2012 NBA Draft: Last-Minute Rumors Debunked

Roy BurtonContributor IJune 28, 2012

2012 NBA Draft: Last-Minute Rumors Debunked

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    The rumors surrounding the 2012 NBA draft are plentiful, and with so many "experts" offering their opinions, it's sometimes hard to separate fact from fiction. While some of the news makes sense, there are other proposals that simply can't happen.

    So before the draft gets underway, let's debunk a few of the rumors that have been making the rounds recently...

Boston Looking to Move Up to Draft Austin Rivers?

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    SI.com is reporting that Boston is looking to move into the late lottery to draft shooting guard Austin Rivers.

    The Duke product is the son of Celtics' head coach Doc Rivers, and the team is in desperate need of scoring punch off of the bench.

    However, even with two first-round picks (Nos. 21 and 22), Boston simply doesn't have enough assets to move up where they need to be. It's unlikely that Rivers lasts past the New Orleans Hornets and the No. 10 pick, and the Celtics would be hard-pressed to put together a package that would vault them into the top nine.

Is Cleveland Looking to Deal Anderson Varejao?

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    With minutes to go before the draft, ESPN's Chris Broussard reported that the Cleveland Cavaliers are looking to deal center Anderson Varejao in exchange for a lottery pick.

    Their two preferred trade partners? Golden State (which holds the No. 7 pick) and Houston (which has the Nos. 12, 16 and 18 picks).

    While a trade with the Rockets makes some sense (if Houston GM Daryl Morey doesn't land Dwight Howard), don't expect Varejao to wind up in Golden State.

    The Warriors have two talented big men (Andrew Bogut and David Lee), are already committed to $56 million in salaries next season, and couldn't add the Cavs' big man without sending some players back to Cleveland.

Wizards to Draft Harrison Barnes at No. 3?

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    Aran Smith of NBADraft.net is hearing word that the Washington Wizards are looking to draft University of North Carolina forward Harrison Barnes with the No. 3 overall pick.

    With Anthony Davis going No. 1 to the New Orleans Hornets and the Charlotte Bobcats likely taking either Thomas Robinson or Bradley Beal at No. 2, the 6'8" Barnes should be available when the Wizards are on the clock.

    However, University of Kentucky small forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist would seem to be the move there for Washington—any talk about Barnes is probably just someone trying to stir the pot at the top of the draft.

Will Golden State Select Dion Waiters at No. 7?

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    Two NBA executives reportedly told Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News that Syracuse guard Dion Waiters will be the Golden State Warriors' pick at No. 7.

    While that's not impossible, the fact that Golden State already has two young stars in its backcourt (point guard Stephen Curry and shooting guard Klay Thompson) is evidence against the pick.

    The Warriors would be better off taking a small forward such as Harrison Barnes (if he's available) or a young big man whom they can develop (John Henson, Andre Drummond).

Will Perry Jones Last to the No. 24 Pick?

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    In his last mock draft, ESPN's Chad Ford has Baylor forward Perry Jones lasting to the No. 24 pick where he will be selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers.

    Jones was previously slated to go in the 15-to-19 range by Ford, but news of a knee injury reportedly has several NBA doctors concerned about Jones' long-term prospects.

    Even with the meniscus issue, Jones has far too much potential to slide to the No. 24 pick. Some team well before then will roll the dice on the 6'11" Baylor forward and hope that the knee injury isn't all that serious.