NBA Rumors and News June 24, 2009

Latest draft rumors, including new Rondo whispers

Dallas Mavericks looking for right deal

Draft-buzz roundup: What we’re hearing

Latest draft rumors, including new Rondo whispers

Marc J. Spears, Globe Staf

In the wee hours of Wednesday morning, here is what I’ve ac*****ulated thus far with the NBA Draft arriving Thursday:

While Memphis is expected to draft UConn center Hasheem Thabeet at No. 2, there are rumors that Minnesota could be interested in trading its newly acquired fifth and sixth picks for the No. 2 pick to get Spanish guard Ricky Rubio.

While there has been talk around the NBA from several scouts that the Celtics have been shopping guard Rajon Rondo, he isn’t expected to be dealt. While unlikely, one Eastern Conference executive said the latest trade rumor included Rondo and forward Brian Scalabrine going to Memphis for guard Mike Conley and swingman Rudy Gay. On the flip side, one NBA GM said that he asked Celtics president Danny Ainge about Rondo and Ainge said he didn’t want to trade him.

Portland and Phoenix are interested in trading for one of Minnesota’s two picks in the top 10 (No. 5 or No. 6).

Key guys to keep an eye on as possible trade bait Thursday include Cleveland forward-center Ben Wallace, New Jersey swingman Vince Carter, Orlando guard Rafer Alston, a Los Angeles Clipper big man named either Marcus Camby (most likely him), Chris Kaman or Zach Randolph and New York forward-center David Lee.

http://www.boston.com/sports/basketball/celtics/extras/celtics_blog/2009/06/spears_latest_d.html

Dallas Mavericks looking for right deal

EDDIE SEFKO / The Dallas Morning News

The Mavericks had no choice Tuesday but to stress patience – to themselves and their fans.

Rival San Antonio used a pair of contracts similar in nature to Jerry Stackhouse’s to acquire Richard Jefferson from Milwaukee.

So why couldn’t the Mavericks pull off such a deal?

It wasn’t for lack of effort. They had what president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson called a "fairly active" Monday and Tuesday. And they will continue to try to use Stackhouse’s contract as the primary chip in trade talks that they are confident will still pay off in the long run.

"There’s a chance we could do something around the draft and probably an equal chance we would just carry it into July when a lot of the bigger deals are going to be discussed," Nelson said.

"We don’t feel any outward sense of urgency because somebody else is doing something. But when it’s right, we’ll squeeze the trigger."

The Spurs used the contracts of Fabricio Oberto, Bruce Bowen and Kurt Thomas in the trade for Jefferson, a quality upgrade offensively over everybody the Spurs jettisoned. Milwaukee then sent Oberto to Detroit for Amir Johnson.

Oberto and Bowen combined have a salary of about $7 million. But only $2 million of that money is guaranteed, meaning their respective teams can waive both players for immediate savings.

Read the full article from

http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/spt/basketball/mavs/stories/062409dnspomavsdate.3e1a8ec.html

Draft-buzz roundup: What we’re hearing

ESPN.com

Chad Ford: The NBA trading frenzy that normally coincides with draft week got off to a hot start Tuesday with two huge trades. The Bucks traded Richard Jefferson to the Spurs for cap relief, and the Wolves agreed to trade Randy Foye and Mike Miller to the Wizards for the No. 5 pick and a bunch of players with undesirable contracts.

How do the deals affect the draft?

For the Bucks, probably little. This deal gave them some flexibility to re-sign one of their restricted free agents — either Charlie Villanueva or Ramon Sessions. From what I can gather, the emphasis will be on Villanueva.

Why? The draft has something to do with it. The Bucks have several point guard prospects they like at No. 10. The only big guy they’ve looked at hard is DeJuan Blair, but that’s too high for Blair to go.

But the Wolves now are the power players in the draft, with picks 5, 6, 18, 28, 45 and 47. The question is, what will they do next?

Sources say they want two lottery picks, so a trade of 5 and 6 for the second or third pick is unlikely. But they might be willing to package 5 and 18. That might not be enough for Memphis (No. 2), but it could be for Oklahoma City (No. 3). The Thunder might be content to go to No. 5 and get either James Harden or Stephen Curry, and then, at No. 18, get another player they covet, Ohio State’s B.J. Mullens.

The Pistons want to add several players to the roster and want to keep salaries at or less than $10 million per year. With Boozer likely demanding a deal in the $15 million to $16 million a year range, his contract demands are out of their league. Add in concerns about Boozer’s injury history, and I don’t think the Pistons will make a play for him.

Instead, you can look for them to make a run at Ben Gordon, try to re-sign Antonio McDyess and find one or two other players they can sign for smaller salaries.

Read the full article from

http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/draft2009/insider/news/story?page=09DraftBuzz2&action=login&appRedirect=http%3a%2f%2finsider.espn.go.com%2fnba%2fdraft2009%2finsider%2fnews%2fstory%3fpage%3d09DraftBuzz2

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