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Vendetta Roundtable: Who’s the best player on your favorite NBA team you would trade for No. 1 pick?

NBA Trade
The Atlanta Hawks were the grand winners of the 2024 NBA Draft Lottery. (David Banks-USA TODAY Sports)

Vendetta Roundtable: Who’s the best player on your favorite NBA team you would trade for No. 1 pick?

We are nearly a week removed from the 2024 NBA Draft Lottery, which ultimately resulted in the Atlanta Hawks leaping nine spots to secure the No. 1 pick.

It was a development that surprised many, including Hawks general manager Landry Fields. While this may be a poor (top of the) draft without a clear consensus No. 1 pick, it’s never bad to have the top-overall selection in your back pocket just in case.

But Trey posed a fascinating question in our slack chat: Assuming you’re the general manager of your favorite team, who’s the worst player that you trade for the No. 1 pick? Let’s dive into it!

Garrett Burroughs (Team: Denver Nuggets): Michael Porter Jr.

The idea here is who would I be willing to trade to get the number one pick in the 2024 NBA Draft. Looking at this Denver Nuggets roster, it is littered with guys whom fans love, who are willing to put others first to make the team better. However, I have a plan in place to not only keep this organization in its championship window but even extend it. The answer is Michael Porter Jr.

Porter carries a massive $35.9 million cap hit, and getting this off the books frees the Nuggets from the first apron and grants them some flexibility in free agency to address some holes on the roster. Who do they pick first overall? That would be Zaccharie Risacher out of France. He is similar in frame to MPJ, but is significantly better on defense while still being able to score. Risacher and adding a bench ball handler and a backup center extends the Nuggets’ window more than it already is.

Trey Daubert (Team: Boston Celtics): Sam Hauser

This draft stinks–so much so that I came up with this question. The truth of the matter is, the Celtics hang up the phone in 0.5 seconds even for Derrick White, which is kinda silly to think about. The top 5 guys on Boston would be off limits. I guess my answer is Sam Hauser? I’ll trade Hauser for the first pick. All I know is good luck to Atlanta trying to figure this all out.

Matt Hanifan (Team: Miami Heat): Terry Rozier

The perpetually underrated and underappreciated Bam Adebayo is untouchable. Jimmy Butler, who’s due for a $113 million extension this offseason, isn’t quite as untouchable. But he remains player you aren’t likely going to trade if you’re looking to contend, even though he did not look good (relative to expectation) and will be turning 35-years-old by the start of next season.

I wouldn’t trade Butler unless I’m hitting the reset button. That leads me to my third option. Jaime Jaquez Jr. and Nikola Jovic are Miami’s two best assets after Adebayo and Butler, but Rozier is the team’s third-best player–so if we’re being technical about it, he’s my pick.

Rozier, 30, is coming off a career-best season. He was acquired by Miami from the Charlotte Hornets ahead of the trade deadline, averaging 19.8 points, 4.0 rebounds and 5.6 assists on 44.3/36.3/86.9 shooting splits in 61 combined games with the Heat and Hornets. Though the end of Rozier’s season was cut short due to a serious neck injury–one the team did a poor job disclosing–that resulted in him being in a neck brace.

Miami was in desperate need of a multi-faceted scorer ahead of the deadline, and Rozier exceeded expectations in his limited sample. Over a 10-game stretch from March 18 to April 5, he averaged 20.4 points on 45.1/50.0/94.1 shooting splits, in addition to 3.9 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.1 steals. He will be entering the third year of a four-year, $96.3 million deal with a $24.9 million cap hit. We don’t currently know the extent of how his neck injury will affect him next season, so moving off his sizable cap hit now–while the team’s less than a million away from the second apron, if you factor in the No. 15 pick and Tyler Herro‘s $2.5 million of unlikely bonuses–is the wise move.

I’d have to think harder about trading Jaquez or Jovic, but I would still do it. You’re giving Erik Spoelstra and Co. a chance at Alexandre Sarr, Nikola Topic or Zaccharie Risacher. That’s lethal. Topic is likely the best “fit,” but you can trust that developmental staff to, well, develop any No. 1 pick over a period of time. Their potential–with the right mindset and a dose of #HEATCulture™–raises tenfold in this organization.

Who would you have your favorite team trade? Let us know in the comments!

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