Trades before and during the 2014 NBA draft will dictate a lot of how it goes. Who are the primary GMs and teams to watch?
Ryan McDonough and Phoenix Suns
Their 2013-2014 season showed infinite promise for a young roster and that is young and coming up fast. At this point the Phoenix Suns, who have plenty of salary cap space, can afford to package their three 1st round picks (14, 18th, 27th) for a jump up into the lottery area to go after a top talent. The area they are most likely to be aggressive is the front court, preferably at power forward. That could mean Kentucky star Julius Randle who can score, rebound, and handle the ball. It may even mean an outside shot at Arizona phenom Aaron Gordon who is a freak athlete and brings loads of defensive skill.
Gar Forman and Chicago Bulls
No team has dominated the 2014 NBA draft rumor mill quite like the Chicago Bulls. First it’s Carmelo Anthony, then it’s Kevin Love and most recently it’s then moving into the top ten to go after Creighton standout Doug McDermott. The point is the Bulls are going all in. Their core is in place with Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson, as is their coach with Tom Thibodeau. They just need more offense, wherever and however they can get it. Packaging the 16th and 19th picks they hold is definitely an option. McDermott is a target, as are Nik Stauskas and Gary Harris.
Michael Jordan and Charlotte Hornets
Michael Jordan finally seems to have his team headed in the right direction. The Charlotte Hornets rode great defense and the twin scoring of Al Jefferson and Kemba Walker to the playoffs. That said they were swiftly dismissed by Miami, who showed the Hornets are devoid of enough offense. They need another source of offense, especially coming off the bench. They already hold the 9th overall pick via Detroit, but also have the 24th pick in their back pocket as well. Given the depth of the 2014 NBA draft, they can’t be expected to jump much higher than they are, but they could move a couple spots to get a player they really like. Point guard Marcus Smart and even center Joel Embiid are possibilities.