NBA Draft Rumors: The 9 Biggest Potential Moves on Draft Day
The 2011 NBA draft is going to be jam-packed with a ton of exciting action.
Despite the pool of eligible prospects being one of the weakest in recent seasons, there has been plenty of trade chatter that has been centered around some very big names.
With the likelihood of a lockout looming in the very near future, it's probable that a host of clubs will attempt to execute a flurry of moves in an effort to improve.
Is your club in the mix for a blockbuster deal? There's only one way to find out.
Milwaukee Bucks and Minnesota Timberwolves
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Minnesota Receives: C Andrew Bogut, No. 10 overall pick
Milwaukee Receives: No. 2 overall pick, cap filler
According to ESPN 1500, the Bucks placed an interesting phone call to the T-Wolves recently.
Minnesota's lack of a presence in the middle is alarming, and Milwaukee's offer of Bogut to plug the massive hole is an awfully intriguing one.
The Bucks are clearly concerned about the long-term health of Bogut, who has dealt with arm and elbow troubles over the last couple of seasons.
The T-Wolves would likely select SF Derrick Williams for the Bucks, who could use Williams as their starting small forward.
Minnesota would also be able to select a wing player like Klay Thompson or Alec Burks at No. 10 overall, which would finally fill the void in their starting five at the position.
Bogut's presence in the middle would do wonders for the T-Wolves, who could have a rapidly improved starting five next season.
Memphis Grizzlies and Cleveland Cavaliers
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Memphis Receives: No. 4 overall pick, $13.6 M Trade Exception
Cleveland Receives: SF Rudy Gay
Despite the fact that the Grizzlies have gone on the record repeatedly that they will not trade Rudy Gay, the team is undoubtedly giving it some consideration as they move forward.
The Cavaliers would finally be able to land a small forward to anchor their starting lineup, and pairing Gay with Kyrie Irving on draft night would represent a major upgrade for Cleveland.
The Grizzlies played their best basketball of the season last year once Gay went down with his season-ending shoulder injury, and it wouldn't be surprising to see them pull the trigger on this very attractive trade to accrue some financial relief and continue to get younger.
Memphis could take either Enes Kanter or another big man prospect at No. 4 overall to potentially replace Marc Gasol, who is scheduled to cash in as one of the premier free agents on the market this year.
Los Angeles Lakers and Minnesota Timberwolves
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Los Angeles Acquires: PF Kevin Love, C Darko Milicic, C Anthony Tolliver, SF Martell Webster No. 2 overall pick
Minnesota Acquires: PF Pau Gasol
It's going to be tough to make this rumored deal work because of the extraordinary amount of money owed to Gasol, but there's no denying the T-Wolves' interest in the Spaniard.
Eric Pincus of Hoopsworld first fueled the fire of this scenario by suggesting that the two clubs could look to explore a deal with one another, and it appears that there is mutual interest.
The T-Wolves would have to surrender both Kevin Love and the No. 2 overall pick, and despite the fact that they'd acquire a legitimate All-Star and friendly face for Ricky Rubio in Pau Gasol, that price may prove too rich for their blood.
For the Lakers, there is obvious appeal as the club could get younger both in the starting lineup and on the bench all while maintaining their championship caliber of play while Kobe Bryant is still on the court.
The T-Wolves would likely have no issue parting with Milicic, Tolliver or Webster in any potential deal, but sending Kevin Love out of town would really be a radical move that their fanbase may not be ready to handle.
Minnesota Timberwolves and Indiana Pacers
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Indiana Receives: No. 2 overall pick
Minnesota Receives: C Roy Hibbert, No. 15 pick
The Indiana Pacers are interested in moving up in the draft in an effort to land Arizona's Derrick Williams, and they've really come with a serious offer to the T-Wolves.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, the Pacers offered the deal to the T-Wolves in the hopes of landing the pick because they're offering a true center, something that Minnesota doesn't currently have.
Hibbert showed a ton of promise and loads of potential throughout the campaign in 2010-11, and assuming that he can continue to build off of that success, he can be even better this year.
Meanwhile, the Pacers would be able to land their man in Williams, while they could attempt to replace Hibbert in the starting five through the free agent market with someone like Samuel Dalembert.
Teams that are interested in the second overall selection are readily offering legitimate centers to Minnesota, as they recognize that is the weakest point of their attack.
Houston Rockets and Detroit Pistons
Detroit Receives: No. 14 overall pick, No. 23 overall pick
Houston Receives: No. 8 pick
The Houston Rockets have two picks in the first round, and they've made no secret that they're willing to part with both in an effort to move up.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports that the two clubs could team up on draft night and pull the trigger on the deal, but it's contingent on which prospects are available at No. 8 for the Pistons.
If their draft prospect of choice (Tristan Thompson, Bismack Biyombo, Jonas Valanciunas) is available when they're on the clock, they may express a hesitancy to make the deal.
Regardless of which prospects are left when Detroit makes its selection, they should give this potential scenario a long look as they really need to re-build from the ground up.
The team would still be able to nab two solid prospects with the selections that they acquire, and they'd be able to supplement the infusion of youth with some veteran talent on the free agent market moving forward.
Memphis Grizzlies and Golden State Warriors
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Golden State Receives: SF Rudy Gay
Memphis Receives: SG Monta Ellis
Although both Memphis and Golden State have vehemently denied that their superstars are on the block, it appears that they can still both be had for the right price.
Peter Vecsey of the NY Post reports that the Grizzlies feel Ellis would be an excellent fit as a slash-scorer alongside freshly extended power forward Zach Randolph, and Memphis is reportedly offering Rudy Gay in return.
Gay would fill a major need for the Warriors as a premier offensive option, and his presence in the starting five would really give a new look to a team that could desperately use it.
A young backcourt of Ellis and Mike Conley would have Memphis feeling very good about its future, while Gay coming to the Bay Area would pair him with Stephen Curry and David Lee in an effort to concoct an explosive offense.
It's a fairly intriguing scenario for both sides as they attempt to set themselves up for the long-term, but I'm not sold that the swap would turn either club into a better one.
Los Angeles Clippers and Philadelphia 76ers
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Philadelphia Receives: C Chris Kaman, SF Al-Farouq Aminu
Los Angeles Receives: SF Andre Iguodala
If the Clippers are able to pull off this trade, it could be the biggest heist in the team's history.
Los Angeles has been desperate to unload Kaman's bloated deal in an effort to retain restricted free agent DeAndre Jordan in the middle, and adding Iguodala to that front line would give them one of the most athletic starting lineups in the league.
Alex Kennedy of Hoopsworld reports that Iguodala expects to be dealt before the start of next season and that the Clippers are currently considered the front-runners to land him.
For the Sixers, Kaman represents the size that they've been desperately searching for in the middle, and Aminu could be a potential replacement for restricted free agent Thaddeus Young.
Philadelphia has been shopping Iguodala's lucrative contract on the market for quite some time now, and it appears that this is a deal that could really be mutually beneficial.
The Clippers would be a scary team in a crowded Western Conference next season, as their starting lineup would likely be PG Mo Williams, SG Eric Gordon, SF Andre Iguodala, PF Blake Griffin and C DeAndre Jordan.
Phoenix Suns and Golden State Warriors
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Golden State Receives: C Robin Lopez
Phoenix Receives: C Ekpe Udoh, No. 11 pick
If the Golden State Warriors are willing to make this trade, the Phoenix Suns should pull the trigger as soon as they can on draft night.
John Gambadaro, a sports talk radio show host based out of Arizona, reported that the two sides are hopeful to team up on a deal on Thursday evening.
Despite the Warriors remaining publicly optimistic about Andris Biedrins' ability to bounce back after a disappointing 2010-11 campaign, it's clear that they're readily searching for another option.
Although Udoh had a disappointing rookie season, he was the No. 6 overall pick in the 2010 draft, and it seems foolish to give up on him so early in addition to surrendering the No. 11 overall selection.
Unless the Warriors swap selections with the Suns and move back a couple of spots to No. 13, Golden State is putting its eggs in Robin Lopez's basket.
The "other" Lopez twin really fell out of favor in the Phoenix rotation last season because of the standout play from Marcin Gortat, and it's likely he's not going to play a major role for the Suns at any point soon.
Cleveland Cavaliers and Washington Wizards
Cleveland Receives: No. 6 pick, No. 18 pick
Washington Receives: No. 4 pick
The Cleveland Cavaliers are known to be shopping the fourth overall pick in an attempt to fill multiple needs on the roster, and it appears that they may have found a willing taker.
ProBasketballDraft.com reports that this is a very real scenario being discussed between both clubs, as the Wizards' interest in Kanter is very real.
The Turkish prospect has already stated his affinity to play for the Wizards because of his noted friendship with franchise point guard John Wall, and the interest between parties now seems mutual.
It's a steep price for Washington to pay in order to move up just two slots, but if Washington wants to have a chance at Kanter, this is the only way they'll be able to nab him. If Cleveland holds onto the pick, they're expected to draft the center at No. 4.
Cleveland would still be able to land an impact player at No. 6 while acquiring an additional first-round selection that would allow the team to build upon its depth moving forward.
The Cavs know that they have multiple areas of deficiency to address, and stockpiling draft selections would be the first step in a long process toward achieving that goal.