NBA Trade Rumors: Examining Top Draft-Day Buzz for 2014 NBA Draft

Chris RolingFeatured ColumnistJune 26, 2014

Apr 14, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love (42) between plays against the Golden State Warriors during the third quarter at Oracle Arena. The Golden State Warriors defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves 130-120. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The day that dramatically alters the landscape of the NBA has finally arrived, and with it comes one final batch of rumblings from the rumor mill.

As teams make a final push to get things done to their liking, the zaniest of rumors come out, both unintentionally and perhaps as a leak to get things rolling. How much comes to fruition is up for debate, but one can't argue it does not make for a heck of an entertaining time.

While Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James rule the news, they take a backseat for at least the next 24 hours as the draft and all of its wild world of trades come into focus. Let's take a look at the latest updates.


Josh Smith on the Move?

Mar 31, 2014; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; Detroit Pistons forward Josh Smith (6) celebrates after scoring during the fourth quarter against the Milwaukee Bucks at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Pistons won 116-111. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Things are cloudy, but ESPN's Marc Stein has reported that the Sacramento Kings and Detroit Pistons have been engaged in trade talks, with the biggest name involved being one Josh Smith:

Sources say that Smith being swapped in exchange for the combination of Sacramento's Jason Thompson and Derrick Williams is one trade construction that the teams have discussed. Although one source insisted Tuesday that no deal is imminent, another source told that the teams have continued to exchange proposals, with Williams potentially being replaced by another Kings player such as Jason Terry or Carl Landry.

It's not a shock to see Smith's name come up in any hint of trade discussions at this point. From a statistical standpoint, his first year in Detroit was miserable when compared to the prior few years:

Josh Smith Last Three Seasons
ATL (11-12)66.4589.63.91.718.8
ATL (12-13)76.4658.44.21.817.5
DET (13-14)77.4196.83.31.416.4

Now add in the fact he's due $13.5 million in each of the next three years, per Spotrac. It didn't work out, but the brass in Sacramento may believe Smith can do better next to DeMarcus Cousins.

As Stein also hints, the Kings may still very much look to move the No. 8 overall selection, so keep a close eye on the franchise in the coming hours. Things may look much different in Sacramento quite soon, and not just through the addition of a rookie or two.


Bulls Enter Kevin Love Sweepstakes?

Apr 8, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love (42) grabs the ball pre game at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bulls are not joking when it comes to getting over the hump, with the main desire being somehow swiping Kevin Love away from the Minnesota Timberwolves.

According to ESPN's Chad Ford, a deal is on the table (subscription required):

"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 makes sense, as the only untouchable player on the Chicago roster is Derrick Rose, who prefers Love to Anthony, per Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times:

What we know: Rose not only has a strong friendship with Love, but the two are workout partners. Love wants to play for a winner, and indicated that the Bulls were one of the places he would like to land if Minnesota does trade him. After initially being reluctant in moving Taj Gibson, a source indicated during the Finals that only Rose was untouchable, and that’s because the often-injured guard has a contract no one wants to touch.

Look, if the brass in the front office truly has its heart set on turning things over in an effort to be more competitive, Love is the way to go. It hurts giving up a talent like Taj Gibson, but landing one of the better superstars the league has to offer has a way of mitigating the loss.

For Minnesota, this might just be as good as it gets. Gibson is a surefire starter, and two more picks help the rebuilding cause.


Cleveland May Have Found a Partner For No. 1

Mar 22, 2014; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Orlando Magic guard Arron Afflalo (4) dribbles up the court during the first half against the Utah Jazz at EnergySolutions Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Plenty of teams have come into contact with Cleveland about the top selection in this year's draft, but perhaps none have come as close as the Orlando Magic to actually obtaining it.

The coveted selection comes with a hefty price tag, and Orlando may have the ammo to pull it off. Per ESPN's Jeff Goodman and Ford, the deal involves veteran swingman Arron Afflalo:

Of the offers they've received, a source says the Cavs aren't enamored by either the Sixers' offer (Thaddeus Young and the No. 3 pick) nor the Jazz's offer (Derrick Favors and the No. 5 pick). However, the Cavs do have some interest in the Magic's offer of Arron Afflalo, the No. 4 pick and the No. 12 pick.

Talk about an easy decision. With no surefire top overall prospect, picking up a proven veteran like Afflalo—who averaged 18.2 points per game last season and hit almost two shots from deep per—while moving down a few slots is an easy pill to swallow.

Add in another selection at No. 12, and Dan Gilbert's dream of making the postseason next year might just become a reality. Just forget the LeBron talk.

As for the Magic, it's a bit of a strange deal. They need as much young talent as possible to keep the rebuild alive, so giving up two picks in the top 12 means they better truly believe their guy at No. 1 overall is a franchise-altering player.

Suffice it to say, two teams with plenty of assets seem willing to work something out.


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