Draft-buzz roundup: What we're hearing

Updated: June 24, 2009, 11:17 AM ET
ESPN.com
Editor's note: In the days leading up to the draft, we'll be updating this file with the latest draft rumors from around the league.

POSTED: June 24 -- 11:11 a.m. ET

Harden
Harden

Andy Katz: Wednesday got off to a hurried start for Minnesota, which diverted the travel plans of Arizona State's James Harden.

NBA officials confirmed that Harden was supposed to be at Wednesday's media session in New York but had an unscheduled workout thrust onto his schedule late Tuesday night.

According to a source close to Harden, Harden flew to Minneapolis for an interview and light shooting workout with the Timberwolves on Wednesday.

The source said Harden was told by Washington that he would have been the Wizards' pick at No. 5 prior to Tuesday's trade that shipped the fifth pick to Minnesota for Randy Foye and Mike Miller, with three Wizards -- Etan Thomas, Darius Songaila and Oleksiy Pecherov -- also heading to Minnesota.

The source said Harden would go to either Oklahoma City at No. 3 or Minnesota at No. 5 or 6, pending further moves by the Wolves.

Harden is expected to get to New York late Wednesday night.



POSTED: June 24 -- 1:18 a.m. ET

Chad Ford: The NBA trading frenzy that normally coincides with draft week got off to a hot start Tuesday with two huge trades. The Bucks traded Richard Jefferson to the Spurs for cap relief, and the Wolves agreed to trade Randy Foye and Mike Miller to the Wizards for the No. 5 pick and a bunch of players with undesirable contracts.

How do the deals affect the draft?

For the Bucks, probably little. This deal gave them some flexibility to re-sign one of their restricted free agents -- either Charlie Villanueva or Ramon Sessions. From what I can gather, the emphasis will be on Villanueva.

Why? The draft has something to do with it. The Bucks have several point guard prospects they like at No. 10. The only big guy they've looked at hard is DeJuan Blair, but that's too high for Blair to go.

I think they'll take Jonny Flynn, Jrue Holiday or Jeff Teague at No. 10 and go into the summer with a solid rebuilding base of talented young players including Andrew Bogut, Joe Alexander and Villanueva. It isn't a championship contender, but it's a start.

For the Spurs, not at all. They don't have a first-round pick anyway.

But the Wolves now are the power players in the draft, with picks 5, 6, 18, 28, 45 and 47. The question is, what will they do next?

Sources say they want two lottery picks, so a trade of 5 and 6 for the second or third pick is unlikely. But they might be willing to package 5 and 18. That might not be enough for Memphis (No. 2), but it could be for Oklahoma City (No. 3). The Thunder might be content to go to No. 5 and get either James Harden or Stephen Curry, and then, at No. 18, get another player they covet, Ohio State's B.J. Mullens.

See our latest mock draft for more on the Wolves' options.

The Wizards are out of the draft now, but what they did was pretty savvy. I thought it would be tough to get two veterans who could come and really contribute for them, but Miller and Foye really fill out their backcourt. If they can get one more big man, they will be serious contenders in the East.


• The Pistons also made a small deal Tuesday, moving Amir Johnson to the Bucks for Fabricio Oberto. Since Oberto's contract is only partially guaranteed next year, the Pistons can waive him and get about $1.7 million further under the salary cap this summer.

That could put them roughly $23 million under the cap going into free agency. Over the past few months, we've assumed Carlos Boozer is their primary target, but that might not be the case. A league source told me Tuesday that the Pistons' free-agent strategy likely would preclude a run at Boozer.

The Pistons want to add several players to the roster and want to keep salaries at or less than $10 million per year. With Boozer likely demanding a deal in the $15 million to $16 million a year range, his contract demands are out of their league. Add in concerns about Boozer's injury history, and I don't think the Pistons will make a play for him.

Instead, you can look for them to make a run at Ben Gordon, try to re-sign Antonio McDyess and find one or two other players they can sign for smaller salaries.

That stance in Detroit could put Boozer in a tough position. If he opts out of his contract with the Jazz, he's going to struggle to find any team far enough under the cap to offer him what he wants. And with the Jazz interested in keeping Paul Millsap, Boozer could be out of luck in Utah, too.

Rondo
Rondo

• The Rajon Rondo trade talk is still alive despite Danny Ainge's attempts at spin control. In speaking to the media Tuesday, Ainge was pretty adamant that if the Celtics trade Rondo, it will be to make their team better and not because of any problems with Rondo.

I'm not sure I totally buy that. Rondo was the best player for the Celtics in the playoffs, a triple-double machine and the bridge between their present and their future. How would trading Rondo away make the Celtics better?

I'm more persuaded by what several league sources told me about Doc Rivers' relationship with Rondo. They say Rivers has told them Rondo is "impossible to coach" and "stubborn." The worry is that if the Celtics give him a big contract extension next year, he'll be even more unmanageable in the future. So the Celtics are trying to trade him now, while his trade value is high, to avoid a very difficult decision a year from now.

Given that, a couple of potential trade scenarios come to mind. These are not rumors, just hypotheticals.

What about San Antonio's Tony Parker, Roger Mason and Matt Bonner for Ray Allen and Rondo? The Celtics would get another young championship point guard and the Spurs would get a new backcourt capable of winning a title, as we've seen.

Or, what about Memphis' Mike Conley and the No. 2 pick for Rondo? Conley isn't Rondo, but he's young and improving, and the Celtics could get their man -- Tyreke Evans -- with the second pick.


• One day after a second workout with the Knicks, Jrue Holiday flew to Toronto for his second workout with the Raptors on Tuesday. Unlike in his first workout, against Jonny Flynn, he was by himself. Holiday wowed the Raptors in the first workout and getting him back for a second one in Toronto is a good sign.

The Raptors seem to have narrowed it down to DeMar DeRozan, Gerald Henderson and Holiday. We're sticking with DeRozan in our mock draft, but well-placed sources in Toronto say Holiday has a lot of fans in Toronto right now.

The Raptors had James Johnson in for a second workout as well. Johnson's stock has been all over the board, and he could be a target. The Raptors might have a need at small forward if they're unable to re-sign free agent Shawn Marion this summer.


• One rumor that won't go away has the Suns and Thunder talking about a draft-day swap that would give Oklahoma City the 14th pick and land the Suns the Thunder's 25th pick and, more importantly for the Suns, the return of their first-round pick in 2010. The Suns traded that pick to the Thunder several years ago as part of the Kurt Thomas trade. The trade is unprotected next year, and with the Suns flirting with rebuilding, they don't want to lose it.

Sources say the Thunder have an eye for Ohio State center B.J. Mullens and likely will take him if he's available at No. 14.


POSTED: June 23 -- 10:16 a.m. ET


Chad Ford: Much has been made that the Grizzlies, Thunder and Kings hold the keys to the draft. But most of the hand wringing by at least a dozen GMs at the moment surrounds what the Washington Wizards will do at No. 5.

We first reported on lottery night that the Wizards would shop their pick. Over the course of the past week, Wizards GM Ernie Grunfeld has been pretty open about it, telling the media Monday that the team still was looking at all options.

"We have a good feel for what we have and we feel we can find a good player [in the draft]," Grunfeld said. "At the same time, we have had some interesting conversations. I think, whether we keep the pick, we're going to get a very solid player. In the meantime, we're going to continue to listen to what other teams have to say."

The Wizards have rebuffed any advances for players like Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison. Instead, they've put together a pretty basic wish list: Take a couple of our bad contracts, save us some money and give us a veteran or two who can help right now.

Etan Thomas, Mike James and Darius Songaila seem to be the three players the Wizards wouldn't mind getting off the books.

The Wizards have gotten at least 10 offers for the pick, but every team I spoke with still was in the dark about where it stood.

The Knicks have offered Larry Hughes for Thomas and James. The Wolves reportedly have offered Mike Miller. The Celtics would give them Ray Allen. The Rockets would give them Tracy McGrady and Carl Landry. The Bucks would send them Richard Jefferson. The Nets would entertain unloading Vince Carter. The Suns could do something with Shaquille O'Neal. The Blazers could part ways with Steve Blake, Jerryd Bayless or Travis Outlaw.

The question is: Are any of those offers good enough for the No. 5 pick? In most years, no. But this year, with the Wizards thinking they're poised to make a deep playoff run? It might be enough.

Rondo
Rondo

• I think it's time to quit dismissing all those Rajon Rondo trade rumors. A source in Detroit says the Pistons were approached by a lower-level Celtics executive who offered Ray Allen and Rondo for Tayshaun Prince, Richard Hamilton and Rodney Stuckey.

The Pistons, of course, said no to the deal -- Rondo's great, but he's not worth the entire core of the Pistons. But that's not the news. It's becoming harder and harder for the Celtics to deny that they are looking to move Rondo. His name has come up in rumors with the Suns and Kings. I know Danny Ainge has brushed them off and says the Celtics probably will do nothing, but where there's smoke …

• The Thunder weren't the only team to meet with Hasheem Thabeet in Los Angeles this past weekend. The Grizzlies, after being snubbed by Thabeet in their workout, flew to L.A. and met with him for three hours.

Sources close to both Thabeet and the Grizzlies expect Memphis to take him at No. 2. If it doesn't, chances are there is a trade in the works.


• The Timberwolves have been among the most active teams over the past few weeks. New GM David Kahn is trying to start his tenure with a bang. However, I think a lot of the reports out there have been off base.

The Wolves insist to me that they're not looking to trade Al Jefferson and Kevin Love right now, despite rumors to the contrary.

And the rumored Chris Kaman for Mike Miller trade? Sources in both L.A. and Minnesota shot it down quickly. It turns out that the Wolves did call the Clippers several months ago about the deal (before Kahn had the job), but the Clippers wanted a first-round pick from Minnesota as well ... something the Wolves balked at.

But it is true that the Wolves are trying to deal. They have other assets that could make them an attractive trade partner. Miller is in the last year of his contract. Randy Foye interests a few teams. And they have picks 6, 18, 28, 45 and 47 in this year's draft.

Ideally, the Wolves will find a way to get up to the No. 2 pick to select either Hasheem Thabeet or Ricky Rubio. If the Wolves stay at No. 6, I think they'll take either Stephen Curry or Tyreke Evans.

Williams
Williams

• Did Louisville's Terrence Williams get a promise from the Charlotte Bobcats? Williams went back for a second workout with the Bobcats on Monday against Gerald Henderson. Sources said after the workout that Williams met with the Bobcats and might have walked away with a promise that the Bobcats would take him at No. 12.

Sure enough, the word out of New Jersey on Tuesday morning is that Williams pulled out of his workout against Henderson with the Nets today, citing an ankle injury.

I think the Nets might still consider Williams at No. 11, depending on who is there. But it sounds like he won't slip past the 12th pick. As for Henderson, he could be in for a bit of a draft-day slide. The Knicks like him at No. 8, the Raptors like him at No. 9 and the Nets like him at No. 11, but other players are higher on their boards.

I think he could slide to the Suns at No. 14 or the Bulls at No. 16. I doubt he will slip past the Sixers at No. 17.


• Chicago has talked to the Nets, Bobcats and Pacers about swapping No. 16 and No. 26 to get into the lottery. It sounds like the Bulls are down to one potential trade partner in the lottery.

The Nets are leaning strongly toward keeping their pick at No. 11. And if the Bobcats made a promise to Williams at No. 12, they're out, too. That leaves the Pacers at No. 13.

The Pacers have been one of the hardest teams to peg in the draft. DeJuan Blair, Tyler Hansbrough, Eric Maynor, Ty Lawson and Jeff Teague all are on their board right now. If the Bulls want any of those guys -- or the guys the Suns (No. 14) and Pistons (No. 15) are looking at -- they'll have to make the deal.


Rubio
Rubio

POSTED: June 22 -- 11:32 p.m. ET

Chad Ford: The Sacramento Kings finally got their wish on Monday … Ricky Rubio in their gym.

Unfortunately for Rubio and the Kings, he was playing one-on-none after going a month without picking up a basketball. The results shouldn't be much of a surprise to anyone. Several sources surrounding the Kings said Rubio didn't blow anyone away.

Of course he didn't. Rubio is a pass-first point guard who makes everyone around him better in a five-on-five game. In a one-on-none I wouldn't expect him to be great. He's not going to shoot the lights out. He's not going to put up highlight-reel dunks. He's just not that type of player.

But they did get to see him live. They got his measurements (6-foot-5 in shoes with a 6-foot-7 wingspan). They got to check out his body language and English skills.

Most importantly, the Kings got word that Rubio was making progress on a deal with his club in Spain, DKV Joventut, that will lower his buyout to roughly $4 million. When you factor in that Rubio will be allowed to make his payments over several years, there is no longer a huge financial impediment for Rubio to come to the draft.

The question on everyone's mind right now? What will the Kings do? The answer? It depends.

First there's a chance Rubio might not be there at No. 4.

The word on Monday night is that it looks like Hasheem Thabeet will be the Grizzlies' pick at No. 2 if they don't trade the pick.

With Thabeet gone, Thunder GM Sam Presti will decide between Rubio, James Harden and Stephen Curry.

If they take Rubio, then the Kings will likely draft either Tyreke Evans or Jonny Flynn.

If Rubio is on the board, it will be a pretty tough decision. As we've written previously, this is a debate about upside versus present value. Evans and Flynn are ready to play now. No question. Rubio? It may take him a while to adjust (though some in the league think he's actually more ready to play in the NBA after years of experience playing pro ball in Spain).

I don't think there's any question that Rubio has the most upside of the group. Given the fact that the Kings are so dreadful at the moment, wouldn't they choose the best player for the long-term health of the franchise? It depends. Most members of the Kings' front office staff are in the last year of their contracts. Do they want to stick their necks out for Rubio when they could take a safer pick like Evans or Flynn?

You get the picture.

If the Kings pass, a number of teams are trying to get Washington's pick at No. 5. Presumably Rubio is the target of at least some of the Wizards' suitors.

The Timberwolves at No. 6 are also high on Rubio. So are the Knicks at No. 8.


Holiday
Holiday

POSTED: June 22 -- 7:55 p.m. ET

Chad Ford: UCLA's Jrue Holiday was feeling the pressure. He was in New York today for a callback with the Knicks -- a team he would love to go to at No. 8. His first audition wasn't all that it should've been. He was overshadowed by more experienced players like Stephen Curry and Gerald Henderson. He struggled to shut down Curry defensively. He got frustrated. A little down. And then those old feelings of self-doubt, the ones that were on display all season at UCLA, started creeping up.

The Knicks were down on his first workout, but recognized that he could do better and invited him back to New York on Monday -- this time against Miami's Jack McClinton.

The result? "He was much, much better today," one Knicks source told ESPN.com. "He shot the ball better, played with confidence -- he's a special player."

The question is … is he special enough to overtake Brandon Jennings on the Knicks' draft board?

As of Sunday night, the Knicks had Jennings ranked slightly ahead. Jennings' workout in New York was full of sizzle and bravado and surprised the Knicks' brass, who thought he'd be less polished. Basketball guru Sonny Vaccaro, who orchestrated Jennings' year in Italy this past season, began telling people that Jennings was going to prove everyone wrong on draft night -- alluding to New York as a possible destination, according to sources who talked to Vaccaro.

Is Sonny speaking too soon? The word I got out of New York on Monday was mixed. On the one hand, the Knicks had originally had Holiday ranked higher and were persuaded that his size and versatility made him a better pick. On the other, Jennings seems to have the makeup to be a star in the NBA.

Sources said Knicks president Donnie Walsh will gather his staff on Tuesday to go over the draft one more time so that they can settle on a player.

Two things could still put a stop to Jennings' or Holiday's dreams of playing in New York.

First, the Knicks do have other players higher on their board. If Curry, Ricky Rubio, Tyreke Evans or Jordan Hill were on the board, I think they'd take them over Jennings or Holiday.

Second, the Knicks have had talks with the Wizards about acquiring the No. 5 pick. If the Knicks draft a point guard there, they'd likely go in another direction with their second first-round pick. Their offer was Larry Hughes for Etan Thomas and Mike James and the fifth pick. The Wizards were once high on Hughes and are in the market for a veteran player who can propel the team to a championship right now. They'd save some money in the deal, get a player who could help them … but is that enough for the No. 5 pick?

The Wizards are entertaining lots of other offers right now and the Knicks' offer of Hughes may not be enough.

• The word around the league is that Hasheem Thabeet canceled his workout in Memphis on Sunday in part because he's confident that the Thunder will take him with the No. 3 pick in the draft. How confident is a subject of debate. A few sources say Thabeet got a promise from the Thunder over the weekend. However a source close to Thabeet says he doesn't have a promise and feels there's still a good chance that Memphis takes him at No. 2 -- despite Thabeet's objections.

• There's been a lot of speculation the past few weeks that the Pistons may trade their pick at 15. Not true, according to Detroit sources. "We're in a position to add two to three players through free agency and to add a couple of players through the draft," the source said. "No need for us to move our pick for an extra $1.4 million of cap space."

As for all the talk that the Pistons promised everyone from B.J. Mullens to Earl Clark at No. 15. "It's totally B.S.," the source said. "Why would we promise someone in this draft? So many scenarios are still playing themselves out. Anything could happen. We're just going to be content to let whoever falls to us fall."

• The Rockets are actively hunting for a team willing to trade its lottery pick. Their offer? Carl Landry. I love Landry, but not sure he's worth a lottery pick. Then again, in this draft … maybe.


Rubio
Rubio

POSTED: June 22 -- 4:39 p.m. ET

Chad Ford: Ricky Rubio is back in Sacramento. After a disappointing first visit last week -- when he got sick and left without working out -- Rubio flew into Sacramento on Monday to work out for the Kings.

This comes on the heels of Rubio spending the weekend with Thunder GM Sam Presti in LA, where Rubio and his camp shared physicals, contract information and personal time with Presti, who walked away "intrigued." However, Rubio didn't walk away with a promise from Presti that they'd draft him at No. 3.

That prompted Rubio to return to Sacramento on Monday to try to seal the deal with the Kings. The Kings are high on Rubio, but their interest has waned in the last few weeks after strong workouts by Tyreke Evans, Jonny Flynn and Jrue Holiday. The front office is split between Rubio's upside and the more immediate impact Evans or Flynn could make in Sacramento.

If Rubio can do enough to impress the team this time, it might be hard for the Kings to pass. While Evans and Flynn are both good players, neither has the upside of Rubio.


POSTED: June 22 -- 10:11 a.m. ET


Chad Ford: What would the draft be without a few Blazers trade rumors?

Portland GM Kevin Pritchard has been among the NBA's most active executives on draft night. In 2006, he pulled off three draft-day trades to get his hands on LaMarcus Aldridge, Brandon Roy and Sergio Rodriguez. In 2007, Pritchard landed Rudy Fernandez and Petteri Koponen with draft-day deals. And in 2008, Pritchard traded up two spots in the draft to get Jerryd Bayless and then landed Nicolas Batum in a trade.

Will Pritchard strike again this year?

The Blazers have been making inquiries all over the first round. Their main target has been Pittsburgh's DeJuan Blair, a burly power forward who plays with a toughness the Blazers lack and coach Nate McMillan would appreciate.

However, Sunday night, there was talk Pritchard has even grander plans. With point guard Ricky Rubio possibly slipping out of the top four, the Blazers are talking to the Wizards about acquiring the No. 5 pick. Pritchard has been on the hunt for a point guard, and Rubio would be a nice fit to round out the Blazers' collection of young, unselfish talents.

But trading for the No. 5 pick is far from a done deal, as the price would be high for the Blazers. The Wizards want any team interested in the No. 5 pick to take Etan Thomas off their hands -- a move that could eat into the Blazers' cap space this summer. The deal almost certainly would cost the Blazers some young talent, like Bayless, Travis Outlaw or Batum.

Even more pressing, McMillan has been pushing for the Blazers to sit out this draft and instead add a veteran to their young core.

Pritchard joked to The Oregonian that McMillan "will probably kill me" if he adds another rookie to the team. McMillan laughed and told The Oregonian, "you will have to put me behind bars" if Pritchard gets another rookie.

There's no question Pritchard also is trying to figure out a way to get maximum cap room this summer to use for a free agent or in a trade. The Magic's Hedo Turkoglu gets the most mention, but sources say Portland's real target is Bulls point guard Kirk Hinrich.

If the Bulls re-sign Ben Gordon to a big contract this summer, they are going to have to part ways with Hinrich to be able to afford it. The Bulls are dangerously close to the luxury tax as it is, and gving Gordon a big deal would put them over the top. Enter the Blazers, who will have the cap space to absorb Hinrich's deal and put the Bulls back under the tax threshold.

Hinrich would give the Blazers a seasoned point guard, but one without the sizzle or upside of Rubio.

Can Pritchard sit back and let Rubio slip through his fingers?


POSTED: June 22 -- 2:54 a.m. ET

Chad Ford: The NBA has experienced workout mania the past few days, with some of the best workouts of the draft happening as teams bring back their top-rated prospects to battle each other.

• Maybe the biggest news is about the workout that didn't happen -- UConn big man Hasheem Thabeet dropped out of a workout scheduled for Sunday with the Memphis Grizzlies.

The official explanation was a sore shoulder. The unofficial explanation? Thabeet doesn't want to play in Memphis and wanted to stay in Los Angeles to talk Oklahoma City Thunder general manager Sam Presti into drafting him at No. 3.

Why doesn't Thabeet want to play in Memphis? For the same reason that Ricky Rubio, Stephen Curry and others have refused workouts. Said one source in explaining the Grizzlies' reputation: "They don't spend any money anymore. They don't have a commitment to put a winning team on the floor right now. It's not where an agent wants to send his star pick."

Rubio and Thabeet have said no to Memphis, and James Harden bombed a workout there, so who are the Grizzlies taking?

I think it's likely they still will take Thabeet.

But I have no idea how Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley is going to react to this latest twist.

• Presti didn't conduct any workouts, but he sure was busy this weekend. He met with Rubio and family on Saturday, and then Thabeet and Harden on Sunday, all in L.A.

The Thunder GM got a chance to look at the results of Rubio's physical, see his contract and meet the young guard, and he came away "intrigued" by the possibility of taking Rubio at No. 3.

While Rubio isn't the best fit in OKC, he looks like he might be the best player on the board. So what will Presti do? While Harden might be the logical choice in terms of fit, my gut feeling is Rubio will go No. 3.

• The Kings had a great workout in Sacramento on Sunday, with Tyreke Evans, Stephen Curry, Jonny Flynn and Nick Calathes taking part. And from what I can gather, Sunday might end up being the day Ricky Rubio lost his chance to get drafted by the Kings if he's still available at No. 4.

Several people in the Kings' front office already doubted Rubio was the right fit, so it didn't help that he wasn't there to duke it out with the other top prospects. It's hard to make the case for Rubio when he's not at a workout.

Meanwhile, it was the second Sacto workout for Flynn and Evans.

Flynn was at the top of the Kings' board coming into the workout, but Evans emerged at the top. His physicality was just too much for Flynn, Curry and Calathes to handle.

As one Kings scout said, "It was a man beating up boys."

That could be bad news for Rubio. With Sacramento general manager Geoff Petrie looking for a player who can contribute right away, Flynn and Evans are getting more attention.

If Rubio slides past Sacramento at No. 4, he could be heading to either Washington at 5, Minnesota at 6 or New York at 8. The Wizards haven't seen him yet, and neither have the Wolves. But if the Knicks want to see him, I think Rubio will find a way to accommodate them.

• The Timberwolves brought a number of guards in over the weekend, including Flynn, Evans, Jennings, Jrue Holiday, Ty Lawson and Jeff Teague.

From what I gather, Evans won some hearts in Minnesota, and Flynn stole a few as well. As for Jennings, it sounds like the Wolves will pass.

• The Suns also had a big workout this weekend -- Earl Clark, James Johnson and Jennings were joined by Calathes, Jack McClinton and Jonas Jerebko.

It sounds as though a number of players played well, and it appears Clark and Johnson are in a dead heat in Phoenix at the moment -- that is, unless someone else in the top 12 falls to Phoenix at No. 14.

As for Jennings, one Suns source said he was good but was skeptical: "I hope he doesn't fall to us at 14. I don't want to have to make a decision on him."

• More big workouts are coming early this week.

The Knicks are bringing back Holiday. There's a good chance it will be Holiday versus Jennings for the No. 8 pick if Curry, Evans and Jordan Hill are off the board.

Milwaukee has a big point guard workout with Flynn, Teague, Jennings and Lawson. The Bucks' workouts should help them decide who they take at No. 10.

The New Jersey Nets have an "everything" workout with Flynn, Jennings, Gerald Henderson, Terrence Williams, Tyler Hansbrough and Jeff Pendergraph on Tuesday. That one should help them determine who they take at No. 11

The Bobcats are trying to arrange a matchup between Henderson and Williams. Henderson has been the favorites there for weeks, but it appears Williams has edged into the mix.

And the Bulls are trying to schedule one last showdown between DeJuan Blair, Johnson and B.J. Mullens for Tuesday. As of Sunday night, only Blair had committed to the workout. The Bulls wanted Hansbrough at that one as well, but he had already committed to the Nets. Clark might replace him.

• By the way, Blair seems to be back in favor with more GMs. Over the weekend his agent, Happy Walters, had a couple of teams talk to Blair's physician, James Bradley, who did Blair's ACL surgeries in high school.

I'm not privy to the conversations, but I do think this latest development has put him back in the mix with the Pacers at No. 13 and the Bulls at 16.


POSTED: June 21 -- 8:27 a.m. ET

Chad Ford: The Bucks look like they're sitting pretty good at No. 10. One of the point guards that they like -- whether it's Jonny Flynn, Jrue Holiday, Jeff Teague or Brandon Jennings -- should be there when they draft. In fact, it's possible all of them will be there.

With that in mind, the Bucks are bringing back Flynn, Jennings, Lawson and Teague early next week for another big workout.

I think Milwaukee's board looks like this right now going into that workout:

1. Jordan Hill
2. Holiday
3. Flynn
4. Teague
5. Jennings
6. Lawson

Holiday won't be in the workout, but maybe he doesn't need to be at this point. The other four rankings could change based on what happens on Monday.

• There is a lot of intrigue in the draft between picks 13 and 16 right now. The first dozen players are considered known quantities, which puts teams like the Pacers, Suns, Pistons and Bulls in no-man's land.

All four of those teams have brought in numerous players to work out in the past few weeks. This weekend the Suns have three key players coming in: Brandon Jennings, Earl Clark and Austin Daye.

Here are some the players the four teams are looking at, according to sources with each of the teams: Jennings, Clark, Daye, James Johnson, DeJuan Blair, Tyler Hansbrough, Ty Lawson, Eric Maynor, B.J. Mullens and Terrence Williams.

The Pacers seem to be leaning toward going with either a point guard (Jennings, Maynor, Lawson or, if one of them falls, Holiday or Flynn) or one of two big guys, Blair and Hansbrough.

The Suns seem to have three guys squarely in their sights -- Clark, Daye and Jennings.

The Pistons are looking at Clark and Daye, and if neither guy is on the board, then Mullens. As I reported on Friday, there is no Pistons' promise to Mullens.

The Bulls appear to be targeting a big as well, looking at Blair, Hansbrough and Johnson. They also are fans of Williams.

Behind the scenes, there has been a lot of talk and maneuvering, as these teams try to figure out who will be available. The Pacers, Suns and Bulls have all talked with teams about moving up and down in the draft. The Bulls seem to be trying to leapfrog the others by acquiring the Nets' No. 11 pick, and are dangling No. 16 and No. 26. The Suns have tried to get up higher in the lottery, as have the Pacers.

Of course, all of these trade discussions depend on who's going to be available, something that's a real mystery right now. And in some cases, at this time of the year, teams are engaging in draft talk with prospects just to try to get more information about what other teams are going to do in the draft.

While sources say it's likely that the Bulls move up in the draft, the Nets aren't their only suitors.

And the Pistons may end up getting out of the first round altogether to create even more cap room this summer.

• Not sure how much to read into this, but in the past week Brandon Jennings went from working out for high-to-mid-lottery teams like the Kings (4), Warriors (7) and Knicks (8) to working out for several late lottery teams, including Indiana (13), Phoenix (14) and soon Milwaukee (10) and New Jersey (11). If he doesn't go to any of those teams, he could be in for a draft day slide.

His camp feels pretty confident he's going to be drafted by late in the lottery, and he really impressed both the Warriors and Knicks -- but he's one we're following closely.

• I'm preparing our first second-round mock draft for Monday and keep hearing a few players in the second round are pretty hot names at the moment. They include France's Nando De Colo, Central Florida's Jermaine Taylor, St. Joseph's Ahmad Nivins, Santa Clara's John Bryant, UAB's Paul Delaney and NC State's Courtney Fells.

De Colo wowed a lot of teams with his performance at the Reebok Eurocamp and has more than held his own in workouts. Bryant's and Nivins' size has given them a boost. A number of scouts say that Nivins, in particular, is interesting because he's still learning the game.

And Delaney and Fells are doing it the old fashioned way: They've come to workout after workout against much higher-ranked opponents and repeatedly responded with terrific workouts.


POSTED: June 19 -- 1:39 p.m. ET

Rubio
Rubio

Chad Ford: I get a lot of e-mails asking why Ricky Rubio is being so selective about where he goes. They basically boil down to something like this one I received on Thursday:

"What gives Ricky Rubio the right to pick his teams? Everyone else in the draft is just trying to get drafted. Why does he think he can pick and choose who drafts him?"

First of all, the idea that Rubio is the only one doing it is silly. James Harden has only worked out for four teams. Even the Knicks couldn't get him in. Hasheem Thabeet will likely only work out for three. DeMar DeRozan has been really selective, and so has Stephen Curry.

But there's no question that Rubio has been even tougher. I spoke extensively with sources inside Rubio's camp to get a feel for what's going on there. Here's what I know.


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