With the 2011 NBA draft just one day away, whispers of potential trades are becoming more and more serious. Because so many general managers are on the hot seat right now, many of them don't have the luxury of drafting a young talent and letting him develop or picking a European prospect and stashing him for a few years.
With so many lottery-bound teams looking for an instant upgrade, you can expect a lot of teams swinging for the fences.
The next five slides are trades that have been reported within the last 48 hours or trades that have been discussed for some time now that continue to heat up.
Whether or not any of these trades materialize, I expect many teams to trade out of this year's draft for picks in next year's draft, which is believed to be much deeper.
The Spurs have had a rich history of finding great players late in the draft. Whenever their name is called on draft night, you never know if said player will be the next Manu or Tony Parker.
It doesn't appear that the Spurs will be content waiting until the 29th pick in the first round to select a player, according to Jonathan Givony of Draft Express. The player they covet is Lithuanian big man Jonas Valanciunas.
And according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo.com, a trade for either of these picks could involve former NBA Finals MVP Tony Parker. This trade may involve Toronto's fifth pick or Sacramento's seventh pick.
The Spurs also wish to move Richard Jefferson if they do have to part ways with their point guard, but it doesn't appear that either Toronto or Sacramento would be very interested in taking on Jefferson's bloated contract.
For some time now, Enes Kanter has expressed his desire to play for the Washington Wizards.
According to a blog post from The Washington Post, however, Kanter's agent, Max Ergul, has candidly informed the Wizards that in order to acquire the Turkish big man, they would need to move up to either the third or fourth pick.
The report says the Wizards are currently involved in serious talks with Cleveland, which has been looking to add additional picks in the late first round. The trade would send Washington's No. 6 and No. 18 picks to Cleveland for the fourth overall pick.
Utah also appears willing to trade the third pick if Brandon Knight appears to be available at No. 6.
Every year it seems that a few teams get friendly and swap a handful of assets, including picks, players and cash.
It appears that the Milwaukee Bucks and Houston Rockets are those teams this year.
The Bucks are reportedly high on Marshon Brooks, but think they can acquire him later in the first round and wish to move back. The Rockets desperately want to move up in the draft so they can acquire a big man.
Speculation is that the Bucks and the Rockets are working on a trade involving the Bucks' No. 10 pick and Ersan Ilyasova going to Houston for both of the Rockets' first-rounders (No. 14 and 23) and a player to be named.
Mannix said that Ainge would not shy away from dealing any player in order to "avoid a slow descent into mediocrity."
While it remains unclear which teams are involved in trade talks and which players are at the center of these talks, we do know that Ainge has never been afraid to go after a potential blockbuster.
According to ESPN.com, numerous teams have been going after Steve Nash for some time now. The teams that have been most persistent in these talks are New York, Portland and Orlando.
While Phoenix has been quick to reject most offers for Nash, they have also recently been involved in talks with Minnesota for the No. 2 pick and are extending a qualifying offer to Aaron Brooks.
Even though Phoenix president of basketball operations Lon Babby has said they would not deal Nash, recent reports have suggested otherwise.
As reported earlier, many teams are looking to add additional picks towards the end of the first round.
Andy Katz has reported that Cleveland, Portland, Houston and Charlotte are all actively pursuing multiple picks later in the first round.
Many of the teams that are stationed in the late first round appear to be willing to trade for a future first-round draft pick.