Here we go yo, Here we go yo, so what’s the, what’s the, what’s the scenario….
Expect a flurry of action tonight. Practically all of the picks 20-30 of the first round are all being shopped. Many of the trades are contingent upon a targeted player being there at specific picks. As always, look for a number of trades to take place after the pick is made.
Charlotte Will Trade Down if Stanley Johnson is Gone
The Hornets are targeting Stanley Johnson at 9 and word is they will move down if he goes 8th to Detroit as we are projecting. Detroit has Stanley on a short list and if Hezonja is gone, there’s a good chance Stanley will be their guy. Boston is considered a possible trade partner with Jared Sullinger, and the Celtics two picks, (16 and 28). Another possibility…
Celtics Don’t Love Smart
Boston has been active in trying to package their picks to move up. Speculation is that they would like to add a bigman such as Willie Cauley-Stein or Myles Turner. But the fact that they’re also including Marcus Smart in trade offers likely signals that they would like to add a point guard such as Emmanuel Mudiay or Cameron Payne. They would likely need to get to 5-7 range for Mudiay and 9-11 range for Payne.
The Champ is Here
Golden State could be moving David Lee and the 30th pick. Whether or not Lee is seen as a positive or negative asset depends on who you ask. Lee obviously has some value for teams with a weak frontcourt, but the question is what kind of deal they can get him to agree to over the next few years. His one year 15 million is a tough pill to swallow, but then again with the salary cap projected to go up considerably, and team’s desire to add a proven player, they could find some interest.
The Grizzlies are said to be very active today with players such as Jordan Adams and Jeff Green being mentioned as possible members of a packaged deal.
Cleveland Trying to Trade up for "Quality" Point Guard
The Cavs are using their 24th pick and the valuable expiring contract of Brandon Haywood, and would love to move up to grab a quality point guard. Whether or not they can get in range for a Cameron Payne is doubtful. The next group of PGs (Grant, Jones, Rozier, Wright) figures to begin coming off the board at 18 with Houston.
LaMarcus Aldridge Affecting Decision at 2?
A report surfaced by Kevin Ding on Bleacher Report today that the Lakers are now leaning toward taking D’Angelo Russell. We are hearing from NBA sources that this is the case. Though some believe it is a smoke screen. Apparently the Lakers are still uncertain about the pick and are discussing a number of options including moving the pick for Cousins. If they trade the pick it will likely be Okafor here. Another factor giving credibility to the Russell going at 2 report is the fact that LaMarcus Aldridge has made it known that the Lakers are high on his list. Mitch Kupchak and Aldridge’s former agent Arn Tellem (now a vice chairman for the owning interest linked to the Detroit Pistons) are close, so there is a good possibility that Tellem (agency) will let Kupchark know where Aldridge’s head’s at.
Snake in the Grass
Boogie Cousins proposed trade to the Lakers is a real possibility as the framework has been discussed between both teams according to Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Cousins tweeted the emojis "Snake in the grass", referring to Coach George Karl who it has been speculated went to the media to express his desire to move the highly talented but mercurial bigman. The team immediately went into damage control, with Vlade Divac saying the team has no interest in trading him. But a deal appears imminent, as Coach Karl and Bookie do not appear to be able to co-exist with one another. Coach Karl’s response to Boogie’s could best be summed up with another line from Mightnight Star’s 80s rock song (Snake in the Grass), "don’t bring me down". Which would be in line with a number of Cousin’s former teammate’s sentiments.
Willie Cauley-Stein Possibly Sliding
Cauley-Stein’s ankle was red flagged by teams and there is some concern that he will require surgery that could put him out for four months and effectively cost him summer league, training camp and possibly miss the beginning of the season. His dedication and focus has also been brought up and while he is one of best athletes and defenders to be in the draft in years at the center position, there are a number of factors that have teams concerned. How far he will slide remains to be seen, but some are predicting he could fall out of the lottery and into the mid teens.
The three main promises we hear involving teams are: Rashad Vaughn with Milwaukee at 17, Tyus Jones with Houston at 18, and Jarell Martin with Memphis at 25. There is a fourth one gaining some steam and that is Toronto with Rondae Hollis-Jefferson.
Jarell Martin/Memphis Promise
We reported on twitter yesterday that Martin has a promise with Memphis at 25, according to league sources. That is if he gets there. There is also some interest in Martin higher up as well from what we are hearing.
Rashad Vaughn’s Knee
Vaughn’s knee has been red flagged according to league sources. There is a possible promise in place with Milwaukee and Vaughn, who’s agent Jeff Schwartz has close ties with the team. Vaughn is extremely high on Golden State’s list and if they could move up for him they would. However it doesn’t appear likely that they could or would move into the top 17 to get him.
Houston Needs a Point
There’s been a lot speculation that the Rockets have a promise in place with Tyus Jones, after he shut down workouts shortly after visiting the team. He would "figure" to provide the perfect yin to Patrick Beverly’s yang as a less athletic but great shooter and decision maker. The team also could put a deal together to bring Sergio Llull over from Spain.
Toronto Loves Athletes
Toronto GM Masai Ujiri has made some excellent picks in this range of the draft (Kenneth Faried etc.) and usually leans towards athleticism. He took Evan Fournier at this pick (20) a couple year’s back (who didn’t fit that mold), but in general will take one of the best athletes available. Sources indicate Rondae Hollis-Jefferson could go before this pick but will get strong consideration at 20 if available. There is some thought that he may even have a promise here as Toronto shut down all workouts early.
Bobby Portis Linked to Suns/Wizards
Portis was very well received by Coach Jeff Hornacek after his workout. The Suns are considered a strong possibility to take Portis at 13. His draft range is projected as late lottery to 20 so the teams that are said to be most interested make sense. Word is that the Wizards will take Portis if he’s available at 19.
Chicago Likely Going Point Guard
The Bulls are one team in the 20s expected to hold onto their pick. They are expected to grab a back up point guard with their pick. Derrick Rose’s health makes having a strong point guard extremely important, and the depth of the point guard position plays into their hands. While there is a major drop off after the top 3 (Russell, Mudiay and Payne), any of the next four could be available at the Bulls pick. Jerian Grant is a strong possibility at 22. Hollis-Jefferson is also on Chicago’s short list and this could be his back stop.