In principal most of us, including me, are against trading the pick. Heck, I personally didn't feel much for trading it for 'veteran depth' at #8. I think we all still have a sour taste in our mouth's because of our trade for Miller and Foye in 2009. Moreover, we didn't land #8, we have landed #3.
Porter is by far the community consensus as to whom to pick at #3. He can spread the floor, handle/create and looks to become a good defender in the NBA. He has no big holes in his game whatsoever and at 19 yrs many recon he already is the most NBA ready player in this draft He would be a perfect fit and the majority of us are really exited about a Wall, Beal, Porter core for years to come.
However, what if Porter is not there anymore? What if Cleveland takes him #1? It's not likely, but they are really high on Porter in terms of fit with Irving, Waiters and Thompson. What if Orlando takes him rr what if they deal the #2 to Cleveland and they take Otto at #2?
Are the players then left on the board, really worth drafting at #3 at all for us? Providing Noel and Porter are gone, lets look at the other possible candidates: McLemore is redundant with Beal and I don't feel like he is a better prospect than Brad at this point in time. The same goes for Burke and, to an even larger extend, McCollum with regards to Wall. Then there is Bennet of course, who seems very polished but severely undersized and plays only half of the game as he is non existent on D. Although he is athletic and is a good (potentially elite) scorer I think he can't become a 3 in the NBA at least not one that would fit well with Wall & Beal. As a big, I just wonder if he'll pan out against bigger, stronger and equally or more polished NBA bigman. I mean, in terms of size you have a Dirk, Love, Aldridge and Garnet, then you have a Zebo, a West and there's a Millsap. Then there is a Booker and then you have Bennet......
That brings us to players who surely aren't worth taking in the top 3 like Len, Zeller, Shabazz or heck, it's Ernie after all, Saric. All players we have more or less discussed about at #8 and are more for long term depth than actual core contributors imho.
Of course we won't really know if Porter is off the board until we are up to pick, but given the above consideration a trade scenario should be included in Ernie's strategy preparation imho. I don't advocate making a trade befóre the draft under any circumstance, which unfortunately is typical for Ernie and how he missed out on Rubio and Curry in 2009 and almost lost Beal in 2012. He also showed his cards early with Vesely for whom of course there was no competition anyway.
So, are there any trades worth thinking about? Yes there are, but not many:
Nene + #3 for Love + #9
Of course this trade depends on how Kevin feels about the Wolves these days but if he does want to leave, a top three pick and a near all star center might be the best Flip can do to save some grace. The trade works financially. Losing Nene is not a concern to me because he was always going to be a bridge player to help mature our youngsters, not a long term core piece and Love is.
Furthermore, we would have picked around #9 in the first place anyway. Like I said above, there are some prospects that would still be available for depth or we could trade it for (good) veteran depth if we package it with young players, second rounders and/or future picks.
The main reason of course is Kevin Love. He is an All Star, still relatively young and a core of Wall, Beal, Love would contend for the playoffs immediately as well as for years to come. Especially if we manage to re-sign Okafor, Ariza and Webster at reasonable prices. Depending on the development of Wall and Beal as well as the quality of the rest of the supporting cast going forward (cap management!) we might even be a title contender one day.
That said, Kevin Love is a top 3 PF, maybe even the best PF in the league and he spreads the floor for Wall. Other than Love I don't really see another possible available player in his tier that fits so well with Wall. Cousins is mentioned a lot and I really like him but he isn't in Kevin's tier yet and due to his considerable downsides might never get there or will but forever be an inconsistant enigma due to his immaturity/anger problems. Derrick Williams is an interesting option. He might be available and he might be more talented and a better fit than anyone outside of Noel or Porter. I'd still be hesitant to pull the trigger because you are trading for potential and his ceiling isn't Kevin Love's tier imho. You might think about Smoove as a candidate as well but I regard him a bit lower than Love as a player ánd as fit with Wall, not to mention it would be contingent on a max deal sign and trade. Aldridge or Batum might be out there too but I don't think they are in Kevin's tier if Porter is gone though, I might think about it for a while. Finally, there is Granger. His name is always lingering around but at this point, he is too old and not good enough to give up a #3 imho and he is overpaid.
Oviously, it takes two to tango but going indepth into what makes each trade scenario work for both parties in each trade is a bit beyond this post.
So, one deal that I think would definitely be worth thinking about even with Porter still available at #3, a few I would consider if Porter is gone. What do you guys think?