NBA Trade Rumors: Predicting Likelihood of Latest Potential Draft-Night Deals

Alex BallentineFeatured ColumnistJune 27, 2013

BOSTON, MA - APRIL 28: Kevin Garnett #5 of the Boston Celtics reacts following their overtime win against the New York Knicks during Game Four of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals of the 2013 NBA Playoffs on April 28, 2013 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. 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 Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
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The NBA draft tends to be a catalyst for plenty of trades, and the 2013 event should be no different. There's plenty of buzz around the league that teams are looking to move up and down the draft order tonight. 

From teams looking to unload veteran contracts for cap flexibility, to teams looking to get more picks for next year, there's sure to be plenty of movement on draft night. Or at least the threat of it. 

With the draft just hours away, the rumor mill is in full force. But what rumored trades actually have the real potential to go down?

Let's examine. 


Rumor: Cleveland Cavaliers Shopping 1st Pick to New Orleans Pelicans

In what may be rumor No. 1,000 about the Cavs seeking to trade the first pick, Alex Kennedy of Hoopsworld reports that the team has offered the No. 1 pick to the Pelicans:

According to Kennedy the Pelicans would need to send back the No. 6 pick, their 2014 first-round selection and Greivis Vasquez. 

This is a far departure from other rumored Cavs proposals because they wouldn't be receiving a star player in return. Kennedy has reported another offer that the Cavs made to the Minnesota Timberwolves that would have brought back Kevin Love in return. 

That trade was denied, per Andy Katz of ESPN

Probability: 50 Percent

According to the report, Kennedy doesn't know if the Pelicans would be interested in a deal. If the Pelicans are enamored with someone at the top of the draft that they don't think they can get at No. 6, it's a reasonable deal. 

Greivis Vasquez is a nice player but certainly not worth balking at the opportunity to pick No. 1. The real question for the Pelicans is if they want to miss out on a 2014 draft class that may be loaded with elite talent. 


Rumor: Oklahoma City Thunder Trying to Trade into Top 5

In a draft where it seems like most teams are desperate to move down, the Oklahoma City Thunder would apparently like to move up. According to Andy Katz of ESPN, the Thunder are looking to package picks No. 12 and 29 with Kendrick Perkins in exchange for a pick in the top five of the draft. 

Moving up would certainly be a bold move for the Thunder. They're obviously one of the elite teams in the Western Conference, and adding a top-five selection would make their roster even stronger. 

Probability: 15 Percent

The odds just don't look good here. Katz reports that the Thunder are having difficulty finding anyone in the top five that would be interested. That's to be expected. 

In an incredibly weak class, the No. 29 pick doesn't promise to be an excellent player, so it really comes down to the No. 12 selection and Kendrick Perkins. The Thunder power forward had a paltry PER of 8.20 last season. 

A GM trading out of a top-five pick for that package should be out of a job shortly thereafter. 


Rumor: Brooklyn Nets Interested in Acquiring Kevin Garnett

The Boston Celtics figure to be a busy team on draft night, despite owning just one pick. Paul Pierce rumors have been a popular topic in the lead-up to the draft, and now it appears teams will be targeting Kevin Garnett too. 

According to Stefan Brody of the New York Daily News, the Brooklyn Nets have inquired about Kevin Garnett's desire to join Deron Williams in New York:

The Nets already have an impressive starting five, but a capable power forward such as Garnett would take the roster to the next level. 

Probability: 20 Percent

Here's why it could happen—the Celtics need young talent and cap space to start rebuilding the roster. Shipping off Garnett, who still has a two-year, $24 million deal on the books, to the Nets could help in both regards. 

They could conceivably offer up a first-round pick, Kris Humphries and his expiring $12 million, and promising guard MarShon Brooks.

Here's why it won't happen—the Celtics may be rebuilding, but they're still going to be competitive. Trading Garnett to an intra-division rival doesn't seem like a move that's in the cards for them. Another hurdle would be Garnett himself. He has a no-trade clause that he would have to waive. 

Can the Nets convince him they have a legitimate shot at the championship?