Thursday night's draft should be one of the best in recent memory. But more importantly, the draft day rumors should be flying around all day long with dozens of teams looking to move up into the lottery positions. Buckle up!

12:08am EST | Jun 27
That's all for tonight.

Looking forward to confirmation of all of the deals tomorrow.

Also looking forward to the NHL draft on Friday evening. Real time trades involving legit players.

Enjoy the rest of your night.  Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz for me.

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UCONN's Shabazz Napier has been selected by the Charlotte Hornets  at #24 but has apparently been traded to the Miami Heat according to ESPN.
10:09pm EST | Jun 26
The Warriors reportedly have interest in trading for Jeremy Lin or Chandler Parsons

The return of Jeremy Lin?

The Warriors, per a league source, have informed the Houston they would consider acquiring Lin from the Rockets via trade. Houston is reportedly shopping Lin in case they need to create cap space for Carmelo Anthony or LeBron James.

The Warriors have a $9.8 million trade exception leftover from the trade that sent Andris Biedrins and Richard Jefferson’s expiring contract to Utah. Though Lin is scheduled to make $14.9 million, only $8.37 will count against the salary cap. That means the Warriors can absorb Lin’s contract without giving up any players.

Nothing is imminent, the source said. It’s one of many options the Warriors are weighing.

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So much for that Andy...Vonleh goes to the Charlotte Hornets.

Vonleh and Jefferson next to each other on the floor could be interesting.
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Apparently there was a satellite delay as Embiid was at home watching on TV. They showed his reaction but he hadn't seen the pick yet. Still a funny moment.

07:55pm EST | Jun 26
Haha...Joel Embiid looked flat-out angry and confused to be taken at #3 by the 76ers.

Picture to come.

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The Bucks take Parker and now things get interesting with the injury risk of Joel Embiid.

Will the Sixers take that risk at #3? Could be a home run...could be a disaster.

07:46pm EST | Jun 26
With Wiggins going #1 we will most definitely see The Bucks taking Parker.

Historic day for Canadian basket with #1 overall selections in back-to-back drafts...and more Canadians to come in the 1st round.

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Get To Know The Guy Who Might Be The Steal Of The NBA Draft

One of the savviest picks of last year's NBA draft was made by the Milwaukee Bucks, when they grabbed Giannis Antetokounmpo with the 15th overall pick. The Greek Freak was just a bundle of springy limbs and a fresh face at the time, but he quickly became a player who matters. There is another baby-faced, athletic freak from Europe lurking at the bottom of this year's draft boards, and he may very well end up becoming this year's answer to Antetokounmpo. Call him the Swiss Freak, if you'd like.

His name is Clint Capela. He's a 6-foot-11, 20-year-old power forward who plays in the French Pro A League, and he's projected to be selected somewhere in the 20s during tonight's draft. You should begin orienting yourself with Capela by checking out this article by Kevin Pelton, whose WARP projections have Capela as the second-most valuable player in the draft.

Pelton is high on Capela because the young forward has shown himself to be an elite rebounder (rebound rate: 26.4 percent), shot blocker (block percentage: 7.5), and finisher at the rim (field goal percentage: 63.8) against European competition. Those gaudy numbers are expected to translate into the kind of NBA stats that would put Capela on par with a 20-year-old Tyson Chandler or Andre Drummond.
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Warriors trade unlikely for draft night

The Minnesota Timberwolves and Golden State Warriors continue to discuss a Kevin Love trade, though the odds remain against a deal materializing in conjunction with Thursday night's NBA draft, according to sources close to the process.

Sources told that the teams have resumed dialogue on the much-discussed deal that would send Love to the Warriors, but neither side has yet shown a willingness to yield on the Klay Thompson issue.

The Wolves have been adamant that Thompson be included in the trade, but the Warriors' pursuit has been stalled by what reported last weekend has been described as an "organizational split" on the willingness to part with Thompson.

Sources told that the Warriors, though, remain determined to acquire Love, not only because of their well-chronicled desire to add an elite floor-spreading power forward but also because management believes that a Stephen Curry/Love duo would get the attention of LeBron James as James weighs whether to re-sign with the Miami Heat or try to force a sign-and-trade elsewhere.

The Denver Nuggets, sources say, also have remained in the hunt for the Love, despite the fact that the All-Star forward is believed to be unwilling to make a long-term commitment to the Nuggets. Love's determination to become an unrestricted free agent in July 2015 is the force that has thrust him onto the trade market this month, forcing the Wolves to field offers for their best player despite their preference not to move him.
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Iguodala: Warriors Shouldn't Trade Klay Thompson

Andre Iguodala believes the Golden State Warriors should not include Klay Thompson in a trade for Kevin Love.

“That’s not going to happen,” Iguodala said on Sirius XM on Thursday. “I want to clear that up right now. We should not trade Klay Thompson. “I tell Klay this every day. I text Klay and say, ‘Don’t worry. I’m your man. I’m going to make sure you get paid. I’m going to get you the max (contract). You’ll be taken care of. Don’t stress.’

“Klay really loves it in the Bay, and this is his first time going through trade rumors, and I’ve been through it many times, especially being in Philly. But Klay is my main man. I love Klay to death. 

02:35pm EST | Jun 26
Source on Rajon Rondo trade rumors: 'I think it is the usual BS'

If it is trading season, then it's time for Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo to have his name run through the trade wringer.

But, according to a source close to the situation, Rondo has not been informed of any change of plans when it comes to the Celtics' future, and he remains committed to helping Boston in its rebuilding efforts.

"I think it is the usual BS," the source told Sporting News.

Rondo has, again, been connected to a deal with the Sacramento Kings, this time centering on the Kings' first-round pick, which is No. 8 overall. That would give Celtics president Danny Ainge the Nos. 6 and 8 picks, and the chance to draft a big man and a point guard around whom he could rebuild. The guard would likely be Marcus Smart.
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From Yahoo!

18. Phoenix Suns (from Washington): T.J. Warren, North Carolina State, SF, 6-8, 220, So. – He surprisingly got invited to the green room, and a source said Phoenix gave him a promise.

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Great job by the Charlotte Hornets on their new court design.

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Sources: Magic trade Arron Afflalo to Nuggets

The Orlando Magic have traded guard Arron Afflalo to the Denver Nuggets for guard Evan Fournier and the 56th pick in the 2014 NBA draft, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Afflalo gives the Nuggets a shooting guard they were determined to get through a trade or the draft. The Nuggets had traded Afflalo to Orlando as part of the four-team Dwight Howard deal in 2012.

The deal can't be made official until after the draft tonight. 
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Joel Embiid tweets he is 'a Laker', then deletes it 

The biggest mystery of the 2014 NBA Draft might have just been revealed a little early.

Shortly after 1 a.m. on Thursday morning, Kansas center Joel Embiid sent out this tweet -- from a verified account -- seemingly giving away where he will end being drafted.

Shortly after either realizing what he had done or what had happened, Embiid deleted the tweet before firing out an explanation.

Could Embiid really know where he is going? It is possible.
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Pistons' best move is to be bold, deal Josh Smith or Greg Monroe 

They’ll get a usable player, or maybe not. They could move into the bottom of the first round, but probably not.

Not to ruin your NBA draft party Thursday night, but the focus of the Pistons under new leader Stan Van Gundy changed the moment they lost the No. 9 pick and were left with one faint hope at No. 38. That pick won’t alter the makeup of the Pistons, and with an underwhelming free-agent list — outside of LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony, of course — a big signing isn’t likely either.

That’s why Van Gundy’s first huge move must be to trade one of his big guys — Josh Smith (preferably) or Greg Monroe (realistically).

Can the Pistons play another season with the painfully cumbersome trio of Smith, Monroe and Andre Drummond? I suppose. Does Van Gundy want to do it? No way.
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Sources: Heat target Napier to lure LeBron

The Miami Heat have started the process of courting LeBron James with an aggressive attempt to move up in Thursday's NBA draft with their target being former UConn point guard Shabazz Napier, league sources said.

James' agent told the Heat on Tuesday that the four-time NBA MVP will opt out of his contract to become a free agent July 1. The move, however, does not mean James has decided to leave Miami, sources said.

Both James and the Heat are fans of Napier.

James tweeted during the NCAA title game in April: "No way u take a PG in the lottery before Napier."

Heat president Pat Riley, meanwhile, also is fond of Napier. Riley likes four-year players who can come in and contribute right away. 
08:43am EST | Jun 26
Nets likely to acquire draft pick

On the eve of the NBA Draft, Nets general manager Billy King downplayed his chances of getting himself into a draft in which the team currently does not have a pick.

“I’d like [to trade into it], just because I think you can get a good player,” King said Wednesday at the team’s New Jersey practice facility. “I don’t know if we will. … I doubt we’ll get into the first round. There’s a chance we can get a second-round pick, but we’re going to be patient. So I’d say the odds on the first [round are] not good, second round possible.”

Despite King’s public stance, it seems likely the Nets will move into the draft for at least one pick Thursday night. With $2 million to spend, they will be able to buy at least one second-round pick, and if they dangle the rights to Euro-stash Bojan Bogdanovic, they potentially could move into the latter part of the first round, where several teams are likely trying to get out of the draft.

But, as always, where the Nets will end up will depend upon the price to do so. 
08:41am EST | Jun 26
Warriors could try to acquire both Kevin Love and LeBron James

The Warriors are still looking to trade for Kevin Love in order to set themselves up to make a run for free agent-to-be LeBron James, ESPN’s Chad Ford told ESPN LA 710 AM on Wednesday.

“At the end of the day, I don’t think there’s a better Kevin Love deal for the Wolves than what the Warriors can offer, and I think the Warriors are very motivated to get Kevin Love in part I think not just because he’s an upgrade over David Lee, but in part because I think that now that you can have a Steph Curry and you have a Kevin Love, I think they feel at that point that they could be credible suitors for LeBron James,” Ford said.

“There are many suitors that are hoping to be credible suitors for LeBron James, but I think the Warriors can make a compelling case for him if they had Curry and Love. They’re perfect complements to LeBron James.” 
08:39am EST | Jun 26
Heat, Cavs, Rockets, Knicks, Nets top LeBron's list, not Clippers 

ESPN reports that the Miami Heat, Cleveland Cavaliers, New York Knicks, and Brooklyn Nets top LeBron James' list of potential free agent destinations, in that order, and that the Clippers, surprisingly, are not at the top of that list.

As mentioned above, I'm told the Clippers are not among James' most preferred destinations. While James and Clippers point guard Chris Paul are great friends, there are concerns about the compatibility of their games. Paul is not as capable of excelling off the ball as Wade was when he adjusted to playing with James.

Beyond that, there is still the very real problem of Donald Sterling's shadow hovering over the Clippers. I was not told that this would be an issue, but as outspoken as James was about wanting Sterling out of the league, it seems implausible that he would willingly go play for the Clippers until Sterling's ouster is complete. That is not likely to happen before July 8. 
08:34am EST | Jun 26
Heat's Big 3 meet to discuss future

Much like they did before signing with the Miami Heat in 2010, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh got together for a meeting to discuss their futures on Wednesday, sources told

James opted out of the final two years and $42 million of his contract with the Heat on Tuesday. Wade and Bosh have until midnight on Monday to decide if they will follow suit.

The meeting included a meal at a South Beach eatery, the Miami Herald reported.
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Are Kings preparing an offer to Celtics for Rondo?

The Sacramento Kings' interest in trading for Detroit's Josh Smith may not make a lot of sense on the surface.

But the more you examine the deal, you get the feeling that acquiring Smith isn't the Kings' end-game in all this.

In fact, a more likely reason for pursuing the 6-foot-9 forward is that he could be the key to them acquiring the player they have wanted for so long - Boston Celtics star Rajon Rondo.

Sacramento has attempted to entice the Celtics into dealing Rondo for a package that would include, among other pieces, at least one first-round pick (their No. 8 pick this year) and shooting guard Ben McLemore. So far, the Celtics have shown no interest in such a deal.

If the Celtics decide to keep Rondo this entire season, he becomes a free agent in the summer of 2015 and will surely look to play for either a title-contending club or one that's on the rise and needs a playmaker like himself to bring it all together.
08:28am EST | Jun 26
Sources: Rockets trade Omer Asik to Pelicans

The Houston Rockets have reached agreement on a trade to send center Omer Asik to the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for a future first-round draft pick, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

For the Rockets, this is the first step in clearing salary-cap space to pursue LeBron James or Carmelo Anthony in free agency. Houston has to move Jeremy Lin next to create space for a third maximum contract on the roster. Dwight Howard and James Harden are already on max contracts for the Rockets.

The Rockets will acquire what will likely be a late lottery pick, possibly as soon as 2015, from the Pelicans, sources said. The trade cannot be completed until July 10. 
08:27am EST | Jun 26

The New York Knicks and Dallas Mavericks are in advanced discussions about a trade that would return center Tyson Chandler to the team with which he won a championship in 2011, two people with knowledge of the talks confirmed to USA TODAY Sports.

The people spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the private nature of the talks.

The deal, which is still being discussed and could change, would send Chander and Knicks point guard Raymond Felton to the Mavericks.