Buy or Sell Post-NBA Draft Trade Rumors and Buzz

The 2023 NBA Draft is officially over, meaning all offseason attention can now shift to free agency and trade season.

With all 58 choices madewe now have some clarity on Zion Williamson’s potential availability, the Portland Trail Blazers’ plans for Scoot Henderson, the New York Knicks’ next potential trade target and more.

It’s time to buy or sell the latest NBA offseason rumors in this post-draft edition.

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Zion Williamson was a hot name in pre-draft trade talks, with rumors that the New Orleans Pelicans would potentially part ways with one of their franchise stars in hopes of moving up to select Scoot Henderson.

This never came to be as Williamson remains in a Pelicans jersey and New Orleans remained No. 14 overall and selected UConn guard Jordan Hawkins.

“I didn’t find a general manager around the league who told me they were offered Zion Williamson in any trade talks here in recent weeks,” ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported during the broadcast. “Now New Orleans tried to package this No. 14 pick and some other future assets to move up in the draft. They weren’t able to do that. But Zion Williamson has been in the Pelicans practice facility more this offseason than in the last year Look, he only played 29 games last season, dominant when he was on the floor. This is an organization so far committed to Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram.”

No player in the NBA may have a more difficult trade value to try to decipher than Williamson, a bulldozer with the footwork of a ballerina when he’s on the floor.

New Orleans had other assets to try to use to move up, including future first-round picks from the Los Angeles Lakers and Milwaukee Bucks and other young players like Trey Murphy III and Dyson Daniels. Using Williamson or Ingram was probably a last resort.

Williamson, 22, is safe for now, though another injury could severely hurt his trade value. The Pelicans continue to play with fire, all the while hoping for the best from a player who is arguably a top-10 talent in the rare time he steps on the court.

Buy or sell: Buy though this could change as the offseason marches on.

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After failing to land Donovan Mitchell last season and coming off a playoff run in which they shot under 30 percent from three, the New York Knicks may be motivated to go star shopping after a floor-spacing this summer.

According to Los Angeles Times’ Andrew Greif and Broderick Turner“The Clippers and Knicks have been in talks about a potential trade for wing Paul George, according to people with knowledge of the situation who were not authorized to comment publicly on the matter, talks that were initiated by New York.”

George would be an ideal fit for the Knicks as he joins a starting lineup that would presumably still have Jalen Brunson and Julius Randle to form a new Big Three.

The eight-time All-Star averaged 23.8 points per game this past season and is a career 38.1 percent shooter from three. He has also played in 108 playoff games across 10 postseason runs.

Of course, the cost of getting George combined with his contract and recent injury history has put everything on hold for now.

As Greif and Turner wrote, “after some internal discussions, the Knicks have become hesitant to acquire George. The Knicks also believe George’s representatives will ask for a contract extension. He will make $45.6 million next season and $48.8 million the following season if he exercises his option.”

He would be eligible to sign a four-year, $220 million extension this summer, a steep price to pay for a 33-year-old who hasn’t topped 56 games in any of his four seasons in Los Angeles.

New York should only seriously pursue George if the asking price is reasonable and if the team is at least comfortable paying him this year and next. If not, walking away is also a perfectly reasonable strategy.

Buy or sell: Sell ​​a Knicks George trade being made due to his recent durability issues and contract.

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Brook Lopez is arguably the best center on the free agent market, even at age 35, as he finished second in Defensive Player of the Year this past season while averaging 15.9 points, 6.7 rebounds, 2 .5 blocks and shot 37.4 percent from three.

While Lopez returning to the title-contending Bucks seems like the most likely path, a rebuilding team loaded with cap space is reportedly pursuing the veteran big man.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the Houston Rockets are “going to be a real threat” for Lopez in free agency. According to Spotrac’s Keith SmithThe Rockets’ $60.9 million in cap space is the most of any NBA team.

The Bucks have Lopez’s Bird rights and don’t need the cap space to re-sign their starting center, though Milwaukee has a number of free agents they’ll need to bring back. As it stands, the Bucks already have $115 million was owed to just six players.

Khris Middleton just declined a $40 million player option and will need a significant multi-year deal to return. Jae Crowder and Joe Ingles are unrestricted free agents, and Jevon Carter can decline a $2.2 million player option to become one as well.

This Bucks team is expected to go deep into the luxury tax to even keep its own roster. Even if the Rockets can make Lopez a mega-offer (three years, $75 million?), it would still be hard to imagine him leaving a title contender for a team likely to miss the playoffs again.

Buy or sell: Shop Lopez for a meeting with Houston, sell him who actually signs there.

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While Cleveland had a quiet draft night, with the exception of taking Emoni Bates at No. 49 overall, trade offers are reportedly coming for one of the Cavaliers’ core four.

According to Chris Fedor from, “Cavs continue to receive trade offers for All-Star center Jarrett Allen.”

Fedor added: “None of the trade overtures have been appealing enough, and so far the Cavs are saying to rival teams, ‘Thanks, but no thanks.'” Some of the packages have involved multiple players. Others have been more pick-centric, which has possible for Cleveland to recover some lost assets after last summer’s blockbuster trade for second-team All-NBA guard Donovan Mitchell. There are also some who combine picks and players.”

Trading Allen now would mean selling low on a player who made the All-Star team in 2022 and is one of the best rim protectors in the NBA.

The 25-year-old had a terrible playoff game against the New York Knicks, getting routinely pushed around by Mitchell Robinson and finishing the series with just 9.4 points and 7.4 rebounds in 38.2 minutes. Questions about the sustainability of starting two non-shooting bigs with Allen and Evan Mobley are also reasonable.

Still, Allen is young, on a good contract (just $20 million each of the next three years) and averaging a double-double (14.5 points, 10.1 rebounds) since being traded to Cleveland at the beginning of 2020.

Trying to trade him for a high-level wing like OG Anunoby is one thing. Simply flipping Allen for future draft picks defeats the purpose of trying to win now with Mitchell.

Buy or sell: Sell ​​the Cavs trading Allen unless a borderline All-Star small forward comes back in return.

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Perhaps the most interesting part of the 2023 draft was Portland’s No. 3 overall pick and whether the Blazers would trade it to add win-now talent around Damian Lillard.

However, no trade came, and Portland took Scoot Henderson and added to an already young and ball-dominant backcourt of Shaedon Sharpe and Anfernee Simons.

Something has to give here, especially if Lillard stays with the Blazers. This roster has become too guard-heavy and too inexperienced to even make the Western Conference playoffs.

While Lillard’s future is in doubt, Henderson is seemingly safe in Portland.

“Right now, all signs point to Scoot Henderson being there,” Shams Charania of the Stadium reported (t/t Real GM). “I’ve been told that several teams, including the New Orleans Pelicans, reached out and Portland showed no interest in moving him.”

This shouldn’t please Lillard, as the veteran guard is set to turn 33 next month but is now surrounded by three ball handlers whose average age is 21.

According to Bleacher Report’s Chris HaynesLillard “has not had any recent communication with the Portland Trail Blazers involving the draft, free agency or his future”.

Not great, Bob.

What promises to be an interesting offseason in Portland has just begun. There’s no way all four guards survive the summer in the Pacific Northwest.

Buy or sell: Buy that Henderson is safe for now, sell that the Blazers keep all three of their young guards this offseason if Lillard stays.

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