With the New Orleans Pelicans sending Anthony Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers, the NBA's silly season is in full effect with rumors of potential trades all over the place -- and it is likely to continue with Thursday's draft, where we could see all kinds of movement. Zion Williamson is a guarantee to go No. 1 in the draft, while Ja Morant at No. 2 to the Memphis Grizzlies and RJ Barrett at No. 3 to the New York Knicks feel pretty secure.that has the
After that, look out.
Here are six potential draft-related trades that would make sense for both sides:
1. New Orleans deals Holiday to Phoenix for No. 6 pick
More Suns fun, because, frankly, it's time for them to be a real team, and Holiday would make them that. I know Booker is talked about as an off-ball player who would benefit from a point guard next to him, and that Holiday is a beast as a two-guard, too. But let's be real: Both these guys are more than capable, obviously, of initiating offense and can spread that duty out. Throw in Deandre Ayton, and that's a big-time trio that's locked up for the foreseeable future.
The Pelicans, meanwhile, enter a full youth movement after dealing Anthony Davis by acquiring the No. 6 pick, to pair along with the No. 4 pick, as the jewel of this trade. Bridges slots as a solid 3-and-D guy with ideal size and versatility on both ends, and again, maybe Josh Jackson pops. Warren makes the money work.
2. Washington ships Beal to New Orleans
- Pelicans get: Bradley Beal
- Wizards get: Brandon Ingram, E'Twaun Moore, Solomon Hill, No. 4 pick in 2019 draft
The Pelicans take the reverse route, and instead of dealing Holiday to the Suns to embrace the youth movement, they add a star in Beal next to Holiday, who along with Lonzo Ball, Zion Williamson and Josh Hart, and potentially Julius Randle if the Pels can re-sign him, looks pretty darn good in the near term with still a slew of Lakers first-round picks and pick swaps safeguarding the future, even if those picks end up being in the 20s.
The Wizards, meanwhile, get about as good a current prospect as you can get in Ingram as well as the No. 4 pick to go with the No. 9 pick they already own. The rebuild is underway in pretty high-value fashion.
3. Boston acquires Beal in blockbuster deal
- Celtics get: Bradley Beal
- Wizards get: Marcus Smart, Aron Baynes, Guerschon Yabusele, No. 22 pick in 2019 draft, 2020 first-round pick (via Memphis)
Hear me out: The Celtics get an absolute stud in Beal, who keeps them as a legit team whether Kyrie Irving stays or not -- and perhaps Beal makes Kyrie strongly consider staying. I know that 2020 Memphis pick is Boston's crown trade asset, but this is a team ready to win now, and really, how much better of a player than Beal are they going to get in a trade? Boston's top six in the rotation looks like this: Kyrie or Terry Rozier, Beal, Gordon Hayward, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Al Horford (assuming he is back, which it's pretty safe to assume he will be if Boston remains a contender).
For the Wizards, you now have the Nos. 9 and 22 picks in this year's draft, and potentially two lottery picks in 2020 with your own and the Memphis pick, which is top-six protected. If that pick doesn't convey next year, it's unprotected in 2021, and at that point, with the rebuild underway in Memphis, it could easily be a top-three pick. Five lottery picks in the next three years is about the best way to build your future under the weight of that immovable John Wall contract.
4. New Orleans acquires LaVine, No. 7 pick from Chicago
In this scenario, the Pelicans add the No. 7 pick to the No. 4 pick they already own, plus a ready-made scorer in LaVine, who either adds to their current firepower and depth if they try to build out a near-term winner, or, perhaps more likely, makes Jrue Holiday more expendable for even more assets if they play the long-term game.
For Chicago, you get the best player/prospect in the deal in Ingram, who still has tremendous two-way upside -- certainly more than whoever you would get at No. 7 in this year's draft. You now have Ingram for two more years at least, and hopefully by then you have the makings of something exciting with Ingram, Lauri Markannen and Wendell Carter Jr. Solomon Hill makes the money work, but he expires after next season.
5. Cleveland moves down, swaps first-rounders with Atlanta
- Hawks get: No. 5 pick in 2019 draft
- Cavaliers get: No. 10 pick in 2019 draft, No. 17 pick in 2019 draft
The Hawks have been heavily linked to Jarrett Culver out of Texas Tech, but he likely won't last until No. 8, which is Atlanta's first pick. So they move up, get Culver at No. 5, and then perhaps Cam Reddish, who one league scout told CBS Sports is "the most talented player in the draft," at No. 8. The Hawks can afford to swap two picks for one higher pick because they got the 2-for-1 deal last year when they did the Trae Young-Luka Doncic swap.
For the Cavs, it's all about multiple assets. You're not winning right now. You move back and get two first-rounders to put next to Collin Sexton and build from there. Perhaps you then explore trades for Kevin Love, which we'll get to, to add another solid draft selection.
6. Cleveland deals Love to Phoenix No. 6 pick
- Suns get: Kevin Love
- Cavs get: Tyler Johnson, No. 6 pick in 2019 draft
The Suns are basically trading the No. 6 pick for Kevin Love, who they would have under contract for the next four years, right in line with Devin Booker and Ayton. That's a core that can grow for a Phoenix team that is going to have a hard time attracting big free agents. Tyler Johnson would have to opt into his final year at just under $20 million, which he will almost certainly do, to make the deal work. Cleveland is now off Love's money and owns both the Nos. 5 and 6 picks in this year's draft to truly kick-start its youth movement around Collin Sexton.