With the NBA draft just three weeks away, the rumors are starting to fly fast and furious. Misinformation is leaking about which players certain teams like, potential trades are being speculated, and fans are growing more intrigued with each bit of information that makes the rounds.
There's nothing quite like the last few weeks before the draft.
With that in mind, I've compiled a few juicy rumors and tidbits from around the league. From a projected trade to a general manager looking to make a deal in the first round, there's plenty here to get you excited for the upcoming NBA draft on June 27 in New York.
Orlando Magic Interested in Moving No. 2 Pick?
According to Brian K. Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel, the team is willing to do just that:
And they should.
The simple fact is while Orlando really needs a superstar, there may not be one atop this draft. But there is decent depth to be had, and if the Magic can move down a few slots and add another piece to the puzzle, it would make more sense than hoping, probably in vain, that Ben McLemore, Nerlens Noel or Anthony Bennett become the face of the franchise.
All are good players with big potential, but the real stars will come out in next year's draft. This year, it's hard to imagine too many of these prospects becoming bona fide elite NBA stars.
Ersan Ilyasova to Washington Wizards for No. 3 Pick?
According to Sam Amico of Fox Sports, it's a deal that has been explored by the Wizards:
Ilyasova has become a very solid player for the Milwaukee Bucks, averaging career-highs in points (13.2) and assists (1.6) per game this season. He also added 7.1 rebounds per game for the year and shot 44.4 percent from beyond the arc, making him a very versatile forward.
According to WSSP basketball insider Gery Woelfel (h/t SportsRadio 1250), the rumored deal would include another unnamed player. Still, while the Wizards would do well to add a stretch 4, Ilyasova's defensive deficiencies and the value of the No. 3 pick makes this deal seem unlikely unless the Bucks also flipped the No. 15 pick back to the Wizards.
Phoenix Suns Looking to Get Back Into First Round
The Suns should have their pick of several excellent players when they select No. 5 overall. But according to general manager Ryan McDonough, the team may try to acquire another high first-round pick.
"We've talked to a few teams about getting in the draft at different ranges," McDonough said following a non-lottery prospect pre-draft workout Friday. "We have good assets, I think, to do that. We have to evaluate all these guys, figure out where they are going to go; and then if we can get in at a particular range, where we think a guy is undervalued, we'll try to get in and get him there.
"As usual, there's a lot of discussion right now with different teams around the league, but nobody really wants to make a deal until we get closer to the draft and you figure out where guys are going to go."
The Suns also have the No. 30 pick in the first round.
With an already-young team devoid of star power, adding a few promising players in this year's draft would make a lot of sense for the Suns. Don't be surprised if they are major players on draft day.
Cleveland Cavaliers Could Take McLemore No. 1 or Trade Pick
For much of the draft process, it has been thought that the Cavs would go with Noel No. 1 overall to solidify down low. But according to Amico, the team could yet make the decision to draft McLemore:
To me, this sounds more like posturing to entice a team in love with McLemore to make a move for the No. 1 pick. Noel simply makes more sense fitting in with this young roster, injury risk and all.
And wouldn't you know it, the Cavs are looking to move that pick. From Brian Windhorst of ESPN:
The Cleveland Cavaliers, who scored the top pick at Tuesday night's draft lottery, will be willing to listen to trade offers for it.
"You want to look at all your options and make the best decision for your team," Cavs general manager Chris Grant said. "This is a valuable asset that we can add to the group, whether it's in trade or keep it and add a player."
The Cavs are in a favorable position to make a deal. The team has more than $20 million in salary cap space, the No. 1 pick plus the No. 19, No. 31 and No. 33 picks, and a roster with young prospects that could be used in a deal.
Expect a few trades atop this year's draft, folks. With no can't-miss superstars, there should be some serious movement.
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