5. Trading Up To No. 26
Helping a division rival improve isn’t exactly the most ideal of scenarios. As the New York Knicks rebuild and look for ways to trade up from No. 36, however, one can’t help but realize that one of the best fitting trade partners is the Philadelphia 76ers.
With a need for shooters to space the floor for Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, the 76ers could trade a lackluster contract for Courtney Lee—and still end up with an early second-round draft pick.
Lee would fit perfectly with the 76ers as an efficient three-point shooter who’s known for coming up clutch. He’s also a committed team defender who would quickly earn Brett Brown’s respect—and thus, a steady place in the rotation.
With J.J. Redick entering free agency, albeit while likely to re-sign, Philadelphia can use as much help as it can get along the wings.
Jerryd Bayless had a chance to be that player for the 76ers, but he’s appeared in 42 combined games over the past two seasons. He also has a cap hit of $8,575,916, which may be on an expiring contract, but could limit Philadelphia’s immediate potential.
Lee, meanwhile, is a cost-efficient wing who fits what Philadelphia needs with a deal that would expire after 2019-20—and could easily be traded next summer if need be.
The question is: Will the New York Knicks actually make a trade up at the 2018 NBA Draft?