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Some rumors coming out of the Chicago pre-draft camp

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  • Some rumors coming out of the Chicago pre-draft camp

    Courtesy of Chad Ford

    Not too earth shattering here



    http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/draft...had&id=2079583



    Pierce to the Blazers?By Chad Ford

    Check out Chad Ford's blog for the latest on draft workouts in Chicago.

    CHICAGO The Chicago predraft camp officially got under way Tuesday night with 64 prospects playing their hearts out in scrimmages in front of hundreds of NBA scouts and executives.

    The action was fast and furious on three different courts for an hour and a half, but serious scouting won't begin until today, when individual drills and actual games start.

    That meant that the name of the game Tuesday night was rumors. Lots of them. Some good, some not so good.

    Insider talked to dozens of NBA executives and scouts to get the latest scuttlebutt. Here's what we're hearing.

    The most interesting draft rumor flying around this weekend had the Blazers and Celtics talking about a deal that would send Paul Pierce to Portland for the No. 3 pick in the draft and Nick Van Exel.

    On Tuesday, Celtics director of basketball operations Danny Ainge shot that rumor down, telling Insider it was "ludicrous." Ainge said he had no intention of trading Pierce, especially for a draft pick.

    Still, it's an interesting idea.

    Van Exel has a team option on his contract this year. That means the Celtics could trade for his $12.7 million contract, and essentially waive him without owing him a penny. In other words, the Celtics would get the draft pick and cut their cap by more than $13 million (Pierce makes a little more than Van Exel).

    It's obvious why the Blazers would do it. Adding an All-Star like Pierce at the two would be a major upgrade. If Portland could find a veteran point guard in free agency to back up Sebastian Telfair, it could be back in the playoff mix next year.

    The Celtics also have motivation to do a deal like this. Pierce is unhappy. The Celtics don't sound like they're bringing back Antoine Walker and Gary Payton (both are free agents) next season, which is only going to make matters worse with Pierce.

    By not re-signing Walker and Payton and by trading Pierce, the Celtics could accomplish a couple of things.

    First, by making the move, Boston would be around $10 million under the cap going into the summer. That would allow Ainge to be aggressive on the free agent market. The Celtics would love to have a long, athletic shot blocker like Samuel Dalembert, Tyson Chandler or Stromile Swift. They would have enough cash to be a contender for one of these players by trading Pierce.

    Second, the Celtics would be in a position to draft a potential superstar such as North Carolina swingman Marvin Williams or Wake Forest point guard Chris Paul. One of these two should be on the board at No. 3. They'd also retain their No. 18 pick in the draft.

    While making these moves would likely mean the Celtics slip a little in the standings next year, Ainge would be putting together a pretty awesome long-term foundation for the Green. Both Paul and Williams have the potential to be superstars. Al Jefferson looks like he could be an All-Star someday. Delonte West and Tony Allen also appear to have bright NBA futures.

    The downside of the deal is just as troubling. Ainge would be trading a proven star and scorer for potential and cap room. Given how lopsided the trades of Shaquille O'Neal, Vince Carter and Tracy McGrady have looked in hindsight, you can understand the hesitation.
    Every year about this time we start hearing about team promises to underclassmen. The draft promise is steeped in folklore, but also is very real. It doesn't happen as much as agents and the media claim it does, but it does happen.

    Telfair, Ben Gordon, Andris Biedrins, Robert Swift and Sasha Vujacic all received promises in 2004.

    Promises happen when teams tell players they pledge to take them with their picks if they agree to shut down their workouts or stay in the draft (for underclassmen eligible to withdraw).

    This year, there have already been two false Internet reports about promises.


    The first had the Warriors promising to take Channing Frye at No. 9. While the team is strongly considering him at that position, both the Warriors and Frye's agent say it's bogus. Considering that Frye is a senior and is planning on working out for teams above the Warriors, what would the Warriors gain by making the promise?

    The other ridiculous one had the Suns promising to take Arizona State's Ike Diogu at No. 21. Diogu held a press conference Tuesday claiming he wasn't even sure he'd stay in the draft. Factor in that the Suns haven't even had him in for a workout, and that Diogu is working out for teams drafting both before and after the Suns, and it doesn't seem to make any sense.

    Tuesday night, the buzz was that Russian prospect Yaroslav Korolev got a promise in the "12-15 range," according to multiple NBA general managers. GMs were split on whether it was the Clippers or the Nets who made the promise.

    Korolev was expected to join the Russian junior national team in a tournament in San Diego this weekend. However, he withdrew at the last second with a mild ankle sprain. That's partly what has been fueling the rumors.

    Korolev's agent, Marc Fleisher, denied to Insider Wednesday that a promise had been made. However, he said it is "very likely" Korolev will stay in the draft.

    "There's been significant interest," Fleisher said. "We haven't made a final decision, but I think he stays in."

    As far as sure-fire NBA prospects go, Korolev looks like the real thing. He's been on scouts' radars now for two years, but he really put it all together at a juniors tournament at the Euroleague Final Four in Moscow in May, averaging 17.3 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game.

    Korolev is one of the most complete young players in Europe. He's a long, 6-foot-9 small forward with great athleticism, an excellent long-range jumper and superb ballhandling skills. His father is a former Russian basketball player and coach, and it's clear dad has rubbed off on him. While scouts are a little concerned about his toughness and decision-making skills (he takes a lot of unnecessary chances), he's clearly a blue-chip NBA prospect. The only thing he really lacks is significant playing time at the senior level.

    Fleisher says Korolev's buyout with CSKA Moscow still has to be negotiated, but he said it looks like a framework is starting to come into place that would pay CSKA $1.5 million if he's a top-10 pick, $750,000 if he goes 10-20 and $500,000 if he goes below No. 20. Under those scenarios, Korolev would be available to come directly to the NBA next season.

    The Hawks have been in numerous conversations with teams about adding more first-round picks. They know they are going to struggle to lure top free agents to Atlanta this summer with all of their cap room and are trying to fill out the roster with young players.

    That could open the door for a Hawks-Bobcats swap on draft night if Marvin Williams is available at No. 2. The Bobcats sound willing to part with the No. 5 and No. 13 picks for Williams.

    As happens every year, not every prospect who promised to attend actually showed. Two of the 12 best prospects due in the camp, Kentucky's Randolph Morris and prep star Louis Williams, pulled out Tuesday afternoon. They were replaced by Georgia Tech's Will Bynum and Fresno State's Mustafa Al-Sayyad.

    Morris is in Chicago and is expected to participate in a private workout today with prep star Amir Johnson, Arkansas' Olu Famutimi, Duke's Daniel Ewing and Georgetown's Brandon Bowman.

    Two other top prospects, Arizona's Salim Stoudamire and Kentucky's Kelenna Azubuike, also weren't in attendance. Stoudamire had travel problems. Azubuike was injured in practices Monday.

    The players just went through scrimmages Tuesday evening, but Maryland's John Gilchrist, Memphis' Sean Banks, Florida's David Lee, St. Joseph's Dwayne Jones, George Washington's Pops Mensah-Bonsu, Louisville's Ellis Myles, Poland's Marcin Gortat, Chicago State's Deji Akindele, Pepperdine's Alex Acker and Washington's Will Conroy caught the eyes of several NBA scouts in attendance.

  • #2
    Re: Some rumors coming out of the Chicago pre-draft camp

    This is from a few days ago


    http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/draft...had&id=2074159

    Bobcats buying, Hornets selling?By Chad Ford
    ESPN Insider
    Archive

    One week after the NBA draft lottery and it seems like no one, with the exception of the Bucks, is particularly happy with where they landed in the draft.

    While it's still pretty early in the process, there's been a flurry of draft trade talk and speculation flying around the league.

    Who's willing to sell draft picks? Who's willing to buy? Insider breaks down the trade market for the draft this season.


    Buy!
    Charlotte Bobcats: GM Bernie Bickerstaff got screwed on lottery night. The Bobcats needed to end up with either Marvin Williams or Chris Paul, and everything would've been perfect. Both were local products who have the talent to energize the fan base in Charlotte. By slipping all the way to five, the chances of landing either are slim.

    Bickerstaff almost immediately began exploring how to move up in the draft, sources told Insider. He has the goods to do it, but is he willing to pay the price?

    A combination of their own No. 5 pick and the 13th pick they got from Cleveland could get them the second or third pick in the draft. That would guarantee they'd get one of the two players they want, but it's an awfully high price to pay. Bickerstaff thinks he'll get a starter at 13, and on an expansion team with just four players under contract, that's pretty important.

    The alternative is to try to convince a team to take the fifth pick and either Melvin Ely, Jason Hart or a future first-rounder as compensation. So far, the Bobcats haven't had any luck going that route.

    Utah Jazz: The Jazz slipped from fourth to sixth last week and face a dilemma similar to the Bobcats'. They need a point guard desperately, but most likely, their top choices, Paul and Deron Williams, won't be on the board when they pick.

    In a perfect world the Jazz would move up and add another high pick. They have a thing for Andrew Bogut as well.

    The Jazz have another first round pick to offer (No. 27) and they have a number of other assets, including Matt Harpring, Mehmet Okur, Carlos Boozer, Kirk Snyder and Kris Humphries, that they might be willing to include in the right deal. The only Jazz player who is untouchable at this point is Andrei Kirilenko.

    Toronto Raptors: After the draft debacle of 2004, the Raptors would prefer to play it safe and move into the top four this year. Right now, they sit at No. 7 and nothing is certain about where they're drafting.

    They'd love to add Bogut if they could, but that would mean getting at least the No. 2 pick. They also are high on Paul and Deron Williams, meaning they'd need to get to at least No. 5. Gerald Green is an option, too.

    Toronto also has assets. In addition to their own pick, the Raptors have the No. 16 pick (from Philadelphia) as trade bait. They also have Rafer Alston, Eric Williams and Morris Peterson to offer. Given their current situation, Chris Bosh is the only guy on the team that they wouldn't be willing to trade.

    Los Angeles Lakers: The Lakers feel they must make a big splash in the draft and have also been trying to move up into the top four. They have several needs. The team loves both Williamses, Bogut, Paul and Green. None of them will be on the board when they select.


    Their bait? The 10th pick in the draft and Caron Butler, according to sources. For a team like the Hornets, who need a good starting small forward badly, it might be a deal that makes sense.

    Cleveland Cavaliers: The Cavs should have the 13th pick in the draft this year. However, they foolishly dropped their lottery protection on the pick they owed Charlotte so that they could send their 2007 first-rounder to Boston for Jiri Welsch. That worked out.

    Now owner Dan Gilbert is trying to get back in the draft. They team has no draft picks to dangle, but the Cavs are offering teams their choice of Sasha Pavlovic or Welsch in return for a mid first-round pick. Given the number of teams in that area Clippers, Celtics, Grizzlies that are willing to deal out of the first round, it appears they might get their wish.


    Sell!
    Atlanta Hawks: GM Billy Knight needs a lot of help and is in a difficult position. If the Bucks select Marvin Williams, Bogut falls into their laps and the pick becomes much more valuable. However, if the Bucks take Bogut at No. 1, keeping the pick doesn't make much sense. The next best player on the board, Williams, doesn't fit a need, and there seems to be a strong sentiment coming out of Atlanta right now that the Hawks prefer Deron Williams to Paul.

    If that's true, the Hawks could make a deal with the Bobcats, Hornets or possibly the Jazz, and still get the guy they want plus either another first-rounder or an established young player. The Hawks probably won't pull the trigger until they have a better idea what the Bucks are going to do.

    Portland Trail Blazers: GM John Nash has been quietly calling teams such as the Bobcats, Hornets and Jazz to offer a deal. The team is drafting third, and most likely will have its choice of either Paul or Green. The Blazers would pass on Paul because they've already committed to Sebastian Telfair. They like Green a lot, but some in the organization feel they might be able to trade down, still get Green and pick up another asset in the process.

    The Bobcats are the primary target, though it's unlikely that they'd give the Blazers both the No. 5 and the No. 13 to move up two spots. The Raptors are another possibility if they include the No. 7, No. 16 and Morris Peterson to get a deal done. That's a pretty high price to pay, but the Raptors are hungry to move up.

    New Orleans Hornets: The Hornets had a lot of interest in Marvin Williams and would move up to get him offering the No. 4 pick and either Speedy Claxton or David West as compensation. However, if that's impossible, don't be surprised if they move down in the draft. They need a starting small forward and a young backup power forward they can groom to eventually replace P.J. Brown. Where they sit right now, the best prospects on the board are guards.

    While Paul or Deron Williams would be an upgrade from what they have, they sound willing to deal. The Raptors could offer the No. 7 and the No. 16 to move up to No. 4. The Lakers have the 10th pick and Caron Butler to dangle. And the Timberwolves might be willing to offer Wally Szczerbiak for the pick. The Hornets are actually one of the few teams that would have the cap room to absorb Szczerbiak's contract.

    Los Angeles Clippers: The team has filled most of its needs in the draft the past few years and appears to be on the precipice of the playoffs. What the Clippers need most right now is the financial flexibility to re-sign Bobby Simmons and Marko Jaric and perhaps one more free agent in the open market.

    If a team is willing to offer the Clippers a veteran who can help them now (the Clips are also willing to throw in Chris Wilcox for good measure) or future considerations and cap relief, they'll be willing to deal.

    One deal they might want to consider: Wilcox and the No. 12 to Golden State for Mike Dunleavy, Jr. Head coach Mike Dunleavy Sr. told reporters last year that he didn't think he'd be comfortable coaching his son. However, that's changed in recent months. Dunleavy would love to get a deal done if he could.

    If the Warriors could land a great small forward prospect like Danny Granger at No. 9, they might be inclined to move Dunleavy. With Mickael Pietrus showing improvement and a bright future for Granger, the team might be able to address two needs (defense and a long, athletic power forward) in one fell swoop.

    Boston Celtics: Celtics vice president Danny Ainge has had five first-round picks in the past two years. Do they really need a sixth? If a team can offer a nice, proven young player, the Celtics will sell the 18th pick.

    Memphis Grizzlies: Jerry West has also been shopping his pick along with point guard Jason Williams or Bonzi Wells. The team hasn't really had a chance to give much playing time to its picks from the past two years and doesn't need another rookie on its roster. With the 19th pick, the chances the Grizzlies get someone who could help them right away are slim anyway.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Some rumors coming out of the Chicago pre-draft camp

      Awesome, cheers for that.. i've been seeing the Insider logo and hoping some one would post it

      Good Read.. Intresting read
      Ya Think Ya Used Enough Dynamite there Butch...

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Some rumors coming out of the Chicago pre-draft camp

        How 'bout Ron for the #3 pick?

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Some rumors coming out of the Chicago pre-draft camp

          How bout no?

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Some rumors coming out of the Chicago pre-draft camp

            Originally posted by Harmonica
            How 'bout Ron for the #3 pick?

            That would be the best pr move for Portland ever....
            "It's just unfortunate that we've been penalized so much this year and nothing has happened to the Pistons, the Palace or the city of Detroit," he said. "It's almost like it's always our fault. The league knows it. They should be ashamed of themselves to let the security be as lax as it is around here."

            ----------------- Reggie Miller

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Some rumors coming out of the Chicago pre-draft camp

              Originally posted by PacerFanInAZ
              That would be the best pr move for Portland ever....
              There is athread about that already, but I'm to lazy to look it up.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Some rumors coming out of the Chicago pre-draft camp

                Originally posted by Harmonica
                How 'bout Ron for the #3 pick?

                Yes!






                Yes Yes!
                You, Never? Did the Kenosha Kid?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Some rumors coming out of the Chicago pre-draft camp

                  No

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Some rumors coming out of the Chicago pre-draft camp

                    Originally posted by Harmonica
                    How 'bout Ron for the #3 pick?

                    : : : : :

                    Comment

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