Should Lottery Teams Move Up, Down, or Stay?
1. Phoenix Suns – Down
I don’t think the Suns should stay put at number one. Yes, they would have their choice of who they want, but who they want looks like DeAndre Ayton. I think Ayton will be a good player, but I don’t think he’ll be the best player from this class. If the Suns move down, they still might get Ayton, but if they don’t they can still get a very good prospect who can help this team. I bet there are several teams willing to move up into this spot, so finding a trade partner shouldn’t be a problem. Try to do what the Celtics did last year. Move down, but still get a very good player while picking up more future assets.
2. Sacramento Kings – Stay
It seems like the Kings know who they want in this draft. We’re all pretty sure it’s Marvin Bagley. If it is Marvin Bagley, I’m pretty sure he’ll be there when the Kings pick. Unless they really think someone will try to move up into the number one spot to take Bagley, there’s no reason to move up. Moving down puts them at risk of not getting the player they want, so staying put makes perfect sense for this team.
3. Atlanta Hawks – Down
I’m really confused on who the Hawks want in this draft. One day they’re planning on passing on Luka Doncic, and then the next day they have their sights set on him. The day after that they want Trae Young. Make up your mind already! If they don’t want Doncic, they should trade down. Trading down would allow them to still get Trae Young, as long as they don’t trade further down than Orlando. If Young is on the board when Orlando picks, it has to be Trae Young. I have the Mavericks as a team who should trade up, and I think they want Doncic. The Hawks and Mavericks could be perfect trade partners.
4. Memphis Grizzlies – Stay
The Grizzlies need talent. They have to get the best talent available. They could move down and get rid of Chandler Parsons, but that would most likely not allow them to get the player they want. If I’m the Grizzlies, I’m staying put at pick four and getting the best player available when it’s my turn to pick.
5. Dallas Mavericks – Up
As I mentioned earlier, the Hawks and Mavericks could end up being perfect trade partners. If the Mavericks have their sights set on Doncic and the Hawks want Trae Young, it makes perfect sense. I believe the Grizzlies will take Doncic if they pick at four, so the Mavericks will likely have to trade up to get him. The Hawks move down to five, one spot ahead of Orlando, and grab Trae Young.
6. Orlando Magic – Up
There are two things Orlando needs in this draft. The first is a shooter and the second is a point guard. Trae Young fits that exactly. I think it’s possible Trae Young is here when the Magic pick, but there’s a good chance he’s not. If the Magic have the chance to move up into a spot that will allow them to secure Trae Young, they should do it. They have to do it. This is one of the worst shooting teams in the league and they have to get a shooter like Young.
7. Chicago Bulls – Stay
I believe the Bulls will have a very good prospect available to them with the seventh pick in the draft. It could be Michael Porter Jr. or Wendell Carter Jr. I think they’ll have some good options with this pick. Unless they really want a player who’s projected to be one of the top picks, they should wait for their turn.
8. Cleveland Cavaliers – Down
When I say the Cavs should move down, I mean they should move the eighth pick for a player who can help them get LeBron James back. Moving down would be pointless otherwise. If they can’t get an established player like Kawhi Leonard for this pick, they should stay put and get someone like Collin Sexton or Michael Porter Jr. to help with the future, but getting that established star player to entice LeBron to come back should be their top priority.
9. New York Knicks – Up
I doubt the Knicks will get the player they have their eye on with the ninth pick. If they have their sights set on a certain player in this draft, they should do what they can to trade up. This franchise needs another potential star player. The key to moving up for the Knicks though, is not giving up the young pieces they have who can develop into good players down the road.
10. Philadelphia 76ers – Stay
Unless the 76ers can pull of some sort of trade for Kawhi Leonard or some other star, they should stay put. They’re already a playoff team who will only be getting better after their stars have a few more years of experience. They may not get a star player here, but they can at the very least get a player who can contribute. Whether that be Mikal Bridges or someone else, they can get a player who can make an impact.
11. Charlotte Hornets – Up
Charlotte seems to be in rebuild mode, or at least should be. They should be looking to move Kemba Walker. If they move him, they would hopefully get a higher draft pick in return, allowing them to get a better player in this draft.
12 and 13. Los Angeles Clippers – Up
Having two picks in the lottery pretty much requires you to at least try and trade up. These two picks are at the end of the lottery, but they’re still in the lottery. I’m not sure a team picking in the top five will trade down that far, but maybe a team after that is willing to do it. I believe the Clippers have their sights set on a certain player, so they should try to trade up to get whoever that may be.
14. Denver Nuggets – Stay
This team almost made the playoffs last season with their current roster. If they trade up, they’ll likely have to give up some of those players. I don’t think they should be breaking up a fairly young roster who almost made the playoffs. Instead, they should be looking to add to that roster. If they don’t make the pick here, they should trade down instead of up. Although trading down is an option, I think staying put and getting the best available player with this pick is the best choice.