Just wanted to put this out there now.
If we luck out and make a top 3 jump, that pick is likely to be traded.
I am not even saying it's necessarily a negative, but even if we wind up at #1 overall don't expect to see Anthony Davis to ever suit up in Brooklyn or at least for a long period of time.
In fact, the only way this pick is not traded is if it's #1 overall and we can't get a handful of specific players for it, cause I don't see the B's just dealing that much value for just anyone.
At this point we are all in.
We've been all in, but now it's doomsday.
Maybe it really isn't, but it's close, and at the absolute least even if Deron is looking forward to Brooklyn he's not signing on for a rebuilding project and Proky and co. are not looking to bring one to an empty arena in a hood near you.
So you ask, who would they target? Should I be excited or scared or a little bit of both?
Well that depends on what pick it is first of all.
But let's start with the #1 overall.
This pick is extremely valuable and say what you want about this draft on either end of the opinion spectrum but Anthony Davis is an absolute stud prospect.
He has heavy shades of Garnett mixed with David Robinson to his game.
His floor is basically Marcus Camby with a decent face up game.
Franchise prospect through and through
So why trade the pick?
Well a number of reasons:
A) He's raw. Sure, he'll have a healthy instant impact. I'm not talking Derrick Favors raw here, but he's not going to come in and dominate like he has in college. This isn't Blake Griffin or Tim Duncan or David Robinson. This is Kevin Garnett or Dwight Howard or LaMarcus Aldridge or Bosh.
B) He's physically immature. Again, he'll have a big instant impact and by year 3 will be a big time player if he's panning out, but you're talking year 5 in all likelihood when he really fills out and stops getting pushed around and then becomes a force.
C) Deron isn't waiting around for players to develop. As much as some think it's a foregone conclusion he's gone, I think he's gone if we can't put together a big time team starting on draft night. That doesn't mean the B's need to keep making weird low value, shortsighted trades, but it means we need to make moves. Because of that trade and Brooklyn, even if we wind up top 3 things get hairy.
D) That pick is crazy valuable. You can sell a team that wasn't even really considering a rebuild on trading a franchise type player for a pick like that combined with some salary relief and another filler pick like the Houston one.
So with that out the way, who would the Nets target if they're trading a pick and specific prospect so valuable and likely to be a star with a good chance at being a superstar?
1. Dwight Howard - Some think the Dwightmare is over, but it's certainly not. At least not until the first couple days of free agency are over. If we land the #1 overall, best believe we'll make the call and Orlando will listen if they know Dwight isn't going to sign an extension and start the circus all over again.
2. Kevin Love - Surely not really on the block, but there is some very public sentiment that he signed that max extension as a mere formality because he had no real choice and that eventually unless they're literally going to the Finals in Minny and a perennial contender almost immediately he's out for bigger markets and greener pastures. Rubio going down with a torn ACL is definitely not a good start. He's not going to ask for a trade any time soon most likely, but you waive a #1 pick and the Houston pick, maybe MarShon Brooks and some expiring salary filler, you're going to have Kahn's ear.
3. LaMarcus Aldridge - This is a guy who's incredibly underrated. He's young, already great and has room to improve. His contract provides flexibility and he provides a huge impact on both ends. Definitely the type of guy to convince Deron to stay. Again, not really on the block, but a prospect like Anthony Davis can do wonders in your quest to pry away a franchise big from a club in flux.
4. Chris Bosh - Highly unlikely, but I'm sure they'll make the call. He's become so underrated it's insane, a definitive top 20 player, IMHO top 15 as is, but a top 10 candidate and beast as a #1B option. A better defender then given credit for and put him with Deron and watch him put up 25/11 in his sleep while helping lead the team to a 50 something win top 3 seed as long as the supporting cast is good with a strong wing scorer and defensive center. I'd have him at 3 on this list, but I don't think he's all that realistic.
That's probably the extent of the list for the #1 overall. Beyond that it's better to hold onto the People's Eyebrow and build around Deron with the rest of the salary cap space after you clear some and other smaller assets while assembling what should be a great fitting front court in Brook and him, all while patiently waiting in case one of the above players does become available.
You can add some obvious players to this list, but I don't think anyone else could realistically be obtained that's worth it.
So onto the 2nd and 3rd overall picks... Who would they target? Everyone above plus...
5. Josh Smith - Smith is having a breakout year of sorts, although his offensive efficiency has been on the rocks, a lot of that has to do with his free throw percentage plummeting. Bottom line though, he's been beasting and would be a great fit with Deron and could start a very serious defensive team. He's likely to be available on draft night and this offseason in general as well and they be hard pressed to get better value for him. If they want an actual player for him, chances are that player can be obtained in a 3 team trade with this pick going there. I have a plan that involves him that I'll save for another thread tomorrow.
6. Al Horford - Everyone assumes Smooth will be traded if one of them is, especially with some of his controversial comments, but you never know, things can change. If they do, I think we'd "settle" for Al. He's a really good player, but a role player, but could form quite the twin towers duo with Brook. Reasonable contract as well.
7. Pau Gasol - I know, I know. He's getting old, his contract is thicker then Adina Howard, he's having a down year and we'd be bailing the Lakers out. But here's the thing... I'm writing this post as how I think our FO would go about things, not what I want them to do by my preferences. Then again, would we ship the Buss's an asset that can help the Lakers get Howard? So maybe this isn't so realistic then. You decide. As for Pau the player, he's still a top big man in this game who can legitimately play the 4 or the 5 and has a huge impact. Plays both sides of the ball as well and he's another big name that can sell Deron and be marketed, internationally to boot.
8. Monta Ellis - This is another guy who I wouldn't be happy at all if we gave up a pick like this for, but again, I can see them offering the pick for him and Milwaukee will almost definitely yell "No take backs!" and send him packing to Brooknam with a swift kick in the ass. Rumor is we offered Brook for him already after we struck out on Dwight. Now I know that doesn't mean we'll definitely send the pick for him as well, but I believe we would if we struck out on all the above players on this list and a handful I'm not putting on here cause they won't be dealt.
9. Rudy Gay - I don't know how realistic this is. We just acquired Crash and he's already shown some flashes of his old self. I doubt they see Rudy as big enough upgrade to take on all that extra salary and give up the value of this pick and almost certainly Crash as well. That said, Rudy is a very good young player although he's having a horribly inefficient season and even though he seemed to have transformed himself a couple summers ago on the Olympics squad, he's still underwhelming and disappointing compared to the lofty expectations his size, athleticism and skill set present.
10. Andrew Bogut - Also quite unrealistic, so also all the way at the bottom of this list. GSW just traded for him and I doubt they are going to look to immediately move him even if the value is proper on paper. As for us, he's injury prone and we already have Brook at the center position, although I think Bogut is substantially better then Brook and Brook can be moved for very good value himself in a S&T, but again, these things make him relatively unreasonable for us.
So there you have it. Just something to think about. I didn't put any of the untouchables on this list like Wade, Kobe, Durant and Lebron on here.
I also didn't put slightly lower level untouchables on here like James Harden or Blake Griffin.
Last thing. One last time, although I put some of my opinions through this piece, I tried writing this in what I thought would be the way Billy and Bobby will approach this offseason with a top 3 pick. So try not to attack me for having someone like Monta Ellis on here in the sense that you think I want him here, cause I don't.
Sorry for the...