2012 NBA Draft Rumors: Odds These 7 Rumors Come True

Roy BurtonContributor IJune 24, 2012

2012 NBA Draft Rumors: Odds These 7 Rumors Come True

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    The confetti has barely been removed from Miami's AmericanAirlines Arena, and the NBA offseason is already in full gear.

    As the buzz surrounding Thursday's draft only begins to intensify, there are a number of rumors making their way around NBA circles. And while most of the reports are merely white noise, there are quite a few honest-to-goodness stories that could have a major impact later this week.

    So, with only a few days left before the 2012 NBA Draft, let's take at seven of the hottest rumors and the odds that they actually come to fruition.

Will Cleveland Make a Play for the No. 2 Pick?

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    According to Sam Amick of SI.com, the Cleveland Cavaliers may be making a play for the Charlotte Bobcats' No. 2 pick.

    The Cavs are reportedly interested in acquiring Charlotte's pick to draft Florida shooting guard Bradley Beal, and Cleveland has four top-34 picks (Nos. 4, 24, 33 and 34) that could entice Michael Jordan and the rest of the Bobcats front office come draft night.

    With Charlotte high on North Carolina small forward Harrison Barnes, it may be able to swing a deal with the Cavaliers and still get the man it wants at No. 4.

    Odds that a Cleveland-Charlotte trade happens on (or before) draft day: 2-to-1

Luol Deng on the Move?

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    ESPN is reporting that the rumor mill is hot and heavy in regard to Chicago Bulls small forward Luol Deng.

    The Golden State Warriors have made no secret of their attempts to deal the No. 7 overall pick for a talented wing player, and Deng would appear to fit well in the team's starting lineup.

    Due to Deng's insistence on playing in the 2012 London Olympics, there seems to be some sort of rift between the eight-year veteran and the Bulls front office, but it's unlikely that his decision would factor into any potential trade.

    Odds that a trade happens: 4-to-1

Will the Celtics Deal at Least One of Their First-Round Picks?

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    The Boston Celtics currently have two first-round picks—Nos. 21 and 22—but there's a very good chance that they'll move at least one of those selections before the draft is complete Thursday night.

    Due to the relative youth of the Celtics bench, Comcast SportsNet New England writes that Boston's front office is looking to deal one (or both) of the picks in an attempt to either move up or to add an established veteran to the roster.

    A strong case can be made for Boston keeping both selections, however. The team only has four players under contract for next season, so using the picks would be the most cost-efficient way to fill out the roster.

    Odds that the Celtics trade at least one first-round pick: 2-to-1

Will Charlotte Take Harrison Barnes with No. 2 Pick?

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    North Carolina forward Harrison Barnes worked out last week for the Charlotte Bobcats, and if the buzz is to be believed, then there's a very good chance that he could hear his name called as the No. 2 pick in Thursday's draft.

    Of course, the obvious connection is that Bobcats' owner Michael Jordan played his college ball for the Tar Heels. But the pick would make a lot of sense financially as well.

    Charlotte would stand to do well at the gate if the team selected Barnes—one of the better pro prospects to come out of the University of North Carolina in recent years.

    Odds that the Bobcats select Barnes: 5-to-2

Will Back Issues Cause Jared Sullinger to Fall to the Second Round?

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    After a series of medical tests at the NBA combine, a number of team doctors red-flagged Ohio State power forward Jared Sullinger due to issues with his lower back.

    Sullinger's injury concerns have re-ignited the same discussions that occurred when San Antonio Spurs forward DeJuan Blair declared for the 2009 NBA Draft. Because he lacked ACLs in both knees, Blair wasn't drafted until the second round (37th overall).

    It's extremely unlikely that Sullinger's wait will be that long.

    Odds that Sullinger isn't drafted in the first round: 20-to-1

Will Milwaukee Be Able to Move into the Top 10?

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    Milwaukee has engaged in discussions with the Charlotte Bobcats for the No. 2 overall pick, but the Bucks would have to give up a fair amount of assets if a trade has any chance of going down on draft night.

    Brandon Jennings and/or Monta Ellis would almost certainly have to be included in any deal, and that price seems a bit steep just to move up 10 spots in the draft.

    Milwaukee is reportedly enamored with UConn center Andre Drummond, but is the team willing to pull the trigger on a trade that will completely reshape its roster?

    Odds that Milwaukee moves into the top 10: 15-to-1

Is Austin Rivers a Lock for the Top 10?

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    Duke shooting guard Austin Rivers is only working out with teams that have top-10 picks in Thursday's draft. The word is that he has received a promise from one of those teams that they will select him early, but that isn't necessarily a guarantee of any sort.

    A lot depends on what happens with Charlotte. Depending on what the Bobcats do with the No. 2 overall pick, the resulting domino effect could register any "promise" received by Rivers null and void.

    With so many teams in need of a scoring two-guard, however, Rivers is pretty much assured a spot in the lottery.

    Odds that Austin Rivers is a top-10 selection: 5-to-4