In case you missed it, we here at SBNation NBA recently performed a mock live draft with the editors of each respective blog acting as their team's respective GMs. We also included the ability to make trades to provide a more realistic simulation of the draft. You can check out the results here.
As Sacramento's representative, I went into the mock draft with the mentality of trading the pick to get a veteran asset while also trying to stay in the draft, something that I feel is similar to what the actual Kings will try to do. If I couldn't find a trade, the guys I would have most coveted at #8 included Marcus Smart, Aaron Gordon and Noah Vonleh. I also had several targets should I trade down including Elfrid Payton, Adreian Payne, Nik Stauskas, Rodney Hood and K.J. McDaniels.
The first thing I did was email Eric, CanisHoopus's editor, about a possible trade for Kevin Love. I offered the #8 pick, Ben McLemore, Jason Thompson, Jason Terry and Travis Outlaw for Love and Kevin Martin. It wasn't long before Eric did the equivalent of hanging up the phone on me, essentially saying that he'd rather risk Love walking away for nothing than go for that package, which is fair enough. The package that Eric eventually got for Love was much better:
Kevin Love is traded to Boston for the 6th pick this year, the Celtics 2015 1st rounder, the Nets 2016 first rounder, Kelly Olynyk, Brandon Bass, and Keith Bogans.
Not to be completely denied, I offered the 8th pick to Minnesota for Gorgui Dieng straight up. Eric was more receptive to this but eventually declined.
The next team I contacted was Orlando, asking Evan Dunlap of Orlando Pinstriped Post if there was any interest in trading Arron Afflalo and the 12th pick for the 8th. His response:
I don't see anyone on the Kings' roster who really piques my interest. Okay, apart from DeMarcus, but I understand he's off limits. I don't think the Magic are the right team to develop Derrick Williams, nor are they in a situation where they could really use Jason Terry's expiring deal.
The next team I contacted I knew would be a longshot but I figured it was worth a shot. I wanted Klay Thompson and Golden State of Mind had Klay Thompson. I shot over an offer of #8, McLemore, Williams and one of Thompson/Landry/Terry for Thompson and David Lee, knowing that it would almost certainly be shot down but trying to gauge Thompson's value. The response I got back from Nate of GSOM was this:
I wouldn't say Thompson is entirely off the table, but it would have to be to make a significant upgrade rather than losing talent - giving up Thompson, who fits well with the roster and still has room to grow, for shaky potential isn't worth it.
As for the Lee part of that deal, salary relief is not a meaningful goal to us unless it puts us in a position to make a run at a max player.
I'll let you know if I come up with a counter-offer, but I'm going to turn down this trade offer.
At least he let me down easy.
Finally I got my first offer, from Phoenix. Dave King over at Bright Side of the Sun tried to rope in the Kings and Sixers for a three team trade that would see Sacramento send out the 8th pick, Williams and Terry and get back Plumlee, Green and the 18th. Both Philadelphia and I passed on the deal, although I did mention that I would maybe consider it from Sacramento's end as a two-way trade if the pick coming back to the Kings was the 14th rather than the 18th. Eventually we had a tentative deal to trade the 8th pick for the 14th and Plumlee if certain guys were there at 8. I tried to rope Dragic into the deal somehow but it would have cost me McLemore and I didn't want to do that for a potential one year rental. I would continue to shop the pick however for more preferable scenarios and backup plans.
Mike Levin of Liberty Ballers sent me an e-mail asking if I was interested in Thad Young at all. Like I told him, Thad Young doesn't do too much for me. He's good but not great and he's kind of an awkward fit in that he's a tweener forward that isn't a great shooter or rebounder. He's essentially Derrick Williams if Derrick Williams could figure out how to be consistent. Still, I let him know that the interest could be there if Sacramento could also get the 10th pick and get rid of Jason Thompson's contract in the process. After some haggling we didn't really come to a deal so he asked me to sit on an offer of Thad/32 for JT/Acy/8 for a day or two. JT's contract isn't toxic enough for me to give up a lottery pick to get rid of it however, so I likely would have declined that if he had kept the offer out there, but instead he ended up trading Thad elsewhere and came back with an offer of the 10, 32, 54 and Arnett Moultrie for the #8 depending on if Aaron Gordon or Noah Vonleh were there. That was something I could work with.
I counter-offered trading the 8th and Thompson for 10th and Jason Richardson, because the 54 and Moultrie didn't do much for me. However while I was haggling with Philadelphia I was also sending e-mails to Ricky O'Donnell of Blog-A-Bull regarding Taj Gibson. I offered them the 8th pick, Jason Thompson and Quincy Acy for the 16th, 19th and Taj Gibson as well as removing all protections from Sacramento's future first rounder that the Bulls own (essentially making it a 2015 1st rounder). Ricky passed on this because it didn't clear enough salary from Chicago's books to pursue Carmelo or LeBron since they would have to take Thompson back and also because Gibson was the best player in the deal. Putting two and two together I brought in the Sixers and proposed a three way trade to perhaps alleviate some of Chicago's concerns: Chicago would get the 10th and 32nd picks, Sacramento would get the 16th and Gibson, and Philadelphia would get the 8th, 19th and Jason Thompson. Mike immediately agreed on this trade for Philadelphia, but Ricky wanted to think it over, as his ideal scenario for getting Carmelo would be a sign and trade that allowed them to retain Gibson.
Philadelphia then upped the offer for Chicago by proposing that they take Carlos Boozer's contract off Philadelphia's hands as well in a deal that would have to be executed July 1st. Philadelphia would get the #8 pick, #19 pick, a 2015 Portland 2nd (via Chicago), Thompson, Boozer, Terry and Acy. Chicago would get the 10th pick and massive salary relief to go chase Melo outright. Sacramento would get Gibson, Jason Richardson and the 16th pick. This is the deal that was eventually agreed to by all parties.
For Sacramento's part, I was thrilled. I had managed to get Taj Gibson, a defensive minded veteran who was also capable offensively and was locked up for a few more years. I got rid of Jason Thompson, who desperately needed a new start and I swapped Terry and Richardson's expiring deals because Richardson could help provide a little 3 and D as McLemore continues to grow into his role. Getting the 16th pick was great too, because I felt I could still get a quality player at that spot, with my primary target being Elfrid Payton.
Once that trade was completed, I didn't solicit any further trade options as I was satisfied with my acquisitions. When the 16th pick came around, Payton was available and I gladly took him.
Hopefully you enjoyed this insight into what was a very fun simulation of the NBA Draft. I can't wait to see what actually goes down Thursday for Sacramento.