The Kings and Mavericks are open to the possibility of moving down in the draft, multiple NBA front-office executives tell Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer. Sacramento holds the No. 2 pick, while Dallas owns the No. 5 overall selection.
As O’Connor observes, the Kings are in the “asset-stacking business,” so if they can still nab a player they like with a later pick and acquire an extra asset or two in the process, that could appeal to them. Sacramento has shown a willingness to move down in each of the last two drafts, trading the No. 8 pick in 2016 and the No. 10 pick in 2017. The Kings have also reportedly shown “significant interest” in Michael Porter Jr. over the past year, and Porter isn’t expected to go as high as No. 2.
As for the Mavericks, they’ll be trying to compete for the playoffs next season, according to O’Connor. I get the sense that Dallas would be happy to keep that No. 5 pick to pair Dennis Smith Jr. with another potential franchise cornerstone, and GM Donnie Nelson has suggested as much. However, it sounds like the Mavs wouldn’t rule out trading down if the right offer came along.
We’ve now heard rumors that all five teams picking in the top five might be open to moving down. A May report indicated that the Grizzlies would listen to offers for the No. 4 pick, and the general managers in Phoenix and Atlanta have both left the door open to potential deals for No. 1 and No. 3, respectively.
As ESPN’s Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz wrote today, while Deandre Ayton is the strong frontrunner to be picked first overall, there are several prospects at the top of this year’s draft class that certain teams are very high on. Givony notes that some clubs love Luka Doncic, for instance, while others only have him sixth and seventh on their boards. “You hear similar things about [Mohamed] Bamba, [Jaren] Jackson, [Marvin] Bagley, Porter and even Ayton at times,” Givony writes.
[RELATED: Teams angling to move up, grab Jaren Jackson]
In other words, the possibility that a team picking in the top five might view a top prospect much differently than a team outside the top five could create some interesting trade opportunities next week.