Nothing settled entering Draft Day
The day is finally here. The NBA Draft is set to take place tonight in Brooklyn at the Barclays Center and for 60 players, it is the realization of a dream.
Where those players are going though is anybody's guess from top to bottom. This is not the Draft to be in the business of predicting where players will go. Mock drafts will be wrong. Do not enter them into any pools.
The Cavaliers have the top pick and may not take Nerlens Noel, the guy everyone has assumed would be the top pick for the majority of the year. They are toying with a number of options.
Option No. 1: draft Nerlens Noel like everyone projected. That would give them a shot-blocking center to pair with Kyrie Irving and provide the defense punch to Irving's offensive brilliance.
Option No. 2: draft Alex Len or someone else. The Maryland center has climbed draft boards recently with reports suggesting the Cavaliers may make him the top pick. That feels like a reach, but this Draft feels so unpredictable that it would not be so shocking to see the Cavs go in this direction. Len has great offensive skills to go into the post and be a pick and roll option with Irving.
Option No. 3: trade the pick. The Cavaliers want to trade the pick. They really want to do that. They have gone to the Timberwolves to try and get Kevin Love. That did not work. Not at all.
Cleveland is one of the many teams looking to make a deal, but nobody seems to be valuing the players or their picks right to make a deal. There is a lot of moving left to do before 7:30 p.m. ET when this thing gets going.
Kevin McHale key to Dwight Howard recruitment?
After the Draft ends, the NBA free agency period starts up pretty quickly. July 1 is right around the corner and the race finally to end Dwight Howard's never-ending free agency saga will end. The Houston Rockets will go after the Lakers center pretty hard and Hall of Famer Kevin McHale could be the key, according to Marc Stein. This, according to Stein, is why the Rockets made sure to retain McHale and prevent him from pursuing the now-open Celtics job.
Greg Miller begged Jerry Sloan to stay
Things seemed to have worked out in the end with Jerry Sloan as he is set to return to the Jazz organization in an advisory role. While the long-time coach is not going to be the lead man on the bench anymore and Utah is not quite the Playof behemoth it once was, Sloan being involved with the Jazz just seems right. It was a split that never should have happened. Jazz CEO Greg Miller begged Sloan to stay with the Jazz before his abrupt resignation in 2011. Sloan told Miller at the time that he was "out of gas." Now, he is back.
Nets to pursue Kevin Garnett
The Brooklyn Nets are still trying to figure out the best way about fixing what went wrong after the team struggled through the middle of the season and then fell flat in the Playoffs. Cash-strapped and with little space to make a splash in free agency, the Nets will have to turn over every stone. Always looking for a splashy name, the Nets have put a call into Danny Ainge to see if Kevin Garnett is a possibility. The Celtics are likely to rebuild and start cutting cap, the Nets may not be the right team to deal with.
Doc Rivers may want to keep Eric Bledsoe
The trade rumor that seemed to have the most traction was a proposed deal between the Clippers and Magic involving Arron Afflalo and Eric Bledsoe. Both sides appear to be shooting that down. After reports that the deal was "imminent," Magic general manager Rob Hennigan said Wednesday that he has not talked to the Clippers in three weeks and that a deal is not imminent. The Clippers also appear to be shooting it all down too. ESPN.com reports Doc Rivers is hoping to keep Bledsoe for his roster.
LaMarcus Aldridge wants out of Portland?
Blazers All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge might be trying to force his way out of Portland with Chicago as his preferred destination. Aldridge is reportedly not excited about the prospect of another rebuilding phase with the Trail Blazers. Aldridge is hungry to start winning. He has the talent to be considered one of the best power forwards in the league. He just needs the stage and the chance to go to the Playoffs. Chicago may be his preferred destination at the moment, and that would help Aldridge and Chicago get closer to a title.
Pistons, Suns interested in J.R. Smith
J.R. Smith is certainly an intriguing free agent after his breakout season last year. The Knicks appear ready to do what is necessary to resign him. The actual business of free agency can be very, very different though. The Pistons and Suns are expected to be after Smith once free agency starts. Knicks sharpshooter Chris Copeland also could be gaining a lot of interest around the league according to ESPN.
Jim Boylen to join Spurs staff
The Spurs moved quickly to replace Mike Budenholzer after the end of the season. San Antonio added Indiana assistant Jim Boylen. Boylen left the Bucks as the interim head coach to be an assistant with the Pacers. That job was short lived as he now is going to coach with the Western Conference champions. Boylen has already observed a few pre-draft workouts as San Antonio moved quickly from Finals to offseason.
Thunder being aggressive in the Draft
The Thunder are being aggressive in this year's Draft. They have 12th pick in this year's Draft and appear to be hungry to move up. To move down or out, the Thunder are looking for two first round picks, according to Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated. If the Thunder decide to move up, they want to draft Alex Len. If they keep the pick, Sergey Karasev is supposedly their target. Which way do the Thunder go? Anybody's guess.
Kings having no talks about Jimmer Fredette
Rumors about trading Jimmer Fredette have popped up in the last 24 hours as teams are interested in resurrecting the young guard's career. Sacramento though is not fielding calls according to Sam Amick. Fredette is not being discussed for deals. But that does not mean something will not happen in the near future. A restart might be good for the former BYU sharpshooter.