NBA Rumors: Wizards’ pick, Williams’ promise and Rubio’s first workout

Promise for Terrence Williams?

Williams went back for a second workout with the Bobcats on Monday against Gerald Henderson. Sources said after the workout that Williams met with the Bobcats and might have walked away with a promise that the Bobcats would take him at No. 12.

Williams has been moving up of late, and now it looks like he may have leapfrogged Henderson in a pretty thin shooting guard draft class. The Warriors are reportedly high on him at #7 as well.

According to Chad Ford, the Wizards have received a number of offers for the #5 pick.

The Knicks have offered Larry Hughes for Thomas and James. The Wolves reportedly have offered Mike Miller. The Celtics would give them Ray Allen. The Rockets would give them Tracy McGrady and Carl Landry. The Bucks would send them Richard Jefferson. The Nets would entertain unloading Vince Carter. The Suns could do something with Shaquille O’Neal. The Blazers could part ways with Steve Blake, Jerryd Bayless or Travis Outlaw.

The question is: Are any of those offers good enough for the No. 5 pick? In most years, no. But this year, with the Wizards thinking they’re poised to make a deep playoff run? It might be enough.

The Wizards want to rid themselves of the contracts of Etan Thomas ($7.4 M), Mike James ($6.5 M), and Darius Songaila (two years, $9.3 M). All three players were brought on board by GM Ernie Grunfeld, so it looks like he’s trying to correct past mistakes. However, assuming they’re trading with a team that is over the cap, the Wizards would have to take on matching salary, so this isn’t about cutting payroll, it’s about converting bad contracts and the #5 pick into a good player who can help them now. It seems like Ray Allen would be a good fit — he would fit into the off-guard spot next to Gilbert Arenas. The same goes for McGrady, if he can stay healthy. Jefferson is another possibility (and still has a few good years left) but his contract (two years, $29 million) is tough to swallow.

If these are the type of offers the Wizards are getting, I doubt that they’ll hold onto the #5 pick. The team does have an interest in Ricky Rubio, so if he slips, they may go ahead and take him. James Harden would also be a nice fit.

Minnesota GM David Kahn is working the phones…hard.

Ideally, the Wolves will find a way to get up to the No. 2 pick to select either Hasheem Thabeet or Ricky Rubio. If the Wolves stay at No. 6, I think they’ll take either Stephen Curry or Tyreke Evans.

Evans was excellent in the recent point guard workout in Minnesota, so if he’s on the board at #6, I wouldn’t be surprised if the T-Wolves bite, though the they seem to be most interested in Thabeet or Rubio. Kahn wants to make a splash in his first draft, so it’s likely that the franchise is involved in a trade or two on draft day.

Ricky Rubio finally worked out for the Kings.

“It’s difficult to show them what I have to do on the court, because there are no teammates and nobody there,” Rubio said at the Sacramento airport just before leaving town. “I can’t show them what I do on the court. This workout is not my style. I need my teammates around me to play basketball. I was alone.”

How Rubio’s session will impact the Kings’ decision, however, remains to be seen. Just one day before, point guards Tyreke Evans (Memphis), Stephen Curry (Davidson) and Jonny Flynn (Syracuse) were the headliners in a mega workout in which they competed for the right to be picked fourth. Evans is believed to have left the best impression, showcasing his length and strength while getting to the rim as he pleased.

Thus far, the Kings are the only team that Rubio has worked out for, which could indicate that there is enough mutual interest there to convince the franchise to pick him with the #4 pick, if available. Given his excellent performance in a recent workout, Tyreke Evans is the dark horse, but there are those who don’t believe he has as much upside as Rubio.

The Blazers are trying to move up in the first round.

Word is that Portland is extremely active in its attempts to trade up from No. 24 to an area from 8-14, where the Blazers are confident they could land a point guard. Portland hosted North Carolina’s Ty Lawson for a workout Monday. A person familiar with the situation said the Blazers explored a trade involving the Suns’ No. 14 pick. That deal also would’ve involved Stoudemire, a scenario that would’ve presented billionaire Paul Allen with three max players to pay over the next few years — Stoudemire, Brandon Roy, and LaMarcus Aldridge. Those are big-ticket items, even for Allen.

Portland GM Kevin Pritchard is very good at his job, so don’t be surprised if the Blazers emerge from the summer with a much better point guard on the roster. Steve Blake is a good game manager, but he’s more suited to be a bench player. The Blazers are rumored to be interested in Kirk Hinrich, but it’s unclear if they’ll be able to pry him away from the Bulls. Lawson is an experienced player who could come in and help the Blazers right away. I don’t know that the same could be said for some of the other point guards that are projected to go early in this draft. Darren Collison is another option, and could very well be available if the Blazers keep the #24 pick.

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