There appear to be plenty of opportunities for teams to move up in the 2016 NBA Draft on Thursday night. According to reports in the hours before the draft, multiple first-round picks are being shopped.
ESPN’s Marc Stein reports that the Atlanta Hawks are looking to trade both of their first-round picks. Having finished the regular season as the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference, Atlanta has the No. 21 pick in the draft. The Hawks also acquired the No. 12 overall pick from the Utah Jazz in Wednesday’s deal that sent Jeff Teague to the Indiana Pacers and George Hill to Utah.
The Hawks are reportedly looking to make the trade as part of their quest to re-sign Al Horford. The veteran big man will command a max contract as a free agent, and Atlanta’s two draft picks would cost them more than $3 million next year. Horford, who’s averaged 14.3 points and 8.9 rebounds per game in his nine-year career with the Hawks, is expected to be pursued by the Los Angeles Lakers, Orlando Magic and Detroit Pistons, among others, this summer.
The Charlotte Hornets won 48 games, just like Atlanta, and they are reportedly looking to trade their first-round pick as well. Charlotte’s selection comes immediately after Atlanta’s at No. 22, and the Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the Hornets are willing to trade their first-rounder to a team that will take Spencer Hawes or Jeremy Lamb.
Charlotte is looking to free up money to spend in free agency, but Hawes and Lamb are owed $6 million and $7 million, respectively, next year. Jeremy Lin declined his $2.2 million option, and he will become a free agent on July 1 after averaging 11.7 points for the Hornets this past season.
The Brooklyn Nets want to move up into the first round, and they might have the ability to do so. Wojnarowski reports that several Western teams have been aggressive on Thaddeus Young, who averaged 15.1 points and 9.0 rebounds last season. Brooklyn’s third overall pick belongs to the Boston Celtics because of a trade, and the Nets’ only pick comes at No. 55 overall.
One West team that seems to be looking to make a deal is the Phoenix Suns. The Suns reportedly were unsuccessful in an attempt to trade Eric Bledsoe and a draft pick for Utah’s Gordon Hayward, and Stein says there’s a “growing sense” that Bledsoe or Brandon Knight will be traded before the start of the 2016-17 season.