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NBA Draft day rumors, 9:30 a.m.: Bucks, Bobcats open to trades 06.23.11 at 9:32 am ET
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The Bucks are listening to offers for their No. 10 pick in Thursday’s NBA draft and are open to making it part of a bigger deal, a league source told ESPN. They also would not be opposed to dealing Corey Maggette, but not just to dump his salary. They want to upgrade their team.

The Nuggets are a team that is looking to move up into the top 10 and include point guard Ray Felton as a part of the deal.

Holding the No. 9 and 19 picks in the draft, the Bobcats also are looking to make a deal. They have discussed packaging both picks to move up in the draft. They’ve also discussed using the picks to add a veteran. Nearly every player on the roster is available to include in a deal in order to make the team better.

Recently promoted president of basketball operations Rod Higgins and new general manager Rich Cho have “constantly been on the phone” the past few days. “Rich and I are talking to every team around the league,” Higgins said. “We’re trying to gauge interest in our team as well as seeing what’s there in terms of the draft, in terms of different players on different rosters.”

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Can the Knicks challenge the Celtics? 12.13.10 at 9:46 pm ET
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Since Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen arrived in 2007, the Celtics have not had a legitimate challenger in the Atlantic Division. They won the division by 25 games in 2008, 21 in 2009 and while the Raptors were within 10 games last season, that said much more about the Celtics’ problems than any great surge by Toronto.

The Celtics run has neatly coincided with failed attempts at franchise building in Philadelphia and Toronto and complete overhauls in New Jersey and New York. While their opponents floundered, the Celtics took advantage, winning 47 of their 54 games against their divisional brethren.

That provided a comfortable landing space for the Celtics, who never had to worry about anything other than the Eastern Conference standings. Until now.

Finally, a challenger is emerging. The Celtics will play the Knicks Wednesday night in the most anticipated matchup in years at fabled Madison Square Garden. This is easily the biggest division game the Celtics have played since 2007, which is admittedly not saying much, but in a season that stretches as long as the NBA does you take your red-letter dates where you can find them.

Unlike other big games at the Garden in recent years this one has nothing to do with the future and everything to do with the present. While the Celtics have won 10 straight games, just like they did last year at this point in the season, all eyes are on New York.

The Knicks are the talk of the basketball world again, having won eight straight games to improve to 13-1 in their last 14 games. This comes after a dreadful 3-8 start that had many questioning, among other things, Mike D’Antoni’s system, Ray Felton’s ability to run said system and whether Isiah Thomas would make a triumphantly catastrophic return to New York at some point.

Things have changed. Felton is being hailed as the best Knicks point guard since Mark Jackson and MVP chants are raining down on Amar’e Stoudemire, who set a franchise record by scoring over 30 points in each of the last eight games. For his part, Thomas has faded blissfully into the background.

Of course, this being New York, a good deal of the attention has been consumed by someone not on the current roster, namely Carmelo Anthony, who more or less made it clear that he only wants to be traded to New York. (Whether or not he is in control of the process is another matter.)

After waiting patiently to build a proper roster, the Knicks are once again faced with a choice: Go for broke or give this team a chance. All of that makes for hot and heavy rumors, but until the day Anthony actually arrives – if he ever does – the Knicks are once again relevant for basketball reasons.

Here are five things to know about the Knicks: Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Amare Stoudemire, Celtics, Knicks, Ray Felton Print  |  Email  |  Bark It Up!  |  Digg It
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