form the guts of a deal. 

The Nets could explore similar deals for Jeremy Lin. Lin could anchor the Wizards bench; the Wizards desperately lack that type of presence in their second unit. 

Ian Mahinmi is another piece the Wizarda may look to dump and Brooklyn could step in as a haven for assets. The Nets should explore that salary dump option. A deal around Mahinmi’s dumpster fire contract, and Lopez or Lin, likely would not work, however – the Nets would need value for their players AND value for assuming Mahinmi, that the Wizards just do not have to offer.

In a smaller scale money dump, Jason Smith is next to worthless and has a player option for 2018-19. The Nets should see what value they could extract for taking him on. The Wizards have second round picks the next two drafts, and a history of devaluing the second round in favor of short term gains – the Nets should target that in Smith discussions, and at the draft.

Beyond that comes Marcus Morris and Tomas Satoransky. Morris is on an excellent contract as a huge component of a 49 win group. That makes him likely to stay put – unless the Wizards see Lopez as an upgrade because of Oubre’s potential emergence. Satoransky struggled in year 1 in the NBA, but European players often take off in years 2-3, and he was legitimately good in Europe. Perhaps his first year struggles were reminiscent of Mirza Teletovic’s in 2012-2013. The Nets should see if the Wizards would dump him into a larger deal as a throw in, to see if he sticks. If not, he’s on a tiny contract anyway. 
Further beyond that there is nothing to see. Bojan Bogdanovic makes no sense in Brooklyn and that is why the Nets dealt him. Trey Burke is a bust, as is Chris McCullough, and Brandon Jennings is beyond atrocious. 

Nets Free Agency: Can They Get Otto Porter?

As soon as the Wizards were eliminated from the playoffs, Nets fans set their sights on Otto Porter. Certainly, there are smart reasons to add him. He will be 24-27 years old on his next contract, and he can shoot and guard multiple positions. Given his age and versatility, Porter fits what the Nets are building, regardless of the direction they go in. If they decide to completely rebuild by trading Lopez and other veterans, Porter fits because his career is so nascent — he can grow with the current and incoming kids. If they (I hope not) enter “win now mode,” Porter is a good player who will help them win games, and fits into nearly any lineup seamlessly.

Alas, there is an elephant in the room: Porter is a restricted free agent, and the Wizards would be taking a gigantic risk letting him walk out the door. 

The Wizards goals are rather simple: contend, and keep John wall beyond his 2019 unrestricted free agency. 

Those goals reveal one simple truth as to Porter – there is no reason for the Wizards to let him go, unless they can replace him with a better player. And the chance they can replace him with a better player in 2017 or 2018 (you cannot wait for Wall to hit the market) is unlikely. 

Replace him internally? That is a gigantic leap of faith in Kelly Oubre, who was barely a rotation piece and is nowhere close to where Porter is right now. Bojan Bogdanovic? He is a good shooter who offers nothing close to Porter’s dribble drive game, defensive prowess, or ability to play and guard multiple positions. 

With no internal upgrade available, what about the trade market? Good luck. Oubre is their best asset and is just not valuable enough to get a piece as good as Porter.

So then the Wizards have to turn to free agency, and their task would be arduous: find a free agent who is BETTER than Porter in 2017 or 2018 — and who does not play point guard, as you are set there. 

But first things first: the Wizards would need a $30 million max slot for any free agent. To get there in 2017, they would have to dump Mahinmi and Smith, or Gortat Smith and Satoransky, and do so without taking back a single dollar of salary, without dangling this year’s first, as the Nets own it. If they want to keep Bogdanovic, they’d need to execute the above scenarios, but dump BOTH Gortat and Mahinmi. Good luck doing that, or doing that without developing a mini Nets like pick situation. 

To dump that salary in 2018? The Wizards would need to dump one of Mahinmi or Gortat together with Smith, while letting all of their players walk and stringing along scrubs and bit players on one year deals. Again: good luck with that. 

So positioning in free agency for a Porter upgrade would require the Wizards to hemorrhage their roster while dumping picks. The question then becomes: if the maneuvering works, what upgrades are even available? The answer: slim pickings. 

The following non point guards (not including Aldridge given his serious decline), are practically in play in 2017 and 1018: Hayward, Blake, and Millsap in 2017; and George, Melo, and Cousins in 2018. 

Can the Wizards honestly say that their chance of all the above maneuvering, AND getting one of these six players, is even close to realistic?

Let’s start with 2017, where at least the Wizards would be positioning for a piece obtainable now. Hayward and Blake play for winners out west, and can easily return to those teams on max deals. If they leave, that choice will likely be grounded in hoping to win more. Do they really believe Washington provides that chance? Millsap could win more in Washington and would fit, but he will have multiple suitors, likes Atlanta, and publicly jabbed the Wizards during the first round. Can they count on him committing and take all the above risk for a chance to MEET with him?

Moving to 2018, you have Cousins, George, and Melo.  Melo seems hellbent on remaining a Knicks, so the Wizards cannot just take a shot in the dark on him coming. 

Cousins is the piece everyone loves to talk into Washington. And sure, he struggled with drama in Sacramento, and was not happy about being traded to New Orleans because it deprived him of a massive $207 million deal only Sacramento could have offered. However, Cousins now plays with Anthony Davis, and the Pelicans have put everything into making that duo work. Maybe he is ticked off today, or was in February. But if the Pelicans show sincere growth in 2017-2018, and Cousins and Brow form a deadly duo, then it is certainly plausible, or likely, that Cousins moves past whatever lingering frustration he had about the trade, and embraces playing with a superstar in New Orleans. The Wizards would be dumping their third best player and tossing assets in the ocean on the mere hope that two upper echelon stars in New Orleans failed together, that Cousins believes it will continue to fail and asks out, and that the Wizards became his team of choice. That’s a gigantic risk to bet on for Washington. 

Sure, Cousins to Washington to join his buddy John Wall is the thing these days, for some. But nobody had LeBron to Miami, or back to Cleveland. Or Dwight to LA then Houston. Or CP3 to the Clippers. Or Deron to Brooklyn for that matter. These superstar moves often surprise and go against the fan gradient. 

So what about George? Once again, is he worth the risk? What if the Lakers rumors have legs? What if he is traded to an asset heavy team and finds a home? Banking on him feels like a fools errand for Washington. 

So will the Wizards move on from Otto Porter? Given their win now mode, Wall’s free agency, and unlikelihood they turn losing him into an upgrade, the answer is likely no. 

Stranger things have happened in the NBA, where the rule of thumb is that you NEVER know what will happen. If the Wizards decide to dump Porter to take a risk on a big name, or simply dump him to save scratch, I will be very surprised. But I will not be shocked. 

Alas, Otto Porter is the third best player on a 49 win team. Nets fans can hope he comes. But they shouldn’t bank on it. 

Nets free Agency: a Reunion with Ryan Anderson?

Coming off a 55-27 season in which the Rockets cemented themselves as the West’s third best team, and their goal is to take things to the next level.

For the Nets, that unfortunately means there is little to see here in terms of player availability … if the Rockets maintain the status quo. 

However, the NBA is a fluid league, and the Rockets will look at every option. Sure, the Rockets have perfect role players for their system, and will not engage in a dramatic shake up just to upgrade their role players. Nevertheless, Daryl Morey has always been a huge advocate of doing everything you can to obtain stars, and his only way of getting one this summer is a money dump of a key role player. Morey is pragmatic, and while the Rockets were great in 2017, that does not guarantee that they leap the Warriors in 2018. Morey knows this and he will be pragmatic in building his roster. 

There are three obtainable big free agents the Rockets could pursue that both fit their system, and arguably warrant a money dump to get them: Gordon Hayward, Blake Griffin, and Paul Millsap. For the Rockets to add any of the three, the Rockets would need to carve out approximately $16 million in cap room (more for Millsap if they maxed him). 

To open space of that magnitude, the Rockets would need to dump Ryan Anderson, or Eric Gordon and either Trevor Ariza or Lou Williams. They would need to do this without taking any return salary back. And the need to execute the deal, combined with the other team assuming all the salary, would provide the other team with leverage. 

Enter the Nets. If the Rockets are engaged in salary dumping these pieces this summer, the Nets should seriously consider taking advantage.  

Keep in mind that these scenarios are highly unlikely. All 3 players will have multiple options (including staying put) and the Rockets would not engage in money dump talks without assurances. However, LaMarcus Aldridge to San Antonio, and the Hawks taking advantage of the Spurs needing to money dump Tiago Splitter, was unlikely in 2015. You never know.

The Rockets do not have a first rounder in 2017 to offer. But the Nets could target the following in a deal; the Rockets 2019 first rounder,  Sam Dekker, who was a nice reserve this year, Chinanu Onuaku, who has upside off a bench, or Montrezl Harrell who boasts excellent per 36 numbers. The Rockets also have two second rounders this year, and a second rounder in 2018, that they can dangle to entice Brooklyn. 
Beyond a major move like this (which again is unlikely), the Nets likely will find little mileage with Houston. Harden is going nowhere, as are Pat Beverley and Clint Capela on their excellent value contracts. Nene is a free agent but will likely stay in Houston or join another winner. Troy Williams, Isaiah Taylor, and Kyle Wiltjer have no value. 

So to sum up, the most likely scenario is that the Nets do not poach any Rockets this summer. But Morey is always willing to gamble on stars, and if he takes a gambit at dumping Harden’s role players to add a second star, Brooklyn should listen and see if the Rockets would provide them with young value in exchange for clearing their salary cap up. 

Can the Nets acquire any picks in the 2017 draft?

As the NBA playoffs approach their conclusion, the rumor mill has begun to swirl, if only mildly. And once the buzzer hits on the last game of the Finals, a huge 6 weeks begins for the Brooklyn Nets as they try to dig out from under the mess they created in 2013.

You cannot win in the NBA without a star; every team that won a playoff series this season had a player on one of the three All NBA teams. With that, the Nets need to do anything they can to find a star. 

Having the 22, 27, and 57 picks in a good draft is a start. Good players fall outside the lottery. After all, theee NBA players were second round picks and four more were not lottery picks. However, history tells us that the best chance, mathematically, of adding a star, is at or near the top of the draft. 

Accordingly, the Nets need to do anything they can to move up. In addition, the Nets need to maximize the number of picks they have. After all, between Isaiah Thomas at 60, Draymond Green in the second round, and Jimmy Butler at pick 30, all picks matter, and the more shots you have the more likely you will connect. 

Why try to add a star in the draft? Because that is the most likely place to do so.  Star free agents only want to sign where they believe they can win – that makes the Nets a non factor on the market in that regard, given their 20-62 record. In addition, stars on the trade market, as they decide where they will resign or not, dictate the game as to where they will go, just like free agents do. That, coupled with the Nets’ asset scarcity, does not make them a player for stars on the trade market.

That is why the Nets need to turn to the draft. The highest probability chance of building a winner, for any team, is to draft a winning core, and then use free agency and trades to supplement the core. Winners are not built on the free agency market. Even the recent winners reliant on signing LeBron James had a Wade, or Kyrie and number one pick to dangle for Love, in the hopper. 

Just take a look at the cores of 8 teams that advanced in the playoffs this year. 

The Warriors drafted their title winning core and drew Durant that way. The Cavs drafted Kyrie, LeBron was attracted to that, and a draft pick was used to acquire Love. The Celtics drafted Bradley Smart Olynyk, and Brown, acquired Thomas with a pick, acquired Crowder cheaply for a player it drafted, and Horford was attracted to that core. The Wizards drafted Wall Beal and Porter, the Spurs Leonard Parker Manu and Mills (to whom Aldridge was attracted).  

In addition, the Raptors drafted DeRozan and added Lowry by dealing a pick. The Jazz drafted Hayward, Gobert, and Hood, dealt for a rookie Favors, and dealt a pick for Hill once ready to win. The Rockets acquired Harden for picks in what was a freak trade – and the single worst trade in NBA history. 

By and large, the evidence bears out that you have to draft your core and use free agency and trades as a supplement. The list of contenders that had a bad roster and bought a team on the market reads as follows: __________.

So with that, the Nets should do close to anything they can to both move up in the draft and add picks in the draft. 

The question then becomes: what opportunities will they have to do that? To answer that, here is a look at all 60 picks this June, and whether there may be something there.

The Lottery:

1-4: Boston, Los Angeles (L), Philadelphia, Phoenix – forget about it. The Nets lack the ammo to acquire these picks. These 4 will either pick players or trade for massive Paul George like names. Move it along.

Potential option #1: 5 and 10: Sacramento: there most likely is nothing here. The Kings dealing DeMarcus Cousins for Heild and picks signals a rebuild. And Brook Lopez is just not good enough for the Kings to deal a top 10 pick pick, especially with Cauley-Stein in house. Lin is an upgrade for Sacramento at point guard but they would be ill advised to deal down to 22 for his services – it’s just not worth it. However, the Kings are prone to doing stupid things. File this away as remote, but not impossible. 

6, 25: Orlando: there likely is nothing here.  Usually a new GM hire is given time, and that makes me believe the new hire will launch a rebuild and keep the picks, rather than deal for veteran help. 

7: Potential option # 2: Minnesota: I can see this pick being in play. Tom Thibodeau is likely, as a coach, desirous of accelerating the process behind KAT in year 3. Brook Lopez makes no sense next to Towns, and Jeremy Lin is not worth the 7th pick, so I do not see a trade here that makes sense. However, dual role GM-coaches often do stupid things to win in the short term. Brooklyn should explore if the Wolves are desperate for an upgrade and undersell on their pick. File this as highly unlikely but not impossible.

8: New York: given Phil’s seeming fixation with running Melo out of town I do not see the Knicks dealing this pick for “win now” talent. There is likely nothing here. 

9: Dallas: file this away as unlikely. The Mavs seem committed to rebuilding given their shedding of Bogut and Deron. However, having signed Harrison Barnes, Dallas shifting gears into “let’s surround Dirk” mode isn’t out of the question. However, Brook is not an option with Noel in house. And Lin is just not worth the Mavs dealing from 9-22.

Potential option #3: 11, Charlotte: This has always felt like the option with the most legs. Charlotte is in win because rebuilding in a small market kills revenue mode, and keep Kemba Walker happy mode. Brook Lopez would be a big upgrade for their front court and the Hornets could sell that Kemba Batum Brook MKG forms a playoff core. Brook and the 22 for the 11 is likely not enough value for the Nets but is the starting point for a potential deal. 

Potential Option #4: 12, Pistons: There should not be anything here if the Pistons are smart, but dual role GM’s often are not. Maybe the Pistons would trade down to secure Jeremy Lin. Maybe they would trade Drummond for Lopez, believe it’s an upgrade, and fork the 12 over. Neither makes sense for Detroit but the Nets should make some calls here. 

13, Denver: There is nothing here. Lopez is not a fit with Jokic and the Nuggets have no reason to add Lin with Murray and Mudiay in house. The Plumlee trade also signaled that the Nuggets are at a point where they do not believe late first rounders are good enough to help them. 

14, Miami: With Whiteside and Dragic in tow the Nets cannot make them better to warrant trading down. Move it along. 

The Rest of Round 1

Potential Option #5: 15, 20, 26, Portland: With such elite guards and Nurkic coming on, there is no place for Lopez or Lin here, and they traded RHJ to Brooklyn. With that, there is likely nothing here. Still, with three firsts, limited roster spots, and a summer that did not go as planned, the Nets should make calls – there is smoke here. 

However, I worry the smoke is not fire because the Blazers have little incentive to salary dump pieces right now, and Portland dealing Plumlee for a first rounder highlighted a desire to rebuild with youth – they are less likely to dump a first than many believe. As for the “need” to salary dump guys, there is no team building benefit. When the Blazers retained all of their RFA’s last summer the idea was simple: we don’t know if these are core guys going forward but retaining them, and trading down the line if they’re not core guys, beats letting them walk for nothing. 

The Blazers derive no benefit from a money dump because thy are over $30 million above the cap. The Blazers would need to clear $45 million or so just to have a CHANCE to add a replacement piece in free agency – salary dumps do not help them. if I were Portland I would only trade pieces like Crabbe for value in return. Meyers Leonard may be poor, and a popular money dump name, but why hemorrhage assets to dump him, when you cannot sign a replacement this summer due to your cap situation? Why not try to rehab his value this year? Worst case, he sputters, and you salary dump him next summer — with one less year on his deal, and therefore requiring less assets to send out. 
All of this is the long way of saying I do not see a Nets-Blazers deal that makes sense in Portland. But with so many moving parts the Nets need to be on the phone.

16, Chicago: The Bulls in their postseason presser cited a desire to rebuild. That does not come off as a team willing to trade down in round 1. And the Bulls lack a spot for Lopez or Lin. Dealing the 16 pick for RHJ is unwise. But Marks can always ask.

Possible option #6; 17, Bucks: I would not deal with the Nets if I were Milwaukee. With Giannis ball handling, Brogdon thriving, and Delly under contract, Lin is of no use. While Lopez is an upgrade who fits, the Bucks should hoard their cap space and sell stars on a chance to pair with Giannis. Trading Brook for the 17 would be a start, if the Bucks decide to add talent at a weaker position right now, but the Nets would need a whole lot more than that.

Possible option #7, 18, Pacers: the Pacers would be ill advised to deal this pick for a short term upgrade but desperate times often breed dumb measures. If the Pacers are hellbent on an upgrade they may see Lin as a helpful addition for the 18 pick. The Nets would be wise to consider this.

Possible option #8, 19, Hawks: Lin is not a fit. But with Dwight unhappy maybe Lopez to Atlanta is possible. The 19 is a start on the return package, but more would be required. And RHJ for the 19 is an option. 
21, Oklahoma City: the Thunder have a major salary crunch and value cost control very highly. The chance they deal this pick for Lopez approaching UFA (a scourge in their eyes), or for Lin with Russ in house, is less than remote.

Possible option #9, 23, Raptors: the Raptors are in a salary crunch but want to retool for next year. Getting out from DeMarre Carroll’s salary would help, so the Nets should see if the 23 is on the market as compensation.

Possible option #10: #24, #30, Jazz: the Jazz are good, but it is unclear how this core gets further than that and passes Golden State out west without upgrades. To upgrade on the market would require having space to spend beyond what they have now. A salary dump involving Alec Burks or even Derrick Favors could accomplish that and for a first the Nets would have to jump. 

Possible option #11: #28, Lakers: I discussed this at length in my last piece but if the Lakers salary dump mozgov or Deng this is where you try to exploit an asset. 

Possible option #12: #29, Spurs: The Spurs are huge on developing late picks so this is unlikely. However, if a big time free agent like CP3 or Lowry commits the Spurs may be in a numbers crunch to make it work. The Nets should help them alleviate such a crunch if that happens … for a charge. 
ROUND 2:

31, Atlanta: Picks this high in the round likely are not for sale but this pick could be part of a larger package. 

32, Phoenix: the Suns tanked with a fierce commitment and will keep this pick.

Possible option 13: 33, 35, Orlando: I expect Orlando to keep these picks because they need cheap young talent. But with 25 also in house perhaps Orlando packages picks for a piece like RHJ. 

34, Sacramento: see the Hawks at 31. Likely not for sale. 

Possible option 14, 36, 39, 46, 50 Philadelphia: The Sixers have 14 players in the fold before this draft and may look to be players in free agency. I could see Brian Colangelo devaluing second rounders and allowing a team like Brooklyn to cheaply poach them by packaging their 57 pick with cash to move up. 

Possible option 15, 37, 53, 56 Boston: Boston has 8 roster spots to fill, but with their eyes on big fish and some critical internal free agents, they may decide they cannot carry three second rounders. The Nets should look to capitalize. 

Possible option 16, 38, Chicago: The Bulls should keep this pick if their rebuilding desires are sincere but the Bulls often are not, and they are quietly cheap. The Nets may be able to parlay the 57 and cash into this pick. 

Possible option 17, 40, New Orleans: The Pelicans should keep this pick as they need to develop more young talent. But they are thinking big picture team building around Brow and Cousins and their organization does not value picks. The Nets should pursue acquiring it. 

Possible option 18. 41, Charlotte: the Hornets should keep this pick, but ditto as with NO here. And maybe this is part of a package to acquire the 11 for Brook. 

Possible option 19. 42, 55, Utah: Last year the Nets got Whitehead by dealing the 55 and cash to Utah for the 42. Utah simply had nowhere to fit the mid second on a loaded roster. De ja vu?

Possible option 20. 43, Houston: see Utah at 42.

44, 58 Knicks: I expect the Knicks to keep this picks in spinning a youth movement. Unless it’s genuine this time.

47, Pacers: the Pacers need all the help they can get right now. I do not expect them to deal this pick for cash.

Possible option 21. 48, Bucks: I can see ownership in Milwaukee not valuing picks under Kidd’s stewardship. Or see this as a component of a Lopez trade with the 17 pick. 

Possible option 22. 49, 51, Nuggets: the Nuggets sold Gobert for cash in 2013. They have a roster crunch and the 49 pick will not play for them next year. These pick are ripe for sale. 

Possible option 23. 52, Wizards: the Wizards notoriously do not value picks under Grunfeld and dump late picks for cash or little else. This pick could be moved. 

Possible options 24-26. Suns at 54, Spurs and Hawks at 59-60: Picks this low in the draft are ripe for sale. And should not be beneath the Nets as they need every asset they can put their hands on.