Blog Entry

NBA draft buzz: Kyrie No. 1

Posted on: June 20, 2011 10:55 pm
Edited on: June 20, 2011 11:07 pm
Three days before the NBA draft, here’s a smattering of news, info, and informed opinion culled from conversations with team executives, agents, and others in the know:

• Sources would be stunned if the Cavaliers did anything but use the No. 1 pick to select Duke point guard Kyrie Irving. He’s the perfect package of talent and presence to shoulder the burden of carrying the franchise to new heights after the departure of LeBron James. The Cavs, however, are more than open to trading the No. 4 pick.

• The Timberwolves are comfortable with the outstanding consolation prize that comes with the No. 2 pick, and will get one of the only impact players in the draft in Derrick Williams. Plus, they won’t have to deal with the burden of having to choose between Irving and Williams. The Cavs, after all, could be wrong. The Wolves can’t. The only way Minnesota trades the pick is if someone “blows them away,” according to a source, and that would have to be a trade involving a superstar-caliber player.

• The Jazz and Kentucky point guard Brandon Knight are a sensible match with the third pick, as Utah looks to replace the gaping hole left by the trade of Deron Williams to the Nets. Some execs have gotten indications that Utah also is considering Enes Kanter.

• The Raptors, who agreed in principle Monday with defensive-minded coach Dwane Casey to replace Jay Triano, are sending out signals that they’re all about Bismack Biyombo with the fifth pick, but rival executives are skeptical. One such exec is banking on Toronto taking 6-11 forward Jan Vesely, regarded as the best international prospect in the draft.

• If Toronto passes on Biyombo, some execs believe he could slide as far as 14-18, and the Knicks, with the 17th pick, are known to be high on him. But the apple of the Knicks’ eye is BYU sharpshooter Jimmer Fredette, and New York officials are trying to compute how far they’d have to trade up for him and what it would cost. The Knicks also like Michigan point guard Darius Morris, and one exec said the word Monday had New York looking into trade-up options for Georgia Tech shooting guard Iman Shumpert.

• One rival executive is “almost positive” the Wizards will take Kanter with the sixth pick, or look to trade down. Washington would grab Biyombo with the 18th pick if he’s still available, and otherwise would be comfortable with Kenneth Faried.

Kings officials are split between Fredette (beloved by ownership) and Alec Burks (favored by the basketball staff).

• The Pistons have a key workout scheduled for Tuesday, hosting Biyombo, Marcus Morris, Tristan Thompson, and Kawhi Leonard. Word among rival execs is that Detroit will take one of those players or Kemba Walker with the eighth pick.

• The Bobcats are said to be all over Chris Singleton with the ninth pick, but would take Marcus Morris if they’re stuck. Nicola Vucevic would be Charlotte’s choice with the 19th pick if he’s still there.

• It’s sort of the opposite situation with the Bucks, who are looking to trade the 10th pick but would take Burks if they can’t.

• The Warriors are enamored of Washington State shooting guard Klay Thompson, which would seem to cast doubt on GM Larry Riley’s denials of exploring trade scenarios for Monta Ellis. Singleton and Biyombo also are on Golden State’s list with the 11th pick.

• Singleton would be the pick for Utah at No. 12 if he’s still there, sources say.

• The Suns appear to be focused on Thompson or Walker with the 13th pick. But this is the area to start thinking about Lithuanian big man Jonas Valanciunas, whose touchy buyout situation is the only thing knocking him out of being a top-five pick.

• The Pacers appear to be comfortable with either Thompson or Fredette with the 15th pick, but if neither is there, they’d take Markieff Morris, sources say.

• Jordan Hamilton appears headed to Philly with the 16th pick, and sources said Monday the Timberwolves have offered point guard Jonny Flynn in a package deal for swingman Andre Iguodala. Philadelphia officials, however, have let it be known that they are not interested in a salary-dump deal for Iguodala and want an impact veteran in return.

• Faried also is on the Trail Blazers’ wish list at No. 21, but the Blazers also are said to be high on Marshon Brooks.

Since: Feb 11, 2009
Posted on: June 20, 2011 11:30 pm

NBA draft buzz: Kyrie No. 1

Note to Kings and Knicks: Jimmer is your worst nightmare!  You are warned.  However, I am not shocked by who loves this kid.  The Maloofs are idiots and am I shocked that they want Jimmer?  No.  As for the Knicks, I could bet you that Spike knows he does not want Jimmer, but my money is on them picking him.  Jimmer is not as good as they think.  I believe the fact he is white actual helps him!

Since: Jun 20, 2010
Posted on: June 20, 2011 11:20 pm

NBA draft buzz: Kyrie No. 1

There is a big rumor going around about Minnesota trading the 3rd pick overall and Kevin Love to the Lakers for Pau Gasol.  I don't know if this rumor is true, but it's was put out there by some respectable people involved in the NBA.  I like Pau Gasol, he's one of the good guys and he has been great for the Lakers, but if they can make this trade they need to do it immediately without hesitation.  Not only will they get tougher down low with Love, but younger with both him and what ever PG they draft with the 3rd pick, probably Kemba Walker.  I hope it happens because Kevin Love is a great player who works his ass off on both sides of the court, everytime he's out there.  He is exactly what the Lakers need with Mike Brown coaching the team and Gasol would be able to team up with Rubio and help out Minnesota.  If they don't make this trade, I say they get rid of Kobe while he still has value and take this team in a better direction.

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: June 20, 2011 11:08 pm

NBA draft buzz: Kyrie No. 1

Jonny Flynn for AI? Flynn couldn't even beat out Ridnour last season, why would Philly even consider taking him for AI?  That's wishful thinking.  On the other hand, I'm sure Philly would be happy to unload last year's #2 (Evan Turner) for the T-Wolves #2.

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