Hardly surprised to hear this news. The Pistons lead off today's ESPN rumors with their reported interest in moving up to take DeMarcus Cousins. As I mentioned, the Timberwolves are in an ideal spot to draft Cousins, but are unlikely to do so given their shaky draft history and Cousins' spotty reputation.
I like that Joe D. is floating the idea in the press. The Timberwolves seem to be pursuing a potentially disastrous course (see below), and Dumars should let them know they have options that can, you know, help their team.
Also interested in the T-Wolves' pick (per the same source) are the Trailblazers. They're MIT, so you know they're high on Cousins. You would have to assume they'd dangle LaMarcus Aldridge and the 22 pick. Not sure what problem that solves for the Wolves, but when have they been known to have any interest in solving problems?
The 76ers are using their #2 pick to try to trap a team into taking Elton Brand's albatract. Some team will probably bite on this, but I question the sense of it. High draft picks are important, not only because you get an ostensibly great player, but also because you get that player at a bargain.
By taking on Brand's contract, a team is basically signing their lottery pick to a max contract. Given that the player selected is unlikely to emerge as a star until his third season, that is grossly overpaying. Of the players selected in the top three over the last ten years, only LeBron James and Kevin Durant would have justified such an expenditure.
All this is perfect timing, since DeMarcus Cousins predictably tops John Hollinger's scarily accurate draft player rater.
John Wall and Evan Turner round out the top three, though Turner in particular seems a bit low at 14.8. Given his age (a ripe old 21), that should be cause for teams to reconsider taking on Elton Brand to move up the the #2 spot.
The statistical gods smile upon Al-Farouq Aminu and Greg Monroe, two players the Pistons will consider should they keep the #7 slot. The rater hates Cole Aldrich, Ekpe Udoh and Ed Davis, however, projecting Aldrich and Udoh as fringe rotation players and Davis an absolute dud.
Based on my observation, the player rater tends to undervalue players on stacked teams (like Derrick Rose and Charlie V.), so Aldrich might still be okay. I believe Ekpe Udoh will be the Rafael Araujo of this year's draft. The love for Ed Davis confuses me, but I think some general managers actually like it when players don't accomplish anything (see: Rubio, Ricky).