NBA Trade Rumors: Buying or Selling Pre-Draft Trade Buzz

Alex BallentineFeatured ColumnistJune 24, 2013

CLEVELAND - MAY 11:  Paul Pierce #34 of the Boston Celtics reacts after a fourth quarter basket while playing the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2010 NBA Playoffs at Quicken Loans Arena on May 11, 2010 in Cleveland, Ohio. Boston won the game 120-88 to take a 3-2 series lead. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
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The days leading up to the NBA draft are usually filled with plenty of buzz emanating from the rumor mill.

Just four days out from the 2013 edition, this year is clearly no different. From pricey veterans that may be victims of teams preparing for free agency or a youth movement, to teams looking to move around for picks, it's safe to say we'll see some exchanges take place on draft night. 

It's also important to keep in mind that not everything that glitters is gold. Some rumors are just that—rumors. So what's the latest buzz that seems likely to actually go down? And what rumors just seem a little more far-fetched?

Let's examine, with a little game of buy or sell. 



Cleveland Cavaliers Eyeing Paul Pierce

Armed with the No. 1, 19, 31 and 33 picks in the draft, the Cleveland Cavaliers may be the biggest mover and shaker of the night. 

According to Sam Amico of Fox Sports via Pro Basketball Talk, there's a good chance that the Cavaliers are trying to use their two second round picks to acquire veteran small forward Paul Pierce from the Cetlics. 

The idea is that the Celtics are about to enter a rebuilding stage and would love to shed Pierce's $15.3 million contract for next season, but they would have to pay a $5 million buyout. Obviously, Pierce is worth more than the two second round choices, but if they elect to trade him, they will escape the situation without paying any money. 

Verdict: Sell

Even if Boston is trying to re-build the roster, this rumor doesn't make sense on multiple levels.

First there's the issue of fan relations. Paul Pierce is one of the most beloved Celtics of all time. Does the organization really want his career in Boston to end in a trade that only brings them two second rounders?

Then there's the issue of timing. Trying to rebuild is one thing, but doing so with shrewd moves is another. During the draft when teams still have the opportunity to acquire players both in the draft and in free agency is not a good time to try to deal an aging star. 

Now when there are a slew of teams heading into the trade deadline looking for expiring deals or a veteran to put them over the top? That's the time to deal Pierce. Not now. Danny Ainge is smarter than that. 



Philadelphia 76ers Looking to Pick Twice in First Round

There's bound to be more than one trade that involves some jockeying around in the draft order, and it appears that the Philadelphia 76ers are planning on being involved in at least one of those deals. 

According to Alex Kennedy of USA Today the Sixers are one of several teams that are interested in trading back into the first round to acquire a big. 

The 76ers own the No. 11 pick in the draft and are reportedly looking to acquire a late first round pick if they don't land a center with that pick. 

Verdict: Buy

This is a rumor that makes a lot of sense. The 76ers will have plenty of options of big men at No. 11 and Tyler Zeller seems like the most obvious choice. 

But his selection wouldn't solve all of the Sixers' woes on the interior,  the Sixers have a serious shortage of players that can contribute down low. 

Considering the low cost of a first round draft pick on the trade market and the potential to grab someone like Lucas Nogueira would be too good to pass up.



Shawn Marion and No. 13 Pick in Play for Cleveland

Once again, the Cavaliers find themselves in the epicenter of rumblings around the league. This time, Cleveland would be getting an even a sweeter deal from the Dallas Mavericks than what they hope to get out of Boston. 

According to Joe Kotoch of Sheridan Hooops, the Cavaliers are engaged in talks with the Mavs to acquire the No. 13 pick and small forward Shawn Marion in exchange for the team's No. 19 pick.

While this is an unbalanced trade on paper, the key to the deal is Cleveland accepting Marion's $9.3 million contract next season.

Verdict: Buy

This deal makes much more sense than the Pierce one with the Boston Celtics. Dallas is in a position where they want to clear cap space to become a potential landing spot among the league's best free agents, including Dwight Howard

With the move, they would successfully get out of paying a lottery pick while getting the chance to add a cheap option off the bench. 

For the Cavs, it's all bout finding a way to compete as soon as possible. Bringing Shawn Marion into the fold is definitely a way to do that, The No. 13 pick would also give them the opportunity to draft and stash a prospect like Sergey Karasev.