With only two weeks left until the 2014 NBA Draft, the rumors are beginning to surface regarding teams who are attempting to move up in the draft. Usually there isn’t many trades during the draft, but it is understandable why so many teams are interested in making deals for this year’s draft since there are so many prospects that have “star” potential. Also, with Minnesota Timberwolves star forward Kevin Love basically making himself “available” after saying he will test free agency next off-season. Here are a few teams that have already either been reported to possibly moving up in the draft of have a huge possibility on moving up on the board:
According to ESPN NBA Insider Chad Ford, Philadelphia is offering its No. 3 overall pick and 25-year-old power forward Thaddeus Young to the Cleveland Cavaliers for their No. 1 overall pick. Ford also says the Sixers have their eye on Kansas forward Andrew Wiggins, and that Wiggins’ camp also prefers Philadelphia over No. 1 Cleveland and No. 2 Milwaukee.
Sources close to Ford also claim the 76ers have been engaging in trade talks with the Cavaliers, but are reportedly unwilling to give up the No. 10 overall pick in the deal, which was acquired last year when they traded away guard Jrue Holiday to the New Orleans Pelicans. The 76ers arguably played at one of the fastest paces in the NBA last year, and that uptempo scheme would mesh perfectly with Wiggins and his impressive athleticism.
According to Cody Taylor of Basketball Insiders, a Kevin Love trade might involve one of several teams: the Los Angeles Lakers (already a likely free-agent destination for Love), Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns, Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, New York Knicks or Brooklyn Nets.
Current general manager and head coach Flip Saunders will have his hands full in coming up with a plan for both the franchise’s future and Kevin Love’s future. Since Love already came out and said that he will test the free agency market next off-season they obviously don’t want to lose him free of cost.
If they fail to deal Love, the Wolves might still be involved in a draft-day trade regardless. They have four picks in this year’s draft, along with reasonable contracts to offer like J.J. Barea, Luc Mbah a Moute and Corey Brewer. In exchange, they could acquire an interior defender or a three-point shooter they desperately need.
If it’s Carmelo Anthony or another high-profile star, the Chicago Bulls need to add some significant help offensively. Not only do the Bulls have two first-round picks, but they also hold a future first-round pick acquired from the Sacramento Kings. The Bulls could try to put together a trade involving Carlos Boozer who is indeed on the decline.
ESPN’s Marc Stein, has indicated in a recent season recap:
“Sources briefed on Chicago’s thinking say the Bulls are going to do everything they can to try to find a trading partner for Boozer before seriously considering the amnesty option.”
It shouldn’t shock anyone if the Bulls make a move on draft day especially if it involves Boozer. If they make a deal and it doesn’t involve Boozer, the Bulls may still use one or more of their draft picks to land scoring talent.
When you have three first-round picks, a trade to move up has to be on your mind. Especially since the Phoenix Suns are an up-and-coming team and could use some more high-level talent. Back in December, general manager Ryan McDonough made it known that the club has interest in using its picks as trade chips. He explained the front office’s approach to Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com.
“I think one of the things that’s important for people to realize is that we may not draft four players even if we have four picks. Our preference would probably be to maybe package a few of them. We’re obviously all looking for stars and we feel like we can put together a package as good, if not better, than any other team in the league if and when a star becomes available.”
If anyone has the biggest opportunity to make a play for Timberwolves’ forward Kevin Love on NBA Draft day, it’s the Suns. They could offer restricted free-agent guard Eric Bledsoe in a sign-and-trade plus the picks, but that sends the franchise back drastically since Bledsoe was such an important factor to the Suns 48-win season last year. Even if they can’t get Love, they have more than enough to potentially move up higher in the lottery and snag a better prospect.