Tomorrow night I will be busting out another live running diary for the lottery. Last time was a smashing success (well, as much as it could be). It will be an open discussion thread of sorts as well, so be sure to by here to discuss the heartbreak victory.
HoopsWorld has the top eight players most likely to be traded: “Earl Watson and Chucky Atkins – The cliché says the hardest two positions to fill are point guard and center. While that’s not always true, Earl Watson is a veteran guard in the last year of his contract playing for a young team that simply doesn’t need him. He defends well, looks for his teammates and is relatively low maintenance. The Oklahoma City Thunder are one of the few teams with significant cap room this summer. In addition to Watson’s $6.6 million contract, Chucky Atkins is only guaranteed $760,000 of his $3.48 million salary. The Thunder can spend on the free agent market. They can make deals where the incoming salaries are far greater than the outgoing. They can cut Atkins to increase their own cap space or send him out in trade (either alone or with Watson). With a bright young roster including Kevin Durant, Jeff Green and Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City could vastly improve their team this summer. The Thunder should have plenty of callers from teams looking for fiscal saving and/or a veteran point in Watson. Both players are eligible to be moved at any point this offseason.”
Chris Silva from the team site attempts to explain the lottery: “The Thunder will receive anywhere between the No. 1 through No. 7 draft selections. By now, you’ve already heard that the Thunder’s odds of landing the top overall pick in the draft are just 11.9 percent. That’s just a gentler way of saying the Thunder has an 88.1 percent chance of NOT drawing the top pick. So, should the Thunder not receive the top pick, it really shouldn’t come as a surprise. The Thunder has a 12.57 percent chance of nabbing the second overall pick, a 13.24 percent chance of getting the third pick, a 9.98 percent chance of landing the fourth pick, a 34.99 percent chance of getting the fifth pick (its highest percentage for a pick), a 16.05 percent chance of having the sixth pick and a 1.26 percent chance of ending up with the seventh pick. But before your brain goes into overdrive with all these possible scenarios, heed this: the Thunder will get a good player wherever it falls in the lottery, whether it keeps or trades the pick. It’s a valuable asset to have. And it’s a pretty simple concept to grasp.”
Evidently, the Knicks would take Rubio over Griffin if given the chance: “If the Knicks beat the odds and surge to No. 1 or 2, they are expected to take Spanish point guard Ricky Rubio, the 19-year-old phenom whom Mike D’Antoni faced in the 2008 Olympics. Blake Griffin, the bullish Oklahoma forward, is the consensus No. 1 pick, but the Knicks prefer the Spanish playmaker. UConn 7-foot-3 center Hasheem Thabeet is the consensus third pick and could fill the Knicks’ glaring lack of shot blocking.” Seems like pretty strong speculation. I can understand D’Antoni trying to find another Steve Nash, but he needs another Amare Stoudemire to make it all work too. Keep Reading…