The 2014 NBA draft is nearly upon us. On June 26, NBA commissioner Adam Silver will announce who the Cleveland Cavaliers select with the first pick. But until then, all we can do is speculate. There are, however, plenty of rumors circulating the draft to keep us busy in the meantime.
The juiciest and most intriguing of these rumors involve the Cavaliers, the No. 1 pick and Kevin Love. Per an interview with USA Today, Love admitted that there was truth to the rumors that have surfaced about him possibly being traded to the Cavaliers. The Minnesota Timberwolves are looking to trade the three-time NBA All-Star, knowing that he may not re-sign with the team after his contract expires at the end of the 2014 season.
If the Cavaliers are going to acquire Love, they will have to offer a significant package. The No. 1 pick and another player, perhaps Dion Waiters, could be enough for the Timberwolves to accept a trade for Love.
If the Cavaliers decide to do this, it would make the already uncertain future of Anthony Bennett even more muddled. Last year's number one pick, Bennett, has been a major disappointment so far. In his first season, Bennett averaged 4.2 points, 3.0 rebounds and 0.3 assists. Love and Bennett play practically the same position and do similar things on the court. If Cleveland trades for Love, it may signal that they have already given up on Bennett.
Other news that could affect the lottery involves Julius Randle. The former Kentucky forward has been widely considered a potential lottery pick, but according to Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski, Randle is likely to require surgery after injuring his right foot:
Randle is expected to be out for six to eight weeks, but there is hope that he'll be cleared for the start of training camp. The news isn't expected to affect Randle's draft stock too severely, although it may cause him to fall a couple of picks if the injury affects his performance in his individual workouts with teams.
According to ESPN's Chad Ford, Latvian forward Kristaps Porzingis has withdrawn his name from the 2014 NBA draft. Some believed that Porzingis could have been a top-20 pick, but Porzingis and his agent believe that he can be selected even higher in the 2015 draft.
One NBA general manager told ESPN, "He's very talented. He wasn't ready, but we would've seriously considered drafting him anyway. If he continues to develop his game, get more minutes and his body develops, I think he could be a top-five pick in 2015. He has that kind of talent."
The NBA draft can be seen Thursday, June 26, on ESPN.