Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
After Davis, Top Players ‘Confused’ About the Draft
NEW YORK — Anthony Davis is the only NBA Draft prospect who knows where he’s headed on Thursday night.
And even the former Kentucky star admitted he has a shred of doubt about being the No. 1 overall pick.
“There’s a lot of guys that’s nervous,” the 6-foot-10 Davis told a slew of reporters Wednesday at the Westin Hotel. “I’m nervous. I don’t know. New Orleans might do something else, I don’t know. I have no idea. All of us are nervous, just to hear your name be called. This is what we’ve been waiting on all our life.”
Not likely, Anthony, unless you get captured by Martians in the next 24 hours.
But after Davis, it’s anybody’s guess who will go where or even what teams will pick where.
Will Charlotte trade down from No. 2 in order to add more first-round picks? Will Cleveland move up to No. 2 and grab Florida’s Bradley Beal? Will Washington trade the No. 3 pick, thereby enabling another team to snatch Thomas Robinson (pictured) ahead of the Bobcats at No. 4?
“It’s getting to the point where your agent is confused,” Robinson, the former Kansas star who lost to Davis and Kentucky in the NCAA title game, said. “If they’re confused, just imagine how I feel.”
Robinson said after he worked out for new coach Mike Dunlap and the Bobcats, he thought he might end up there at No. 2.
“I felt comfortable coming out of Charlotte, feeling that if I was one of the targets for them that I will highly considered for that pick,” Robinson said.
Still, Dunlap, profiled here in this SheridanHoops.com piece, allowed that Charlotte may well trade down from the second pick if it makes sense, which is starting to look like a possibility.
“I think anybody in our situation would have that on the board,” Dunlap told the Associated Press. “(Our) people are very smart up top. So options and thinking of your variables is a very smart thing to do.”
The idea of Charlotte taking Beal was somewhat reduced and the premise of trading the pick somewhat increased with Thursday night’s trade with the Pistons, which sent small forward Corey Maggette to Detroit for shooting guard Ben Gordon and a future first-round pick.
The Bobcats aren’t strong at many positions, but shooting guard appears set with Gerald Henderson – one of the team’s few bright spots last season – now backed up by Gordon, one of the best bench scorers in the NBA.
“They did get Ben Gordon [Wednesday] night so that could potentially set them up for getting a three or that could potentially set them up for trading with somebody else,” North Carolina’s Harrison Barnes said. “Trade down or move around, so I mean you just never know.”
Cleveland trading up to No. 2 to take Beal or Kentucky’s Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is a possibility, but even Beal has no idea.
“Right now, nobody except Anthony Davis knows where they’re going so it’s really we’re just sitting back and just trying to see what happens,” Beal said. “There’s a lot of trades going on and teams trying to move up, so it’s going to be an interesting draft [Thursday].”
Asked what it would mean to be the No. 2 pick, Beal said: “It doesn’t matter how high I go. As long as I’m with the right team, great group of guys and a great team that wants to work hard and try to in. So regardless of whether I’m 2, 3, 10 or late lottery, it really doesn’t matter where I’m picked. I’m really just happy to be at this level.”
Washington picks third and is reportedly focusing on Beal, Kidd-Gilchrist and Barnes. But they are listening to offers for the pick and could end up dealing it to someone who would then take Robinson at No. 3, thereby shafting Charlotte, which likes him but might not be able to get him at No. 4.
“You have just as good an idea as I do,” Barnes said. “I really don’t know at this point. There’s a lot of trades happening so that’s changed the landscape a little bit.
“But wherever I end up I’ll be happy.”
Kidd-Gilchrist, meantime, could potentially fall to the Cavs at No. 4 where he could be reunited with his former St. Patrick High School teammate Kyrie Irving, the reigning NBA Rookie of the Year. (For more on their story, click here.)
“It’d be cool,” Kidd-Gilchrist said. “It’d be really cool for both of us.”
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.