Lots and lots of smoke blowing here… Let’s get to it.
The winds of the Cavs draft seem to be blowing Victor Oladipo’s way over the last couple days.
- Cleveland.com/The Plain Dealer’s Jodie Valade profiles Oladipo’s explosiveness and overlooked-edness. The site also features an Oladipo #1 opinion as their “comment of the day.”
- FearTheSword steals the meat out of Chad Ford’s Insider piece on Oladipo being rated as the best prospect by a group of ten NBA GM’s.
Chad Ford counters this morning that he thinks the Cavs are taking Noel #1, and that Orlando is ready to pounce if Noel falls to #2.
The Cavs brought in Akron’s Zeke Marshall, Kent State’s Randall Holt, Bucknell’s Mike Muscala, and Florida State’s Michael Snaer to work out and compete with each other yesterday.
Chad Ford drops the bomb that the Cavs offered the Blazers the #1 and #19 picks for LaMarcus Aldridge, and the Blazers hung up the phone.
Hoopsworld says the Cavs are trying to package their first two picks for a player, but are interested in Pierce, and their have been discussions with Dallas over Marion.
But in more Shawn Marion to the Cavs news: “Dallas must go directly to Marion and ask him to opt into the final season of contract” before they trade him by Friday’s deadline, which means Marion isn’t getting moved before the draft, unless he really wants to play in Wine and Gold. Plus, Marion has a 15% trade kicker that someone has to pay.
Bob Finnan of the News Herald scouts possible Cavs second rounders.
Luol Deng linked to the Cavs… and let me expound on this one a little. I batted around this idea with Kevin yesterday, and came up with a trade I could live with. The Cavs would get Deng, the #20 pick, and the draft rights to ACB MVP Nikola Mirotic (ACB is the best league in Europe). The Bulls would get the #1 and the #31, and possibly a player or future second rounder. The Cavs would probably try to get a future protected #1 out of the Bulls. This deal has more twists than driving through the Cuyahoga Valley, though. The trade gives the Cavs Mirotic, who would be in the top five of this draft, but has a difficult buyout. Basically, given his slotted rookie salary, no team can pay Mirotic enough to pay his buyout, which is rumored to be over $2 million (though details are sketchy). Starting in 2104, three years after his draft class, Nikola’s slotting no longer applies and a team can pay him any amount under their cap or with an exception, thus allowing him to make enough money to buy out his ACB contract. To complicate matters even more Deng is a free agent after this coming season, and could walk if he does not sign an extension (though the Cavs want all the 2014 cap space possible). Also, Deng had a particularly nasty bout of (suspected) meningitis during this year’s playoffs. If I were the Cavs, I’d want a doctor to sign off on him before I traded for him, which makes trading before the draft pretty undoable. So yeah, this trade has about a .01% chance of happening. But one year of Luol Deng, the #20 and a player who has as much upside as anyone in this draft? That’s a win for the Cavs, and gives the Bulls the cap space to go after a high level free agent this summer, if they amnesty Boozer. Of course, why would the Cavs want to help a division rival build a powerhouse?