In one of the stranger rumors leading up to the 2014 NBA Draft, ESPN's Chad Ford reported that, according to a source, potential No. 1 pick Jabari Parker tanked his workout for the Cleveland Cavaliers because he would rather play for the Milwaukee Bucks. If that sounds crazy, that's because it is, and Sonny Parker, Jabari's father, denied the rumor:
Sonny Parker on an ESPN report that his son Jabari "tanked" his workout with Cavs: "He wasn't raised like that. He wouldn't do that."— Gery Woelfel (@GeryWoelfel) June 23, 2014
Sonny Parker went on to say that his son will play for whomever drafts him, and that Jabari has too much integrity to pull off a stunt like that. Furthermore, Sonny said Jabari wouldn't have gone to Cleveland for the workout if he had no intention of actually playing there.
Whatever the reason for Jabari's reportedly sub-par workout, blatantly tanking it in order to go to the Bucks just doesn't seem all that plausible. The Cavs are much closer to contention, and who tanks a workout in order to go play in Milwaukee, anyway?
Lakers looking to trade No. 7?
The Los Angeles Lakers desperately need an influx of young talent, but there's some speculation the Lakers are looking to move their No. 7 overall pick in order to acquire a more established player. Klay Thompson's name was tossed around in a three-way deal involving the Golden State Warriors and Minnesota Timberwolves that also featured Kevin Love, but those talks have fallen apart for now.
With Thompson currently out of the picture, Ford says the Lakers have been eyeing the Philadelphia 76ers tandem of Michael Carter-Williams and Thaddeus Young. The Sixers are reportedly looking to add a third lottery pick, and if they choose Dante Exum, they could look to move Carter-Williams. Los Angeles has interest in trading the No. 7 pick and Steve Nash for Carter-Williams and Young, but understandably, those discussions haven't gotten far.
Sean Deveney of Sporting News threw out Roy Hibbert's name in a possible deal, but that's a scenario that hasn't been seriously considered, either. Instead, Deveney believes the Lakers will move back in the draft.
Bulls eyeing McBuckets
The Chicago Bulls' offense was a train wreck most of last season, which was capped off by a woeful 69-point effort in a Game 5 loss to the Washington Wizards in the opening round of the playoffs. The Bulls are doing whatever they can to add more scoring and three-point shooting this offseason, and Deveney reports that they have had discussions with the Sacramento Kings about the No. 8 pick, with the target being Doug McDermott.
McDermott got buckets all throughout his college career, averaging nearly 22 points per game in his four seasons at Creighton. The 22-year-old was the National Player of the Year during his senior season, averaging 26.7 points while shooting 52.6 percent overall.
The Bulls have the No. 16 and No. 19 picks to dangle in a trade, as well as other assets. They could also look to move Taj Gibson for a lottery pick in order to clear cap space for a run at Carmelo Anthony, but the preference is to keep Gibson while also adding Anthony.
Magic gunning for another pick
The Orlando Magic already have two picks in the lottery, No. 4 and No. 12. Ford reports that the Magic are trying to package those two picks along with Arron Afflalo to move into the top two, but to no avail. Orlando has also approached the Kings (No. 8) and Denver Nuggets (No. 11), but again, nothing has come to fruition.
Afflalo is clearly on the block, with his name having been linked to several teams this offseason. One rumor had him going to Denver and then to Minnesota as part of a Love trade, but that doesn't appear to be happening any time soon.
Hawks looking at point guards, not sold on Teague?
The Atlanta Hawks have the No. 15 pick in the draft and could be looking to take a point guard. Ford reports that the Hawks aren't sold on Jeff Teague as the long-term answer at the position. Atlanta could explore the market for Teague this summer, and in that case, a replacement would be needed.
With this in mind, the Hawks have taken "long looks" at both Shabazz Napier and Elfrid Payton. Payton's stock has been on the rise, but Ford says Atlanta has taken a liking to Napier, who led Connecticut to a national title this past season.
Austin has large insurance policy
Former Baylor big man Isaiah Austin was likely going to be a second-round pick in the upcoming draft, but his NBA dreams were shattered when he was diagnosed with Marfan syndrome, a genetic disorder that affects the heart. While Austin won't be able to play in the NBA, he will still be able to cash in thanks to an insurance policy worth at least $1 million, according to ESPN's Darren Rovell.
Austin took out the policy through the NCAA's elite athlete insurance program. College basketball players typically pay about $5,000 per million for the policy, and the big man should be able to collect the money because of the disability that has prematurely ended his career. Often, a one-year waiting period before money is paid out is necessary to see whether the athlete can return to action, but Austin's case should be settled sooner. The 20-year-old likely won't have to pay taxes on the payout.