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The Utah Jazz selected guard Danté Exum with the fifth overall pick of the first round and added forward Rodney Hood with the 23rd overall selection in the 2014 NBA Draft, held Thursday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.

The 6-6, 188-pound native of Melbourne, Australia, Exum averaged 18.2 points, 3.6 rebounds and 3.8 assists with the Australian National Team at the 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship in Prague. The 18-year-old led his team to the semifinals and was named to the 2013 U19 World Championship All-Tournament team.

In 2013, Exum guided his high school, Lake Ginninderra College, to the Australian School Championship. In addition, he participated in the 2013 Nike Hoop Summit for the World Select Team.

Exum’s father, Cecil, won an NCAA Championship with the University of North Carolina in 1982 alongside Michael Jordan and James Worthy, and was later selected by the Denver Nuggets in the 1984 NBA Draft.

Exum joins centers Enes Kanter and Rudy Gobert as the third international player on the current roster and becomes the sixth active Australian born player in the NBA.

Hood spent two seasons at Duke University after starting his collegiate career at Mississippi State University. A 2014 All-Atlantic Coast Conference Second Team selection, the Meridian, Miss., native averaged 16.1 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.1 assists while shooting 46.4 percent from the field and 42 percent from three-point range in 35 games his sophomore season. He also earned a spot on the conference’s All-Academic Team.

Duke’s team captain in 2013-14, Hood redshirted the 2012-13 season after transferring from Mississippi State. While at Mississippi State, he was selected to the 2012 All-Southeastern Conference Freshman Team.

The 21-year-old Hood becomes the first Duke product ever to be drafted by the Jazz.

Exum will wear jersey number 11 for the Jazz, while Hood will wear number No. 6.

Andrew Wiggins is first overall pickin 2014 NBA Draft

The Cleveland Cavaliers selected Andrew Wiggins with the first overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. The team also selected Joe Harris (33rd overall pick) in the second round.

Wiggins, 19, was named Big 12 Freshman of the Year and First-Team All-League in his only year at Kansas. The Ontario, Canada native was selected to the John R. Wooden All-American Team, and a Second Team All-America choice by the AP, NABC, USBWA, SI.com and Sporting News. In 35 contests with the Jayhawks, the 6-8, 200-pound guard averaged 17.1 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 1.0 block in 32.8 minutes per game. He set Kansas freshman records in scoring average (17.1 ppg), points (597), field goals attempted (422), free throws made (176) and free throws attempted (227), while connecting on .775 from the free throw line and .341 from the three-point line.

Wiggins led Kansas in steals with 41 and was second on the team with 34 blocked shots. He posted a career high and freshman record 41 points at West Virginia on March 8 (first Jayhawk to break the 40-point barrier since Terry Brown on Jan. 5, 1991). He has represented Canada in FIBA play and averaged 15.2 points with 7.6 rebounds at the 2012 FIBA Americas U18 Championship, helping Canada finish third.

Harris, 22, spent four years at Virginia where he ranks first all-time in school history with 135 games played. The 6-6, 225-pound guard averaged 12.6 points and 3.8 rebounds in 30.3 minutes for his career at Virginia. He also connected on .407 from the three-point line and owns the second-most three-pointers made in school history (263). Harris was named Second Team All-ACC as a senior and First Team All-ACC as a junior. The Chelan, Washington native also averaged double figures in scoring in each of his four years at Virginia and ranked 11th all-time in school history with 1,698 points scored.

Last season, Harris helped lead Virginia to its second ever outright ACC regular season title, with a 16–2 conference record, as well as only their second ever ACC Tournament title.

Magic trade Arron Afflalo to Nuggets

Magic trade Arron Afflako to Nuggets

The Orlando Magic have acquired guard/forward Evan Fournier (forn-yay) and the draft rights to guard Roy Devyn Marble (56th overall pick) from the Denver Nuggets in exchange for guard Arron Afflalo, General Manager Rob Hennigan announced tonight.

“We’re excited to welcome Evan (Fournier) and his family to Orlando,” said Hennigan. “We believe Evan’s intriguing blend of talent and skill will be a benefit to our backcourt and to the continued growth and development of our team. Roy had an outstanding collegiate career and we look forward to adding him to our team.”

“We’d like to thank Arron (Afflalo) for his two seasons here in Orlando,” continued Hennigan. “Arron is a consummate professional and competitor, and we certainly wish him all the best.”

Fournier (6’7”, 204, 10/29/92) played in 76 games last season with the Nuggets, averaging 8.4 ppg., 2.7 rpg. and 1.5 apg. in 19.8 minpg., while shooting .376 (89-237) from three-point range. He led (or tied) the team in scoring six times and in assists twice. Fournier scored in double figures 27 times and had 20+ points four times, including a career-high 27 points on Feb. 23 vs. Sacramento.

Originally selected by Denver in the first round (20th overall) of the 2012 NBA Draft, Fournier has appeared in 114 career NBA regular season games, all with the Nuggets, averaging 7.4 ppg., 2.1 rpg. and 1.4 apg. in 16.9 minpg., while shooting .381 (111-291) from three-point range. He also played in four career playoff outings, averaging 4.8 ppg. and 1.0 apg. in 13.3 minpg.

Marble (6’6”, 200, 9/21/92) played in 136 career games during four years at the University of Iowa, averaging 12.5 ppg., 3.4 rpg., 2.9 apg. and 1.29 stlpg. in 27.6 minpg. He ranks second on the school’s all-time games played list with 136. Marble also ranks in Hawkeyes’ history in scoring (fifth, 1,694 points), assists (sixth, 397) and steals (seventh, 176).

As a senior (2013-14), Marble played and started in 33 games, averaging 17.0 ppg., 3.6 apg., 3.2 rpg. and 1.82 stlpg. in 30.2 minpg. He was named First Team All-Big Ten after leading the team in scoring and ranked second in assists. Marble scored in double figures 27 times.

During his junior campaign (2012-13), Marble played and started in 37 games, averaging 15.0 ppg., 4.0 rpg., 3.0 apg. and 1.14 stlpg. in 30.5 minpg. He led the Hawkeyes in scoring and assists, and was named Third Team All-Big Ten.

Marble is the son of Roy Marble, a former NBA player and the all-time leading scorer in Iowa history.

The Los Angeles Lakers have acquired the draft rights to Jordan Clarkson, selected 46th overall in the 2014 NBA Draft, from the Washington Wizards in exchange for cash considerations, it was announced tonight by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

Clarkson, a 6’5’’ junior guard from Missouri, was named Second Team All-SEC by the coaches in his lone season with the Tigers. An early entry candidate, Clarkson ranked among NCAA leaders in both free throws made (72nd) and percentage (101st), as well as field goals (51st) in 2013-14. The San Antonio, TX native spent his freshman and sophomore seasons at Tulsa, where he was selected First Team All-Conference USA in 2011-12, following his C-USA All-Freshman team honors in 2010-11.

New York Knicks President Phil Jackson announced today that in the second round of the 2014 NBA Draft, the team has drafted Cleanthony Early from Wichita State with the 34th overall selection and Thanasis Antetokounmpo from Athens, Greece and the Delaware 87ers of the NBA D-League with the 51st overall selection. Both picks were acquired yesterday from Dallas.

Early, 6-8, 219-pounds, averaged 16.4 points and 5.9 rebounds in 36 games for the Shockers last season. The Middletown, NY native was named to the All-Valley First Team as a junior and senior after being named the NJCAA Division III Player of the Year twice for Sullivan County Community College.

Antetokounmpo, 6-7, 215-pounds, averaged 12.0 points and 4.3 rebounds in 50 games for the 87ers last season after playing professionally in Greece for two seasons.

In addition, the Knicks acquired the draft rights to Louis Labeyrie, the 57th overall selection in the 2014 NBA Draft from Indiana for cash considerations. Labeyrie, 6-10, 200-pounds, is a 22-year-old Gonesse, France native who played professionally in his home country for the past three seasons.

The Denver Nuggets have acquired the draft rights to G Gary Harris and the draft rights to C Jusuf Nurkic from the Chicago Bulls in exchange for F Anthony Randolph and the draft rights to F Doug McDermott, General Manager/Executive Vice President Tim Connelly announced tonight.

As part of the deal, Denver also received a second-round pick in 2015.

Harris, 6-4, 210, was taken 19th overall after averaging 16.7 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.7 assists as a sophomore at Michigan State last season. He was an All-Big Ten selection and received honorable mention in the Associated Press All-America voting.

Harris, 19, started 67 of 69 games in his college career and became just the third player in Michigan State history to score 1,000 points in two seasons. He also was the Big 10 Freshman of the year after averaging 12.9 points in 2012-13.

Nurkic, 7-0, 280, was selected 16th overall. The 19-year-old big man averaged 11.7 points and 5.7 rebounds in 28 games for Cedevita Zagreb of the Adriatic League in 2013-14.

In the second round, the Nuggets selected Nikola Jokic with the 41st overall pick. Jokic, 6-10, 254, averaged 7.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.7 assists for Mega Vizura Belgrade of the Serbian League last season.

The Orlando Magic have acquired the draft rights to guard Elfrid Payton (10th overall pick) from Philadelphia in exchange for the draft rights to Dario Saric (12th overall pick), a second round pick in 2015 and a future first round pick (the pick that was acquired by Orlando from Philadelphia in the Dwight Howard trade), General Manager Rob Hennigan announced tonight.

Payton (6’3”, 190, 2/22/94) played in 100 career games during three years at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, averaging 14.3 ppg., 5.1 rpg., 4.9 apg. and 1.97 stlpg. in 31.6 minpg. He is the school’s all-time leader in steals with 197.

As a junior (2013-14), Payton played and started all 35 games, averaging a team-high 19.2 ppg., 6.0 rpg., 5.9 apg. and 2.29 stlpg. in 35.9 minpg., while shooting .509 (237-466) from the floor. He led the Ragin’ Cajuns to a 23-12 record and their first NCAA Tournament berth since 2005. Payton was named the 2013-14 Lefty Driesell National Defensive Player of the Year and a Lou Henson All-American. He earned First Team All-Sun Belt Conference honors for the second straight season and was the Sun Belt Conference Defensive Player of the Year. Payton led the conference in steals for the second straight year with 80. He scored 20+ points 14 times, had 30-or-more points four times and attempted a school-record 302 free throws (second in the nation). Payton was also one of only ten NCAA Division I players to record a triple-double with 34 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists on Jan. 4 vs. Lousiana-Monroe.

During his sophomore season (2012-13), Payton played and started all 33 games, averaging a team-high 15.9 ppg., 5.6 rpg., 5.5 apg. and 2.42 stlpg. in 35.5 minpg., earning First Team All-Sun Belt Conference honors. He was the only player in NCAA Division I to average 15.0 ppg., 5.0 rpg., 5.0 apg. and 2.00 stlpg. Payton led the Sun Belt Conference in assists and steals, ranked second in minutes played, third in scoring, fifth in assists-to-turnover ratio (1.60) and ninth in field goal percentage (.475).

As a freshman (2011-12), Payton played in all 32 games (11 starts), averaging 7.2 ppg., 3.6 rpg., 3.0 apg. and 1.16 stlpg. in 22.7 minpg., leading the team in assists.

The Minnesota Timberwolves tonight selected guard Zach LaVine from UCLA with the 13th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.

LaVine, a 6-5 guard, appeared in all 37 games, making one start, as a freshman at UCLA this past season. He averaged 9.4 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game, earning Pac 12 All-Freshman honors. He connected on 37.5% from three-point range, finishing the year with 48 made three-pointers, the second-highest made three-pointers by a UCLA freshman in school history. LaVine scored in double figures in 17 games, including nine of his first 10 contests.

Originally from Seattle, Wash., LaVine was a three-year varsity basketball letterwinner at Bothell High School. He was named the 2013 Associated Press Washington state player of the year after averaging 28.5 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game as a senior. His play earned him Class 4A All-State honors, in addition to being named Washington’s Mr. Basketball by the Washington Interscholastic Basketball Coaches Association.

With the first pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, the Cleveland Cavaliers selected… Andrew Wiggins.

Hopefully Cavs star Kyrie Irving is pleased with the selection. Wiggins was expected to go in the two few picks, and was a strong favorite to go first overall, so this is not a surprise.

Here’s Wiggins, in the black/white blazer, black bow tie and a smile:

Cavs hope to meet with Dante Exum

The 2014 NBA Draft is tomorrow, and teams are attempting to finalize their list of players they hope to select. And with the first pick, the Cavs will pick… somebody. Could Dante Exum be in the mix for that very top spot? Here’s ESPN.com reporting:

Cavs hope to meet with Dante Exum

The Cleveland Cavaliers are making an 11th-hour push to get Australian guard Dante Exum into Cleveland for an interview and a possible workout, a source with direct knowledge told ESPN.

Exum, in New York on Wednesday for Thursday night’s NBA draft, said he has worked out for the Milwaukee Bucks, Philadelphia 76ers and Orlando Magic, who have picks No. 2-4, respectively.

The Cavaliers, who already have All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving, are unlikely to take Exum with the No. 1 pick, but he could be an option for the team if it trades down in the draft.

Here’s ESPN.com reporting on the 2014 NBA Draft, which is tomorrow night in Brooklyn, New York.

With only one day remaining until the NBA draft, the Cleveland Cavaliers’ ownership and front office remain torn on whether to select Andrew Wiggins or Jabari Parker with the top overall pick, multiple sources told ESPN.com.

Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert favors drafting Wiggins with the No. 1 pick after the former Kansas star’s terrific workout last Wednesday, according to multiple sources.

However, the majority of the Cavs’ front office — including new general manager David Griffin — is leaning toward selecting Parker, sources said.

Parker came in for a workout and was less than stellar, appearing out of shape and even disinterested. Sources told ESPN.com that the former Duke forward prefers to play in Milwaukee Bucks, which is closer to his Chicago home and also a spot in which he can be featured as a go-to player.

Sources said that it’s still unclear whether Gilbert will overrule Griffin and the Cavs’ front office — as was the case when he offered Kentucky coach John Calipari the coaching job prior to hiring David Blatt.

INSIDEHOOPS UPDATE: Cavs owner Dan Gilbert about 15 minutes ago tweeted that actually, the team is united on who they wish to select. Still, it presumably remains a tough decision. Can’t wait to see who they pick.

Pelicans hope to land a 2014 draft pick

Here’s the New Orleans Times-Picayune reporting on the Pelicans:

The New Orleans Pelicans are heading into Thursday night’s NBA draft with no selection in the first or second rounds for the first time in 12 years. But that could change if the Pelicans are able to find a willing trade partner.

According to Pelicans coach Monty Williams, they have actively pursued options to get back in the NBA draft after surrendering their first-round pick to the Philadelphia 76ers that was part of last year’s draft night trade.

”If there’s an opportunity to get in the draft, we’re going to look at it,” Williams said. ”The one thing we don’t want to do is be aggressive and put ourselves in a position to where we’re hamstrung for awhile and can’t make moves for the future.

”But our focus has been on the moves we think we can make, whether it be in the draft or free agency.We watched a lot of film and have had a lot of discussions with (general manager) Dell (Demps) and his group about what we can do to help our team.”

Video: Dante Exum explores Times Square

Enjoy this video of high-ranked 2014 NBA Draft prospect Dante Exum explore Times Square in midtown Manhattan, New York. The Draft is Thursday in Brooklyn.

Kings open to trading No.8 draft pick

Here’s ESPN.com reporting on the Kings:

The Sacramento Kings are fielding offers from three teams for the No. 8 pick in Thursday’s NBA draft, sources with direct knowledge told ESPN on Monday.

Sources said the Kings have two deals that could be done prior to Thursday’s 2 p.m. ET trade deadline to change the draft order and one would be a draft night deal, depending on which players are available when the Kings select.

Former Baylor center Isaiah Austin has been diagnosed with a career-ending medical condition. Genetic testing as part of preparation for the 2014 NBA Draft revealed that Austin suffers from Marfan syndrome.

“This is devastating news, but Isaiah has the best support system anyone could ask for, and he knows that all of Baylor Nation is behind him,” head coach Scott Drew said. “His health is the most important thing, and while it’s extremely sad that he won’t be able to play in the NBA, our hope is that he’ll return to Baylor to complete his degree and serve as a coach in our program.”

Marfan syndrome is caused by a genetic mutation that leads to problems in connective tissues throughout the body. One feature of Marfan syndrome is aortic enlargement, which can be life-threatening. According to The Marfan Foundation, about one in 5,000 people have Marfan syndrome.

– Via BaylorBears.com

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.

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