NBA Trade Rumors: Latest Buzz Heading into Draft Lottery
With the NBA draft lottery forthcoming, there is plenty of buzz regarding what teams may or may not do with their first-round selections. Even though the draft order has yet to be determined, that hasn't stopped teams from inquiring about potential moves and getting prepared ahead of time.
There is usually a flurry of trades around draft time in the NBA, so it's interesting to note that teams are already posturing. Whether or not rumors come to fruition is anyone's guess as there is a lot that goes into making a trade, but it's certainly fun to speculate.
Here are the latest rumors and happenings surrounding the draft as Tuesday night's lottery draws near.
No. 1 Overall Pick Possibly on the Move?
The Orlando Magic have the best odds when it comes to securing the No. 1 overall pick at 25 percent, according to SI.com, but it is far from a guarantee. The Charlotte Bobcats, Cleveland Cavaliers, Phoenix Suns and New Orleans Hornets round out the top five.
All of those teams have different needs and mindsets, but it's certainly possible that any of them could trade out of the top spot if they get it.
According to Sam Amico of FOX Sports, with so much uncertainty surrounding the top of the draft this year, it wouldn't be surprising to see the No. 1 pick get traded.
With Ben McLemore looking so-so and Nerlens Noel injured, talk at NBA Combine suggests this is year No. 1 draft pick finally gets traded.— Sam Amico (@SamAmicoFSO) May 17, 2013
While trading the pick obviously depends upon who wins the lottery, Amico's assessment makes a lot of sense. There is usually a surefire top selection, but things aren't quite so black and white this year.
Kansas guard Ben McLemore is the other option, but he just doesn't seem like No. 1 pick material due to the amount of holes in his game.
There is usually very little drama when it comes to the top pick, so a trade or at least talk of a trade is welcomed. Every team has different opinions when it comes to a guy like Noel, so while the team that gets the top selection may not want him, there's another team that might be willing to give up a king's ransom in order to draft him.
Whatever the case, this promises to be one of the most intriguing drafts in recent memory.
Blazers Potentially Looking to Trade Lottery Pick
Things didn't go according to plan for the Portland Trail Blazers this season, as they missed the playoffs and are slated to pick No. 10 if the lottery is chalk. However, they are actually in a pretty advantageous position.
They already have a legitimate star in power forward LaMarcus Aldridge, and Rookie of the Year Damian Lillard figures to be a big-time point guard for many years to come. With plenty of youth and talent already on the roster, Portland has options when it comes to the draft.
According to Joe Kotoch of ProBasketballDraft.com, the Blazers are looking for center depth and may be willing to part with their lottery pick if the right deal comes along.
The Trail Blazers are actively looking for help at center and appear willing to trade their lottery pick for immediate help and depth.— Probasketballdraft (@Probballdraft) May 16, 2013
Portland already has a starting five fitting of a playoff team with Aldridge, Lillard, Wesley Matthews, Nicolas Batum and J.J. Hickson, but depth is definitely a problem and the main reason why the Blazers only went 33-49. Hickson had a great year by averaging nearly 13 points and 10 rebounds per game, but he isn't a traditional center at just 6'9".
The Blazers do have 2012 first-round pick Meyers Leonard behind him, but they are taking their time when it comes to developing the talented seven-footer. Bringing in another center could a smart move for Portland, especially since it's unlikely an immediate-impact player can be found around the No. 10 pick.
It is unclear which centers the Blazers might be targeting, but it is certainly worth monitoring.
Which draft-related rumor interests you most?
Jazz Interested in Moving Up?
Perhaps no team is more firmly entrenched in no-man's land than the Utah Jazz. Utah narrowly missed the postseason and has the lowest odds of any lottery team when it comes to landing the No. 1 pick. They also own the Golden State Warriors' No. 21 selection, so they certainly have some options.
In order for Utah to truly become a player in the Western Conference, it needs to make a big splash on draft night.
According to Bill Oram of The Salt Lake Tribune, Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey is weighing all options, including potentially moving up in order to nab a desired player.
But, Lindsey said, "I think we can move up. I think we've already had a few loose conversations around that so there's some potential there"— Bill Oram (@tribjazz) May 20, 2013
The Jazz already have a ton of depth in their frontcourt with players like Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap, Enes Kanter, Derrick Favors and Marvin Williams. Utah's guard play suffered this season, though, so it could certainly use a bona fide point guard or a shooting guard who can take over games. It's unclear if those types of players exist in this class, but the Jazz probably won't find them at No. 14 or No. 21.
If Utah can potentially get inside the top 10, then perhaps Michigan's Trey Burke or Indiana's Victor Oladipo become options. The Jazz need a player who can step in and contribute immediately at guard, and trading up is probably the best way to make that happen.
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