NBA PM: Top Overall Pick on the Move?
VIDEO OF THE DAY – Alex Len
Alex Len, who is in the mix for the Cleveland Cavaliers at No. 1, makes the case for why he should be the first player selected in the 2013 NBA Draft among other things in today's video of the day.Watch More Video Here
Top Overall Pick on the Move?
With roughly 24 hours left before the start of the 2013 NBA Draft, teams are starting to get serious about trade talks involving draft picks as high as the very top. HOOPSWORLD’s Alex Kennedy reports that the Cleveland Cavaliers, holders of that coveted top pick, are more than willing to move it, and have ramped up efforts to do so.
The Cavaliers recently attempted to open negotiations with the Portland Trail Blazers involving All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge, but Portland shut that down quickly even with the top pick in the draft on the table. Now the Cavaliers are hoping to find a taker in New Orleans, where they have asked the Pelicans for point guard Greivis Vasquez, the sixth overall pick and a 2014 first rounder. Of particular interest in that deal would be the 2014 first rounder, as the 2014 draft is expected to be one of the deepest of all-time.
That deal will almost certainly get shot down by the Pelicans, who would give up their starting point guard and have to rely heavily on whomever they draft this year as well as the oft-injured Eric Gordon to make them competitive this season. It seems more likely that Cleveland is trying to help themselves this year with Vasquez while also sabotaging the Pelicans. New Orleans might land in the lottery again, and Cleveland would get their pick. It seems an unlikely move for Pelicans GM Dell Demps.
The Cavaliers are also trying to do some wheeling and dealing a little lower in the draft, with Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reporting that the Cavs are trying to acquire the 13th pick from the Dallas Mavericks in an effort to land Russia’s Sergey Karasev. The Mavs are willing to move the pick, but would most likely expect the Cavs to take back Shawn Marion in the deal. Dallas is trying to clear enough cap space to offer two max contracts in free agency and have had conversations with Cleveland about such a trade.
This is not the best year to have the top overall selection in the draft, and the Cavaliers have made it abundantly clear that if someone else would like to make the first call on Thursday night they will happily give up the honor. It just remains to be seen whether or not any team is in love with someone enough to trade assets to make sure they get him with the top pick.
Warriors Already Finished?
Fans of the Golden State Warriors had every reason to be excited about the resurgence of their team this season. After all, their 47 wins was the most by a Warriors team since the 1993-94 season and they made the playoffs for just the second time in 20 years. Unfortunately, there was a dark cloud hanging over the team, even as it performed so well, and that dark cloud is now threatening to rain all over those same Warriors fans.
Heading into the offseason, the Warriors are already potentially over the luxury tax threshold for 2013-14, with as much as $75.7 million in salary committed. That’s assuming everyone with an option opts in, and we already know at least one of those players won’t. Carl Landry, who has a $4 million option, will opt out of that deal and test the waters of free agency once again, according to a report from Marcus Thompson of the Contra Costa Times.
It would help the Warriors considerably if Richard Jefferson and Andris Biedrins would follow suit, but the early word is that neither will, and frankly they would be crazy to consider it. They are owed $11 and $9 million, respectively, and would never command that on the open market. The Warriors could amnesty one of them if they hadn’t already used the amnesty provision on Charlie Bell.
As things stand, the core group is fairly safe, but key bench players Landry and Jarrett Jack are set to look for greener pastures unless something can be done to create some cap space. Beyond Jefferson and Biedrins, the only Warriors who make a significant amount of money are Andrew Bogut ($14 million), David Lee ($13.9 million) and Steph Curry ($9.9 million), and there is zero chance they would look to move Curry that leaves just Bogut and Lee. Lee is coming off of an All-Star season in which he averaged 18.5 points and 11.2 rebounds, and it would be awfully difficult to replace that production for less money. Meanwhile, Bogut’s inability to stay healthy makes him an attractive piece to think about moving, but any team getting him would want to make sure he could actually play before making a deal. If such proof were available it’s unlikely the Warriors would look to move him. Besides, he’s an expiring contract going into next season, so his value will only increase as the year progresses and teams start to look for ways to cut payroll.
Again, the Warriors were one of the feel-good stories of the 2012-13 season. It’s always great to see a team that has struggled for years finally start to right the ship. Unfortunately, it might have been a short-term recovery if the Warriors can’t find a way to replace the depth they’re set to lose in free agency.
Latest HOOPSWORLD Consensus Mock Draft (8.0)
Reminder: This year’s draft is being held on June 27.
Each year HOOPSWORLD puts together a team of writers to look at the NBA Draft. The idea here is to illustrate how differently (or similarly) writers from various NBA markets see the 2013 NBA Draft. So with that out of the way, here is the eighth installment
Check out how HOOPSWORLD’s Joel Brigham, Alex Kennedy, Yannis Koutroupis and Steve Kyler are projecting the upcoming draft to play out.
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