The NBA season is over and we’ve witnessed a historic ending. The Cleveland Cavaliers won their first title in franchise history, but now the focus shifts quickly. The NBA draft is on Thursday and there are many intriguing story lines heading in. After the first two picks, the draft is wide open, and there are several teams looking to make moves before or during the draft. This article will focus on teams to watch for potential trades at the 2016 NBA Draft.
Teams To Watch At The 2016 NBA Draft
The Celtics hold three picks in the first round, including the number three overall pick, and it’s no secret that they’ve been in the market for a star player and are willing to move the pick to do it. The Celtics have reportedly been interested in Chicago Bulls guard Jimmy Butler and Cavaliers forward Kevin Love, but the most likely trade seems to be a potential swap for last year’s number three overall pick Jahlil Okafor.
The 76ers have the number one pick in the draft and it looks like the pick is definitely going to be LSU’s Ben Simmons. What happens after that, though, is a total mystery. With the recent change in the front office from Sam Hinkie to former Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo, all signs point to the Sixers speeding up their rebuilding process. Reports say that they’re looking to trade one of either Jahlil Okafor or Nerlens Noel, as well as trying to acquire an additional top ten pick. Moving one of those players would likely allow them to do that, and if they trade with the Celtics to acquire the third overall pick, expect them to select Providence guard Kris Dunn.
Celts and Sixers trade talk heats up. Philly really really wants Dunn per Tim Welsch. @CSNNE
— Gary Tanguay (@Gary_Tanguay) June 20, 2016
The Raptors have recently come off their best season in franchise history, but hold the ninth overall pick in the draft due to their deal sending Andrea Bargnani to the New York Knicks in 2014. They’re expected to be in the market for an impact power forward, and they could use the early pick in a trade to acquire one. GM Masai Ujiri has said that he will keep all his options open regarding the pick, but unless anyone unexpectedly slips, look out for the Raptors to be in talks to move the pick.
The Bulls could hold the key to the entire draft trade chain of events. There’s no secret that there is interest around the league for Jimmy Butler, and even former MVP point guard Derrick Rose is getting some trade interest. Minnesota and Boston are both interested in Butler, so if the Bulls decide they need to rebuild, they can easily acquire a top 5 pick.