The draft is mere hours away, meaning the rumor mill is stuck in overdrive. Earlier this afternoon, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports suggested the Bobcats, who hold the No. 9 pick, are so worried that the Pistons will take Tristan Thompson at No. 8 that they're working out a trade with the Cavaliers (emphasis mine):
Cleveland wants to draft 7-footer Jonas Valanciunas of Lithuania, but had a scenario where it could get him and also land the 19th overall pick belonging to the Bobcats, sources said. Charlotte has the ninth pick, and desperately wants Texas’ Tristan Thompson. The Bobcats believe that Thompson won’t get past Detroit with the eighth pick and need the Cavaliers to take him fourth. This way, Valanciunas, who may not be able to join the NBA until the 2012-13 season, would drop to Charlotte at nine, and owner Michael Jordan would trade Valanciunas – with the 18th overall pick – to the Cavaliers for Thompson.
Several days ago, Detroit hadn’t planned to draft Valanciunas, but sources said Pistons general manager Joe Dumars was given the OK by new owner Tom Gores to take Valanciunas despite the fact he wouldn’t be able to join the team this season. This is a problem for the Charlotte-Cleveland deal, and now another has arisen. Several teams believe the San Antonio Spurs’ desire to get the Sacramento Kings’ pick at No. 7 centers on a desire to draft Valanciunas as a future replacement for Tim Duncan, and now Cleveland must draft Valanciunas at the No. 4 spot, or risk losing him all together.
In this scenario, Detroit could land Thompson with the eighth pick, unless the Houston Rockets can convince the Pistons to move back in exchange for the 14th and 23 overall picks.
Nowhere in this block of text is the name "Bismack Biyombo" but rather the somewhat new revelation that Valanciunas is back on the table. Struggling to wrap your head around that? It gets even more complicated. Woj tweeted just minutes ago:
Milwaukee has a three-way deal with Charlotte and Sacramento, sources say.
Milwaukee's 10th overall pick goes to the Kings, source says.
Bucks send 10th pick and John Salmons to Kings.
The Bobcats will have the 7th and 9th picks in the draft tonight as part of the deal, source says.
With all this jockeying between Sacramento's No. 7 pick and the Bobcats' No. 9 pick, you have to imagine the Pistons will consider jumping into the fray, as well -- whether it's sliding down to Houston's 14 and 23 picks or perhaps engaging Cleveland or Minnesota at the top.
Unless, of course, it's all a big smokescreen, and the Pistons have no interest in Thompson or Jonas 2.0 but are simply sending mixed signals in hopes that Biyombo falls. We can hope, right?