NBA Rumors & Draft News, Day 10
North Carolina forward Harrison Barnes will be drafted No. 2 by the Bobcats.
No, wait. Maybe it will be Kansas forward Thomas Robinson. Or maybe it’s Kentucky swingman Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.
Actually, the Bobcats are said to be seriously considering trading the pick.
Or how about the Cavaliers?
One respected website reported they won’t let Barnes slip past No. 4. Another guaranteed Florida guard Bradley Beal is their guy.
And NBA fans everywhere shrug and demand to know more about Connecticut center Andre Drummond.
But the bottom line is this: All we really know about next Thursday’s NBA draft is Kentucky forward Anthony Davis is going first to the Hornets.
After that, it’s a guessing game — with the emphasis on “guessing.” It seems the more we hear, the less we actually know.
For one, the Bobcats aren’t about to tell anyone, including opposing teams, their plans on who they will take at No. 2.
Second, remember last summer, when the Timberwolves were said to be desperately wanting to move away from drafting second? And remember what they ended up doing? The answer is keep the pick and select forward Derrick Williams.
So even if the Bobcats really want to trade the selection … well, good luck. You usually find nothing considered equal value (or anything close) in return.
That is why most team executives predict the draft order will stay exactly as is. All they seem not to know is who will end up where after No. 1.
But let’s say the Bobcats keep the pick and take Kidd-Gilchrist. That leaves the Wizards to choose between the likes of Barnes, Beal, Robinson and Drummond at No. 3. Any of those choices would make sense. After all, if you have a top five pick, odds are, you need help at just about every position.
And as GMs everywhere are pointing out, we sure won’t figure out who is going where in the draft via Twitter. At least, probably not until the night of the actual draft.
A big part of that is because teams don’t really share their plans with other teams. If they do, it tends to be little more than posturing. So they sure aren’t going to tell the truth to some random reporter, blogger or fan to post on a social media network.
According to most GMs, this draft is as deep as it’s been in years. It’s also considerably more confusing.
One even said he would love to land the No. 2 pick from the Bobcats, “but wouldn’t even know where to begin as far as negotiations go.” So he just gave up – at least, for the time being.
Another said he wouldn’t even consider calling the Bobcats until he sees who they take. If they don’t go with his guy, then maybe he’ll call the Wizards. Or maybe his guy will drop all the way until his team picks.
Then again, he might not pick up the phone at all and just take whoever is left at the top of his draft board.
Basically, you can go on believing whatever you hear and see about this draft, because there is a chance that it’s true.
But there is also a chance this draft may turn out a lot different than what we’ve led to believe. And by the sounds of things, it could happen on the night when the teams are actually making their picks.
— The Hawks are said to be one team placing calls to improve their draft position. They currently own the No. 23 pick. One GM said the Hawks floated the names of both Josh Smith and Marvin Williams as potential trade chips.
— One issue facing the Hawks, of course, is the status of GM Rick Sund. His contract expires at the end of the month, and his future with the team is unclear, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
— As an aside, the Hawks have only six players under contract. So on top of the draft, they expect to be active in the free-agent market come July. Of the players under contract, Smith and Zaza Pachulia enter the season in the final year of their deals. Also, Williams has a player option next summer.
— Don’t be surprised if the Hawks make a run at former Sixth Man of the Year Jamal Crawford, who spent the past season with the Trail Blazers. Ray Allen (Celtics) and Alonzo Gee (Cavs) are also said to be on their radar.
— The Thunder’s trip to the Finals, and promising future, could make Oklahoma City a hot spot for free agents nearing the end of their careers, according to multiple sources within the league. That’s good, because no matter what happens, the Thunder will be looking to add veteran pieces for cheap. Don’t be shocked if they get serious consideration from the likes of Allen, Andre Miller (Nuggets) or Kirk Hinrich (Hawks), among others.
— All of the Thunder’s key pieces are under contract through at least next season, with Derek Fisher being the lone notable free agent. So a veteran guard will be high on team’s priority list come July.
— Jared Sullinger has been red-flagged by NBA doctors, who cited concerns with his back, and most GMs feel that it will, in fact, cause his draft stock to slide. Sullinger’s lack of overall athleticism already had created some doubts, and perceived medical issues certainly won’t help. That said, the Celtics reportedly wouldn’t mind giving him a shot, and might look to trade up (if necessary) to do so. Right now, they own the Nos. 21 and 22 picks in the first round.
— Last time a player was red-flagged like this was 2009, when teams shied away from Pittsburgh big man DeJuan Blair, who doesn’t have an ACL in either knee. But Blair went in the second round to the Spurs and has proved to be a steal.
Follow Sam Amico on Twitter on @SamAmicoFSO