Trade Scenarios for the 2012 NBA Draft

Anthony Davis is the only sure thing in this draft, the wall-to-wall agreed upon number one pick. Beyond that? Just a bunch of questions, including at number 2 where the Charlotte Bobcats don’t really know what to do with their pick. Keep it and go for Thomas Robinson? Trade down and go for someone else who doesn’t want to play for them?

The Houston Rockets have been the busiest team of all so far. In their efforts to get a shot at Dwight Howard, they’re moving a lot of pieces around. First it was Chase Budinger along with draft right to a player who’ll never be in the NBA (Lior Eliyahu) to Minnesota for the number 18 pick, and later it was Samuel Dalembert plus their own 14th pick for the number 12 pick in the draft, along with Shaun Livingston, Jon Leuerand Jon Brockman.

The Rockets are now going to try and get top 10 picks, aided by all their new parts, in order to at least intrigue the Orlando Magic to trade Dwight Howard, which is officially off the table. But when a no.8 and no.5 pick come swinging by, who knows how their GM will react.

The way this draft will be shaped begins with the number 2 pick, who the Charlotte Bobcats own at the moment. No one, it seems, wants to come and play for them, although the players don’t really have a choice. The Bobcats would like to go for Thomas Robinson and not Bradley Beal, so it seems, but they’re just as much as intrigued about trading down to no.4 with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Why?

The Washington Wizards at #3 would love Bradley Beal, not Thomas Robinson. The Bobcats are pretty sure they can get Robinson at no.4 as well, knowing that the Cavs, who will also give them the #24 pick, will take Beal at #2. Then the Wizards, who aren’t high on Kidd-Gilchris or Harrison Barnes, will be left with one of the two.

The Cavs themselves have other options open. They’re also thinking of moving down, so they can get their hands on Terrence Ross, who is a definite pick in the 15-20 zone, maybe a bit higher. The Cavs won’t take him with their number 4 pick, and he won’t be left to choose at 24, their second pick. So, trading down makes sense for them.

The Utah Jazz are thinking about trading up to a first round pick, as their only pick in this draft is a second round, #47 position. But they do have a top-six guaranteed. pick for 2013 from the Warriors to use, and are also thinking about moving Paul Millsap, Al Jefferson and Devin Harris in order to get some first round picks. They’re really hoping to land Damian Lillard as their future point guard.

Last and not least, the Los Angeles Lakers are shopping for a player and a pick (they only have the #60 pick in the draft), using Pau Gasol as bait. They’re actually looking for a top-10 pick plus a player for Gasol’s two year, $38 million contract. They’re also looking to move Metta World Peace, who has two years, $15 million left, but that seems like a much harder sell.

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