Updates from Thursday, June 26
Wojnarowski has the latest on Boston's pursuit to make a trade:
Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports is reporting that Cleveland has narrowed down its decision with the top selection:
Wojnarowski also shares details about when Aaron Gordon can expect to hear his name called:
Wojnarowski reports on Noah Vonleh's status:
Marc Stein of ESPN reports the Nets are looking to make a move tonight:
While it's unclear whether or not the trade rumors swirling around the Pelicans are draft-related, Wojnarowski indicates some of the players New Orleans is shopping:
TNT's David Aldridge provides more details:
ESPN's Marc Stein reports Toronto is looking to make a trade with Memphis:
Wojnarowski previously reported the Magic traded Arron Afflalo to the Nuggets:
ESPN's Chad Ford previously reported the Cavaliers hoped to work out Dante Exum today:
However, Wojnarowski is reporting that the Sixers are still trying to decide what to do with the third-overall selection:
Bill Simmons of ESPN passed along a note on how the Celtics view Joel Embiid:
As for other teams looking to move up in the draft, Jody Genessy of the Deseret News reported on the Jazz's efforts:
Wojnarowski had more insight into the Jazz's thinking heading into the draft:
Ken Berger of CBS Sports reported more on the availability of picks later in the first round:
Stein also had more information on what to expect in that range of the draft:
Updates from Wednesday, June 25
Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski reports the Timberwolves expressed interest in a trade involving the No. 1 overall pick:
Chad Ford of ESPN reports Miami may be looking to move up in the first round:
With the 2014 NBA draft one day away from kicking off, there is speculation about every pick in the first round.
After a Joel Embiid foot injury sent him plummeting down some draft boards, the No. 1 overall pick is likely down to two players. But even Jabari Parker and Andrew Wiggins aren't safe, because the Cleveland Cavaliers hold the pick—and we know what they did last summer.
As for some franchises, any number of trades could occur in the first round of the draft. One of those teams furiously looking to make a move is the Chicago Bulls, who might even move into the top 10 on Thursday night.
Then there are players rising up draft boards who might shock NBA fans when their names are called. Before the selection process gets underway on Thursday night at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN, here's a look at the latest rumors from around the league.
Cavaliers "Leaning Toward" Jabari Parker at No. 1 Overall
Since Embiid's surgery last Friday, it has been a two-man race for the first selection.
With just one day remaining until the Cavs take the podium to announce their pick, no one is sure what they might have up their sleeve. If anyone has taken the lead in the race, it's Parker, as Jeff Goodman and Chad Ford of ESPN.com report:
For the past few days, the Cavaliers, according to sources, have been leaning toward selecting Parker. The 6-8 forward averaged 19.1 points and 8.7 rebounds as a freshman at Duke last season. He would address some of Cleveland's most pressing needs: shooting, basketball smarts and toughness. If the Cavs lose Luol Deng to free agency as widely expected, they will need help at small forward.
Furthermore, owner Dan Gilbert has given a mandate to ownership to turn this roster into a playoff squad this season. Parker is, by virtually all accounts, the most NBA-ready prospect in the draft.
Goodman and Ford also note that the Cavs were unimpressed with Parker's workout and that one scout noted he appeared to be "tanking" it.
The former Duke forward shined in his one season with the Blue Devils but is in a deep class that includes Wiggins and a wild card in Australian Dante Exum. Already a polished product, Parker does appear to fit what the Cavs want next season.
With a new head coach in David Blatt and Kyrie Irving looking to make the postseason for the first time in his career, Parker has all the tools to make an immediate impact. Whether the Cavs will pick him is still a difficult call.
Bulls Looking to Trade Up to No. 8 Pick
Despite losing Derrick Rose yet again during the 2013-14 season, the Bulls were able to make the playoffs. But in a city where they raised six banners during the 1990s, simply making the postseason isn't the plan.
With Rose expected to return this season and Joakim Noah coming off one of his best statistical campaigns, the time is now for the Bulls to make a move. That's exactly what they plan to do, according to Sean Deveney of Sporting News:
Chicago has had multiple talks with Orlando, both about the No. 12 pick and shooting guard Arron Afflalo, and with Denver about No. 11, but a source told Sporting News that the Bulls have also engaged with the Kings in a potential deal for the No. 8 pick.
Chicago's focus in such a scenario would be Creighton star Doug McDermott, who averaged 21.7 points and shot 55.0 percent from the field (45.8 percent from the 3-point line) in four years with the Bluejays. The Bulls also have interest in Michigan State's Gary Harris and Michigan's Nik Stauskas, who has made Chicago his home base during the draft process.
Needless to say, Chicago has options. But which one of these trades they pull off might ultimately come down to the wire.
Whether they decide on McDermott, Harris or Stauskas, all three are elite shooters who fit the bill for the Bulls. And then there's the fact that they are potentially courting Carmelo Anthony this offseason, per Ramona Shelburne and Marc Stein of ESPN.com, which is also a huge factor for the team.
The busy offseason for Chicago is just beginning, but who it lands in the draft will be crucial to the future of the franchise.
Elfrid Payton a Top-10 Lock
Before the college basketball season, very few college basketball fans outside of Louisiana knew the name Elfrid Payton.
On Thursday night, he could be the third point guard chosen in the NBA draft.
According to Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe, the Louisiana-Lafayette product is expected to maintain a trend over the last two years by Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum of small-school point guards going in the top 10:
In a league where point guards like Lillard, Irving and John Wall have slowly started to take over, the position is an essential one for every franchise. Thanks to his athleticism and an improved jump shot, Payton might just stake his claim as the next superstar floor general.
The 6'3" point guard spoke about his meteoric rise up draft boards over the last few weeks, per Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders:
It's exciting and it just shows that anything is possible. Now, people tweet me that they want their favorite team to draft me. It's crazy, man. Just a couple of weeks ago, nobody really knew who I was. It's different now. A few more people know me now. I think these GMs have a different impression of me. I think those are the biggest differences.
Payton produced 19.2 points, 6.0 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game in his junior season. He is an athletic guard with a chance to shine in the NBA. Whoever he ends up with, Payton hopes to see that massive upswing late in the process lead to a long career.
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