Five bold predictions, including the John Collins Kings-Hawks trade

Trade Kings with Collins among five bold NBA predictions originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

It’s the league that never sleeps.

Exactly one week after the Warriors won the 2021-22 NBA title in six games over the Boston Celtics, Commissioner Adam Silver will shake off the congratulations and handshakes as the next batch of prospects reach the biggest stage in basketball.

The 2022 NBA draft is here.

Dreams will be fulfilled, the draft will be announced theft and mistakes that will haunt franchises for years down the road will undoubtedly be made. Having said that, let’s dive into five bold predictions about what could unfold Thursday night at the Barclays Center in New York.

Surprise to start things off?

Leading the 2022 class is a unanimous big group – Gonzaga forward Chet Holmgren, Duke center/striker Paulo Banchero and Auburn forward Jabari Smith Jr. Orlando wouldn’t be able to deny Holmgren’s elite potential.

The 7-footer has the ball-handling skills of a goalkeeper and has succeeded in 39 percent of his 3-point attempts as a freshman with a Bulldog. He’s also blocked nearly four shots per game with his 7-foot-6 wingspan. It might take Holmgren a year or three to acclimate to an NBA physique, but Magic, who hasn’t progressed past the first round of the playoffs since 2009-2010 He only has time.

Additionally, Holmgren’s selection would bring him together again with Jalen Suggs, a four-season high school teammate at Minnehaha Academy in Minneapolis, Minnesota, who followed his footsteps to Spokane, Washington, to play for coach Mark Vue in Gonzaga.

Easy story to cheer.

Sacramento will have a new member in the start five before the draft begins.

In this hypothetical world of bold predictions, the Kings will send veteran winger Harrison Barnes and a second run or two to the Atlanta Hawks for Collins, the 24-year-old striker entering his sixth season in the NBA.

Collins, who has four years left on the five-year contract extension he signed with Atlanta last summer, will fit in well with Domantas Sabonis in the Kings front yard, cleaning up on the panels while also being able to serve as an adequate rim protector and floor space. For De’Aaron Fox Electric.

On Wednesday, Detroit Pistons shipped Jeramy Grant to the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for their first 2025 protected course and two selection swaps. This did nothing but lower the purchase price of Collins. In addition, Atlanta is looking to liquidate the money before a maximum contract for Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton is said to be signed and circulating this summer, according to Zach Harper of The Athletic.

If the Collins-to-Sactown trade occurs, there will only be positive feedback at Golden 1 Center heading into the draft. Which leads us to…

Jaden Ivy at No. 4

Taking what many consider to be the undisputed pick for fourth overall isn’t a very bold move for General Manager Monty McNair and the Kings, but taking into account all the wild trade rumors – which are said to include the Pistons (which owns the fifth pick), the Indiana Pacers (No. 6), the Washington Wizards (No. 10) and the New York Knicks (No. 11), according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski — we’ll list them here.

By trading for Sabonis on the 2021-22 deadline, the Kings signaled to the rest of the league that they want to win now. But identifying the top four players – and prioritizing star potential rather than whether or not a player is a perfect fit for the current squad – will help preserve that win. Iowa’s Keegan Murray, another top pick by analysts to land in Sacramento, is seen as more NBA ready than Ivey, but the latter has a much higher ceiling.

Ivy hasn’t quite completed the puzzle of the current Kings List, with the team already bragging about Fox and last year’s first-round choice Davon Mitchell on guard. But again, this is not what the lottery picks up. The first few choices are to take chances in claiming a potential star, which Ivey has the best chance of developing after Banchero, Holmgren and Smith are off the board.

Fox and Ivy run breakfast. Who guards it?

Dejounte Murray movie

In a report published Wednesday night, Bleacher Report’s Jake Fisher reported, citing sources, that the San Antonio Spurs are making commercial offers for Murray, who kicked off the All-Star season. Fisher named the Hawks after the team desperately seeking Murray’s trade, but guess who else needs a guard? Knicks.

With Sacramento stuck with Ivy in fourth overall and rejecting New York trade offers from No. 11, the Knicks became restless and a thorn around a pile of future first-round picks. According to Fisher’s report, Spurs are looking for a “Jrue Holiday-like package” for Murray, which means – at the very least – that they are looking for three first-round picks. New York has merchandise futures in the bank, including this year’s 11th pick, as well as a few young tradable assets like Obi Toppin and Immanuel Quickley.

Zion Williamson’s dream of calling the Madison Square Garden home quickly faded. Replacing everything but the Moon for Murray should give hungry Knicks fans hope after Julius Randle’s transition from All-Star in 2020-21 to a later stage last season.

It’s time (ma’am) for another move

The Trail Blazers demolished the first commercial dominoes of the drag week by acquiring Grant on Wednesday, but they’re not finished yet. Portland still has pick number 7, which would send him to Toronto in exchange for striker OG Anunoby.

Portland sank into full tank mode in 2021-22, finally dumping longtime teammate Damian Lillard as well as longtime teammate C.J. McCollum as well as Robert Covington, Larry Nance Jr. and Norman Powell. Getting Anunoby won’t propel the Trail Blazers to a title win, but it should keep Lillard happy as he enters the second year of his four-year extension.

Welcome to the NBA offseason, a three-month era of unbridled speculation. Let the chaos begin.

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