Archive for June 27th, 2014

Martell Webster out 3-5 months after back surgery

The Washington Wizards announced today that forward Martell Webster had successful microdisectomy surgery yesterday to repair a herniated disc in his lower back. He will begin the rehab process immediately and is expected to miss approximately three to five months before resuming basketball activity.

The procedure was performed by Dr. Robert Watkins Jr. in Los Angeles following consultation with team doctors earlier in the week. Webster sustained the injury during a routine workout at the Wizards’ practice facility last week.

Webster averaged 9.7 points and 2.8 rebounds while shooting .392 from three-point range in 78 games (13 starts) for the Wizards last season.

Suns extend qualifying offers to Eric Bledsoe and P.J. Tucker

The Phoenix Suns announced today that the team has extended qualifying offers to guard Eric Bledsoe and forward P.J. Tucker.

Bledsoe appeared in 43 games for the Suns in 2013-14, averaging career-highs of 17.7 points, 5.5 assists, 4.7 rebounds and 1.6 steals in 32.9 minutes while also shooting a career-best 47.7 percent from the field. In his first season with the Suns, and fourth in the NBA after being acquired in a trade from the Los Angeles Clippers last July, Bledsoe became just the sixth player in Suns history to average at least 17.0 points, 5.0 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 1.5 steals, and the first since Charles Barkley in his NBA MVP season of 1992-93.

Tucker started 81 games in his second season with the Suns of 2013-14, posting career-highs of 9.4 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.4 steals in 30.7 minutes. Tied for the Suns’ team-lead with a career-best 11 double-doubles, Tucker also had career-highs with 38 games of double-digit scoring and 15 games of double-digit rebounds. Recognized for his intensity and versatility on the defensive end, Tucker won the Dan Majerle Hustle Award for the second consecutive season in 2013-14.

In accordance with the league’s collective bargaining agreement, in order for a team to retain its right of first refusal with respect to a restricted free agent, the team must tender the player a qualifying offer prior to June 30. A restricted free agent may sign an offer sheet with any team, but is subject to a right of first refusal with the team for which the player last played.

The Brooklyn Nets have acquired the draft rights to guard Markel Brown (#44 pick) from the Minnesota Timberwolves, guard Xavier Thames (#59 pick) from the Toronto Raptors and forward Cory Jefferson (#60 pick) from the Philadelphia 76ers in separate draft night trades, each in exchange for cash considerations, General Manager Billy King announced.

Brown (6’3”, 184) played in 134 games in four years at Oklahoma State, averaging 12.4 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.00 steals in 30.5 minutes per game. Brown averaged 17.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 35.3 minutes per game during his senior season, earning All-Big 12 Second Team honors for the second consecutive season. During his junior season, Brown averaged 15.3 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 34.1 minutes per game. He was named Louisiana’s Mr. Basketball in 2010 after a standout career at Peabody Magnet High School in Alexandria, Louisiana.

Thames (6’3”, 187) was named the Mountain West Player of the Year, All-Mountain West First Team and Mountain West All-Defensive Team after averaging 17.6 points, 2.9 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.60 steals in 31.3 minutes per game during his senior season at San Diego State. Thames also earned Mountain West All-Conference Honorable Mention in 2012 during his sophomore season. He played his freshman season at Washington State before transferring to San Diego State for his final three seasons of eligibility.

Jefferson (6’9”, 218) played in 130 games in four years at Baylor, averaging 8.9 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.30 blocks in 19.9 minutes per game. Jefferson garnered All-Big 12 Third Team honors after averaging 13.7 points, 8.2 rebounds, 1.30 steals and 1.30 blocks in 29.0 minutes per game during his senior season. During his junior season, Jefferson was named All-Big 12 Honorable Mention after averaging 13.3 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.90 blocks in 27.9 minutes per game.

Here’s the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reporting on the Dallas Mavericks:

Mavericks happy to have Tyson Chandler back

Chandler was the emotional leader and one of the guiding forces when the Mavs won their only NBA title three years ago. The 7-foot-1 center provided the defensive presence and rim protection the Mavs used to vault past the Miami Heat in the 2011 NBA Finals.

Following that championship season, however, Chandler left the Mavs via free agency and signed a four-year, $60 million contract with the New York Knicks.

But the Mavs and Chandler are back together again after they acquired the 13-year veteran and point guard Raymond Felton from the Knicks on Wednesday for Jose Calderon, Samuel Dalembert, Shane Larkin, Wayne Ellington and the 34th and 51st picks in Thursday’s NBA Draft.

Coach Rick Carlisle is more than elated to have Chandler back in his role as his team’s defensive vacuum cleaner.

Kings land sharpshooter Nik Stauskas

Here’s the Sacramento Bee reporting on the Kings and the 2014 NBA Draft, which took place last night:

michael redd

After all the speculation the Kings would trade their pick, Sacramento kept it and selected Michigan guard Nik Stauskas at No. 8 in the 2014 NBA draft.

The front office believes the Canadian-born shooter will help fill multiple holes, but most importantly he can shoot from deep.

The Kings made improving their outside shooting a priority, and Stauskas was one of the best available.

When asked if he was the best shooter in the draft, Stauskas said: “Definitely. Without a doubt.”

Stauskas doesn’t want to be known simply as a shooter, but he realizes why the Kings coveted him.

Warriors still have Kevin Love in mind

Here’s the San Jose Mercury News on the Warriors and their continued interest in Timberwolves star Kevin Love:

Warriors still have Kevin Love in mind

His name was never uttered officially and certainly not by the Warriors on this night.

That would be tampering! Kevin who?

Yet … the shadow of Kevin Love hovered over all Warriors thinking and analysis during the NBA draft on Thursday.

And maybe the Warriors crept a little closer to Love by staying patient, sticking to their plotted course and waiting another day …

All this on a night when the Warriors had no draft picks and made no trades but stayed in the thick of the NBA chatter.

They didn’t trade for Love on Thursday, but that doesn’t mean they won’t at some point.

Here is a wire report via the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reporting on a very nice thing the NBA did last night at the 2014 Draft:

Isaiah Austin drafted by NBA in ceremonial gesture

Between the 15th and 16th picks in Thursday night’s draft came a very special selection by the NBA.

Commissioner Adam Silver announced at that point that the NBA would let Isaiah Austin fulfill the dream of every young player, making him a ceremonial pick.

Just over a week ago, the sophomore center from Baylor who grew up in Mansfield and graduated from Arlington Grace Prep was diagnosed with Marfan syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that affects the heart. It ended his playing career.

The illness was discovered during a physical for the draft.

“For Commissioner Silver to even invite me here was a tremendous blessing and it just shows how much class that man has,” Austin said. “It’s really been a tough week for me, and it’s been really rough. I’ve just had a tremendous amount of support from everybody around the world, telling me they’re praying for me and everything. I can’t thank everybody enough.”

ISAIAH AUSTIN NBA DRAFT VIDEO

Here’s the Houston Chronicle Blog reporting on the Rockets and the 2014 NBA Draft, which took place last night:

Rockets feel Clint Capela has huge upside

Rockets general manager Daryl Morey raved about his picks and joked that every general manager does. He said his second round acquisitions, Nick Johnson and Alessandro Gentile, could quickly compete for places in the rotation. He said his first-rounder, Clint Capela, has more upside than any but the top players drafted.

When he was asked about Capela’s determination to make the jump to the NBA next season, rather than to remain in France, Morey said little.

He did not rule it out, but he did not go into the factors to be considered, including whether he would need to keep Capela overseas to save as much cap room as possible.

“I haven’t had a chance to talk to Gentile’s or Capela’s agents so it would be unfair for me to talk about that right now,” Morey said.

Magic add defense with draft surprises

Here’s the Orlando Sentinel on the Magic and the 2014 NBA draft, which took place last night:

Magic add defense with draft surprises

They selected forward Aaron Gordon at No. 4 and point guard Elfrid Payton at No. 12, making a trade to acquire Payton, a rising small-school prospect out of Louisiana-Lafayette.

Payton was named college basketball’s Lefty Driesell Defensive Player of the Year. Gordon led the country in a sabermetric called defensive win shares for Arizona. Last season the Magic picked Victor Oladipo, who had been named the Big Ten’s Defensive Player of the Year.

There’s definitely a trend here, with the Magic choosing players who, at the moment, are better athletes than basketball players.

Gordon and Payton are somewhat surprising picks for Orlando, lacking the marquee appeal. If general manager Rob Hennigan learned anything at San Antonio, it was that team-building isn’t about collecting talent but fitting pieces together.

The Magic could have taken a heralded point guard at 4 — a move Hennigan will regret if Payton fizzles — but passed on Australian phenom Danté Exum and NBA-ready Marcus Smart.

Arron Afflalo is back on the Nuggets

Here’s the Denver Post reporting on the Nuggets:

Arron Afflalo is back on the Nuggets

The Arron Afflalo who returns to the Nuggets is much different than the veteran guard who left via trade in 2012.

“It feels good to come back as a better player and someone that can really impact the team, this current team, and the franchise,” a confident Afflalo said Thursday afternoon after he was traded from the Orlando Magic to the Nuggets. Afflalo is back with Denver in a deal that sent Evan Fournier and the 56th pick in Thursday’s draft to the Magic.

“I’m excited,” Afflalo said. “My whole career has been about maturity and growth, and Denver is the first team that gave me the opportunity to grow.”

Afflalo’s acquisition will not be a means to another end. According to NBA sources, Afflalo will remain with the Nuggets rather than being flipped in another trade, making him the front-runner to be their starting shooting guard next season.

Here’s the Detroit Free Press, reporting on the Pistons and the 2014 NBA Draft, which took place last night:

Spencer Dinwiddie didn’t hesitate.

When he was asked to identify his position late Thursday night, the Colorado junior was emphatic.

“I view myself as a pure (point guard),” he said over the phone after the Pistons used their second-round pick, 38th overall, in the NBA draft on Dinwiddie.

“I think I showed that in college.”

The record will show that Dinwiddie, 21, was the first pick of the Stan Van Gundy era of Pistons basketball.

The Pistons get a talented guard with size that is able to get to the rim, distribute and score — a talent growing more and more important in today’s NBA of pick-and-roll basketball.

Here’s Arizona Sports reporting on the Suns and NBA Draft, which took place last night:

tyler ennis

It would be easy to connect a few dots.

Eric Bledsoe a point guard, and P.J. Tucker, a small forward, are restricted free agents. Forward/Center Channing Frye opted out of his contract earlier in the week and is now an unrestricted free agent.

Thursday night, the Phoenix Suns spent the first two of their three first-round picks on North Carolina State’s T.J. Warren, a small forward, and Syracuse’s Tyler Ennis, a point guard. And with their second-round pick, 50th overall, they added Wisconsin-Green Bay center Alec Brown.

“I guess with free agency you’re not sure what’s going to happen,” Suns GM Ryan McDonough said. “We’re really high on the three free agents we have. We’d like to bring all of them back if we’re able to do that.

“We didn’t draft anybody to be replacements for those guys, let’s put it that way. We drafted these guys because we think they can help solidify our depth and because we want to keep bringing young talent into the pipeline and we think they can be really good players down the road. But our top priority would be to bring back the free agents that we have and add these guys to that group.”

The Milwaukee Bucks selected forward Jabari Parker with the second overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. In the second round, the team took Damien Inglis (31st overall) and Johnny O’Bryant (36th overall), and traded the draft rights to Lamar Patterson (48th overall) to Atlanta for a Brooklyn 2015 second-round draft pick (via Atlanta).

Parker (6-8, 235), a 19-year-old early entrant candidate, played one collegiate season at Duke University, where he was a consensus First Team All-America selection. While with the Blue Devils during the 2013-14 season, Parker also earned honors as a First Team All-ACC member, ACC Rookie of the Year and USBWA National Freshman of the Year.

His 19.1 points per game and 8.7 rebounds per game were both Top-50 in the nation, with the points per game average marking the fourth-highest effort by an ACC freshman ever. He is the fourth freshman in ACC history to lead the league in rebounding.

With 670 points and 306 rebounds, Parker is the 14th player in Duke history to record 600+ points and 300+ rebounds in the same season, and he is just the sixth ACC freshman to ever reach the 600-point plateau. He is the first Duke freshman to lead the team in both scoring and rebounding. Parker posted a career-high 30 points (10-of-17, .588) to go along with 11 boards in a win vs. UNC. The 30-point effort was the most by a Duke freshman in the 238-games played in series history against North Carolina.

Additionally, Parker received First Team All-America honors from The Associated Press, NABC, USBWA, Sporting News and Sports Illustrated. Parker was a finalist for the Naismith Trophy, Oscar Robertson Trophy and John R. Wooden Award, and he was honored as the top freshman in the country through the Integris Wayman Tisdale Award by the USBWA. He was named ACC Rookie of the Week a record 10 times and was on the All-ACC Academic Team.

A native of Chicago, Parker attended Simeon Career Academy, where he led Simeon to four IHSA Class 4A state championships and averaged 18.4 points and 10.4 rebounds as a senior. He was named the 2013 Jordan Brand Classic Co-MVP, is a two-time Illinois Gatorade Player of the Year and Illinois Mr. Basketball, and was named National Gatorade Player of the Year as a junior. Parker has also played for USA Basketball, earning gold medals at the 2012 FIBA U17 World Championship and the 2011 FIBA Americas U16 Championship.

Inglis (6-8, 215), another 19-year-old early-entry candidate, hails from Cayenne in French Guiana, and played last season with Roanne as a rookie in France’s top league, Pro A. He averaged 4.6 points and 3.6 rebounds in 27 games. He grabbed a career-best 11 rebounds vs. Strasbourg and scored in double figures in three straight games in December. Inglis began his career at INSEP in France, where he averaged 10.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists over three seasons from 2010-13. He competed in the 2014 Nike Hoop Summit and has played for France in the U18, U17 and U16 Euros.

O’Bryant (6-9, 256) played three collegiate seasons at Louisiana State University, averaging 12.7 points, 7.7 rebounds and 1.3 assists over his career. He was named to the All-SEC First Team by the coaches in 2013 and 2014, and earned All-SEC Second Team honors from the AP in 2014. O’Bryant is one of 14 LSU players to record 1,000 career points (1,157) and 700 career rebounds (702). He recorded 25 career double-doubles as a Tiger and scored 10+ points in 28 games his junior season. He led the team in scoring his sophomore season, averaging 13.6 points per game.

As a high school senior at East Side HS (Cleveland, Miss.), O’Bryant appeared in the 2011 McDonald’s All-American Game and the Jordan Brand Classic. He was also named a USA Today and Parade All-American that year.

The Bucks selected Patterson with the 48th pick, but traded his draft rights to Atlanta for Brooklyn’s 2015 second-round draft pick.

The Miami Heat announced today that they have acquired the draft rights to guard Shabazz Napier (24th overall) from the Charlotte Hornets in exchange for the draft rights to P.J. Hairston (26th overall) and Semaj Christon (55th overall), a 2019 second-round draft choice and cash considerations.

“Shabazz Napier is a winner, he’s a two-time NCAA champion and he’s one of the elite players in college basketball,” said HEAT President Pat Riley. “We feel very fortunate we were able to acquire him and we feel like he fits in extremely well. He has a high motor, high basketball IQ, is a great shooter and has great character.”

Napier, a two-time NCAA champion, appeared in a school-record 143 career games (98 starts) for the Huskies and averaged 13.7 points, 4.5 assists, 4.0 rebounds, 1.76 steals and 32.3 minutes while shooting 41.1 percent from the field, 37.5 percent from three-point range and 81.3 percent from the foul line. He totaled 1,959 points while dishing out 646 assists, becoming the only player in school history to total at least 1,500 points and 500 assists.

During his senior season, Napier helped lead UConn to the 2014 NCAA Championship after appearing in 40 games (all starts) and averaging 18.0 points, 5.9 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 1.83 steals and 35.1 minutes while shooting 42.9 percent from the field, 40.5 percent from three-point range and 87 percent from the foul line. He was named the 2014 American Athletic Conference Player of the Year and earned the 2014 Bob Cousy Collegiate Point Guard of the Year Award. Additionally, he was a unanimous All-Conference First Team selection and named to the AP All-American First Team. He led his team in points (720), rebounds (196), assists (195), steals (73), field goals made (213), three-point field goals made (87) and free throws made (207) while capping his senior season averaging 21.2 points during the NCAA tournament, earning the Final Four and East Regional Most Outstanding Player honors.

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 Boston Celtics selected guard Marcus Smart with the fifth overall pick and guard/forward James Young with the 17th pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.

Smart, a 6’4” guard, was selected with the sixth overall pick. He was a two-time All-Big 12 First Team selection, and was also named to the Big 12 All-Defensive team, USBWA All-District VI and NABC All-District 8 teams. Smart finished his two-year OSU career with 189 steals, the second-most in school history, and averaged 2.94 steals per game in his career, a school record. During his sophomore season at Oklahoma State he led the Cowboys with 18.0 points, 4.8 assists and 2.9 steals per game. His 2.9 steals per game ranked third in the nation. Smart garnered All-America honors from the Associated Press (Honorable Mention) and NABC (Third Team).

Young, a 6’6” guard/forward, was selected with the 17th pick in the first round. Young was part of the Kentucky squad that finished runner-up for the 2014 NCAA National Championship. In the national championship game he posted a team-high 20 points and a game-high seven rebounds against Connecticut. He was selected to the All-Final Four Tournament Team and All-SEC Second Team. He was the second highest scorer on Kentucky this past season with 14.3 points and finished 10th in the SEC in three-point shooting connecting on 34.9 percent of his attempts. Young was also named to the All-SEC Freshman team and led the Wildcats with 82 three-pointers which was the seventh most in a single season in Kentucky history and second all-time for a freshman. Young increased his three-point accuracy during the NCAA tournament when he connected on 42.6 percent of his attempts and also shot 85.0 percent from the free throw line.

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