With NBA Draft On The Horizon, Gamblers Brace For Odd Changes
The NBA draft is only a few days away, and team executives are busy on the phones attempting to complete last minute deals that could alter the draft order. Two teams expected to be betting favorites next year, Los Angeles and Miami, have no number one pick.
That could change by the end of the week. Sources have confirmed that both the Heat and Lakers are looking to pick up a first round pick. The teams are in much different positions when it comes to trade pieces, with the Lakers having many players they could move, and the Heat limited in their assets.
With LeBron James, Chris Bosh, and Dwyane Wade all locked into long term deals, and the NBA labor negotiations not going well, it is unlikely Miami would make much of a splash on the trade market. If the Heat did pick up a pick, it would likely come at the expense of Mike Miller, unless they decided to move Bosh.
The Lakers have the opportunity to make a major deal if they choose to do so. L.A. has Andrew Bynum, a commodity that dozens of NBA teams would like to acquire. It would take a player such as Dwight Howard for the Lakers to even consider moving Bynum, according to league sources.
What is a definite for Thursday's draft is that the Cleveland Cavaliers have two of the top four picks. If they choose to keep the two picks, Cleveland would suddenly have one of the youngest and most exciting teams in the league. Owner Dan Gilbert has vowed that the Cavaliers would win a title before James, an assertion that almost was proven wrong in the first year of the Big Three in Miami.
The Heat are currently the top choice of odds makers to win the championship next year. The Lakers are the second choice of odds makers. The fate of gamblers this season lies not as much with the players, but with the league labor situation.
If players and owners do not reach an agreement by July 1st, a lockout would be put in place. A lockout would threaten at a minimum, the length of the regular season next year. In the worst case scenario, the entire year could be lost to the labor unrest.
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