NBA AM: Draft Night Trade Frenzy
The NBA Draft is all about teams bolstering their talent pipeline for the future.
However outside of welcoming the league’s new crop of rookies into the fold, draft night has also become known as an annual trade bash second only to the yearly trade deadline each February.
The 2011 Draft did little to break from tradition as it also produced a plethora trades ranging from the league worst Minnesota Timberwolves getting into the dealing spirit all the way to the world champion Dallas Mavericks reloading their roster for another run at a championship in 2012.
Here are some brief summaries of the major deals during last night’s action:
Charlotte, Milwaukee and Sacramento three-way deal
Milwaukee Bucks Receive: Beno Udrih, Stephen Jackson, Shaun Livingston, and draft rights to No. 19 pick Tobias Harris.
Sacramento Kings Receive: John Salmons and draft rights to No. 10 overall pick Jimmer Fredette
Charlotte Bobcats Receive: Corey Maggette and draft rights to No. 7 overall pick Bismack Biyombo
Bucks Analysis: In 2010 the Bucks seemed to be a team on the rise recording 46 wins and a playoff berth, but a myriad of injuries stifled the team’s ascent this past season. Make no mistake; Milwaukee doesn’t want to miss the playoffs in 2012. The deal adds two established veterans in Jackson and Udrih who boast starting caliber talent. Jackson is the gem of the deal and from 2008-10 averaged over 20 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists. Jackson will fit in well within head coach Scott Skiles’ defensive schemes.
Kings Analysis: The Kings are obviously in rebuilding mode but managed to land the rights to high scoring guard Jimmer Fredette who will keep defenses honest on the perimeter and fan interest high. Salmons played with the club from 2007-09 where he established himself as a strong scorer on the wing. The move is also an insurance policy if the team decides not to match offers for restricted free agent guard Marcus Thornton.
Bobcats Analysis: Charlotte has decided to revamp the entire roster in an attempt to remove itself from its “middle of the pack” positioning over the past few years. Gone are guys like Jackson, Raymond Felton and Tyson Chandler who helped lead the team to its first ever playoff berth in 2010. The addition of Maggette will provide much needed scoring on an extremely young unit, but he’s also known around the league for his mentoring work with younger players. The Bobcats also landed the draft rights to Bismack Biyombo who lacks a refined offensive game, but is athletically gifted and could develop into one of the draft’s impact players down the road.
Dallas, Denver and Portland three-way swap
Dallas Mavericks Receive: Rudy Fernandez and the draft rights to Petteri Koponento (2007)
Denver Nuggets Receive: Andre Miller, draft rights to No. 26 overall pick Jordan Hamilton, and a future second round pick from Portland
Portland Trail Blazers Receive: Raymond Felton, draft rights to No. 57 overall pick Tanguy Ngombo
Dallas Analysis: The Mavericks take a proactive step by bringing in the perimeter oriented Fernandez since it’s likely the club could lose both Caron Butler and DeShawn Stevenson in free agency.
Denver Analysis: It was clear Felton was unhappy coming off the bench in Denver behind Ty Lawson. The Nuggets now have options with Miller. The team can either waive his unguaranteed contract for 2012 or bring him off the bench for Lawson in case of injury or struggle.
Portland Analysis: The Trail Blazers were trying to deal Miller for quite some time and now land the younger Felton who demonstrated he has borderline All-Star potential during his brief stint as the New York Knicks’ starting point guard in 2010.
Indiana and San Antonio trade
Indiana Pacers Receive: George Hill
San Antonio Spurs Receive: Draft rights to No. 15 overall pick Kawhi Leonard, draft rights to No. 42 overall pick Davis Bertans and the draft rights to Erazem Lorbek (2005)
Indiana Analysis: The Pacers haven’t been pleased with the development of Brandon Rush at shooting guard and while Paul George played admirably in the role during the playoffs he’s more of a natural small forward. Enter Hill who has proved to be capable on multiple occasions of handling heavier workloads on perennially playoff bound Spurs teams.
San Antonio Analysis: It was rumored all week the Spurs were willing to part ways with a guard to get into the draft lottery, but the speculation revolved around veteran Tony Parker – not Hill. In Leonard, San Antonio receives a wing prospect who many believed was a lock for the top 10. The Spurs also begin their future retooling project adding the rights to Bertans as Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili continue to show signs of decline.
For the full trade action and analysis from last night, check out HOOPSWORLD’s Trade Tracker by Mark Nugent.
Still Big Names Available (Undrafted): With only sixty draft slots available and franchises continuing to use the latter portion of the draft to reach on unknown commodities, it’s inevitable some players will be left out even though they possess NBA talent.
Here are some names who will undoubtedly receive interest from teams looking to fill out their training camp rosters before the start of next season. Some may say it’s better to be a rookie free agent than being drafted on the back end of the draft anyway.
Jacob Pullen, PG/SG, Kansas State
Pullen averaged over 20 points as a senior this past season, but at 6 feet he’s extremely undersized for a combo guard at the next level. There are guys with his physical attributes who manage to carve out a niche career in the pros, but Pullen will have to fight for his spot going forward.
Gilbert Brown, SF, Pittsburgh
Brown worked out for numerous teams in the build up toward the draft and while he showed flashes of brilliance at the collegiate level his inconsistency most likely was the determining factor in turning teams away from his obvious talent.
Ben Hansbrough, PG, Notre Dame
Hansbrough’s older brother Tyler was selected No. 13 overall by the Indiana Pacers in 2008. However, the younger sibling will not have the luxury of a guaranteed contract. Projected to be a mid-to-late second round pick because of his perimeter marksmanship, work ethic and leadership, Hansbrough will now have the opportunity to select the best team fit for his game post lockout.
Malcolm Thomas, PF, San Diego State
Thomas’ teammate Kawhi Leonard was selected by the Pacers with the No. 15 overall pick and subsequently dealt to San Antonio. It’s somewhat surprising the 6’9 Thomas didn’t hear his name called by a team looking for a potential defensive role player as the draft came to a close. Offensively Thomas is limited and not as polished but he’s shown the ability to play solid defense.
Jamie Skeen, PF, VCU
Skeen was the team leader for VCU during an improbable Final Four run last season in the NCAA Tournament. He wasn’t a draft lock by any stretch but his name recognition will surely lead to a few training camp invites and a potential stint in the D-League to prove his professional mettle.
Rick Jackson, PF, Syracuse
Jackson, a rugged power forward, averaged a double-double last season for the Orange and was one of the hopefuls selected to participate in the May combines held in Chicago. Being tapped to participate in that event is usually an early indicator of whether scouts believe a player has a NBA toolset. Jackson, one of the most underrated players in the draft field, is familiar with proving skeptics wrong. He’ll get another chance.
Scotty Hopson, SF, Tennessee
Hopson told media members during the Chicago combine that he aspired to be one of the greatest to ever play in the NBA. Lofty goals for sure, so Hopson will need to harness that inner confidence while navigating the rigors of earning a NBA roster spot.
Michael Dunigan, C, BC Kalev
Dunigan played two seasons at Oregon before signing a deal to play abroad where he won a championship with BC Kalev. He put up an impressive stat line of 11 points and 8 rebounds on the squad in a time when younger players typically struggle to adapt to life far away from home. At 6’10 and 240 pounds, there will always be a team looking for additional size in the middle.
Greg Smith, C, Fresno State
It is reported Smith has an 7-foot-3 wingspan. With that being said, it is somewhat surprising a team with a late pick didn’t select him based on his immense physical size alone. Smith doesn’t possess a strong offensive game at all, but the center spot remains one of the toughest to fill in the modern NBA so it should be expected that Smith will receive more than a few strong looks post draft.
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