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 Celtics have had the pleasure of owning those picks, and as a result, have 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 round pick.
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.
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.
But, 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
Yes, Phil Jackson is no longer with the team, so that should mean that the stupid moves should stop right?
The Knicks front office has been making stupid moves since the turn of the century.
This past offseason they were entertaining trade offers for Kristaps Porzingis because he skipped out on his exit meeting. And apparently, there were some inside the organization outside of Phil Jackson that were for the trade.
What if Porzingis becomes increasingly frustrated with the Knicks again?
It wouldn’t be totally surprising to see the Knicks ship Porzingis out of the Big Apple considering they almost did it this past summer, and especially if it meant acquiring a top three pick in this upcoming draft.
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 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.
But besides Booker, their draft picks haven’t really panned out the way they’d hoped.
Alex Len is ok at best, Dragon Bender hasn’t really shown much improvement from his rookie season, and Marquese Chriss is still extremely raw.
Devin Booker’s contract is eventually going to run out, and despite his supposed loyalty to the Suns’ organization, as Kevin Durant can attest, agendas change.
If the Phoenix front office starts to feel a lack of progress, they might be willing to trade anyone except for Booker in the hopes of pairing him with a future running mate.
5. Los Angeles 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 signed to a five-year deal, 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 not named Blake Griffin (Maybe even Blake Griffin) and start fresh with a shiny new top five draft pick.