The latest NBA Draft rumor from Chris Broussard of ESPN (via our very own FanShots) has the Cleveland Cavaliers taking on Rip Hamilton's gnarly contract and, as the sweetener, the Detroit Pistons' No. 8 pick. The Cavs would then flip their own No. 4 pick and the No. 8 pick for the Minnesota Timberwolves' No. 2 pick.
There's indication in Broussard's report that Detroit might want something to go with the elimination of Hamilton, perhaps one of Cleveland's players. (Might I suggest Ramon Sessions, who would be the third point guard behind Kyrie Irving and Baron Davis?) There's no special insight to Minnesota's thinking, however, and that what's really important to the Sacramento Kings here. What would the Wolves do at No. 4?
The Wolves are the most unpredictable team in the lottery; their Wesley Johnson choice a year ago landed DeMarcus Cousins on the Kings. But at No. 2 this year, there was really no two ways around it: Derrick Williams would be the guy. (If he wasn't, the Utah Jazz would scoop him right up at No. 2.) The Wolves couldn't really impact many other teams by staying at No. 2, because there was a dead obvious No. 2 pick.
At No. 4, it's different.
With Cleveland at No. 1 and No. 4, we know it's unlikely they'll take Brandon Knight or Kemba Walker at No. 4 given that Irving is the pick at No. 1. We know the Washington Wizards at No. 6 aren't taking a point guard. So in theory, if the Jazz passed up on a point guard at No. 3, we knew one would last to No. 7 -- the only other team from No. 3-6 that was a threat to take one was the Toronto Raptors at No. 5.
The Wolves moving down from No. 2 to No. 4, giving up Williams? That's a threat for a point guard. It's not a huge threat -- definitely a smaller threat than the Jazz or Raptors. But it's a threat nonetheless. Both Knight and Walker project to be better than Jonny Flynn. Ricky Rubio's 2011-12 fate ought to be known by the time the draft rolls around. If he stays in Spain, Minnesota may feel the need to grab Knight or Walker.
That means both point guards could be gone by the time Toronto picks, let alone Sacramento. There was never a guarantee either point guard would be on the board when Sacramento picks. But the odds are even though should this trade go through, in my estimation.
The Wolves could also be flipping No. 4 and No. 8 (and perhaps their other picks) for a veteran, adding another wild card ahead of the Kings. But my early guess is that they like a player at No. 2 that isn't Williams that they are confident the Jazz won't take at No. 3. That couldn't be Knight or Enes Kanter, could it? Does David Kahn love Walker? Jonas Valanciunas? The mystery is killing me!