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Day-Of NBA Draft Notebook
Posted By Stephen Litel On June 28, 2012 @ 11:00 am In All,Main Page,NBA Draft | No Comments
Dion Waiters Going Fourth to Cleveland Cavaliers?
In a perfect situation for the Cleveland Cavaliers, Bradley Beal would still be on the board for them with the fourth pick in the draft tonight. However, Cleveland is aware that Beal is not going to be an option should they stay in the fourth slot. With Beal expected to be off the board, it is seeming more and more likely the Cavaliers will turn their attention to another guard, possibly Dion Waiters out of Syracuse, instead of reuniting former high school teammates Kyrie Irving and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.
To be safe, Cleveland is covering both sides of the coin right now and likely will do so up to and during the draft tonight.
On one hand, Cleveland is in talk with the Charlotte Bobcats in order to move up to the second spot and land Beal. The major hang-up in those discussions though is Charlotte’s insistence that Cleveland takes Tyrus Thomas in return and that is not desirable. Thomas still has three years and $26 million on his contract and that is for a player who is averaged 5.6 points and 3.7 rebounds in 2011-12 and has been unmotivated to improve throughout his career.
On the other hand, the Cavaliers are finishing up their due diligence looking into Waiters and his background should a trade up to the two spot not happen. Make no mistake, Cleveland’s number one choice is to find a way to land Beal, but they will be more than happy and comfortable with pairing Irving with Waiters.
In this scenario, players such as Thomas Robinson will be available at the fifth pick in the draft and beyond, which will create some major changes in the landscape of this year’s selections.
Big Names Dropping to Late First Round?
Jared Sullinger of Ohio State and Perry Jones of Baylor are two players who have health issues that are hurting their stock in this year’s draft. Sullinger’s back issues are well-known and he has fallen in most minds from a sure-fire top five pick last year to a potential mid-teens to early-20’s pick tonight. Jones, on the other hand, has very recently come up in the same conversations as a player who has knee issues that may hurt him tonight. Of course, knee and back issues are always concerning and the NBA teams who select these two players are sure to do their due diligence.
Jones’ meniscus issues are causing concern from many teams and most believe it will require surgery either directly after the draft or sometime in the near future. Is that a risk a team wants to take in the draft? With this news breaking recently, it may cause even more draft night craziness.
HOOPSWORLD’s final mock draft shows the wide range of where these players may go tonight.
Veterans on the Move?
Outside of the Houston Rockets, the Memphis Grizzlies may be the team being discussed the most in NBA circles. They, obviously, have players on their roster that would be valuable to any team in the league and the two names heard in trade discussions the most right now are Rudy Gay and Zach Randolph.
While the Grizzlies have essentially stated they have no desire to trade Gay, they are still listening to any and all offers that come their way. If something unexpected comes out of the woodwork, the Grizzlies would be open to moving Gay, but their intention is to keep him unless the unlikely trade scenario comes in.
Zach Randolph is a different story. The Grizzlies may love the big man, but they have offered Randolph to the Los Angeles Lakers for, unbelievably, Pau Gasol. In this scenario, the Gasol brothers would play alongside each other in Memphis, but Pau is not a fan favorite in that city anymore, so it is a bit of a risky move by the team. Reports are, as of now, the Lakers will turn down the offer and look for other avenues to trade their big man anyway, so that scenario may not play out to the delight of Grizzlies fans.
Lamar Odom missed Los Angeles last year and had a remarkably horrible 2011-12 season. By most accounts, Odom was depressed by the trade to Dallas and was never able to shake the bad feelings and only dug himself a larger hole by his horrid play with the Dallas Mavericks. Now, Odom may get his wish and return to Los Angeles, only this time it would be alongside Chris Paul and Blake Griffin with the Los Angeles Clippers. Keep an eye out tonight to see if Odom finds a new home.
Steve Nash is the king of diplomacy. Recently, Nash has said he is a Phoenix Sun and it is still a possibility he remains there. At the same time, he has been linked to the New York Knicks, New Jersey Nets and Toronto Raptors and has made comments about each situation. In a perfect world for Nash, he would be able to compete for a championship in his last few years in the league, but he may very well be looking to set up his next chapter in life with this decision. Some of the moves or non-moves that happen tonight and by Sunday are going to play a big factor in his decision.
Dwight Howard might be the name spoken the most in the past year by NBA people outside of the name “LeBron James.” The Houston Rockets are doing all they can to be a player in the sweepstakes, believing if they can acquire Howard, they would be able to have the offseason and flexibility to make moves that entice Howard to stay with the Rockets. However, Howard does not want to go to Houston and unless the Rockets make a move that most are unaware of at this time, they will not land the big man. At the very least, Houston is making moves that are bettering their team significantly whether or not they land Howard.
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