The 2010 NBA Draft is right around the corner, along with the wall-to-wall coverage Bleacher Report will bring fans on the evening of June 24.
Yes, wall pun intended.
John Wall, the guy who will go No. 1 to the Washington Wizards on draft night, is about the only cemented piece of the puzzle—with the remaining players going a whirlwind of different directions depending on which mock draft you’re reading.
But who’s going where isn’t the topic of this slideshow.
Instead, today we are going to be taking a look at a handful of teams likely to trade up on draft night or sooner in an attempt to nab a higher pick.
Which five teams are most likely to push for a trade to draft up—and who will they pick—in this week’s basketball draft?
Let’s begin with No. 5...
Is there really much of a reason for the Utah Jazz to trade up for a higher draft pick?
But that doesn’t mean they aren’t still going to try.
Utah, although already picking in single digits, has been linked to doing just about anything possible to move up in this week’s draft.
According to Gordon Mason of The Salt Lake Tribune, “Point is, the Jazz have to be willing to pay the price, namely forfeit valued assets, to move up. Their cap issues make it more complicated, but still doable. If they understand their predicament, they’ll find the motivation.”
Regardless of whether Utah trades up in the 2010 NBA Draft or stays put at No. 9, the Jazz will likely be landing a solid player this week.
And if they pick at their current No. 9 selection, they’ll likely take forward Greg Monroe or center Cole Aldrich.
As mentioned about the Utah Jazz, the same could easily ring true with the New Orleans Hornets as well.
However, the Hornets are trying to draft up prior to Thursday.
Most mock draft and rumors, though, would only have New Orleans moving up a few spots—max—with a trade.
So, is it even worth it?
I highly doubt it, although anything is possible.
Especially when it comes to draft day or pre-draft trades.
But I really believe the Hornets will stay put with a high pick in the 2010 NBA Draft.
And if they end up staying put at No. 11, it appears as though New Orleans will likely select center Daniel Orton in this week’s draft.
According to multiple reports, Houston general manager Daryl Morey and the Rockets are trying to do everything possible to trade up for a higher draft pick.
If it actually happens has yet to be seen.
However, if you look at the Rockets history in the NBA Draft—the last player they actually acquired and signed on draft day is Aaron Brooks—you’ll notice there’s at least a high probability of Houston either drafting up or trading their pick to a team holding a player they desire.
Only time will tell, but with the draft just a couple days away I’d keep my eyes on the Rockets trying to get a higher pick than their current No. 14 selection.
Numerous sources have pointed towards Houston eying the possibility of landing center DeMarcus Cousins, who is predicted to be taken as high as No. 4 in this week’s draft.
Another long shot, at least according to a few sources, have the Rockets even going after the No. 3 selection in an attempt to sign forward Derrick Favors.
But as mentioned, that’s truly a long shot.
Like Yao Ming draining a half-court three-pointer long shot.
We’ll see, though.
Because who knows? Yao COULD actually drain a half-court heave.
If, however, Houston remains put at No. 14—which is still highly likely—look for Morey and the Rockets to nab center Hassan Whiteside.
Or someone that no one has even named in a single mock draft, as Morey seems to find talent no matter how deep in the draft Houston picks.
The San Antonio Spurs, currently stuck at No. 20 in the 2010 NBA Draft, are a high possibility of a team that will draft up prior to Thursday.
Some rumors have linked San Antonio to considering letting go of Tony Parker in an attempt to build towards the future.
However, I highly doubt the Spurs will be ridding themselves of Parker.
Could they try to draft up and nab a big guy like Ed Davis, Greg Monroe, or Ekpe Udoh?
Sure, it could happen.
But all three of those guys will likely have already been selected when San Antonio makes their first round pick this week.
And if the Spurs remain at No. 20 in this week’s draft, look for San Antonio to go after former University of Texas forward Damion James.
Reason enough to be No. 1 on this list?
The Denver Nuggets don’t have a single selection in the 2010 NBA Draft—due to a handful of their picks being traded away in the past—and management is desperate to get a hand in this week’s draft.
There’s no doubt Denver needs help in terms of future growth.
But I highly doubt the Nuggets will be getting involved in Thursday’s draft unless a HUGE trade occurs.
The fact remains that Denver doesn’t own a pick in this summer’s basketball draft because of prior trades.
And it likely remains on the outside looking in.
With no current picks in Thursday's basketball draft, it’s really hard to predict who—if anyone—Denver selects.
But IF they are able to make a trade and get into the action of this week’s NBA Draft, look for the Nuggets to go after forward Ed Davis—especially if the rumors pan out regarding the Indiana Pacers possibly shipping Ty Lawson to Denver in order to get a hand in what many consider a very deep draft.
Denton Ramsey may be reached via email at email@example.com