NBA Trade Rumors: Latest Buzz Surrounding Potential Draft Moves

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NBA Trade Rumors: Latest Buzz Surrounding Potential Draft Moves
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Technically, the 2013 NBA draft order is official after Tuesday night's lottery.

But it's not really official. 

There is still over a month until draft night, and with a class that features zero can't-miss prospects and slightly underwhelming depth throughout, certain teams will find themselves with several options.

Do they fill depth-chart needs by staying where they are in the draft? Do they simply take the best player available, regardless of need? Or do they just trade out of their current spot and limit their participation in the lacking draft?

Just a day after the lottery, it appears the No. 1 pick is already on the block, and as we get closer to June 27, that trend will only heat up. 

Let's take a look at teams already shopping draft picks. 

 

Mavericks Clearing Space

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Mark Cuban and the Dallas Mavericks aren't used to being in the lottery, and they clearly don't like it. 

It has been a whopping 13 years since the Mavs had a lottery pick. In 2000, they selected Etan Thomas with the No. 12 overall selection, and he played a staggering zero games for them before being traded a year later. 

In fact, ever since the Mavericks landed Jim Jackson, Jamal Mashburn and Jason Kidd with consecutive top-five picks in the mid-90's, the lottery has been quite icky to them.

Therefore, it's not surprising to hear they are trying to move far away from this year's:

It makes sense. Along with the Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets, Dallas is thought to be a top contender for Dwight Howard, the soon-to-be unrestricted free agent, according to CBS Sports' Ken Berger. 

Mark Cuban already has quite a bit of cap space opened up for this summer, and there's talk that Dirk Nowitzki will take a pay cut, but trading the No. 13 pick would let the Mavs avoid the cap hold of around $1.6 million that the picks comes with. 

 

Hawks Moving Up

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With Josh Smith and several others hitting free agency, should the Hawks keep both of their first-round picks?

The Atlanta Hawks are reportedly thinking about turning their back-to-back first-round picks into one super pick. 

Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio has the news:

The Los Angeles Lakers and Atlanta Hawks are said to be two such teams, with both supposedly exploring the idea of improving their draft position.

The Hawks own back-to-back picks in the first round (Nos. 17 and 18), and may be willing to package them together for the sake of moving up, insiders said.

Larry Drew's squad will undoubtedly be one of the most compelling to watch this summer. 

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They have an astounding seven role players hitting unrestricted free agency, including Josh Smith, Devin Harris, Zaza Pachulia and Kyle Korver. With a mere $18.5 million on the books for next season, they are going to make a serious push towards Howard and Chris Paul

Still, while Atlanta could very well end up with a mega team, it could just as easily miss out on the superstar free agents and be left preparing for the future with scraps. 

With that in mind, it would probably be in their best interest to keep both first-rounders. 

It obviously depends on what kind of interest is out there, but there is very little talent difference between, say, the late lottery and their picks (Nos. 17 and 18). If the Hawks don't think they can lure Howard or Paul (free agency starts four days after the draft), they would be inclined to add as much youth as possible and treat 2013-14 as a rebuilding year. 

 

Blazers Looking for Immediate Help

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JJ Hickson is likely gone, and the Blazers' first choice isn't to replace him in the draft

With Damian Lillard, Wes Matthews, Nicolas Batum and LaMarcus Aldridge all locked up for at least two more seasons, the Portland Trail Blazers have a very good starting lineup, 1 through 4. 

However, incumbent center J.J. Hickson is set to hit free agency, and the Blazers are saying their goodbyes

Second-year big man Meyers Leonard will be there to fill his spot, but he is more of an option for the future. If the Blazers want to contend right away—which they should with three legitimate stars—they'll need to upgrade the 5 for now

Portland's No. 10 pick will garner a lot of suitors. Not only could the Blazers potentially land an immediate starter, but they could use it to free up cap space and go after a big-time free agent.

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