Tag: NBA draft rumors

Lietuvos Rytas's Jonas Valanciunas (C) j

Starting with Cavaliers at No. 4, draft will mean hard choices


For all the chatter otherwise, it would be stunning not to see Kyrie Irving not go No. 1 and Derrick Williams No. 2. We may well have stunning, it’s been that kind of NBA season, but you might not want to bet on it.

As we said before, the draft gets interesting when the Jazz select at No. 3. But it looks more and more like they will take Enes Kanter, the Turkish center. Do the Jazz need a point guard more? Damn straight. Is Kentucky’s Brandon Knight still on the board? Yup. But the Jazz stick to their “best man available” system no matter what, and reportedly they like Kanter more.

That shakes up the draft, because it means hard choices for the teams that follow.

For the Cavaliers at No. 4 that would leave them with a choice between Texas’ Tristan Thompson and Lithuanian center Jonas Valanciunas. Valanciunas has the higher ceiling — some scouts think he can be the best player in this draft — but he may play in Europe for a couple more years. Thompson is the better player right now and fills a need. But ESPN’s Ric Bucher says the Cavs go Valanciunas.

Then at five is the Raptors. They really like Brandon Knight at the point, but Chad Ford of ESPN says they would take Bismack Biyombo, the wildly athletic but raw center out of the Congo (via Europe) over Knight. Hard choice, though.

At No. 6 you can bet the Wizards are not taking a point guard — they took some guy named Wall last year — so they will take Thompson or Jan Vesley.

Then at seven the Kings are faced with a real hard choice — Knight or Jimmer Fredette? The clear consensus is Knight is now and will be the better player, but the Maloof Brothers have been reported to push to get Fredette. Owners tend to get their way. Or, maybe the Kings just trade out of the spot so the Knicks can get Klay Thompson.

The choices keep on going… what will the Jazz do at No. 12 if they can choose between Kemba Walker or Fredette? It his hard to see the Jazz not taking Jimmer, even if the basketball people like Walker (or anyone else) more.

It’s been a long time since we had a draft that was going to be this unpredictable. This is going to be fun to watch unfold.

NBA Draft day morning rumor roundup

George Hill, Tony Parker, Channing Frye

The NBA has seen more rumors in the last 24 hours than the morning after a Charlie Sheen party. At least we didn’t wake up wondering where we were. We’ll be bringing you all the latest over the course of Thursday right up to the draft (and plenty of pick-by-pick draft coverage, too) but to get you started here are a bunch of the rumors collected on Thursday morning:

We’ve been telling you about all the rumored Tony Parker trades (and there are a lot of them), but the Spurs also may be shopping George Hill to move up in this draft. The Spurs rumored target is sharpshooter Klay Thompson.

The Houston Rockets and Milwaukee Bucks are discussing a deal that would send Ersan Ilyasova to the Rockets along with the No. 10 pick for a package that includes the No. 23 and No. 24 picks plus another player.

The Rockets have had talks with a number of teams because they want to move up, including Detroit at No. 8. Apparently they want a big man and like Lithuanian center Jonas Valanciunas. (A lot of teams like him, look for him to go early.)

The key pick in this draft remains the Jazz at No. 3. They would love it if Derrick Williams falls to them. If not, if they have to choose between Brandon Knight and Enes Kanter, put your money on Kanter. He doesn’t fill a need but the Jazz are a “best player available” team.

There are a lot of rumors that Tristan Thompson could go as high as No. 4. Which seems crazy to me, but there it is.

If I were placing my money on one team to trade their lottery pick this draft, it would be the Bucks.

Would you believe the Lakers and Warriors talked about a deal that was Monta Ellis for Lamar Odom and Shannon Brown? That’s what Ken Berger reports at CBSSports. I have trouble seeing how Monta Ellis and Kobe Bryant work together in the back court, frankly.

Just so you know, Minnesota is still shopping the No. 2 pick and still not finding any takers at their price.

Roy Hibbert’s name popped up in trade rumors but Larry Bird shot them down, the Pacers want to keep him.

Apparently those rumors of Andre Iguodala to the Clippers for Chris Kaman are dead — the Sixers didn’t even make a counter offer.

If all the Europeans in this draft are confusing you, here is a great breakdown of what you can expect from them.

Statistically, who did the players in this draft match up to, who do they project to be? Some interesting stuff from Kevin Pelton at Basketball Prospectus.

Soon to be top three pick Derrick Williams says not to compare him to LeBron — compare him to Dirk Nowitzki instead. Yes, that sounds far less egotistical.

One final one, not really draft related but it made me laugh: Magic GM Otis Smith wants Gilbert Arenas to play less basketball this summer. Arenas is having none of that, saying he is a professional basketball player after all.

NBA Draft rumor roundup for Tuesday

Derrick Williams

There are 8 million rumors out there in the naked city, and while only a handful will come true we thought we’d put a bunch of them in one place, because we know how valuable your time is.

One of the biggest ones our own John Krolik just wrote about — the Wizards trying to move up to the No. 3 or No. 4 pick to get Enes Kanter. Several sources have variations of this and while it is still smoke there is enough to think there is some fire there.

One guy being shopped around is Raymond Felton, with the Nuggets. They are sold on Ty Lawson. The Lakers are reportedly interested, although hard to see the Nuggets helping out the Lakers and filling a real need for them. How about Felton to Sacramento for the No. 7 pick?

The Bucks have their target on someone — probably JonasValanciunas — and if he is gone by then the often active on draft day Bucks may trade the pick to Houston for the 14 and 23 picks.

The Rockets have been offering the 14 and 23 picks to anybody in the top 10 who will take them.

The Phoenix Suns may have offered center Marcin Gortat plus their No. 13 pick to the Minnesota Timberwolves for the No. 2 overall pick, which will be Derrick Williams.

The Timberwolves have continued to listen to a number of offers for the No. 2 pick, one rumored one of Roy Hibbert and the 15th pick from the Pacers was shot down by Larry Bird. There are a lot more No. 2 pick rumors out there, from a lot of teams.

One that will not happen, anything involving Pau Gasol and the Lakers.

Yes, the Cavaliers will take Kyrie Irving No. 1. They have not made a formal commitment to him, but that’s’ what will happen.

With all the talk about the Jazz taking Jimmer Fredette if he is there at No. 12 (and there would be a lot of pressure on them to do just that) they may take Florida State big man and defender Chris Singleton instead.

Markieff Morris, one of the brothers out of Kansas, could go to the Pistons at No. 8.

The Knicks, if they don’t move up, have reported interest in Marshon Brooks, Iman Shumpert and Kenneth Faried. According to Chad Ford at ESPN, they want a guy to help now not a project (but not a lot of those at 17).

The Chicago Bulls are reportedly going to keep their two late first round picks.

Report: Knicks trying to trade up to get Jimmer Fredette

Texas Christian University v Brigham Young University

Jimmer Fredette and how he fits in the NBA divides scouts and fans, but there is one thing almost all agree on — he’s a better fit in a wide-open offensive system where he would have more of a green light.

For example, Mike D’Antoni’s system with the New York Knicks.

Which explains why ESPN’s Chad Ford is reporting (behind ESPN’s pay wall) the Knicks are trying to move up in the draft to see if they can get Jimmer.

Sources say that the Charlotte Bobcats (9), Milwaukee Bucks (10) and Golden State Warriors (11) are also open to moving their picks. In this case the interest is all pretty specific. The Knicks, and a handful of other teams, are trying to get ahead of the Jazz. The target? BYU’s Jimmer Fredette.

Interesting, but the Knicks are not exactly loaded with trade assets (those all went to Denver to get Carmelo Anthony, thank you very much James Dolan). Can Landry Fields and the No.17 pick move you up seven spots or so?

Is that worth it to get Jimmer? There is no way Jimmer falls to 17. There are a lot of teams willing to move picks in this draft but not a lot of teams willing to give up quality assets to move up. At least not yet.

Draft rumors: Thompson, Biyombo may be moving up

Klay Thompson

The draft rumors are really starting to fly.

One of the big wild cards — in a draft filled with them — is Congolese big man Bismack Biyombo. As we told you in our profile of the shot-blocking big man, pretty much everyone expects the Warriors to take him at No. 11.

Except that according to ESPN’s Chad Ford the Toronto Raptors are going to work him out on Monday and are considering taking him at No. 5. Biyombo just led the second best league in the world (Spanish ABC League) in blocked shots and he should be able to rebound at the NBA level. But his offense is atrocious.

For a Raptors team that wants to focus more on defense — especially if they do hire Dwane Casey as coach — Biyombo could make some sense. But to pass up on talented players who could be available at that spot (some combination of Kemba Walker, Brandon Knight, Enes Kanter, Jan Vesely, Kawhi Leonard will be around) would be tough to do.

If Biyombo does come off the board before they pick, what is Golden State going to do? According to the San Jose Mercury News they very much like Klay Thompson, the best shooter in the draft, who impressed them in a recent workout.

Thompson has impressed everyone. If the Warriors are serious about moving Monta Ellis (and they are, it’s just not that easy) then Thompson makes a lot of sense. You can see him next to Stephen Curry (but the Warriors would still have their defensive issues in the back court). And in a draft where there are questions about everyone, taking the guy who can shoot the lights out seems the wise and safe choice