Currently, some teams are really outperforming their expectations, while others aren’t and in a season where ending up with the worst record can be a good thing, given the strength of next year’s draft, I think this opens up a lot of opportunities.
For instance, the Sixers were projected to be among the worst teams, but they are playing really well due to Michael Carter-Williams and the improvement of Spencer Hawes and Evan Turner, so they may not end up with that top pick they’re hoping for. Like this article on truehoop (http://espn.go.com/b...nge-sixers-plan) says, they may actually start dealing some of their guys, such as Spencer Hawes, Evan Turner and Thad Young, so that they can get that top pick to pair with Noel and MCW.
Then there are the Wizards who had hoped to be able to make the playoffs, but haven’t been looking good so far. If this continues, I could see them making a desperate move to try and improve or go the other way and make moves to try and aim for the draft. This could make some of their guys available – if they’re aiming for the bottom I could see them moving all players except for Wall and Beal.
You also have a team like the Celtics that obviously are rebuilding and gunning for the draft, but have many guys on long deals that they wish to get rid of. I think all players are available, if it means shortening their rebuilding period.
I’m not saying we should expect a Steve Blake for Rondo or Wall deal anytime soon, but in a season where nobody wants to be mediocre, I could see the Lakers pulling a Kwame-for-Pau-esque trade out of their hat during the season from a team making a push either for the draft or the playoffs.
Is this crazy talk?