The NBA Finals ended in a sweep, meaning there are more than two weeks left before the 2018 NBA Draft and no postseason basketball games to distract us. This means it’s officially rumor season and time to speculate wildly about what we’ll see come June 21.
Last year’s NBA Draft was the beginning of a wild summer with a few significant trades, none bigger than Jimmy Butler being dealt to the Timberwolves for Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn, and a swap of first round picks. This summer promises to be fascinating, likely without the same volume of stars on the move as last year but with the biggest star in the game possibly setting off a domino effect behind him.
The NBA world will, as it so often is, be at the mercy of LeBron, whose decision almost certainly won’t be made until after the draft. But while there will be posturing for position around James’ new destination, there are plenty of teams that figure to at the least explore trade options during the draft, either to jockey for position in the LeBron sweepstakes or to better position themselves as part of a rebuilding process.
We’ll be focusing on teams that could make moves involving first round picks come June 21, because second round picks get dealt and sold [stares right at the Bulls] all the time and rarely are splashy moves in the moment. There are a number of teams that figure to at least explore trades, particularly those with multiple first round picks or without significant cap space but clearly have needs to shake up their roster.