Karma is a bitch ain't it?
Cavaliers, Bobcats discuss deal
A fascinating game of cat-and-mouse has unfolded in the middle of the lottery, where the Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons and Charlotte Bobcats are jockeying to get the players they want out of the 2011 draft.
Cleveland wants to draft 7-footer Jonas Valanciunas of Lithuania, but had a scenario where it could get him and also land the 19th overall pick belonging to the Bobcats, sources said. Charlotte has the ninth pick, and desperately wants Texas’ Tristan Thompson. The Bobcats believe that Thompson won’t get past Detroit with the eighth pick and need the Cavaliers to take him fourth. This way, Valanciunas, who may not be able to join the NBA until the 2012-13 season, would drop to Charlotte at nine, and owner Michael Jordan would trade Valanciunas – with the 18th overall pick – to the Cavaliers for Thompson.
Several days ago, Detroit hadn’t planned to draft Valanciunas, but sources said Pistons general manager Joe Dumars was given the OK by new owner Tom Gores to take Valanciunas despite the fact he wouldn’t be able to join the team this season. This is a problem for the Charlotte-Cleveland deal, and now another has arisen. Several teams believe the San Antonio Spurs’ desire to get the Sacramento Kings’ pick at No. 7 centers on a desire to draft Valanciunas as a future replacement for Tim Duncan, and now Cleveland must draft Valanciunas at the No. 4 spot, or risk losing him all together.
In this scenario, Detroit could land Thompson with the eighth pick, unless the Houston Rockets can convince the Pistons to move back in exchange for the 14th and 23 overall picks.
And yet, sources said, Cleveland is still trying to engage the Toronto Raptors at No. 5 and the Washington Wizards at No. 6 to find a way to get another asset and still end up with Valanciunas.