The 2013 NBA draft is just a few hours away (7 p.m. ET on ESPN), and the excitement surrounding potential trades on draft day has the entire basketball community buzzing.
All of the following rumors have been the talk of the NBA, and if any of these scenarios come to fruition, it will be one of the wilder events all year.
Boston Celtics Drawing Interest for Paul Pierce?
The Boston Celtics look to be heading toward a complete rebuild, and the next step in that process will likely be dealing veteran small forward Paul Pierce.
While his expensive contract will be hard to move ($15.3 million option for next season), teams are already interested in a possible deal, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.com:
The Cleveland Cavaliers and the Milwaukee Bucks are among the teams that have expressed trade interest in Boston Celtics star Paul Pierce, according to sources with knowledge of the talks. But sources told ESPN.com that Pierce is most likely headed to neither one of those teams if he leaves the Celtics this week.
It will be incredibly hard to make a deal—especially considering the Celtics can buy out Pierce for just $5 million before the June 30th deadline—but if the team wants to get any kind of return for the veteran, the franchise must make it happen.
Oklahoma City Thunder Looking to Make a Splash?
The Oklahoma City Thunder are one of the most talented teams in the NBA, but after losing point guard Russell Westbrook to a knee injury and being destroyed in the paint during the postseason, the weaknesses with the team have become very clear.
Instead of staying with the current roster and the team's current picks, the Thunder are looking to make a huge splash on draft day by pulling off a blockbuster trade, per Andy Katz of ESPN.com:
Elsewhere, a source said Oklahoma City was interested in packaging its two first-round picks (Nos. 12 and 29) and Kendrick Perkins for a top-five pick. But the Thunder have had no takers either.
Oklahoma City moving into the top five should be a terrifying proposition for the rest of the Western Conference.
If the franchise is able to pull off this move and snag a top-tier player like Otto Porter, Ben McLemore or Alex Len, the Thunder will be even more dangerous in the years to come.
Dallas Mavericks Trying to Move the No. 13 Pick?
According to Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News, there is an "80 percent chance" the Dallas Mavericks trade the No. 13 overall pick in order to clear room for a run at free-agent center Dwight Howard, and while the franchise was having a hard time finding a partner, it looks like the New Orleans Pelicans could be the right fit.
NBC New Orleans sports reporter Fletcher Mackel is reporting the Pelicans could have a plan already in place if this deal comes to fruition:
REPORT don't be surprised if Pelicans acquire 13th pk from Mavs, select Giannis Adetokunbo. NOLA also gets Shawn Marion, send Mavs future pk— Fletcher Mackel (@FletcherMackel) June 22, 2013
New Orleans is all about stockpiling young talent that could one day blossom into NBA stars, and the No. 13 overall pick in this class is still a very solid pick. Dallas would send a high-priced player in the deal as well, freeing up the space needed for a run at a big-name free agent.
It’s the ultimate win-win situation.