NBA Draft 2012: 5 Teams Likely to Make Big Moves on Draft Day
Draft day is a time of great stress and anxiety for NBA teams who are all working to improve themselves in just a matter of hours. While a lot of this improvement derives from the actual drafting of players, it's often the activity between the picks that can make or break a team's success as well.
While the draft order has been set and established, there are no promises that the 2012 NBA draft will play to its current form. Rumors have been swirling around about players on the move and teams moving up on the draft board. However, we might not see any of these rumblings come to fruition until the day of the draft on June 28th. For now, we will have to speculate, so let's take a look at five teams in particular that are poised to make some moves on draft day.
5. Cleveland Cavaliers
After winning the draft lottery last season and landing the first pick in the 2011 NBA draft, the Cavaliers had a lot of optimism moving forward. With that pick, Cleveland selected eventual Rookie of the Year winner Kyrie Irving, who has now become the centerpiece for the team to build around.
Now, the Cavaliers are sitting in the No. 4 four spot in this year's draft and are looking to continue rebuilding in the post-LeBron era. However, they may not be satisfied with their pick and could be looking at possibly dealing their two first-round picks to move up or down in the draft, according to Neal Leitereg of Examiner.com.
If the Cavs do decide to move up to the Bobcats' spot at No. 2 overall, it would most likely be to get Michael Kidd-Gilchrist or Bradley Beal. Kidd-Gilchrist and Beal are regarded as the two best players at their positions in this year's draft class and could make an immediate impact on whichever teams select them.
Whatever Cleveland does decide to do, it will revolve around adding more young talent to play alongside Kyrie Irving.
4. New Orleans Hornets
New Orleans was certainly glad to beat the odds in this year's lottery by landing their first No. 1 overall pick since 1991.
While their first overall pick will almost certainly go to drafting Anthony Davis from Kentucky, the Hornets also have the No. 10 overall pick to play around with. New Orleans could just select the best player available with that pick, but it may also be open to trading it to a team that's also willing to take on one or both of their large-contract players like Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza, according to NBA writer Shaun Powell on Twitter.
Opening up some cap room would mean that the Hornets could have more monetary flexibility to keep restricted free agent Eric Gordon from signing with another team. With Davis and Gordon to build on with some possible free-agent acquisitions, the Hornets could be on the right track back to the playoffs.
3. Toronto Raptors
Much like Cleveland, the Toronto Raptors are still trying to put the pieces back together after their franchise player packed his bags for South Beach.
The Raptors do have some decent pieces in place to build on with center Andrea Bargnani and shooting guard DeMar DeRozan, but they have their sights set on some players who won't be in this year's draft.
Instead, according to Marc Stein and Chad Ford of ESPN.com, Toronto is interested in a solid wingman, such as Philadelphia's Andre Iguodala or Memphis' Rudy Gay, both of whom have been heavily involved in trade talks as of late. To make a deal happen, the Raptors have said that they are willing to include point guard Jose Calderon and power forward Ed Davis into a trade package.
Sitting at No. 8 overall, the Raptors seem more keen to add some proven talent to their roster as opposed to developing more young prospects. Look for them to deal out of their lottery pick and maybe make a push for Iguodala or Gay on draft day.
2. Golden State Warriors
Golden State has a lot of options with their four picks in this year's draft. They could use all of them for themselves and draft young talent to add to their roster, or they could package them together to move up a few spots and get a sure-fire prospect like Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.
Alternatively, the Warriors could stay out of the draft completely and go for a veteran small forward like Andre Iguodala, who's available on the trade block. According to Rusty Simmons of SFgate.com, these are all possibilities for a Golden State team that is looking to make major improvements from last season's disappointing campaign.
Trading for Iguodala would mean the Warriors would most likely have to part with not only their two first-round picks but also current pieces on their roster like Dorell Wright. However, they still may keep their two second-rounders intact and hope to find some sleepers in the draft.
Whichever way you spin it, the Dubs certainly have plenty of scenarios to work with to try to improve their team. Whether through the draft or through Iguodala, expect the Warriors to be making some moves on draft day this year.
1. Memphis Grizzlies
As previously stated, the Grizzlies are now reportedly shopping their starting small forward, Rudy Gay, in an effort to free up some cap room. Memphis is set to pick at No. 25 in the first round this year, but it could be looking at a lottery pick if it does trade Gay.
Among the teams currently interested in Gay are the Golden State Warriors, Toronto Raptors, Orlando Magic and Brooklyn Nets, according to Alex Kennedy of Hoopsworld.com. Two of those teams (the Warriors and Raptors) have picks in the top 10 of this year's draft and could give Memphis a lucrative package in return for Gay.
Even outside of those listed teams interested in Gay, there may be more teams to add as we get closer to draft day. Gay has a lot of money left on his contract still (he's owed $53.6 million over the next three years), but he is still a young talent who can really help a franchise.
The Grizzlies have their ears wide open to all offers, so don't be surprised if Gay is switching jerseys by the end of the 2012 NBA draft.