Quick notes from the NBA as the draft nears:
- My rule for reporting rumors is that it must be have one or more of the following characteristics: A) Reported by reputable (Yahoo, ESPN, DraftExpress, never ever Bleacher Report etc.) source, B) Reported by several sources, C) Doesn’t contradict another reputable source, D) Gut instinct/reporter reputation. Keep that in mind. There has been tons of garbage spewing around the NBA these past few days but I’m really giving you the stuff that I find legitimate….or at least interesting to talk about.
- Josh Smith to Orlando is an interesting and fresh rumour that I’m questioning as of now but willing to talk about because of its intrigue and gut instinct I have about it. It seems to make sense and follows alongside some other reports of the Hawks willing to discuss a trade for their athletic forward. From what I’ve read, Smith could go to Orlando with Kirk Hinrich for Jameer Nelson and Ryan Anderson. (Note: The rumour, on second look, appears a bit too unsubstantiated…but let’s analyze it anyway)
- Quick take: Fantastic for Orlando. Not only is Dwight Howard a friend of Josh Smith’s (which seems to now be the key factor in drafting/signing/trading for anybody) but they’re able to move forward with a half decent line-up that isn’t completely gutted. Arenas-Richardson-Turkoglu-Smith-Howard is a bit of weird line-up, but presents an ability to mix and match with a lot of versatile players. It also improves the Magic interior defense by putting two of the best shot blockers in the league side-by-side. If this allows Orlando to keep Dwight Howard, I think we have to go all NCAA on Otis Smith’s GM record and vacate the Rashard Lewis signing. It’s been vacated! It’s like it never happened. Otis for Executive of the Year!!!
- Adrian Wojnarowski from Yahoo Sports says the Spurs are shopping point guard Tony Parker. No surprise there with the Spurs looking for a fresh look and George Hill emerging as a starting point guard. (Another great draft pick-up by the Spurs—why don’t teams just do whatever the Spurs do in the draft? It’s like copying off the smartest kid in the class with no teacher in the room.) But the shocking part? The Raptors and the 5th pick have been mentioned as a potential suitor for Parker.
- Quick take: I should have added to my list at the top that rumours explicitly mentioning two teams are often far stronger than rumours that list 3-6 teams that have interest. The article says the Kings and Raptors have talked to the Spurs so I’m not treating this like an imminent move and I’d still have my money on Parker staying in black and silver at least until after the draft. However, the fact that this is a reputable source brings up an interesting discussion about Bryan Colangelo’s feelings with this team. I think one of the following is the motivation behind this rumour if it gains some more steam
- A desperation move to put a winning product on the floor to impress ownership?
- A desire to surround the team with more veterans?
- A realization that whoever the Raptors could get at 5 won’t be worth the money they will give them and that it is likely that Parker will have more trade value 2-3 years down the road
- And no, Longoria is not around anymore for Parker so that isn’t a motivation…although if she still was I could see it.
- I don’t buy the Parker stuff. We haven’t heard one mention of Colangelo trading the pick. There have been constant reports of teams wanting to trade down or out of the draft and the Raptors have NEVER been mentioned. My guess? This is the Spurs calling around and seeing if they can get Jonas Valucionas—who seems like a match-made in heaven with the Spurs organization. After announcing he’ll have to spend next year in Europe, he fell off many teams’ draft boards and I think the Spurs are trying to swoop in and get him at a discount.
- Chad Ford (ESPN) and Doug Smith (Toronto Star) (Multiple reports, check. Reputable and/or connected sources, check) are pointing towards the Raptors establishing a core four group of prospects they will seriously look at when #5 is on the clock. The names are Kawhi Leonard, Brandon Knight, Valucionas and Congolese mystery-man Bismack Biyombo.
That’s all for my quick pulse check around the NBA. I’ll be tweeting @2_GSB Thursday night so if you’re watching the draft, I’ll ask nicely that you follow my tweets. Should be a fun night. I’m saying the over/under is at 6.5 text messages I receive after the Raptors pick. For the record, I think I was at 10 when the Mavericks beat the Heat. Regardless, follow the Twitter account Thursday night and pray that Kyrie Irving falls to us at 5…