Word on the Street: Denver trades #20 pick to Charlotte

Word on the Street: Denver trades #20 pick to Charlotte
Jun 25, 2008, 07:41 pm
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Second Trade Completed

After Portland and New Orleans completed the first trade of the NBA draft--with the Hornets selling the #27 pick to the Blazers for cash--we appear to have our second deal completed as well. Multiple NBA teams informed us that according to their intel, the Denver Nuggets have moved out of this year's first round, trading the #20 pick to Charlotte in exchange for a future first round pick (lottery protected). At 20, Charlotte is expected to take Roy Hibbert, who Larry Brown is reportedly extremely high on.

Indiana-Toronto Trade Back On Track?

Those same teams indicating that Denver and Charlotte had reached an accord also think that the Indiana-Toronto trade could be back on track as well. The trade would send Jermaine O'Neal to Toronto in exchange for T.J. Ford, the #17 pick, and Rasho Nesterovic. At #17, Indiana would likely select Robin Lopez or Kosta Koufos according to our sources.

Edit: The trade is done, although we're told it can't become official until July 9th due to T.J. Ford's status as a BYC player.

Sacramento Likes Mike Taylor

Look for the Kings to draft D-League combo guard Mike Taylor with the 42nd or 43rd pick in the draft tomorrow night, if he’s still on the board at that point. Geoff Petrie has always been a fan of having a combo guard he can throw in off the bench—he hasn’t really had a quality scoring option in that mold since Bobby Jackson. Sacramento’s experiments with Ronnie Price and most recently Quincy Douby haven’t worked out thus far.

As far as the first round is concerned—now that Indiana has landed T.J. Ford and are likely no longer in the running for a point guard with the #11 pick (Darrell Arthur and Kosta Koufos look like solid candidates), it looks very likely that the Kings could luck out and land D.J. Augustin with the 12th overall pick. The Kings would consider themselves very fortunate to land a player of Augustin’s caliber this far down in the draft.

Where is Batum’s Physical?

Multiple teams reached out to us today wondering whether we have gotten a hold of Nicolas Batum’s physical yet. Batum underwent a series of heart tests in Cleveland on Monday and was cleared for workouts immediately afterwards, but still his physical is nowhere to be found. Batum traveled to San Antonio immediately after and was supposed to work out for Cleveland today. Some teams openly are wondering whether San Antonio gave Batum a promise and asked him to not distribute his physical around the league, which would make him very likely to slip to 26.

Batum is obviously a great fit in San Antonio, as the team already has two French players on their roster (Tony Parker and Ian Mahinmi) and sport a very aging perimeter with wing players such as Michael Finley (35 years old), Brent Barry (36 years old) and Bruce Bowen (37 years old) who will soon be clearing up plenty of playing time for an athletic, unselfish, defensive minded prospect such as Batum. He appears to be fully healthy, but it appears that only the Spurs and the Cavs currently have his physical. Multiple calls to Batum’s agent Bouna Ndiaye were not returned.

Ibaka Wants to Go Second Round

An email from Serge Ibaka’s agent Justin Zanik to every NBA team circulated on Wednesday evening, which may drop his client’s stock into the 2nd round. Ibaka reportedly has an attractive four year contract offer from two separate ACB teams in Spain, which would provide him with a great deal of financial security, and also allow him to develop in a very comfortable environment. The contracts would have an NBA out after two seasons, but with a considerable buyout. Should Ibaka be drafted in the late first round, according to Zanik, “it would be a great burden to him to make the transition to the NBA if he is locked into the first round salary scale.”

It appears that Ibaka, who we heard had many fans amongst teams such as Seattle (24), San Antonio (26), Memphis (28), Detroit (29) and Boston (30), seems very likely to drop past all those teams now.

Quick Hitters

-After conducting at least half a dozen “group mock drafts” with NBA teams today, it seems like the biggest debate is what is going to happen with Minnesota at #3. About half of the people we spoke with see Kevin Love going here, while the other half has O.J. Mayo. The player that doesn’t go third will likely go fifth.

-JaVale McGee seems pretty confident that he won’t slip past 19…

-The rumors that the Cavs are trying to move up and get the 13th pick from Portland (to select Brandon Rush) seem to be overstated.

-One trade that is definitely being discussed is Portland swapping picks with New Jersey. According to the rumor, the Trailblazers would send the #13 pick and Jarrett Jack to the Nets for Marcus Williams (who the Nets are extremely down on) and the #10 pick. Portland would love to get Russell Westbrook or Jerryd Bayless here, but would probably settle for Eric Gordon or D.J. Augustin as well.

-At #18, it looks like the Wizards are trying to decide between JaVale McGee and Darrell Arthur. It appears like both players will be there.

-At #8, it looks pretty much set that Milwaukee will take Joe Alexander.

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