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Each NBA Lottery Team’s Dream Draft Scenario

In this scenario, I predict the best yet realistic way that the NBA Draft could workout for these lottery teams. While some are quite far-fetched and some are a bit bland, I tried to take into account that this would all happen – it would not be seperate scenarios. 

 

Cleveland Cavaliers

Trade the pick and pieces for LeBron James

*Backup: Take Jabari Parker

Ok, I know what you’re thinking.

But, bear with me.

The only way this would ever work would be if LeBron James and the Heat lose to the Spurs in this Finals series (which is looking like a huge possibility) and LBJ demands a trade back to hometown Ohio. While the whole situation is unlikely, it is a bit exciting to think about.

The number one overall pick in the 2014 draft is one of the best things you could possibly get in return for the best player on the planet. That is only true because there is not much that can really substitute for LeBron, but still.

Cleveland could offer up the first overall pick, Dion Waiters, Tristan Thompson, and Jarrett Jack for LeBron. Miami would lose their heart and soul, but would get back some nice pieces. Assuming Jabari Parker is taken number one, Miami would look at a lineup of Jarrett Jack, Dwyane Wade, Jabari Parker, Tristan Thompson, and Chris Bosh – not a terrible lineup.

Ok, if you have not clicked out of the article yet, stay tuned, because it only gets more realistic and less ludicrous from here on out.

Milwaukee Bucks

BEN LIPOWITZ/KANSAN
BEN LIPOWITZ/KANSAN

Have Joel Embiid fall to them at 2 – trade Larry Sanders and O.J. Mayo to Orlando – Pick Zach LaVine and Nik Stauskas at #10 and #12

Ok, here we go.

While this is also wild, it is much more realistic than the previous.

Milwaukee needs to capitalize on the Hall of Fame potential named Joel Embiid, so the decision on who to pick at number two is not under scrutiny. The kicker in this “dream scenario” is shedding the contracts of Larry Sanders and O.J. Mayo to Orlando in exchange for the #10 and #12 picks in the draft. How Orlando gets the tenth pick will be explained later.

Trading Sanders and Mayo to Orlando gets rid of these two poor contracts and locker room presences whilst bring massive returns on them. Pairing LaVine and Stauskas in the backcourt to run alongside a frontcourt of Giannis Antetokoumpo, Ersan Ilyasova, and Joel Embiid puts Milwaukee in a position to be a strong playoff team for a long time as the guys develop. Also, former starter Brandon Knight and strong forward John Henson would be key pieces off the bench.

For this to happen it would take some real sweet talking from Bucks GM John Hammond, but it is still a possibility.

 

 

Philadelphia 76ers

via Dante Exum Facebook
via Dante Exum Facebook

Trade Michael Carter Williams and the 1oth overall pick for the 4th overall pick, take Andrew Wiggins and Dante Exum

Ok, here is where we get to some actual possibilities. Michael Carter-Williams has been rumored to be being shopped by Philly. ESPN’s Chad Ford reported the following, via Kurt Helin of NBC via Hoopshype:

“The Philadelphia 76ers are Exum fans as well, and if Wiggins is off the board, Exum will be in the mix. They think Exum and Carter-Williams could play together in the backcourt, although it would not be a very good shooting tandem. I think the more obvious fit comes if they trade Carter-Williams, an idea I’m told they have bounced around.”

As you can see, Philly’s Sam Hinkie wants Exum. But he also wants Andrew Wiggins.

Well, this is a dream scenario, right? Why not grab both.

This is where the tenth pick comes into play. Philly ships Orlando the tenth pick AND ROY winner Michael Carter-Williams in exchange for the fourth overall pick in the draft.

Pairing Exum and Wiggins alongside Nerlens Noel and Thaddeus Young is probably something Mr. Hinkie has had dreams about, so he would not hesitate to pull the trigger – despite the loss of 2013-2014 leader Carter-Williams.

 

 

 Orlando Magic

Trade out for MCW and package the 10th and 12th pick for Larry Sanders and  O.J. Mayo

Here the Magic swing from developing, rebuilding team to instant playoff hopefuls looking to transform the losing culture that has been over them for the years since Dwight Howard’s departure.

While Larry Sanders and O.J. Mayo don’t do that for them, Michael Carter-Williams does. A starting lineup of MCW, Arron Afflalo, Tobias Harris, Larry Sanders, and Nikola Vucevic would make for a second scary team down in Florida. Also, the Magic would have ROY runner-up Victor Oladipo as well as scorer O.J. Mayo coming off the bench.

This is one of the more likely scenarios listed, so we may see something like this going down on draft night.

 Utah Jazz

Take Julius Randle, start building a playoff team

The Jazz have had a long enough rebuild. I am not even a Jazz fan and I am tired of them sucking. It is time to turn over a new leaf and turn potential into results.

That’s what Julius Randle can do for you.

Randle is by far the most NBA ready player in this draft. He has already shown his physical skills as well as his intangibles, like leadership, in the NCAA tournament this past March, leading his Wildcats to the National Championship game.

Utah can take Randle confident that he will produce so that they can begin their way back to the top of the west standings.

 Boston Celtics

via Minnesota Timberwolves Facebook
via Minnesota Timberwolves Facebook

Package pick + Kelly Olynyk, Jeff Green, and pieces for Kevin Love

Boston wants nothing more than to pair Rajon Rondo with a player who will motivate him to stay. Kevin Love fits that bill.

Love has been rumored to the Celtics more than any other team in the past few weeks, so this should not come as a surprise to anyone if this actually happens.

Boston gets the star they have coveted while not surrendering their beloved Jared Sullinger. I bet Danny Ainge would regard that as a dream scenario.

 Los Angeles Lakers

Draft Aaron Gordon, buy second round picks

Gordon has been on the Lakers mind since the combine, and taking him would be a win for the Lakers front office. He fits nicely alongside Kobe Bryant and his versatility of being able to play both small forward and power forward gives the Lakers a chance to add key free agents without sending Gordon to the bench.

The Lakers only have a handful of guys under contract, little cap space, and little motivation to win next year. But, what they do have, is a rich owner who can spend some money on draft picks. LA should look to buy 1-3 early second round picks. If they can snag guys like Glenn Robinson III, Mitch McGary, and/or Jusuf Nurkic for a few million bucks, then they definitely should. Those are good rotational pieces with good upside and the Lakers should capitalize on their opportunity.

 Sacramento Kings

Take Noah Vonleh, grow the teams potential into a playoff team

Vonleh is surprisingly still available here, but that is mostly because few teams’ dream scenarios involve the high upside of this Indiana product.

Still, Vonleh is a coveted prospect, and the dream part of this scenario is that he is still available for the Kings to capitalize on. A trade has been talked about here for the Kings, but I’m sure they would rather pair Vonleh with big DeMarcus Cousins. A starting lineup of Cousins, Vonleh, Gay, McLemore, and (perhaps) Isaiah Thomas is no joke in the western conference.
The Kings are ready to take that next step the the playoffs, and Vonleh will help get them there for the years to come.

 Charlotte Hornets

Take James Young at #9, trade the 24th pick, Jeff Taylor, and  Michael Kidd-Gilchrist to Denver for the 11th pick and Wilson Chandler- take Doug McDermott at #11

Here is a busy scenario, but one that could easily work out.

Charlotte is looking for offense in this draft, and taking James Young at #9 is a huge risk. While he is very talented, he is unproven after just one year at Kentucky. But, he has ridiculously high upside (James Harden upside, in my opinion), so I see Michael Jordan taking him in the top 10.

The disappointing MKG would be paired with fellow 2012 draftee Jeff Taylor and the 24th pick in a shipment to Denver, where Brian Shaw could perhaps make use of his lack of offense yet tenacious defense. The Hornets bring back the 1th pick in the draft as well as the hefty contract of the effective Wilson Chandler.

Chandler provides Charlotte with more quality players to bring off the bench or start, but McDermott may grab that starting spot.

McDermott offers Charlotte a safe pick one selection after their risky James Young pick. McDermott was the leading scorer in college this past year. That stat has varied in NBA success in the past few drafts, though, as Jimmer Fredette and Damian Lillard have taken completely different career paths.

Overall, Charlotte brings in a veteran, a high upside pick, and a safe scoring option in this draft, so that warrants the title “dream scenario” in my book.

 Denver Nuggets

Develop Michael Kidd-Gilchrist alongside Ty Lawson, Take P.J Hairston at #24, develop into star, rid themselves of the Wilson Chandler contract.

The other end of the Charlotte deal, Denver moves back in the draft, but sheds a bad contract in Wilson Chandler as well as brings in two good young guys who still have time to develop into solid role players / starters.

The Nuggets have expressed interest in dealing the 11th overall pick, too. Bleacher Report’s Stephen Babb wrote (via Christopher Dempsey of the Denver Post)

“The Nuggets have already taken — and made — their fair share of trade phone calls concerning their draft pick weeks ahead of the NBA draft.”

With this in mind, bringing in some talent whilst still getting a pick in this draft would be a good win for Denver. The kicker here is that the Nuggets could perhaps snag budding star P.J. Hairston at #24 in the first round. It would be great to see Hairston back in baby blue, and he could really be the focal point of this Nuggets offense.

If the Nuggets can turn Hairston into a star, then this deal works out perfectly for both sides.

 Minnesota Timberwolves

Draft Marcus Smart at #5, take Rodney Hood at #13

The Timberwolves have a hard time getting a dream scenario when it involves Kevin Love being traded away from Minnesota, but still, this is the best they could do. Taking Smart and Hood would give them a possible replacement if Rubio leaves as well as a better option than Corey Brewer at small forward.

Also, new addition Kelly Olynyk would be an exciting option to replace Kevin Love, as he showed signs of brilliance in his rookie campaign. Jeff Green also provides Minnesota with depth at the wing, giving them flexibility in more trades involving Kevin Martin and Corey Brewer.

Overall, Minnesota could walk away from draft day with 5 better players than they had previously by just giving up one. The T-Wolves could shock everyone and actually be a fringe playoff team next season.

 Phoenix Suns

Shop all first rounders, but take Dario Saric here at #14

While Phoenix has a near unlimited supply of draft picks to play with, using this one on Euro star Dario Saric would be a pick well spent. Saric has been crowned the MVP of his Adriatic League whilst winning the championship this past year. Phoenix could use that experience and swagger as they barrel toward the playoffs.

Pairing Saric with fellow foreigner Goran Dragic and explosive guard (of whom they are likely to retain in free agency) Eric Bledsoe could d0 w0nders for this Phoenix squad looking to improve on a surprisingly successful season in 2013-2014.

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