League executives are bracing for the 2019 NBA draft to feature more traded picks than usual, according to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony (Insider link). As Givony details, the Lakers (No. 4) and Suns (No. 6) are active in trade discussions and would be willing to part with their first-round picks for the right established veteran(s).
The Cavaliers have also been mentioned by Givony’s sources as a team that has been active in trade talks involving picks in both rounds. Currently, Cleveland only holds the fifth and 26th overall selections, so the team may be looking to trade into the second round.
Additionally, multiple agents representing potential lottery-caliber players tell Givony they’ve talked to teams who say they have the ability to trade for the No. 10 overall pick, held by the Hawks. That’s a signal that Atlanta has been willing to discuss that selection in trade conversations.
Here’s more draft-related buzz from Givony:
- Given the lack of consensus on many prospects outside of the top three, this year’s draft figures to be unpredictable even if there aren’t a ton of trades, Givony writes. Health is also a factor that could contribute to draft uncertainty — as Givony explains, prospects like Ja Morant, Cam Reddish, Romeo Langford, Bol Bol, and PJ Washington are currently injured and unable to work out for teams, while a number of healthy players have been unwilling to submit to physicals, with their agents apparently trying to steer them to specific destinations.
- NBA teams are becoming frustrated by the increasing gaps in prospects’ medical information, according to Givony, who hears from a source that approximately 25 players at the combine didn’t fully complete the league-issued medical exam. Per Givony, a group of NBA owners have asked commissioner Adam Silver not to lower the age limit for the draft without getting concessions related to medical exams. “This is pretty easy for the NBA to clean up,” one owner said. “Because your physical health is germane to the job, the NBA can just require it in a future CBA.”
- International early entrants have six more days to decide whether to remain in the draft or pull out, as the NBA’s official withdrawal deadline falls on June 10. Many of those prospects are in the United States to participate in private workouts for teams in the hopes of receiving assurances that they’ll be drafted, says Givony. Although 59 international early entrants declared for the draft, most of those players figure to withdraw in the coming days.