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By David J. Cohen
Several things have changed the shape of this draft overnight. Jermaine O’Neal was dealt to the Raptors for T.J. Ford, Rasho Nesterovic, and the 17 th pick. Also today the Blazers bought the 27 th pick from the Hornets and the Bobcats traded a future first round pick to the Nuggets for the 20 th pick. This is just the start of what should be several trades that at least start to take form tomorrow night. And all 3 of these deals have serious ramifications.
The Raptors are the big winners in the short term. They now can put O’Neal and Bosh on the same frontcourt. This will greatly help Bosh avoid double teams and will add a new dimension to the Raptors offense. However, the Raptors better hope this move makes them a championship contender because they can’t get another major piece. Between O’Neal and Bosh Toronto will pay over 75 million dollars in the next 2 years. After this O’Neal will be a free agent and Bosh can opt out. Meanwhile the Pacers get their PG to run their fast paced offense. They will save around 14 million and now have 2 first round picks. Nesterovic is an expiring 8.5 million dollar contract that could be used in a Jamaal Tinsley trade. Most likely the Pacers will buy him out.
The other 2 trades don’t seem to mean much on the surface but are also important. The Blazers have been trying to get out of the 13 th pick so the fact that they acquire another pick is puzzling. Rumors have been swirling about the Blazers trading some of their pieces, like Jarrett Jack and Travis Outlaw, to get a veteran player. The other 1 st round pick might be the Blazers picking up a player after trading 2 or 3 players to bring back one major piece. The Bobcats now have 2 first round picks and could use the 2 picks to move up. More likely it means the Bobcats are drafting a big man. They are targeting a Lopez brother.
With the Heat, Grizzlies, Suns, Nets, Sonics, and maybe even the Pistons willing to make moves, New York will be chock full of surprises.
1. Chicago Bulls – PG Derrick Rose
2. Miami Heat – PF Michael Beasley; will then trade him to T-Wolves in deal involving Randy Foye.
3. Minnesota Timberwolves – PG/SG O.J. Mayo; will then trade to Heat. Beasley and Jefferson could turn into the best young frontcourt the league has seen in decades.
4. Seattle Sonics – C Brook Lopez (possibly traded to Charlotte for 2 first round picks)
5. Memphis Grizzlies – PF Kevin Love (possibly traded to Miami with Mike Miller for Shawn Marion)
6. New York Knicks – PG Russell Westbrook (pick could be part of trade to Phoenix for Leandro Barbosa)
7. L.A. Clippers – SG Jerryd Bayless
8. Milwaukee Bucks – SF Joe Alexander
9. Charlotte Bobcats – SG Eric Gordon
10. New Jersey Nets – SF Danilo Gallinari
11. Indiana Pacers – SF Anthony Randolph
12. Sacramento Kings – PG D.J. Augustin
13. Portland Trailblazers – SG/SF Brandon Rush (possibly traded to Clippers with Jarrett Jack and either Travis Outlaw or Martell Webster for Corey Maggette)
14. Golden State Warriors – C Kosta Koufos
15. Phoenix Suns – C Roy Hibbert (in case of Knicks trade they would select PG Mario Chalmers)
16. Philadelphia 76ers – PF Marresse Speights (Pick possibly going to Hawks along with Willie Green and Thaddeus Young as part of sign and trade deal for Josh Smith)
17. Indiana Pacers – C Robin Lopez
18. Washington Wizards – PF Darrell Arthur
19. Cleveland Cavaliers – PG Mario Chalmers
20. Charlotte Bobcats – C DeAndre Jordan
21. New Jersey Nets – SG/SF Chris Douglas Roberts
22. Orlando Magic – PF Jason Thomson
23. Utah Jazz – C JaVale McGee
24. Seattle Sonics – PF Serge Ibaka
25. Houston Rockets – SF Donte Green
26. San Antonio Spurs – PF Alexis Ajinca
27. Portland Blazers – C Ante Tomic
28. Memphis Grizzlies – SG Courtney Lee
29. Detroit Pistons – PF Ryan Anderson
30. Boston Celtics – PG/SG Kyle Weaver