Archive for the ‘ NBA Draft Blog ’ Category

Elfrid Payton could interest the Magic

Here’s the Orlando Sentinel reporting on the Magic:

When Elfrid Payton entered his senior year at John Ehret High School outside New Orleans, he wasn’t even the most highly regarded guard on the varsity basketball team.

Payton was only 16 years old, and he looked more like a junior-high student than a potential Division I recruit. He measured 6-feet-1 and only 145 pounds. Indeed, most recruiters focused instead on his backcourt mate, a player named O.C. Tart.

But Tart got into trouble midway through the 2010-11 season, and Tart’s suspension forced Payton to play a bigger role. Payton led Ehret to the state semifinals, and his play netted him a scholarship offer from Louisiana-Lafayette.

These days, Payton ranks as one of the better point-guard prospects in the 2014 NBA Draft, and he could entice the Orlando Magic when the team makes its second pick of the first round, at 12th overall.

Joel Embiid has surgery on right foot

Top prospect Joel Embiid had surgery on the stress fracture in his right foot Friday, and now he waits.

He waits to see how far he falls in the NBA draft Thursday night. He waits to see how long it will be before he can hit the court again. He waits to see how he responds to an injury that has a history of giving NBA big men problems.

The Kansas center, who was in the running to be taken No. 1 overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers, had two screws inserted into the navicular bone in his right foot at Southern California Orthopedic Institute, according to a release distributed by agent Arn Tellem.

– Associated Press

Video: Jabari Parker profile

Get to know high-ranking 2014 NBA draft prospect Jabari Parker a little bit better:

Here’s the Salt Lake Tribune reporting on the Utah Jazz:

The Utah Jazz roster is one of the youngest in the NBA, and one of the least experienced in the league. Indeed, the Jazz have pinned their future to a core of five young players. And of that quintet, only Gordon Hayward is approaching the age of 25.

But despite the youth — and the lumps this team took last season — General Manager Dennis Lindsey loves the balance of the group. There’s a developmental guy at every position. There are vastly varying skill sets with the younger players, and that lends hope to fans that would like to see a proud franchise return back to its winning ways.

The makeup of the team also has helped with the upcoming NBA Draft. If there’s a team in the top five that can truly focus on picking the best player available — instead of need — it’s the Utah Jazz. And from the beginning of the process, that’s been the mantra of Lindsey, his right hand Justin Zanik and player development guru Walt Perrin.

None of that has philosophy has changed with the hiring of new head coach Quin Snyder. In fact, it helps in terms of continuity that Snyder and Lindsey feel the same on many player personnel issues. But the overall mission of the draft has stayed consistent with Snyder on board: On Thursday night, the Utah Jazz want to pick the best player on the board at No. 5. Even if that best player has a few warts.

Here’s the Philadelphia Daily News reporting on the 2014 Draft, which is this coming Thursday, June 26:

It was announced yesterday that Embiid, projected by many as the top pick in next Thursday’s draft and at least one of the top three, suffered a stress fracture in his right foot and will have surgery today. He was already a question mark going into the offseason after missing the last six games at Kansas with a stress fracture in his back, though he seemed to be healed from that injury, judging by recent workouts. The foot injury has major implications for the Sixers with the third pick, whether they were interested in taking the 7-foot, 250-pound center or not.

Before the news of Embiid’s injury, the top three picks were just about rock solid among Embiid, Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker. Now, who knows?

Earlier this week the Sixers had Wiggins in for 3 days for meetings and a workout. That is a significant amount of time to host a player, and speculation could be correct that he is their main target. When Embiid was healthy, many mock drafts had Wiggins still available to the Sixers at No. 3. But now with the center probably out for a good portion of the season, it wouldn’t be a stretch to believe that Wiggins and Parker will go in the top two slots to Cleveland and Milwaukee. If the Sixers truly are enamored with Wiggins, they probably will have to do some dealing to ensure that they get him. That could mean moving the third pick and perhaps some other pieces to get a swap with either the Cavaliers or the Bucks. The Sixers, of course, also have the 10th pick and five second-rounders at their disposal, so if there is any team that is primed to move, it’s them.

Knicks hope to land a 2014 draft pick

Here’s the New York Post reporting on the Knicks, who currently have no pick in the upcoming 2014 NBA Draft:

Knicks hope to land a 2014 draft pick

The Knicks and Oklahoma City could be linked by more than Derek Fisher’s coaching future.

As Fisher mulls his next career step, the Thunder are looking at trading at least one of their late first-round picks, and Knicks president Phil Jackson said he’s looking to obtain a pick for either round of the NBA Draft. The Post reported at February’s trade deadline Oklahoma City made an offer for Iman Shumpert, but the Knicks passed. ESPN.com reported the Thunder offered their 29th pick.

That was before Jackson came aboard, and talks surely will be staged between the two clubs. The Nets are also trying to obtain a late first-round or second-round pick, according to general manager Billy King.

Oklahoma City has the 21st and 29th picks.

The Philadelphia 76ers today announced that for the first time, 76 Sixers Draft parties will take place the day of the NBA Draft on Thursday, June 26. Fans throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware can gather at 76 locations to watch the Draft, win tickets, prizes and other giveaways, and mingle with local Sixers fans.

For the first time since 1984, the Sixers will have two top-10 draft picks at Nos. 3 and 10, along with five second-round picks (Nos. 32, 39, 47, 52 and 54 overall).

“We will have an unprecedented 76 Sixers Draft parties to match the size and scope of what this night means to our organization, and especially to our fans,” said Sixers Chief Marketing & Innovation Officer Tim McDermott. “We look forward to seeing our future unfold on June 26 as we gather together to watch and celebrate the Draft.”

P.J. Hairston to work out for Sixers

Here’s the Philadelphia Daily News reporting on the Sixers:

Former North Carolina shooting guard and Texas Legends (NBA D-League) player P.J. Hairston will work out for the Sixers on June 11, his agent, Juan Murrow, confirmed last night.

The franchise has seven picks in the NBA draft, scheduled for June 26 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The Sixers have the third and 10th picks in the first round, and five second-round picks – Nos. 32, 39, 47, 52 and 54.

He is projected to be a late first-round pick.

Video: Marcus Smart pre-draft workout

Here is video footage of Oklahoma State guard Marcus Smart as he works out for the 2014 NBA Draft. Smart averaged 18.0 points, 5.9 rebounds, 4.8 asssists and 2.9 steals per game in what was his final college season.

Here are video highlights from the 2014 NBA Draft Lottery in New York City:

Here’s the Toronto Sun with an update on a talented young basketball player:

Canadian point guard Tyler Ennis is leaving Syracuse to enter the NBA draft.

“I’d like to thank Coach (Jim) Boeheim, the coaching staff, my teammates and the amazing fans of Syracuse for the opportunity to play at a great university like Syracuse,” said Ennis, a Brampton native, in a statement Thursday afternoon.

“I feel this experience has helped prepare me to fulfill my lifelong dream — to play in the NBA.”

Ennis, expected to be taken somewhere in the mid-late lottery, averaged 12.9 points, 5.5 assists and 3.4 rebounds in his freshman season, which ended abruptly with a loss to Dayton early in the NCAA tournament in Buffalo.

Here’s Yahoo Sports reporting that a top 2014 NBA Draft prospect is likely going pro:

Kansas star Joel Embiid – a possible No. 1 overall choice – has decided to enter the June NBA draft, sources told Yahoo Sports.

Embiid, a 20-year-old, 7-foot freshman, rapidly emerged as one of college basketball’s major talents and moved into competition with Jayhawks teammate Andrew Wiggins and Duke’s Jabari Parker to be the No. 1 pick in the 2014 draft.

Wiggins has been consistent in saying he’ll only play one year of college basketball, and Parker says he still is deciding whether he’ll enter the draft.

A formal announcement on Embiid’s decision is expected soon.

Sixers are looking for draft picks

The Philadelphia 76ers are rebuilding. And want draft picks. Here’s the Philadelphia Inquirer reporting:

The 76ers’ focus in the days leading up to Thursday’s NBA trade deadline is acquiring draft picks, according to an Eastern Conference executive.

The franchise wants to gain future compensation in exchange for Evan Turner, Spencer Hawes, and Thaddeus Young, said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity. With the most cap space in the league and an open roster spot, the Sixers will consider acquiring an expiring contract from a team looking to dump a salary. But that most likely will also involve receiving a draft pick.

As a result, the 76ers are believed to be the most active team in trade talks leading up to the deadline. The Sixers have had discussions with all 29 other NBA franchises.

Here is ESPN.com News Services reporting on the Houston Rockets and failed draft pick Royce White:

royce white

Royce White is the NBA draft’s “worst first-round pick ever,” according to the man who picked him.

Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey selected White with the 16th overall pick in the 2012 draft, but White has yet to appear in an NBA game.

“I take some sort of pride in that you could argue that Royce White is the worst first-round pick ever,” Morey said in a Q&A discussion with Houston season ticketholders, according to the ClutchFans.net blog.

White, who is 6-foot-8, has struggled with an acknowledged anxiety disorder that would make it a challenge for him to play a full NBA season.

The Cleveland Cavaliers announced today that the team has signed all of their 2013 NBA Draft picks, Anthony Bennett, Sergey Karasev and Carrick Felix, to contracts.

Bennett (6-8, 240, forward) was the first overall pick in the June draft and first-ever Canadian selected #1 in the history of the NBA. An early entry candidate from the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV), Bennett starred for Canada’s junior national teams and was the Mountain West Conference Freshman of the Year.

Karasev (6-7, 203, guard/forward) was selected 19th overall and led Russia to the Gold Medal in the World University Games in Kazan, Russia.

Felix (6-6, 210, guard/forward) was the third pick of the second round (33rd overall) following a senior season at Arizona State that earned him second-team All-Pac 12 honors and a spot on the Pac 12 All-Defensive team.

By setting themselves up to struggle (understatement) in the upcoming season, the Sixers are clearly looking ahead to the 2014 NBA draft, which by all accounts, is going to be one of the strongest in recent memory.

Finishing next season outside of playoff positioning, which is likely the case, will land the Sixers a lottery pick. The draft day deal that sent Jrue Holiday to New Orleans landed them another one - as long as the Pelicans don’t make the playoffs and the pick falls out of the top five.

These picks, along with future free agent acquisitions and a couple of carry-overs from the current roster, most likely rookies Michael Carter-Williams and Nerlens Noel, are supposedly going to form the foundation of the franchise going forward.

It sure seems that the 2014 draft, which has become known as the “Andrew Wiggins Sweepstakes” to many, will be very important to the future of the franchise.

Unlike last June’s draft, where the top pick remained unknown until seconds before the selection, Wiggins is already the consensus first-overall selection. His size, athleticism and offensive ability have franchises foaming, as the kid has surefire superstar written all over him.

Reported by Michael Kaskey-Blomain of Philly.com

Mavs get their man in Shane Larkin

To hear the Dallas Mavericks say it, Shane Larkin is real close to being the second coming of JJ Barea.

Following a whirlwind day Thursday during the NBA Draft, the Mavs pat themselves on the back after they wound up with Miami Hurricanes point guard Shane Larkin. The same Larkin whose father, Barry, is in the Pro Baseball Hall of Fame.

The same Larkin who averaged 14.5 points and 4.6 assists while collecting ACC Player of the Year honors this past season. Larkin also was the ACC Tournament Most Valuable Player and a second-team All-American while leading the Hurricanes to the NCAA Sweet 16 and staking his claim as being one of the country’s best point guards.

“One of the things that’s really unique about him is from an analytic standpoint he’s one of the best guys we’ve seen coming out of college shooting off the dribble,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “And he can also get to places and get other guys involved, so I just think he’s good and he’s going to get better.”

Reported by Dwain Price of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Blog)

Anthony Bennett wasn’t really all that interested in playing basketball. Yeah, it was cool dunking on guys, and a great way to make new friends after moving from Toronto to the city’s suburbs.

Then, he decided to get serious about six or seven years ago.

His future was calling.

”I just started growing,” Bennett said, flashing a smile while talking about his unique path to the NBA. ”And everyone said, ‘You should probably play basketball.’ So I said, ‘All right. I’ll give it a shot.’ Look where it got me now.”

Look indeed.

Bennett was formally introduced Friday by the Cleveland Cavaliers, who shocked the draft by selecting the UNLV power forward with the No. 1 overall pick on Thursday night.

Although he wasn’t regarded by many draft experts as the best player available, Bennett was always at the top of Cleveland’s board. They scouted the 6-foot-7, 240-pounder extensively all season, fell in love with his game and after getting rave reviews about his character, chose him over Kentucky center Nerlens Noel, Kansas guard Ben McLemore, Georgetown forward Otto Porter Jr. in a flawed draft.

Reported by Tom Withers of the Associated Press

The Philadelphia 76ers announced today that they acquired the draft rights to forward Arsalan Kazemi (pronounced “are-suh-lahn kah-ZEE-me”) as part of a series of trades made during the second round of the 2013 NBA Draft, which took place last night.  Kazemi was selected 54th in the NBA Draft, becoming the first Iranian player drafted into the NBA.

(Hamed Haddadi, the first Iranian to play in the NBA, was not drafted, and entered the league as a free agent.)

The Sixers started by trading the 35th overall pick to Washington in exchange for the 38th overall pick and the 54th overall pick, where Kazemi was eventually selected.

The Sixers then traded the 38th overall pick to Milwaukee for the 43rd overall pick and Houston’s 2014 second round pick.

The Sixers then traded the 43rd overall pick to Dallas in exchange for Brooklyn’s 2014 second round pick.

Kazemi (6-8, 226) was the first Iranian-born player to compete in NCAA Division I men’s basketball.  Phoenix’s Hamed Haddadi became the first Iranian to play in the NBA as a member of the Memphis Grizzlies in 2008.

As a senior at Oregon last season, Kazemi averaged 9.4 points, a team-high 10.0 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 2.0 steals while shooting 59.5% from the floor in 35 games played.  He earned Honorable Mention All-Pac-12 and became the first Duck ever to be named to the Pac-12 All-Defensive team.

Kazemi spent his first three seasons at Rice, averaging a double-double as both a sophomore and a junior.  For his entire collegiate career, Kazemi had nearly as many steals (225) as turnovers (232).

Summary of 2013 NBA Draft trades

Summary of 2013 NBA Draft Night Trades

The following trades took place Thursday night, the day of the 2013 NBA draft. All of these trades have been publicly announced. Review of 2013 NBA draft trades:

1) Dallas traded the draft rights to Kelly Olynyk (the 13th player selected in the 2013 NBA Draft) to Boston for the draft rights to Lucas Nogueira (the 16th player selected in the 2013 NBA Draft) and two 2014 second round picks.

2) Minnesota traded the draft rights to Trey Burke (the 9th player selected in the 2013 NBA Draft) to Utah for the draft rights to Shabazz Muhammad (the 14th player selected in the 2013 NBA Draft) and the draft rights to Gorgui Dieng (the 21st player selected in the 2013 NBA Draft).

3) Dallas traded Jared Cunningham, the draft rights to Lucas Nogueira (the 16th player selected in the 2013 NBA Draft), and the draft rights to Mike Muscala (the 44th player selected in the 2013 NBA Draft) to Atlanta for the draft rights to Shane Larkin (the 18th player selected in the 2013 NBA Draft).

4) Minnesota traded Malcolm Lee and the draft rights to André Roberson (the 26th player selected in the 2013 NBA Draft) to Golden State for a  2014 second round pick and cash.

5) Denver traded the draft rights to Rudy Gobert (the 27th player selected in the 2013 NBA Draft) to Utah for the draft rights to Erick Green (the 46th player selected in the 2013 NBA Draft) and cash.

6) Memphis traded Darrell Arthur and the draft rights to Joffrey Lauvergne (the 55th player selected in the 2013 NBA Draft) to Denver for Kosta Koufos.

7) Cleveland traded the draft rights to Allen Crabbe (the 31st player selected in the 2013 NBA Draft) to Portland for a 2015 and a 2016 second round pick.

8) Golden State traded the draft rights to André Roberson (the 26th player selected in the 2013 NBA Draft) to Oklahoma City for the draft rights to Archie Goodwin (the 29th player selected in the 2013 NBA Draft) and cash.

9) Phoenix traded the draft rights to Nemanja Nedovic (the 30th player selected in the 2013 NBA Draft) to Golden State for Malcolm Lee and the draft rights to Archie Goodwin (the 29th player selected in the 2013 NBA Draft).

10) Portland traded the draft rights to Grant Jerrett (the 40th player selected in the 2013 NBA Draft) to Oklahoma city for cash.

11) Atlanta traded the draft rights to James Ennis (the 50th player selected in the 2013 NBA Draft) to Miami for a future second round pick.

12) Indiana traded the draft rights to Colton Iverson (the 53rd player selected in the 2013 NBA Draft) to Boston for cash.

13) Atlanta traded the draft rights to Raul Neto (the 47th player selected in the 2013 NBA Draft) to Utah for a 2015 second round pick.

14) Washington traded the draft rights to Nate Wolters (the 38th player selected in the 2013 NBA Draft) and the draft rights to Arsalan Kazemi (the 54th player selected in the 2013 NBA Draft) to Philadelphia for the draft rights to Glen Rice, Jr. (the 35th player selected in the 2013 NBA Draft).

The following 2013 NBA draft trades took place Friday morning, the day after the draft.  Both trades were to be announced by the teams immediately.

1) Philadelphia traded the draft rights to Nate Wolters (the 38th player selected in the 2013 NBA Draft) to Milwaukee for the draft rights to Ricardo Ledo (the 43rd player selected in the 2013 NBA Draft) and a 2014 second round draft pick.

2) Philadelphia traded the draft rights to Ricardo Ledo (the 43rd player selected in the 2013 NBA Draft) to Dallas for a 2014 second round draft pick.

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