With less than a week to go until the 2020 NBA Draft, rumors are flying — who teams will pick, who they want to trade for, and everything in between. A lot of it is smokescreens for teams’ real intentions, but deception is part of the fun.
Here is a roundup of some of the rumors bouncing around the NBA Thursday:
• The Boston Celtics want to trade their three first-round picks (14, 26, 30) to move up in the lottery, then flip that pick in a package to bring Jrue Holiday to Boston, according to Kevin O’Conner at The Ringer. There is some logic to this: It is known Danny Ainge and the Celtics have had talks about consolidating their picks to move up in the draft, and there have been rumors the Pelicans want a lottery pick. However, making this trade work is challenging unless the Pelicans want Gordon Hayward back. There are many questions about how this would work exactly (also, where does Holiday fit in a starting backcourt of Kemba Walker and Jaylen Brown?). A number of contending teams are interested in a Holiday trade, but his $26.1 million contract next season makes matching salaries difficult.
• Speaking of Boston, there are rumors it — as well as Charlotte — have talked to Indiana about a Myles Turner trade, reports J. Michael of the Indy Star.
As noted, the Pacers like Turner and last season the Turner/Domantas Sabonis pairing worked fairly well together (the Pacers played teams basically even, +0.7 when they were on the court together. Indiana doesn’t feel pressure to trade Turner, which means it can be patient and extract a high price.
• Milwaukee needs to make some moves this summer and is rumored to be talking to Houston about an Eric Bledsoe for Robert Covington or P.J. Tucker trade, again via Kevin O’Conner at The Ringer. While it’s tempting to say, “Houston would never go for that,” if the reports of Russell Westbrook wanting out are true, the team will be looking for another point guard and ball-handler, and Bledsoe could fit the bill. That said, be careful investing too much in coming out of Houston right now; that situation could go a million different directions.
• Holiday being traded to Atlanta — likely for the No. 6 pick and, of course, players to match salary — remains a hot rumor. Atlanta wants veterans to jump up into the playoffs and be more of a threat in the East, but there are legitimate questions about the Pelicans’ interest.
• Minnesota is still looking to trade down out of the No. 1 pick and The Ringer’s O’Conner says it may target Tyrese Haliburton if they do. He could step in as a playmaking backup guard with or behind D’Angelo Russell in the rotation (although he does not help the team’s defensive questions).
• Also from The Ringer’s O’Conner: Orlando has the No. 15 pick and wants to move up, and they are kicking the tires on what No. 15 and Aaron Gordon can get them?
• Multiple sources have told NBC Sports (and other outlets) that Florida State’s Patrick Williams is rocketing up draft boards. The rumor is his floor is now the Pistons at No. 7, making the Hawks’ pick at six more valuable. Are the Magic trying to jump up to get Williams? Would Gordon really fit in Atlanta?
• For what feels like the 3,647th time, the Wizards GM says they want to re-sign Davis Bertans.