Wednesday, June 17, 2009

NBA Draft Rumors (6/17)

Oklahoma City- Word out of the Thunder camp is that Oklahoma City has soured on Ricky Rubio, and would likely pass on him if he fell to number three. Rather, Oklahoma City is reportedly eyeing both Arizona State’s James Harden and Davidson’s Stephen Curry. Harden would be a great fit for the Thunder, slotting between Russell Westbrook at the one and Kevin Durant at the three. Curry, on the other hand, would create a more interesting backcourt rotation. Curry and Westbrook both have point guard skills, but are more suited to play off the ball. Having both in the same backcourt could be a great match, but it could also lead to problems defensively.

Golden State- Monta Ellis has been vocal in recent days about his displeasure with the organization and the way things are moving. This has led to speculation that the Warriors may have made a promise to Ellis that they won’t draft a point guard with the seventh overall pick. Considering where Golden State lands in the draft order, this would seem to really pigeonhole their options.

New York- Word from Knicks GM Donnie Walsh is that the team is extremely high on Arizona power forward Jordan Hill. The team had done a good job of staying hush on the topic until recent reports had Hill ahead of Davidson guard Stephen Curry on New York’s wish list.

New Jersey- The Nets are reportedly very high on Israeli small forward Omri Casspi. Casspi, the consensus #2 international prospect in the class (not counting Brandon Jennings), is projected in the late teens to early 20’s, meaning that New Jersey would either need to trade down from #11 or make their pick and find some way of trading back into the late first-round. (Sean Williams and Yi Jianlian are two movable assets.)

Philadelphia- In what appears to be a cost cutting move, Philadelphia is actively working to complete a trade with the Bobcats that would send veteran center Samuel Dalembert to Charlotte. In exchange, Philadelphia would reportedly receive center Nazr Mohammed and another player. The teams would also swap picks as part of the deal, landing Philly the number 12 pick and moving Charlotte down to number 17.

Atlanta- In addition to allegedly shopping power forward Josh Smith, Atlanta is looking to package their first-round pick (#19), with Speedy Claxton’s contract in order to create some cap space, which they hope to use to re-sign point guard Mike Bibby. Little progress has been made, and no specifics about a destination or a compensation package have been released, but something is definitely brewing in A-town.

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