ESPN’s Chris Broussard is reporting that the Cleveland Cavaliers, Minnesota Timberwolves, and Detroit Pistons are discussing a three-way trade that would drastically shake up the lottery of the 2011 NBA Draft. Here’s a breakdown why the potential deal does or does not make sense for each team.
By: David Kay
According to Broussard, the Pistons would send Richard Hamilton and the eighth overall pick to the Cavs in exchange for Cleveland’s trade exception that they acquired from the Miami Heat for LeBron James. The Cavs would then ship the fourth and eighth picks to the Timberwolves for the second overall pick, meaning Cleveland would become the first team in NBA history to own the top two picks in the NBA Draft.
Why This Makes Sense for Cleveland: Since they are in a re-building mode, getting the top two picks in the draft helps their post-LeBron makeover. They would almost certainly take Duke point guard Kyrie Irving with the top pick and then choose between Arizona small forward Derrick Williams and center Enes Kanter of Turkey. The remaining two years, $25 million on Hamilton’s contract would likely be bought out making him a free agent but he could actually help the team since the Cavs have a huge hole on the wing.
Why This Makes Sense for Minnesota: I feel like I have said this about a David Kahn decision before, but I am really not sure how this benefits the T-Wolves. Kahn is all about loading up on assets and Minnesota would hold the fourth, eighth, and twentieth picks in the draft which would just add more young talent which is exactly what the franchise does not need.
I guess this trade would give Minnesota more flexibility in terms of packaging some picks in hopes of acquiring a younger veteran who can help this team right away rather than waiting on three draft picks to develop.
One thought is that the Timberwolves are very high on Bismack Biyombo but rather than reaching for him with the second overall pick, they could trade back, still take him at four, and add another asset at eight.
Why This Makes Sense for Detroit: Pistons fans would probably be outraged that they are ultimately dealing two players for cap relief. However, Hamilton was the catalyst for the off-the-court issues plaguing the Pistons this past season and is massively overpaid. Dumping his salary puts Detroit under the cap this off-season and gives them flexibility to address other areas of need. Yes, trading away the eighth pick in order to free themselves of Rip’s deal sounds like a hefty price to pay, but remember, this is a weak draft class and Detroit must not love anyone at eight if they end up pulling the trigger.
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David Kay is a senior feature NBA Draft, NBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank. He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities.