Let’s face it; some NBA teams just know how to do draft night a little better than the rest. Whether it is the San Antonio Spurs swindling the Indiana Pacers for Kawhi Leonard or the Dallas Mavericks fleecing the Milwaukee Bucks for the rights to Dirk Nowitzki, there is no shortage of savvy trade material from past draft nights. Here are four trades from the 2013 NBA Draft that, on paper, could pay major dividends down the road.
© 2013 Neal J. Leitereg — All Rights Reserved
Timberwolves Draft a Point Guard
The David Kahn jokes began almost immediately after Trey Burke‘s name left David Stern’s lips. However, Timberwolves GM quickly put the kibosh on his hecklers by flipping the Michigan star to the Utah Jazz for the rights to Shabazz Muhammad and Gorgui Dieng. Dieng reminds me a little bit of Adonal Foyle, who was not exactly a game-changer during his NBA days, but Muhammad is exactly what Minnesota needs: a potential impact shooting guard. Sure, Muhammad has baggage, but let us not forget that he is a premier wing talent with solid shooting mechanics and size to boot.
New Orleans Pelicans Make Strong Point
Nerlens Noel could very well become the greatest shot-blocker that ever lived, but you cannot argue with the Pelicans and GM Dell Demps for cashing out early to land one of the league’s best young point guard talents in Jrue Holiday. Not only is he a budding star, Holiday fills a huge void on New Orleans’ roster and he is under team control for the foreseeable future thanks to a four-year $41M extension he signed with Philadelphia that kicks in for the 2013-14 season. The 2014 first-round pick – reportedly top-5 protected – going with Noel to Philadelphia is a seemingly reasonable price to pay to land a premier floor general.
Archie Goodwin Flips Out
I am still trying to wrap my head around what the Golden State Warriors did on draft night. The team traded into the draft by acquiring the 26th pick (Andre Roberson) and Malcolm Lee from Minnesota for cash and a 2014 second-round selection, and made two more trades before walking away with guard Nemanja Nedovic. The last of the Warriors’ dealings, the trade that ultimately landed the rights to Nedovic, sent Kentucky freshman Archie Goodwin (drafted 29th overall) and Lee to the Phoenix Suns, and it could come back to haunt Golden State.
Though he struggled during an up-and-down year at Kentucky, there is no denying Goodwin has the intangibles and ability to be a very good player – keep in mind John Calipari once compared the 6-foot-5 guard to Russell Westbrook. And at 18 years young, he has plenty of time to mature at the NBA level. If that does not convince you, just ask the Los Angeles Clippers how Eric Bledsoe worked out for them.
Celtics Stockpile for the Future
With Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce joining Deron Williams, Brook Lopez and Joe Johnson in Brooklyn, the Nets have a solid shot at making a run at King James’ title. That being said, the Boston Celtics have positioned themselves well with the blockbuster trade, which netted the team three first-round draft picks – 2014, 2016 and 2018 – and the right to swap first-round picks with Brooklyn in 2017. Barring a great miracle bestowed upon them by the basketball gods, Boston is unlikely to be relevant for at least a couple of seasons, but the Celtics stand a greater chance to draft a potential franchise player such as Julius Randle and/or Andrew Wiggins.