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How the draft affected free agency and trade oportunities

Does the Kings getting Thomas Robinson mean that Jason Thompson or Chuck Hayes are available? Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-US PRESSWIRE
Does the Kings getting Thomas Robinson mean that Jason Thompson or Chuck Hayes are available? Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-US PRESSWIRE

The draft was rather uneventful for the Spurs; they used their pick on Marcus Denmon and were done. But other teams were more active and that affects how the rest of the off-season might develop. Teams that got cheap replacements for some of their players might be more willing to trade them or not match an offer sheet on their restricted free agents. Let's see if the Spurs can capitalize on that.

Teams whose draft didn't impact much of anything:

Bobcats, Wizards, Mavericks, Heat, Magic, Blazers, Warriors, Celtics, Grizzlies, Thunder, Bulls, Jazz, Clippers, Knicks, Raptors, Hawks, Nets, Lakers.

This doesn't mean these teams won't make moves; it just means that the draft won't probably be the catalyst for those decisions. Some teams simply needed talent (Kings, Hornets, Bobcats, Wizards, Blazers, Cavs) and got it by picking players that either fit a need or provided a building block.Other teams drafted players that they could fill some gaping holes in their rosters (Grizzlies, Bulls, Warriors, Raptors, Hawks).

The draft always has coveted players that dropped low enough for good teams to grab them (Thunder, Celtics) but most just came away with marginal talent that doesn't figure to change their approach to roster management (Magic, Heat, Mavs). The significant RFAs from these teams figure to be as tough to pry away now as they were before and no trade was made likelier. A few teams didn't have a first round pick (Clippers, Jazz, Knicks, Nets, Lakers, Wolves) and their second rounders don't figure to be rotation players capable enough to displace a more established guy.

Then there are teams who might be looking to reshape their rosters after their draft haul. Let's take a look.


Inexplicably, the Kings got Thomas Robinson at #5. That sets up their future starting big men combo at T-Rob and Cousins. Before the draft the Kings seem intent on bringing back RFA Jason Thompson or so they claimed. Now that Robinson is there, the stingy Malloofs might change their tune. If Thompson stays, with that three big rotation plus Hassan Whiteside, the Kings have a young core that can grow together. That leaves last season's free agent acquisition Chuck Hayes as a potential trade target, especially after a disappointing 2012 campaign.


The Cavs came away from the draft with Dion Waiters and Tyler Zeller. For a team light on the wing, Waiters is an interesting prospect but with last season's #4 pick Tristan Thompson already in the fold, the acquisition of Zeller could make Anderson Varejao and, more likely, restricted free agent Semih Erden expendable. With less backcourt minutes to go around Daniel Gibson might also be available and his combination of ball handling and 3-point shooting might be a perfect fit for the Spurs.


The Houston Rockets were aiming high this off-season, stockpiling picks to throw at Orlando for Dwight. They came away with three interesting players instead but prospects that replicate a lot of what two of their highest paid players do in White, Jones and Lamb. That could mean Martin and Scola are on their way out but the Spurs hardly have the assets to get them even if they thought they were worth pursuing. Restricted free agent SG Courtney Lee's chances of returning might have decreased with the Lamb pick but it's all dependant on what the Rockets do with Martin. Young PFs Patrick Patterson and Marcus Morris might be on the block as well with the arrival of Motiejunas but the Rockets might want to package them for a star.


The Nuggets added two more wings to their collection in Evan Fournier and Quincy Miller. They join Gallinari, Brewer, Chandler and Afflalo. Even if Fournier stays in Europe there won't be enough minutes available for all of them. The Nuggets set a precedent last season in the way of handling Nene by resigning a free agent just to keep him as an asset and trade him later on. That, plus their picks, could mean Wilson Chandler is available in a trade. The same with Brewer. Rudy Fernandez, an often disgruntled restricted free agent, is likely on his way out.


The Pistons found the perfect partner for Greg Monroe in Andre Drummond but with Villanueva looking untradeable and Maxiell reportedly opting in on his option they have a lot of money tied up in bigs. They also traded for Corey Maggette while still having Tayshaun Prince and Jonas Jerebko under contract. That's a lot of forntcourt players. Depending on how high Joe Dumars is on Jerebko he might be available as would most of the team's highly paid veterans. Maxiell would make a great rental for a contender with his combination of skill and an expiring contract.


The Pacers selected Miles Plumlee in the first round but that won't change their focus: the priority still is to sign Roy Hibbert. David West is likely safe as well after a good post-season but their other bigs might have seen their chances of returning decrease. Unrestricted free agent Lou Amundson is probably low on their list and both Jeff Pendergraph and Tyler Hansbrough might be on the block for the right price. Fesenko won't likely be re-signed.


The Sixers grabbed an athletic SF(Moe Harkless) and a big man (Arnett Moultrie) in this draft. Iguodala has been on the block since he signed that contract but the Spurs don't have the assets to get him. The selection of Moultrie however, might mean that Spencer Hawes could be had in unrestricted free agency. Whether that's a good thing or not (it isn't) is a topic for another post, but the Sixers' picks might also dissuade them from pursuing RFAs Lavoy Allen, Sam Young and even SG Jodie Meeks.


The Suns got Kendall Marshall but I won't be discussing Steve Nash here. Shannon Brown (UFA) and Aaron Brooks (RFA), on the other hand, might be more easily signed now than a couple of days ago. I don't necessarily want either on the Spurs but they are out there.


Milwaukee got Doron Lamb, John Henson and Samuel Dalembert (in a draft day trade with the Rockets) from this draft. That pretty much assures UFAs Carlos Deflino and Kwame Brown will wear another jersey next season. Either could fit a role with the Spurs but I'm more interested in their PF situation. They have five young players, Larry Sanders, Ekpe Udoh, Henson and combo forwards Tobias Harris and Luc Mbah a Moute to fill that slot. Udoh can play some center but with Drew Gooden and his unmovable contract in place the Bucks might be receptive to trade one of them. Ersan Ilyasova (UFA) probably won't be retained either, but he'll likely be too rich for the Spurs' blood.

Other restricted free agents whose teams might be ready to let go.

Brandon Rush (Warriors), D.J. Augustin (Bobcats), Michael Beasley and Anthony Randolph (Wolves), Sundiata Gaines (Nets), Terrence Williams (Kings), Jerryd Bayless (Raptors), Jeremy Evans (Jazz)

It's hard to predict what teams might do this early in the off-season but the way teams draft can be a way of sifting through their agendas. The Spurs reportedly made Blair available during the draft and Bonner, Neal and maybe even Splitter and Jackson could be moved. I don't see anything immediate taking place but there is clearly some talent out there ready to be plucked. Is there anyone you want the Spurs to pursue?