Amazingly, the 2013 NBA Draft is just hours away and there's still very little consensus about what's going to happen. It all starts with the unpredictability surrounding the Cleveland Cavaliers at No. 1 and trickles down throughout the rest of Round 1.
The lack of obvious selections is good news for the league. It helps create buzz because fans don't know whether there will be a flurry of trades and unexpected picks, which overshadows the lack of superstars in the underwhelming class.
Furthermore, draft night provides a major opportunity for the NBA to build off a successful postseason that concluded with another Miami Heat title. So let's examine some of the latest buzz as front offices get ready for what should be a busy day.
How would you rate Oladipo as a prospect?
Oladipo made vast progress on the offensive end during his final season at Indiana. A more consistent approach and refined form allowed him to shoot 60 percent from the floor, including 44 percent from beyond the arc, both significant increases from the prior season.
He always showed the athleticism and fight necessary to succeed as a defender, but the inability to make a major impact as a scorer held him back. So the improvement he made with the Hoosiers makes him one of the most intriguing players in the class.
Now comes word from Chad Ford of ESPN that Cavs owner Dan Gilbert is a big fan of Oladipo. It adds another possibility to the mix for the first overall pick in a year when no player has separated himself from the pack.
More draft intrigue from Cavs! Hearing, somewhat convincingly, that owner Dan Gilbert loves Victor Oladipo. Me too @cavsdan!!!— Chad Ford (@chadfordinsider) June 27, 2013
As always, trade talk heated up ahead of the draft. One named mentioned during the hoopla has been Marion. He's continued to provide solid across-the-board production for the Dallas Mavericks, and holds a player option for next season.
It doesn't sound like the Mavericks are in any rush to move him, however. ESPN Dallas' Tim MacMahon took a strong stance, stating his sources say there's absolutely no chance Marion gets moved during the draft despite the speculation.
Mavs sources insist that there is a 0% chance Shawn Marion is traded during draft. He'd have to approve deal before June 30. Not discussed.— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) June 27, 2013
Of course, that doesn't guarantee Marion will be on the Mavs' roster for opening night, but it seems like he's staying put for the time being. Even though he's not the explosive player he was during his prime, he still brings a lot to the table as a veteran.
Last year, Robinson was one of the most discussed prospects leading up to the draft and got selected fifth overall by the Sacramento Kings. They traded him to the Houston Rockets before his rookie season was finished.
The search for a permanent home could continue with a third stop during his young career. Marc Stein of ESPN reports the Cavaliers and Bulls are both interested in swapping late first-round picks for the nomadic power forward.
Thomas Robinson to Cavs for No. 19 pick. Thomas Robinson to Bulls for No. 20. Word is both of those scenarios are on table for Rockets— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) June 26, 2013
Robinson would be a wise investment for any team later in the round. He's more talented than his lackluster rookie stats would suggest, and the number of valuable assets outside the lottery is limited. If a team gives him a legitimate chance, he can make an impact.