Sam Amcio of Fox Sports wrote:
With the NBA Draft Combine in full swing, and teams hoping to find the next big thing (or at least a guy who can contribute off the bench), the hubbub has officially begun.
The combine tipped off Wednesday, and while the talk is usually centered on which teams interviewed which top prospects, and who’s not quite as tall without shoes (always a shocking occurrence), most of the noise among insiders is taking place off the floor.
Coaching changes, free agency and the approaching draft lottery are among the hot topics -- especially when it comes to teams outside the lottery trying to wiggle their way in.
The Los Angeles Lakers and Atlanta Hawks are said to be two such teams, with both supposedly exploring the idea of improving their draft position.
Interestingly, both face some major free-agent decisions. None of those can take place until July 1 at the earliest -- or about a week after the June 27 draft.
The Lakers, of course, will attempt to come to terms with All-Star center Dwight Howard, who is expected to receive a maximum offer from the club.
Meanwhile, the Hawks embark on the offseason with a whopping seven unrestricted free agents, highlighted by power forward Josh Smith. It’s believed that Hawks general manager Danny Ferry is aiming to reshape the entire roster.
The Hawks own back-to-back picks in the first round (Nos. 17 and 18), and may be willing to package them together for the sake of moving up, insiders said.
As for the Lakers, their lone pick doesn’t come until midway through the second round (No. 48 overall). But, as usual, they’re supposedly willing to trade big man Pau Gasol in attempt to get younger. That may mean obtaining a pick, a younger player and a contract.
Again, all of this is just speculation at the moment, and it may result in nothing at the end. And goodness knows, these are the type of discussions among GMs and execs that will take place all the way through the draft.
Some of it is real, some of it not so much. Either way, there’s no doubting that the time of year to find the next big thing has officially arrived.