For Cavs, trade for No. 2 won't be easy
The Cavaliers' rumored interest in the No. 2 NBA draft selection picked up steam Saturday afternoon, when ESPN reported talks between the Cavs, Detroit and Minnesota have gotten serious.
The Cavs currently own the Nos. 1 and 4 picks in the first round.
According to the report, the Cavs would send their $14.5 million trade exception to the Pistons for the eighth pick and veteran shooting guard Richard Hamilton. They then would trade the fourth and eighth picks to Minnesota for the second pick.
If the reported trade is executed, the Cavs would possess the top two picks -- and use them to take Duke point guard Kyrie Irving and Arizona forward Derrick Williams. The report also said the Cavs would buy out the remainder of Hamilton's $25 million contract.
League sources confirmed the discussions to FOX Sports late Saturday night. However, most of those sources said the Pistons will not pull the trigger on any such deal unless they receive a player in return.
In other words, the idea of clearing cap space alone is not likely enough for the Pistons to give up the No. 8 pick, and their desire to obtain a veteran could put an end to talks quickly.
The Pistons recently completed an ownership change, and according to one source, trading a lottery selection just to save money would be a public relations nightmare. None of the sources would speculate which player the Pistons might want for the deal to materialize.
Then there's the Timberwolves. Ever since the lottery in mid-May, it's pretty much become common knowledge around the NBA that they would prefer to move the No. 2 pick. They either want to use it to trade down and obtain multiple picks (as would be the case in the reported scenario), or use it to acquire a good young veteran.
But with up-and-comers such Kevin Love, Michael Beasley, Wes Johnson and others already on the roster, the T-Wolves feel good about their future. Obtaining the fourth and eighth picks, sources say, would allow them to draft for need, as opposed to just taking the best player available.
Meanwhile, one source stood alone in telling FOX Sports that the Pistons would "most certainly be inclined" to trade the eighth pick for little more than their desire to rid themselves of Hamilton's contract and save money.
The source pointed out that the Clippers made a similar move by sending Baron Davis and their top pick (which turned out to be No. 1 overall) to Cleveland — and that the Pistons wouldn't look bad by "sitting out this particular draft at No. 8" and using the money they would save for free agency.
Of course, another major sticking point is the fact the league's collective bargaining agreement expires July 1. So no one knows when the free-agent signing period will begin, or how a potential lockout will effect it.
But no matter how all of this plays out in the end, this much seems fairly certain: The Cavs would love to own the top two picks in the draft, and from the sounds of things, are getting busy to try to make it happen.