Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Latest buzz: Picks Nos. 8-11 the trade zone?
By Chad Ford
What's the hottest place to be right now in the NBA draft? It appears to be the mid-lottery.
The Pistons, Bobcats, Bucks and Warriors are getting flooded with calls from teams looking to move into that range.
Among the teams that have made calls? The Rockets (who are offering picks Nos. 14 and 23), the Pacers (No. 15 and Brandon Rush), the Knicks (No. 17 and Toney Douglas) and the Spurs (George Hill).
Sources say the Rockets and Spurs are interested in Jonas Valanciunas if he ends up sliding. The Spurs also are eying Washington State's Klay Thompson, according to sources. The Knicks are looking at both Thompson and Jimmer Fredette with that pick. For the Pacers, it's Fredette.
The bigger question is, will any of them make a deal?
The Pistons are seriously considering the Rockets' offer -- especially if Kawhi Leonard and Tristan Thompson are off the board. The target at No. 14?
Markieff Morris. Morris wowed the Pistons in a big workout Tuesday, and they feel he could still be on the board there.
The Bobcats are in the most interesting situation. They are trying to package picks Nos. 9 and 19 to move up a few spots to get a shot at drafting Leonard. However, if Leonard is off the board, the Bobcats might be inclined to do a deal with Houston or San Antonio.
I don't think the Bucks or Warriors are inclined to do the Spurs trade, as Hill doesn't hold a huge appeal for either team. The Rockets trade might hold some interest, but not until certain players are off the board. Both the Bucks and Warriors have interest in Valanciunas if he falls, and both teams also are fans of Thompson.