Discussion

Trade options emerge at top of draft

Updated: June 17, 2011, 1:41 PM ET
By Chad Ford

With the NBA draft less than a week away, the rumors are beginning to fly. Not only are GMs speculating about who will draft whom, but there's also quite a bit of buzz about potential trades.

Normally at this time of year, we see a number of big trades before and during the draft. This year is more complicated. With the league on the verge of a lockout, teams are unsure what the future holds. Typically a number of trades have to be completed after July 1, when teams get players off the books and have cap space to facilitate deals. This year, with a lockout that could go on for months, such future trades will be virtually nonexistent because teams are unsure how much cap space they'll actually have and whether handshake deals can last for months instead of just days.

Still, there is plenty of chatter about teams exploring deals that they could complete immediately.

It starts at No. 2, where the Minnesota Timberwolves continue to listen to offers for their pick. Although they continue to maintain that they are comfortable taking Derrick Williams at No. 2, their preference is to begin adding veterans to the team. If they draft Williams, they'll look to move Michael Beasley and possibly Anthony Randolph. But neither player has the same trade value that the No. 2 pick has. Potential trade partners include the Cleveland Cavaliers, Utah Jazz, Washington Wizards, Detroit Pistons, Golden State Warriors, Phoenix Suns, Houston Rockets, New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers.

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