BY SAM SPIEGELMAN
The 2014 NBA Draft is mere hours away, and the trade rumors are swirling out of control.
Whether it's the Cleveland Cavaliers moving out of the top spot or a team finally finding the right package to land Kevin Love, there are a lot of players who could be wearing new uniforms before free agency officially gets underway.
1. Kevin Love
You knew this one was coming.
If the Minnesota Timberwolves are going to deal Love, they would be wise to do so before the draft so they can add some young talent right away. Love has been connected to the Golden State Warriors, Chicago Bulls and Sacramento Kings, all of which have reportedly made offers to Minnesota for the All-Star big man.
Love's days in the Twin Cities are numbered, and the team is best served by trying to get some value for him either now or before the NBA trade deadline so he doesn't walk away without the Wolves getting some form of compensation. And with so much momentum in trade talks leading up to Thursday, it won't surprise anyone to see Love finally get his wish.
2. Klay Thompson
Thompson is the big piece that Golden State needs to include in its trade offer to bring Love to town, but Warriors head coach Steve Kerr and some members of the brass appear reluctant to let the young sharp-shooter leave.
If Thompson doesn't wind up in Minnesota, he could be used to lure another big name - perhaps a Carmelo Anthony - into town. However, it's my understanding that if Golden State won't use him to acquire Love, he's viewed as a valuable part of the puzzle for the foreseeable future.
3. Iman Shumpert
Phil Jackson seems desperate to acquire a first-round draft pick before Thursday, and he's reportedly been dangling Shumpert in order to get one.
Shumpert was involved in a proposed trade between the New York Knicks and the Oklahoma City Thunder back in February, but the deal obviously never transpired. With indications Thabo Sefolosha is on his way out of town, Shumpert could be the Thunder's new shooting guard.
The Philadelphia 76ers could also be a landing spot.
4. Arron Afflalo
Afflalo doesn't want to be with the Orlando Magic; he wants to join a contender. He's been linked to the Warriors and the Bulls, and perhaps could interest the Thunder as well.
Orlando seems willing to part ways with Afflalo, who is coming off a career year with the team. With his name surfacing in so many trade scenarios, he seems likely to get his wish.
5. Josh Smith
We all know about the Detroit Pistons' front-court debacle: Smith, Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe just did not pan out last year. There are conflicting reports as to whether new coach Stan Van Gundy wants Drummond or Monroe or both, but it seems likely that he could do without Smith.
Smith has been linked to the Boston Celtics and the Sacramento Kings, and the Pistons would be happy to shed his hefty deal to either one of those clubs.RELATED LINKS
If Cavaliers remain undecided with top pick, they should deal it to the Jazz
Spirit of competition loses in LeBron, Carmelo pairing
SI's Composite 2014 NBA Mock Draft
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