Blog Entry

Draft buzz and Amare trade talks (UPDATE)

Posted on: June 22, 2009 6:33 pm
Edited on: June 22, 2009 10:08 pm

This is the one time of year when the job of an NBA executive doesn't differ much from that of an NBA writer. Half the job is trying to separate the real buzz from the B.S.

In my efforts to do so, here is what I think I know with about 72 hours left before Thursday night's draft, coming from NBA executives who think they know:

* The Wizards are as strong a bet as any team in the top eight to trade down from their current perch at No. 5. Facing luxury-tax consequences and needing to open up a roster spot, the Wiz are considering numerous scenarios. Two people familiar with the talks confirmed that Washington discussed swapping the No. 5 and No. 14 picks with Phoenix in a trade that would've sent Amare Stoudemire to the Wizards. Phoenix also would've gotten one of the Wizards' young guards -- either Nick Young or Javaris Crittenton. But Washington walked away when the Suns asked for Caron Butler.

* Word is that Portland is extremely active in its attempts to trade up from No. 24 to an area from 8-14, where the Blazers are confident they could land a point guard. Portland hosted North Carolina's Ty Lawson for a workout Monday. A person familiar with the situation said the Blazers explored a trade involving the Suns' No. 14 pick. That deal also would've involved Stoudemire, a scenario that would've presented billionaire Paul Allen with three max players to pay over the next few years -- Stoudemire, Brandon Roy, and LaMarcus Aldridge. Those are big-ticket items, even for Allen.

* The Timberwolves, who have three first-round picks, appear to be positioning themselves to move up from the sixth spot and assure themselves a shot at Ricky Rubio. A deal with Memphis, which has the No. 2 pick, isn't out of the question. Another scenario has Minnesota involved with the Wizards in a deal that would send Washington's No. 5 pick to Minnesota. The T-Wolves would then have the ultimate flexibility -- knowing they could get Tyreke Evans or Hasheem Thabeet with the fifth or sixth pick if Rubio is gone and knowing they could parlay the fifth and sixth picks in a deal with Memphis to move up.

* Other than Minnesota, the team in the top 10 that appears the most motivated to move up is the Knicks, although trade talks with Washington involving Larry Hughes are accurate only from the standpoint that Jared Jeffries isn't involved; the Wizards aren't interested in adding money beyond next season. The Knicks, who pick eighth, clearly covet Rubio and Stephen Curry and have the assets to assure themselves a shot at one of them by trading up.

* Rubio is generating the most curiosity among team executives who are monitoring his situation, particularly with regard to Sacramento. It's widely known that Dan Fegan, who represents Rubio and Jrue Holiday, hired an agent who used to work for Jason Levien, the Kings' assistant GM who left the agent business last year to join Geoff Petrie in Sacramento. Levien's clients went to three different agencies, including Fegan's. If Rubio winds up going to Sacramento with the fourth pick, it will provide plenty of ammunition for conspiracy theorists who believe Levien's relationship with Fegan was the deciding factor. But one Eastern Conference executive described the situation more as "familiarity" between Fegan and Levien and between Levien and the international basketball community. Levien worked for agent Lon Babby when the Kings drafted Hedo Turkoglu, who at the time was the only Turkish player in the NBA.

* One executive said the most fluid players appear to be Holiday (who worked out poorly in his first visit with the Knicks), Earl Clark, and Demar DeRozan. "If they don't go early," the exec said, "they might be starting to slip and slide."

* Take the Magic's insistence that they will pay luxury tax to keep Turkoglu with a grain of salt, one exec urged. "All that means is there's no way they're going to be able to keep him," he said. Babby, Turkoglu's agent, said during the NBA Finals that Turkoglu already has decided to opt out of his contract and test the unrestricted free agent market, where he will generate enormous interest.


Since: Feb 16, 2009
Posted on: June 24, 2009 1:25 am

Draft buzz and Amare trade talks (UPDATE)

Lon Babby when the Kings drafted , who at the time was the only Turkish player in the NBA.

Since: Dec 10, 2006
Posted on: June 24, 2009 12:10 am

Draft buzz and Amare trade talks (UPDATE)

he said.... at the time he was the only turkish player.did you really read the article?

Since: Sep 5, 2006
Posted on: June 23, 2009 11:19 pm

Draft buzz and Amare trade talks (UPDATE)

He is right they edited the article after his post......However, I don't understand why someone would sign-up for a account to simply post an editing oversight.. I mean really?

Since: Jun 14, 2009
Posted on: June 23, 2009 11:18 pm

Draft buzz and Amare trade talks (UPDATE)

Steve Kerr would not dealing with half the problems he has if he would have just adapted to the culture already in Pheonix! He could have picked up Chris "Birdman" Anderson for cheap once he was reinstated. He could have inquired about Tyson Chandler. The Nuggets gave up Marcus Camby for a bag of Skittles for God sake!  Any younger defensive-minded center...NOT SHAQ!  He couldnt play defense when he was young, so I dont know what made Kerr think Shaq of all people would make the Suns a better defensive team.   

Since: Jul 20, 2007
Posted on: June 23, 2009 4:52 pm

Draft buzz and Amare trade talks (UPDATE) really are an amateur. Please re-read the article then you can also apologize...Wow you are as clueless as a rock.

Since: Jul 20, 2007
Posted on: June 23, 2009 4:51 pm

Draft buzz and Amare trade talks (UPDATE)

Please learn to read before you start talking. You seem to be confused. Re-read then apologize.

Since: Mar 27, 2008
Posted on: June 23, 2009 3:29 pm

Draft buzz and Amare trade talks (UPDATE)

If amare gets traded to anyone the SUNS will have a raly bad year look what happened once he was sidelined for the remainder of the year they could not get the push to make the playoffs they lack talent in the big man position and need to draft another big man and trade shaq to get a couple of picks in this years deep draft for Power ofwards and Centers we have good guard play.

Since: Aug 14, 2008
Posted on: June 23, 2009 1:57 pm

Draft buzz and Amare trade talks (UPDATE)

Serious people, how much longer are you going to argue over something so small. 3/4th's of these comments are either bashing the person who misread the article or that person defending himself. Comment on the actual article for crying out loud. This argument is worse than the Kobe-Lebron argument.

Since: Aug 3, 2007
Posted on: June 23, 2009 1:24 pm

Draft buzz and Amare trade talks (UPDATE)

Read it again. Berger wrote that Turkoglu was, at the time, the only Turkish player in the NBA.

Since: Sep 20, 2008
Posted on: June 23, 2009 1:16 pm

Draft buzz and Amare trade talks (UPDATE)

The quote in the story actually, "Hedo Turkoglu, who at the time was the only Turkish..."

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