NBA Mock Trades Post Lottery: Blazers, Raptors, Magic, Hornets, Jazz, and Thunder All Positioned to Make NBA Draft Moves
While the attention was rightfully directed towards who would land Victor Wembanyama, the NBA lottery results outside of the 1st overall pick also sent shockwaves throughout the league. As a result, both the NBA trade market and draft landscape have shifted so that certain transactions or selections are more probable than they were 48 hours ago. Here are three realistic mock trades directly influenced by the draft order via the lottery and subsequently altered circumstances.
Final results for the 2023 NBA Draft Lottery #NBADraftLottery
3. Trail Blazers
— Daily NBA Fantasy (@DailyNBAFantasy) May 17, 2023
Sam Presti Gets His Guy
- 9th overall pick
- Grizzlies 2026 2nd (protected 43-60)
- 12th overall pick
- Jazz 2024 1st
Oklahoma City remains loaded with picks; they own 13 first rounders from 2024 to 2027. The roster crunch phase is already beginning, so Sam Presti is incentivized to package picks for superior prospects or established veterans. He’s no stranger to this strategy, as he sent three low quality first rounders to the Knicks for Ousmane Dieng during the 2022 Draft.
Although it’s only three spots earlier, tantalizing prospects for Oklahoma City’s roster likely won’t fall to 12th. I’m expecting the first seven to be the following in some order: Victor Wembanyama, Scoot Henderson, Brandon Miller, Amen Thompson, Ausar Thompson, Jarace Walker, and Cam Whitmore. That would leave three players remaining – Taylor Hendricks, Cason Wallace, Gradey Dick – that fill areas of need before a tier drop.
Hendricks likely goes 8th, so the Thunder would have their pick of Wallace and Dick. Then again, Presti may also shock the world with an unexpected selection. Either way, this trade allows Presti to go acquire his guy, which has been a very successful strategy recently. Despite the Thunder losing a Utah 24 1st (that was top 10 protected), they do get a protected 2026 2nd in return and still own three 24 1sts.
On the other side, “Trader” Danny loves to hoard draft capital and simply accrue value at opportunistic moments. For Utah’s roster, the drop from 9th to 12th isn’t too consequential as they are drafting best available, not a specific skill set. A number of intriguing names will be on the board, such as Keyonte George, Leonard Miller, Brice Sensabaugh, and Bilal Coulibaly. Utah loses a future 2nd, but they regain their 24 1st rounder – a massive win. Essentially, Ainge is trading 9th and a 2nd for 12th and a 24 lottery first; the objective pick value in a vacuum definitely resides on Utah’s side.
Portland Trail Blazers Find Help For Damian Lillard
- Pascal Siakam
- Anfernee Simons
- 3rd overall pick
- 43rd overall pick
Portland’s plan to build a championship contender around Damian Lillard by discarding their young assets is beyond foolish. This roster remains lightyears away from contention even after a blockbuster. The market for co-stars is mediocre too; potential names available include Pascal Siakam, Zach LaVine, Julius Randle, and Klay Thompson.
If the Blazers were truly pursuing an optimal path, they would trade Lillard for a fortune and add that to 3rd overall, 23rd overall, Anfernee Simons, Shaedon Sharpe, Nassir Little, Trendon Watford, Cam Reddish, and Matisse Thybulle. However, Portland seems determined to provide Lillard more help regardless of the consequences.
Siakam – a two time All-NBA forward – is the most impactful player available for Portland. He is coming off a 24.2 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 5.8 APG campaign that saw him once again act as the primary offensive option. He complements Lillard well by injecting self-created scoring and playmaking into the lineup. The Blazers subsequently roster two offensive hubs, although the depth would be atrocious. It’s especially true when factoring in Simons’ departure, who must be traded no matter what because Portland doesn’t have other big contracts to match salary. Is this trade lunacy? I believe so, but it’s the Blazers best option if they want to add an immediate star next to Lillard.
As for Toronto, they are expected to begin a massive rebuild after missing the playoffs. Fred VanVleet and Gary Trent Jr likely opt out of their contracts and become free agents this summer, while Jakob Poeltl is an unrestricted free agent. OG Anunoby will do the same next year, and Siakam’s contract expires next off-season too. All of those contracts are far too expensive for Toronto to maintain, especially since Scottie Barnes needs an extension soon. Plus, they couldn’t even make the playoffs with all of them, so it’s illogical for the Raptors to financially ruin themselves.
By trading Siakam to Portland, the Raptors acquire a young combo guard signed to a relatively team-friendly deal. Simons (21.1 PPG, 4.1 APG) supplies Toronto with a backcourt building block that creates his own shot and spaces the court (9.1 3PA, 37.7 3PT%) for Barnes. In addition, the Raptors can select Brandon Miller or Amen Thompson with the third pick – another foundational piece. Finally, the 43rd pick grants them one more roll of the dice. Overall, Toronto enters a new era led by 3rd overall, 13th overall, Barnes, Anunoby, Simons, Poeltl, Christian Koloko, Precious Achiuwa, and plenty of cap space. That future appears far brighter than the current outlook.
REPORT: The Blazers intend to trade their No. 3 overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft to try and build a championship team around Damian Lillard.
— Legion Hoops (@LegionHoops) May 17, 2023
Orlando Magic Secure Point Guard Of The Future
- 2nd overall pick
- Cole Anthony
- 6th overall pick
- 11th overall pick
- 2025 1st via Denver
Orlando’s frontcourt of Franz Wagner, Paolo Banchero, and Wendell Carter Jr is firmly cemented. The trio oozes positional flexibility and boundless offensive potential. Markelle Fultz and Jalen Suggs both produced strong seasons and warrant starter minutes, but neither are close to scraping Scoot Henderson’s ceiling. He’s one of if not the best point guard prospect of the 21st century due to his 6’9” wingspan, explosive athleticism, and elite scoring/playmaking upside. Henderson should immediately thrive and holds All-NBA upside, which means Orlando would possess three All-NBA upside players (Henderson, Banchero, Wagner) under the age of 22.
Losing Cole Anthony along with the valuable picks stings, but they wouldn’t have the necessary minutes to play him anyways since this guard room now features Henderson, Fultz, Suggs, and Gary Harris. Overall, Orlando’s core would arguably be the best in the league after this trade.
Meanwhile, if Henderson is this special, why are the Hornets trading his rights? First, Charlotte already rosters a foundational point guard in LaMelo Ball. Second, Orlando is paying a king’s ransom to move up. At 6th overall, Charlotte will likely choose between Ausar Thompson, Walker, and Whitmore. Depending on the direction the Hornets want to take in terms of building around LaMelo Ball and Mark Williams, all three have desirable skill sets.
A hyper-athletic slasher with secondary playmaking upside? Thompson is there. A defensive monster with a knack for quick decision passes? Walker is available. A cold-blooded scorer with the tools to create his own shot? They can take Whitmore. No matter what happens, the Hornets would draft a difference maker at 6th overall.
At 11th, Charlotte adds another valuable lottery pick. They can select Dick, a lights out shooter, or Wallace, a defensive combo guard. Either fill areas of need for the Hornets. In addition, Charlotte adds a sixth man scorer in Cole Anthony (13 PPG, 3.9 APG) and a likely late 2025 1st. When the dust settles, the Hornets would quietly have a ton of talent surrounding LaMelo Ball.