Earlier this month, a major trade took place that sent Donovan Mitchell to the Cleveland Cavaliers. It’s not often that a young star gets traded, but it does happen occasionally.
When the next young star becomes available on the trade market, which team is best positioned to acquire that top-level talent?
These types of deals nearly always include young, rising prospects along with a massive haul of draft picks. When just focusing on the draft capital, which franchise is projected to have the best package?
The Draft Digest team discusses two that could be next in line for adding a young star via trade.
While teams like the Thunder and Jazz have accumulated massive amounts of assets in anticipation for a trade, we could still be a ways out from those teams pressing the go button.
Personally, I think the Pelicans could be primed and ready to make a massive move the next time a young star is looking for a new destination.
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There were whispers they were entertaining a Kevin Durant trade, and they’ve shown they’re prepared to go after their guys with proof in the CJ McCollum pudding.
New Orleans still has plenty of oh-so-valuable future Lakers picks, as well as several coveted young pieces in Herb Jones, Dyson Daniels, Jose Alvarado and more. If they wanted to create a three-headed monster with Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram, they very well could.
It hasn’t made sense up to this point, but the Oklahoma City Thunder will have to push some of the chips in eventually. They’ve got more picks than they’ll ever be able to use, while also already having a solid young core.
Entering the 2023-24 season, Oklahoma City will have Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Josh Giddey, Chet Holmgren and likely another top-five rookie from the 2023 NBA Draft. This means the team will have four players that have the upside to be starters on a legitimate playoff team. At that point, it will make sense to expedite the rebuild and acquire more proven talent.
As such, the Thunder could be willing to make a major trade as early as next summer. If there’s any franchise with the draft capital to make a splash, it’s Oklahoma City.
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