Update: The latest Laker draft rumor wrap up is at Hoopsworld, and the theme seems to be â€œwhat can you get at 10?â€ Not to be too Zen about it, but the Lakers are going to make a trade or they are not, and on Tuesday morning Iâ€™m not even sure Mitch knows which that will be.
For fun, hereâ€™s who the Lakers take at 10 in a few last mock drafts:
Hoopsanalyst: Charlie Villanueva
Draft Express: Martell Webster
Hoopshype: Raymond Felton
NBADraft.net: Charlie Villanueva
Basketball draft central:Andrew Bynum
Inside Hoops: Martell Webster
Yahoo: Raymond Felton
ESPN: Charlie Villanueva
While I may take a more levelheaded, analytical approach to fandom, I like the NBA draft rumor games more than just about any other Rumors. Along those lines, here are some thoughts and draft rumors heading into the Tuesday event, plus any other thoughts that pop into my head. If any new rumors get hot in the next 24 hours or so, Iâ€™ll post updates here.
â€¢ Rumors that are out there (read while eating something salty): Dan, the Indiana/Lakers deal (Devean George, Slava and a second round pick for Jonathan Bender and the 17) is still out there but it’s not done yet, and now the New York Daily News has it (which may not be a good sign); The Lakers and Portland have talked about trading so Los Angeles can move up to the three, but apparently the Blazers want to move Ruben Patterson as part of any deal (maybe something like the 10th pick, Caron Butler and Vlade for Ruben and the three); The Lakers also have talked with New Orleans (the fourth pick) and Charlotte (the fifth pick).
â€¢ My hunch is that the Lakers are more likely to make a trade than not, but youâ€™re not going to a see a trade until draft day or during the event itself. For example, Charlotte may be willing to move their pick but only if a player they want (Chris Paul?) doesnâ€™t fall to them. We shall see what happens. As a side note, I think trades not involving draft picks may be pushed back a little just because of the new CBA (thereâ€™s no pressure to get things done before it expires and GMs want to see what their new cap figure is).
â€¢ Some of the best player breakdowns are at Hoopsanalyst, where all five positions are now up. They love the potential of Charlie Villanueva and they think Andrew Bogut compares well to what the NBAâ€™s current top centers did in college. Worth the reads.
â€¢ One interesting mock draft is up at the Lakersground.net message board, posted by one of the moderators and better posters on the site, who goes by Dancing Barry. I donâ€™t know that his is more (or less) accurate than anyone else posting mocks, paid sites or not, and nobody can predict the trades that will happen. What this does have is good player breakdowns. Also, this site has a new look that is a huge step up.
â€¢ Would your vote for MVP change if it was taken after the playoffs rather than before? Roland Beech, the man behind 82games.com, asked that question on the APBR Board, and itâ€™s an interesting query. Over the course of the playoffs, Tim Duncan was actually in the negative, meaning the Spurs outplayed their opponents with him off the court but not on. My vote, which would have been Dirk Nowitzki before, very likely would have changed.
â€¢ I had said the biggest advantage to bringing Phil Jackson on board in LA is that at least there would be a plan in place to get better and it would start with defense. Right about now, Knickerblogger is wishing Isaiah Thomas had one of those â€œplansâ€ for New York.