As expected, the trade market around the NBA began to heat up on draft night. No blockbusters were completed, but there were some smaller deals mostly involving picks and prospects. Bigger moves are likely on the horizon.
The league's power structure certainly hangs in the balance as virtually every top team has been linked to one big move or another since the season ended. Once the dust settles at the end of the summer, it will be very interesting to see how things shape up for the new campaign.
Now that the draft is complete, the talk shifts to trades and free-agent signings. So let's check out some of the latest trade buzz making its way through the league and examine what it could mean for the teams involved.
Love has been the most talked about trade target over the past few weeks. Numerous teams have been mentioned as potential landing spots. The Golden State Warriors seemed to have the inside track for awhile, as mentioned in the above video, but nobody has been able to close the deal.
Another team that could be in the mix is the Cleveland Cavaliers. Chris Broussard of ESPN talked with a source about a possible pairing of LeBron James and Love in Cleveland with Kyrie Irving. It's something that would interest the power forward:
Source who spoke with KLove says he would definitely "100 pct" stay in Cleveland longterm if LeBron is there— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) June 27, 2014
The double-double machine hasn't said much about the process to this point. The extent of his comments came while appearing on SportsNation, where he said winning was a crucial factor, as noted by Nick Solari of NESN:
No matter what the outcome is, I just want to end up in a great place where I can win. At the end of the day, I've played six years, haven't made the playoffs yet, that burns me and hurts my heart, so I really want to be playing.
Love, James and Irving would give the Cavs their own Big Three, which seems like the way of the NBA at the current time. Whether going back to Cleveland is a realistic option for James is up for debate, but Love sounds intrigued if it does play out that way.
What should the Celtics do with Rondo?
Few players have spent more time in the rumor mill over the past couple years than Rondo. Every couple months something new pops up that suggests his days with the Boston Celtics could be numbered. Yet, he's still in Boston.
Another offseason has brought another wave of talk about the point guard's future. It doesn't sound like a deal is any more likely this time around, however. Sean Deveney of the Sporting News reports the rumors don't have much substance:
But, according to a source close to the situation, Rondo has not been informed of any change of plans when it comes to the Celtics' future, and he remains committed to helping Boston in its rebuilding efforts.
"I think it is the usual BS," the source told Sporting News.
Rondo only has one season left on his deal. If no progress is made toward an extension by closer to the trade deadline, perhaps the trade rumors will take on a little more weight. The Celtics don't appear ready to move on from him quite yet, though.
Ryan Anderson and Austin Rivers
The New Orleans Pelicans feature one of the league's most promising building blocks in Anthony Davis. While that's a strong start, the depth around him would be accurately described as quantity over quality. That's something that needs to change for them to push into the playoffs and beyond.
Apparently the front office is starting the process of wheeling and dealing. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports reports that the team already has two players on the block that should be able to draw interest from other teams:
New Orleans is shopping forward Ryan Anderson and guard Austin Rivers, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) June 26, 2014
Anderson is a prototypical stretch 4 and was having his best season to date before suffering a neck injury. That obviously brings some risk into the equation, but the upside is good enough to take a chance. Rivers would benefit from finding a team where he could play a more defined role.