NBA Rumors: Draft Edition
Photo Credit: The Big Lead
There was a lot of information was dropped tonight by Adrian Wojnarowski and Mike Schmitz on ESPN's Mock Draft Special 2.0 and in the Draft rumor mill in general. Among some of the rubble were some important points pertaining to the NBA Draft.
According to multiple reports, the Clippers and Nuggets have been attempting to trade into the top-five to select an unknown player.
The rumor that the Clippers want to move into the top five isn't exactly news. Since last month there has been a lot of word that Los Angeles is 'sold' on Michael Porter Jr. and were trying to trade up for him, even then. Porter Jr. is expected to be a top ten draft pick despite only appearing in three games for Missouri in the NCAA season due to a back injury. It may be tougher than anticipated for the Clippers to trade up, though. The Kings reportedly are not interested in swapping the second overall pick for the 12th and 13th picks.
The Nuggets' interest in a top-five pick is very new, though. Obviously, Denver has a very young roster with Murray, Harris, and Jokic, and should be competitive in the Western Conference for years. If the Nuggets want to add another piece to this outstanding core, they may look to trade assets like future picks to do so. The Nuggets also signed Paul Millsap from the Atlanta Hawks last season, so they may look to select an NBA-ready player like Mikal Bridges or Luka Doncic, should they move up.
These aren't the only two teams contacting the Hawks, Kings, and Mavericks, either. There are many clubs that are currently not known, trying to make a move up for players like Luka Doncic and Jaren Jackson, who could potentially fall on draft night.
The Charlotte Hornets could be one of those teams. Yesterday, a report came out from a Twitter account named "NBA Draft God" that the Hornets were looking to deal star Point-Guard Kemba Walker for an extra lottery pick. Take this report with a grain of salt, this account hasn't reported any news previously.
If a deal were to happen between any of these teams, it may happen early on draft night. Chris Mannix of Yahoo! Sports reports that "There is a growing sense among many team execs that there could be significant deals early in the draft."
The Orlando Magic could hold the key to how far Trae Young falls on draft night, according to Adrian Wojnarowski. Apparently, since Steve Clifford was hired, there is a "razor-thin" line between Collin Sexton and Trae Young in the Magic draft room. This isn't surprising to those who have followed Clifford closely. Another rumor that Woj stated tonight is that Mikal Bridges and the Philly 76ers have mutual interest. This certainly isn't surprising.
Early Monday, Marc Stein of the New York Times reported that the Toronto Raptors have a strong interest in Kentucky Point-Guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. With Fred Van Fleet's pending free agency, the Raptors may look to add a possible lottery pick, maybe as early as the tenth overall selection.