NBA Saturday: Which Picks Are Available?
The 2012 NBA Draft is only 11 days away, which means there are a ton of rumors to sift through. After working out and interviewing players in recent weeks, teams are starting to figure out what they want to do on draft night. Executives are working the phones and trying to decide if they should move up, move down or stay right where they are. Here are some of the rumors circulating around the league:
Charlotte Bobcats – The Bobcats may not trade the second overall pick, but it won’t be for lack of trying. In recent weeks, Charlotte has been in contact with a number of teams and they’ve made it clear that the No. 2 pick is available. However, multiple league sources have said that the Bobcats are looking for a lot in return. They would like to add a face of the franchise player, which is why they’ve reportedly expressed interest in young stars like Rudy Gay and James Harden. If the Bobcats can’t use the pick to make a splashy move, they’ll likely draft Thomas Robinson. However, Charlotte continues to hold out hope that they can move the pick and bring in a player who can make an impact right away.
Portland Trail Blazers – Portland holds the sixth pick and eleventh pick in this year’s draft, as of right now. That could change before draft night if the team is able to package the picks together and acquire a talented point guard or center. The Blazers have worked out a lot of players this week and it’s very possible that they use both picks. However, Portland is keeping their options open and sources close to the situation have admitted that the picks could be used as assets in a trade if the right deal came along.
New Orleans Hornets – At this point, the only certainty in the draft is that the Hornets will select Anthony Davis with the number one overall pick. After that, everything is kind of up in the air, including what New Orleans will do with their second lottery selection. The Hornets also hold the tenth overall pick, but sources close to the situation say New Orleans is open to trading it if they find a deal that lands them a guard. In recent days, they have been shopping the pick and seeing which teams are interested.
Milwaukee Bucks – The Bucks hold the twelfth pick in the draft, but league sources say they’re attempting to trade up. They would like to move up in the lottery and they fueled the trade rumors at the NBA Draft Combine when they met with a number of top prospects who likely won’t be available at No. 12. Milwaukee has been working the phones, trying to find a trading partner in the top ten. The Bucks and Bobcats have discussed a deal for the second overall pick, but no trade is imminent.
Philadelphia 76ers – The 76ers may be looking to trade up into the lottery. Like Milwaukee, Philadelphia met with a number of top prospects in Chicago, including likely top-five pick Andre Drummond. Also, don’t be surprised if Andre Iguodala trade rumors start to surface as the draft gets closer. For months, league sources have said that they expect the Sixers to shop Iguodala this summer.
Houston Rockets – Like many teams with two selections in the first round, Houston is looking to trade one or both of their picks. They have gauged interest in the picks and would be open to moving each selection by itself or together as part of a larger package. The Rockets are keeping their options open.
Boston Celtics – The Celtics hold the twenty-first and twenty-second picks in the first round. However, league sources believe Boston will package the picks together to move up in the draft or trade away one of the picks in a separate deal. The Celtics don’t want to bring in two rookies.
Oklahoma City Thunder – The Thunder hold pick No. 28, but it’s unlikely that they’ll keep it. Sources close to the situation say that Oklahoma City is satisfied with their young core and they aren’t interested in paying a prospect guaranteed money when he likely won’t be part of the rotation. The Thunder will likely trade or sell the pick. If they aren’t able to move the selection, expect them to draft a foreign player who they can keep overseas for several years.
Golden State Warriors – The Warriors hold four picks in this draft (7, 30, 45 and 52), but they likely won’t draft four players. Sources close to the situation say that the Warriors are attempting to move one or two of their picks. If they can’t find a trading partner, they’ll draft a foreign player who will remain overseas for several years.
Brooklyn Nets – The Nets only have one pick in this draft, No. 57, but they’re attempting to acquire a first-round pick. League sources say that Brooklyn is one of several teams trying to move into the first round, which shouldn’t be too hard given how many teams are willing to part with their pick.
Brandon Roy Discussing Comeback: It sounds like Brandon Roy will attempt to make an NBA comeback next season. After months of rumors and speculation, he confirmed the news last night on Twitter.
Last night, Roy took to Twitter to answer questions from fans. Since he doesn’t have an account on the social media website, he used the account of his close friend and fellow Seattle player Will Conroy to interact with fans and comment on the rumors.
“Lord willing, I will play again soon,” Roy wrote in a series of tweets. “Yes, I’m preparing for a comeback. I’m training daily. I’m preparing for a return next year. I appreciate the love. Hopefully I’ll be back on the floor soon. Health is good.”
When asked if he would return to the Portland Trail Blazers, Roy said it’s unlikely.
“I wish, but due to the NBA rules I cannot play in Portland until 2014-2015,” Roy tweeted. “I’m looking to return sooner. Thanks for your support. I’m fortunate to have played for such a great fan base. No matter where I play, Portland will always have a special place in my heart.”
Sources close to Roy say that his training is going well and he’s feeling great. He’ll likely work out in Seattle as he prepares for the upcoming season.
Up Close With Draymond Green: After a very successful college career at Michigan State, Draymond Green is trying to prove that he’s worthy of a first-round pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. Green had a very productive senior season, averaging 16.1 points, 10.4 rebounds and 3.6 assists for the Spartans.
In recent weeks, he has worked out for a number of teams including the Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls, Indiana Pacers, Oklahoma City Thunder, Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs. He’s someone who should be able to make an immediate impact in the NBA, using his versatility and excellent motor.
HOOPSWORLD caught up with Green at the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago: