NBA Draft rumors roundup: Anthony Bennett meeting with top 5 teams


Bennett, who is recovering from surgery on his rotator cuff, is considered one of the best players available in the 2013 NBA Draft.

Anthony Bennett is among the most talented players available when the 2013 NBA Draft rolls around in two weeks. As the UNLV forward continues progressing from the surgery he underwent on his rotator cuff, he visited with the Washington Wizards on Thursday. Washington holds the third pick in the draft and is in need of a small forward.

Bennett (scouting report) told reporters that he plans to visit with the Cavaliers, Magic, Wizards, Bobcats and Suns. He does not expect to meet with any teams that do not currently hold a top-five pick, although his agent would make the final decision. There are still questions about his height — he was not measured at the draft combine — although he features a 7'1 wingspan and is quite the athlete. It would be a surprise come draft night if Bennett is still available at pick No. 6.

-- Trade rumors are beginning to swirl around the league. According to one ESPN report, the Clippers and Magic are discussing a deal that would send Arron Afflalo to Los Angeles in exchange for Eric Bledsoe.

There are a handful of draft implications that come along with these rumors. For one, Orlando unloading Afflalo would likely mean they are leaning towards taking Ben McLemore (scouting report) or Victor Oladipo (scouting report) with the No. 2 pick to pair alongside Bledsoe for years to come. As for the Clippers, most mock drafts have them taking a shooting guard with their first-round pick. The addition of Afflalo would help bolster their backcourt and allow them to address another spot on their roster with the No. 25 pick.

-- Speaking of McLemore and the Magic, the Kansas guard is working out in Orlando this week. While the team is diligently scouting the top prospects available, they are also considering a trade down, according to Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel.

Outside of center and maybe small forward, the Magic could stand to upgrade just about every position on their roster. It's unclear just how much they could get for the No. 2 pick should they decide to trade it, especially with this year's draft class considered to not be as good as others in recent years.

-- The Sacramento Kings are a franchise in transition after bringing in a new owner and head coach. Armed with the No. 7 pick this summer, they could go in a bunch of different directions. As this article from Sactown Royalty details, Indiana center Cody Zeller (scouting report) visited Sacramento for an individual workout on Thursday.

While Zeller played center in college, he may end up as a power forward in the NBA given the concerns about his strength. The Kings already feature a couple of quality young big men in DeMarcus Cousins and Jason Thompson, so it's a bit unclear how Zeller would fit in. Even then, it seems the guys in Sacramento are weighing any and all options as they look to bring the Kings back to relevancy in the Western Conference.

-- Another intriguing prospect is Michael Carter-Williams (scouting report) out of Syracuse. The lanky point guard has as high a ceiling as any guard available, especially given his height, athleticism and wingspan. His shot remain a work in progress, though, and he will need to add muscle if he hopes to become a starter in the league.

Carter-Williams has been busy in recent weeks, meeting with teams that hold lottery picks. On Friday, he will work out with the New Orleans Pelicans, according to John Reid of The Times Picayune. The Pelicans hold the No. 6 pick this summer and would like to add a true point guard to move Greivis Vasquez off the ball.

-- Jamaal Franklin (scouting report) is a promising shooting guard who has dealt with health problems in recent months. As ESPN's Andy Katz tweeted on Thursday, Franklin's left ankle is injured. He is only able to shoot the ball right now, and it's unlikely he will risk working out for potential teams before draft night.

This may hurt his draft stock a bit, but there is still plenty to like. At 6'5, the sophomore shooting guard has a 6'11 wingspan and was named the Mountain West Player of the Year while averaging 17 points, 9.5 rebounds and more than a steal per game. Like his former SDSU teammate Kawhi Leonard, who is now a starter with the Spurs, Franklin is not a great shooter, but he should improve once he begins practicing at the next level.

-- Finally, Nerlens Noel (scouting report), the projected No. 1 pick this summer, has hired two agents. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, Noel has chosen Frank Catapano and Andy Miller to represent him.

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