Draft buzz: Trading game
Editor’s note: This is the latest from around the league; be sure to check back throughout the day for more NBA draft updates. Also follow Y! Sports’ breaking news on Twitter at YahooSportsNBA. Last update: Thursday, 11:27 p.m. ET.
Houston obtained the rights to the Washington Wizards’ pick at No. 32, Central Florida guard Jermaine Taylor, a league source said.
Timberwolves officials are thus far resisting the advances of the Knicks and the wishes of the player’s agent and insisting that Rubio will stay in Minnesota.
Minnesota selected North Carolina guard Ty Lawson with the 18th pick but is trading his rights to the Denver Nuggets.
The Knicks are working hard to cut a deal with the Timberwolves to acquire guard Ricky Rubio, a Western Conference said.
One league GM said a deal “isn’t 100 percent,” but likely.
The T’wolves took Rubio fifth followed by Syracuse guard Jonny Flynn.
In the words of one Eastern Conference executive, the Miami Heat are “trying like hell” to get into the first round and score a deal to take the Timberwolves’ pick at 18.
As the Portland Trail Blazers try to clear more salary-cap space for free agency, they have unloaded guard Sergio Rodriguez(notes) with the 38th pick to the Sacramento Kings for the 31st pick, a league source said.
The Boston Celtics had aggressively pursued the No. 2 pick in the draft, league sources said, but backed away and apparently will no longer try to get the Grizzlies’ pick. They had intended to select Memphis guard Tyreke Evans.
Privately, Memphis officials are telling people that they’re determined to mine the best offer to move the second pick, but should they keep it, they will choose Connecticut center Hasheem Thabeet. The Celtics had discussed packages that would bring back the second pick and center Darko Milicic for a proposal including Kendrick Perkins(notes), Brian Scalabrine(notes) and Tony Allen(notes).
Milicic is still in play for a possible trade to the Knicks for Quentin Richardson and cash.
Oklahoma City Thunder GM Sam Presti has been protective of information through the draft process, leaving everyone – rival teams and agents alike – to decipher his intentions. In the hours leading to the draft, there were members of the Stephen Curry camp who in the words of one, “had a hunch,” that the Davidson guard might be the Thunder’s pick.
Despite multiple sources insisting the Milwaukee Bucks plan to select point guard Brandon Jennings with the 10th pick, Jennings’ agent, Bill Duffy, had him stay away from the Garden out of fear he would drop. Duffy issued a statement that probably wasn’t necessary, saying, “Because we don’t have a strong grasp of Brandon’s draft position, I’ve advised that he and his family enjoy the day in a more private setting with the people he loves the most. Brandon Jennings will have a very illustrious career in the NBA, and at the end of the day, that is all that is important.”
Sacramento is strongly leaning to Evans with the fourth pick, sources said. …The Chicago Bulls are still trying to pry the No. 11 pick from the New Jersey Nets, but it appears unlikely that they’ll be able to do it.
The Nets have agreed in principle to send Vince Carter(notes) and Ryan Anderson(notes) to the Orlando Magic for Rafer Alston(notes), Tony Battie(notes) and Courtney Lee(notes), two league executives told Yahoo! Sports.
The Nets will draft Louisville shooting guard Terrence Williams at No. 11, if he’s still available.
League executives say the Phoenix Suns and Golden State Warriors have discussed a possible trade that is centered around sending Amare Stoudemire to the Warriors for a package that would include Andris Biedrins(notes) and the No. 7 pick in the draft. But Warriors coach Don Nelson is telling friends that there’s nothing seriously brewing there.
The oddly bold proclamation that Yao Ming’s(notes) broken foot wasn’t healing properly is suspicious to some league executives. They wonder if Houston is mostly setting the stage to get Yao out of the wear-and-tear duty of playing with the Chinese national team this summer. “That has smokescreen written all over it,” one Western Conference executive said.
Chicago is pursuing a move up in the draft, offering the 26 and 16 picks to get into the early teens. …Memphis is trying to package No. 27 and 34 to move up, too. …Shame on me for reporting on Wednesday that that the Phoenix Suns had discussed a deal for T.J. Ford(notes) with the Indiana Pacers was flawed. The Suns took a call from Indiana on Ford, but had no interest.
Knicks officials are telling peers they have purchased the Los Angeles Lakers’ No. 29 pick.
The Knicks are planning to draft a point guard with their choice at No. 8, and sources say they’re targeting a big man at 29.
Sacramento has all but ruled out drafting star Ricky Rubio with the fourth pick and has focused on two other guards: Tyreke Evans and Jonny Flynn, league sources said.
The Kings’ front office is fearful of the legal wrangling needed to free Rubio from the contractual mess with his Spanish team and doesn’t feel strongly enough about him as a “can’t-miss” star to endure the saga.
For now, the Kings’ front office and coaching staff is largely divided on Evans and Flynn. They’ll debate it well into Thursday. The Kings could be inclined to take Israeli Omri Casspi with the 23rd pick, but opposing teams say they’re still interested in packaging Nos. 23 and 31 to move up.
Milwaukee coach Scott Skiles has become a proponent of Brandon Jennings, a source said and could push to make the point guard the Bucks’ choice at No. 10.
Sources say that Louisville’s Terrence Williams is back in the mix with the Nets at No. 11. He’s on the short list with North Carolina’s Tyler Hansbrough and Duke’s Gerald Henderson. The Charlotte Bobcats are offering two second-round picks to try to get a second first-round pick (in the 20s) but have no takers so far.
Because of his comfort level with his teammates and city, and of course, the chance to get an $8 million-$9 million contract, odds are that free agent Jason Kidd(notes) will re-sign with the Mavericks. Yet, he has an intrigue with the Knicks that is mutual, and a Knicks source says they plan to try and meet with him once free agency starts on July 1.
Kidd is considering possibilities with Portland and Cleveland, but he always loved New York a lot more than New Jersey. He built good relationships with Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni and Portland’s Nate McMillan when they were assistant coaches for Team USA.
Barring a sign-and-trade deal, the Knicks would be limited to offering Kidd the midlevel exception.
The Trail Blazers traded the 24th and 56th picks in the draft to the Mavericks for the 22nd pick on Wednesday afternoon, a league source told Yahoo Sports. Portland could use the pick to package with a player to move up into the lottery.
The Pacers are discussing trading point guard T.J. Ford with several teams, league sources say.
With partial owner Michael Jordan there for a closer inspection, the Bobcats brought Wake Forest’s James Johnson into town for a second workout on Wednesday. Charlotte is debating among Louisville’s Terrence Williams, Duke’s Gerald Henderson and Johnson.
The Knicks and Grizzlies are pushing hard on a Quentin Richardson-Darko Milicic trade, and an agreement could come this week, league sources said.
The two teams have revived discussions from the February trade deadline on the deal. Richardson has an expiring $9.3 million contract and would be another athletic wing player to go with O.J. Mayo(notes) and Rudy Gay(notes).
Milicic, a 7-foot forward-center, is in the final year of his contract and could give the Knicks some rebounding and presence near the rim.
As the Timberwolves prepare to make a push for Memphis’ pick at No. 2, it’s become clear that they won’t package the fifth and sixth picks to get there. The Wolves have made it clear to teams that are trying to pry their 18th pick that it isn’t available. They want to use that in combination with one of the two higher picks to make a deal with Memphis. … The Utah Jazz are enamored with University of Pittsburgh tough guy Sam Young at No. 20, who is a perfect fit for head coach Jerry Sloan. … Golden State has long been enamored with Brandon Jennings at No. 7, but league sources say the Warriors are considering Wake Forest forward James Johnson there as well. Few teams would have Johnson that high on their draft boards. … Bulls guard Kirk Hinrich(notes) is telling friends that he thinks he’ll be dealt to the Trail Blazers, who have interest in pairing him with Brandon Roy(notes) in the backcourt. … Nets ownership finally told Rod Thorn that he doesn’t have to trade Vince Carter in a salary dump. They thus pulled back on a possible trade with the San Antonio Spurs which would’ve brought them a package including Bruce Bowen(notes), Fabricio Oberto(notes) and Roger Mason(notes) Jr. Nets sources say that if owner Bruce Ratner is going to bail on the Brooklyn arena and sell his team to cut his losses, ownership groups who would potentially purchase the team would rather he doesn’t gut it. … Oberto, who was traded to the Detroit Pistons in a three-way deal with the Milwaukee Bucks and will be bought out by the Pistons in a salary-cap move, will likely return to San Antonio as a free agent. … There’s no chance Bowen returns to the Spurs if the Bucks buy him out as well. His relationship with Gregg Popovich deteriorated with his dwindling role a year ago, and that partnership is over. … League sources say the Nets have narrowed their choices at No. 11 to North Carolina’s Tyler Hansbrough and Duke’s Gerald Henderson.