If Colorado Is Willing To Trade The #1 Overall Pick, How About This?
There has been a bit of chatter today hinting that the Avalanche may be willing to move their 1st overall pick. Who knows how seriously they might look at that option, but if they do, I wonder if they might consider the following deal:
To Colorado - Shea Weber
To Nashville - The first overall pick
This trade couldn't technically occur until later this summer, once the one year window relating to Nashville matching Weber's offer sheet has passed. That said, Colorado could simply pick the player Nashville wants at #1, and make the deal official as soon as they are allowed under the CBA.
Why Colorado makes this deal: If the Avalanche are looking to add a #1 defenceman, and plan on drafting Jones to upgrade their D, why not just trade the pick for a mature version of the player you hope Jones will become? Weber will be owed 83 mil over the remaining 13 years of the deal by the time such a trade could actually be registered, meaning COL would effectively be paying him 6.4 mil per year for the remainder of the deal (notably longer than the 7 years for which they would have the rights to Jones), a number they may consider palatable for a #1 defenceman*.
Why Nashville makes this deal: They get themselves away from a long term deal that they might not have really, truly wanted to begin with, if given another choice besides letting Weber go for 4 first round picks. Yes, they matched the offer sheet, but it's possible they did so for off-ice reasons as much as on-ice reasons. Drafting MacKinnon (for example) might replace Weber in terms of marketing, and would help to continue selling the season's tickets they were worried about losing had they not matched the offer sheet for Weber last summer. Acquiring the first overall pick to go along with the 4th overall selection Nashville already possesses, the Predators could draft MacKinnon and Barkov to give them a potentially enviable 1-2 punch at C for a long time.
* His cap hit would be a bit higher at 7.9 mil, but if Colorado is not planning to spend to the cap that might not be an issue. And even if they are looking to spend to the cap going forward, it's possible they think he's more than worth that kind of cap charge in any event.