Check out the biggest rumors of the day in our NBA Rumor Round-Up. For more rumors and news, check out Basketball Insiders’ headlines, which are constantly being updated.
On Tuesday night, the Cleveland Cavaliers defied all odds and won the NBA lottery for the second year in a row, and third time in four years. Now the pressure is on the Cavaliers to make the right choice after selecting Anthony Bennett, who had a very disappointing rookie season, first overall last year.
The consensus top-three prospects as of now are Joel Embiid, Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker. Chad Ford of ESPN originally reported that the Cavaliers favored Parker, but is now reporting that a source in Cleveland says the team favors Wiggins at this point. Wiggins had an up and down year in his one and only season at Kansas, but he has all the physical tools and skill to become an elite wing player in the NBA.
Looming in the background of the Cavs’ winning the lottery is the possibility of LeBron James returning to Cleveland this season. With Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters, Tristan Thompson, the number one pick and the possibility of choosing a new head coach, the Cavaliers are in a position to at least make a case to LeBron that he can win in Cleveland. It may not be likely, but this is a situation to keep an eye on moving into the offseason.
For weeks, it seemed inevitable that Steve Kerr was going to be next coach of the New York Knicks. Then, Stan Van Gundy unexpectedly agreed to become the next coach and president of the Detroit Pistons after rumors suggested he was likely to join the Golden State Warriors. This renewed Golden State’s interest in Kerr, who eventually spurned the Knicks to coach the Warriors.
Now, Phil Jackson is reportedly opening up his range of candidates to choose from, and recently fired Warriors head coach Mark Jackson is now rumored to be in consideration. Mark Jackson led the Warriors to a 51-31 record, but was let go due to discord with the front office. He is still a relatively inexperienced coach, but he turned the Warriors into a top-three defense this past season.
Phil Jackson is likely to hire someone he has previous experience with, whether a former player or assistant. However, it looks like Mark Jackson is now an outside candidate to take over in New York.
The Boston Celtics were hoping to beat the odds and win the NBA lottery on Tuesday, but instead will be picking number six on draft night. Prior to the lottery, rumors suggested that if the Celtics got a top-three pick, they would likely try to offer it to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Kevin Love.
After the lottery selection concluded on Tuesday, Celtics team president Danny Ainge made it clear he is now considering all possibilities in anticipation of the draft.
The Celtics have the sixth and 17th picks to either use or trade, but it’s unclear as to whether or not these picks will be enough as other teams are lining up to try and snag Love out of Minnesota.
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