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NBA Draft Rumors: Charlotte Trying To Trade Down Before Taking Thomas Robinson

At this stage in the process, the top of the NBA draft is a bit like a poker game, as each team tries to maximize their return and keep the others guessing as to what exactly is in their hand.

The Charlotte Bobcats, at No. 2, desperately need to add as many assets as possible, which is why they've been trying to trade down.

As ESPN Insider Chad Ford explains in his latest mock draft, Charlotte is locked in a high-stakes negotiation with the Washington Wizards at No. 3 and the Cleveland Cavaliers at No. 4:

Analysis: Robinson is a bit of a placeholder right now. The Bobcats have had the major players in for workouts but are in the process of seeing whether they'd be better off trading this pick. As we've reported the past three weeks, they're looking for multiple young assets in return.

The most likely scenario has the Bobcats swapping the No. 2 pick with Cleveland for the No. 4 pick and either pick No. 24 or picks 33 and 34. Obviously, the Bobcats would prefer the 24th pick, but the Cavs would prefer to hold on to it. Although the Cavs aren't the only team in play for the pick, they have the most realistic scenario right now and likely would take Bradley Beal at No. 2. If the Bobcats end up keeping the pick, it sounds as though Robinson has a slight edge.

Washington showed their hand when they made the deal for Trevor Ariza and Emeka Okafor, leaving shooting guard as their main position of need. That, in turn, means that if Cleveland wants Florida SG Bradley Beal, they'll likely need to jump the Wizards and move up to No. 2.

For the Bobcats, the best-case scenario is receiving Cleveland's No. 24 pick for dropping two spots and taking the player they want all along (Robinson), but they may be able to bluff Washington into giving up a high second round pick to get the player they want.

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