With mere hours to spare before the beginning of the 2014 NBA draft, rumors and speculation are flying.
This close to the draft, there's usually some validity to the news that circulates. Whether all of these deals and all of the news wind up playing a role in Thursday's proceedings remains to be seen.
History has proved that sometimes the deals involving selections aren't actually done until the draft is over. Back in 2012, the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder swung a huge deal that sent Jeremy Lamb and Kevin Martin to the Oklahoma City Thunder for James Harden, Cole Aldrich, Lazar Hayward and Daequan Cook.
With players like Kevin Love of the Minnesota Timberwolves in a similar situation as the one Harden was in two years ago, it isn't crazy to think we could see another huge post-draft deal.
That said, here's a few of the latest tidbits in circulation on the rumor wire.
Boston Wants Smart or Randle
Per Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress, the Boston Celtics are deciding whether to go big or small with the sixth pick in the NBA draft.
Pretty much everyone I talk to is indicating that the Celtics are down to Randle or Smart at #6. Gordon seemingly third. Vonleh not in mix.— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) June 25, 2014
Drafting Marcus Smart wouldn't necessarily mean that Rajon Rondo's days in Beantown are numbered, but it would certainly make trading him a bit easier down the road.
By most accounts, Smart blew scouts and general managers away during the predraft process.
Marcus Smart handled himself incredibly well. Wanted competition in workouts. Went twice to LAL, Boston, Orlando.— Andy Katz (@ESPNAndyKatz) June 26, 2014
While he could possibly play 2-guard, his best position is the point.
Rondo is going to be a free agent at the end of the upcoming season. Unless Boston is sure it wants Rondo to be part of its long-term plans, taking Smart could be a long-term plan in itself.
Julius Randle would instantly give Boston an offensive presence in the paint, but quite honestly, his upside and potential impact on the organization doesn't seem to be as tantalizing as Smart's. Randle seems better suited for the Los Angeles Lakers, with whom he had a great workout.
He grew up a Lakers fan, and after his workout, he talked as if he were preparing to join the team.
"I heard Kobe was a little tough on rookies, but I don't care," Randle said, per Eric Pincus of The Baltimore Sun. "The city of Los Angeles expects nothing but championships. What more can I ask for? I'm a little prepared for it because, coming from Kentucky -- lose a game and they go crazy."
Randle also reportedly turned down a second workout with the Celtics, but not for a photo shoot with GQ magazine, as had been previously reported.
Julius Randle said he did pass on the second opportunity to work out with #celtics but NOT for GQ shoot. Said he felt he had shown enough— gary washburn (@GwashburnGlobe) June 25, 2014
If the Celtics keep the pick, it would be a surprise if they didn't draft Smart.
Dante Exum Not Giving Cleveland a Second Look
According to Chad Ford of ESPN, Australian prospect Dante Exum has decided not to fly to Cleveland at the 11th hour for a workout.
Dante Exum has declined to fly to Cleveland for a workout today according to a source— Chad Ford (@chadfordinsider) June 26, 2014
It's hard to blame Exum and his camp for turning down the "opportunity." It would seem teams have had ample time to evaluate and speak with the prospects they are most interested in. Exum probably isn't pining to land in Cleveland, especially since the team already has a star at his best position in point guard Kyrie Irving.
Is there a way this development affects Cleveland's decision on Thursday night?
Cavs Shopping Orlando's Picks
In another tweet from Ford, he talks about rumors of more Cavaliers' maneuvering.
Sources: Cavs were calling around offering teams Orlando's picks at 4 & 12 for players last night. Interesting— Chad Ford (@chadfordinsider) June 26, 2014
If we put these two pieces of information together, it sounds as if the Orlando Magic may have approached, or even agreed upon, a deal with the Cavs to send both of their first-round picks to Cleveland for the top pick.
In that case, perhaps the Cavs were trying to get a closer look at Exum because he may still be on the board when the team picks at No. 4.
To quote old-school rapper Turbo B: "It's getting kinda hectic." No fear. Order will be restored soon.
Follow me on Twitter.