The NBA Draft is right around the corner and FortyEightMinutes conducted a Mock Draft with a trade for every pick, including several Donovan Mitchell deals, multiple scenarios where teams trade up into the top-10, and at least one scenario that sees Ben Simmons, LeBron James, and D’Angelo Russell each finding a new team.
Below is an excerpt from the piece, which is set to be released later today.
No. 17 – Houston Rockets
Rockets Land Second Top-10 Pick in Three-Team Trade
Why the Rockets say yes: The Rockets land Paolo Banchero at No, 3 in this scenario and aim to add his college teammate, AJ Griffin as well. Houston pays a hefty price to do so, giving up Wood and Gordon while also surrendering one of the picks they added in the James Harden trade. The team also finds a taker for John Wall and in Eric Bledsoe‘s partially guaranteed contract (only $3.9 million guaranteed), the team is able to put itself in an even more financially prudent spot while the young roster grows.
Why the Blazers say yes: Portland is looking to retool around Damian Lillard and adding the three veterans accomplishes several deliverables. Wood provides the Blazers with a dynamic big man, capable of playing both inside and outside the post. Grant adds a legit two-way presence with borderline All-Star potential and Gordon provides outside shooting and depth. It’s worth noting that Portland isn’t guaranteed to own its 2023 selection (lottery protected via the Larry Nance–Lauri Markkanen three-way trade), so Portland would have to draft a prospect at No. 17 and then execute this trade.
Why the Pistons say yes: Detroit doesn’t want to be in the shop for long as they rebuild around Cade Cunningham but adding pieces that fit his timeline is a must this offseason. In this scenario, the Pistons select Keegan Murray at No. 5, and at No. 17, they target Jaden Hardy, who could hear his name called anywhere in the back half of the first round.