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NBA Draft rumors: LaMelo Ball slipping?

NBA Draft rumors: Knicks pursuing Killian Hayes
May 15, 2018; Chicago, IL, USA; The podium with logos is seen prior to the 2018 NBA Draft Lottery at the Palmer House Hilton. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Draft rumors are now in full swing with it finally set to be held Nov. 18 remotely from the ESPN studios after multiple delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now that we’re less than two weeks away from the annual event, NBA Draft rumors continue to persist.

Who will the Minnesota Timberwolves take with the first pick? Are the Golden State Warriors going to trade out of the second selection? There’s a ton of rumors flying around regarding these two teams. From there, it seems to be a crap shoot. That’s primarily because there’s no obvious No. 1 pick.

Below, we break down NBA Draft rumors ahead of the event on Nov. 18.

Updated: Nov. 18, 1:51 PM EST

NBA Draft rumors: Will LaMelo Ball drop down the board?

There’s a chance that the Minnesota Timberwolves take Ball at No. 1 overall. However, they seem to be higher on fellow guard Anthony Edwards. At two, the Golden State Warriors are said to be looking in a different direction. That includes former Memphis center James Wiseman or a trade down.

This means the Hornets at three are a logical potential landing spot. However, they already have to plus-level guards in Terry Rozier and Devonte’ Graham. Charlotte is also said to be in on a Russell Westbrook trade. This means that Ball’s highest possible landing spot could be the Chicago Bulls at four.

NBA Draft rumors: Atlanta Hawks to stand pat at six?

There’s been a ton of rumors surrounding a potential Hawks trade at six. Either the team could trade down or acquire a proven veteran to team up with Trae Young. After missing out on Jrue Holiday, that might not be the case any more. Atlanta plans to stand pat at six barring a last-minute trade offer.

Related: If you’re a fan of the Hawks, check out #TrueToAtlanta rumors, rankings, and news here.

If this is indeed the case, the Hawks’ biggest need is for a second scorer out on the perimeter. They would love to add Israel’s Deni Avdija. However, he’s likely going to be gone at six. Perhaps, fellow small forwards Patrick Williams and Isaac Okoro become options here.

Updated: Nov. 17, 12:04 PM EST

NBA Draft rumors: Bulls have new target at No. 4

The Chicago Bulls have been playing it close to the vest with the fourth overall selection. In fact, they have been linked to the likes of Deni Avdija, Obi Toppin, Tyrese Haliburton, Killian Hayes and LaMelo Ball. We can now add another, lesser-known player to that list in former Florida State forward Patrick Williams.

The 6-foot-8 Williams averaged a mere 9.2 points in less than 23 minutes of action as a freshman for the Seminoles last season. Although, he’s currently skyrocketing up the draft board. The forward still seems to be a reach at four. Instead, Avdija makes more sense.

There’s also Bulls-related rumors suggesting a potential trade up in the draft. They have been linked to Ball more than any other team. One suggestion is that Chicago sends the fourth pick and former lottery selection Wendell Carter Jr. to the Warriors for the second pick. However, that might be too high of a price to pay.

Related: If you’re a fan of the Bulls, check out #ChicagoBulls rumors, rankings, and news here

NBA Draft rumors: Rockets now a wildcard at 16

Following the trade of Robert Covington earlier this week, Houston will be picking in the first round for the first time since back in 2015. It’s not yet known what the Rockets’ plans are under general manager Rafael Stone. A lot of this depends on the statuses of Russell Westbrook and James Harden, both of whom could be traded here soon. In particular, Harden wants out of dodge.

Regardless, the Rockets are now a major wildcard in the middle of the first round. They could look to ship that selection with a cap filler for another player in an attempt to appease Harden. If not, Houston legitimately could target all five positions on the court. It’s a big story heading into the 2020 NBA Draft.

Updated: Nov. 15, 1:27 PM EST

NBA Draft rumors: Knicks eyeing Killian Hayes at eight

After initially looking to move up in the 2020 NBA Draft, it’s being noted that New York will likely stand pat. The team simply is not high on guards LaMelo Ball and Anthony Edwards, both of whom are slated to go off the board within the first three selections.

Instead, the Knicks are higher on Killian Hayes from France. The 6-foot-5 shooting guard was expected to work out for New York this week. However, an outbreak of COVID-19 within the organization forced them to cancel said meeting. Hayes now appears to be the target at eight, if he’s available.

NBA Draft rumors: Oklahoma City Thunder options

Once the Dennis Schröder trade is complete, Oklahoma City will have two first-round picks (25th and 28th overall). It’s just a continuation of general manager Sam Presti stockpiling picks. After a surprising trip to the NBA Playoffs last season, it’s not yet known what the Thunder plan on doing with these two picks.

My money would be on the team looking to package these two selections in a trade-up scenario. The 2020 NBA Draft is seen as relatively thing. OKC will want at least one player who can contribute immediately. Pure speculation here, but a move into the mid teens for a point guard could make sense. Perhaps, North Carolina’s Cole Anthony could be a target.

Updated: Nov. 12, 7:19 PM EST

NBA Draft rumors: Spurs-Sixers talking trade

The San Antonio Spurs are already looking to move DeMar DeRozan with the Los Angeles Lakers being the team showing the most-recent interest. However, fellow guard Patty Mills might be available. According to this note from Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, San Antonio is talking to the Philadelphia 76ers about sending Mills back east in exchange for Josh Richardson.

It remains to be seen whether draft picks would be included. Although, the Spurs’ first-round pick (11th overall) would not be part of said deal. If this trade were to come to fruition, it could change San Antonio’s draft plans. For now, the team has been linked to small forwards. Acquiring Richardson would change that dynamic.

NBA Draft rumors: Boston Celtics offer up all three first-round picks in trade-up scenario

Boston is currently slated to select 14th, 26th and 30th in next week’s NBA Draft. The team is now reportedly looking to package all three selections in a trade up higher in the lottery. Of those talking deal, the Atlanta Hawks at No. 6 overall could make sense.

It remains to be seen what Boston is targeting with a trade up. However, point guard seems to be the best bet with Marcus Smart potentially headed out of town. That could include Tyrese Halburton and LaMelo Ball.

Updated: Nov. 10, 5:05 PM EST

Related: Top 50 NBA players of 2020

NBA Draft rumors: Anthony Edwards’ stock slipping?

We’ve heard suggestions that LaMelo Ball could be falling down the draft boards due to less-than-stellar interviews. Now comes this piece of information from John Hollinger noting that teams are not necessarily high on this former Georgia star.

The NBA insider suggests that a pro day workout cooled teams on the wing. From a statistical perspective, the 6-foot-5 Edwards shot just 40% from the field in his only season with Georgia. That included a 29% mark from three-point range. Edwards had previously been mocked to go anywhere from No. 1 overall to the Timberwolves to the third pick with Charlotte.

NBA Draft rumors: Cavaliers down to two options with fifth pick?

There’s a chance that Cleveland looks to make a trade during the NBA Draft (read here). For now, the team sits at No. 5 overall. The Athletic’s John Hollinger notes that only two prospects, forward Obi Toppin and Deni Avdija) have been linked to the Cavaliers with that selection.

There’s a good chance that Toppin will be available. However, most predict that Avdija will be completely off the board after the consensus top three picks (read below). We’re also hearing NBA Draft rumors suggest that the Cavaliers could be looking to move up from five. That would likely be to draft the above-mentioned Avdija by moving up past the Bulls at four.

Related: 2020 NBA Mock Draft

Update: Nov. 9, 6:09 PM EST

NBA Draft rumors update: Top-three picks known?

According to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, it looks like the top-three picks in the 2020 NBA Draft have already been revealed. In no specific order, they will be Anthony Edwards, LaMelo Ball and James Wiseman. According to this note, Ball is now favored to go No. 1 overall to the Timberwolves.

The very same report goes on to note that the Chicago Bulls, Detroit Pistons and Oklahoma City are all looking to move up in the first round. It’s not yet known who each team is targeting. But it’s safe to say the move up scenarios would be into the top 10. NBA Draft rumors will continue to pick up in this regard moving forward.

Minnesota Timberwolves NBA Draft rumors: A new front runner emerges for the first pick

  • According to Bleacher Report, there’s widespread belief around the NBA world ahead of the draft that the Wolves are targeting Memphis center James Wiseman with the first pick.
  • This doesn’t seem to be a great fit given that fellow big man Karl-Anthony Towns is the face of the franchise in the Twin Cities. Could two bigs work together in today’s NBA? That’s not yet known.
  • However, there’s also a chance that Minnesota is putting out the Wiseman thing in order to entice other teams in a trade-up scenario. Minnesota had in the past been linked more to guard LaMelo Ball and Anthony Edwards. Each one seems like a better fit than Wiseman.

Related: Latest 2020 NBA Draft news, rumors

Golden State Warriors draft: Team looking to trade down

  • It was noted immediately after they got the second pick in the NBA Draft that the Warriors were looking to move down from that spot for a proven veteran. Names bandied about recently include Blake Griffin, Bradley Beal and Aaron Gordon.
  • Golden State has the $17-plus million Andre Iguodala trade exception and the Timberwolves’ unprotected fist-round pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. Those are two nice assets to entice other teams.
  • Short of a trade, the Warriors are likely to settle on Wiseman with the second pick should he be available when they’re on the clock. Golden State also likes the above-mentioned Edwards and was blown away by Deni Avdija’s workout.

Related: If you’re a fan of the Warriors, check out their rumors, rankings, and news here

Charlotte Hornets draft: Team targeting one specific player

  • The backcourt combo of Terry Rozier and Devonte’ Graham has made life easier for Hornets general manager Mitch Kupchak and Co. Add in the fact that Charlotte has two solid young forwards in Miles Bridges and P.J. Washington, and that’s magnified further.
  • What does this mean? According to rumors around the NBA Draft water cooler, the Hornets are targeting the above-mentioned Wiseman. It would require a trade up with either Minnesota or Golden State, but it is more than possible right now. Specifically Minnesota makes sense in that it might want to recoup the 2021 first-rounder lost in the D’Angelo Russell trade.
  • Rumors will continue to pop up in this regard as the NBA Draft approaches. If the Hornets do stand pat, it’s possible they could go with another big in that of Dayton’s Obi Toppin or Onyeka Okongwu from USC.

Related: If you’re a fan of the Hornets, check out #AllFly rumors, rankings, and news here

New York Knicks draft: Rumors of interest in Kira Lewis Jr.

  • Picking eighth overall, the Knicks are not in a great position to land a franchise cornerstone. Obviously, the team would love to trade up for a Lamelo Ball, Anthony Edwards or James Wiseman. They do have assets in this regard. It’s also important to note that president Leon Rose is looking to make a splash.
  • If the Knicks were to stand pat, rumors around the NBA world is that this former Alabama star could be their target. Lewis just recently worked out for New York and impressed big time.
  • There’s an important backdrop to all of this. The Knicks are also said to be willing to listening to trade offers for former lottery picks Kevin Knox and Frank Ntilikina according to various rumors. That could change their thought process leading up to the NBA Draft.

2020 NBA Draft: Rumors of veterans on the trade block

  • Jrue Holiday: Rumors have picked up in this regard a whole lot with the Miami Heat and Golden State Warriors being bandied about as potential locations for Holiday in a trade. Golden State could offer up the second pick while taking back New Orleans’ selection (13th overall). As for the Magic, rumors suggest they might look to trade Aaron Gordon. He could be a fit with Zion Williamson in New Orleans.
  • Chris Paul: Despite shocking success in his first season with the Oklahoma City Thunder, it does not seem like this future Hall of Fame will be long with his current team. Previously, rumors linked Paul to the Heat. That no longer appears to be the case. Most recently, he’s been linked to both the Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks. A trade could go down the night of the NBA Draft.

Related: If you’re a fan of the Lakers, check out #TheLakeShow rumors, rankings, and news here

  • Blake Griffin: More than anything, this would likely be a salary dump for the Pistons. It’s hard to imagine Detroit being able to trade this injury-plagued six-time All-Star for anything of substance. Griffin’s combined salary of $75-plus million over the next two seasons adds to this. There’s rumored interest by the Warriors, but I am not too sure how realistic that might be.

Milwaukee Bucks rumors: Team eyeing two impact players on trade market?