Jonathan Givony of Draft Express wrote:
The Draft Starts at 3
-Despite the assumptions many (including us) are making about Oklahoma City’s intentions to draft Ricky Rubio with the #3 pick, it feels a little early to be penciling him in definitively. Many NBA executives around the league feel that Sam Presti is broadcasting his intentions to take Rubio at 3 for the sole purpose of making teams drafting behind him step up with stronger trade offers to move up.
Presti has done a great job at keeping his cards close to the vest historically, as you would expect from a former San Antonio Spurs executive. Last year he surprised many by taking Russell Westbrook over Brook Lopez at #4, and this year he could very well resort back to the logical selection at #3—James Harden.
At the end of the day, Presti will likely pick the player that he feels is the best overall value in this draft, and deal with positional concerns later on.
What is Sacramento Thinking?
The situation in the Kings war room appears to be extremely fluid at the moment, with plenty of trade offers on their table for the #4 pick, and four point guards in the lead to be selected should they hold onto it. Ricky Rubio, Jonny Flynn, Tyreke Evans and Stephen Curry are the players they are looking at, even if they continue to say that James Harden is in the picture as well, likely in order to prevent Oklahoma City from feeling comfortable about moving down to #5 in a swap with Minnesota.
All teams we’ve spoken with have either Evans or Flynn at this spot, assuming that Rubio is selected by Oklahoma City at 3.
Sacramento’s pick will have huge ramifications on how the entire draft shakes out, and the situation here is being monitored by every other team in the lottery.
Should Flynn go 4th, New York would be ecstatic, since that means that one of Harden, Curry, Evans or Jordan Hill would be available at their pick, with the most likely being Evans, since he’s probably not a great fit next to Harden in Minnesota, and he didn’t work out in Golden State and probably isn’t even on the board there.
The Raptors are also on pins and needles waiting to see how things shake out, since they are trying to figure out whether or not their top target Jrue Holiday will be on the board at 9.