Welcome To The 2011 NBA Draft: The REAL NBA Trade Deadline

 ~ This year’s NBA Draft does not have the potential star power of the 1996 class that brought in Iverson, Kobe, Marbury, and Allen. There is no LeBron, Melo or D. Wade coming out of this class. It’s low on star power, lower on overall potential talent and despite all of that, the 2011 NBA Draft is shaping up to be one of the more intriguing drafts of recent memory.

 The reasoning behind all of that may have to do with the legal troubles surrounding the NBA which could eventually lead to a lockout. A work stoppage is the last thing the league wants. However much like the NFL lockout, it’s looking inevitable.

 With a pending lockout overshadowing the league, this year’s draft has become more of a spotlight for NBA players who could be put on the market to be traded. The teams need to get their salary cap situations under control now as much as they can before a lockout happens.

 Operating under that kind of thought process has opened the door to enough trade rumors to almost drown out any buzz surrounding this year’s draft.

 Look at some of the names that potentially could be relocating:

* Tony Parker was reportedly on the trade market in 2010 and he’s back on it now apparently. Toronto and Sacramento have both inquired about his availability. They also have the numbers 5 and 7 picks respectively. 

 The Spurs are clearly in a position now where they have to rebuild an aging team. Parker is the one out of their core 3 that has the most trade value. San Antonio is said to be looking to get a top 10 draft pick in return. Perhaps to get a shot at Washington State’s sharpshooter guard Klay Thompson.

 

* Andre Iguodala, Josh Smith, Jameer Nelson, Lamar Odom, and Monta Ellis have all been thrown into the mix as players who could be on the move. Their respective teams have all been preparing trade scenarios that include picks from this year’s draft.

 

This past season reflected a transition in the league. Oklahoma City and Chicago took big steps forward and even though Miami came up two games short of a NBA title, they’ll be back next season perhaps even stronger. This year teams are not only looking to get into a better position financially with this draft, they are also looking to get younger and more athletic.

 

 

 The draft this year does have potential storylines that involve the players who are eligible.

 Kyrie Irving and Derrick Williams are expected to go numbers 1 and 2. Minnesota has been apparently listening to trade offers for the number 2 pick and while Cleveland is expected to take Irving at number 1, what they do with their number 4 pick is just as much a mystery and could impact their decision to take Irving.

 The true drama (if there is any) starts at the number 3 spot with the Utah Jazz. If they take the top big man Enes Kanter or point guard Brandon Knight. Teams are trying to get high enough in the draft through trades to perhaps grab Kanter. Once he comes off the board, it could open the door to an array of trades and surprise picks.

 

What started out as a draft class projected to be one of the weaker ones in recent history has now turned into must see television all of a sudden.

 One thing is for certain is that with a lockout about to happen that could put off free agency over the summer, teams are going the trade route to help shape their rosters. What better platform is left than the NBA Draft to serve as the newest trade deadline.

NBA Draft > Cleveland Wins No. 1 Pick, Irving On The Radar

 

~ The Cleveland Cavaliers had just about as good a night as a team can possibly have that didn’t make the playoffs. The Cav’s came away from the NBA Draft Lottery with the number one pick. To add icing on the cake, the Cav’s also have the number four pick in the draft. The team that within the last 12 months lost LeBron James to South Beach and endured a nightmare season with one loss after another, has finally come across some good fortune. The number one pick came from the Los Angeles Clippers in the Baron Davis trade. The pick only had a 2.8 percent chance of winning and it wasn’t protected. It ends up turning into the top pick in the draft. Cleveland is most likely to take Kyrie Irving of Duke with the number 1 pick to jumpstart the rebuilding process they are currently going through.

The draft class this year is not a deep one by any means. Teams are going to have to dig deep with their scouting departments in finding a gem in this year’s draft. That’s why having 2 of the top 5 picks in the draft is such a big win for the Cav’s. The Minnesota Timberwolves will draft second and it’s expected they will take Derrick Williams of Arizona. Once Irving and Williams are off the board, that is where the draft is expected to take a turn for the unexpected. The Clippers can now only imagine what a lineup with Irving and Blake Griffin could have done for their franchise.

The Utah Jazz came out ahead as well by securing the number 3 and number 12 picks in the draft. The number 3 pick came from the New Jersey Nets courtesy of the Deron Williams trade. There is a sub plot here to keep an eye on. It remains to be seen if Williams will sign his contract extension with the Nets. If he decides not to sign, the Nets could possibly come away from the trade with Utah empty-handed. To acquire Williams, the Nets also gave up Derrick Favors who was their 1st round pick last year and they also gave up their 1st round pick for next year. This would be a major setback for their rebuilding plans.

Here Is A Look At The Draft Order

1. Cleveland Cavaliers (from L.A. Clippers)
2. Minnesota Timberwolves
3. Utah Jazz
4. Cleveland Cavaliers
5. Toronto Raptors,
6. Washington Wizards
7. Sacramento Kings
8. Detroit Pistons
9. Charlotte Bobcats
10. Milwaukee Bucks
11. Golden State Warriors
12. Utah Jazz
13. Phoenix Suns
14. Houston Rockets
15. Indiana Pacers
16. Philadelphia 76ers
17. New York Knicks
18. Washington Wizards (from Atlanta)
19. Charlotte Bobcats (from New Orleans via Portland)
20. Minnesota Timberwolves (from Memphis via Utah)
21. Portland Trailblazers
22. Denver Nuggets
23. Houston Rockets (from Orlando via Phoenix)
24. Oklahoma City Thunder
25. Boston Celtics
26. Dallas Mavericks
27. New Jersey Nets (from Los Angeles Lakers)
28. Chicago Bulls (from Miami via Toronto)
29. San Antonio Spurs
30. Chicago Bulls

Additional Info: Pro Basketball Talk

Photo: Getty Images

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