As we enter the week of the 2008 NBA Draft it's becoming clearer and clearer that the scene in New York will be a madhouse. David Stern's going to be much busier than usual as he works to stay on top of who's drafting which players and who's trading them where. Here are a few of the rumors that are dominating headlines as we head into Draft Week.
Heat Trading Wade Afterall?
Several weeks ago a rumor was floated that the Heat might trade Dwyane Wade to the Chicago Bulls, but that was quickly stamped out by Pat Riley and the Heat. Now, however, the rumor is beginning to take new shape and regain its life. The Bulls have been trying to find a taker for Tyrus Thomas, and the latest rumor has them sending him to Miami along with Larry Hughes and the first pick in the draft for Wade. How likely is it? It would seem to be more likely that the Heat draft Mayo to play alongside Wade, especially since they're in negotiations to keep Shawn Marion around long-term. That's not something you do if you're completely starting over with the top two picks in the draft.
Another rumor has the Lakers talking about sending Lamar Odom to Miami for Marion, hoping that Marion can teach the rest of the Lakers to play the kind of defense he did as a member of the Phoenix Suns. It would be unfortunate for Odom, but after a year his contract would come off the Heat's books and they could continue rebuilding in a serious way next summer. Marion would definitely look nice in Lakers purple.
Raptors After Diaw
As we've reported earlier in the week, the Raptors have expressed interest in Boris Diaw. The snag, as expected, is that the Suns don't want TJ Ford in return, and don't see what the Raptors have that would benefit them. Ford, for his part, wants to be a starter somewhere. That's not going to happen with Steve Nash in Phoenix. The Raptors are now looking for a third team to help make a Diaw trade happen, and Suns GM Steve Kerr has indicated he has moving Diaw as a high priority for the summer.
Josh Smith to Philly?
The word out of Atlanta is that they don't want to pay Josh Smith more than $11 per season, and given the fact that he's one of the up-and-coming young front court stars in the Eastern Conference you can count on that meaning Smith is finished as a Hawk. ESPN says Smith will land in Philly if the Hawks don't take care of business. It's hard to imagine the Hawks letting Smith walk just as they were starting to look like a playoff team again, but stranger things have happened.
Sonics on the Move?
No, not out of Seattle, but up in the draft - if they get their wish. The Sonics are reportedly sold on Jerryd Bayless if they wind up drafting at the fourth spot, but what they would really like to do is move up a spot or two and snag Michael Beasley. They're said to be offering Chris Wilcox as a means of moving up, and they're arguing that the Heat's real interest is in OJ Mayo, who would be available at the fourth spot.
And Finally . . .O'Neal to Cleveland?
Where there's smoke there's fire and there's so much smoke coming out of Cleveland that the whole city must be ablaze. What's circulating now is a rumor that involves as many as five teams in an effort to get either Michael Redd or Jermaine O'Neal to Cleveland. In either deal the Cavs wind up sending out Anderson Varejao and Wally Szczerbiak. There has also been talk that Varejao could end up in Oakland with the Warriors. The Cavs know they need another premier player next to LeBron James and they're working feverishly to make that happen