Draft Day 2015 Rumblings

From NBA.com staff reports

The day many teams are hoping will be the one that helps jump-start their team in any number of directions is finally here — NBA Draft day. As we get into the day and through it, there will be plenty of news — some Draft-related, some trade-related, some about opt-ins and opt-outs and other news — that will come down the pike. This is your one-stop shop for all of it, so keep coming back all day (and night) for the latest buzz …

Update: 5:38 p.m. — Wardrobe Watch …

The fashion show that is Draft night is almost ready for take off. Karl-Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russell are suited up and ready to go …

Update: 4:25 p.m. — Report: Aldridge done with the Trail Blazers

Let the free agent craziness begin, almost a full week in advance. LaMarcus Aldridge, according to Bleacher Report, has informed the Portland Trail Blazers of what has been widely speculated for a while now. He is done with Portland and the Trail Blazers and ready to seek his fortune elsewhere in free agency …

Update: 4:10 p.m. — Frank the Tank … Moving on up?

Nothing is more fluid just hours before the actual Draft than the Draft projections that continue to cloud the picture. Count Frank Kaminsky among the last-minute climbers up Draft boards around the league, per TNT’s and our very own David Aldridge. Weeks ago Kaminsky was slotted as a late lottery and middle of the first round pick. But now he could go somewhere in the bottom of half of the top 10, if you believe the projections …

Update: 4:01 p.m. — Rockets make No. 18 pick available?

You cannot have Draft night without a little Daryl Morey/Houston Rockets intrigue. The Rockets want in on the LaMarcus Aldridge and Kevin Love free agent sweepstakes and, according to Ken Berger of CBSSports.com, they’re using the No. 18 pick in the Draft to try and make some room …

Update: 3:26 p.m. — DMC still salty about trade talk

Give DeMarcus Cousins credit for handling his frustration about being involved in trade talks properly. The All-Star big man continues to vent without taking direct shots at anyone in particular. But it’s clear he remains unhappy with the way things are being handled …

Update: 3:19 p.m. — Celtics ready to move if Okafor falls

There are still some who believe in the power of the big man. The Boston Celtics are prepared to pounce on Jahlil Okafor if he slips out of the top two slots of the Draft tonight. They are willing to make Marcus Smart available in that “Godfather” offer to get it done, according to RealGM.  …

 

Update: 2:44 p.m. — Movement in Boston, Lakerland?

Two of the NBA’s most glamorous franchises — the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers — are in different stages of their rebuilding. According to Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times, L.A. may not be leaning toward taking D’Angelo Russell as some have posited. As for the Celtics, Marc Stein of ESPN.com has more on their intentions …

Update: 2:07 p.m. — Update on DMC trade talk

Kings All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins has been the focus of trade talks for the last few days and while the team’s front office has denied looking to deal him, chatter persists. Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee provides insight into how owner Vivek Ranadive is taking this drama …

Update, 2:04 p.m. — Warriors try to move up

We’ve heard about the Kings, Celtics and possibly Rockets trying to move up in the Draft tonight and you can add another name to that mix: the defending-champion Golden State Warriors …

Update, 1:48 p.m. — Barnes officially a Grizzly

It’s rare that one player is a part of two different deals in one day, but Luke Ridnour is just that kind of a guy. The Memphis Grizzlies officially picked up Matt Barnes from the Hornets by sending Ridnour to Charlotte — where he was hours later sent to OKC for Thunder guard Jeremy Lamb

Update, 1:25 p.m. — Ridnour trade official

Luke Ridnour is a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder now after the trade with the Charlotte Hornets went through this afternoon. Oklahoma City receives Ridnour and a conditional 2016 second-round pick while the Hornets get Jeremy Lamb

Update, 12:57 p.m. — Celtics ready ‘Godfather’ offer to get Okafor

Jahlil Okafor is apparently someone the Celtics have a very high opinion of, if you believe the latest buzz. According to Mike Cole of NESN.com, the Celtics have a ‘Godfather’ offer ready for the 76ers if Okafor doesn’t go No. 1 or No. 2 …

Update, 12:33 p.m. — Ridnour dealt (again)

Luke Ridnour hopefully didn’t unpack his suitcase since he got traded yesterday. He’s been involved in three trades in the last 24 hours and two today alone. His latest destination is Oklahoma City, where he is being dealt for guard Jeremy Lamb and a future second-round pick, per Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports …

Update, 12:14 p.m — One last Mock …

Our NBA Draft expert, Scott Howard-Cooper, is in New York and is ready to provide insight once the festivities get rolling. Until then, though, whet your appetite for the Draft with his Final 2015 Mock Draft …

Update, 11:53 a.m — Yes, players remember Draft-night snubs

Don’t ever believe it when a player says he doesn’t hold a grudge against a team for not drafting him. Hall of Famer Karl Malone is here to tell you otherwise …

Update, 11:50 a.m. — More trade chatter 

Sacramento and Boston continue to figure into the talks of potential Draft-night deals …

Update, 11:41 a.m. — Might Lakers upset Draft order?

Few are as well connected to what the L.A. Lakers might be thinking on Draft night than Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report. He wrote a column saying he thinks the Lakers are going to upset conventional thinking and take D’Angelo Russell No. 2 overall, and it has become a league talking point now …

Update, 11:22 a.m. — Jazz looking to trade Burke or Favors?

We had an item earlier this morning about how Utah is looking to move up in the Draft and, also, reunite with power forward Paul Millsap in free agency this summer. Here’s how it might go down, via Jody Gennesy of the Deseret News

Update, 11:15 a.m. — Celtics ready to move up

The common thinking is that Karl-Anthony Towns and Jahlil Okafor will go No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, in tonight’s Draft. If, for some reason that doesn’t happen, the Boston Celtics are said to be ready with an enticing trade, reports Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com …

Update, 10:56 a.m. — Teams wanting to move up

Four teams — the Thunder, Rockets, Celtics and perhaps Hawks — are most active right now in trying to raise their position in tonight’s Draft, per Draft Express’ Jonathan Givony

Update, 10:43 a.m. — Blazers thinking trade?

Portland has been a name on a lot of people’s lips today with the LaMarcus Aldridge chatter … is it eyeing a trade tonight that provides more big man bodies?

Update, 10:32 a.m. — Texas really wants Aldridge back

The Dallas Mavericks, San Antonio Spurs and Houston Rockets are all supposed to be in the mix to get free agent LaMarcus Aldridge. They’ll all make their best free-agent pitches to him. And, it seems, a famous Texas hamburger chain wants him, too …

Update, 10:19 a.m. — Clarifying that Lamb trade

If you were confused by how the Hornets were able to trade for Matt Barnes after he was seemingly included in the deal last night that sent the Thunder’s Jeremy Lamb to OKC, you weren’t the only one. Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman clarifies that Lamb is still headed to Charlotte, but for a future second-round pick …

Update, 10:06 a.m. — Draft-night trade talk & tidbits

We’re waiting to see if anyone actually swaps picks today in the Draft, and according to ESPN.com’s Chad Ford, there are a handful of squads interested in doing so …

Update, 9:50 a.m. — Ridnour, Barnes get dealt again

According to Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski, two players who were traded just yesterday — Memphis’ Luke Ridnour and Charlotte’s Matt Barnes — are on the move again. They’re being swapped for each other, actually …

Update, 9:24 a.m. — Spurs the favorites to get Aldridge?

News came out last night that LaMarcus Aldridge may not long for staying with the Portland Trail Blazers and, if that’s true, the list of suitors for him will be a mile long. The front of that line may be led by one team from his home state, the San Antonio Spurs …

Update, 9:12 a.m. — Suns may not deal Bledsoe

Phoenix missed out on the playoffs last season and might be looking to shake things up, but apparently that won’t involve shipping star guard Eric Bledsoe to New York anytime soon …

Update, 9:06 a.m. — Rockets chasing Love, Aldridge

Not a shocker here to anyone who knows how Houston GM Daryl Morey operates — the Rockets are reportedly doing all they can to clear cap space to chase both Kevin Love AND LaMarcus Aldridge

Update, 8:44 a.m. — Kings looking to move back?

Sacramento has a big iron potentially in the fire with talk of All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins being on the trade blocks. Could they be in line to make a move tonight from the No. 6 perch they hold?

Update, 8:39 a.m. — Hinkie and agents

The Philadelphia 76ers have six picks in tonight’s Draft (No. 3 overall along with No. 35, 37, 47, 58, 60 in the second round) and it is unlikely they’ll use all of them. But according to Jake Fischer of Sports Illustrated, Sixers GM Sam Hinkie‘s relationship with some agents prevented prospects from working out in Philly:

Update, 7:20 a.m. — Overnight rumblings

Here’s what has happened overnight that you ought to know about …

* Report: Aldridge ‘99.9 percent’ unlikely to return to Blazers — As you’ll read below, the Portland Trail Blazers made a trade last night that landed them a young power forward (Noah Vonleh). While that may look like an insurance policy for their All-Star forward, LaMarcus Aldridge, it may very well be a player who will have a chance of filling Aldridge’s role. According to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein and Chris Broussard, Aldridge is going to leave Portland this summer in free agency. The team climbing his list? The Los Angeles Lakers. Here’s more (and some key excerpts from the story):

LaMarcus Aldridge is not expected to re-sign with the Portland Trail Blazers, several people close to the All-Star forward told ESPN’s Chris Broussard.

And Wednesday’s trade of forward Nicolas Batum was an indication, league sources told ESPN.com’s Marc Stein, of Portland’s growing belief that Aldridge is poised to leave in free agency.

“He’s gone,” a source close to Aldridge said. “There’s a 99.9 percent chance that he’s out of Portland.”

The sources listed several reasons Aldridge is expected to leave the Blazers, for whom he has played since entering the league in 2006. They said he doesn’t believe the Blazers can attract top free agents to improve the team, that he feels somewhat underappreciated by the organization and that he simply is looking for a new environment to live in.

On the list of teams Aldridge will consider signing with are the San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks, Dallas Mavericks and Atlanta Hawks, sources said. Aldridge is actually thinking more and more about a free-agent jump to the Lakers, sources told Stein this week.

The Lakers, sources added to Stein, firmly believe they now will be in the Aldridge hunt.

The Spurs, sources say, continue to be Aldridge’s most likely destination.

“He has tons of respect for coach [Gregg] Popovich,” one source told Broussard. “And he thinks highly of their organization and front office.”

Sources also say there is a rising sentiment the Lakers have edged past the Mavericks on Aldridge’s wish list despite the fact that he was a high school star in Dallas.

* Towns: ‘It would be an honor’ to play for Wolves — A cursory glance at any/all of the notable Mock Draft’s out there — which you can do with our Consensus Mock Draft — shows Kentucky star Karl-Anthony Towns as the favorite to go No. 1 overall tonight. Yet Towns has maintained all along that he has no promises from the Minnesota Timberwolves that they’ll take him with the top pick. In an interview with Yahoo Sports’ Marc J. Spears, Towns says he’d be honored to play for Minnesota if they took him and has no worries about living in Minneapolis.

“I have no promises yet. I just don’t have anything. Wish I did,” Towns told Yahoo Sports on Wednesday. “I would have a lot of stress taken off my back. The biggest stress is this is the draft. This isn’t college no more. You can’t get traded in college.

“All these trade rumors happening. Smoke screens are very heavy right now and the air is really foggy.”

The Minnesota Timberwolves, who own the No. 1 pick, don’t plan on making their decision official until they notify the league during the draft, a source told Yahoo Sports. While the T’wolves are keeping their decision close to vest, another source said that Minnesota president and coach Flip Saunders adores Towns and it would be stunning if he wasn’t the top pick.

“If I’m picked by the Minnesota Timberwolves it would be an honor and a privilege,” said Towns, who averaged 10.3 points and 6.7 rebounds in 21.1 minutes per game for Kentucky.

The Piscataway, N.J., native called the NBA draft being in Brooklyn like a “home-cooked meal.” As for Minneapolis, the 6-foot-11, 250-pounder liked what he saw in his recent visit.

“I love traveling. I love seeing new spots,” he said. “It was a pretty. Minneapolis was a really cool city. Very cosmopolitian. You just don’t know how a spot is until you’ve actually been there. Just like you don’t know if something is good until you try it.”

* Love opts out with Cavs, Smith to follow suit — The Cleveland Cavaliers got word yesterday that power forward Kevin Love will opt out of his contract to test free agency, a move that overall isn’t a big surprise and doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll be leaving Ohio. Word is expected to come down today that Love’s teammate, guard J.R. Smith, will also opt out of his deal. The difference is that Smith definitely wants to come back but is seeking a pay raise. Chris Haynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group has more on both moves here.

* Report: West to opt out of deal with Pacers — The Indiana Pacers signed David West before the 2011-12 season and once he came aboard, the team enjoyed a three-season run in which they emerged as a true contender in the Eastern Conference. Last season was a different story as the Pacers were without Paul George for almost the entire season and missed the playoffs for the first time since 2009-10. West is widely regarded as the sagely veteran voice on the Pacers and will be opting out of his deal to test free agency, according to Candace Buckner of the Indianapolis Star.

* Hornets trade for Batum; Reportedly add Lamb from Thunder — Charlotte is coming off an overall pretty disappointing season, missing the playoffs and in general taking a big step back in the Eastern Conference hierarchy. To help remedy that, they traded all-around shooting guard Gerald Henderson and young power forward prospect Noah Vonleh to the Portland Trail Blazers for versatile small forward Nicolas Batum. Batum is a versatile playmaker and defender (who is also in contract year) that should provides Charlotte with a one-two punch at the position with Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. The Hornets made another move last night as well, adding Jeremy Lamb from the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for the contract of recently-acquired forward Matt Barnes.

* Report: Jazz interested in reuniting with Millsap, eye move up in DraftThe Utah Jazz had another losing season in 2014-15, finishing 38-44 and missing the playoffs for the third straight season. But, there were signs of progress in Salt Lake City — namely a 21-11 finish — and with the team sporting some salary cap space and some Draft picks, a bright future may be ahead. According to Jabari Davis of BasketballInsiders.com, the Jazz are not only looking to move up in the Draft tonight, but are interested in making a play for Atlanta Hawks free-agent forward Paul Millsap, who spent his first seven seasons in a Utah uniform.

* Report: Mavs interested in Spurs’ GreenMonta Ellis announced yesterday he is opting out of the final year of his deal with the Dallas Mavericks, making him an unrestricted free agent this summer. That leaves somewhat of a gaping hole in the Mavs’ starting lineup at the shooting guard spot. Dallas reportedly isn’t looking far for the man who could fill that role, writes Shams Charania of RealGM.com, as San Antonio Spurs sharpshooter Danny Green is high on the Mavs’ list of free-agent targets.

MORE NOTES: The Denver Nuggets reportedly have put Danilo Gallinari on the trading block Don’t expect LeBron James to make any recruiting pitches to Kevin Love this summer … The Oklahoma City Thunder may be looking to unload another contract … 

 

 

25 Comments

  1. l0l says:

    shud go to the rockets. a duo of d12 and LA is unstoppable upfront and you have Harden as your scorer and game-maker lol. That’s a 3peat

  2. RipCity2015 says:

    I WILL NOT BE HAPPY IF ALDRIDGE GOES TO THE LAKERS! But I can understand his desire to play for the Spurs. They are a winning organization that is loyal to players and coaches. Portland had their chance to win with Aldridge there and never seemed to seriously try to put the right team together for him. Rip City management has never been loyal to players, so I understand his decision even though it bums me out to no end. If you have to go, LaMarcus, please go to the Spurs. Going to the Lakers means you are not at all serious about being a champion.

  3. Komady1 says:

    Why would it matter at this point what Melo thinks? 1 man does not the Knicks make! Be quite and do what you are paid to do. PLAY BALL!! Enough with athletes commenting on who management drafts when they were once in the prospect’s shoes themselves. Damn!!! Shut up and look into playing a better UNSELFISH game. If you don’t like the drafts – be a punk and demand a trade. It’s what he’s good at anyway. Demands and more demands, with nothing to show for it.
    Play the damn game and be quite.

  4. dustydreamnz says:

    If Aldridge goes to the Spurs, will Duncan start at Center?

  5. harriethehawk says:

    I’m thrilled that Cameron Payne got selected by OKC. Go Murray State!!!!!!!

  6. mario j says:

    i read about all the draft tradaes that will be done, but as always just a bunch of reporters trying to fill the newsfeed

  7. joopsy says:

    Knowing he’s going to test free agency, can Portland still trade Aldridge, maybe to a team that won’t be able to contend with all the cash being thrown around? If so, I think Portland should trade him for 1 of the top 4 picks and get Okafor.

  8. Hank says:

    Szyzmon Szcewzyk… I realize the guy may not be an All Star, but making a typo in both his first and last name – that’s a bit disrespectful.

    Shame on you, Mark Deeks.

  9. Markus says:

    Spurs seems to be the best choise. Timmy Will retire soon and They have similar playing styles. Good chance to get a ring.

  10. Glenn Speake says:

    How much do you want to bet Aldridge DOES NOT leave Portland and if he does it WON’T be to the Lakers. Why do you even pay these people? Stein and Broussard know NOTHING. They just make it up and you publish it. Morons.

  11. Arizon says:

    Aldrige should consider Cavaliers if he is looking for championship. Chances are Love will walk away. With LeBron and Kyrie no one in the league can beat them.

  12. bob says:

    Matthews and Lillard are the soul of the Blazers…..

  13. MT says:

    If Aldridge thinks he can find a team with a brighter future than Portland then he is dead wrong. The sun is setting on San Antonio, Pop will retire as soon as Duncan does and then what? Rebuilding. They were a first round exit this year anyway. The Lakers? He’d rather play with a 37 year old Kobe than D Lillard? That’s pretty funny.

    The Blazers were poised to contend for a title before Wes Matthews got hurt. If this report is true then I guess Lamarcus can’t wait a few more months for his teammate to recover. SMH.

  14. George says:

    LA is a big disappointment if he is not coming back to Portland. I read that he felt unappreciated that is a joke everyone in Portland loves him. If he is leaving i would hope for a sign and trade. If i read it right we can pay him the most money and at least then we could get something in return for him dumping us. I hate all this free agent crude i think as long as the team is paying equal to other team that the player should man up and try to build a winner. I will not wish him well if he leaves as it takes a real man to build a team. Can you say MJ , Barkley , Bird , Magic many other that were on poor teams. I know that is not the way of todays youth they all want it handed to them.

    • Skrutz says:

      Wow, thats not how things work. He’s a player, not the GM. He can only do so much to build the team, and he’s been at it for a long time now. Can’t fault him for wanting to try winning elsewhere. Plus, yes, the fans love him – but you have no idea what happens behind the scenes with management and all that. And those stars you mentioned? I don’t remember much of their time spent on poor teams.

      • joopsy says:

        George, if you’re saying Aldrige is “todays youth”, I’d disagree.

        Skrutz, people forget that Portland won their division, had over 50 wins, and were on their way to a 2-seed until the injuries began. There’s no reason to believe if Aldridge stays that Portland won’t be in the same position this next coming season. But I get it. Portland won’t sign free agents to max contracts; they haven’t since they parted ways with Whitsitt, and they also don’t want to get guys with character flaws (since jailblazer days), so Portland is automatically handicapped, and Aldridge will have a harder time winning a championship here until there’s either new ownership, or a new philosophy. So I don’t blame Aldridge for moving on. The Blazers are more like the As than they ever will be the Yankees. Aldridge will make a team with better talent an automatic contender, and as far as appreciation goes, when he’s more in a national spotlight, I think he’ll be an MVP candidate. Very few guys do what Aldridge does, as well as he does it. I compare him to Duncan in every respect. It’s not just about stats; those who watch him play every night know what I’m talking about. Portland won’t make the playoffs without him. Lillard’s not a leader, doesn’t have enough respect of his teammates to carry the team, and he’s just not good enough either.

  15. ps673ps673 says:

    LA will pay him max until he retires!! NO place else will do that. Look at Kobe’s deal. Not even lebron is making that much.

    IF YOU WANT THE MOST MONEY AND THE BEST LIVING SITUATION, GO TO LA! They will set u up until you retire. Not to mention all the endorsements, babes, and bright lights.

    Plus LA is the biggest market behind NY. You actually have a really really really high shot of picking up another guy like Westbrook or Durant or even Lebron after he decides to leave home again. LA is the place to be.

  16. ps673ps673 says:

    If he is smart he will go to the LAKERS. He will be the MAN there. Look how much they pay Kobe. Aldridge will be set in LA for the rest of his career. Plus theres no place like LA to live.

    Why live in Texas when you can live in Hollywood and star in all the endorsements and commercials.

    All the other locations are decent, but if he wants to make the MOST MONEY and have the BEST LIVING SITUATION, then LA is a no brainer.

    THEY WILL LITERALLY GIVE HIM MAX deals until he retires, just like Kobe. LOL, there is no other place that will do that.

    • Skrutz says:

      It’s not always about money. He’d like to win, and who knows how long it will be until LA is back on the map. It’s not like he’s getting the vet minimum elsewhere or something, he’ll be paid fine. LA appeals to some for living, but not for everyone. Spurs would be cool, he could do some serious winning there.

  17. Kedrick says:

    Aldridge spotted in Logan Airport on his way to meet up with Isaiah Thomas. If not us, pick Spurs though.

  18. KingdomMan says:

    LaMarcus come to the spurs!!! Do you honestly trust Dwight???!!! Or perhaps you want to play with Mr. 41.0 FG percentage oops I’m sorry, Kobe Bryant. Do yourself a huge favour and make the only sane choice in front if you.

  19. dream6n7 says:

    Tonight is going to get very interesting. A lot may happen from now until the Draft is over tonight: http://straighthoops.com/draft_sheet.html

  20. NORE says:

    Damn … Thats why portland traded Batum away … Now they will try to rebuild with D.Lilliard.

    Personally i would like to see Aldridge joining the Spurs as the successor of Timmy D.

    Come to think of it a lineup of Parker, Green, Leonard, Aldridge and Splitter is just crazy …

    Maybe let Timmy D. come of the Bench to rule any second unit thrown at San Antonio :D.

    Please don’t go to the Lakers … It would ruin your Career …

    • Skrutz says:

      Agreed! He has a few years left in the tank, and could fit in really well there. Timmy coming off the bench would be killer, and probably easier to keep him fresh through the season.