The 2013 NBA draft promises to be one of the most exciting events of the offseason, with action, intrigue and more surrounding each of the 60 selections on June 27.
However, not all of the excitement is limited to draft day. Some of the most shocking news and exciting rumors take place in the weeks leading up to the draft, as teams look to reposition up or down the big board and acquire or disperse talent on the roster.
Let’s take a look at the latest buzz surrounding the draft and more in Sunday’s rumor roundup.
Magic Interested in Moving Down
The Orlando Magic “lost” the draft lottery by drawing the No. 2 spot, despite having the best chance to win the top pick. With a clear need for a point guard at this juncture, it seems the organization wants to continue its slide down the board.
According to Brian K. Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel, the team has a handful of suitors that would be willing to facilitate the Magic’s desire to move down, but it’s currently unknown what these competitors would pay for the rights to the No. 2 selection.
It makes sense for general manager Rob Hennigan to explore his options, as the top two options on his big board need to be Michael Carter-Williams and Trey Burke. Both of these young point guards would make an immediate impact in the Magic Kingdom.
By replacing the aging Jameer Nelson and augmenting the youth movement that began after the Dwight Howard trade last summer, Orlando would be taking a huge step in the right direction.
However, it would be tough to justify either of these prospects at No. 2 overall. They could most likely be found for a more appropriate value in the mid-to-late portion of the lottery, and that is why the Magic must trade down.
T-Wolves Want to Move Up
The Minnesota Timberwolves need a shooting guard this summer, and the draft is the best way to acquire a potential star on the cheap.
While many mocks have seen C.J. McCollum or Kentavious Caldwell-Pope land in Minnesota at No. 9, this organization might have a chance to land one of the top off-guard prospects in the class.
ESPN 1500’s Darren Wolfson is reporting that the T-Wolves have a “strong interest” in moving up to nab Victor Oladipo out of Indiana. They have already spoken with members of his camp and may soon set up a workout.
The high-energy Hoosier with a nonstop motor is one of the best available players in this class, and plenty of scouts and GMs have had their eye on him since he announced he would enter the draft back in April.
It’ll be interesting to see if president Flip Saunders pulls the trigger on a blockbuster that would send the T-Wolves up the board and in position to land Oladipo later this month.
Cavs May Shock the World on Draft Day
Ever since the Cleveland Cavaliers won the 2013 draft lottery and received the No. 1 pick, it was an almost foregone conclusion that—if they didn’t trade out—they would select Nerlens Noel out of Kentucky.
However, FOX Sports Ohio’s Sam Amico is now reporting that the front office is exploring the possibility of taking Kansas’ Ben McLemore with the top pick.
Of course, the executives would be foolish not to do their due diligence concerning other potential picks aside from Noel, but the Wildcats big man has been widely established as the top prospect in this draft for some time.
There are concerns about his ACL injury and how long it may take him to return to the court, plus issues with his raw offensive game, but the flat-topped star has the motor and upside that more than make up for those faults.
McLemore may be a perimeter player with the highest upside, but the problems with his game run deeper than just undeveloped skills. He could become an elite pure scorer, but he often checks out of games mentally and does not give 100 percent on every possession.
Considering that motor is nearly impossible to teach, it’s not a good sign for the Kansas shooting guard’s prospects as a star. There’s also the fact that he plays the same position as Dion Waiters, the soon-to-be sophomore who had an excellent rookie campaign in 2012-13.
Don’t be surprised if this talk about McLemore at No. 1 is nothing more than a smoke screen and the Cavs snag Noel come draft day.