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5 NBA Draft trades we could see during the 2022 event

Vincent Frank

We’re going to see some big time NBA Draft trades during the annual event in Brooklyn later this week.

Multiple veteran players will likely be moved as rebuilding teams look to go with youngsters. On the other end of the spectrum, there’s a ton of contending teams who don’t have the need for inexperienced talent and would like to acquire proven entities.

With that as the backdrop, let’s check in on five NBA Draft trades we could see during the two-round event later this week.

Related: 2022 NBA mock draft

Detroit Pistons use cap room to acquire Gordon Hayward, assets

NBA: Charlotte Hornets at New Orleans Pelicans
Andrew Wevers-USA TODAY Sports

Following their trade of Jerami Grant, the Pistons could have upwards of $50 million to spend under the salary cap. In complete rebuild mode and looking to build around Cade Cunningham, they are unlikely to spend that on free agents. Well, outside of Deandre Ayton.

Why not use this cap room to add more draft assets to the mix while taking on the bloated contract of Gordon Hayward? It almost makes too much sense from Detroit’s perspective. Meanwhile, the Charlotte Hornets are willing to attach one of their first-round picks (13th and/or 15th overall) to move Hayward.

  • Pistons get: Gordon Hayward, 13th pick
  • Hornets get: Kelly Olynyk

This move would save Charlotte roughly $36 million against the cap over the next two seasons — enabling it to re-sign star forward Miles Bridges in the process. As for Detroit, it acquires another lottery pick to go with the fith selection. It’s a win-win.

Philadelphia 76ers add Eric Gordon on draft night

nba draft trades
Andrew Wevers-USA TODAY Sports

We know that Philadelphia is looking to package the expiring contract of Danny Green and the 23rd pick to add another important veteran cog to the mix. We also know that front office head Daryl Morey is attempting to pull off an even larger trade.

Rather than going the blockbuster route on draft night, Philadelphia picks up a potential Sixth Man of the Year candidate in Eric Gordon to work behind James Harden and Tyrese Maxey in the backcourt.

  • 76ers get: Eric Gordon, future 2nd-round pick
  • Rockets get: Danny Green, Matisse Thybulle, 23rd pick

From Houston’s perspective, it picks up a fourth first-round pick in the 2022 NBA Draft as a way to help the team build around Jalen Green. The Rockets already dealt Christian Wood to Dallas for a package surrounding another first-rounder. Why not double down?

The idea would be for general manager Rafael Stone to create a ton of flexibility on draft night. He also adds a two-time All-NBA Defensive Team performer in Thybulle to help change the dynamics on defense after the Rockets gave up 118.2 points per game last season.

Related: Top 50 prospects in the 2022 NBA Draft

Portland Trail Blazers use NBA Draft to find proven talent

Nov 7, 2021; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) lines up for a foul shot against Toronto Raptors forward OG Anunoby (3) during the second half at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports
Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports

Portland already picked up star forward Jerami Grant from the Detroit Pistons while using the trade exception it acquired in the February C.J. McCollum trade. This gives general manager Joe Cronin more flexibility to bring in another star with the seventh selection and change.

Reports indicate that these Blazers are in on Toronto Raptors forward OG Anunoby. They are also open to moving off the seventh selection as part of a package for the youngster.

Related: 2022 NBA Draft order

As for Toronto, this would likely be the first of a couple NBA Draft trades the team makes. It could end up flipping the seventh selection and other assets to the Utah Jazz for All-Star center Rudy Gobert. The Raptors have been linked to the multi-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year.

  • Blazers get: OG Anunoby
  • Raptors get: Eric Bledsoe, Keon Johnson, 7th pick, future 2nd-round pick

A move of this ilk would make Portland instant playoff contenders out west with the likes of Anunoby, Grant, Damian Lillard and Anfernee Simons teaming up. Meanwhile, Toronto would add a ton of flexibility to add to its core group of Fred VanVleet, Pascal Siakam and Scottie Barnes.

Related: Updated NBA trade rumors

NBA Draft trades headlined by New Orleans Pelicans acquiring star point guard

nba draft trades: dejounte murray to the new orleans pelicans
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Boasting the eighth pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, there’s a darn good chance that Pelicans front office head David Griffin will look to flip it for veteran talent. Griffin was active leading up to the February 10 NBA trade deadline, acquiring star guard C.J. McCollum. This helped the team earn a surprise playoff appearance.

Point guard is now a major need in New Orleans after the struggles of Devonte’ Graham a season ago. With a big three in McCollum, Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson, point guard is the only missing piece.

Enter into the equation a star young point guard in Dejounte Murray of the San Antonio Spurs. He would be an exceptional fit for the Pelicans. The 25-year-old averaged 21.1 points, 8.3 rebounds and 9.2 assists a season ago.

  • Pelicans get: Dejounte Murray
  • Spurs get: Jaxson Hayes, Kira Lewis, Devonte’ Graham, 8th pick

While this would be a huge bounty to pay, New Orleans is in win-now mode. Adding Murray to the mix makes this a top-four roster out west.

As for San Antonio, it brings in two young recent first-round selections and the eighth overall pick in the draft. This would give the Spurs four first-round selections in the upcoming NBA Draft as the team looks to expedite its rebuild. There’d be so many opportunities for general manager R.C. Buford in this scenario.

Brooklyn Nets deal Kyrie Irving in shocking trade

nba draft trades: kyrie irving
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

As far as NBA Draft trades go, this would be an absolute blockbuster. When Brooklyn acquired Irving and Kevin Durant ahead of the 2019-20 season, the idea was that these Nets were on the verge of creating their own dynasty. Fast forward three years, and it’s now looking like Irving will either be traded or sign with another team in free agency.

Boasting a player option for next season, Irving could hit the open market. However, that would limit the number of teams who could acquire him. Rather, it makes more sense for the NBA champion to opt in and help facilitate a trade to a contending team.

This scenario has Irving remaining back east and heading to D.C. We know that the Wizards have been looking for a point guard to team up with impending free agent Bradley Beal. What better way to cater to Beal than acquiring Irving in a blockbuster?

  • Wizards get: Kyrie Irving, Joe Harris
  • Nets get: Kristaps Porzingis, Deni Avdija, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, 10th pick, future 1st-round pick

Imagine Irving teaming up with Beal, Kyle Kuzma and Rui Hachimura in the nation’s capital. That would have conference title contention written all over it.

From the Nets’ perspective, they take a chance that a previous iteration of Kristaps Porzingis ca take off with Durant. Still only 26, Porzingis averaged 22.1 points and 8.8 rebounds after being acquired from Dallas during the Feb. 10 trade deadline. KCP offers a veteran three-and-D wing. Meanwhile, Avdija and the draft picks could be used to acquire another star.