The only way for the lesser teams in the NBA to reach the point that the Miami Heat, San Antonio Spurs, Indiana Pacers and Oklahoma City Thunder have is by rebuilding through the draft, free agency and trades.
As the June 26 draft quickly approaches, there are plenty of rumors floating around the league. There are also some whisperings on one of the best players in the NBA and his potential landing spot if he was traded.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the latest NBA rumors.
Kevin Love Heading Elsewhere?
SportsCenter pointed out that Kevin Love has his eyes locked on a couple of playoff teams that were knocked out of the first round:
Clearly, the Chicago Bulls and Golden State Warriors both present golden opportunities for Love to make the postseason. From either team’s perspective, adding a double-double threat like Love who can do anything from post up to hit the three could be the piece to put them over the top.
If we were to project ahead, landing someone like Love would give the Bulls some much-needed offense. Chicago has struggled to score the past two seasons with superstar Derrick Rose on the bench, and Love could give the Bulls another option to either pair with Rose or run the offense through.
As for Golden State, Love would give the team an interior rebounding presence—which the Warriors could have used this year given Andrew Bogut’s health—and a three-point shooting threat. Golden State spreads the floor so well and creates enough open looks off penetration that Love would have plenty of opportunities in the offense.
Michael Carter-Williams Boosting Dante Exum’s Draft Stock?
Dante Exum is one of the most intriguing prospects in the entire 2014 draft, largely because American audiences did not get the privilege of watching him in college.
Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer noted that an anonymous executive said the success of Michael Carter-Williams could be improving the Australian’s draft stock:
But the executive, who requested anonymity, added that Exum's height and athleticism are hard to overlook because of Michael Carter-Williams' success this season.
Like the Sixers rookie (6-6, 185 pounds), the 196-pound Exum towers over many other point guards. But like Carter-Williams, Exum's perimeter shooting is a huge shortcoming.
The executive pointed out, however, that Carter-Williams was the rookie of the year. That, the executive said, will entice teams to draft Exum. He said he just doesn't believe Exum will play point guard.
It is interesting that the executive doesn’t envision Exum as a point guard because Exum certainly does, via Pompey: "I see myself as a point guard. I've always been in the point-guard position. That's where I feel more comfortable. I think that's where I'm inching myself into the draft as. That's where I see myself playing."
More Activity Before Draft?
Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com pointed out fans of trades and personnel moves may be in for a treat before the draft:
The basketball portion of the pre-draft combine ended Friday with a growing sense that the period leading to the June 26 NBA Draft could include more trade activity than usual since several lottery regulars want big improvements now via a veteran rather than wait for another prospect to develop, executives and scouts told NBA.com.
The alignment of aggressive sellers with increased interest among potential buyers has created the possibility of major shifts over the next six weeks amid the obvious boost of the top selections having far more value than those who headlined what has so far turned out to be a poor 2013 draft.
This is certainly an interesting development because the 2014 draft is absolutely loaded with talented playmakers. Once the draft lottery occurs (May 20), teams will know which clubs have what picks, and the trades may follow.
Veteran help is certainly valuable, but it may be wise for some of the more downtrodden franchises to take advantage of the number of game-changing prospects in the draft.
Follow me on Twitter: