Posted by Marc J. Spears, Globe Staff June 24, 2009 01:29 AM
In the wee hours of Wednesday morning, here is what I've accumulated thus far with the NBA Draft arriving Thursday:
- While Memphis is expected to draft UConn center Hasheem Thabeet at No. 2, there are rumors that Minnesota could be interested in trading its newly acquired fifth and sixth picks for the No. 2 pick to get Spanish guard Ricky Rubio.
- While there has been talk around the NBA from several scouts that the Celtics have been shopping guard Rajon Rondo, he isn't expected to be dealt. While unlikely, one Eastern Conference executive said the latest trade rumor included Rondo and forward Brian Scalabrine going to Memphis for guard Mike Conley and swingman Rudy Gay. On the flip side, one NBA GM said that he asked Celtics president Danny Ainge about Rondo and Ainge said he didn't want to trade him.
- Portland and Phoenix are interested in trading for one of Minnesota's two picks in the top 10 (No. 5 or No. 6).
- If Davidson guard Stephen Curry is gone before New York selects at No. 8, the Knicks would likely lean toward drafting Duke guard Gerald Henderson, with USC forward DeMar DeRozan also getting strong consideration.
- One NBA scout said he wouldn't be surprised if Kentucky guard Jodie Meeks doesn't get drafted until the mid-to-late second round since he is a one-dimensional scorer.
- North Carolina forward Tyler Hansbrough's stock is rising. While Atlanta, Utah, and New Orleans have interest, he will likely get picked before they got a chance to snatch him.
- Detroit is interested in Gonzaga forward Austin Daye and Ohio State center B.J. Mullens with the 15th pick. Chicago also has interest in Mullens and Israel forward Omri Casspi.
- Sacramento, which has the fourth pick, has had three visits with Holiday.
- While Memphis combo-guard Tyreke Evans may have point guard skills and is extremely gifted offensively, several scouts said he thinks shoot first, second, and third.
- Don't be surprised if new Milwaukee forward Bruce Bowen gets bought out of his $4 million contract next season and becomes an unrestricted free agent.
- Here's a shot in the dark at who the Celtics will pick at 58th: Southern Illinois defensive-minded guard Bryan Mullins.
- Key guys to keep an eye on as possible trade bait Thursday include Cleveland forward-center Ben Wallace, New Jersey swingman Vince Carter, Orlando guard Rafer Alston, a Los Angeles Clipper big man named either Marcus Camby (most likely him), Chris Kaman or Zach Randolph and New York forward-center David Lee.