Chad Ford of ESPN.com has posted a list of 2014 NBA Draft-related rumors, writing that the Cleveland Cavaliers might have interest in trading for Portland Trail Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge and including the Blazers as one of a number of teams that might be interested in trading into the 2014 lottery.
I think the Cavs' preferred route would be a trade that thins out their roster and adds a young veteran who can immediately lift the team's long-term chances. The Minnesota Timberwolves' Kevin Love has been the most mentioned pickup. But the Cavs also have their eye on other bigs, including the Chicago Bulls' Joakim Noah, the Portland Trail Blazers' LaMarcus Aldridge and the Atlanta Hawks' Al Horford.
While the Celtics, Lakers, Kings, Hornets, Wolves and Suns aren't likely to get All-Stars for their picks, they should be able to score players or multiple assets to help their teams right now. Look for the Bucks, Hawks, Mavs, Blazers and Raptors to be especially busy trying to move up or acquire a second pick.
The Blazers do not currently have a pick in this year's draft.
Back in April, Blazers GM Neil Olshey discussed the possibility of trading for a pick with Dwight Jaynes of CSNNW.com.
Anyone who knows Paul Allen knows there is no area of our business he is more concerned with than the draft. There's young talent, and we've talked about this before - when you don't have a lot of assets when you take over, you have to generate assets and you have to be opportunistic. The draft is a time for opportunism. You just never know what kind of deal will include a pick. You don't know when you can convey a pick or a future first because there's an opportunity.
Last year, we conveyed two future seconds to grab Allen Crabbe because we thought he was that good and he was a great fit for what we're trying to accomplish. All you have to do is go over the track record of the league at draft time, and how many times deals involved players for picks. People acquire picks within a deal. I moved picks when I was with the Clippers for future picks, in order to get involved with the current draft that could help the roster. You've got to be prepared for that.
It's no different, and we talked about this at the trade deadline, we didn't make a move, but it didn't mean we weren't working around the clock to generate opportunities. We just chose to forego those opportunities because we thought the group as a whole was better served chemistry-wise and growth with what we had brought up to that deadline. I think the draft is the same thing.
The season will end, hopefully later rather than sooner, and we'll take a day to do exit interviews and coaching interviews. We'll back in - we'll be at Chicago pre-draft. We'll be at group workouts in Los Angeles. We'll be bringing guys in here to work out. We'll be watching film and getting our board ready because, again, if you don't do the preparation, you can't get that phone call and know what you're doing if you aren't prepared.
I would think that at some point, there's going to be an announcement from the Portland Trail Blazers select somebody, somehow.
During his May exit interview, Olshey also addressed the subject.
How much does the acquisition of a draft pick interest you?
Olshey: We've got a lot of young guys. I think everybody gets caught up in the draft because that's what's sexy right now, right? We're a month from the draft, my staff is in Chicago right now. In terms of scouting the draft this is probably more complicated than any draft I've ever been involved in because we don't have a pick, so we're not targeting a specific range in the draft. So we've got to be prepared for anything. One through 60, you just don't know when the phone is going to ring, you don't know a player is available that you can pursue.
I think the reality of having only potentially two roster spots open and available, we've got to be judicious with what we add to that because we're out of the talent acquisition mode. We are out of the asset acquisition mode and now we're about winning games. I think everybody on the roster, the coaching staff, the front office, ownership has gotten a taste and remembered what it's like to be in the second round of the playoffs. And knowing just how close you are to really getting where all of us want to go, which is to still be playing in June, and I think if we can find a player that moves that process forward, then I think we'll be aggressive. If it's draft, it's draft. If it's free agent, it's free agent. If it's trade, it's trade. But the goal is to have a better team on the floor October 1st than we did this past October 1st.
The 2014 NBA Draft is set for Brooklyn's Barclays Center on June 26.
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter