Numerous teams we spoke with today discussed the rumors of a potential draft-night trade that is making the rounds in NBA circles. Presuming that Derrick Rose
goes #1, Miami would select Michael Beasley
at #2 regardless, and wait to see if O.J. Mayo
were to fall to the 5th overall pick. If that indeed was the case, Memphis would select him, and then trade him to Miami along with Mike Miller
in exchange for Mark Blount
Seattle is also reportedly trying hard to move up to #2, and is dangling Chris Wilcox
as bait (in exchange for the cumbersome contract of Mark Blount
). The Supersonics would also take Beasley there. This is all assuming that O.J. Mayo
doesnt go third to Minnesota, which is not something teams should take for granted just yet based off what we know so far.
Memphis additional first round selection, the #28 pick, acquired from the Lakers in the Pau Gasol
trade, is also reportedly in play. Rumors have the Grizzlies potentially trading this pick to Denver along with Kyle Lowry
in exchange for the #20 pick. Its possible that they would try and leap-frog the Orlando Magic and select Courtney Lee
, who reportedly had a terrific workout there last week.
Other picks that were hearing rumors about include #6 (New York, trying to move up, or back), #19 (Cleveland, possibly to move up and take Brandon Rush
), and #29 (Detroit, who supposedly isnt enamored by anyone in this area). Two teams that are reportedly looking to acquire an additional first round pick are the Spurs (who unfortunately have very little to offer) and the Suns. The Wizards wouldnt mind moving out if someone would offer them a good deal involving a point guard, but at this point that doesnt seem likely to happen. Cleveland is trying to buy their way into the mid-first round, but unlike in years past, it wont be Phoenix that is selling.
Look for the Los Angeles Lakers to try and land an early second round pick (possibly from Seattle) in order to draft IUPUIs George Hill
. He worked out in Los Angeles and reportedly was very impressive. His college team actually ran the triangle offense, and that is always a big factor in the Lakers workouts. Whos Gonna Slip?
As we continue to work the phones to discuss with teams who they hear is going where, we first of all need to establish which prospects will be on the board. At this point its clear that there is a fairly significant drop-off in this years draft class right around the 12th (Sacramento) or 13th (Portland) pick, as all the prospects that are getting mentions have some serious warts in the words of one NBA executive, which make teams hesitant about drafting them. The question is which will be overlooked, and which will cause players to slip.
Players that might find themselves being drafted a bit lower than they hoped include DeAndre Jordan
, JaVale McGee
, and possibly even Anthony Randolph
. If Sacramento selects Darrell Arthur
at #12 like many NBA sources we spoke with anticipate (this was his last workout stop before cancelling numerous workouts), then Randolph could be in for quite a tumble, as he would likely continue to slip past Portland at #13, Golden State at #14, Phoenix at #15, until reaching Philadelphia at #16. Thats about 10 spots lower than some mocks have him projected right now, but isnt out of the question depending on how things play out next week. Randolph is not helping himself reportedly with the way hes working out, being very average so far according to numerous people whove watched him, looking laid back or even out of shape. Compounding the problem is that he may have recently hurt his shoulder.
Another player who could crash the lottery unexpectedly and even shockingly go just one spot below his twin brother is Stanford center Robin Lopez
. Lopez reportedly canceled all his remaining workouts (with the Pacers, Kings, Sixers, and more) with a supposed sprained ankle after working out for the New Jersey Nets this past week. Although the tenth pick is widely believed to be Danilo Gallinari
s, no one would know better about where the Italian small forward will get drafted than his agent Arn Tellem, who also happens to represent the Lopez twins. Robin being promised to go tenth (a speculatory rumor that is definitely making the rounds) almost surely means that Gallinari is going sixth to the Knicks. The Nets cant expect to wait and pick Lopez at #21, as there is very little chance he gets past Phoenix at 15, or at the very worst (if Donte Greene
slips past Golden State), Toronto at 17, where he is extremely coveted.
While DeAndre Jordan
and JaVale McGee
are refusing to conduct workouts with certain teams drafting outside of the lottery (McGees mother foolishly wont let him visit anyone past 12 from what one frustrated team told us), there is no shortage of workout warriors on the prowl looking to take their spot in the teens portion of the draft. One of those is Alexis Ajinca
, who may be working himself into that 12-14 range, based off the workouts hes having.
One executive who recently watched him expressed shock at his combination of physical tools (7-1 in shoes, 240 pounds, with a near 7-7 wingspan), coordination and agility. If he were in college, lets say at Nevada instead of JaVale McGee
, he would be a sure-fire top 10 pick, the executive noted. Hes bigger than McGee, and hes also more skilled
with that length, he is going to be able to bother some people for sure Ajinca is answering question marks about his toughness by not backing down from anyone hes faced so far, particularly in an outstanding workout in Charlotte where he matched up with Jordan, McGee and Roy Hibbert
. His experience playing against grown men all season long in the French league is certainly showing in workouts so far it seems.
The safest pick amongst players being projected to go from 13-19 is likely Brandon Rush
. He could seemingly be picked by any of those teams, and be able to find a way to be productive thanks to his size, shooting ability and defensive skills. Hes probably not going to be a star, but as youll be able to read in the research conducted by Heather N. Allen and Paul Gearan tomorrow, thats not such a bad thing in this range.