Rumors of the Day: 6/22/11
By Josh Roth
1. Tony Parker on the move?
The biggest rumor in the NBA as of last night was the rumor that the San Antonio Spurs were looking to trade Tony Parker for a lottery pick, with theToronto Raptors and Sacramento Kings being the likely destinations.
At first it’s easy to be shocked and possibly appalled by the notion of trading a point guard like Tony Parker, especially with a below average draft class. However, if you are San Antonio you have to realize that this team is running out of time to be a top team in the NBA. It became obvious in the first round against a much younger and quicker Memphis Grizzlies team. And remember the team still has George Hill and Manu Ginobili runs the point often.
The ideal place for the Spurs to deal Tony Parker would likely be to the Toronto Raptors for the fifth pick. Also I could see them trading Richard Jefferson in the deal with Jose Calderon and Ed Davis returning to the Spurs. To me the Spurs will get more than just a pick for Tony Parker and Ed Davis would be a very nice player to get in the deal and to learn under Tim Duncan.
The next question would be, who would the Spurs draft if they did get a lottery pick? ESPN’s Ric Bucher has said that it would likely be Klay Thompson or Jonas Valanciunas. At five Valanciunas would make a lot of sense due to the Spurs lacking in size, especially at center. However, if they feel confident with their current situation at point, then I can see Klay Thompson being a very good pick. As I said in my mock draft, I see him as a poor man’s Brandon Roy with his skills.
2. Atlanta shopping Josh Smith?
Another player being rumored to be on the move is Josh Smith of the Atlanta Hawks. Specifically to the Orlando Magic, that are desperately trying to please Dwight Howard and trying to get him to stay in Orlando.
For Orlando, it is the right idea and wrong player in my opinion. Smith would definitely improve the defensively, but offensively he struggles with his shooting and decision making especially from the outside. Now the move would not be awful, but with a player that plays so closely to the rim and already having Dwight down there, it could become congested. However, it could turn out being positive as they could get more second chance opportunities and teams will have fits trying to score in the paint.
The trade would seemingly have to include Brandon Bass, J.J. Redick, and possibly Daniel Orton in the deal. For Atlanta if Daniel Orton is included in the deal it would be a good deal for them as they get a true power forward to battle with some of top teams in the Eastern Conference, although certainly not the answer at power forward and they also get some much needed depth as well. I could also see them looking at Jameer Nelson as well, but that is only if they do not have confidence in Jeff Teague, which after the playoffs I would say that is not the case, but they could still use a player like Nelson.
Overall, I think Orlando would be better suited going after a guy like Lamar Odom, Kevin Love, Paul Milsap, or even a guy like Michael Beasley. They need a guy that can spread out the defense and make the lane less congested for Dwight Howard to dominate the paint. One specific deal that I could see potentially happening is working a deal with the Lakers centering around players like Lamar Odom and Jameer Nelson. The Lakers would likely have to require a bit more for Lamar Odom, but Lakers could easily find a replacement and could use Andrew Bynum to find that replacement. If Orlando were to do a deal for Josh Smith it would not be a bad deal and it would improve the team, but they need someone to spread the floor like Rashard Lewis did when he was on top of his game, because I feel that was a huge reason why they got to the championship.
3. Enes Kanter at 2?
Rumor has it that the Timberwolves are having a tough time deciding between Enes Kanter and Derrick Williams, that is if Kyrie Irving goes number one. At this point, according to ESPN’s Ric Bucher it is neck and neck and will likely come down to the last minute.
To me this is an obvious pick at two, it is Derrick Williams, but it does make sense for the Timberwolves to want Enes Kanter. The way the team is set up they need a center more than they need a tweener forward since they already one in Michael Beasley and Kevin Love is an undersized power forward. So he would essentially have to play small forward there, which he wouldn’t mind, but he in my opinion is more of a power forward.
Enes Kanter would give them a center that they need that can go along side of Kevin Love, however, both are probably better shooters than they are post players, which means second chance opportunities will be hard to come by and team may exploit them on both sides. It almost makes more sense for Minnesota to either trade down to take Kanter or to deal Kevin Love or Michael Beasley and look for a more legitimate post player. Look for the Timberwolves to talk to multiple teams up till there selection and don’t be surprised if they deal it away.
One possible scenario, besides the Lakers rumor the other day, would be Cleveland. Cleveland trading Anderson Varejao and the fourth pick to Minnesota for the second pick would make a ton of sense to me. Either way look for Minnesota to be very active and expect Michael Beasley’s name to come up a lot in trade discussions during the draft and/or this offseason.