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June 23, 2015

Sixers notes: Trade rumors & possible trouble with Players Association

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With only two more days until the draft, there has been plenty of news and speculation surrounding the Sixers in the past 24 hours. Without any further ado, let’s get caught up on the busy day.

Celtics reportedly propose LOL-worthy trade

From Brad Turner of the L.A. Times:

League executives also said the Celtics were trying to move up in the draft, using their two first-round picks and two second-round picks as bait.

The executives said the Celtics were looking to trade point guard Marcus Smart and the Nos. 16 and 28 picks in the first round to Philadelphia for center/forward Nerlens Noel and the No. 3 pick. But the 76ers, the executives said, weren't interested.

Executives said teams with multiple picks are trying to trade some of them and move up in the draft. The 76ers, for instance, have six draft picks — one in the first round and five in the second round, Nos. 35, 37, 47, 58 and 60 — and may look to package some of those or even sell a few of them.

Just as with Ruben Amaro, I don’t want to place too much stock into a rumor. We don’t know who supplied this information, if they had an agenda, if it was even a formal offer, etc. That being said, if Ainge actually wanted to swap a slightly worse second-year player, a mid first-rounder, and late first-rounder for a better second-year player and the third pick in the draft, here is an reimagining of Sam Hinkie’s response:

Sixers try to move into the first round

This time, it’s the Sixers reportedly trying to move up, although this one is slightly more in the realm of possibility than the proposed Boston trade. Here’s what Basketball Insiders’ Alex Kennedy is hearing:

If I were Portland, I’m not sure I would pull the trigger on that one unless getting out of a guaranteed first-round contract was a major priority. Such a deal might hinge on the “and possibly more” part. There are players projected to be selected in 20-25 range like local product Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Georgia State shooter R.J. Hunter that I do like quite a bit.

NBAPA researching Sixers for possible violations of the CBA

Sam Hinkie always talks about trying to gain a small edge with every move he makes, but RealGM’s Shams Charania is reporting that the NBA players could possibly be looking to fight back:

It’s an interesting line that the Sixers walk: Everything they’ve done is legal to our knowledge, but something like picking up Thomas Robinson and JaVale McGee late in the game to reach the salary floor but save money in the process definitely isn’t winning them many fans among the players/agents.

Whether that specific series of transactions is exactly what the NBAPA is pinpointing and trying to investigate, I’m not sure. The fact that there’s reasonable doubt as to what it is does show how the Sixers are consistently walking that line. Nobody said gaining a small edge was going to come easy.

D’Angelo or bust?

From Ken Berger of CBS Sports:

League sources say the Sixers want D'Angelo Russell and are willing to trade up from the No. 3 spot to get him. It would create an interesting opportunity for the Lakers, who could still get Jahlil Okafor and extract a future pick in the process. Among others, the Sixers control the Lakers' 2016 first-round pick, which is top-3 protected.

Berger is a really respected reporter, but like all draft rumors concerning the Sixers, it could be true and it could be false. I just gotta get those pageviews, son.

Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann