We are fully past the point of heating up—the NBA trade rumors market is on fire with no signs of cooling.
It’s draft week, but the focus has yet to truly shift to the prospects themselves (outside of the saga surrounding Kansas center Joel Embiid—more on that in a tad), instead remaining on the sweltering trade market that includes veterans, stars and seemingly every pick in the selection order.
For fans, that equates to both a thrilling experience and stress levels normally saved for games themselves.
Alas, here is a look at a few potential draft happenings and a veteran seemingly just one team has an eye on via trade.
Tyson Chandler Is a Name to Watch
While many have eyes glued to the likes of Kevin Love and Carmelo Anthony, a former All Star who can change the complexion of a team, division and perhaps even conference may be on the move.
That is, if the Golden State Warriors have their alleged way.
The player in question is Tyson Chandler, one of the NBA’s best interior defenders who enters the offseason with noteworthy averages:
According to ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith (via Ian Begley of ESPN New York) on his own radio show Wednesday, the Warriors may be interested in moving David Lee and Harrison Barnes in exchange for the rim protector:
“I believe there’s a possibility that the Golden State Warriors would trade those two guys for Tyson Chandler,” Smith said. “I’m not saying it’s definite but I really believe in my heart they would do it. And if there’s a possibility that they would do it, the New York Knicks have got to investigate it.”
As Marcus Thompson of the Bay Area News Group noted earlier, sources presume it won’t happen, primarily because of the two-year deal in the neighborhood of $30 million Lee comes with.
Chandler is an upgrade over Andrew Bogut to be sure, but it’s strange the Warriors may be willing to give up on the young Barnes, who gives the squad critical depth and an important scoring piece in the post. But the value of an interior enforcer cannot be underestimated, so don’t be shocked if Chandler and Golden State continue to be linked.
Cavaliers Have Options, to Say the Least
Somehow, someway the Cleveland Cavaliers wound up with the No. 1 overall pick yet again.
Normally it would be a given the team actually used the pick to grab the consensus No. 1 overall player, but there is not one sure thing at the top of the board this year.
Add in a string of injuries that have potentially hurt the stock of Embiid, perhaps the biggest game-changing presence in the class, and it makes sense for new head coach David Blatt and general manager David Griffin to muse any offers thrown their team’s way.
There sure are many. Just ask ESPN’s Chad Ford (subscription required):
That leaves us with trade options for the Cavs. Now, more than ever, there’s a motivation to explore trading the pick. Sources said in the wake of the Embiid news that the Philadelphia 76ers, Magic and Jazz all made calls to the Cavs (and Bucks) about moving up.
The Sixers now have even more motivation to move up to No. 1. So do the Magic and Jazz. If the Cavs aren’t in love with Wiggins and don’t think Parker has the upside they’re after, trading the pick to someone who values it more makes some sense.
Count Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders as one who believes the Cavs should invest in Andrew Wiggins:
It’s a tough spot to be in for a rebuilding team. Take the best possible offer via trade while getting veterans and future assets, or gamble on one of the big three prospects?
Perhaps the decision will be taken out of the front office’s hands via an offer they simply cannot refuse. The best move is to incite a bidding war if possible, so keep a keen eye on the likes of Philadelphia and Orlando, two teams adamant about building young cores with the best talent possible.
Suns Have Even More
While the Cavs have perhaps the best option of all, it is the Phoenix Suns that have the most.
Not only do the Suns have a bright young core fresh off a shocking campaign that almost landed them in the postseason, but they have a bevy of picks in the first round to play with.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, the Suns have so many they may look to delay some of the selections until next year:
Believe it or not, that’s good news. The Suns don’t have room for so many talented rookies at this juncture, so better to delay one or more joining until the current roster matures and weaknesses rear their head.
As for the notion the team will use the picks it holds on to on “experienced” players in order to make the postseason, general manager Ryan McDonough recently shot that down, via Matt Petersen of NBA.com:
“Just because we were close to the playoffs, we’re not going to draft a guy just because he’s able to play right away,” McDonough said. “I think that’s where a lot of mistakes get made.”
In other words, the Suns are going to keep doing what got them to this point. That translates to being active on the trade market for the aforementioned reasons. Which teams benefit in the present is what is important to watch.
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