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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 7:44 am
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Chad Ford: Much has been made that the Grizzlies, Thunder and Kings hold the keys to the draft. But most of the hand wringing by at least a dozen GMs at the moment surrounds what the Washington Wizards will do at No. 5.

We first reported on lottery night that the Wizards would shop their pick. Over the course of the past week, Wizards GM Ernie Grunfeld has been pretty open about it, telling the media on Monday that the team was still looking at all options.

"We have a good feel for what we have and we feel we can find a good player [in the draft]," Grunfeld said. "At the same time, we have had some interesting conversations. I think, whether we keep the pick, we're going to get a very solid player. In the meantime, we're going to continue to listen to what other teams have to say."

The Wizards have rebuffed any advances for players like Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison. Instead they've put together a pretty basic wish list: Take a couple of our bad contracts, save us some money and give us a veteran or two who can help right now.

Etan Thomas, Mike James and Darius Songaila seem to be the three players the Wizards wouldn't mind getting off the books.

The Wizards have gotten at least 10 offers for the pick, but every team I spoke with that's in the draft was still in the dark about where they stood.

The Knicks have offered Larry Hughes for Thomas and James. The Wolves have reportedly offered Mike Miller. The Celtics would give them Ray Allen. The Rockets would give them Tracy McGrady and Carl Landry. The Bucks would send them Richard Jefferson. The Nets would entertain unloading Vince Carter. The Suns could do something with Shaq. The Blazers could part ways with Steve Blake, Jerryd Bayless or Travis Outlaw.

The question is: Are any of those offers good enough for the No. 5 pick? In most year's, no. But this year, with the Wizards thinking they're poised to make a deep playoff run? It might be enough.

• I think it's time to quit dismissing all of those Rajon Rondo trade rumors. A source in Detroit says the Pistons were approached by a lower level Celtics executive who offered Ray Allen and Rondo for Tayshaun Prince, Richard Hamilton and Rodney Stuckey.

The Pistons, of course, said no to the deal -- Rondo's great, but he's not worth the entire core of the Pistons. But that's not the news. It's becoming harder and harder for the Celtics to deny that they aren't looking to move Rondo. Rondo's name has come up in rumors with the Suns and Kings. I know Danny Ainge has brushed them off and says the Celtics will probably do nothing, but where there's smoke ...

• The Thunder weren't the only team to meet with Thabeet in LA this weekend. The Grizzlies, after being snubbed by Thabeet in their workout, flew to LA and met with him for three hours.

Sources close to both Thabeet and the Grizzlies expect Memphis to take him at No. 2. If they don't, chances are they have a trade in the works.




• The Timberwolves have been among the most active teams over the past few weeks. New GM David Kahn is trying to start his tenure with a bang. However, I think a lot of the reports out there have been off base.

The Wolves insist to me that they're not looking to trade Al Jefferson and Kevin Love right now, despite rumors to the contrary.

And the rumored Chris Kaman for Mike Miller trade? Sources in both LA and Minnesota shot it down quickly. It turns out that the Wolves did call the Clippers several months ago about the deal (before Kahn had the job), but the Clippers wanted a first-round pick from Minnesota as well ... something the Wolves balked at.

But it is true that the Wolves are trying to deal. They have other assets that could make them an attractive trade partner. Miller is in the last year of his contract. Randy Foye interests a few teams. And they have picks 6, 18, 28, 45 and 47 in this year's draft.

Ideally the Wolves find a way to get up to the No. 2 pick to select either Hasheem Thabeet or Ricky Rubio. If the Wolves stay at No. 6 I think they'll take either Stephen Curry or Tyreke Evans.


• Did Louisville's Terrence Williams get a promise from the Charlotte Bobcats? Williams went back for a second workout with the Bobcats on Monday against Gerald Henderson. Sources said after the workout Williams met with the Bobcats and may have walked away with a promise that the Bobcats would take him at No. 12.

Sure enough the word out of New Jersey Tuesday morning is that Williams pulled out of his workout against Henderson with the Nets today, citing an ankle injury.

I think the Nets may still consider Williams at No. 11, depending on who is there. But it sounds like he won't slip past the 12th pick. As for Henderson, he could be in for a bit of a draft-day slide. The Knicks like him at No. 8, the Raptors like him at No. 9 and the Nets like him at No. 11, but other players are higher on their boards.

I think he could slide to the Suns at No. 14 or the Bulls at No. 16. I doubt he slips past the Sixers at No. 17.




• Chicago has talked to the Nets, Bobcats and Pacers about swapping No. 16 and No. 26 to get into the lottery. It sounds like the Bulls are down to one potential trade partner in the lottery.

The Nets are leaning strongly toward keeping their pick at No. 11. And if the Bobcats made a promise to Williams at No. 12, they're out, too. That leaves the Pacers at No. 13.

The Pacers have been one of the hardest teams to peg in the draft. DeJuan Blair, Tyler Hansbrough, Eric Maynor, Ty Lawson and Jeff Teague are all on their board right now. If the Bulls want any of those guys -- or the guys the Suns (No. 14) and Pistons (No. 15) are looking at -- they'll have to make the deal.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 9:40 am
If the Bulls are looking to move into the Lottery, how about the #7 and Maggette for their 2 first rounders and Hinrich? Even one of their first rounders?

Also, if the Dubs are not going for a PG in the draft and Portland is looking to move Outlaw for a pick, that would not be a bad swap. Outlaw is a monster at Oracle. Monta / Jack / Outlaw / Randolph / Biedrins.....not a bad starting 5.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 11:04 am
"Always" Next wrote:If the Bulls are looking to move into the Lottery, how about the #7 and Maggette for their 2 first rounders and Hinrich? Even one of their first rounders?

Also, if the Dubs are not going for a PG in the draft and Portland is looking to move Outlaw for a pick, that would not be a bad swap. Outlaw is a monster at Oracle. Monta / Jack / Outlaw / Randolph / Biedrins.....not a bad starting 5.


I like the idea of gettig Outlaw, but is he really worth the #7 pick in the draft?
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 11:10 am
Tarantism wrote:
"Always" Next wrote:If the Bulls are looking to move into the Lottery, how about the #7 and Maggette for their 2 first rounders and Hinrich? Even one of their first rounders?

Also, if the Dubs are not going for a PG in the draft and Portland is looking to move Outlaw for a pick, that would not be a bad swap. Outlaw is a monster at Oracle. Monta / Jack / Outlaw / Randolph / Biedrins.....not a bad starting 5.


I like the idea of gettig Outlaw, but is he really worth the #7 pick in the draft?


The 7th pick in THIS draft.....maybe! He would fill a need. Since Jack is going to be a SG, we have a legitimate need at the starting SF spot. Outlaw would be a good fit for this young athletic team.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 11:38 am
"Always" Next wrote:
Tarantism wrote:
"Always" Next wrote:If the Bulls are looking to move into the Lottery, how about the #7 and Maggette for their 2 first rounders and Hinrich? Even one of their first rounders?

Also, if the Dubs are not going for a PG in the draft and Portland is looking to move Outlaw for a pick, that would not be a bad swap. Outlaw is a monster at Oracle. Monta / Jack / Outlaw / Randolph / Biedrins.....not a bad starting 5.


I like the idea of gettig Outlaw, but is he really worth the #7 pick in the draft?


The 7th pick in THIS draft.....maybe! He would fill a need. Since Jack is going to be a SG, we have a legitimate need at the starting SF spot. Outlaw would be a good fit for this young athletic team.


Outlaw would be nice addition to warriors. Its a tough decision though whether to give up the pick. The length and skill, added with AR, thats a nice look, as they both could play on the court the same time. That's the new NBA look at the team in the finals, Length was an important variable in the Championship game.

Now as it looks I hope the warriors don't pick up Jrue Holiday, if he has the lack of confidence as stated, Nellie will chew him and spit him out like some 25 cent bubble gum.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 12:24 pm
seems like a lot of people are willing to give up a first round pick for mid level talent. I don't get it. Maybe it's because of how weak this draft supposedly is?

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 12:41 pm
If we are interested in trading the pick for Outlaw, then why not look at Earl Clark?
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 1:18 pm
Something tells me we are going to end up with Tyreke .... not my first choice..
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 9:09 pm
I'l take proven talent that's not too old (doesn't only have four years or less left in career) over an average talent draft pick, be it lottery or not, any time! Best thing for the team is to trade this pick, as it won't get much anyway most likely, for a proven talent, better at PG
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 10:24 pm
i wish nelly had the same mind set that nate has in sitting this draft out and adding a vet to this squad. not necessarily meaning an old experienced player, but someone who has been around but is still young in his own right. packaging the pick to get the likes of AK, rondo, or whatever is out there that would help our team.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 3:38 am
E-Man wrote:i wish nelly had the same mind set that nate has in sitting this draft out and adding a vet to this squad. not necessarily meaning an old experienced player, but someone who has been around but is still young in his own right. packaging the pick to get the likes of AK, rondo, or whatever is out there that would help our team.


I'd look at trading Ellis before trading the pick. I like Monta, but I think he's a one-trick pony, he's a great scorer, but that's about it. No D, no leadership, no 3pt shot, barely average passer...

We can get all that at 1/4 of the price if we get Curry.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 6:55 am
More draft buzz

POSTED: June 24 -- 1:18 a.m. ET

Chad Ford: The NBA trading frenzy that normally coincides with draft week got off to a hot start Tuesday with two huge trades. The Bucks traded Richard Jefferson to the Spurs for cap relief, and the Wolves agreed to trade Randy Foye and Mike Miller to the Wizards for the No. 5 pick and a bunch of players with undesirable contracts.

How do the deals affect the draft?

For the Bucks, probably little. This deal gave them some flexibility to re-sign one of their restricted free agents -- either Charlie Villanueva or Ramon Sessions. From what I can gather, the emphasis will be on Villanueva.

Why? The draft has something to do with it. The Bucks have several point guard prospects they like at No. 10. The only big guy they've looked at hard is DeJuan Blair, but that's too high for Blair to go.

I think they'll take Jonny Flynn, Jrue Holiday or Jeff Teague at No. 10 and go into the summer with a solid rebuilding base of talented young players including Andrew Bogut, Joe Alexander and Villanueva. It isn't a championship contender, but it's a start.

For the Spurs, not at all. They don't have a first-round pick anyway.

But the Wolves now are the power players in the draft, with picks 5, 6, 18, 28, 45 and 47. The question is, what will they do next?

Sources say they want two lottery picks, so a trade of 5 and 6 for the second or third pick is unlikely. But they might be willing to package 5 and 18. That might not be enough for Memphis (No. 2), but it could be for Oklahoma City (No. 3). The Thunder might be content to go to No. 5 and get either James Harden or Stephen Curry, and then, at No. 18, get another player they covet, Ohio State's B.J. Mullens.

See our latest mock draft for more on the Wolves' options.

The Wizards are out of the draft now, but what they did was pretty savvy. I thought it would be tough to get two veterans who could come and really contribute for them, but Miller and Foye really fill out their backcourt. If they can get one more big man, they will be serious contenders in the East.




• The Pistons also made a small deal Tuesday, moving Amir Johnson to the Bucks for Fabricio Oberto. Since Oberto's contract is only partially guaranteed next year, the Pistons can waive him and get about $1.7 million further under the salary cap this summer.

That could put them roughly $23 million under the cap going into free agency. Over the past few months, we've assumed Carlos Boozer is their primary target, but that might not be the case. A league source told me Tuesday that the Pistons' free-agent strategy likely would preclude a run at Boozer.

The Pistons want to add several players to the roster and want to keep salaries at or less than $10 million per year. With Boozer likely demanding a deal in the $15 million to $16 million a year range, his contract demands are out of their league. Add in concerns about Boozer's injury history, and I don't think the Pistons will make a play for him.

Instead, you can look for them to make a run at Ben Gordon, try to re-sign Antonio McDyess and find one or two other players they can sign for smaller salaries.

That stance in Detroit could put Boozer in a tough position. If he opts out of his contract with the Jazz, he's going to struggle to find any team far enough under the cap to offer him what he wants. And with the Jazz interested in keeping Paul Millsap, Boozer could be out of luck in Utah, too.



Rondo
• The Rajon Rondo trade talk is still alive despite Danny Ainge's attempts at spin control. In speaking to the media Tuesday, Ainge was pretty adamant that if the Celtics trade Rondo, it will be to make their team better and not because of any problems with Rondo.

I'm not sure I totally buy that. Rondo was the best player for the Celtics in the playoffs, a triple-double machine and the bridge between their present and their future. How would trading Rondo away make the Celtics better?

I'm more persuaded by what several league sources told me about Doc Rivers' relationship with Rondo. They say Rivers has told them Rondo is "impossible to coach" and "stubborn." The worry is that if the Celtics give him a big contract extension next year, he'll be even more unmanageable in the future. So the Celtics are trying to trade him now, while his trade value is high, to avoid a very difficult decision a year from now.

Given that, a couple of potential trade scenarios come to mind. These are not rumors, just hypotheticals.

What about San Antonio's Tony Parker, Roger Mason and Matt Bonner for Ray Allen and Rondo? The Celtics would get another young championship point guard and the Spurs would get a new backcourt capable of winning a title, as we've seen.

Or, what about Memphis' Mike Conley and the No. 2 pick for Rondo? Conley isn't Rondo, but he's young and improving, and the Celtics could get their man -- Tyreke Evans -- with the second pick.




• One day after a second workout with the Knicks, Jrue Holiday flew to Toronto for his second workout with the Raptors on Tuesday. Unlike in his first workout, against Jonny Flynn, he was by himself. Holiday wowed the Raptors in the first workout and getting him back for a second one in Toronto is a good sign.

The Raptors seem to have narrowed it down to DeMar DeRozan, Gerald Henderson and Holiday. We're sticking with DeRozan in our mock draft, but well-placed sources in Toronto say Holiday has a lot of fans in Toronto right now.

The Raptors had James Johnson in for a second workout as well. Johnson's stock has been all over the board, and he could be a target. The Raptors might have a need at small forward if they're unable to re-sign free agent Shawn Marion this summer.




• One rumor that won't go away has the Suns and Thunder talking about a draft-day swap that would give Oklahoma City the 14th pick and land the Suns the Thunder's 25th pick and, more importantly for the Suns, the return of their first-round pick in 2010. The Suns traded that pick to the Thunder several years ago as part of the Kurt Thomas trade. The trade is unprotected next year, and with the Suns flirting with rebuilding, they don't want to lose it.

Sources say the Thunder have an eye for Ohio State center B.J. Mullens and likely will take him if he's available at No. 14.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 10:40 am
TMC wrote:
E-Man wrote:i wish nelly had the same mind set that nate has in sitting this draft out and adding a vet to this squad. not necessarily meaning an old experienced player, but someone who has been around but is still young in his own right. packaging the pick to get the likes of AK, rondo, or whatever is out there that would help our team.


I'd look at trading Ellis before trading the pick. I like Monta, but I think he's a one-trick pony, he's a great scorer, but that's about it. No D, no leadership, no 3pt shot, barely average passer...

We can get all that at 1/4 of the price if we get Curry.


i hear what youre sayin bro...but when i said package the pick, i didnt rule out trading ellis. package the pick with ellis and we can get some serious talent and experience in return. i mean, not that it would happen, but if we could get prince, rip, and stuckey for ellis, maggs and the 7th, then im sure any of us would do it and we'd even give them belinelli or something too. Or if we got ray allen and rondo.

I just really think that there is a lot better we can do to help our team if we package the pick rather than drafting this year.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 12:27 pm
Celtics wanting to move Rondo would be a huge mistake for them, if its not broke don't fix it. He is a nice fit for there system, what they need to do is get back a healthy KG. Don't see any rookie point guard coming in and doing what Rondo has done for the Celtics.

Boozer ended the year bad due to the injury, plus with Arenas and Brand being the big signings of bad injuries, then missing most of the year, Pistons would be smart to stay away from Boozer.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 12:37 pm
warriorsstepup wrote:Celtics wanting to move Rondo would be a huge mistake for them, if its not broke don't fix it. He is a nice fit for there system, what they need to do is get back a healthy KG. Don't see any rookie point guard coming in and doing what Rondo has done for the Celtics.

Boozer ended the year bad due to the injury, plus with Arenas and Brand being the big signings of bad injuries, then missing most of the year, Pistons would be smart to stay away from Boozer.


Not saying that Rondo is a cancer or anything, but if your PG does not want to be a part of your team, no matter how good he is, the situation is not going to work out. Maybe Rondo has gotten a swolled head after his early success and now he doesnt feel the need to play 4th fiddle for the Celts.

This to me seems the only reason that the C's would even consider trading him. He does fit perfectly for them. He plays D, is a great distributor and mixes it up on both sides of the floor.
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