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NBA Draft Rumors: Analyzing Latest Buzz Heading Into Thursday's Event

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NBA Draft Rumors: Analyzing Latest Buzz Heading Into Thursday's Event
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The 2013 NBA draft will be a busy time for all 30 NBA franchises. With teams trading up and down, swapping players and contracts for cash and picks, you can never be too sure who will end up where until the dust settles.

But thanks to the seemingly endless supply of sources and insiders, it's never too early to project how the draft will shake out.

With the NBA offseason's marquee event just hours away, let's take a closer look at the latest buzz surrounding teams and players.

 

Will Cleveland Draft Victor Oladipo No. 1 Overall?

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Unlike in years past, there is no consensus No. 1 overall pick in 2013. While many believe Nerlens Noel is the best player available this summer, a serious knee injury and some concerns about his ability on the offensive end have raised doubts.

On Wednesday, ESPN NBA insider Chad Ford heard from sources that Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert likes what he has seen thus far from Indiana shooting guard Victor Oladipo:

Oladipo, who's projected as a top-five pick this summer, averaged 13.6 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.2 steals per game as a junior last season in Bloomington. More impressively, he shot 60 percent from the field and 44 percent from beyond the arc, drawing comparisons to NBA superstar Dwyane Wade.

While he's a bit undersized for the next level at 6'4", Oladipo's toughness, motor and defensive prowess set him apart from any other prospect in this class.

 

Thunder Looking to Trade Up?

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According to ESPN.com's Andy Katz, the Oklahoma City Thunder aren't content to draft late in the lottery and are hoping to move up in the first round on Thursday night. 

Here's the latest on OKC's attempts, per Katz:

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.

The Thunder traded away a key piece to their 2012 NBA Finals run when they shipped James Harden to Houston before the start of last season. By moving up a few spots from No. 12 and into the top five, OKC could land an impact player capable of stepping into the starting lineup right away next season.

That's an important factor to consider with Russell Westbrook still recovering from surgery to repair a torn lateral meniscus.

 

Suns Eyeing Point Guard Pierre Jackson?

The post-Steve Nash era in Phoenix began with a big thud in 2012-13, as the Suns struggled mightily, finishing with the worst record in the Western Conference. 

And while Goran Dragic is entrenched as the team's starting point guard, rumors are swirling that the team is interested in drafting former Baylor floor general Pierre Jackson with the 30th pick in Thursday's draft. 

But Phoenix isn't the only team that could jump at the chance to take him. Here's the breakdown from Yahoo! Sports' Marc J. Spears:

Despite standing just 5'11", Jackson is a lethal scorer with tremendous court vision. He averaged nearly 20 points per game during his senior season with Baylor while also dishing out seven assists per outing.

Even as a rookie, Jackson could provide a huge offensive boost for the Suns' second unit next season.

If Phoenix drafts him with the last selection of the first round, the Las Vegas native would likely feel right at home in the desert.

 

Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter. 

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