The days leading up to the NBA draft each year are often filled with more rumors in total than the months leading up to the event, and that's no different as we inch closer and closer to the 2014 NBA draft.
While most teams are done analyzing the prospects, many general managers are now looking for ways to move up in the draft to get the pick necessary to draft their man. In many instances, multiple teams vie for one team's pick. A betting war ensues, and the team with the most enticing package often wins out.
The biggest rumors as we close in on Thursday's draft are all quite interesting. They all have the potential to alter the landscape of the NBA for the 2014-15 season and beyond.
Below are the three most compelling rumors you need to be aware of.
Are the Cavs Shopping No. 1?
The Cleveland Cavaliers have the No. 1 overall selection for the second year in a row, but Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio tweeted that they've had many discussions regarding the pick:
The Philadelphia 76ers, Orlando Magic and Utah Jazz are three teams that are already in the top five, and both the Sixers and Magic have two picks in the lottery. To move up to No. 1, it might take both picks.
By far the most interesting team on this list is the Minnesota Timberwolves. In all likelihood, the discussions probably had something to do with Kevin Love. While the No. 1 pick would not be nearly enough to pry Love away from the Wolves, that selection might go a long way in enticing Minnesota to make a deal.
Kyrie Irving and Love would be a formidable duo, and that pairing might have the star power necessary to attract other players to Cleveland. Middling in mediocrity for much of the past few seasons, acquiring Love might be what this franchise needs.
The No. 1 pick is a big price to pay, but to win now, sometimes dealing future potential is necessary.
Lakers and 76ers Discussing Swap
Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders tweeted an interesting rumors about the Sixers and Los Angeles Lakers last Friday:
Seeing as he ended the tweet with the question about what might be going back to the Lakers, that means this probably isn't a trade of the No. 7 pick and a player for the Sixers' No. 3 pick. This might mean that the Sixers are looking to acquire a third pick in the top 10 of the draft.
This might be done in an effort to package two of them together for the No. 1 pick, or it could just be a means to get even more young talent infused into this roster.
In terms of what the Lakers might receive, ESPN's Chad Ford (subscription required) wrote about a potential package that might work: "The Lakers have strong interest in a package of [Michael] Carter-Williams and Thaddeus Young for the No. 7 pick and Steve Nash. But so far there hasn't been any traction on that deal, according to sources."
Trading Carter-Williams would clear space for the Sixers to take Dante Exum at No. 3, and acquiring Nash would give Exum a mentor for at least one season. With picks No. 7 and 10, the Sixers have a bevy of possibilities, including Noah Vonleh, Julius Randle, Gary Harris and others.
Bulls Latest Suitors for Kevin Love
We all know about the "dead" deal between the Timberwolves and Golden State Warriors mentioned by The Boston Globe's Baxter Holmes, but just because that deal stalled at the last minute doesn't mean Love is staying put.
Ford wrote that the Chicago Bulls are now in the mix for the All-Star power forward:
The Wolves continue talking trade now with a number of teams. The Warriors, Celtics, Nuggets and Bulls are getting the most play right now. The Warriors' deal was "near the finish line" according to one source before it stalled because of the other players involved in the deal. The Bulls, who are offering Taj Gibson, Tony Snell plus Nos. 16 and 19, are the latest suitors.
That's actually a very enticing package. Gibson is a very good big man off the bench, Snell was the No. 20 overall pick in last year's draft and picks No. 16 and 19 could yield some talented prospects. The Bulls were probably looking at guys like Rodney Hood and Zach LaVine with those two picks, so the Wolves could feasibly go the same direction.
Minnesota might hold out for higher draft picks from other teams before making more progress with Chicago, but this is a very, very good deal.
The Wolves would make some much-needed steps into the rebuilding process by making this deal. They can load up on young talent and rid themselves of Love before he simply walks away in free agency.
This makes sense for all parties involved.
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