With the 2012 NBA draft quickly approaching, many teams will be scrambling to trade up to secure a better player than they can get with the pick they currently own.
A trade like this could be made for many reasons.
Some teams just want to move up a few spots to grab a player they aren’t positive will fall to them, like the Rockets did this year when they moved up from No. 14 to No. 12.
Other teams will be trying to make a huge splash to guarantee them a much better talent than they could have originally taken, like the Bobcats did last year when they moved up from No. 19 to No. 7.
Either way, you can guarantee there will be tons of action that goes down on draft night with players being shipped from one team to another before they even have a chance to step on the court.
Here are four teams that are rumored to be trying to trade up in the 2012 NBA draft.
Ever since the combine and individual workouts began, Florida’s Brad Beal has been flying up most team’s draft boards. Many teams even believe he is the second best player in the entire draft.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are one of those teams, and even though they currently own the No. 4 pick, that may not be high enough to get the player they covet the most.
It is believed the Washington Wizards are looking to select Beal with the No. 3 pick, so the Cavs must complete a trade with the Bobcats for the No. 2 pick in order to steal him away.
According to Steve Kyler of Hoopsworld, the Cavs have an offer on the table that would send the No. 4 and No. 24 picks to Charlotte in return for No. 2.
Giving up another first-round pick just to move up two spots seems like a steep price, but it will be worth it in the end for the Cavs when Kyrie Irving and Brad Beal become the most dynamic backcourt in the NBA.
The Houston Rockets have been wheeling and dealing in the week leading up to the draft, but don’t appear to be done just yet.
First, they traded 24-year-old small forward Chase Budinger to the Minnesota Timberwolves for the No. 18 pick in the draft. After that, they traded the No. 14 pick along with Samuel Dalembert to move up to No. 12.
It is believed that the Rockets are acquiring so many draft picks in an attempt to make a huge trade offer for Orlando Magic star Dwight Howard. However, having three picks outside of the top 10 will most likely not get that done.
According to David Aldridge of NBA.com, the Rockets are attempting to move into the top five by offering the No. 16 pick and Kyle Lowry to the Kings in exchange for No. 5. However, this deal was rejected, and leaves the Rockets on the outside looking in.
Unless the Rockets can find a way to move up into the top five, it is unlikely they will be able to land any big stars and will be stuck with three average picks instead.
The Los Angeles Lakers are looking to add youth to their roster, and are seemingly willing to put anyone except Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum on the trade block to achieve that.
They currently don’t have a first-round pick, but will supposedly take any selection they can get their hands on in the first round.
A source told ESPN that if the Lakers are going to trade Pau Gasol, they are looking for a top-10 pick and an established player in return. This will be difficult to execute, as most teams in the top 10 are also looking to add youth, not a 31-year-old who has been labeled as “soft” in recent years.
Another player the Lakers are looking to move is Metta World Peace. The team are willing to take a late first-round pick in exchange for the 32-year-old, according to Fox Sports Ohio. If they can find a trade suitor for World Peace, they will be looking to select either Baylor’s Quincy Miller or Kentucky’s Marquis Teague.
The Lakers must find a way to move up in this draft or they will be stuck entering next season with basically the same squad that got bounced from the playoffs in the second round last year.
As I stated before, Brad Beal is the most highly sought-after player in this draft.
In an interview with Andy Katz of ESPN on the day before the draft, Beal admitted that Oklahoma City Thunder general manager Sam Presti told him that the team is desperately trying to move up into the top five to acquire his services.
A rumor as huge as this is usually just that. However, this one may be serious, since Beal confirmed that Presti spent three days in Gainsville, Florida this year watching him practice with the Gators.
Another source told Andy Katz that Presti has been spending a lot of time talking to Beal’s college coach Billy Donovan. He has reportedly had multiple phone conversations with him and even met with him before a Thunder playoff game in Dallas.
If this trade does in fact happen, you can guarantee Sixth Man of the Year James Harden will be involved somehow.
This would be a huge risk for the Thunder to take, but could turn out to be one of the biggest draft day trades in league history.