NBA Draft Rumors – June 23

Clippers vow to keep No. 1 pick

Wolves trying to speak to Thabeet, Rubio

Draft Rumors

Clippers vow to keep No. 1 pick

Wire services

The Los Angeles Clippers remain intent on keeping the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft, and they’re expected to make Oklahoma’s Blake Griffin the top selection.

"The pick’s not going anywhere," assistant general manager Neil Olshey said Monday.

Olshey also hasn’t ruled out the possibility of acquiring another pick on or before Thursday’s draft.

Kings: New coach Paul Westphal hired Mario Elie, Jim Eyen and Leonard "Truck" Robinson as his assistants. Westphal also retained 78-year-old assistant Pete Carril. Elie, a three-time NBA champion as a player, has been an assistant coach in Dallas, Golden State and San Antonio. He spent the last two seasons with the Mavericks while Westphal was an assistant coach and an executive in Dallas.

Knicks: Multiple sources confirmed New York has discussed a potential trade with Washington that would land the Knicks the Wizards’ fifth overall draft pick while still allowing them to keep their spot at No. 8. The deal would likely have to include one of the Knicks’ most cherished assets, swingman Wilson Chandler.

Heat: Miami made qualifying offers to Jamario Moon and Joel Anthony. Both are now restricted free agents, but the Heat will have the right to match any offer they receive from other teams.

Wolves trying to speak to Thabeet, Rubio

David Kahn is believed to be seeking another high draft pick to go with the team’s current No. 6 position and was lined up next to explore drafting Rubio after he left a Monday workout in Sacramento.DeMar DeRozan cancelled a Monday morning workout at Target Center, citing an illness. North Carolina’s Wayne Ellington, a candidate for the Wolves’ 28th overall pick, today headlines what probably is the final group of predraft workouts.

Draft Rumors

Sam Smith And Chuck Swirsky

I expect Mullens to be there. There has been talk the Pistons want him, but he may not be a high priority as the rumors continue they’ll go for Carlos Boozer in free agency and bring back Antonio McDyess. I don’t see how they then can also add Ben Gordon. So we’ll see if there’s anything to those rumors.

Forman acknowledged the Bulls have looked at trading up or down or out, that being just about all the directions. There have been rumors of a Kirk Hinrich trade with my old Portland possibilities surfacing, and questions about Ben Gordon’s free agency, which doesn’t come until July 1.

The trade up possibility is most often mentioned with New Jersey at No. 11. They’ve shown interest in Tyler Hansbrough. The consensus has been you can get him before Utah at No. 20. But as players get scrutinized and more warts exposed, Hansbrough’s stock has been rising. If the Nets were to move down to 16, it’s possible they might not get him. I’ve heard potential interest by the Suns at No. 14.

The Suns also have had eyes on Louisville’s Earl Clark as have the Pistons, which is why Clark probably blew off the Bulls scheduled workout Sunday. He seems assured he’ll go before No. 16.

Washington at No. 5 has been the most active in trying to trade out of the draft. But they want you to take Etan Thomas and Mike James, who both have expiring deals. The price seems way too high.

Minnesota at No. 6 has been the most active trying to move up to No. 2 and supposedly offering Randy Foye, whom they don’t want to pay, anyway, in the changeover of administration. Minnesota has been linked to Hasheem Thabeet or Rubio.

The Grizzlies at No. 2 are said to be debating among Thabeet, Rubio and Stephen Curry. Owner Mike Heisley holds the tiebreaker, as he did last year in swinging the O.J. Mayo deal. Heisley tried desperately to get Michaal Beasley before settling for Mayo. He likes to make big things things happen on draft day and remains the wild card.

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