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1 Trade for (Almost) Every 2023 NBA Draft Lottery Pick

Andy Bailey

The 2023 NBA draft is loaded with talent, particularly at the top, where Victor Wembanyama, Scoot Henderson and Brandon Miller will likely get picked.

And with all the talent in the lottery, you can bet plenty of teams are at least considering what it would take to move into that top 14.

Realistic deals involving most of those picks can be found below, and the descriptor at the start of that sentence rules out any Wembanyama deals.

It's fun to imagine a potential deal involving the No. 1 pick, but there's no chance the San Antonio Spurs are going to pass up on the French phenom.

Of course, that doesn't rule out movement through the rest of the lottery.

Houston Moves Up for Scoot

Scoot Henderson Jeff Bottari/NBAE via Getty Images

The Deal: Houston Rockets send No. 4 and No. 20 to the Charlotte Hornets for No. 2

With the Charlotte Hornets already rostering LaMelo Ball, there's a chance they might not be enamored with point guard Scoot Henderson, who's been the consensus No. 2 for much of the pre-draft process.

If they move back a couple spots, they could still get a wing with a ton of potential to play alongside Ball.

Of course, they could just do that by taking Brandon Miller second, a move that a lot of recent mock drafts are forecasting. But this potential deal gives them the chance to take someone like Amen Thompson at No. 4, while also getting another roll of the dice in the 20s.

For a team that really only has one surefire talent on the roster, multiple chances to land another are crucial.

For the Rockets, they already have a number of intriguing prospects, including Jalen Green, Jabari Smith Jr. and Alperen Şengün. Even Kevin Porter Jr. has shown some upside as a starting 1, but Henderson has superstar potential.

And adding him to the Rockets core would almost certainly raise its ceiling.

Portland Doubles Down on Dame

Karl-Anthony Towns David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images

The Deal: Portland Trail Blazers send Anfernee Simons, No. 3 and a top-five protected first-round pick in 2028 to the Minnestota Timberwolves for Karl-Anthony Towns

If the Blazers remain in the Damian Lillard business this season, they'll likely need to trade the No. 3 pick in a win-now move.

And that's exactly what this deal is.

Adding Karl-Anthony Towns would give Portland one of the league's most offensively dynamic guard-big combos. Re-signing Jerami Grant would certainly help, too.

And with Towns in place, the Blazers might be able to flip Jusuf Nurkić for a wing.

For the Timberwolves, this untangles the mismatched frontcourt of KAT and Rudy Gobert while also recouping some of the assets they gave up In the Gobert deal.

And while this isn't quite the haul the Utah Jazz got for Gobert or the Brooklyn Nets received for Kevin Durant, Anfernee Simons just turned 24 and is coming off a season in which he averaged 21.1 points and 3.4 threes, while shooting 37.7 percent from deep. The No. 3 pick could land Minnesota Henderson or Miller. And a future selection sweetens the deal.

If the Wolves emerged with a lineup of Conley, Anthony Edwards, Miller, Jaden McDaniels and Gobert, they'd be in solid shape in the short term, too.

Detroit Lands Cade a Finisher

Deandre Ayton Kate Frese/NBAE via Getty Images

The Deal: Detroit Pistons send Bojan Bogdanović, James Wiseman and No. 5 to the Phoenix Suns for Deandre Ayton

Like Houston, the Detroit Pistons already have a decent amount of young talent in place. Years in the lottery have yielded them plenty of playmaking from Cade Cunningham, Jaden Ivey and Killian Hayes.

What they could use now is a finisher to convert looks from the creators, and Deandre Ayton is a finisher with 20-10 upside.

He's also just 24 years old (until late July) and already has Finals experience. He's not on the exact timeline of 21-year-old Cunningham, but he's close enough.

The Suns, meanwhile, need bodies. The Durant trade devastated their depth, and this deal potentially lands them three rotation players. Bogdanović, of course, would play a big role right away. With Ayton gone, Wiseman might, too (and he'd get plenty of open dunks playing with Durant and Devin Booker). And picking in the top five would give Phoenix an outside shot of finding someone who's NBA-ready.

Utah Cashes in and Moves Up

Danny Ainge Kamil Krzaczynski/NBAE via Getty Images

The Deal: Utah Jazz send No. 9 and No. 16 to the Orlando Magic for No. 6

The Gobert and Donovan Mitchell trades that Danny Ainge swung last summer gave the Utah Jazz a treasure trove of assets. And they're now looking at a 2023 draft in which they have three first-round picks (No. 9, No. 16 and No. 28).

Ainge has shown plenty of aggression in the past, and packaging two or three picks to move up in the talent-rich 2023 draft makes a lot of sense. There could be a prospect who can help Lauri Markkanen and Walker Kessler in the top five or six, and Utah has the ammo to get there.

Orlando, meanwhile, already has a number of potential (or already borderline) stars in Paolo Banchero, Franz Wagner and Wendell Carter Jr.

The Magic may be more in the market for depth, and this deal gives them the opportunity to emerge from the first round with one extra player.

Hawks Free John Collins

John Collins Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images

The Deal: Dallas Mavericks send Dāvis Bertāns and No. 10 to the Atlanta Hawks for John Collins

This feels like selling low on John Collins. It probably is, and Atlanta may be able to talk Dallas into sending Tim Hardaway Jr. instead of Bertāns.

But just ahead of the 2023 deadline, The Athletic's Sam Amick reported that the Hawks' asking price for Collins had "decreased significantly." According to Amick, they weren't even insisting on a first-rounder.

This deal, of course, gives them one. It also opens up playing time in the frontcourt for all of Onyeka Okongwu, Jalen Johnson and Saddiq Bey.

And while he hasn't shown it much in recent years, Bertāns can still be a floor-warping shooter. In a lineup with Young, he'd likely get plenty of catch-and-shoot opportunities.

The No. 10 pick would also give Atlanta a shot at landing some help on a rookie-scale contract (something that will be far more important under the new collective bargaining agreement).

The upside for the Mavericks, on the other hand, is obvious.

If Kyrie Irving is re-signed, Dallas will have more than enough perimeter firepower. What they'd need is someone who can rim-run, catch lobs and be a part of a potentially switch-heavy defensive scheme.

Feeding off the playmaking of Irving and Luka Dončić would give Collins plenty of opportunities to shine.

Thunder Accelerate the Timeline

O.G. Anunoby Andrew Lahodynskyj/Getty Images

The Deal: Oklahoma City Thunder send Luguentz Dort, Ousmane Dieng, No. 12, No. 50 and two 2024 first-round picks to the Toronto Raptors for O.G. Anunoby and No. 13

Back at the trade deadline, multiple reports suggested Toronto was after (and could receive) a pretty significant return for Anunoby.

The Action Network's Matt Moore wrote that offers from multiple teams included "multiple draft picks."

Longtime NBA reporter Marc Stein wrote that "The Raptors have expressed confidence to some inquiring teams that they can acquire three future first-round picks for Anunoby," though he also expressed some skepticism that they could get more than two.

This deal sort of splits the difference. It only nets Toronto one first, but it moves the Raptors up one spot in the lottery. Plus, talent can be found with that 50th pick, and Ousmane Dieng offers some upside too.

Swapping Anunoby for Dort also gives Toronto a wing who's under contract for two years (and possibly three, depending on what Anunoby does with his player option) longer.

The easier explanation is the one for the Thunder.

They were already knocking on the postseason's door with first-team All-NBA guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Adding Anunoby's shooting and defense to lineups with SGA, Josh Giddey, Jalen Williams and Chet Holmgren would give OKC one of the league's most versatile and potentially explosive five-man units.


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