The 2013 NBA draft is finally here and it promises to be an exciting one.
While the event itself is worth the hype and anticipation surrounding it, the potential for blockbuster deals that alter the landscape of the NBA is what pushes it over the edge.
With only hours remaining until commissioner David Stern waltzes to the podium and begins calling names, the swell of trade talks and the potential for the first big deal to be struck continue to grow.
Regardless of whether or not these trades happen before or during the draft and involve superstars in blockbuster deals or relatively unknown assets being moved, any transaction is going to make an impact on the league.
Let’s take a look at some of the hottest buzz and latest draft-day discussions in Thursday’s rumor roundup.
Cavs Will Make Noise
The Cleveland Cavaliers possess four of the first 33 selections in this draft, but their roster is already loaded with young talent and the Cavs are on the verge of making the leap to contender status.
With that in mind, there’s almost no chance that GM Chris Grant elects to hold on to all four selections, as his franchise should be one of the biggest wheelers and dealers on Thursday.
ESPN’s Chad Ford reported that the club is in negotiations with the Oklahoma City Thunder, Minnesota Timberwolves and Portland Trail Blazers, with each trying to acquire the No. 1 pick from Cleveland.
ESPN's Andy Katz noted the Cavs also attempted to poach Kevin Love from the Minnesota Timberwolves for Tristan Thompson, Dion Waiters and the top pick, but were unsuccessful.
Ford also pointed out that the Cavs could trade their No. 19 selection to the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for Shawn Marion’s expiring contract and the No. 13 pick, which they could potentially use to nab Sergey Karasev.
Steve Kyler, of Hoopsworld, found that the Cavs offered the No. 1 and No. 19 selection to Rip City in exchange for superstar forward LaMarcus Aldridge, but were quickly rebuffed.
Baxter Holmes of The Boston Globe discovered that the Boston Celtics were initially contacted about acquiring both of Cleveland’s second-rounders (No. 31 and 33) in exchange for veteran swingman Paul Pierce, but talks were in the preliminary stages.
As you can see, there’s a ton on the Cavaliers' plate at the moment and just about everything is in play at the moment. Don’t be surprised when they swing for the fences and pull off a blockbuster trade.
Jimmer May Get a Fresh Start
Jimmer Fredette has played two relatively poor seasons in the NBA since he was drafted No. 10 overall in the 2011 draft.
While his defense clearly needs some work, the former BYU star would benefit most from a change of pace. Getting traded from an abysmal Kings squad that has refused to use him as a unique weapon and play to his strengths would be a great start.
According to ESPN’s Marc Stein and Ford, Sacramento is looking to secure a second pick in the first round—it currently holds the No. 7 selection—and is using Fredette as the main piece to acquire one.
The two basketball insiders note that both the Indiana Pacers and Utah Jazz are intrigued, with Indy possessing the No. 23 pick and Utah holding picks No. 14 and No. 21 in the draft.
Both would represent solid locations for the Cougars' product to land, as the volume-shooting, guard with infinite range would immediately bolster a downtrodden second unit in Indianapolis and would have a huge fanbase in Salt Lake City.
For his sake, the Kings will get something done and allow the promising talent to get another chance at success in the NBA.
Hawks Looking to Move Up
The Atlanta Hawks possess back-to-back picks in the middle of the draft at No. 17 and 18, but are reportedly hoping to package them together to nab a top-five selection.
According to Yahoo! Sports’ Marc J. Spears, the club has had at least one discussion with a team holding a top-five pick. The Hawks are apparently hoping to land UCLA star Shabazz Muhammad if they can move up the board on Thursday.
It’s an intriguing decision, as some experts—such as ESPN’s Ford—have mocked Muhammad going to the Hawks as late as No. 18. However, team brass may feel that a competitor is likely to snatch the Bruins' swingman before they have a chance to call his name.
This is definitely a team to watch today, as the Hawks could be sending out a smoke screen and have ulterior motives with other plans for their two first-round picks.
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