With the 2021 Schick 3X3 Cup draft complete all eyes now turn to Trade Weekend where all 20 NBL teams will have 33 hours to consider trades. Will we see any trades go down?
Trade Weekend runs from 9am Saturday September 4 through to 6pm Sunday September 5.
Being the first year of the new 3X3 format it's unlikely teams will have adjusted to the art of trading just yet, but it hasn't stopped them from looking at and talking about the possibilities.
In the lead-up to Draft Night before any players had been selected, it is known many teams were working the phones and discussing possible trades with each other in an attempt to secure their desired squad.
And, while some teams fared better than others at the draft it now remains to be seen whether or not any of those phone calls come to fruition.
That said, our NBL 3X3 onlookers have taken a look at the squads and come up with three trades that might be worth looking at.
Nikau McCullough (Nuggets) - Josh Aitcheson (Airs)
Somehow Nikau McCullough slipped all the way to pick 30 in the draft before Nuggets captain Richie Rodger swooped for what is a very good addition that late in the draft. Given the familiar 'Nuggets' look of teaming Rodger with Jordan Hunt and Pafe Momoisea, there's no doubt Josh Aitcheson would have been in Rodger's draft plans. The big problem here for the Nuggets is that the Airs swooped and grabbed Aitcheson at pick 11, which means they might want more value in return. While the draft positions might be seen as an obstacle to get a trade done, the fact is McCullough (37.8% 3pt shooting during the 2021 Sal's NBL season) might be a better fit than Aitcheson (28.2% 3pt shooting) alongside Tai Wynyard and Carlin Davison. Of course each player also add different attributes, but it is a trade with merit for both teams to consider. Is there a potential straight swap here, or would it take a third, or maybe even a fourth team to get involved?
Johnny Helu/Nic Trathen (Sharks) - Dom Kelman-Poto/Derek Albertsen (Huskies)
Word on the street ahead of the draft was the Sharks were working the phones to try and find a way to get fan-favourite Dom Kelman-Poto in an orange uniform for the Schick 3X3 Cup. With DKP snapped up by the Huskies it now means the Sharks need to think outside the square on Trade Weekend and try to come up with something that might entice the Huskies to bite. One possible trade scenario could feature a two-for-two offer featuring dynamic captain Johnny Helu and the athletic Nic Trathen, both of whom would be very good additions to the Huskies. In return the Sharks would add DKP and Derek Albertsen. The upside for the Huskies is having three attacking players (Helu, McIntosh, Trathen) around proven 3X3 forward Zac Easthope, while for the Sharks they would land DKP and Albertsen to go with Tom Cowie and Josh Leger. It's not a completely impossible scenario, but it would take some sweet-talking from the Sharks. Question is, just how badly do they want to try and get DKP and what are they prepared to give up?
Sam Aruwa (United) - Quintin Bailey (Bulls)
This one might take a little more effort to get done, but it does make sense for both the Bulls and United to consider. Sam Aruwa is a bull (pardon the pun) when it comes to 3X3, he embraces contact and holds his ground with a powerful flair for attacking the basket. However, so too does United captain Hyrum Harris, so maybe two players of a similar type is one too many? When looking at what United might be lacking, it is a high level IQ forward like Quintin Bailey, who could be available given the Bulls already have a dominant forward in captain Denhym Brooke. A tough contact player like Aruwa would fit nicely with Brooke, Jayden Bezzant and Brayden Iuli, while Bailey looks like the perfect player to put alongside Harris, Tu Kaha Cooper and Haize Walker. This is another possible trade worth a phone call between the two teams.
Can you see any other possible trades? Here's a reminder of how each team looks after the Player Draft.
Sam Dempster (captain)
Hyrum Harris (captain)
Tu Kaha Cooper
Hawke’s Bay Hawks
Ethan Rusbatch (captain)
Richie Rodger (captain)
Chris McIntosh (captain)
Denhym Brooke (captain)
Kenneth Tuffin (captain)
Max Darling (captain)
Johnny Helu (captain)
Tai Wynyard (captain)