NBA trade rumors are sweeping the internet with the draft just hours away, and with that in mind, it's time to take the biggest news and break it down.
There is a lot floating around out there, and it's time to examine the current crop of rumors and try and figure out how good each deal is and how likely it is to happen. Teams are trying to jockey for positioning in the first round, and things are only going to get crazier the closer we get to the draft.
Inside are the five biggest nuggets going around league circles today with grades for each. Feel free to debate the merits of each deal and my grades in the comments below.
Which trades do you want to see happen?
It seems like the Los Angeles Lakers want a swingman and are willing to dangle Lamar Odom out there to get one.
Philadelphia is looking to trade Andre Iguodala and his albatross of a contract, and the Lakers are evidently all too willing to take it on to try and make another championship run with Kobe Bryant in the team.
For me—if I'm the Lakers—there is no way I make this deal.
How do you give guys like Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol rest without a big man on the bench worth anything? You can't, at least not with what Los Angeles currently has on the roster. Odom is such a versatile player who brings so much to the table, that the Lakers would be foolish to move him.
Somehow, I get the feeling the Lakers can't see the forest for the trees and it won't stop them from pitching Odom to prospective buyers.
One of the most active teams in this offseason has been the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The team has been linked to multiple rumors, and Cleveland is trying to position itself to get a boatload of talent for next season. The Cavaliers already have two picks in the first five of the draft, and if the rumors are to be believed, they want another in the top 10.
In that scenario, the Sacramento Kings and the Detroit Pistons look like the most intriguing potential partners. Would the Kings be willing to give up the No. 7 pick if the Cavs gave them Ramon Sessions and took back Francisco Garcia? The Kings are already under the salary cap, but Garcia has $12 million over two years on his contract, and Sacramento would love to move him.
Or if it's Detroit at No. 8, Cleveland could swallow an even bigger contract, such as that belonging to Richard Hamilton ($12.5 million next season) or Charlie Villanueva (three years, $24 million remaining).
What does either deal do Detroit or Sacramento?
Both teams would be trading an asset just to get out from under a contract, with next to nothing in return. That isn't good business, especially when the Pistons could simply buy out Hamilton and make the pick anyway.
Cleveland is grasping for straws here, and I have a hard time believing it will get that third pick.
Oklahoma City isn't exactly the team to make rash decisions.
The Thunder are a very shrewd team, who makes calculated moves and doesn't usually make a big splash, opting to make smaller, more under the radar transactions.
However, if the latest rumors are to be believed, the Thunder are trying to get into the lottery, and are dangling Eric Maynor to do so.
Sources say the Thunder have been quietly gauging interest in Maynor during the past few days in an attempt to move up into the top half of the first round. They've spoken to the Kings (No. 7) and Bobcats (No. 9) in particular in the past few days.
That isn't exactly a name that's going to ring a lot of bells around the league, especially considering he's a roleplayer at the moment.
Maynor has potential, and played some valuable minutes for the Thunder this year, but why would either team value him over this year's point guard prospects? The Thunder would do that deal in a heartbeat, but why would either team take Maynor for a lottery pick.
This deal reeks of a smokescreen, and while Maynor is talented, but isn't nearly talented enough to cause either team to bite.
Like many teams in the draft, the Houston Rockets are looking to move up, and the Detroit Pistons look like prime trading partners.
Detroit holds the eighth pick in the first round, and there isn't a real clear picture of who Joe Dumars wants to select at that juncture. The Rockets want a big man, and the best prospects won't be available later in the first, meaning a trade has become a necessity.
Houston has reportedly dangled both of its first round picks to get Detroit's and if I'm Dumars, I already pulled the trigger on this one.
What isn't to like about this deal? Detroit gets an extra pick to address needs and could possibly get a valuable big man like Markieff Morris while getting another possible talent with the second selection.
Unless he's madly in love with Bismack Biyombo or Tristan Thompson, Dumars has to make this deal.
If one thing could characterize the next year for the Orlando Magic, it would be desperation.
Dwight Howard's impending free agency, waters that he will test, will hang over everything that Orlando does, and the Magic need to bring talent in that will lead the league's top center to believe the franchise is willing to do whatever it takes to bring a championship to town.
There have been rumors all week about the Magic looking to make a deal for Atlanta's Josh Smith.
However, there are significant drawbacks to this plan.
Per the Orlando Sentinel:
Left unsaid is that, besides Howard, the Magic have only four tradable assets on their current roster: power forwards Ryan Anderson and Brandon Bass, point guard Jameer Nelson and shooting guard J.J. Redick.
And even if the Hawks do want to unload their talented young forward, it's difficult to see Atlanta trading him to a division rival for any combination of Anderson, Bass, Nelson and Redick.
That is the big problem here, Orlando doesn't have the horses needed to get a deal done, meaning a third team would have to get involved, and that's when things always get messy and tend fo tall apart.
It would be hard to sell such a move to the fans, and I doubt it ever goes down.
However, the Timberwolves have emerged as suitors for Smith, as the Hawks have dangled him for the second pick according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.
This could be another smokescreen or a legit attempt to get up and take Enes Kanter, something that could shift the entire first round. It is certainly something to keep your eyes on.