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NBA Trade Rumors: Latest Buzz on Ty Lawson and Draft-Pick Maneuvering

Published by Bleacher Report on Tue, 16 Jun 2015

Only one or two NBA games remain this season, opening the rumor mill with the offseason and draft in near sight.After learning their lottery fates, some unsatisfied squads are looking to move up or down the board. No deals can officially occur until draft day, but the hot stove will burn until June 25.Another retooling team also looks to add draft picks at the expense of its current roster. One of its key assets, however, has proven tougher to move than anticipated. Here's a look at the league's latest murmurs.Ty LawsonThe Denver Nuggets are in rebuilding no-man's land. They roster several solid contributors, not good enough to stop a 52-loss season but not terrible enough to sink to the bottom. While they'll land another useful part with the No. 7 pick, they won't locate their desired building block.Furthermore, turnover in Denver will likely commence after picking its head coach, reported by Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski:According to ESPN Insider Chad Ford, Denver wants to sell Ty Lawson, but nobody is buying:The Nuggets continue to aggressively pursue a trade to get another pick in the top 5. They are offering anyone on their roster but haven't had much luck. Ty Lawson seems especially hard for them to get rid of right now. "He's talented," a rival GM said, "but there's a reason the Nuggets are letting him go. I don't think he has the leadership abilities to be an elite point guard in the league."The 27-year-old point guard averaged 15.2 points and a career-high 9.6 assists per game last season, which ranked third behind Chris Paul and John Wall. While a skilled passer for Denver's unselfish offense, he lacked shooting efficiency. According to Basketball-Reference.com, he registered a career-low 52.6 true shooting percentageHis poor defensive reputation likely contributes to the lack of interest as well. In a game where every franchise wants a star, few want to pay up for a skilled yet flawed starter. Still, Michael Malone's old team, the Sacramento Kings, represent a possible fit.GeryWoelfelof theRacine Journal Times reported rumors of head coach George Karl wanting to reunite with his old floor general.New York KnicksIf the Nuggets are serious about sneaking into the top five, the New York Knicks represent their best chance. In a draft featuring three top options (Karl-Anthony Towns, Jahlil Okafor and D'Angelo Russell), the Knicks landed the No. 4 pick. As a result, they're exploring trade options, per Ford:Sources say the Knicks are entertaining trading down in the draft if Towns, Okafor and Russell are all taken in the top three picks. It sounds as if they remain on the fence about bothEmmanuel Mudiayand [Kristaps]Porzingis. That's why they've been looking at players such asCameron PayneandFrank Kaminskyin recent workouts. If the Knicks can get a valuable veteran and still land somewhere in the back end of the lottery, it might make more sense for them than taking a player they aren't sold on at No. 4. We know several teams, including the Nuggets and Pacers, are trying to move up in the draft.Both Payne and Kaminsky figure to go around the 10-15 range, meaning the Knicks would be nuts to stay put and take one of those targets. Although Mudiay fits a dire need and gives them the prospect with the highest ceiling, they're also linked to Willie-Cauley Stein and Justise Winslow.DraftExpress's Jonathan Givony, however, said the team is still considering keeping the pick and taking the Latvian big man:Team president Phil Jackson could scoop up Cauley-Stein or Winslow with the No. 7 selection, and Lawson certainly represents a short-term upgrade for a club facing pressure not to waste Carmelo Anthony's peak years. Acquiring Kenneth Fariedwho was frequently linked to the Big Apple in an Iman Shumpert swap last yearisalso on the table.The Knicks rarely ever do things the easy way, so don't be surprised if they get antsy and search for a shortcut to relevancy.Boston CelticsIn the business of stockpiling assets, the Boston Celtics hold two first-rounders this year. Yet with both outside the lottery, they're trying to climb the ladder into a more lucrative spot, according to Woelfel."One team that is making a concerted effort to move into the lottery, league sources claim, is Boston," Woelfel wrote. "The Celtics are dangling their No. 1 picks: Nos. 16 and 28."Along with those selections, general manager Danny Ainge has a treasure trove of picks at his disposal. They possess the Philadelphia 76ers' No. 33 choice this year and as many as four first-rounders next year depending on how protections play out. They'll also wield four second-round slots in 2016.The Celtics performed better than expected during Brad Stevens' first season at head coach, sneaking into the playoffs at 40-42. Perhaps they played too well, winning their way out of a top-10 choice. Yet Ainge never collected all those picks with the expectation of using and signing all of them.For a team which could use an upgrade anywhere but doesn't brandish a glaring hole, it's uncertain if Boston has a specific target in mind. In need of size and shooting, Kaminsky is a logical option who shouldn't land far above Boston's No. 16 slot.
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