Word on the Street: Rising, Falling, Trading

Word on the Street: Rising, Falling, Trading
Jun 26, 2007, 01:50 am
The Latest Buzz Around the League…

-Look for something to happen very soon with the Timberwolves, who are, in one executive’s words “committed to trading Kevin Garnett right now.“ We spoke to multiple teams tonight who all claim that the T'Wolves are very active in trade talk, with another Western Conference executive stating that in his opinion it was 50/50 between the Lakers and Phoenix as to who will get KG. Minnesota will enter a full-fledged rebuilding period--trading Mike James for the cap relief Juwan Howard brings next year was a start—and the Suns’ supposed offer of Shawn Marion, Kurt Thomas and 3 first round picks (two in 07 and Atlanta’s unprotected first rounder in 08) has to look fairly attractive. Phoenix’s front office was in Southern California today watching Yi Jianlian in a private workout. They will have Brandan Wright, Jeff Green, Corey Brewer and Joakim Noah in town on Tuesday. Danny Ainge will also be in attendance.

- The Lakers are also still engaged in their own talks with Indiana (with the premise being O’Neal for Bynum+Odom) besides the multi-team trades that are being discussed.

-Speaking of Indiana, there is some chatter going on between them and Atlanta as well, specifically surrounding moving Jermaine O’Neal for a package including Josh Smith, the #11 pick, Speedy Claxton and salary cap filler. In that scenario the Hawks would likely take a point guard (Mike Conley Jr.) with the 3rd pick. Indiana will also be looking at point guards if they acquire another pick as they have long ago fallen out of love with Jamal Tinsley.

-San Antonio and Cleveland are talking trade right now, as the Cavs are very anxious to get into this draft and find a piece that might help them in their efforts to return to the finals next year. Their owner is supposedly firmly behind them, and they could try to buy a pick in the late first round (Phoenix and Philly’s picks are available at 29 and 30). If they don’t, it’s possible they trade a future pick for San Antonio’s late first rounder and also nab Danny Ferry’s favorite, Beno Udrih in the process.

-Rising: Daequan Cook had some very strong workouts this past week, and his stock is clearly on the rise. One executive we spoke to called him a “top 15 pick talent in this draft,” but in the same breath wondered about some of his off the court red-flags, including the fact that he fell out of Ohio State’s rotation, as well as some of the baggage he brings. He regardless raved about the incredible scoring tools he showed off for them, and thought he might be a sleeper to get nabbed by one of the teams drafting from 16-18. The Knicks also are very high on him, and it’s very hard for most people to see the Utah Jazz passing on him.

-Falling: Julian Wright on the other hand has everything working against him at the moment, having some extremely poor workouts that are hurting his stock and making teams as late as Los Angeles at #19 or Miami at #20 wonder if he might be on the board when they pick. One team who has been watching tape heavily of him in their war room came away less than impressed: “the more we watch him, the more flaws we see in him. I think we might have all gotten too excited after the Florida game.” Another team that worked him out recently said that he “shot the ball poor from 17 feet and out, and really didn’t do anything to ease our concerns about his NBA position.”

-In our last column, we talked about the possibility of Ramon Sessions getting drafted as high up as #35 to Seattle. Some now believe that he could even get drafted in the first round by Phoenix at #29. The Suns are very familiar with him since Sessions played high school ball for Mike D’Antoni’s brother and Phoenix assistant coach, Dan D’Antoni.

-The New Jersey Nets are trying to pry Sean May away from the Charlotte Bobcats using the #17 pick combined with Bostjan Nachbar.

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