The 2011 NBA Draft is hours away, but teams are still peddling potential deals, smokescreens and mis-information at full force. Absolutely nothing is decided as of yet, including the No. 1 overall pick.
While common sense and all indications point to Duke star, Kyrie Irving, going to the Cleveland Cavaliers at the top of the draft, neither Irving nor the Dan Gilbert-owned franchise has confirmed this. Still, for all intents and purposes, Irving is considered to be off the board by the second pick, and the Timberwolves -- barring an unforeseen, previously rejected trade -- will likely take Derrick Williams with the second overall pick.
From there, things get a bit muddy. Brandon Knight, Enes Kanter and Jonas Valanciunas have all been rumored as potential picks at No. 3 to the Utah Jazz, and a lot of the draft will ultimately fall into place depending on who this team opts to select.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, the Cavaliers, Charlotte Bobcats and Detroit Pistons are all jockeying for position in order to come away with the picks that they want. Essentially, the Cavs want Valanciunas and figured they could get both him and the 19th pick in this draft by taking Tristan Thompson (whom the Bobcats want) fourth, then swapping him to Charlotte for Valanciunas and their No.19 pick.
Unfortunately, the Pistons threw a wrench into the whole equation when they decided that they were interested in Valanciunas, Wojnarowski explains. If the Pistons opt to take Valanciunas, then the whole Cavs-Bobcats deal falls apart. Complicating matters even further are the San Antonio Spurs, who also reportedly have their eye on Valanciunas (a player they apparently see as Tim Duncan’s eventual successor), and are desperately trying to get into the lottery zone by dangling the likes of Tony Parker and George Hill.
In response to the Pistons’ aggressive tactics, the Cavs, reportedly, are now in discussions with the Toronto Raptors and Washington Wizards for the No. 5 and No. 6 picks, respectively.