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NBA Rumors: Latest Trade Rumblings Following 2017 Draft Lottery

May 18, 2017 at 02:00PM / by Ryan McCrystal via Bleacher Report - Front Page

The 2017 NBA draft order was officially set on Tuesday night as the lottery teams learned of their fate. 

The Boston Celtics, thanks to a pick acquired from the Brooklyn Nets, earned the No. 1 selection, followed by the Los Angeles Lakers and Philadelphia 76ers.  

With the draft order now locked in place, teams can begin more seriously exploring trade possibilities since they now know exactly what assets with which they have to work. Additionally, teams at the top of the draft have a better idea of which prospects may be available and which current players on their roster could become expendable. 

While we likely won't see many trades leading up to the draft, most draft-day trades are discussed well in advance and some of those talks may have already begun. 

Here's a look at a few of the latest rumors swirling around the league regarding players and picks that may be available on draft day. 

     

Celtics Trading No. 1 Pick?

The No. 1 overall pick is rarely traded in the NBA, but the Celtics' unique situation will certainly generate speculation. 

In his latest mock draft, ESPN.com's Chad Ford suggested the Celtics could potentially land Paul George from the Indiana Pacers or Jimmy Butler from the Chicago Bulls if they're willing to part with the top pick. 

Celtics co-owner Wyc Grousbeck may be pushing for the Celtics to keep the No. 1 selection, however. According to ESPN's Chris Forsberg, Grousbeck had this to say about the value of keeping the top selection:

Celtics general manager Danny Ainge appears to be less certain about the Celtics' plans. According to NBC Sports' Kurt Helin, after winning the lottery Ainge said the team would explore their options, and spoke specifically about the increased value of the No. 1 pick compared to its theoretical value when they explored deals at the trade deadline in February. 

     

Knicks Want More Draft Picks

The New York Knicks landed the eighth pick in the draft, one slot lower than their lottery odds. The team is likely to stay put and use the eighth selection, but team president Phil Jackson may also be interested in acquiring another first-round pick, according to ESPN.com's Ian Begley

Begley specifically referenced Jackson's desire to trade Carmelo Anthony as a potential avenue to acquiring extra draft picks. 

Anthony has been the subject of plenty of rumors since Jackson arrived in New York, but his no-trade clause makes pursuing such a deal difficult for the organization. 

If New York does acquire an extra first-round pick, Begley mentioned North Carolina forward Justin Jackson as a likely target in the middle of the first round. The 6'8" forward averaged 18.3 points per game for the Tar Heels this past season and could be viewed by the Knicks as a young replacement for Anthony. 

     

D'Angelo Russell May be on the Trade Block

The Lakers selected D'Angelo Russell with the No. 2 overall selection just two years ago, but he may already be on the move. 

By landing the No. 2 pick in this year's draft, the Lakers are ensured a chance to draft either UCLA's Lonzo Ball or Washington's Markelle Fultz, both of whom could take Russell's job as the starting point guard in Los Angeles. 

While the Lakers likely haven't settled on a target at No. 2, other teams in the league are anticipating their decision and preparing to swoop in and land Russell in a trade. 

According to Jake Fischer of SI.com, multiple teams are already "evaluating trade packages" in an effort to acquire Russell. 

Since the Lakers won't know for certain if they can land their top target until draft day, it's possible these early discussions could set the table for a blockbuster trade once the Lakers have landed either Fultz or Ball. 



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