For the past few seasons, a 1st round pick from the Brooklyn Nets was extremely valuable on account of the Nets not being very good. The Boston Celtics have had the utmost pleasure of owning those highly-valuable picks, and as a result, have already acquired Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum.
Part of the deal that sent Kyrie Irving to Boston and Isaiah Thomas to Cleveland was the acquisition by the Cavs of Brooklyn’s 2018 first rounder.
Despite the Nets being surprisingly competitive this season, the pick is still highly coveted.
The 2018 draft class looks to be something special, and with a chance to acquire a future superstar, teams might be willing to pony up a lot of assets. The top part of the lottery already boasts highly-talented youngsters, if they all declare, such as Deandre Ayton, Luka Doncic, Michael Porter Jr., Marvin Bagley III, Trae Young, and Mo Bamba.
With this year’s trade deadline only a few hours away from sounding its buzzer, here are the five teams most likely to overpay the Cavaliers for that Brooklyn pick.
1. Chicago Bulls
For the first time since the pre-Derrick Rose era, the Bulls are undergoing a rebuild.
So far their roster is looking pretty good.
Both Kris Dunn and Lauri Markkanen have shown some promise, while Zach Lavine is nearing his debut.
Chicago’s front office has been known to make some head-scratching moves, like signing both Dwyane Wade and Rajan Rondo, or firing one of the best coaches in the league at the time, Tom Thibedeau.
If, towards the end of the season, that Brooklyn pick looks to be top 5 or maybe even top 3, it would be very Bulls like to do anything necessary to acquire that pick in the hopes of landing a franchise player, even if it meant parting ways with some of their young talent.
2. New York Knicks
Phil Jackson is no longer with the team, so that means that the stupid moves should stop right?
The Knicks have been making stupid moves since the turn of the century.
This past offseason they were entertained trading Kristaps Porzingis after skipping his exit meeting. And apparently, there were some inside the organization outside of Jackson that were for the trade.
What if Pozingis becomes frustrated again?
That scenario is now a longshot with Porzingis being declared out for the season due to injury.
3. Sacramento Kings
The Sacramento Kings have been the laughing stock of the Western Conference for some time now.
They had Isaiah Thomas on their roster but let him go, instead, trusting Jimmer Fredette to run their offense.
They traded Demarcus Cousins for a package that was nowhere near his value.
And owner Vivek Ranadivé has once suggested the team play four on five basketball, which should say pretty much all you need to know about who’s running that franchise.
If that pick looks good towards the end of the season, don’t be shocked if Ranadivé gives up everything short of De’Aaron Fox in order to acquire it.
4. Phoenix Suns
Ever since two-time MVP Steve Nash headed to Los Angeles to play with the Lakers, the Suns haven’t done much of anything.
They have some interesting pieces, most notably shooting guard Devin Booker and small forward T.J. Warren.
But besides Booker and Warren, their draft picks haven’t really panned out the way they’d hoped a few months ago.
Alex Len is ok at best, Dragon Bender hasn’t really shown much improvement, and Marquese Chriss is still raw.
Devin Booker’s contract is eventually going to run out, and despite his supposed loyalty to the Suns, as Kevin Durant can attest, agendas change.
If Phoenix starts to feel a lack of progress, they might just trade anyone except for Booker.
5. L.A. Clippers
Since Chris Paul fled Los Angeles this past summer, the Clippers have been the definition of mediocre.
They’ll fight for the playoffs, they might even get in, but nobody actually thinks they can compete for a title.
And with Blake Griffin now traded to the Detroit Pistons, that mediocrity probably won’t go away anytime soon.
So what would be the best way for Clippers to climb up the Western Conference standings? Clear house of everyone and start fresh with a shiny new top five draft pick.