The 2019 NBA Draft promises to be one of the most intriguing in recent memory. From the hype surrounding the presumptive No. 1 pick, Zion Williamson, to the potential maneuvering of teams like the Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks, this draft will provide an opportunity for a number of organizations to improve their club immediately or continue to look to the future.
While some teams are sure to be slightly more aggressive in possibly trying to move up the draft board, others could benefit from actually moving down in an effort to acquire more assets. Of course, the teams in the top five are unlikely to trade back unless they are completely blown away by an offer, but other teams toward the middle of the draft board might seek to move back in what is looking more and more like an extremely top-heavy draft.
With that in mind, here are three teams who should try to trade down in the 2019 NBA Draft.
The Celtics have multiple first-round picks, courtesy of the Sacramento Kings and the Los Angeles Clippers. Additionally, both picks are separated by just six spots, at No. 14 and No. 20.
Boston already has winning pieces in place, and could still be a playoff contender even if they lose Kyrie Irving in free agency. Given that this draft will be so top-heavy, the Celtics would be wise to swap out the No. 14 pick and try to acquire future assets in exchange.
Danny Ainge is going to have his work cut out for him this summer. Between potentially negotiating a trade for Anthony Davis and attempting to re-sign Irving and potentially Al Horford, who has a player option on his contract for next season, the Celtics’ roster could look drastically different depending on the scenario.
Because of this, adding future draft picks may be the smartest solution. Boston would assure the opportunity to possibly remain in the lottery next season or even nab three first-rounders this summer, depending on who they would partner with on any given deal.
Regardless, it seems likely that the Celtics could entice one of the teams below them to move up and give up some decently-valuable pieces in exchange, whether via draft picks or veteran players that could strengthen Boston’s depth.
The Wolves already have Karl-Anthony Towns as the young cornerstone of their franchise, and are still hoping that Andrew Wiggins will round into a potential All-Star.
They also just acquired Robert Covington and Dario Saric from the Sixers this past season. While it’s unclear what type of players new president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas will target to help Towns and the Wolves reach the next level, his team could certainly use some depth on the wing.
The decision may be whether or not Rosas and GM Scott Layden feels like trading the No. 11 pick could net him a player that would bring the Wolves from a 36-win team to a potential playoff team out West.
As has been previously mentioned, this draft is top-heavy, and the Timberwolves do not necessarily have a specific position of need that might otherwise be valuable for a young player to get a lot of minutes. The smarter play would be to trade down and attempt to acquire an impact player in exchange, and possibly future picks in the process.
Like the Celtics, the Hawks have multiple first-rounders. But unlike Boston, Atlanta has the luxury of having two picks in the top ten, thanks to the Luka Doncic-Trae Young trade.
The Hawks could easily keep their pick at No. 8 and trade their pick at No. 10, or vice-versa. Either scenario would undoubtedly net a pretty big return, which might just put the Hawks over the top as playoff contenders in the Eastern Conference.
Atlanta actually finished a respectable 10-14 after the All-Star break, as Young began to excel and proclaim his candidacy for Rookie of the Year while John Collins took massive strides in his second season. Kevin Huerter also had a very promising rookie season, and the Hawks have a roster full of promising youngsters.
By trading one of their picks, the Hawks would commit to the ability to still draft a top prospect while also having the option to acquire an established player and potentially even more draft picks.
For any rebuilding team, this is an extraordinary luxury, and the Hawks should capitalize on this kind of opportunity.