With the NBA Playoffs set to wrap up here in the coming weeks, the focus will soon turn to the offseason. In fact, 27 of the Association’s 30 teams are already looking forward to a summer that could change the fortunes of those not currently competing for a title.
That starts with the 2017 NBA Draft in June. Sure most of the focus will be on who goes No. 1 overall to the Boston Celtics. Out west, fans in Southern California are wondering whether their Los Angeles Lakers will land former UCLA standout Lonzo Ball.
But there’s surely more to look at when it comes to the draft. Which veterans will be moved on draft day? Will we see the blockbuster deals that the past couple draft have been missing? Here’s a look at five NBA Draft day trades that need to happen, including a certain future Hall of Famer moving on from New York to join a contender in the Pacific Northwest.
1. Nuggets trade Danilo Gallinari to the Thunder for Enes Kanter and first-round pick
This is a move that would make sense for both teams. There’s been a ton of rumors suggesting that Denver might be looking to move Gallinari. In fact, the team seems to be at the point where it might transition to a young core led by Jusuf Nurkic and Jamal Murray. This could place Gallinari, Kenneth Faried and Wilson Chandler all on the block during the draft.
Interestingly, Denver will almost certainly look to recoup the first-round pick it lost in the deal that brought Mason Plumlee in from Portland during February’s trade deadline. Adding that pick and another big in Kanter would be huge for a Nuggets team that’s on the brink of the playoffs out west.
A three-headed monster in the front line of Kanter, Plumlee and Nurkic would create major mismatches for opposing Western Conference teams. Add in the presence of Murray, Gary Harris and Will Barton out on the perimeter, and that looks like a playoff team.
From Oklahoma City’s perspective, it’s rather simple here. Russell Westbrook simply needs more help out on the perimeter. With Steven Adams holding down the fort at center, Kanter becomes expendable. Adding Gallinari and his 18.2 points per game from last season to go with Victor Oladipo would create a much better supporting cast for the MVP finalist.