NBA AM: Let The Trade Rumors Begin
VIDEO OF THE DAY – Peyton Siva
In today’s video of the day former Louisville point guard Peyton Siva talks about the 2013 NBA Draft and what he brings to the next level from ASM Sports’ 2013 Pro Day.Watch More Video Here
Let The Rumors Begin: With less than 58 hours until the start of the 2013 NBA Draft, the rumor mill is in full swing.
Now if history has taught us anything about the draft and rumors, it is that 50 things will be talked about and less than 10 will actually happen. HOOPSWORLD will keep you up to date on all things draft-related in our annual NBA Draft Day Diary, which will launch tonight at 6 p.m. EST, so make sure to swing by and bookmark it, as it will contain all of the news, rumors and trades all in one place.
With that in mind, here is what is hot right now:
Bledsoe And The Magic: The L.A. Clippers seem to have done a good job outing the Orlando Magic and their pursuit of Eric Bledsoe. Sources say the Clippers are making sure there isn’t a better offer out there for Bledsoe than the package that Orlando is said to be constructing. As of last night, it seemed the Magic’s deal was centered around Arron Afflalo and possibly last year’s first-round selection Andrew Nicholson. There was talk that a protected 2015 first-round pick would be included, basically replacing the draft asset the Clippers had to surrender to get Doc Rivers out of Boston. The Magic would in return get Bledsoe and forward Caron Butler. The deal is far from done, according to sources, as both the Clippers and the Magic are exploring other options, but some of the players involved in the deal believe it may happen on draft night, assuming the Clippers can’t find a better deal.
Dallas And The No. 13: Several league sources say that the Dallas Mavericks have two possible deals on the table involving the 13th overall pick. Both scenarios involve Shawn Marion being moved so he would have to formally opt-in to the final year of his contract, which he has not done as of yet. The Mavericks apparently have been talking with the Cleveland Cavaliers about a deal that would send an opted-in Marion and the player selected with the 13th pick to the Cavs in July in exchange for the player selected with 19th pick. The deal would have to happen in July when the new salary cap is set and the Cavs can clear the money to absorb Marion’s final contract year worth $9.3 million. The Mavs have also had similar talks with the New Orleans Pelicans that would send the No. 13 to NOLA along with Marion. However, the Mavs would not get a draft asset in return, but rather a low-dollar roster player or a future protected pick.
The Mavs are aggressively denying that this deal is out there, but multiple league sources say it’s been discussed a few times. The Cavs’ first priority appears to be landing Boston’s Paul Pierce or bundling both of their draft assets for a bona fide player so Dallas may not have the firm deal they want, hence the public denials.
Marion’s ability to muck up a deal with his option is also playing a role. Marion has until June 30th to opt in with the Mavericks, but it seems Dallas may be picking for someone else at No. 13 on Thursday if they can indeed reach a deal.
Warriors Not Trading For Tax: The Golden State Warriors are looking to buy into the first round of the 2013 NBA Draft. However, the only problem is they don’t want to become tax payers along the way. The Warriors triggered a couple of tax clearing moves around the trade deadline that got them under the Luxury Tax line, but in their quest to add a young player they are again looking at the tax consequences of adding a guaranteed salaried draft pick.
The Warriors have three players with Player Options on their contracts – Richard Jefferson ($11.04 million), Brandon Rush ($4 million) and Carl Landry ($4 million). In addition, Andris Biedrins has an Early Termination Option on his final $9 million contract year. All but Landry are expected to remain in their contracts, leaving the Warriors with more than $68.9 million in likely commitments on July 1st. While the Warriors are interested in picks at the bottom of the first round, they won’t be buying into a salary that ensures they are over the Luxury Tax line when it’s said and done.
Being a Luxury Tax team on July 1st removes the mid-level exception and limits what the team can do in sign-and-trade deals. As the Warriors try to add this summer, they will need that flexibility, even if it means leaving a talented draft prospect on the table.
Bulls And Luol Deng: When asked yesterday about reports that the Chicago Bulls offered Luol Deng to the Washington Wizards in exchange for the No. 3 pick and Emeka Okafor’s ending deal – both sides of the deal found it almost laughable. Both sides admitted there were talks regarding the No. 3 overall pick, something Chicago does every year, both sides deny that there were ever any serious discussions about players being moved. The Wizards would love to add a veteran small forward that ensures a playoff run, and Deng surely looks the part of that, but both sides say the talks went nowhere and that nothing was really pending on this front.
The irony of the rumor is that two entirely unrelated league sources mentioned trading Deng as “inevitable” for the Bulls at some point this season and that if the right players were available to Chicago, they might fast track that decision.
The Bulls’ stance on Deng has been that he is entering his final contract year, which lines up with Chicago’s plans to be a serious salary cap player in 2014. Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau often refers to Deng as his favorite player and the Bulls have told third-year swingman Jimmy Butler that he’ll likely start at the two-guard spot next season. The math says Deng likely plays out his deal in Chicago. However, it seems clear that the Bulls are listening to options.
LaMarcus Aldridge And The Blazers: There was some commentary yesterday suggesting that LaMarcus Aldridge had requested a trade from the Blazers (completely untrue), but that hasn’t stopped teams from trying to tempt the Blazers into a deal. The Cleveland Cavaliers are said to have offered both the No. 1 overall pick and the No. overall 19 pick in exchange for Aldridge and were turned away, while there have been rumblings that new Suns general manager Ryan McDonough has made at least one pass at Aldridge involving Marcin Gortat.
Its seems the Blazers are fielding more calls than they are making on Aldridge, so it’s becoming clear that there is a trade market for LaMarcus if the Blazers want it. The questions is do they really want to move Aldridge or are teams trying to poach away one of Portland’s best players?
Minnesota Working The Phones: Under president David Kahn, the Wolves flooded the league with trade proposals and that hasn’t seemed to change under new president Flip Saunders. The Wolves have been aggressively trying find value in the willingness other teams have in making draft day deals and has offered up both the No. 9 overall pick and the No. 26 pick in various scenarios.
The Wolves did try to pry MarShon Brooks out of Brooklyn with a package centered around the No. 26 pick and they very well could make a deal. The Nets are enamored with a couple of players in this draft and having both the 22nd and 26th picks could help them make some decisions.
The Wolves have also been linked to trade up scenarios that would have them packaging Derrick Williams and the No. 9 to move into the top two for a shot at Victor Oladipo, although it does not seem like that scenario is getting much traction.
The Wolves are being aggressive, so that usually produces a deal, however its unclear if obtaining Brooks is the best the Wolves can do. If it is, then selecting a big at No. 9 is more likely than one of the possible two guards at No. 9 the Wolves are said to be luke-warm on.
The 2013 NBA Draft Day Diary will launch later today, so for more nuggets of news and information make sure to swing by. It goes live at 6 p.m. EST.
We Want To Know:
Time For Another First Round Mock: The final Consensus Mock Draft will drop tomorrow, and you’ll find my final Mock Draft of the season in Thursday’s USA Today – pick one up at newsstands everywhere.
But in advance of the draft chaos, and with less than two days to go, here is how things seem to be shaping up:
There will be one more full Mock Draft filed tomorrow, along with the Final Consensus Mock Draft from our team. We’ll also update you on the latest trades and rumors throughout the next two days, so stay tuned.
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