After two days in New York, there are plenty of draft rumors swirling around that will be fresh until the moment the draft starts. Here are some items to note as you watch the draft this evening and the trades that are expected to litter the night.
*The Celtics have little idea who will be available at 25 because there is so much uncertainty in the picks ahead of them. They like a series of players, including USC’s Nikola Vucevic, Marquette’s Jimmy Butler and UCLA’s Tyler Honeycutt, but the only sure thing in the several picks ahead of them appeared to be Portland’s Kenneth Faried. Also, the Celtics are freely open to moving this pick or moving up but they are not enamored enough by the 10 or so prospects that will fall out of the lottery.
*UConn’s Kemba Walker appeared to be slipping fast because of his lack of size (6-1, 184) and potential durability issues. Kemba has fallen behind Kentucky’s Brandon Knight, who should go to Utah at 3 and is now competing with BYU’s Jimmer Fredette as the third point guard taken behind Kyrie Irving and Knight.
*Speaking of Irving, the Cavaliers are being extremely tight-lipped with their potential No. 1 choice and there is no certainty he will go first, although he is expected to. Usually picks are informed hours or even days before the draft they are going first, that hasn’t been the case this time.
*The NBA Players Association is holding a meeting today to prepare their response to the owner’s “flex cap” proposal, so New York is filled with veteran players trying to get more information on the potential lockout and because we are on the final week of the current collective bargaining agreement, there could be a slew of trades to take advantage of the just-about-to-expire rules.
*While Tony Parker told the Globe yesterday that he wants to return to San Antonio, several teams with aging stars are looking to deal established veterans for a chance at the lottery. The Spurs and Suns are among them.
*Boston College’s Reggie Jackson apparently has a first-round promise and teams in the latter half of the first round are very interested in the All-ACC player. Jackson likely won’t fall 25 to the Celtics, but they would definitely considered him if he did.