Movement in the NBA Draft

Part of the allure of the NBA Draft is all the shifting and moving that teams undergo to best position themselves to make an impact. From moving up in the draft to moving down in the draft to trading in or out of the draft, there are always plenty of surprises as the draft date approaches.

At this point, let’s take a look at the movement so far and what rumors there are of changes that potentially lie ahead:

The Done Deals

  • New Jersey Nets trade Chris Douglas-Roberts to the Milwaukee Bucks for the 44th overall pick in the draft.

CDR showed decent scoring potential in the early goings of his second season in the NBA with the Nets, but that production fizzled later on as a result of sparring with personnel and off-the-court issues. He was still on a rookie contract worth just short of $900,000 a year, so he wasn’t costing the Nets very much, but they elected to free up some more money for free agency.

  • Miami Heat trade the 18th overall pick and Daequan Cook to the Thunder for the 32nd overall pick in the draft.

Obviously, the Heat acquired a second-round pick for a first-round pick, but the objective of this trade was to free even more cap space. The Heat are attempting to lure a top free agent in addition to re-signing Dwyane Wade, so they need all the room they can get to enhance their rotation elsewhere and not just settle for minimum-salary bodies. The Thunder, meanwhile, trade up the draft, trying to assure a shot at a top-of-the-board center like Daniel Orton, Hassan Whiteside, or Solomon Alabi.

The Rumors

  • The Memphis Grizzlies send the 25th and 28th overall picks to the Minnesota Timberwolves for the 16th pick.

David Kahn has had some interesting draft strategies over the years, but it seems like he’s not very confident in his abilities. If Minnesota makes this trade, the team will have stockpiled six picks in this year’s draft. Kahn seems to be attempting a brute-force approach — they can’t all be bad choices, can they?

This also might not end the dealing between these squads. Many are reporting a swap of Al Jefferson and Zach Randolph.

  • The Cleveland Cavaliers trade assets or money for a 2010 draft pick.

Nothing’s a sure thing in Cleveland anymore, and LeBron’s lack of commitment plus the lack of a coach have everyone worrying. The Cavs see trading into the draft as a safety net should the worst happen in the coming weeks, and they want to get on the road to the rebuilding process if it becomes necessary.

  • The Boston Celtics deal their 19th overall pick in the draft.

The Boston Celtics are clinging to the scraps of their core, but apparently no one’s ready to throw in the towel with regard to a title run just yet. Therefore, the Celtics might trade their first-round pick to avoid having to pay a draft pick decent money. Then they can apply those funds to signing a veteran who can rekindle their championship hopes or to retaining Ray Allen, who may bolt for greener pastures this July.

Hardwood Paroxysm