June 16, 2012
By Joe Kotoch
With the NBA Draft just twelve days away things are really starting to ramp up. Teams are jockeying to workout players individually or in groups and evaluate them in person. It appears that the first three picks of the draft are starting to fall into place. While it is no surprise that Anthony Davis is going to be the first pick, it appears according to league sources that Charlotte is leaning towards Thomas Robinson and Washington will take Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, provided he slips to 3. In that scenario the Cleveland Cavs will be the team to watch on Draft night.
Cleveland is seriously considering Kidd-Gilchrist, Brad Beal, Harrison Barnes, Andre Drummond, and Austin Rivers. Rivers has been a name that is rising on the Cavs board with his creative scoring ability and range. Rivers is rising up boards and is under consideration by Portland, Toronto, and New Orleans in the top-10. Cleveland hosted a workout between Beal and Barnes today, according to sources Beal really impressed as a shooter while Barnes showed surprising improvement as a ball handler. It is very likely the Cavs decision will come down these two players and the Cavs are not in a rush to make a decision.
Speaking of Barnes, a source tells PBD that the Bobcats are seriously considering Barnes at 2 and that Michael Jordan is convinced Barnes will be an even better pro than he was at UNC. The source goes on to say "MJ knows the system Barnes played in and having excelled as a pro thinks Barnes can do the same." The same source goes on to say that Barnes would help excite the fan base in Charlotte and that the Bobcats would like to excite their fan base.
It may be a case of history repeating itself but Geoff Petrie and the Sacramento Kings may again draft the player Joe Dumars and the Pistons are targeting with their pick. In the 2010 Draft the Pistons wanted to select DeMarcus Cousins but Sacramento beat them to the punch. Now it appears Dumars and company really like John Henson and that Henson could be their guy at 9 but word is Sacramento would be open to Henson at 5 if Drummond and Robinson are both off the board.
Several teams across the league have made it know how open they are to dealing their picks. Among the deals looking to deal are Golden State, Houston, Minnesota, and Memphis are the most frequently mentioned teams per league sources. One source goes on to say that some of these teams are more desperate to move their picks because it is such as weak international draft that its not feasible to draft and stash a pick in the first round outside of Evan Fournier.