With the Miami Heat crowned as repeat NBA champions, the focus of the collective NBA community can shift to the offseason.
The NBA draft is Thursday, June 27 and while that event is a source of hope for fans and general managers everywhere, increasing trade talks also represent opportunities for improvement.
Here is a look at the latest pre-draft trade buzz in the NBA.
Cleveland Still Pondering Its Options With No. 1 Pick
What would be the smartest move for the Cavs to make with No. 1 pick?
With no consensus No. 1 pick in the draft, Sam Amico reports that sources tell Fox Sports Ohio that the Cleveland Cavaliers are still contemplating dealing the No. 1 pick.
According to Amico, the team isn't sold on taking Kentucky's Nerlens Noel, Maryland's Alex Len, Kansas' Ben McLemore or Georgetown's Otto Porter with the pick.
If Cleveland can find a deal it feels gives it more value than one of the best players in the draft, trading down may still be the direction the team moves in. The safest selections would be Noel or McLemore, but if the Cavs like Len or Porter more, they would be better off trading down.
While both players have their qualities, neither figures to make the type of impact you'd want from a No. 1 pick.
76ers Thinking Big
Philadelphia wants to come away from the 2013 NBA draft with a big man. The team already owns the 11th pick in the draft, so it will have its first crack at a big there. Per Alex Kennedy of Hoopsworld, the team is also willing to swing a deal to add a late first-round pick to ensure it adds a pivot player.
In my latest mock draft I have the 76ers taking Indiana's Cody Zeller, which would seemingly fill their desire to add a quality big, but it is possible a team ahead of them could grab Zeller.
If he's gone, Kennedy writes that the Sixers could fancy Brazilian prospect Lucas Nogueira or Frenchmen Mouhammadou Jaiteh.
The Sixers are smart to target a big with their center situation muddied by the Andrew Bynum debacle. Zeller is a seven-footer with elite agility. He could be a weapon in the Sixers' transition offense.
Mavs and Cavs Deal?
It has been no secret the Dallas Mavericks are rumored to be shopping the 13th pick in the draft. Dallas wants to clear space for a run at Dwight Howard, per Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News. The official Twitter account of the paper tweeted that a deal may already be in place for the Mavs to move the pick:
According the Pro Basketball Draft on Twitter, that deal could be with the Cavs:
Dallas pick is available and Cavs appear to have parameters of a deal in place to move up from 19 for it. Target is Sergey Karasev.— Probasketballdraft (@Probballdraft) June 20, 2013
Targeting a sharp shooter like Sergey Karasev would make sense. The Cavs need players who can spread the floor for Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters. The 19-year-old Russian made 49 percent of his threes during Eurocup 2013.
He'd be a great fit in Cleveland.
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