On the eve of the Draft, trade talks and prospect related discussions continue to heat up. Here are some of the most recent rumors to keep your eye on:
- Jonas Valanciunas has a buyout in place; however that agreement will not allow him to come over until after next season. This should scare away some teams that are looking to make an impact right away with their picks; such teams would include Toronto at 5, Detroit at 8 and Charlotte at 9. If he slips passed Cleveland at 4 Valanciunas could be in for a slide
- Despite reports of the contrary, Cleveland has not guaranteed Irving that he will be their pick at number one. Although it remains likely that this will be the case, picking Williams would severely shakeup the top of the Draft board.
- The Spurs are reportedly looking to move into the lottery by dangling All-Star point guard Tony Parker. Two possible trade partners include Toronto and Sacramento. The catch, of course, is that the Spurs are looking for those teams to take back Richard Jefferson’s hefty contract.
- Minnesota is claiming that they will take Enes Kanter at number 2, however at this point that seems to be highly improbable. It is more likely that is a smokescreen while the T’Wolves’ continue to shop this pick around. If Minnesota has to keep this pick it could turn out to be a mess for them
- The Raptors hired Defensive Guru Dwayne Casey yesterday in a move that will, in all likelihood, affect their draft plans. The word prior to the hiring was that the Raptors were high on prospects Kemba Walker and Jan Vessely, however given Casey’s defensive-mindedness it appears as though this pick will be representative of their new coach’s philosophy; this means that the Raptors will likely go with Kawhi Leonard or Bismack Biyombo if Brandon Knight is not available.
- According to ESPN.com Kemba Walker and Alec Burks appear to be the two players that could slide the most. If Walker doesn’t go at 5 or 7 it is uncertain how far he could go. Burks on the other hand, could be a victim of other players causing their stock to rise, while his remains stagnant. Shooting guards like Klay Thompson and Marshon Brooks have drastically improved their stock in recent weeks, and other players like Tristan Thompson and Chris singleton have followed suite; leaving Burks susceptible to a possible slide. If Burks does slide out of the top 10 he will be a great find for the team that ends up drafting him.