Risers and Fallers
9th Pick — Washington Wizards
By this point in the Draft, teams’ interests are definitely changing. We are no longer dealing with teams that absolutely need draft picks and are trying to grow and develop players. These teams have the playoffs in mind. They might be more willing to deal, valuing veteran presence and poise over young players.
The Washington Wizards though are not an ideal trade partner again for some key reasons.
First, like the Atlanta Hawks, the Orlando Magic probably have no interest in giving one of their better players to their chief competitor for a playoff spot. That probably kills a deal in the cradle.
Second, the Wizards have very little in movable salaries that would interest the Magic or match the kinds of players the Wizards are probably hoping to acquire for this pick.
There just is not a deal here.
10th Pick — Phoenix Suns
Potential Targets: Devin Vassell, Tyrese Haliburton, Aaron Nesmith, Tyrese Maxey, R.J. Hampton, Kira Lewis
The Phoenix Suns and the Orlando Magic have talked before. We know that at least.
A deal involving Kelly Oubre and Aaron Gordon was widely reported. Something seemed to scuttle it — whether it was Kelly Oubre’s injury or Aaron Gordon’s underpeforming or Jonathan Isaac’s injury. Those talks likely never have gone away.
So it makes sense that they might get revisited here.
The question here is really on the Suns. They have the thing the Magic want and the better trade asset in the 10th pick vs. the 15th pick. So they have to ask themselves if Gordon is better than Oubre. If that answer is yes, then a deal is almost certainly there. If it is not, then they can ask for more or move on.
The secondary question is whether Gordon and 15 are better than Oubre and 10, but that difference is somewhat negligible for this discussion.
The important part is that more than any other team in this region, there is a very real and tangible framework for a deal. If there were odds for a pick the Magic would move up to, the 10th pick with the Suns feels by far like the most realistic picture for a deal.
11th Pick — San Antonio Spurs
Potential Targets: Devin Vassell, Aaron Nesmith, Kira Lewis, Tyrese Maxey, R.J. Hampton
The other area where a deal might get struck is in the long-rumored DeMar DeRozan interest. The San Antonio Spurs feel like they are in a state of transition after missing the playoffs for the first time in 20-plus years.
San Antonio has a lot of players they might look to trade. Veterans like Rudy Gay and Patty Mills feel like they could be attained in addition to DeMar DeRozan. The question is what does San Antonio want?
The Spurs could come into cap room soon. So they have a lot to assess.
It is hard to find a framework for a deal though. What do the Spurs want? Would they be up for someone like Nikola Vucevic or Evan Fournier or Aaron Gordon? Are the Magic willing to shop Terrence Ross in a deal like this? Would that be worth trading up only four spots? Would the Orlando Magic want one of those veterans in return on the last year of their deal to get there?
When it comes to DeMar DeRozan, would the Spurs take one of those big players plus Al-Farouq Aminu to make a deal?
It is hard to find any picture that does not come with a ton of questions.