In just over 24hrs the rumors, questions, and hunches will all be replaced with answers... finally. However, it wouldn't be the NBA draft if we didn't have a flurry of late rumors, and news that could potentially shake up the draft, and more importantly shape the Charlotte Bobcats' selections tomorrow night.
Starting with a check in on the state of the Bobcats it's pretty hilarious that nobody has any clue what Charlotte will try and do tomorrow. Here's where the big boys stand, should they remain and use the #2 pick:
- ESPN believe the Bobcats will select Kansas PF Thomas Robinson
- CBS say that reports Charlotte will take Robinson are overblown, and that Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is being strongly considered.
- Sports Illustrated are saying that Harrison Barnes is being 'seriously considered' for the pick.
So, nobody has any clue. Thankfully we got one question answered last night with the Ben Gordon trade. Surely the Cats wouldn't consider Bradley Beal at #2 right? After all, adding a third shooting guard would probably be overkill. While that may be true Rich Cho and Rod Higgins were quick to shoot down the notion that Gordon shapes the draft plans at all with Higgins calling it 'shortsighted' to allow the trade to mould their board.
There you have it. We've narrowed the field to Thomas Robinson, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Bradley Beal, and Harrison Barnes.... wait a minute...
More after the jump
The purported trade between Cleveland and Charlotte has been up and down. Yesterday reports basically treated it like a forgone conclusion, this morning conflicting reports called it dead, and this afternoon talks were still 'ongoing'. Gamesmanship is taking center stage as Charlotte have officially said they wont move down unless a deal is good, and Cleveland reportedly offering very little to move up. When it's all said and done they'll probably meet in the middle if a deal is to be done.
One deal that doesn't appear to be a yes, or a no is with Washington
Ernie Grunfeld, via our visit with him on the show, did not say "No" when asked if he would ship the No. 3 and 32 picks for Charlotte No. 2— Mike Wise (@MikeWiseguy) June 27, 2012
There's no real reason to think Washington would have contact with Charlotte unless as a move to block Cleveland from getting Bradley Beal. Make no mistake- that's probably who they would take if Charlotte stayed at number two and took Thomas Robinson, but it's probably unrealistic unless talks with Cleveland get hot.
If you want the #2 overall pick the asking price seems to be pretty steep. Based on several accounts Charlotte are looking to retain a solid draft presence, and rid themselves of Tyrus Thomas' contract, something most NBA GM will balk at, especially with new penalties on luxury tax.
The two teams who are the most intriguing are Portland and Houston, both of whom are rumored to be looking to get the #2. Houston has been a flurry of activity while they try to assemble an attractive package to net Dwight Howard, while Portland are looking to get the pick, this from Sam Amick:
Houston (Nos. 14, 16 and 18) and Portland (Nos. 6 and 11) are trying to land the No. 2 pick as well, according to sources.
As it stands the Rockets own the 12th pick, rather than the 14th in an afternoon deal that sent Samuel Dalembert to Milwaukee. I'm completely baffled what Houston could offer that could entice Charlotte, while still keeping enough assets to wrestle Dwight Howard from Orlando, but we'll see. Portland's two lottery picks are intriguing, but at 6th there's a good chance the Bobcats would miss out on one of the players they've spent the most time scouting.
What have we learned today? Not much really. Rich Cho, like every GM in the league will be working the phones and trying to maximize the value of his selections. The 2nd and 31st picks are nothing to sneeze at, so it's important to keep measured and not get upset if they don't find a solid trade to make a deal. However, you better believe everything is being done to squeeze as much out of this draft as possible, and we might not know how much juice there is until tomorrow night.
UPDATE: Just when you think everything couldn't get more random, this from ESPN's Andy Katz:
The chances of a playoff team getting Beal are slim, but Finals runner-up Oklahoma City has invested quality time figuring out a way to get up high enough to land Beal.
Beal told ESPN.com Wednesday that Oklahoma City general manager Sam Presti told him during an interview in Chicago that he was interested in trying to move up to draft him. The Thunder's first-round pick isn't until No. 28.
"He told me he was going to decide what they're going to do and considered getting up there," Beal said.
Beal said Denver, which picks at No. 20, also made a similar statement.
Let the speculation continue.