We are officially in the heat of fake trade season as the NBA Draft quickly approaches and evaluators are so sick of coming up with mock drafts that they are getting crazy and introducing wild trade scenarios into the mix.
I won’t lie, I’m here for it.
Especially as the Detroit Pistons are in that tier of the draft where there seems to be little difference from picks 6 to 26. Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report has his latest mock on display and it features three trades that completely upend the first round.
Again, I’m here for it.
One of those trades involves the Detroit Pistons. In Wasserman’s mock, the Pistons forgo the opportunity to draft Issac Okoro, Killian Hayes and Onyeka Okongwu and instead trade down with the Blazers for No. 16, No. 46 and 21-year-old guard Anfernee Simons.
Simons was a hot development prospect at this time a year ago, but he struggled mightily in his first season receiving real minutes. Still, at only 21 years old and with some ball handling ability, he’s the kind of player it makes sense for a rebuilding team to take on and see if he can become a real player.
At No. 16, Wasserman has the Pistons selecting Saddiq Bey, the Villanova forward. Wasserman writes: “The Pistons need weapons, and by trading down, they can add two in Simons and Bey. Simons, who just turned 21 years old this summer, would add shot-making and athleticism to Detroit’s backcourt. Bey would give the Pistons a knockdown shooter, but also a potential secondary playmaker with his pick-and-roll play and passing.”
There is another trade, however, that intrigues me even more from a Pistons perspective. He has the Knicks, picking right after Detroit with the eighth selection, trading down with the Boston Celtics for picks No. 14, No. 26 and Tremont Waters.
While I like Bey, moving those two spots from 16 to 14 opens up the possibility to draft two players I am even higher on, at least the way this mock draft shook out. At No. 14, the Knicks select Alabama point guard Kira Lewis Jr. At No. 15, Wasserman has the Hawks (via another trade) selecting Aaron Nesmith, a small forward from Vanderbilt who is also considered the top 3-point shooter in the draft class.
Incidentally, a fake trade not included in this mock but a spot I always keep an eye on is No. 19 with the Brooklyn Nets. The Nets might be interested in trading No. 19 if someone is willing to take on Taurean Prince as the team looks to shore up its finances so it can more easily retain Joe Harris, who will be a hot name on the free agent market.
In this mock, No. 19 is just before a run on late first-round point guards. Wasserman has the Nets taking Jaden McDaniels a forward out of Washington but in the subsequent picks you see Malachi Flynn, Tyrell Terry, Cole Anthony and Cassius Winston come off the board. Aleksej Pokusevski is also available at 19, which I feel obligated to mention for some reason.
What do you think about the fake Portland Trade that would net the Pistons Anfernee Simons and Saddiq Bey plus a second rounder? What do you think about the potential Celtics trade as an alternative that would net the Pistons a chance to draft Kira Lewis Jr or Aaron Nesmith and No. 26 to take a flyer on a developmental point guard or another player?
Should we keep going with the DBB Draft Board to potentially account for all these crazy trade possibilities?