Basketball Trade Rumors and Notes for June 21st

1. Paul Pierce’s player option, Ray Allen’s free agency on Celtics’ agenda

2. Lakers looking for mostly minor changes

3. Turner, Favors or trade? 76ers trying to sort out draft

4. Rockets moving up in draft?

5. LeBron the next titleless talent?

6. Bosh: I’m not just an addition

7. Nets leaning toward power forward1. Paul Pierce’s player option, Ray Allen’s free agency on Celtics’ agenda

The Boston Herald is reporting "The NBA Finals have backed all other Celtics business up against the wall, starting with Thursday’s NBA draft and what the team should do with the 19th overall pick.

Then kicks in the really important business of expiring contracts and Paul Pierce’s player option, which must be exercised by June 30.

According to a source, the team will not passively sit on the Celtics captain’s situation.

The team has scheduled a meeting with Pierce’s representatives following the draft. Though it’s unclear whether it will involve a restructuring of Pierce’s deal, which has two years remaining, or even an extension, his camp hasn’t sent a proposal or a plan to management.

The looming free agency of Ray Allen will take longer.

Celtics general manager Danny Ainge and Allen’s agent, Lon Babby, have yet to meet regarding the veteran guard’s status.

Though both sides want to keep Allen in green, management is said to be concerned about the length of his next contract demand."

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2. Lakers looking for mostly minor changes

The Orange County Register is reporting Jerry West and Mitch Kupchak had dinner together right before the playoffs started.

If Kupchak happened to bounce some ideas off his former boss’ brilliant mind, that would’ve been wise. Not a tremendous amount has changed with the Lakers’ roster since then. For example:

Derek Fisher remains clutch.

Jordan Farmar overheats more than he’s actually hot.

Adam Morrison is still a skinny, white, mustachioed, also-Michael Jordan-chosen version of Kwame Brown.

And the Lakers are champions, just as they were before.

That final fact alone should be reassuring for Lakers fans. As much of a legend as West is, Kupchak is two-thirds of the way to matching the championship haul of West’s Kobe-Shaq crew. Kupchak also has proved skilled at working with the owner’s son, Jim Buss, and capable of nurturing his own rising star in assistant general manager Ronnie Lester.

Even though the Lakers couldn’t get Kevin Garnett in 2007 and the Celtics did, the Lakers’ two championships to Boston’s one now is validation that the direct route does not necessarily mean the happier ending."

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3. Turner, Favors or trade? 76ers trying to sort out draft

The Philadelphia Inquirer is reporting Since landing the No. 2 pick for Thursday’s draft a month ago in the NBA lottery, the 76ers have been hard at work.

The franchise hired Doug Collins as its coach. The Sixers scouted and interviewed draft prospects at the NBA draft combine in Chicago.

In the last week, they brought in Ohio State’s Evan Turner, Georgia Tech’s Derrick Favors, Kentucky’s DeMarcus Cousins, and Syracuse’s Wesley Johnson, all of whom are considered possible top-five picks. They also brought in Temple’s Ryan Brooks and Villanova’s Reggie Redding for predraft workouts.

So what’s next?

"Continue to watch tape," Collins said. ". . . Then you sort of go in and start talking through things with guys like, ‘Why do you like this guy? What do you like about him? How does he fit in?’

"And then you try to pay attention to what’s going on in the league . . . with who’s doing what with all the scuttlebutts and that kind of stuff."

Exploring all their options, the Sixers will continue to listen to trade offers from teams looking to move up in the draft.

But the Sixers are expected to keep the second pick and use it on Turner, a 6-foot-7 junior guard. The expectation is that Washington will use the No. 1 overall pick on John Wall, the Kentucky guard.

However, there have been reports that the Sixers have been deciding whether to select Favors, a 6-10 power forward, instead."

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4. Rockets moving up in draft?

The Houston Chronicle is reporting Since Daryl Morey took over as general manager of the Houston Rockets back in May of 2007, the team has only selected its actual pick once in the NBA draft. And that was No. 0-wearing guard Aaron Brooks(notes) back in 2007, only a few months after Morey took over.

Now the draft is looming and the Rockets still have its No. 14 spot in its back pocket. The Houston Chronicle reports that Morey gives it a 50 percent chance that his team won’t pick at that spot.

Morey has been trying to trade up into "the top third of the first round this season," the Chronicle reports.

Still, the team may uncharacteristically stick with its current pick due to the deepness of this draft. "At 14, we’re trying to identify what’s the best talent available," vice president of player personnel Gersson Rosas told the paper. "We try to stay away from just picking for need or picking based on what the market says. We want to identify the best talent. We don’t want to leave talent on the table after we pick.

To read more..–+NBA+Basketball%29

5. LeBron the next titleless talent?

The Ny Daily news is reporting LeBron James may have the world at his feet, but a championship won’t magically appear in New York. Contrary to the Big Apple belief that The King plus a superstar sidekick equals the first NBA title in these parts since ’73, your signing doesn’t guarantee a ring. Yes, you’re a force who will single-handedly put the Knicks back in the playoffs and fill the Garden with more oohs and ahhs than the Westminster Dog Show. But free agency’s a tricky business that delivers only two things with regularity – wasted dollars and disappointment. Land here, and your career arc could easily mirror Dominique Wilkins’ instead of Michael’s or Magic’s or Bird’s.

To read more..

6. Bosh: I’m not just an addition is reporting Chris Bosh picked a tough offseason to make a case as "the man." [Bosh] Bosh isn’t waiting for some summit to determine his landing spot next season. The soon-to-be Toronto Raptors free agent is determined to chart his own course and forge his own i
dentity apart from the star-studded field of peers also entering the open market. "I don’t want to be mentioned as an addition to a team," Bosh said prior to the season. "I want to be mentioned as the guy that people want to center their team around." Bosh hasn’t changed that stance, adding recently that he’s making his decision separate from LeBron James or anyone else. … Unlike the situation facing James in Cleveland, Raptors general manager Bryan Colangelo acknowledged that he would be agreeable to a sign-and-trade if a new deal isn’t worked out with Bosh.

To read more..

7. Nets leaning toward power forward

The Ny post is reporting A Monday workout could lock down in the mind of the Nets front office what to do with their No. 3 pick. Forward or center? Georgia Tech power forward Derrick Favors or Kentucky center DeMarcus Cousins? Favors and Cousins are scheduled to work out against each other this morning in East Rutherford, and that private workout should help the Nets decide which choices to make with the third overall pick in Thursday’s NBA Draft. Assuming Kentucky’s John Wall and Ohio State’s Evan Turner go 1-2, Favors, whose athleticism reminds observers of a young Antonio McDyess, remains the leader for the Nets at No. 3 — unless Cousins annihilates him today.

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