** NEW TRADE SCENARIO: The Memphis Grizzlies trade the rights to the second pick in the 2009 NBA Draft to the New York Knicks for PF David Lee and the rights to the eighth pick in the 2009 NBA Draft. **
When the ping pong balls sealed the fates of the 14 teams in the NBA’s draft lottery, the trade that seemed the most like a no-brainer was Memphis swapping picks with Sacramento at numbers two and four, respectively. As time has passed, however, a new deal has developed, which I think makes that one seem far fetched: the New York Knicks, who own the rights to the #8 pick, moving up to Memphis’ pick at #2.
Here’s the scenario: The Knicks are looking to make a splash, especially after LeBron James stated recently that he’s never given any indication that he’s looking to make a move to the Big Apple. Already armed with a top ten pick, the Knicks will spend the next couple of weeks working out a deal with physical power forward David Lee. Come draft day, the Knicks deal Lee and their number eight selection to Memphis for the number two pick.
The deal works for Memphis because they maximize their assets. They would love to land a physical, defensive paint presence with their pick, (Many recent mock drafts have Memphis passing on Ricky Rubio and selecting Hasheem Thabeet at number two.) but too many teams value Rubio for Memphis to pass on him. The best case for Memphis is either to move down and stockpile picks and use at least one on a big man, or trade down and get a veteran big man in the deal. Sacramento could offer the first deal, but New York can offer the second.
Dealing with Sacramento means Memphis would likely land Jordan Hill or Thabeet at number four and a hit-or-miss point guard or small forward at #23. (Assuming the deal would be #2 for #4 and #23, or something similar.) Dealing with New York, on the other hand, would land Memphis a proven rebounder in Lee, along with (likely) an elite combo or off-guard type with the eighth pick. This seems like hands down the better option for Memphis.
The deal also works for the Knicks, because of the “wow” factor. Rubio is one of the top two or three prospects in the draft, but may have the best upside. He is also the “sexiest” pick in the draft, which has to play a role to a team playing in the biggest market in the NBA. Also, the Knicks have their fans (who attend the draft in droves), and the NBA’s biggest star to consider. James and Rubio would provide more court awareness than any other duo in the NBA.
1) LAC- Blake Griffin- PF (Oklahoma)
2) NYK- Ricky Rubio- PG (Spain)
3) OKC- James Harden- SG (Arizona State)
4) SAC- Jonny Flynn- PG (Syracuse)
5) WAS- Hasheem Thabeet- C (Connecticut)
6) MIN- Stephen Curry- PG (Davidson)
7) GSW- Jordan Hill- PF (Arizona)
8) MEM- DeMar DeRozan- SG (Southern Cal)
9) TOR- Tyreke Evans- SG (Memphis)
10) MIL- Brandon Jennings- PG (Italy)
11) NJN- James Johnson- PF (Wake Forest)
12) CHA- DeJuan Blair- PF (Pittsburgh)
13) IND- Jrue Holiday- PG (UCLA)
14) PHO- Earl Clark- PF (Louisville)
15) DET- BJ Mullens- C (Ohio State)
16) CHI- Wayne Ellington- SG (North Carolina)
17) PHI- Eric Maynor- PG (Virginia Commonwealth)
18) MIN- Terrence Williams- SF (Louisville)
19) ATL- Jeff Teague- PG (Wake Forest)
20) UTA- Gerald Henderson- SG (Duke)
21) NOH- Chase Buddinger- SG (Arizona)
22) DAL- Patty Mills- PG (St. Mary’s)
23) SAC- Austin Daye- SF (Gonzaga)
24) POR- Omri Casspi- SF (Israel)
Oklahoma City trades the 25th pick of the 2009 NBA Draft to San Antonio for a future first-round pick and cash considerations.
25) SAS- Jermaine Taylor- SG (Central Florida)
26) CHI- Sam Young- SF (Pittsburgh)
27) MEM- Ty Lawson- PG (North Carolina)
28) MIN- Darren Collison- PG (UCLA)
29) LAL- Derrick Brown- SF (Xavier)
30) CLE- Marcus Thornton- SG (Louisiana State)