- Wizards‘ John Wall and Isaac Bonga to Suns for Ricky Rubio – the Wizards get rid of Wall’s $40 million per year contract, and get a quality point guard in Rubio back, thus freeing up $23 mil in cap space. The Suns get a former All-Star point guard in his prime to push the pace and feed young guns in Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton, as well as a versatile young wing in Bonga.
- Kings‘ Buddy Hield to Hawks for Kevin Huerter, Bruno Fernando and a 2022 first round pick – Hield has made a nuisance of himself to the Kings recently with his criticism of Sacramento as a free agent destination, as well as his displeasure with Luke Walton’s coaching decisions. The Kings might want to jettison him for another young shooting guard, a strong young big man and a first round pick down the road. The Hawks might jump at the chance to add a stud young shooting guard, and have the cap space to absorb his $24 mil per year contract.
- Rockets’ Eric Gordon to Cavaliers for Larry Nance Jr and Alfonzo McKinnie – the Rockets would shed around $4 mil in salary with this trade, get younger, and get some frontcourt help (Rockets ownership might be disillusioned with the ultra small ball style Daryl Morey and co adopted). The Cavs might be in a win-now situation with Kevin Love and likely Andre Drummond on the books, so Gordon would be a great veteran player on the wings to ease the load on the Cavs young point guards.
2020 NBA draft (first round, my expectations, not how I’d pick):
- Timberwolves: Obi Toppin. In a possible toss-up between Toppin and Anthony Edwards, I think the Wolves would go with Toppin as he might fit better as a rim running threat who can cause havoc in the frontcourt alongside a more plodding center in Towns. Edwards could command the ball more to be effective.
- Warriors: trade pick for Pistons 7th, Svi Mykhailiuk, 2022 1st. Pistons take Ant Edwards. I think The Warriors are in win-now mode, so grooming a possibly entitled 2nd overall pick might not be in their best interests. Trading down would give them more wing depth in Mykhailiuk, a mid lottery pick, and a future first round pick, which could end up being hugely valuable. I think the Pistons would trade up for a player like Edwards as he would fit very well at small forward as a shooter and transition threat, alongside good playmakers in Derrick Rose and Blake Griffin.
- Hornets: Lamelo Ball. The Hornets need some star power, and Ball will attract eyeballs due to his flashy style. He’d also fit well alongside smaller Hornets guards in Devonte Graham and Malik Monk.
- Bulls: Deni Avdija.
- Cavaliers: Onyeka Okongwu.
- Hawks: Tyrese Haliburton.
- Warriors (via Pistons trade): Aleksej Pokusevski.
- Knicks: Isaac Okoro.
- Wizards: Killian Hayes.
- Suns: Aaron Nesmith.
- Spurs: Saadiq Bey.
12. Kings: James Wiseman. (EDITOR NOTE: WordPress has made editing text very difficult, so the formatting is all strange now. Apologies.)
13. Pelicans: Devin Vassall.
14. Celtics: RJ Hampton.
15. Magic: Tyler Bey.
16. Trail Blazers: trade pick to 76ers for their 21st, 34th, 49th, 58th 2020 draft picks, 2023 2nd rounder. 76ers take Patrick Williams. The 76ers desperately need shooting and wing depth, and they have three 2nd round picks to potentially trade up with, so I think they trade up here for a player with great potential in Williams.
17. Timberwolves: Josh Green.
18. Mavericks: Jalen Smith.
19. Nets: Precious Achiuwa.
20. Heat: Leandro Bolmaro.
21. Trail Blazers (via Sixers trade): Cole Anthony.
22. Nuggets: Cassius Stanley.
23. Jazz: Tyrese Maxey.
24. Bucks: Jordan Nwora.
25. Thunder: KJ Martin.
26. Celtics: Vernon Carey.
27. Knicks: Markus Howard.
28. Lakers: Kira Lewis.
29. Raptors: Theo Maledon.
30. Celtics: trade to Washington Wizards for Moe Wagner. Wizards select: Isaiah Stewart. The Celtics have two more second round picks after this 30th pick, so I think they’d trade for more center depth. The Wizards might like to draft a player with good upside in Stewart who would provide a nice change of styles with the finesse-first Bertans at the four.
2020 free agency (with players ranked by how in-demand I expect them to be in free agency, excludes likely option pick-ups like Mike Conley and Gordon Hayward, projected team destination in bold):
- Anthony Davis – 3 years, $90 mil. Teams: Lakers. Most teams would offer Davis this short term max, but I doubt he leaves his championship team.
- Brandon Ingram – 4 years, $70 mil. Teams: Pelicans, Hornets, Wizards. Ingram is a restricted free agent, so the Pelicans can match any offer he receives. I think they would, as he was the centrepiece of the Anthony Davis trade and is showing strong growth as a scoring leader on the team.
- Fred van Vleet – 4 years, $60 mil. Teams: Heat, Raptors. Toronto already has Kyle Lowry on the books for $30 million in the next season, but van Vleet has proven he can play at shooting guard, and I don’t think they let a young club legend go.
- Harry Giles – 3 years, $90 mil. Teams: Kings, Wizards. It might be weird to see a relative no-name in Giles get paid the same as Ant Davis, but I think he will command that salary as he is a focal point of the Kings rebuilding efforts, and he could threaten to join another team like Washington.
- Davis Bertans – 5 years, $90 mil. Team: Wizards.
- Marc Gasol – 3 years, $40 mil (team option 2nd and 3rd year). Knicks, Raptors. I think the Raptors will keep the core of their former championship team together for atleast another year.
- (7): Bogdan Bogdanovic – 3 years, $70 mil. Teams: Hornets, Heat, Kings. The Heat made the Finals but have a ton of cap space still. This means that they can pursue a quality free agent like Bogdanovic.
8. Serge Ibaka – 1 year, $30 mil. Teams: Raptors, Wizards. I think Ibaka will want a nice payday after his work in the Raptors championship run, but would like to stay with the team, so Toronto will go into pretty crazy luxury tax territory to keep him.
9. Meyers Leonard – 4 years, $60 mil. Teams: Wizards, Heat. He didn’t play much in the playoffs, but he was a crucial part in helping the team get there. The Wizards would’ve freed up cap space with the Wall trade, and Leonard would be a strong presence inside with shooting touch. I think the Heat will provide a similar deal though.
10. Joe Harris – 4 years, $70 mil. Teams: Hornets, Kings. The Nets will not be able to afford Harris unless they want to set records for luxury tax payments, so he’ll have to look elsewhere. The Kings are closer to contending than the Hornets and could use his sharpshooting, particularly since I have them trading Buddy Hield in the offseason.
11. Andre Roberson – 4 years, $40 mil. Teams: Mavericks, Thunder. I think Roberson showed enough as an elite defender before his long layoff due to injury, so this might be considered a bargain deal.
12. Jae Crowder – 2 years, $35 mil. Teams: Wizards, Heat.
13. Danilo Gallinari – 2 years, $30 mil. Teams: Bulls, Thunder. I think the Thunder un it back after making the playoffs last season, so re-signing Gallinari would represent that.
14. Kris Dunn – 3 years, $32 mil. Teams: Pistons, Trail Blazers. The Bulls backcourt might be crowded with Zach LaVine, Coby White and Tomas Satoransky already there, so I think Dunn might move to a division rival and join Derrick Rose and Bruce Brown Jr to make a nice explosive guard rotation.
15. Jordan Clarkson – 2 years, $23 mil. Teams: Jazz, Trail Blazers.
16. Goran Dragic – 2 years, $17 mil. Teams: Heat. This is a very team-friendly deal for a player with Dragic’s impact, but I think he’d stay in Miami for a slightly reduced rate considering their success.
17. Chris Boucher – 4 years, $26 mil. Teams: Raptors. Toronto might want to think about life after Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka, so I think they pay a handsome sum to keep one of their homegrown talents around.
18. Dario Saric – 4 years, $60 mil. Teams: Suns. This might be a bloated contract amount considering how far down the list Saric is, but the Suns need all the young, yet proven talent they can get. Saric might threaten to join another team for less, so the Suns might have to pay him this much.
19. Moe Harkless – 2 years, $20 mil. Teams: Knicks.
20. Montrezl Harrell – 5 years, $70 mil. Teams: Pelicans, Wizards. Would the Clippers prefer to pay Harrell this amount, or be happy with a center rotation of Ivica Zubac, JaMychal Green, and potentially Mfiondu Kabangele, Joakim Noah and/or a draft pick? I think the latter. The Wizards would have freed up cap space due to the aforementioned John Wall trade, so they might jump at the chance to sign a center that would fit well alongside the floor spacing Bertans.
21. Bryn Forbes – 3 years, $24 mil. Teams: Spurs.
22. Christian Wood – 3 years, $35 mil. Teams: Pistons, Knicks.
23. Hassan Whiteside – 2 years, $20 mil. Teams: Blazers.
24. Reggie Jackson – 2 years, $23 mil. Teams: Clippers. With quality defenders in PG13 and Kawhi possibly manning the frontcourt in small-ball situations, Jackson might be brought back to man the 3 spot, as well as spell Pat Beverley, Lou Williams and Landry Shamet. Jackson is still in his prime and provides proven abilities when healthy, and can provide spacing for when Giannis potentially considers coming to town.
25. Juan Hernangomez – 2 years, $16 mil. Teams: Timberwolves.
26. Kent Bazemore – 2 years, $20 mil. Teams: Wizards. Cap space is beautiful, ain’t it? Bazemore would be a great fit next to Beal and Rubio as a 3 and D expert.
27. Rajon Rondo – 3 years, $24 mil (with a team option in the third year). Teams: Lakers. He played himself well into a nice twilight years contract after his playoff performance last season.
28. Nerlens Noel – 3 years, $17 mil(with a player option in the third year). Teams: Thunder.
29. Alec Burks – 2 years, $14 mil. Teams: 76ers.
30. Bobby Portis – 3 years,$25 mil. Teams: Knicks. The Knicks will most likely decline Portis’ $15 mil team option into next season, making him a free agent. He showed enough, and is still young enough, to be desirable as a part of the Knicks core, particularly as a floor spacing five next to the paint-patrolling Julius Randle.
31. Josh Jackson – 2 years, $7 mil (with a player option in the second year). Teams: Grizzlies.
32. Malik Beasley – 3 years, $17 mil. Teams: Knicks. With other young guards on the Wolves roster, I think they’d look to save money and let Beasley join the Knicks, who could use his athleticism and shooting ability.
33. Evan Turner – 4 years, $20 mil (with a team option in 3rd and 4th years). Team: Timberwolves
34. Quinn Cook – 3 years, $13 mil. Teams: Mavericks (cap exception).
35. Paul Millsap – 2 years, $15 mil. Teams: Jazz (cap exception). The Nuggets might feel set with their forward rotation with Jerami Grant (assuming he picks up his $9 mil player option), Michael Porter Jr and Keita Bates-Diop. Therefore they might let Millsap sign with the team he first played for over a decade ago.
36. Aron Baynes – 2 years, $11 mil. Teams: Kings (cap exception).
37. Jahlil Okafor – 2 years, $11 mil. Teams: Pelicans.
38. Derrick Favors – 3 years, $16 mil. Teams: Wizards (cap exception). Favors might not fit well age-wise with the Pelicans young core, and him leaving to provide depth in Washington could free up minutes for Zion and a draftee forward like Jalen Smith or Jaden McDaniels.
39. Glenn Robinson III – 2 years, $12 mil. Teams: Wizards (cap exception). The Wizards might be a sexy team to join if Bertans re-signs and the team can afford players like Montrezl Harrell. GR3 had a solid season as a three and D producer, which every team can use more of.
40. Dwight Howard – 1 year, $7 mil. Teams: Lakers
41. Carmelo Anthony – 1 year, $5 mil. Teams: Trail Blazers
42. Lance Thomas – 2 years, $8 mil. Teams: Nets
43. Langston Galloway – 2 years, $6 mil. Teams: Pistons
44. Derrick Jones Jr – 2 years, $7 mil. Teams: Knicks. The Heat would be way over the luxury tax line by this point, so I think they let him leave for the Knicks, who would like Jones for his versatility defensively, as well as his flashy athletic style.
45. Demarre Carroll – 2 years, $4 mil. Teams: Rockets.
46. Bismack Biyombo – 2 years, $6 mil. Teams: Hornets
47. Alex Len – 2 years, $7 mil. Teams: Celtics (cap exception).
48. Wenyen Gabriel – 2 years, $11 mil. Teams: Knicks.
49. Marco Belinelli – 2 years, $7 mil. Teams: Wizards.
50. Skal Labissiere – 2 years, $5 mil. Teams: Hawks.
- Hawks: add Buddy Hield, Tyrese Haliburton, Skal Labissiere; lose Kevin Huerter, Bruno Fernando
- Celtics: add RJ Hampton, Vernon Carey Jr, Alex Len, Moe Wagner.
- Nets: add Precious Achiuwa, Lance Thomas; lose Joe Harris.
- Hornets: add LaMelo Ball, Bismack Biyombo.
- Bulls: add Deni Avdija; lose Kris Dunn.
- Cavs: add Onyeka Okongwu, Eric Gordon; lose Larry Nance Jr, Alfonzo McKinnie.
- Mavericks: add Jalen Smith, Quinn Cook.
- Nuggets: add Cassius Stanley, Mason Plumlee; lose Paul Millsap.
- Pistons: add Anthony Edwards, Kris Dunn, Christian Wood, Langston Galloway; lose Svi Mykhailiuk.
- Warriors: add Aleksej Pokusevski, Svi Mykhailiuk.
- Rockets: add Larry Nance Jr, Alfonzo McKinnie, Demarre Carroll; lose Eric Gordon.
- Pacers: nil
- Clippers: add Reggie Jackson; lose Montrezl Harrell.
- Lakers: add Kira Lewis, Anthony Davis, Rajon Rondo, Dwight Howard; lose Quinn Cook.
- Grizzlies: add Josh Jackson.
- Heat: add Leandro Bolmaro, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Meyers Leonard, Jae Crowder, Goran Dragic; lose Derrick Jones Jr.
- Bucks: add Jordan Nwora.
- Timberwolves: add Obi Toppin, Josh Green, Juan Hernangomez, Evan Turner; lose Malik Beasley
- Pelicans: add Devin Vassall, Brandon Ingram, Jah Okafor; lose Derrick Favors.
- Knicks: add Isaac Okoro, Markus Howard, Moe Harkless, Bobby Portis, Malik Beasley, Derrick Jones Jr, Wenyen Gabriel.
- Thunder: add KJ Martin, Andre Roberson, Danilo Gallinari, Nerlens Noel.
- Magic: add Tyler Bey.
- 76ers: add Patrick Williams, Alec Burks; lose Glenn Robinson III.
- Suns: add John Wall, Isaac Bonga, Aaron Nesmith, Dario Saric; lose Ricky Rubio, Aron Baynes.
- Trail Blazers: add Cole Anthony, Hassan Whiteside, Carmelo Anthony; lose Wenyen Gabriel.
- Kings: add James Wiseman, Harry Giles, Joe Harris, Aron Baynes; lose Bogdan Bogdanovic, Kent Bazemore, Alex Len.
- Spurs: add Saadiq Bey, Bryn Forbes; lose Marco Bellinelli.
- Raptors: add Theo Maledon, Fred van Vleet, Marc Gasol, Serge Ibaka, Chris Boucher.
- Jazz: add Tyrese Maxey, Jordan Clarkson, Paul Millsap.
- Wizards: add Killian Hayes, Ricky Rubio, Davis Bertans, Montrezl Harrell, Kent Bazemore, Derrick Favors, Glenn Robinson III, Marco Bellinelli; lose John Wall, Isaac Bonga.