Multiple trades could be executed on the day of the 2014 NBA Draft, as several teams have been in discussions about dealing their picks.
A lot of teams are interested in moving into the top 10, since this year’s class is considered to be the best in over a decade. The likes of Jabari Parker, Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid could become franchise-changing players.
The impending start of free agency could be the impetus for a few deals on Thursday, as organizations are looking to free up salary cap space and entice players to join their team.
Below is a look at teams that are considering moving their first-round draft pick.
Los Angeles Lakers (No.7)
L.A. is need of young talent, but they also are looking to avoid another season at the bottom of the Western Conference. With Kobe Bryant’s time as a star player running out, the Lakers could trade their pick for an established NBA player.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the Lakers have been involved discussions about a potential Kevin Love deal. While the proposed trade would send Love to the Golden State Warriors, the Lakers would acquire Klay Thompson in the transaction, sending their first-round selection to the Minnesota Timberwolves. The shooting guard averaged a career-high 18.4 points per game last year in his third season as a pro.
Golden State’s unwillingness to part with Thompson could hold up the deal, and they are trying to obtain Love without breaking up their backcourt tandem of Thompson and Stephen Curry.
Sacramento Kings (No.8)
The Kings could be involved in a few deals before the start of the draft. The franchise is in need of vast improvement, following six straight seasons of less than 29 wins.
ESPN’s Andy Katz reports that the team believes it can trade its top pick to the Boston Celtics, Phoenix Suns or Philadelphia 76ers. All of those teams have more than one first-round pick.
Even if Sacramento holds onto to their selection, they could change the look of their team on draft day. According to ESPN, the Kings have spoken to the Detroit Pistons about acquiring Josh Smith. The forward signed a four-year deal worth $54 million last summer, but underachieved with his new team. A swap involving Jason Thompson and Derrick Williams is a possibility. New Detroit president and head coach Stan Van Gundy could prefer a package of Carl Landry and Jason Terry, though both moves would free up cap space for the Pistons in 2015.
Chicago Bulls (No.16, No.19)
Chicago’s No.1 priority this summer might be signing Carmelo Anthony, but the New York Knicks forward won’t officially become a free agent until July 1. Before the Bulls are allowed to offer Anthony a contract, they might look to trade for another scorer.
According to multiple reports, Chicago has had discussions with the Orlando Magic about acquiring Arron Afflalo. The shooting guard averaged 18.2 points per game last season, and could give the Bulls the offensive firepower that they desperately need. By trading one of their picks in a deal for Afflalo, Chicago could have one of the NBA’s best backcourts, now that Derrick Rose is reportedly healthy.
Landing Afflalo might not end Chicago’s pursuit of Anthony, but it could certainly complicate matters. The 28-year-old is set to make close to $7.5 million next season, and the Bulls already can’t give Anthony a max contract, because of their payroll.