Thursday, June 27, 2013
Draft Day rumblings: Will Cavs keep No. 1?
By Chad Ford
Here are the latest draft trade talk rumblings:
• The Cavs' top option is to trade the No. 1 overall pick for a combination of a veteran plus a 2014 lottery pick. If they can pull that off, they'll move the pick. If they can't, they'll keep attempting to move whomever they draft until all their options have been exercised. In other words, don't assume that they are keeping the player they draft at No. 1.
• The hardest asset for a team to get right now is a 2014 lottery pick. As I've written over and over this year, the 2014 draft is shaping up to be one of the strongest since 2003. There are between five to eight future All-Stars in the draft. No one wants to give away a pick next year for someone this year in a much weaker draft. I'd put the odds at 95 percent that no potential 2014 lottery pick is moved tonight.
• The teams working hardest to move up higher in the lottery are the Jazz, the Wolves and the Thunder. The Jazz appear to be targeting Lehigh's C.J. McCollum. They are offering picks 14 and 21, but they might have to give up Alec Burks if they really want to get high enough to get C.J.
The Wolves are also trying to get up very high in an attempt to land Victor Oladipo or Ben McLemore. Their trade bait, as we've previously reported, is in the form of picks 9, 26 and Derrick Williams.
The Thunder are on the hunt for a big man (they like Nerlens Noel and Alex Len), but they don't have as much to offer. The assets that they're willing to move -- Jeremy Lamb, Perry Jones, possibly Reggie Jackson -- don't have enormous trade value. Their own pick next year won't be great, and the Mavs pick that they own is top-20 protected next year.
The Bobcats and Kings look like the two teams most willing to move down.
• A ton of teams are trying to get the Mavs' 2013 pick. The Cavs have been the most prominent suitor, but the Bucks, Hawks and Nets are also trying to get up there. In virtually every case, the target is Sergey Karasev. The biggest issue for each team is that both the Sixers and Thunder are sending signals they might take Karasev before 13.
• Later in the first round, the Celtics are trying to pick up a late-first or early-second-round pick. Sources say their target is Missouri's Phil Pressey if they decide to go big with their first pick.
• Finally, the excitement over Giannis Antetokounmpo might be fading a bit. Sources say that teams are being told that Antetokounmpo wants to come to the NBA now and doesn't want to be stashed in Greece for a couple of years. That's a problem for a number of GMs who think he's years away from being ready to play in the NBA. They don't want to start paying him on the rookie scale to sit on the bench in the D-League.