Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Updated: June 27, 10:05 AM ET
Suns talking to Cats about getting No. 8 pick
By Andy Katz
The Phoenix Suns are discussing a trade with the Charlotte Bobcats for the No. 8 pick to get into the NBA draft lottery, multiple sources close to both organizations told ESPN.com Tuesday night.
Although Phoenix forward Shawn Marion can opt out of his contract at the end of next season, a source close to the Suns told ESPN.com that he is not part of a Charlotte deal and is expected to stay put.
ESPN's Jim Gray is reporting, however, that Marion could be part of a three-way trade that would land Kevin Garnett in Phoenix. Marion would go to Boston and the Celtics would send the No. 5 pick in Thursday's draft and players to Minnesota.
The Suns source told ESPN.com that role players were involved in the proposed trade with the Bobcats, but at least one other team besides Phoenix and Charlotte is also involved, making the deal difficult to pull off.
The Suns currently own picks No. 24 and 29 in the first round while Charlotte has Nos. 8 and 21.
Phoenix convinced the agents for likely lottery players Corey Brewer and Joakim Noah of Florida and Jeff Green of Georgetown to work out for the Suns because they felt confident they could get into the top 10.
The Suns also invited Celtics executive director of basketball operations Danny Ainge and coach Doc Rivers to watch the workouts in Phoenix. The Celtics and Suns both told ESPN.com, however, that Boston was there to watch the workout, not to discuss a trade. Both said the Celtics and Suns aren't trade partners for Boston's No. 5 pick.
The Celtics could throw a curveball at the rest of the lottery. They are working out USC junior guard Nick Young on Wednesday morning at their practice facility in Waltham.
Young, who has been projected by most NBA personnel to go as high as No. 13 to New Orleans, is a personal favorite of Celtics' assistant general manager Leo Papile. Papile wants Ainge and Rivers to see Young before Thursday's draft and decide if he is a viable alternative for the Celtics at No. 5 if the team decides against going with China's Yi Jianlian. Young, considered one of the top shooting guards in the draft, could displace Green, Noah or Brewer as the Celtics' Plan B.
A surprise Young selection that high in the draft would obviously change the entire complexion of the lottery.
Andy Katz is a senior writer at ESPN.com.