Open Thread: Pre-draft

Use this space to talk about anything that comes to your mind, any rumored trades, any trades that go through, anything you hear about anything draft-related, etc.

Already, we've got Cleveland trading Ben Wallace and Sasha Pavlovic to Phoenix for Shaquille O'Neal.  I'd say this is a panic move, but then again, the Cavs literally gave up nobody of consequence to get Shaq.  Wallace and Pavlovic are pretty awful at this point and the trade is cap-neutral from Cleveland's perspective.  It does allow Phoenix to save money by cutting Pavlovic and his non-guaranteed contract, but it doesn't add any long-term salary for Cleveland unless Shaq re-signs.  Pretty much a no-brainer from their end.

Other interesting rumors out there to get you going:

-The big one is from Mike Jones of the Times about our 32nd pick.

According to a league source, the Wizards are considering parting with the 32nd overall pick - possibly in a package with aging point guard Mike James, whose contract expires after next season - in an effort to acquire a veteran big man who would add depth to the frontcourt.

If they are unable to land a veteran as part of a package deal, the Wizards still might trade the 32nd pick for future considerations.

So there may yet be some actual action on draft night.  Quick, anyone want to think of players who match up to the combined salaries of James + 32? 

(By the way, screw future considerations.  If you can't find anything, use the pick.  The 32nd is really valuable this year because it's basically a first-round pick without the guaranteed contract).

-Draft Express last night:

Washington was able to save decent money in their trade with Minnesota, as well as bring in two players that appear to be more equipped to help them win right away than the #5 pick. At #32 they seem to be targeting a big man, although it’s not quite clear if they can find a quality player there. Some options include Taj Gibson (likely gone already), Ahmad Nivins and Victor Claver.

Anyone know anything about those guys?

League stuff

-Y'all probably heard about the Jamal Crawford to Atlanta trade already.  Pretty pointless if you ask me.

-Peter Vescey of the New York Post:

Phoenix is talking to Houston about Stoudemire after being turned down by Washington (unsure) and Minnesota (even up for Richard Jefferson).

According to the same source that disclosed Terry Porter was about to be fired as Suns coach, the Rockets are leaning toward swapping Tracy McGrady's expiring $22M contract, Carl Landry and Aaron Brooks for Leandro Barbosa and Stoudemire, who owns an escape clause after next season and is demanding an extension this summer to waive it.

I find that hard to believe, but it's definitely value for Phoenix.

-Arizona Republic:

Teams recently have inquired about every returning Suns starter, including Golden State's ongoing interest in Amaré Stoudemire (with a package involving Andris Biedrins being revisited). Washington looked at Stoudemire, too, but backed away when Caron Butler and [Jason] Richardson were added to the mix.

Those talks started with Antawn Jamison and the Wizards' fifth pick being offered for Stoudemire. The Wizards traded that fifth pick Wednesday.

You all know the drill.  Anything you see today that's draft-related, either for us or for another team, put it here.  I'll update this post if I can depending on my availability and whatever news breaks.

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