With the 2013 NBA draft approaching quickly, there has been plenty of speculation regarding which prospects will thrive in the NBA and where they will land. At the same time, though, there is no question that there have been discussions about possible trades that could shake up the draft.
Whether that means swapping draft choices or trading picks away in order to acquire roster players, there is little chance that the NBA draft will come and go without any movement on the trade front. Since the 2013 draft appears to lack surefire stars at the next level, it's possible that teams will be more inclined to bow out of the first round in favor of more established talent.
Here is the latest NBA draft trade buzz coming across the wire as teams posture and attempt to set themselves up for success currently and in the future.
Mavericks "Certain" to Trade No. 13 Pick?
After missing the playoffs this season, the Dallas Mavericks are armed with a lottery pick and will select 13th in the first round. The Mavs certainly have some winning pieces in the form of Dirk Nowitzki, O.J. Mayo and a few others, but they are an aging team that needs an infusion of youth. That is why it is somewhat surprising to hear that Dallas trading away the No. 13 pick is a virtual certainty, according to Sports Day DFW:
Source: Dallas Mavericks virtually certain to trade draft pick to free up money for Dwight Howard http://t.co/JT7zVe1V2r— DMNSportsDay (@SportsDayDFW) June 18, 2013
The premise behind the rumor is that Dallas is trying to make a run at free-agent center Dwight Howard. In order to do so, the Mavericks can't afford to tack on more salary. According to Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News, one source claimed that the odds of the Mavs' No. 13 pick ending up on the opening-day roster are "0 percent." The logic is sound to some degree, but there is plenty of risk involved as well.
Howard may have interest in playing alongside Nowitzki, but if he spurns Dallas for another team, the Mavericks could be left with nothing to show for their offseason. The Mavs have a lot of holes to fill, and it's possible that a quality prospect will fall into their laps. Even if the plan is to go after Howard, Dallas should select a promising international player, such as German point guard Dennis Schroeder, at the very least. If nothing else, he can be stashed overseas for a year and brought to Dallas when there is room.
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Warriors Hoping to Trade for Draft Choice
After a strong season that saw them reach the Western Conference Semifinals, the Golden State Warriors are looking to improve and take that next step. It will be extremely difficult for them to do that through the draft, however, as the Warriors are currently without a pick. Both their first- and second-round selections were traded, so Golden State will either have to sit the draft out or trade their way into it.
According to Marcus Thompson II of the Contra Costa Times, Warriors general manager Bob Myers has definite interest in acquiring a draft pick at some point:
We'd love to have a pick, Myers said Wednesday in a meeting with local media. What we would look at if it would make sense and there's a nice young player. ... It's always good to have young players. They're cheaper. ... The fact that we have a lot of young players makes it that we're not desperate. But if you can find good players on rookie deals, you always want to do that.
It would probably be tough for Golden State to trade into the first round without giving up an established player, but acquiring a second-round pick won't be an issue if Myers decides to do that. Thompson is reporting that buying a pick from a cash-starved team is an option for the Warriors, so look for them to go that route, if anything.
Cavaliers Entertaining Offers for No. 1 Overall Selection
Having the No. 1 overall pick is normally a great thing, but the Cleveland Cavaliers may view it as a curse more than a blessing. Nobody knows for sure who the Cavs might take with the top pick, as the likes of Nerlens Noel, Alex Len, Otto Porter, Ben McLemore and others are in the mix. At the same time, it's entirely possible that Cleveland could trade away its No. 1 choice.
According to Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio, the Cavaliers are examining several trade options, including dealing away the No. 1 pick. Amico is reporting that the talks surrounding the No. 1 overall selection involve a "viable" small forward potentially going to Cleveland.
At the same time, rumors are swirling regarding prospects the Cavs might select. According to Jimmy Smith of the New Orleans Times-Picayune, Len has surged to the top of Cleveland's draft board and may be the first player taken if the Cavs hang onto their pick.
Whatever the case, the Cavaliers have a lot of options, so they should come away from draft night with at least one or two impact players to add to their young, talented core.
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