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06-23-2003, 10:22 AM
Draft Rumors: Raps, Heat ready to deal?
By Chad Ford
NBA Insider
Send an Email to Chad Ford Monday, June 23
Updated: June 23
9:32 AM ET


The rumors were flying fast and furious over the weekend as teams rounded into the home stretch. The Raptors, Heat, Knicks and Celtics threatened to make just about every mock draft irrelevant.


Much like the February trade deadline, the serious trade talk doesn't happen until the draft is just hours away.

We're pretty sure that LeBron will be a Cav, Darko will be a Piston and Carmelo Anthony will be the No. 3 pick. Will he be a Nugget? It looks like the answer is yes, but . . .

After that? More curves than Anna Kournikova in a thong.

All roads lead to Toronto right now. Multiple trade rumors circulated this weekend, all surrounding the Raptors. We've been writing for a month they aren't content to stay at No. 4. General manager Glen Grunwald needs a contributor. It looks like he's getting close to finding the answer.

Several New York papers were reporting that the Knicks were offering Latrell Sprewell and the No. 9 pick for Jerome Williams, Lamond Murray and the No. 4. The object of the Knicks' desire? Some claim it's T.J. Ford. Others say Chris Bosh is the guy. And at least one league source claims that the Knicks didn't get serious until they saw a possibility that Maciej Lampe was heading to the Heat.

They weren't the only ones talking to the Raptors. The Celtics have talked with Toronto about shipping Antoine Walker and the No. 20 pick up north for Antonio Davis and the No. 4. The Celtics are after Bosh.

The Blazers appear to be the other team in the hunt for the No. 4 pick. They're dangling Rasheed Wallace right now. All the Raps have to do is send back Davis, Hakeem Olajuwon and the No. 4 and they have a deal.

And don't count out the Sonics. They're talking about a package of Vladimir Radmanovic and the No. 12 for the No. 4 and Michael Bradley.

Or they could just go ahead and select Bosh themselves. Several folks inside the organization think he's worth the one-year wait. Among those? Vince Carter.

The Heat are the other team that appears to be seriously looking to move the pick. They're still deciding between Chris Kaman, Maciej Lampe and Dwyane Wade at No. 5. However, coach Pat Riley doesn't believe any of the players will help the Heat's playoff chances this year.

What can they do?

Riley has been trying to find a taker for Eddie Jones or Brian Grant, but right now no one is biting. They might be able to pry away Sam Cassell from the Bucks. All it would take is Anthony Carter and the No. 5 pick. The Bucks have their eyes on two players in the draft -- Ford and Lampe. If they grabbed the No. 5 pick, they'd have a great shot at both of them.

Moving the No. 5 pick would clear an additional $2.2 million off the books and give them close to $7 million in cap room to sign a center in free agency. A combo of Cassell, Jones, Caron Butler, Grant and whoever they get at center (Alonzo Mourning, Michael Olowokandi, Brad Miller, Rasho Nesterovic) should be enough to propel the Heat back into contention in the East.

The Bucks, on the other hand, are clearing cap room and, from all appearances, preparing for a youth movement.

That's not the only deal on the table for Miami, (the Sonics have talked about a Vladimir Radmanovic and the No. 14 for No. 5 swap) but it was the hottest one making the rounds this weekend.

The Bulls are still interested in seeing what they can get for the No. 7 and Marcus Fizer. But without Jay Williams in the mix, it's unlikely that they'll be able to land a top-flight small forward. Their best shot? Hedo Turkoglu for the No. 7 and Dalibor Bagaric.

The Grizzlies were working hard to move up in order to get a shot at Mickael Pietrus. However, with the way things are playing out, he may fall right to them at No. 13. The only real threat to draft Pietrus before them is the Bulls at No. 7 and the Wizards at No. 10. However, now that Williams and a possible trade are out of the picture, it appears that the Bulls are leaning toward selecting Wade because of his ability to swing to the point should Jamal Crawford need a rest. The Wizards, on the other hand, don't have a good enough feel for Pietrus to make them a big threat.

Stock Watch

The Clippers remain the biggest wild card in the draft at No. 6. While most believe that Ford will be the guy they select if he stays on the board -- they've been linked to everyone from Collison to Kaman to Wade to Pietrus. The latest has them flying to New York to get a look at Lampe the night before the draft.

Georgia's Jarvis Hayes remains all over the board. The Bulls brought him in for a second workout this weekend. The reviews on his workouts have been pretty mixed. After a string of mostly negative reviews, a few teams have perked up over the last week. One GM who worked him out claims that he reminded him of a young Mitch Richmond. Another evoked Glen Rice. However, Hayes' lack of ball handling skills, rebounding prowess or defensive intensity seem to be scaring folks off. Teams fear that he may be too one dimensional. He has a second workout with the Grizzlies today.

High school star Ndudi Ebi -- widely considered the second-best high school prospect in the country behind LeBron James -- is starting to generate the buzz again. While one rumor, that the Warriors have him locked in at No. 11, seems to be unfounded, his name keeps popping up as a possibility in Atlanta with the No. 21 pick.

Another prep star, Kendrick Perkins, seems to be moving into the first round. Everyone knows that the Celtics will take a point guard at No. 16. Marcus Banks or Luke Ridnour seem to be the front-runners if they slip that far. But at No. 20, there seems to be some debate about who they like. If Collison were to slip that far, he'd be a lock. Barring a big slip, three guys seem to be in the mix for Boston if the Celtics go big -- Sofaklis Schortsanitis, Zaur Pachulia, and believe it or not, Perkins. Perkins doesn't have the size to really play center in the pros, but the Celtics really liked what they saw in a workout. If he doesn't go to Boston at No. 20, the Spurs also seem high on him at No. 28.

Several GMs feel that, at the end of the day, Xavier's David West will be in the first round. West's name is most often linked to the Lakers and the Blazers. The Spurs have also shown a little interest.

Insider may be the only one who still has BYU's Travis Hansen in the first round, but it's for a good reason. He's still generating a lot of buzz in the late first round after a series of stellar workouts. The Hawks loved him in a recent workout and will fly him to Atlanta on Tuesday for a second workout. The Lakers are interested at No. 24. The Pistons claim he's in the mix at No. 25. The Wolves have narrowed their list down to Hansen, Carlos Delfino and Hawaii's Carl English at No. 26. The Grizzlies like him and will give him strong consideration if they don't pick up a two guard with the No. 27 pick. And the Spurs have him in today. If he does slip into the second round, the Lakers, Bulls or Hawks will snatch him up at either No. 32, 36 and 37.

Two international players are facing serious challenges right now. France's Boris Diaw and Brazil's Leandrinho Barbosa are suffering from a major lack of exposure.

Diaw, the French League MVP, hit his stock peak about two months ago and has been on the decline ever since. Because of his team's playoff schedule, he's been unable to come over for individual workouts. Even though there's still a chance that he could be taken in the mid first round (the Celtics' Danny Ainge will make a quick trip to France to check him out) it appears he's slipping. The Jazz still like him at No. 19. The Hawks are a possiblity at No. 21. The Blazers at No. 23, Lakers at No. 24, Pistons at No. 25, Grizzlies at No. 27 and Spurs at No. 28 are all possibilities. But none is a lock, which has to have Diaw sweating it a bit.

The same goes for Barbosa. After a series of steady workouts, a hip flexor problem has caused him to miss too many workouts. Teams are a little bit scared off by his unorthodox shooting release (though he did shoot 45 percent from three in Brazil) and his lack of English skills. Barbosa had a group workout in Cleveland on Sunday in an effort to fortify his stock. Reps from the Raptors, Heat, Cavs, Blazers and Magic showed up. According to his agent, Michael Coyne, Barbosa did it as much to show off his growing proficiency in English as anything else. The English problem, in particular, seems to be a bit surreal. No one drafting Barbosa expects him to contribute much this year. By the end of the season, his English, especially his basketball English, will be just fine. So what's the worry? Barbosa could go as high as the Warriors at No. 11. The Sonics, Magic, Hawks and Blazers will also take a look, but again, no team is a lock to take him.

Workout News

Suns: The Suns took a look at Mississippi State guard Derrick Zimmerman and Greek forward Sofoklis Schortsanitis, better known as Baby Shaq, on Saturday.

Bulls: Georgia's Jarvis Hayes, Kansas' Kirk Hinrich, Wake Forest's Josh Howard and Utah's Britton Johnsen were in Chicago on Saturday. Serbian two guard Aleksandar Pavlovic is in town today.

Grizzlies: Georgia's Jarvis Hayes is working out today in Memphis for the second time.

Heat Polish forward Maciej Lampe comes in for his second workout with the Heat today.

Wizards: Marquette's Dwyane Wade worked out on Saturday

Knicks: Zarko Cabarkapa and Sofoklis Schortsanitis are in New York. Chris Kaman will be in on Tuesday. Maciej Lampe will be working out in New York on Wednesday.

Spurs: BYU shooting guard Travis Hansen is in San Antonio today.