Here is our daily rundown of yesterday’s big stories.
NBA Draft Rumors: Cavaliers Overvaluing #1 Pick In Trade Talks
With a young core of Kyrie Irving, Tristan Thompson and Dion Waiters and a veteran like Anderson Varejao returning from injury, the Cleveland Cavaliers believe they are close to becoming a playoff team.
The Cavaliers caught a break and may have taken another step towards their first playoff berth since LeBron James left when they landed the top pick in the 2013 draft at the lottery last month. At first glance, Kentucky center Nerlens Noel seemed like the perfect pick. Every team could use another big man and he could help build a solid defense while the backcourt of Irving and Waiters provided the most of the offense. Noel is a seven-footer, a fantastic athlete and has plenty of room to grow into a very good NBA player.
Despite tearing his ACL last season, he seems like a worthy top pick.
The Cavaliers, however may not be so sure. Many experts have been began to speculate that Maryland center Alex Len sits atop the Cavaliers draft board and there have been rumors the Cavaliers would prefer to trade out of the pick and possibly acquire a veteran to help get the Cavaliers back into the postseason in 2014.
According to Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated, the Cavaliers continue ”to aggressively shop this pick.” However, Cleveland may have trouble striking any kind of deal, because Mannix, citing an executive, says the Cavaliers have “”have completely overvalued it.”
This could help other teams, like the Orlando Magic or Washington Wizards, who own the next two picks, trade down in the draft, if they wish too.
NBA Trade Rumors: Celtics, Clippers Restart Trade Talks
Earlier today, we expected the trade talk between the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Clippers to pick back up some time before the NBA draft next Thursday.
According to Adrian Wojnrowski of Yahoo, it has.
Wojnarowski says the talks have been restarted at the urging of superstar point guard Chris Paul, who “wants the deal completed.” Paul, who will become a very agent next month, has a desire to play for current Celtics coach Doc Rivers and with current power forward Kevin Garnett. That “ has been a significant motivator for Los Angeles.”
The deal would involve DeAndre Jordan and draft picks heading to Boston in return for Garnett, one of two veterans guards – Jason Terry or Courtney Lee and essentially Rivers.
The Clippers supposedly thought giving up two first round picks was too steep of a price to pay and Wojanrowski reports, citing a source that it continues to be about the draft pick and “the money is not a hang-up in this right now.”
The proposed deal does not include Clippers guard Eric Bledsoe.
Wojnarowski, again citing a source, says “privately, Clippers officials are expressing a stronger optimism about getting a deal complete.”
NBA Trade Rumors: Celtics-Clippers Deal Isn’t Dead Yet
Although the rumored deal between the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Clippers was proclaimed “dead”by several sources yesterday. until the Clippers hire a coach (and it appears they are down to former Memphis Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins, current Indiana Pacers assistant coach Brian Shaw and possibly former Brooklyn Nets and New Orleans Pelicans (Well, New Jersey Nets and New Orleans Hornets) head coach Byron Scott), it’s hard to believe the deal is truly dead.
Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times, the Celtics’ requirement of two first round draft picks from the Clippers isn’t the hold up, writing “the Clippers still want to see what the Celtics will do with forward Paul Peirce.” Turner adds the Celtics have until June 30 to decide whether to buy out Pierce’s $15.3-million contract next season for $5 million.”
With Chris Paul’s set to become a free agent this summer, the Clippers probably feel like they have to do something to improve the team (and Paul probably feels the same way). The Clippers finally have a superstar leading a talented team and have to improve upon it.
From Boston’s perspective, last year’s run (which included a seven-game series against the eighth-seeded Philadelphia 76ers and a seven-game series loss to the Miami Heat, in which Chris Bosh only played in three games) seemingly forced Danny Ainge to keep the team together and replace Ray Allen with veterans Jason Terry and Courtney Lee. All that really did was delay their rebuild for a season. Despite good young players like Avery Bradley, Jeff Green and Rajon Rondo, if Boston were to deal Pierce and Garnett, they could probably still fight for lottery spot in what should be a loaded draft class in 2014 (headlined by Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker).
In other words, the reason to believe this isn’t dead is because both teams need to make this deal.
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