Latest NBA draft rumours as teams could trade into top five for Luka Doncic

Jay Asser 20:54 21/06/2018
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Luka Doncic is considered a top-five pick.

This year’s NBA draft feels more unpredictable than usual, with rumours flying everywhere of teams looking to move up and down.

There’s also the off-chance Kawhi Leonard gets moved during the draft if the San Antonio Spurs are eager to grab one of the top prospects on the board.

And of course, there will inevitably be a trade that no one could have seen coming because as fluid as the draft is, the decision-making of teams will change in real time.

With that said, here’s a round-up of some of the biggest rumours making the rounds on draft day.

Teams lining up for Doncic

With Deandre Ayton appearing to be a lock for the top overall pick, what the Sacramento Kings do at two could have a domino effect on the rest of the draft.

No one seems to know what direction Vlade Divac will go in, but Marvin Bagley has been the name most linked with the Kings in the lead-up. If Sacramento indeed select the Duke product, that could open the floodgates at three.

If Luka Doncic is still on the board, Atlanta may take the EuroLeague star, who is a favourite of Hawks’ ownership, according to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony.

However, they’ll also have no shortage of suitors for a trade, as teams are expected to make a run at the pick to nab Doncic for themselves, according to Yahoo! Sports’ Chris Mannix.

Doncic is considered one of the best international prospects to ever enter the draft and was in the mix for the top pick before Phoenix seemed to settle on Ayton.

If Atlanta aren’t as enamored with him as other teams, moving further down in the lottery while netting additional assets may the move.

Grizzlies trying to package four and Parsons

Like Atlanta, the Memphis Grizzlies could be willing to move down in the draft, but with the caveat that their trading partner must take on Chandler Parsons’ contract, according to Givony.

Parsons, who has played a total of 42 games over the past two seasons due to injuries, is owed $49.2 million over the next two years.

What offers the Grizzlies get for the fourth pick will depend on who’s still available, especially if Doncic is still on the board.

Memphis favour Duke big man Wendell Carter Jr, according to the report, which means they would only want to move down a couple picks to ensure they can land their man. That would put Dallas at five, Orlando at six and Chicago at seven as the most-likely trade partners.

Bamba number five

The Dallas Mavericks would love to leave the draft with Doncic, but if he comes off the board and they stay at five, they’re expected to take Mohamed Bamba, according to Givony.

They could also reportedly make a deal with Chicago and move down to seven to select Michael Porter Jr, who is a favourite of the Mavericks’ ownership.

Dallas may also receive an offer from the New York Knicks, who met with Bamba in New York on Wednesday, according to ESPN’s Ian Begley.

The Knicks hold the ninth pick and Bamba is expected to be long gone by then. However, outside of their own selection, New York don’t possess the same assets other teams do to entice the Mavericks.

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