With the NBA Draft set to get going at 7 PM EST in New York City, Christmas has finally come for NBA fans. Tonight, we will watch as the future all-stars (well, bench players may be more apropos for this draft) come off the board and join their NBA teams. We will perhaps see the Nets trade a boatload of assets for Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, Thomas Robinson may find a new home, and the Rockets could be adding even more to their treasure chest of assets.
The most intriguing storyline of the draft may be the one that is resolved the quickest: What the hell are the Cavaliers going to do with the first overall selection. They've apparently offered the pick up to anybody and everybody, but they haven't gotten any takers willing to give up an All-Star for it. If they can't find a deal, they will be forced to choose between a potentially safer, but lower upside pick in Alex Len, or the highest regarded player in the draft, Nerlens Noel. Personally, I think Cleveland would be shooting themselves in the foot by taking Len, a player I don't even think is a top five prospect, but they've done their work on him.
On the Rockets side, Max did a great draft primer, and there are a ton of potential ways this draft goes. The Rockets could move into the first round by dealing Thomas Robinson, or they could stand pat and wait for a deal to come later down the road. With their pick in the early second round, there could be a number of sleepers to fall and the Rockets could take them without it impacting their cap whatsoever (2nd round picks don't have cap holds above the minimum salary).
As the draft goes along, we will keep this thread updated with posts coming if something major breaks and a list of best available prospects, using SBNation's latest big board.
7:39 EST: Mark Deeks, the founder of ShamSports, is reporting the Rockets are trying to move Jeremy Lin. I'm skeptical, but Deeks is not some oddball, he knows his stuff. -Patrick
Houston is trying to dump Jeremy Lin's salary, going so far as to prioritise cap relief over young basketball assets.— Mark Deeks (@MarkDeeksNBA) June 27, 2013
8:37 EST: Not much is going on with regards to the Rockets, but this draft has been nuts. Noel and Burke both on the move, Noel going to Philly and Burke going to a terrible place that nobody deserves to go to. -Patrick
9:13 EST: Dallas continues to move down in the draft, trading the 13th pick for the 16th and two 2nd rounders, then trading the 16th and Jared Cunningham for the 18th pick and a 2nd rounder. I suspect they'll end up moving the 18th pick or taking an international player with that pick as they try to hoard cap room for the summer. - Patrick
9:25 EST: Two international players projected as first round picks are still on the board. If the Rockets make a move for a first round pick, here's the best available internationals who *could* be stashed: Sergey Karasev - SF - Russia | Rudy Gobert - C - France. These guys both want to be in the NBA next year - Max
9:35 EST: Cavs are taking Karasev with the 19th pick. No word on a possible trade. Remember he doesn't want to be stashed overseas. - Max
9:42 EST: Cavs took Karasev with the 19th pick. Cavs apparently wanted him, regardless of trade offers. The Bulls are reportedly selecting Tony Snell, New Mexico shooter, at 20. That nullifies any potential trade with the Bulls. - Max
10:11 EST: The Knicks take Tim Hardaway Jr. with the 24th pick. With the Rockets 10 picks away, one guy to watch is another son of a former NBA star, SF Glen Rice Jr. Rice averaged 13 points and 6 rebounds per game while shooting 39% beyond the arc for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers last season, the Rockets D-League affiliate. With Delfino gone and Garcia unlikely to be back, the Rockets will need wings who can hit the 3-pointer off the bench. - Matt
10:53 EST: And with Nemanja Nedovic taken by the Suns with the 30th pick, Commissioner David Stern announces his final pick as NBA Commissioner. Rather than the traditional booing of Stern at the podium, Brooklyn fans showed a lot of class with a standing ovation. Then the greatest Rocket of all-time makes an appearance and Hakeem (Stern's first pick as commissioner in 1984) engulfs Stern with a huge hug. That should make you feel something if you're a Rockets fan. - Matt
- Tony Mitchell
Giannis Adetukunbo Dennis Schroeder Gorgui Dieng
- Allen Crabbe
- Jamaal Franklin
- Erick Green
Sergey Karasev CJ McCollum Mason Plumlee
- Reggie Bullock
Shabazz Muhammad Kelly Olynyk Steven Adams
- Rudy Gobert
- Brandon Davies (not Davis)
- Lorenzo Brown
- Jackie Carmichael