2012 NBA Draft: Hottest Rumors and News Approaching the Draft
The NBA Draft is hours away, and teams are now formulating all types of trades to be in the best position for the offseason.
There's some free agent activity, draft pick rumors and even some trades happening as we speak.
And, above all, it's my job to get all those rumors and happenings right in front of your face.
So, let's get started on some of the hottest rumors and trade talks around the sports world.
Tyreke Evans Wants out of Sacramento
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Sam Amick reported on Sulia.com that Tyreke Evans no longer wants to play the small forward position that he's been playing in Sacramento.
"So I'm told the former Rookie of the Year who won that award as a point guard has informed the team that he doesn't want to play small forward spot anymore. Add this to the fact that he's not getting an extension this summer and no one in his camp thinks the Kings will pay big next summer when he's a restricted free agent, and you start to understand why he's available for the right price. This Evans situation, in other words, isn't going away anytime soon."
Evans' points, assists and rebounds have steadily declined since his rookie season, mostly due to positional experimenting. He started at SF last season, and was in flux for much of his sophomore season as well.
The 2009-2010 Rookie of the Year, Evans posted 20.1 points, 5.8 assists, 5.3 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game his rookie season, joining the 20-5-5 rookie club along with LeBron James, Oscar Robertson and Michael Jordan.
“It doesn’t really matter but if it was my decision I think I’m better with the ball in my hands but I did a good job of learning how to play the three spot, even though that is not my natural position, but I learned a lot of things that towards the end of the season I got better at. I just think it’s getting better and playing different positions and learning new things but I think I’m better with the ball in my hands.”
While the claims have been refuted, rumor has it that the Houston Rockets have offered the Sacramento Kings the No. 14 and 16 pick along with Kyle Lowry for Sacramento's No. 5 overall pick and Evans.
Told there is no way that Kings would do purported offer of Lowry/14/16 for Evans and five if it was even actually offered.— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) June 26, 2012
OKC Forfeits Future Second-Round Draft Pick to Boston for Jeff Green's Condition
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Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski has reported that commissioner David Stern has forced the Oklahoma City Thunder to send the Boston Celtics a future second-round draft pick as "compensation for the heart problems that Jeff Green suffered with the Celtics."
OKC will surrender its 2013 second-round pick which it received from the Charlotte Bobcats, likely to be the 31st pick in the 2013 NBA Draft.
Green sat out the 2011-2012 season with an aortic aneurysm, but is set to come back next season. Wojnarowski reports that the Celtics plan to re-sign him.
J.R. Smith Declines Option, Only to Re-Sign with Knicks
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ESPN News Services reported on Tuesday that Knicks' guard, J.R. Smith, declined his $2.4 million player option, making him a free agent on July 1.
The belief around the media is that he will re-sign with the Knicks, activating his Bird Rights and making at least $5.33 millions in a one-year contract with New York.
Smith averaged 12.5 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.5 steals last season with the Knicks.
Portland Trail Blazers Extend Nicolas Batum $4.2M Qualifying Offer
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The wait is finally over.
After failing to reach an agreement for a contract extension during the season, the Portland Trail Blazers have extended Nicolas Batum a qualifying offer worth $4.38 million, making him a restricted free agent heading into the offseason.
The Blazers now reserve the right to match any offers that teams make Batum. If he accepts the qualifying offer, Batum will become an unrestricted free agent in 2013, but all indications are he wants to be in Portland.
Batum averaged 13.9 points and 4.6 rebounds for Portland last season and is considered one of the "cornerstones" of the franchise next to LaMarcus Aldridge.
Lakers Trying to Move Up into First Round
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The L.A. Lakers currently hold the last pick in this year's draft, but FoxSportsOhio has reported that they're open to trading Metta World Peace for a late first-round pick in an effort to land Baylor's Quincy Miller or Kentucky's Marquis Teague.
Not too sure if MWP is worth a first-round pick at this stage in his career, but any form of youth for the Lakers would be a blessing in disguise.
Steve Nash Is "Open to Everything"
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While the New York Knicks headline Steve Nash's possible landing places, the future Hall-of-Fame PG is keeping his options open for the free agency.
"It sounds like a company line, but my situation really right now is I'm open to everything...and I will definitely look at every situation that comes my way on Sunday, and I'm not going to close myself to any opportunities."
He also told SLAM he would consider playing with the Knicks and rejoining forces with Amar'e Stoudemire.
However, SportsNet's Eric Smith believes he has a legitimate three-team shortlist consisting of the Trail Blazers, Raptors and the Suns.
Let's pray we don't have another LeBron James "The Decision" in the making.
Houston Is Trying to Acquire Dwight Howard
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Multiple sources, including ESPN.com and Yahoo! Sports, have confirmed that the Houston Rockets are attempting to stockpile their resources in an effort to make a trade for Dwight Howard, even if it's for a one-year rental.
They have already begun by dealing Chase Budinger to the Minnesota T'Wolves for the No. 18 overall pick, and they reportedly plan on using packaging the No. 14, 16 and 18 picks along with guard Kyle Lowry in an effort to move up for two picks in the top 10.
The Rockets would be able to receive Howard via sign-and-trade and offer Deron Williams a max contract, making them the core of a starting lineup that would also include Kevin Martin, Chandler Parsons and Luis Scola.
ESPN's Marc Stein also tweeted that the Rockets will go after Atlanta's Josh Smith if Orlando doesn't budge.
Trade story add: Dwight obviously Rockets' dream target but sources say they'll pursue Atlanta's Josh Smith (and others) if ORL won't budge
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) June 26, 2012
Blazers Shopping Jamal Crawford, Bought Victor Claver
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Chris Haynes, a Trail Blazers Insider for CSNNW.com, has reported that Portland is "fielding trade offers for Jamal Crawford and the Philadelphia 76ers, Minnesota Timberwolves, and Boston Celtics are among the teams actively pursuing the scoring specialist intensely."
Crawford averaged 13.9 points per game on 38.4 percent shooting from the field and 30.8 percent shooting from three—all the lowest averages he's had in 10 seasons.
He has yet to opt-out of his player option worth $2.5 million, and has confirmed he will do so if the Blazers don't trade him by June 30.
In addition, this tweet from Spanish Hoops writer, Emilio V. Escudero, translates into "(Victor Claver) has told Valencia Basket he's leaving and he will pay the buyout of 600,000 euros (around $800,000) to play in Portland."
Me cuenta @raulcosin que Claver ha dicho al Valencia Basket que se va y que pagará los 600.000 euros de la cláusula para jugar en Portland
— Emilio V. Escudero (@EmiliovEscudero) June 26, 2012