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The scuttle has now reached fever pitch. The lies? Reaching extraordinary proportion. By now the Clippers have traded their lottery picks 12 different times to 12 different teams. By the time they select at No. 12, we're getting a sneaking suspicion that we may not know anything more than we know now.

The biggest rumors Monday night were all cued up in Cleveland.

Andre Miller to the Clipps? The talk has been floating around for two months, but conventional wisdom said, if the Clipps can't afford to pay Michael Olowokandi, Elton Brand and Lamar Odom . . . how do they afford that max contract extension that Miller is looking for?

As with most things associated with the Clipps, conventional wisdom looks dead wrong. News that the Clippers approached the Hornets about a Baron Davis trade took everyone off guard. Now, a source inside the Clippers told the L.A. Times that they're engaging in talks with the Cavs about Miller.

The deal would apparently send Corey Maggette, the No. 8 and the No. 12 to Cleveland in return for Miller. Another variation that's much less likely has the Cavs sending the No. 6 and Miller to L.A. for Darius Miles, the No. 8 and the No. 12. The Cavs have also inquired about the availability of Lamar Odom, but GM Elgin Baylor told the L.A. Times that they wouldn't trade either Odom or Michael Olowokandi.

"You can't believe everything you read," Baylor said. "There's nothing to it. We're talking to teams. We're listening to teams. None of the teams above us [in the draft order] are willing to move down.... We have not talked to any team [about Odom]. Any team that's asked about Lamar we've told, 'We're not trading Lamar.' We have not called any other team and asked about trading Lamar.... We don't want to move Michael."

Miller told the Akron Beacon Journal that there is a 50 percent chance that he'll be traded on draft night. "It's something that could happen," he said. "That's between my agent [Lon Babby], the coaches and [Cavs general manager] Jim Paxson to decide. Whatever happens, it's out of my hands."

Cavs coach John Lucas confirmed the trade talk. "People have called, but Andre's our best player," Lucas said. "You have to listen. But at this point there are 9,000 trades out there. You listen and you learn and you keep moving."

Lucas said it would take "something crazy" for Miller to be dealt. Lucas said the Cavs have received no attractive offers, but "you never know what happens."

A trade that would give the Cavs three lottery picks in a deep draft may be too good to pass up. With the Nos. 6, 8 and 12, the Cavs could likely add Caron Butler, Dajuan Wagner and Amare Stoudemire. Factor in young players like Maggette, Ricky Davis and DeSagana Diop, and the building blocks might finally be in place for an interesting team down the road. . .

Unless the Cavs decide to keep Miller and add another All-Star player now. Several sources told Insider Monday that the Cavs were also talking about a deal that would send the No. 6 pick, Tyrone Hill and perhaps Lamond Murray to the Bucks in return for Glenn Robinson, Anthony Mason and the No. 13 pick.

Robinson and Mason would give the Cavs the veteran fire power they need to surround Miller. The Bucks would get a player they covet at No. 6 (either Nikoloz Tskitishivili or Nene Hilario), free up playing time for Tim Thomas and get cap relief next summer when Hill's $6.6 million contract comes off the books.

Both the News Herald and the Racine Journal Times reported variations of the trade in Tuesday's editions.

Lucas seemed to confirm the information Monday afternoon in a Cleveland.com chat when he told fans that "there's a chance we could move Tyrone." He also said forward Lamond Murray "have some value" in a possible trade.

As for the Clippers, they continue to mystify folks around the league. Has Donald Sterling lost his mind, or is he finally ready open his wallet and put together a powerhouse in L.A.? Maybe Jerry West knew something we didn't when he decided to get out of town.

If the Clippers aren't involved in some sort of cruel practical joke, it looks like they'd be willing to pay three max deals this year (Miller, Brand, Olowokandi), and a couple of pretty big ones next season (Odom, Miles, and Quentin Richardson).

One question several observers have is why the Clippers are so obsessed with a point guard when Marko Jaric, perhaps the top point guard in Europe, is set to play for the Clippers this year.

Coach Alvin Gentry said the team is just interested in stockpiling talent. We'll pause why you pick yourself off the floor. "What we want to get [are] good players," Gentry said. "We'll take veteran players if they're good players. We want to add talent. We're not in the market to get a player just because he's a veteran. Hopefully, we draft a good player and he has to earn his way into the lineup. He's going to have a tough time playing ahead of guys who were here last year."
 
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