Kings, Blazers, Pelicans Likely To Trade Top 10 Pick In 2022 NBA Draft

NBA Trade Rumors
NBA Analysis Network

WIth the 2022 NBA Lottery now behind us, teams are going to begin finalizing their draft boards knowing who could be available in their range. At the same time, organizations can now begin making plans to see what kind of moves they can make to upgrade their rosters.

This year’s draft class has a consensus top-three forming in Jabari Smith Jr. of Auburn, Chet Holmgren of Gonzaga, and Paolo Banchero of Duke. After that, it is pretty wide open in terms of who will be selected for that next tier.

Because there are such a limited number of teams with projected cap space, a lot of trades are expected to be made. The 2022 NBA Draft will be the first chance some of these teams have to make moves and some have already emerged to keep an eye on.

Three that are expected to actively look for a trade partner are the Sacramento Kings, Portland Trail Blazers, and New Orleans Pelicans. The Kings were one of the biggest winners in the lottery, moving up to the No. 4 pick. The Trail Blazers fell one spot, selecting No. 7, while the Pelicans will be on the clock at No. 8, courtesy of the Los Angeles Lakers.

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The Sacramento Kings are looking to snap an NBA record 16-year playoff drought and is hoping to acquire more established veterans to help them break that streak. The No. 4 pick should net them an impact player if one becomes available, or they could look to trade back with a team lower in the first round, acquiring a rotation player at the very least in that scenario.

The Portland Trail Blazers had a fire sale at the trade deadline, moving on from several rotation players. Their goal this offseason is to rebuild the roster around Damian Lillard and the No. 7 overall pick is going to be a good bargaining chip in acquiring one. Jerami Grant of the Detroit Pistons has been mentioned as a trade target.

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The New Orleans Pelicans advanced through the NBA Play-In Tournament, defeating the San Antonio Spurs and LA Clippers to earn the No. 8 seed in the playoff bracket. They gave the Phoenix Suns a good test, pushing the series to six games.

The Pelicans look like they can make some more noise next season if they can get Zion Williamson back, healthy in the mix. After hitting gold with their 2021 draft class with Trey Murphy III, Herb Jones and Jose Alvardo, the Pelicans could be on the lookout for another veteran instead of another lottery pick that could be a project.

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All three teams are looking to put themselves in a position to contend for a playoff spot during the 2022-23 season. They could be vying for the same players, which will lead to some heated discussions this offseason.