As an avid Sixers fan, you have more than likely had a roller-coaster experience over the last few days regarding the impending NBA Draft, so just imagine how much more work Hinke and his minions have had to do in terms of draft strategy. Just when we thought things were set at the top with an Embiid, Parker, Wiggins draft, things changed and changed quickly. With the newest draft rumors spinning around in my mind, I will attempt to look at the moves, that may or may not take place, as the Sixers and the other lottery teams begin to hone in on their desired talent; specifically the idea of three teams trying to move into the top spot.
ESPN’s Chad Ford reported today that the Cleveland Cavs are talking trade with their No. 1 overall pick with three main partners. They may still hold their spot at the top, but since the Embiid injury they have obviously become less sure about what they are doing.
Ford is reporting:
Of the offers they've received, a source says the Cavs aren't enamored by either the Sixers' offer (Thaddeus Young and the No. 3 pick) nor the Jazz's offer (Derrick Favors and the No. 5 pick). However, the Cavs do have some interest in the Magic's offer of Arron Afflalo, the No. 4 pick and the No. 12 pick.
Orlando Moves Up.
First we must look at why the Cavs would even think seriously about trading their pick or entertain any of these offers (especially moving all the way down to No. 4). I believe the simple fact is that they still want Embiid. As a Side Note: Sixers fans this may be the reassurance that maybe we should just pull the trigger on him at three (but we will leave that for another bazillion debates you will have in these blogs). I am guessing Embiid’s workout was just that good (Jabari’s not so much) and Wiggins is still not running away with the spot.
If the Cavs can move down and still get their man while strengthening their team in the process, why not. In fact, isn't it ironic that this entire Embiid injury was discovered with the Cavs—after such a positive report in the personal workout. By all means Cleveland just got more control and more options, in a draft for the ages. Not only do they have the number one pick but they have multiple win-win choices if they still believe that Embiid is their guy. Out of the three most desirable trades mentioned by Chad Ford, I also see more value in Orlando’s offer—unless you think that someone will still take Embiid at number three (which is one of the reason’s the Sixers’ camp may be leaking that information). The trade with the Magic is just too good to pass up because essentially if the Draft falls as expected with Wiggins/Parker/Exum in any combination of the first three, Cleveland will ultimately end-up with Embiid at No. 4 and pick up Afflalo and the No. 12 pick as well. I would be shocked if Cleveland wouldn't take this (again considering they still desire Embiid).
The Kings at 8, Hornets at 9, and Nuggets at 11 all have rumored to be interested in Afflalo for their respective pick. The Bulls have also shown serious interest in both Afflalo and in a pick in this range (would trade No. 16 & 19). By the Cavs picking up this trade they may be able to get Embiid and one more (8-11) lottery pick and a veteran to add to their No. 12 pick.
How can the Sixers capitalize: First this may be the opportunity the Sixers get to draft Wiggins. The notion out there is that the reason that Orlando is now wanting to move up is because it was set on taking Exum – now that Embiid is out of the picture, Exum looks to be moving before his previous landing spot at No. 4. While many may say this suggestion is crazy (because they are giving up so much), you can can never be surprised at what a GM will do to get "their guy" and for over a month now Exum was their guy at No. 4. Just look at the Sixers obsession with Wiggins. So to imply Orlando takes Exum with its' first pick, though a stretch, is not crazy (crazy was Anthony Bennett at No.1). In fact the Bucks have been rumored to be looking at him at No. 2 with both Wiggins or Parker available. IF this is true, there is a good chance the Sixers get Wiggins – because we know the Bucks are probably taking Parker between Wiggins/Parker. Secondly, the Cavs may be interested in trading one of their additional later lottery picks for Young and No. 10 if the Sixers want to move up to No. 9 or No. 8 (depending on who’s pick Cleveland got baring they trade Afflalo).
Best Scenario Sixers: Wiggins and No. 8
Best Scenario Cavs: Embiid, No. 16 & No. 19 & Snell (from Chicago for No. 12), and Afflalo OR another lottery pick around 10.
Just think if we end up trading the Cavs Thad for No. 16 straight-up they could have a future line-up of Joel Embiid (C), Thaddeus Young (PF), Arron Afflalo (SG), Lebron James (SF), Kyrie Irving (PG), Snell, and whatever they get from trading Waiters & Co and whomever they take with the No. 19th pick and don't forget last year's number 1 (I know you did).
Final Thoughts: If Orlando really did offer these assets I don’t see how Cleveland can say no, they have so many options from this trade – unless of course they do not want Embiid at all. If they stay put at No. 1 that is a good indication for us to pass on Embiid as well.
Utah Moves Up.
We already know the Jazz want Parker. They take Parker, the Bucks take Wiggins or Exum and we take whoever is left out of the two. The Cavs get the No. 5 pick and Favors. Not bad, but what does the 5th pick get you in this draft? There is a good chance Parker, Wiggins, Exum, and Embiid could be gone. No way that I see the Cavs taking this deal.
Best Scenario Sixers: Wiggins/Exum and No. 10
Best Scenario Cavs: Vonleh & Favors
Final Thoughts: Utah is the big winner in this scenario as I see Favors as overrated and they get their once in a lifetime (very marketable) guy in Parker.
Philly Moves Up.
The rumor is that we are beating down the Cavs door with all but our two lottery picks. The only reason the Sixers should do this is if they really want Wiggins or Parker. There is a very good chance Exum or Embiid will be there for the third pick which is not a bad consolation prize. Thad and a third is worth it, but I do not believe that adding No. 10 is smart because of the depth of the draft and the possibility that Joel Embiid, Aaron Gordon, Marcus Smart, or Julius Randle may be there if they hold pat. You can not risk the opportunity to get two impact players unless of course you are 100% sold on Parker or Wiggins.
Best Scenario Sixers: Wiggins/Parker
Best Scenario Cleveland: Embiid/Exum & Thad Young or Pick No. 10
Final Thoughts: I think our best move is not to try to trade the No. 1 and No. 10 for a chance at Wiggins, but to let Orlando make the move and hope they select Exum and thus Wiggins will fall into our laps. This is the risk/reward Hinke must make if Wiggins is his guy. I believe the only reason the Cavs have not pulled the trigger on the Orlando deal is that they desire our No. 3 & No. 10 or they want nothing to do with Embiid.
1) If Exum is our guy – we stay put (Exum could go higher but the odds say he is there at three and if not we get the pick of Parker/Wiggins – not worth any trading knowing those are our consolation prizes)
2) If Wiggins is our guy – we let the Orlando trade materialize (if it happens we can get Wiggins without any movement AND if Cleveland doesn't take the trade we now know it is going to cost way too much to be worth it) We also can stay put knowing there are a few projecting Milwaukee to take Exum anyway.
3) If Embiid was Hinke’s guy all along – trade with Orlando for No. 4 & No. 12/Affalo
4) If Vonleh is our guy – trade with Orlando for No. 4 & No. 12/Affalo
5) If Parker is our guy – we trade our No. 3 and No. 10 and then trade Thad for a high teen lottery pick. Actually, let’s not do that. As much as I like Parker he will be the hardest to snatch away.
And no I did not discuss MCW trade alternatives – because frankly I don’t want to see that happen. Let’s just hope that if we do pick Exum (who I like – and continues to grow on me: see his new Footlocker Commercials) he ends up growing another 2 inches by next season like the Greek Alphabet did and becomes fully crowned as the next coming of T-Mac at the 3. Which conveniently allows me to suggest picking up my favorite prospect: sharp shooting Stauskas to play the 2 with our 10th pick.
By tomorrow night, new trade rumors will abound and new theories will take shape. Until then, let us dream as big as we want to. Oh and Sam Hinke always sleeps with one eye open and one eye shut.