The 2022 NBA Draft is in less than a month and while some teams are beginning to formulate what their draft boards will look like, some teams are accessing the possibility of moving draft assets they currently have for more immediate value.
Trades on draft night have become very common over the years and we have seen quite a few big names moved during or right before the start of the NBA Draft in recent years.
Just last year, players like Russell Westbrook, Kylz Kuzma, Mason Plumlee, Landry Shamet and Ricky Rubio were all moved the day of or during the 2021 NBA Draft. This year, we should expect to see quite a bit of action on the trade market once again heading into the 2022 NBA Draft.
Several teams that missed out on the postseason this year are looking for immediate aid to try and change their misfortune, which could lead to quite a bit of trade speculation over the next few weeks.
Which players could be on the move and which teams are interested in dealing right now?
Let’s take a look at some scenarios that will be discussed heading into the 2022 NBA Draft in June.
Wizards Add The Point Guard They Need
Washington Wizards Receive: G Malcolm Brogdon, HOU 2022 2nd Round Pick (Pick #31, via IND), PHX 2022 2nd Round Pick (Pick #60, via IND)
Indiana Pacers Receive: F Rui Hachimura, G/F Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, WAS 2022 1st Round Pick (Pick #10)
NOTE: This trade would take place during the 2022 NBA Draft, as the Wizards are only allowed to trade the rights to whoever they draft 10th overall due to the Stepien Rule
The Washington Wizards do feel good about coming to a new long-term agreement with All-Star shooting guard Bradley Beal in the offseason, but their No. 1 priority right now is making sure their roster has talent and the help Beal needs around him.
Trading for Kristaps Porzingis at the trade deadline and the development of Kyle Kuzma into a key talent are both positive things that happened for Washington during the 2021-22 season, but the hole they have in their backcourt at the point guard position is very concerning right now.
When asked recently on the radio about the possibility of adding a rookie guard in this year’s draft to fill this void, Wizards GM Tommy Sheppard stated that he does not “see a rookie starting at point guard” for the team heading into next season.
What this means is that the Wizards are actively looking at all of their options on the trade market for a new, veteran point guard and the name that continues to pop up for them is Indiana Pacers’ guard Malcolm Brogdon.
Injuries have been a concern for Brogdon over the years, but when on the floor, he is exactly the kind of impactful two-way player this team needs. Not to mention, his ability to play off-the-ball suits well for Brogdon being paired in the backcourt with Bradley Beal.
Perhaps the best part about pursuing a trade for Malcolm Brogdon though from the Wizards’ standpoint is that they would not have to give up a ton of value to acquire him. Trading the 10th overall selection in this year’s draft appears to be a little damaging, but Brogdon’s value carries well beyond that of a player the Wizards could draft in this position and both Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Rui Hachimura don’t carry too much value on the Wizards’ roster.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is expendable on the wing with Corey Kispert putting together a solid rookie year and having both Kyle Kuzma and Deni Avdija at either forward positions, Rui Hachimura’s long-term future in Washington is definitely up-in-the-air right now.
The Pacers are looking to “re-tool” instead of “rebuild” in the offseason and as a result, they are going to want to bring in players that can help make an impact right away if they are to trade away players like Malcolm Brogdon or Myles Turner this summer.
Both Caldwell-Pope and Hachimura can play right away upon arrival to Indiana and by acquiring the 10th overall pick in this year’s draft, the Pacers would have a ton of options given that they themselves own the 6th overall selection.
It is looking more and more likely that Malcolm Brogdon is going to be on the move this season and with the Washington Wizards already showing interest in him, a trade like this could definitely begin to formulate ahead of June’s draft.
Julius Randle Heads To Sacramento
New York Knicks Receive: F Harrison Barnes, C Richaun Holmes, SAC 2022 1st Round Pick (Pick #4)
Sacramento Kings Receive: F Julius Randle, NYK 2022 2nd Round Pick (Pick #42)
The New York Knicks' struggles this year just one season after being the 4-seed in the Eastern Conference have been well-documented. Change is on the horizon for this franchise and while he was an All-Star during the 2020-21 season, Julius Randle’s long-term future in New York is being questioned.
Randle struggled during the 2021-22 season compared to his All-Star season and with Obi Toppin stepping up late in the year and providing a better sense of direction than that of Randle, the Knicks could very much take this opportunity in the offseason to move on from the All-Star big man.
This is not necessarily something the Knicks are actively looking to do, as both the organization and Randle do seem to want to remain paired with one another heading into the 2022-23 season, but the Knicks have a lot of needs to address as a franchise right now, some of which could be addressed in a trade involving Julius Randle.
The Sacramento Kings have been in the news recently given that they own the No. 4 overall pick in this year’s draft and many around the league are anticipating the Kings making this pick available for a “win-now” talent. Not to mention, the Kings are going to be looking to move big man Richaun Holmes for value this offseason.
Adding an All-Star-level talent like Randle should be more than enough value to convince the Kings to surrender their fourth overall pick this year and the Knicks could definitely use this pick to add a prospect they are monitoring for their backcourt.
As rumored a few weeks back in one of our trade rumors articles, Jaden Ivey could be a nice fit in the Knicks’ backcourt and now, the New York Post’s Marc Berman is reporting that New York is showing interest in Ivey during the pre-draft process.
By moving on from Randle now, the Knicks could add a youthful, franchise point guard, a key veteran on the wing in Harrison Barnes and a replacement at center for Mitchell Robinson, a pending free agent, in Richaun Holmes.
This trade checks off a ton of boxes for the New York Knicks in the offseason, while also helping the Sacramento Kings possibly reach their goal of ending their long playoff drought.
Trail Blazers Bring In Another Star To Pair With Damian Lillard
Portland Trail Blazers Receive: F Jerami Grant
Detroit Pistons Receive: G Eric Bledsoe, G Keon Johnson, POR 2022 1st Round Pick (Pick #7)
This has been a trade and scenario that has been widely discussed by many and at some point, it does seem like the Portland Trail Blazers will make a formal offer very similar to this one for the Detroit Pistons’ forward.
Jerami Grant has been on the trade block since this year’s trade deadline and while the Pistons ultimately elected to keep him, they would be foolish not to move him for value now simply because the chances of them retaining him in free agency next year are slim.
Getting the most for a player like Grant now, especially since Detroit is not close to being a playoff team yet, makes the most sense and the Blazers can give them exactly what they need in terms of another lottery pick.
Eric Bledsoe would be nothing more than a veteran the Pistons would waive and eat the salary of, but Keon Johnson was the 21st overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft and already owning the 5th overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, the Pistons would now own the 7th overall pick as well.
For Jerami Grant, Detroit would be able to essentially add two first-round picks in this trade and along with their current first-round pick, this rebuilding franchise would suddenly be bringing in a ton of youthful, high-potential prospects to pair with future All-Star and last year’s No. 1 overall pick Cade Cunningham.
Portland is looking to make some moves that will allow them to get back to being a playoff threat immediately given that Damian Lillard is in the prime of his career and having little cap space, their best bet is to add a key talent through the trade market.
Keeping this draft pick allows the Trail Blazers to start building a long-term, young core on their roster, but capitalizing on Lillard’s prime is something newly appointed GM Joe Cronin seems to want to do.
While he is not the best option the Blazers could land in the offseason, Jerami Grant is more than capable of being the No. 2 option alongside Lillard in Portland and given how much they struggled defensively this past season, Grant could come in and immediately have an impact on both ends of the floor.
Making $20.9 million in the final year of his contract, the acquisition of Jerami Grant also allows the Portland Trail Blazers to possibly pursue another high-level player in free agency and in future years.
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