Archive for the ‘ NBA Draft Blog ’ Category

sacramento kings

From owner to general manager to coach, no other NBA management team has had as little time to prepare for the draft this year as the Sacramento Kings.

The Kings have had so much turmoil and turnover since the season ended that focusing on the future has been an ever-present process of acceleration. The uncertainty that clouded the franchise for so long hit its peak May 21, when Keith Smart represented the Kings at the draft lottery at the request of the Maloof family.

Smart has since been fired as coach and replaced by Mike Malone. Pete D’Alessandro took over as general manager for Geoff Petrie last week. And new owner Vivek Ranadive has wiped away just about every memory of the Maloofs inside Sacramento’s suburban arena as part of the franchise’s ”new era.”

The Kings can begin adding to that next chapter on the court come Thursday night, when they have the seventh and 36th overall picks in the draft.

”I see real potential in this draft,” D’Alessandro said.

Reported by Antonio Gonzalez of the Associated Press

Trail Blazers

The Portland Trail Blazers hope to strike gold for a second consecutive year during Thursday night’s draft.

A year ago, Portland used the No. 6 pick to select Weber State guard Damian Lillard, who became the NBA’s Rookie of the Year. The Blazers pick at No. 10 this year.

What Blazers management has thought about this year’s draft in recent weeks is anyone’s guess. Portland general manager Neil Olshey and coach Terry Stotts haven’t spoken to the media since the team’s first individual draft workouts in late May. But Olshey has often said the team’s preference is to take the best available player over need.

The Blazers’ needs include a defensive-oriented post player and depth. During a season in which Portland went 33-49, starters LaMarcus Aldridge, Nicolas Batum and Lillard ranked among the NBA’s top 10 in minutes played because of a thin bench.

Though some have tabbed this year’s draft as weak to average, the Blazers believe there are players available who can improve their roster.

Reported by the Associated Press

phoenix suns

The Phoenix Suns won’t have any problem drafting to meet a need. They have needs everywhere.

New general manager Ryan McDonough and new coach Jeff Hornacek brought in 74 players in preparation for their first draft.

With the exception of a few who were exempt due to injuries, the players went through strenuous workouts, usually in a 3-on-3 situation. Two of the players, shooting guard Ben McLemore and point guard Trey Burke, worked out individually at the insistence of their agents.

”You only draft 60,” McDonough said, ‘’so if nothing else, I guess we’re thorough.”

With a roster that compiled the second-worst record in franchise history, just about anybody they pick at No. 5 will help.

Reported by Bob Baum of the Associated Press

Once again, the Cavaliers are facing a major summer ”decision.”

The last one was hard to accept. This one is difficult to make.

And while it doesn’t quite stack up with LeBron James’ infamous announcement that he was bolting from home three years ago and leaving Cleveland heartbroken and short of a title, the Cavs are faced with the challenge of picking another top-flight player to get them back to respectability.

For the second time in three years and third time over the past decade, the Cavaliers hold the No. 1 overall draft pick.

This year, it’s both a blessing and burden.

With no player emerging as the consensus first choice, the Cavs, who also own the No. 19 pick and two second-round selections (Nos. 31 and 33) have spent the past month doing their due diligence by meeting with players, assessing their needs and weighing their many options.

They’ve discussed several trades to rid themselves of the top pick, move down and acquire veterans for one of the league’s youngest teams…

Kentucky center Nerlens Noel, Maryland center Alex Len, Kansas shooting guard Ben McLemore, Georgetown forward Otto Porter Jr., UNLV power forward Anthony Bennett and Indiana guard Victor Oladipo are all in the mix and under consideration by the Cavs, who went 24-58 last season, finished 25 1-2 games out of first place and haven’t sniffed the postseason since James left.

Reported by Tom Withers of the Associated Press

The Wizards latest workout session with NBA Draft hopefuls doubled as a nightmarish trip down memory lane for fans of the Maryland and Georgetown men’s basketball programs. If former Michigan State guard Korie Lucious or Ohio’s all-time assists leader D.J. Cooper start their pro careers in Washington, perhaps they can make it up to those crossover supporters by serving key backup minutes behind John Wall.

The engaging Lucious, who played his senior season at Iowa State, extended a playful olive branch after the lengthy workout and speaking with Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld and head coach Randy Wittman. Told that some locals might not be happy with him, the solidly built 5-foot-11 senior immediately knew the cause.

“Ah, the Maryland shot,” said Lucious, his smile expanding while thinking back to March 21, 2010. As a sophomore, his buzzer-beating 3-pointer from the top of the key pushed Michigan State past the Terps and into the round of 16.

Reported by Ben Standing of CSN Washington

Nemanja Nedovic got his first taste of the NBA on Friday, and it came on the Milwaukee Bucks’ practice floor at the Cousins Center.

The 6-foot-4 Serbian guard was part of a draft workout that also included former Marquette guard Vander Blue and four others, including Serbian center Dejan Musli.

Nedovic is an athletic guard who is projected to be selected somewhere in the second round of Thursday’s NBA draft.

“Since it was my first workout, my first time in the States, it was very exciting,” Nedovic said.

He said his arrival in the U.S. was delayed about a week after he suffered an ankle injury in the adidas EuroCamp in Italy. He returned to Belgrade for some treatment before making the trip to the U.S.

Reported by Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Bucks director of scouting Billy McKinney recently said the team is looking for wing players with shooting ability.

And two of the top draft prospects fitting that description will work out for the Bucks on Saturday at the Cousins Center: 6-foot-6 Georgia sophomore Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Providence’s Ricky Ledo.

Also included in the workout session are Southern Mississippi shooting guard Dwayne Davis, Florida State shooting guard Michael Snaer and Oklahoma power forward Amath M’Baye. Minnesota’s Rodney Williams was a late scratch and replaced by Milwaukee native Tyrone Gordon, a guard who played at Dakota State.

The Bucks may have to trade up if they want to grab Caldwell-Pope, who has impressed in other team workouts and at the league’s draft combine in May. The Minnesota Timberwolves, with the No. 9 pick, and Portland Trail Blazers, drafting No. 10, both are thought to have serious interest in Caldwell-Pope.

Reported by Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Ricky Ledo says he can help Knicks

Ricky Ledo, one of the top recruits out of high school a year ago, spent all of last season at Providence unable to play because of eligibility issues with the NCAA. So, in order to show off his skills, Ledo has been doing somewhat of a barnstorming tour around the NBA’s practice facilities this spring, as curious teams see what the 6-foot-6 shooting guard can do.

“I just [want to] show them that I belong and that I am more than capable of playing at this level,” Ledo said yesterday after working out for the Knicks at their practice facility. “Especially with me not playing [last season], showing I can compete and hold my own against anyone.” …

Ledo said he thinks if he winds up in New York, he immediately will be able to give the Knicks help as a shooter off the bench — with a chance to develop into more than that.

Reported by Tim Bontemps of the New York Post

The Trail Blazers on Friday continued their predraft workouts, evaluating six more players at the practice facility in Tualatin.

The group of prospects included multiple players with NBA bloodlines (Glen Rice, Jr., a 6-foot-5 guard from the D-League and Larry Drew II, a 6-2 guard from UCLA) and another with ties to Oregon (E.J. Singler, a 6-6 forward from Oregon). The rest of the workout included: Ian Clark, a 6-3 guard from Belmont; Ed Daniel, a 6-7 forward from Murray State; and Trevor Mbakwe, a 6-8 forward from Minnesota.

Reported by Joe Freeman of The Oregonian

There are no guarantees for draft prospects auditioning with the Milwaukee Bucks.


Bucks director of scouting Billy McKinney said Wednesday it’s not a tactic the team has used.

Some NBA teams do offer guarantees to players that they will be picked at a certain position in the draft. The thinking behind that is to prevent a player from working out for other teams before the draft, while also providing the player and his agent certainty of a draft floor.

But the negative side is a guarantee can severely limit a team’s flexibility on draft night.

“We haven’t done it,” McKinney said. “In fact, a couple years ago when Larry Sanders came in and worked out, somebody thought we had given Larry a guarantee.

“I talked about it after the workout that we hadn’t guaranteed Larry, and we didn’t guarantee Brandon (Jennings), either.”

Reported by Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

The Magic won the second overall pick in the June 27 draft.

If the Cleveland Cavaliers use the first pick to select University of Kentucky center Nerlens Noel, then the Magic would be able to pick McLemore, whom many experts regard as the best shooter in the draft and one of the top overall prospects in the draft.

“The Orlando Magic, I think that’s a great program,” McLemore said. “I think I could fit perfectly in that system and that organization and help that team in different kinds of ways.”

On May 16, McLemore met with Magic GM Rob Hennigan, assistant GMs Scott Perry and Matt Lloyd and coach Jacque Vaughn during the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago.

That 30-minute session served as a get-to-know-you meeting.

McLemore said he “can’t wait” to visit Orlando, work out individually for the Magic and have additional conversations with Magic officials.

Reported by Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel

The next phase of the Trail Blazers’ 2013 offseason begins on Thursday, when the team hosts its first predraft workout in preparation for the NBA Draft.

Blazers GM Neil Olshey does not release the name’s of predraft visitors until shortly before workouts open to the media, so it’s unclear who the visitors will be or how many prospects will be roaming the practice facility in Tualatin. But it’s an important day, nonetheless.

NBA front offices place significant value on predraft workouts. Sure, Olshey and his staff have evaluated many of these players extensively for nearly a year. In some cases, they’ve been monitoring the players since they were in high school. But bringing them to Portland allows the Blazers’ brass to put them through tailor-made workouts and to test their athleticism and basketball ability in a variety of ways.

Reported by Joe Freeman of the Oregonian

For Trey Burke, the wait is officially on.

The NBA draft combine has ended, the lottery ping pong balls have been sorted and there’s more than a month between today and the 2013 draft (June 27).

And now, he’ll wait to see where the next chapter of his life will begin.

The former Michigan point guard has yet to formally work out for any NBA teams yet, and as of now, he says he’s only got one formal individual session scheduled — with the Orlando Magic, who hold the No. 2 pick in the draft.

Asked if he’ll go through any type of workout in front of the Detroit Pistons — who hold the No. 8 pick — Burke said he’s not sure.

Reported by Nick Baumgardner of Michigan Live

The Wolves’ most glaring need is shooting guard, so they’ll take a shooting guard, right?

Not so fast.

Oh, the Wolves will have their options, even after the top shooting guards — Kansas’ Ben McLemore and Indiana’s Victor Oladipo — go top  5 probably.

They could choose Lehigh’s C.J. McCollum, who’s a great shooter but is point-guard sized at 6-3, or Georgia’s Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who would fill Wolves need for both shooters and real 2-guard size.

But don’t be surprised if the Wolves end up going for a shotblocker — Maryland center Alex Len if he drops that far, or maybe 7-2 French center Rudy Gobert — for a team that lacks a rim defender.

The Wolves could go that route if they think they can add a veteran shooting guard through a trade (Boston’s Courtney Lee perhaps?) or free agency (J.J. Redick, O.J. Mayo and Kyle Korver all will be on the market, but can the Wolves afford any of the three).

Reported by Jerry Zgoda of the Minneapolis Star Tribune (Blog)

The Pistons are content with their young big men — third-year power forward Greg Monroe and rookie center Andre Drummond, who will represent the Pistons on stage tonight when the TV lights pop on at Times Square Studios.

So whom would the Pistons select if Drummond provides the luck needed to parlay a 3.6% chance into the No. 1 pick when the draft is held June 27?

Teams looking for perimeter help — like the Pistons — might turn to Kansas shooting guard Ben McLemore.

McLemore, 20, who spoke to reporters at the NBA predraft combine last week, knows he is close to realizing a lifelong dream.

– Reported by Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press

sacramento kings

In the last six lotteries, the Kings never improved their selection.

They had the worst record in 2008-09 but ended up with the worst possible pick, No. 4.

“You certainly can’t say the gods of chance have been smiling on us in that regard,” Petrie said.

The Kings had the fifth-worst record in 2011-12 and stayed in the fifth spot. That pick was used on Kansas forward Thomas Robinson, who was traded to Houston in February.

This year’s draft is considered to be lacking in potential superstars.

– Reported by Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee

Pat Williams is pretty good at being lucky, and he’s got a hunch.

”I got a funny feeling that this could be another Magic year, here. For some reason, I’ve just got the feel,” Williams said.

Orlando sure could use it.

Following a difficult first season after trading Dwight Howard, the Magic are hoping Williams can bring them more lottery luck.

Armed with the best odds and their three-time winner back on stage, the Magic will try to jump-start the rebuilding process Tuesday night by landing the rights to the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft.

Williams has won four times, including victories in 1992, ‘93 and 2004 with the Magic. They used the most recent one to draft Howard, and no team since has entered with the best odds and won the lottery.

The Magic were back in the lottery the next two years but were busy playing in the postseason every spring since until this one, when they finished an NBA-worst 20-62 after sending Howard to the Los Angeles Lakers last August in a four-team deal.

That gives them a 25 percent chance at winning the rights to choose first in a draft that appears uncertain. Kentucky freshman Nerlens Noel is considered the top choice, though he could miss the first two months of the season while recovering from a torn ACL.

– Reported by Brian Mahoney of the Associated Press

Ties broken for 2013 NBA Draft order

Four ties among teams that finished the 2012-13 NBA regular season with identical records were broken today through random drawings to help determine the order of selection for the 2013 NBA Draft, which will be held on Thursday, June 27.

The drawings were conducted earlier today in New York City by Jason Cahilly, NBA executive vice president, strategy and chief financial officer, and Dan Rube, NBA senior vice president and deputy general counsel. The tiebreaker process was overseen by Denise Pelli, a partner in the accounting firm of Ernst & Young.

The results of the drawings:

• Detroit (29-53) won a tiebreaker with Washington.

• Philadelphia (34-48) won a tiebreaker with Toronto.

• Houston (45-37) won a tiebreaker with Chicago and the L.A. Lakers; the Lakers then won a tiebreaker with Chicago.

• L.A. Clippers (56-26) won a tiebreaker with Memphis.

2013 NBA Draft Lottery info, date, time

The 2013 NBA Draft Lottery will be held at the Disney/ABC’s Times Square Studios in New York on Tuesday, May 21, and will be televised on ESPN at 8:25 p.m. EDT.

The 2013 NBA Draft Lottery will determine the order of selection for the first 14 picks of the 2013 NBA Draft, which will be held at Barclays Center, the home of the Brooklyn Nets, on June 27 at 7 p.m.

The NBA Draft Lottery’s origins trace back to June 1984, when at an NBA Board of Governors meeting in Salt Lake City, the league voted to adopt a lottery system among the non playoff teams to determine the order of selection in the first round of the NBA Draft beginning in 1985. This year will mark the tenth time in the event’s 29-year history that it is conducted in New York City.

The inaugural lottery was held on May 12, 1985 at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, but from 1994 until last year, the event had been held at the NBA Entertainment Studios in Secaucus, N.J. however the league’s facilities in New Jersey no longer house a television studio.

(Chances of winning the No. 1 overall pick)

1) Orlando Magic: 25%
2) Charlotte Bobcats: 19.9%
3) Cleveland Cavaliers: 15.6%
4) Phoenix Suns: 11.9%
5) New Orleans Pelicans: 8.8%
6) Sacramento Kings: 6.3%
7) Detroit Pistons: 3.6%
8) Washington Wizards: 3.5%
9) Minnesota Timberwolves: 1.7%
10) Portland Trail Blazers: 1.0%
11) Philadelphia 76ers: 0.8%
12) Toronto Raptors: 0.7%
13) Dallas Mavericks: 0.6%
14) Utah Jazz: 0.5% will provide full previews, coverage and recaps of all aspects of the 2013 NBA Draft

Not many were calling Victor Oladipo a potential top-10 draft pick when he was a freshman defensive specialist at Indiana.

The general consensus was that he had to improve offensively to be considered an NBA prospect.

Guess NBA teams already have an idea of Oladipo’s work ethic.

Flash-forward two basketball seasons. It will stun analysts if Oladipo doesn’t hear his name called among the top-10 players during the NBA draft June 27.

Oladipo talked about his meteoric rise over the past two days at the NBA predraft combine and even he has a hard time believing his good fortune.

“I remember back a couple of months ago I wasn’t getting any attention, a couple of years ago I wasn’t getting any attention so it’s all kind of surreal for me every time,” Oladipo said at the Attack Athletics gym. “It just drives me. I know what it feels like to be at the bottom and be overlooked and every thing like that. I’m just going to use the experience to keep working hard and staying in the gym.”

– Reported by Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press

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