NBA draft rumors: Latest buzz around players, teams
The NBA rumor mill continues to churn as Thursday’s draft approaches. The basketball world is waiting to see how the Minnesota Timberwolves, Los Angeles Lakers and Philadelphia 76ers handle the top three picks in a draft deep with elite prospects. Their decisions will have major implications for teams like the New York Knicks, Orlando Magic and Sacramento Kings, who also all choose in the top 10.
The draft will be held Thursday at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. After the Timberwolves, Lakers, 76ers, Knicks, Magic and Kings, the Denver Nuggets, Detroit Pistons, Charlotte Hornets and Miami Heat round out the top 10.
• The Nets are continuing to explore trade possibilities for center Mason Plumlee, ESPN's Marc Stein reports.
• The Warriors are exploring the possibility of trading up from pick No. 30 in the first round, NBA.com's Scott Howard-Cooper reports.
• Kings coach George Karl is interested in a reunion with Nuggets point guard Ty Lawson, SI.com's Chris Mannix reports.
• The Knicks aren't actively shopping the No. 4 pick but are still listening to offers, team president Phil Jackson told reporters.
• The Knicks brought in Latvian big man Kristaps Porzingis for a private workout on Monday, ESPN's Ian Begley reports.
• The Celtics are looking to move into the top 10 in Thursday's draft, Mannix reports.
• The Celtics offered to trade their No. 16 and No. 28 picks and Marcus Smart to the 76ers for Nerlens Noel and the No. 3 pick, Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times reports. The Sixers reportedly rejected the offer.
• The Kings are reportedly looking to trade All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins, with the Lakers emerging as potential suitors. If the Lakers do trade for Cousins, they could give up 2014 first-round pick Julius Randle, Mannix reports.
• Mere hours after owner Vivek Ranadive told the USA Today on Monday night that the Kings have 'zero interest' in trading DeMarcus Cousins, Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that coach George Karl is pushing the Kings to move the All-Star. This follows Vlade Divac's insistence on Sunday that the Kings will not trade Cousins, and an ESPN report from Marc Stein Monday afternoon that the Lakers are "actively pursuing" a trade for the center. SI.com's Chris Mannix confirmed talks with the Lakers are "real," but that ownership wants to keep Cousins.
• The Timberwolves will take Kentucky center Karl-Anthony Towns with the No. 1 pick, SNY's Adam Zagoria reports.
• The Kings are exploring several trades and might aim to acquire Ty Lawson, a favorite of new Kings head coach George Karl, Mannix says.
• The Lakers are 80% sure they'll take Duke center Jahlil Okafor with the second pick, ESPN's Chad Ford reports.
• Teams are concerned about Kentucky forward Willie Cauley-Stein's injured foot, Jonathan Givony of Draft Express reports. Cauley-Stein suffered a stress fracture in March but his agent told Givony "The fracture has healed and is asymptomatic."
• Asked who the Knicks might draft at No. 4, team president Phil Jackson said the team is “covered” at the lead guard and small forward positions, but could still draft the best player available, according to The Wall Street Journal’s Chris Herring.
The Thunder are looking for a pick and willing to deal role players including Perry Jones, Jeremy Lamb and Steve Novak, reports Mannix. The potential move has financial motivations.
• The Suns are shopping point guard Eric Bledsoe, with the Knicks emerging as a possible trade partner, Sean Deveney of Sporting News reports.
• Ohio State guard D’Angelo Russell said on ESPN the reports of him not wanting to play for the 76ers are “misdirection.”
• NBA scouts have said Russell might be the best fit for Knicks’ triangle offense, reports Turner.
• Duke guard Tyus Jones is working out for the Nuggets on Monday, the team announced.
• There is a “chance” the Pistons could trade up to get the Knicks’ pick at No. 4, reports The Detroit News’ Terry Foster. Knicks guard Tim Hardaway Jr. would not be included in that deal, Zagoria reports.
• If the Knicks do trade down, UCLA big man Kevon Looney could be an option, Begley reports.
• Emmanuel Mudiay’s camp has been refusing a Kings workout, reports News10’s Sean Cunningham. Mudiay is widely expected to be drafted by the time the Kings pick at No. 6.
• Kings vice president Vlade Divac said the team has received calls about trades for the No. 6 pick, but is being cautious about entertaining offers, according to The Sacramanto Bee’s Ailene Voisin.
“Ours is a relatively good position because we’ll get a good player,” he said. “We are receiving a ton of calls about trades, but I am very protective about the pick. I don’t want to give it up unless we can get several good pieces. Then I would think about it.”