It’s hard to believe that the long awaited, and highly anticipated, 2015 NBA Draft is on our doorstep! At this point, as you would we’ll be aware, the New York Knicks are making the fourth overall selection. New York have been rumored to be scouring the horizon for a late first rounder or an early second rounder.
Ever since the appointment of Phil Jackson as the President of Basketball operations, the Knicks have been very aggressive after a year long lull. That trend has continued and it’s not unrealistic to think that the Knicks will trade themselves down in this year’s draft. The general consensus around the NBA currently is that there will be incredible movement close to and during the draft. The Charlotte Hornets general manger is expecting some blockbusters. The doesn’t necessarily mean that the Knicks will trade their pick, but moves could be made on draft night.
Anyway, here are some possible draft night trades;
E-Bled to the Empire State
New York Knicks Receive: Guard Eric Bledsoe, 13th Overall Pick
Phoenix Suns Receive: 4th Overall Pick, Cash Considerations
Why New York Does It:
The first reason is that Carmelo Anthony has said in the past that he would prefer to have an established guard alongside him, rather than a rookie and keeping the superstar happy is general managing 101. Jose Calderon was a bitter disappointment last year, he couldn’t stay healthy and his shooting was very poor. The Spaniard is a liability on defense and has virtually no athleticism to run the triangle in the ideal way. Bledsoe on the other hand is extremely athletic, he can finish above the rim when necessary and he’s one of the better perimeter defenders in the NBA. The Kentucky product is also only 25-years-old compared to who Jose Calderon who is 33-years-old. New York have also expressed interest in Wisconsin big man, Frank Kaminsky, who is a fit for the triangle and fits the bill age wise for Phil Jackson; mature age recruit. The 7-footer is tipped to be available in the late lottery.
Why Phoenix Does It:
The Suns seem to like Brandon Knight, who came over in a deadline trade and who is a restricted free agent this summer, more than Bledsoe. They see Knight as their future and Phoenix would prefer not to create another log jam at the point guard position – the former 7th overall pick will most likely be cheaper than Bledsoe also. After narrowly missing the playoffs and some turbulence in the franchise, the Suns traded away Goran Dragic which kickstarted the rebuilding process. It’s quite clear that they are trying to go as young as possible. On the other hand, Calderon could be added in as a mentor for Phoenix. Trading for the fourth pick would allow Phoenix to draft Justise Winslow who they are interested in – a player who would fill a hole in their roster. The final reason is that it would offload Bledsoe’s contract giving them plenty of money to spend during free agency over the next two seasons.
Tim Jr to Tim Sr
New York Knicks Receive: Guard Brandon Jennings, 38th Overall Pick
Detroit Pistons Receive: Guard Tim Hardaway Jr, Cash Considerations
Why New York Does It:
Jennings is a terrific playmaker who’s extremely unselfish, he can also catch fire at any moment and shoot the lights out. New York needs somebody who can get into the teeth of the defense, Jennings can do so and either pass to a teammate on the perimeter, lob it to a big man rolling to the rim or drain a floater. Although he’s not a great defender, he has the tools to become one and he’s certainly an upgrade on Jose Calderon. The Knicks want another draft pick and this could be the the way to do so, if Detroit wants to acquire one of New York’s young assets then they should get compensation in return. This trade allows New York to acquire a good lead guard leaving them with the ability to draft another player at another position with their fourth pick. Finally, the Knicks have Langston Galloway on the roster who is more suited to playing as a shooting guard and in this free agency period there are many two guards available who are better than Hardaway Jr.
Why Detroit Does It:
The Pistons have Reggie Jackson who will be a restricted free agent as of July 1 and with Jennings coming off an Achilles injury they look to be leaning towards Jackson. Trading Jennings would free up more cap room to re-sign Jackson and to add other free agents. Detroit have a lack of depth at the shooting guard position, they have many ‘tweeners – Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Jodie Meeks – and lack a guard who is a spot up shooter, create off the dribble and finish at the rim. Stan Van Gundy likes to play uptempo basketball and Hardaway Jr. would be a good fit as he excels in transition. Detroit would be able to free up more cap room without losing their top-10 pick. The Pistons are another team who is looking to go as young as possible and moving Jennings would open up time for Spencer Dinwiddie, who they are really high on.
Let’s Send More to Cleveland
New York Knicks Receive: Centre Brendan Haywood, 24th Overall Pick
Cleveland Cavaliers Receive: Guard Tim Hardaway Jr., Guard Jose Calderon
Why New York Does It:
You may be wondering why the heck would the Knicks want Haywood? He has a non-guaranteed contract worth $10.5 million which means he can be waived without any implications. Acquiring and waiving the veteran would create another $10 million in cap space, taking the grand total close to $40 million. New York have big aspirations this summer and from what sources can gather players asking prices have skyrocketed. Like what was said above, the Knicks are looking to gain another draft pick and this one happens to be in a perfect location. The Knicks were impressed by UCLA’s Kevon Looney, who has been labeled as a player who could be a Lamar Odom type in the triangle. Looney is projected to be drafted in the early to mid twenties.
Why Cleveland Does It:
Isn’t it obvious? The Cleveland Cavaliers lost the 2015 NBA Finals because their bench was a no show. This trade would rid them of Haywood’s useless contract while gaining two players who can contribute off the bench. Hardaway Jr. can provide spot up shooting, which they missed and Calderon can orchestrate the offence and knock down open jump shots. Cleveland’s goal is to win now, not in the future, and they already have a young team which makes the 24th pick not all that valuable to them. Using the 24th pick is their way of discarding the 36-year-old Haywood and improving their bench all in the one transaction. The Cavaliers already have a strong front court but lack depth at the point guard position and have mighty inconsistencies shooting guard.
George Karl’s Wish is Granted
New York Knicks Receive: Center DeMarcus Cousins, 57th Overall Pick (Denver)
Sacramento Kings Receive: Forward Kenneth Faried, Guard Ty Lawson
Denver Nuggets Receive: Fourth Overall Pick (New York), Sixth Overall Pick (Sacramento)
Why New York Does It:
Simply put, New York acquires a young, up-and-coming superstar in DeMarcus Cousins to pair alongside Carmelo Anthony. Also, Anthony has spoken to the fact that he admires Cousins’s game. Although it may not seem like much, the 57th overall pick is a quality asset to have up your sleeve. It could be used a trade further along down the line in the future or the player could be stashed overseas or assigned to the NBA Development League, a la Louis Labeyrie and Thanasis Antetokounmpo.
Why Sacramento Does It:
George Karl is their head coach and he loves to play a fast-paced, run and gun style of basketball. When he was in Denver, Karl had tremendous success with Lawson running the show and Faried protecting the paint and running the floor. Pairing those two with Rudy Gay and Ben McLemore would create an incredible dynamic team who would be close to near impossible to stop, let alone slow down, on the fast break. Also, Karl and Cousins relationship is in tatters.
Why Denver Does It:
Ty Lawson has become extremely unhappy in the Mile High City after the All-Star break and after signing a huge extension last summer, Kenneth Faried didn’t live up to the expectations. This trade gives the Nuggets the opportunity to start fresh and from the beginning, they would have the fourth, sixth and seventh picks in this year’s draft which as we know, is stacked with talent. These highly sought after pieces could also be moved on in other trades to acquire established young talent.
Another International Guard to Houston
New York Knicks Receive: 32nd Overall Pick
Houston Rockets Receive: Jose Calderon
Why New York Does It:
Jose Calderon didn’t live up to the hype in which he arrived with when he first donned a New York Knicks jersey. Getting rid of Calderon would free up a further $8 million in cap room which could be spent on a better replacement this summer. The Knicks have un-drafted Langston Galloway on their roster and he had a better year than Calderon, he also has a better all round game, Galloway’s potential is far greater than Calderon’s and he’s about seven million dollars more affordable. This trade also lands New York an early second rounder which the Knicks are after and it could be used to snag up a gem.
Why Houston Does It:
The 2015 playoffs showed why the Rockets would consider being apart of this trade. They had no point guard in the starting lineup which was exploited in the conference finals and quite frankly, former Knick, Pablo Prigioni, just didn’t cut it. He is out of contract and so is defensive specialist, Patrick Beverley, although he’s restricted. Calderon is a nice fit for the Houston Rockets, he can shoot the long ball effectively, the Spaniard is unselfish and he ignites the fast break – a big part of Houston’s game plan. The Rockets have offered European Guard, Sergio Llull, a 3-year / $22 million contract which also includes a close to $6 million buyout. Calderon has one year left on his contract, which ones more affordable?