With Thursday's 2013 NBA draft only days away, it should come as no surprise that the rumor mill is churning at full speed.
The buzz ranges from whispers about veterans on the block to reports of which prospects are in consideration for the top pick.
Expect the buildup to the draft to be a whirlwind of activity and chatter. Plenty of deals will be discussed, and a handful might even get pushed through.
Let’s take a look at some of the latest news in today's rumor roundup.
Luol Deng and Other Veterans Could Be Traded
Deng is coming off a strong year with the Chicago Bulls, but the swingman could be one of the notable veterans moved before or during the draft.
According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, the Washington Wizards have talked with Chicago about exchanging the No. 3 overall pick for Deng. The deal would likely have to include Emeka Okafor and his not-yet-exercised $14.5 million expiring contract in order to make the salaries match.
NBA insider Ric Bucher noted that there could be some competition for Deng’s services. The Cleveland Cavaliers—who possess the No. 1 overall pick this year—have also expressed interest.
However, the Cavs might be overvaluing their selection in a weak draft and may want more than Deng in return, who is due more than $14 million for the upcoming season, the last year on his contract.
The other big names on the block are Danny Granger of the Indiana Pacers and LaMarcus Aldridge of the Portland Trail Blazers, according to Bucher.
While nothing major has happened yet, a few blockbusters could be on the horizon.
Cavs Still Undecided on No. 1 Selection
At this point in the draft process, a clear No. 1 overall pick has usually risen above the pack, making the choice all but a formality on Thursday night.
However, with such a lack of elite talent atop the class, Cleveland still hasn't decided on the top pick.
According to Terry Pluto of The Plain Dealer, Nerlens Noel scares the Cavs due to his knee issues. Pluto wrote, "It would be a shock if they made him their No. 1 pick."
Pluto noted that the only big the Cavs will consider is Alex Len, a raw talent out of Maryland. The organization is also looking at Otto Porter Jr., Ben McLemore and a handful of other prospects, but Cleveland has no favorite at this juncture.
With so many options—all with their own strengths and weaknesses—expect the unexpected from the Cavaliers on draft night.
Dallas Mavericks Looking to Trade Out
While the Cavs have yet to make a decision, the Dallas Mavericks would reportedly like to walk away from the first round altogether.
Hoopsworld’s Alex Kennedy noted that the club is trying to find a taker for the No. 13 overall pick, which would free the Mavs from paying a guaranteed contract.
Shawn Marion is also a candidate to be packaged with the selection, as the veteran forward is due more than $9 million for the upcoming season, the last year of his contract.
If owner Mark Cuban can rid his squad of "The Matrix" and a late lottery pick, he would have the financial flexibility to make a pitch to a marquee free agent and rebuild the roster in Dallas.
The phones should be busy over the next few days as the Mavs look to maneuver their way out of the lottery.
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