Archive for June, 2018

Spurs draft Lonnie Walker with 18th pick

The San Antonio Spurs selected Lonnie Walker IV with the 18th overall pick in the first round and Chimezie Metu with the 49th overall selection in the second round of the 2018 NBA Draft, which took place last night in Brooklyn, NY.

Walker, 6-5/205, played last season at Miami University, leading the Hurricanes in scoring by averaging 11.5 points to go along with 2.6 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 27.8 minutes in his 32 appearances. The Reading, Pa. native was named to the ACC All-Freshman Team in his lone season at Miami. Walker also became the first freshman in school history to earn all-league honors, receiving Honorable Mention All-ACC, while helping the Hurricanes finish 22-10.

Metu, 6-11/225, spent last year at the University of Southern California earning All-Pac-12 First Team honors. The Lawndale, Calif. native averaged 15.7 points, 7.4 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.74 blocks in 31.0 minutes in 34 appearances last year during his junior season for the Trojans. Metu played in a total of 104 games and averaged 12.3 points, 6.3 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.62 blocks in his three seasons at USC, finishing his career third in school history with 168 blocks.

The Milwaukee Bucks selected Villanova guard Donte DiVincenzo with the 17th overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.

A 6-foot-5, 205-pound sophomore, DiVincenzo was named the 2017-18 BIG EAST Sixth Man of the Year after he averaged 13.4 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.1 steals per game while shooting 48.1 percent from the field and 40.1 percent from 3-point range. DiVincenzo was selected as the 2018 Final Four Most Outstanding Player after he averaged 23.0 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game in the Final Four, including scoring 31 points on 10-of-15 shooting in the Wildcats’ win over Michigan in the national championship game.

DiVincenzo emerged as a redshirt freshman in 2016-17 as he was named to the BIG EAST All-Freshman team after averaging 8.8 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game while shooting 46.6 percent from the field and 36.5 percent from 3-point range. The Newark, Delaware, native appeared in 84 games over three seasons (2015-18) with Villanova, and holds career averages of 10.4 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 25.8 minutes per game. He finished his career as a 46.9 percent shooter with a 37.8 shooting percentage from 3-point range.

The Philadelphia 76ers acquired the draft rights to the 16th overall pick, guard-forward Zhaire Smith from Texas Tech, and the Miami Heat’s unprotected 2021 first-round pick via the Phoenix Suns in exchange for the draft rights to the 10th overall pick, guard-forward Mikal Bridges from Villanova. Then, with the 26th overall pick, the 76ers drafted guard Landry Shamet from Wichita State.

In his lone collegiate season at Texas Tech, Smith averaged 11.3 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.1 blocks and 1.1 steals in 28.4 minutes per game. The 6-foot-5 guard-forward helped lead the Red Raiders to the school’s first Elite Eight appearance in program history, averaging 12.0 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 2.5 assists in four NCAA tournament games.

Over the course of the 2017-18 season, Smith totaled 417 points, a Texas Tech single-season freshman record. He also led the team in rebounds (185) and blocks (42), which ranked top 10 in Big 12 play.

The Garland, Texas native became the first freshman in program history to secure All-Big 12 Honorable Mention. Smith also received All-Big 12 Defensive Team and All-Big 12 Newcomer Team selections.

Shamet, a product of Kansas City, Missouri, averaged 14.9 points, 5.2 assists and 3.2 rebounds in 31.7 minutes per game in his junior season at Wichita State. The 6-foot-4 guard led the American Athletic Conference (AAC) in both three-point percentage (.442) and assists (166), while his .825 free-throw percentage ranked third in the conference.

Philadelphia traded the draft rights to the 38th overall pick, Khryi Thomas from Creighton, to Detroit in exchange for two future second-round picks. In addition, the team drafted Isaac Bonga from Skyliners Frankfurt with the 39th overall pick.

The 76ers acquired the draft rights to the 54th overall pick, Shake Milton from SMU, via Dallas in exchange for the draft rights to the 56th overall pick, Ray Spalding from Louisville, and the 60th overall pick, Kostas Antetokounmpo from Dayton.

Milton, a 6-foot-5 guard, averaged 18.0 points, 4.7 rebounds and 4.4 assists in his junior season at SMU.

The Washington Wizards selected Troy Brown Jr. out of Oregon and Issuf Sanon out of Slovenia in the 2018 NBA Draft.

Brown Jr., a 6-7, 215-pound swingman, was selected with the 15th overall pick. In his lone season at Oregon, he averaged 11.3 points, a team-high 6.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists. In addition, he recorded a team-best 55 steals and finished just one assist shy of a triple double against Portland State on Dec. 13 when he recorded 10 points, 10 rebounds and a career-high nine assists.

“Troy is a very versatile player with a high basketball IQ, great work ethic and outstanding character,” said Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld. “He will be able to play and defend three positions and his playmaking abilities will allow him to create opportunities for himself and his teammates.”

A native of Las Vegas, NV, Brown was selected to play in the McDonald’s All-American Game, Jordan Brand Classic and Nike Hoop Summit in 2017 at Centennial High School. He was also a member of the gold medal-winning 2016 USA Basketball Men’s U17 World Championship team.

“I was impressed with Troy both on and off the court throughout the draft process and I’m excited to have him work with our coaches throughout the summer,” said Wizards Head Coach Scott Brooks. “His size, toughness and all-around game make him a good fit for our roster and will give him the opportunity to earn minutes as a young player.”

Sanon, a 6-4, 177-pound guard, was selected 44th overall by the Wizards. He averaged 22.0 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.8 assists over the last two seasons in Ukraine’s 2nd Division before moving to Olimpija in Slovenia in January.

“Issuf is a young player who will be able to continue to play at a high level overseas and develop his game as we monitor him, much like we did with Tomas Satoransky,” said Grunfeld. “His athleticism, size and competitive nature were all very intriguing and we feel he can be a player who will help us in the future after gaining more experience.”

A native of Ukraine, Sanon averaged 19.3 points (second in the division), 6.1 rebounds, 3.4 steals and 2.7 assists with Ukraine’s U18 National Team at the 2017 U18 Euros.

The Denver Nuggets selected forward Michael Porter Jr. with the 14th overall pick in tonight’s 2018 NBA Draft. Denver also acquired the draft rights to forward Jarred Vanderbilt at 41st overall from Orlando in exchange for the 43rd pick and a future second round pick and also selected center Thomas Welsh with the 58th pick.

Porter Jr., 6-10, 215, signed with the University of Missouri as the nation’s No. 1 overall recruit as a high school senior out of Nathan Hale High School in Seattle, Washington. Porter Jr. averaged 36.2 points and 13.6 rebounds per game as a senior while leading Nathan Hale to a perfect 29-0 record en route to the Washington Class 3A State Championship, the first-ever state title for the school.

The 19-year-old native of Indianapolis was named the MVP of the McDonald’s High School All-American Game as well as winning both the Naismith and Gatorade National Player of the Year awards, joining Dwight Howard (2004), LeBron James (2003), Chris Webber (1991) and Alonzo Mourning (1988) as the only players to ever accomplish the feat. Porter Jr. was named a 2017-18 consensus preseason All-American, the 2017-18 preseason ESPN National Freshman of the Year and the 2017-18 preseason SEC Co-Player of the Year before a back injury limited him to just three games during his debut campaign.

Vanderbilt, 6-9, 214, appeared in 14 games as a freshman for Kentucky, averaging 5.9 points, 7.9 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 17.0 minutes per game. The 19-year-old from Houston averaged 28.5 points, 13.4 rebounds and 8.8 assists as a senior at Victory Prep School. Vanderbilt played for the USA Junior National Select Team at the 2017 Nike Hoop Summit and was also a member of the U.S. U16 National Team that won Gold at the 2015 FIBA U16 Americas.

Welsh, 7-0, 255, played four seasons at UCLA where he averaged 9.5 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.1 blocks while shooting 53.7% from the field. He was one of five finalists for the 2017-18 Kareem Abdul-Jabar award, given to the nation’s top center, and finished his Bruins career ranked third in career rebounds (1,035), third in blocks (143) and sixth in career double-doubles (37). As a senior the California native posted averages of 12.6 points, 10.8 rebounds and 1.4 assists while shooting 40.7% from three (45-of-112 3FG) and 82.8% from the free throw line. His 10.8 rebounds per game was UCLA’s highest per game average since David Greenwood in 1977-78.

The L.A. Clippers have selected Boston College guard Jerome Robinson with the 13th overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, held last night at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

“Jerome is someone that we targeted early on in this process. [He’s] one of the more gifted guys in this draft,” said President of Basketball Operations Lawrence Frank. “If you study the DNA, he just grinds and he works harder than most. He is very impressive as a young man and he is now a Clipper”

“Going to the Clippers is a dream come true,” said Robinson. “It’s exciting to be in L.A., being drafted by the Clippers, and having the chance to learn from a coach like Doc Rivers.”

Robinson, 21, played three collegiate seasons at Boston College, where he appeared in 90 career games (all starts), averaging 17.7 points, 3.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.3 steals in 34.6 minutes. The 6’5”, 188-pound guard shot 45.0 percent from the field and 37.6 percent from three-point range in his Boston College career. A native of Raleigh, North Carolina, Robinson was named All-ACC First Team as a Junior.

The Charlotte Hornets have acquired the draft rights to forward Miles Bridges (12th overall pick) from the Los Angeles Clippers in exchange for the draft rights to guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (11th overall pick) and two future second-round draft picks during tonight’s 2018 NBA Draft.

Bridges, a 6-7 forward from Michigan State, was a unanimous 2017-18 All-Big Ten First Team selection and he also earned 2017-18 consensus Second Team All-American honors. He led Michigan State in scoring in scoring (17.0 ppg), ranked second in rebounding (7.0 rpg) and third in assists (2.7 apg) during the 2017-18 campaign. Following his sophomore campaign, he was a finalist for the Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award, given to the top men’s collegiate small forward, and a top-10 finalist for the Naismith National Player of the Year. He was the first Michigan State freshman or sophomore player to average at least 17.0 points per game since Shawn Respert in 1992-93.

As a freshman in 2016-17, the Flint, Mich. native was the Big Ten Freshman of the year after averaging 16.9 points, 8.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 28 contests. He was the only Division-I freshman in the nation in the last 25 years to average at least 16.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists and return for his sophomore season.

The L.A. Clippers have acquired the draft rights to University of Kentucky guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, the 11th overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, from the Charlotte Hornets, in exchange for the draft rights to Michigan State forward Miles Bridges and two future second round picks. The Clippers selected Bridges with the 12th overall pick in the draft.

“We have been tracking Shai all year and grew more and more impressed with him. He quickly became a priority for us,” said President of Basketball Operations Lawrence Frank. “What you will see right away is his character, competitiveness and toughness. We have guys like that here, and that’s who we want to attract.”

“I’m a play-making guard, pass-first point guard, who likes to get teammates involved,” said Gilgeous-Alexander. “I’m really just willing to do whatever the team needs me to do to win and cannot wait to get started with the Clippers.”

Gilgeous-Alexander, 19, played one collegiate season at Kentucky, where he appeared in 37 games (24 starts), averaging 14.4 points, 5.1 assists, 4.1 rebounds and 1.6 steals in 33.7 minutes. The 6’6”, 180-pound guard shot 48.5 percent from the field and 40.4 percent from three-point range as a Wildcat. A native of Hamilton, Ontario (Canada), Gilgeous-Alexander was named to the Second-team All-SEC and the SEC All-Freshman Team, and was named the MVP of the SEC Tournament.

After selecting Arizona center Deandre Ayton with the first No. 1 overall pick in franchise history, the Phoenix Suns added Villanova forward Mikal Bridges (Mick-L), the No. 10 overall pick, in a trade with Philadelphia and also selected French guard Élie Okobo (EL-ee oh-KO-bo) with the No. 31 pick and Colorado forward George King with the No. 59 pick.

Bridges, a versatile defender and knockdown three-point shooter, won the Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award in 2017-18 while helping Villanova win their second NCAA Championship in his three seasons at the school. A 6-7, 210-pound wing, he averaged 17.7 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.5 steals for the champs, while shooting 51.4 percent from the field, 43.5 percent from three-point range (18th best in the nation) and 85.1 percent from the free throw line. The 21-year-old earned Third Team All-America honors and was named to the All-Final Four Team after averaging 17.2 points in the NCAA tournament including 19 in the title game victory over Michigan.

Expanding his role in each of his three seasons at Villanova, Bridges averaged 11.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.4 steals in 116 total games, shooting 52.5 percent from the field, 40.0 percent from long range and 84.5 percent from the stripe. After redshirting the 2014-15 season, his length created havoc defensively on the Wildcats’ 2015-16 NCAA Championship team before he was a co-winner of the Big East Defensive Player of the Year award in 2016-17. A native of Philadelphia, Bridges starred at Great Valley High School in Malvern, Pennsylvania.

The Suns acquired the rights to Bridges from the 76ers in exchange for the rights to the 16th overall pick (Zhaire Smith) and Miami’s 2021 first-round pick.

Okobo, a natural scorer who has made strides running the point, had a breakout season playing for Pau-Lacq-Orthez of France’s top league, LNB Pro A. In 34 games this past season, the 20-year-old led his team with 12.9 points, 4.8 assists and 2.7 steals, shooting 47.5 percent from the field, 39.4 percent from three-point range and 81.9 percent from the free throw line. The 6-2, 180-pound guard scored a career-high 44 points including eight three-pointers on May 23 against top-seeded Monaco in the first round of playoffs. A contender for Pro A’s Most Improved Player Award, he was a 2017-18 All-Star selection, recording 17 points and a game-high 17 assists in the All-Star Game.

A native of Bordeaux, France, Okobo began playing for Espoirs Pau-Lacq-Orthez, the training center for the senior team in the Pro A league, at age 16 in 2014. He made his LNB Pro A debut in 2015, playing eight games in France’s top league in 2015-16 and 22 games in 2016-17 before his breakthrough 2017-18 season. Okobo has also represented France in international competition, leading the French to a bronze medal at the 2017 FIBA U20 European Championship in Greece, and ranking third in scoring at the 2016 FIBA U20 European Championship in Finland with 18.9 points per game.

King, an active defender and tough rebounder, ranks second in Colorado history with a career three-point percentage of 40.1 percent. The 6-6, 225-pound wing averaged 12.5 points and 6.4 rebounds over his final three seasons in Boulder, named to the 2017-18 All-Pac-12 Second Team as a senior and winning the 2015-16 Pac-12 Conference Most Improved Player of the Year award as a sophomore. After playing as a freshman in 2013-14 then redshirting in 2014-15, King was one of the Pac-12’s most versatile players the past three seasons, able to defend multiple positions, rebound from the wing and make three-pointers.

The 24-year-old’s draft stock soared following his senior season when he was the East MVP at the 2018 NABC College All-Star Game, finishing with 21 points, nine rebounds and three blocks. He then stood out at the 2018 Portsmouth Invitational, named to the All-Tournament Team after averaging 18.0 points and 7.7 rebounds while shooting 57.9 percent from the field. Raised in Fayetteville, North Carolina, before attending high school at Brennan in San Antonio, Texas, his mother is a 25-year veteran of the Air Force.

The Suns added Bridges, Okobo and King after making Ayton the first No. 1 overall pick in franchise history earlier in the evening. Ayton, who played collegiately at Arizona and in high school at Phoenix’s Hillcrest Prep, is the first No. 1 pick in NBA history to be selected by a team in the same state where he played in both college and high school.

A rare combination of size and skill, the 7-1, 250-pounder possesses uncommon athleticism, footwork and shooting touch for a player with his length and strength. During his one season in Tucson, the 19-year-old was a Consensus First Team All-America selection and won the 2018 Karl Malone Award given to the nation’s best power forward. Ayton averaged 20.1 points on 61.2 percent shooting, 11.6 rebounds and 1.9 blocks for Arizona, becoming the first to win Pac-12 Player of the Year, Pac-12 Freshman of the Year and Pac-12 Tournament Most Outstanding Player honors in the same season.

He set a Wildcats record and Pac-12 freshman record with 24 double-doubles, and became just the sixth freshman nationally in the past 25 years to average at least 20 points and 10 rebounds (two of the others were Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony). Ayton set Arizona freshman season records in points (704), rebounds (405), blocks (66) and field goal percentage (.612) while also being named to the Pac-12 All-Defensive Team.

Ayton played the final two seasons of his high school career at Phoenix’s Hillcrest Prep. As a senior in 2016-17, he led the Bruins to a 33-6 record and The Grind Session National Championship, averaging 26 points, 15 rebounds and 3.5 blocks. Among his many honors, he was a McDonald’s All-American, Naismith Trophy High School All-American, USA TODAY ALL-USA First Team selection, and played in the Jordan Brand Classic and Nike Hoop Summit.

Born and raised in Nassau, Bahamas, Ayton began seriously pursing basketball at age 12 after attending the Jeff Rodgers Basketball Camp, the Bahamas’ premier summer basketball program. Ayton flashed his immense potential and later that summer moved to San Diego to attend Balboa City School. He would later transfer to Hillcrest Prep and move to Phoenix to live with his family.

Here’s the New York Post reporting on Kevin Knox, selected 9th in the first round of the 2018 Draft last night by the New York Knicks:

Go ahead, Knicks fans. Dream about Kevin Knox’s upside. John Calipari thinks the Knicks hit a home run with his former player.

“It’s a futures league. He’s 18 years old. You’re trying to project who of these guys can be special, and when you look at what they were having at that pick, if that kid is a year or two older, he’s the one, two or three pick,” the Kentucky coach said shortly after the Knicks took the 6-foot-9 wing in the first round (ninth overall) in Thursday’s NBA draft at Barclays Center. “Physically, he’ll come into his own quicker than everybody thinks he will, and the league is moving to 6-foot-9 shooters, [being] able to play multiple positions, and he can do that.”

The former McDonald’s All-American from Florida with a 7-foot wingspan averaged 15.6 points and 5.4 rebounds while shooting 34.1 percent from 3-point range, and led Kentucky to the Sweet 16. Calipari has compared him to Celtics phenom Jayson Tatum, a comparison the Kentucky coach didn’t back down from on Thursday. As a rookie, Tatum did things with Boston that Calipari didn’t see from him in college, as a long defender capable of scoring on the perimeter and in the paint.

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And per Knicks.com: Knox, 6-9, 215-pounds spent one season at Kentucky with averages of 15.6 points and 32.4 minutes over 37 games (37 starts). He led the Wildcats in scoring, 3-pointers made and recorded the eighth-most points (576) in school history as a freshman. Knox was a 2017-18 AP Honorable Mention All-America selection, 2017-18 SEC co-Freshman of the Year and named to the 2017-18 All-SEC First Team. As a freshman, he scored in double figures in all but seven games, including a team-high 10 games with 20 or more. He erupted for a game-high 34 points in a 17-point comeback victory at No. 7 West Virginia on January 27, 2018. In a victory over Davidson, he posted 25 points and six rebounds in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Cavs draft Collin Sexton 8th overall

The Cleveland Cavaliers selected guard Collin Sexton from the University of Alabama with the eighth overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.

Sexton (6-3, 190) played one year collegiately at Alabama, averaging 19.2 points (second-most in SEC), 3.8 rebounds and a team-high 3.6 assists in 33 games (32 starts) during 2017-18. His 632 total points were the third-most for any player in a single season in school history as well as the most ever by an Alabama freshman. Sexton scored 10 points or more on 29 occasions, 20 points or more 16 times and 30 points or more in three contests. He set an Alabama freshman scoring record with 40 points, including 31 in the second half, on Nov. 25 against Minnesota, while also becoming the first Tide player to score 40 points in a game since 1979. Sexton also helped lead Alabama to its first NCAA tournament win since 2006 with a victory over Virginia Tech on March 15.

Following his freshman campaign, Sexton was named 2017-18 SEC Newcomer of the Year and Co-Freshman of the Year, becoming just the second Alabama player to ever earn the Freshman honor (Mo Williams, 2002). He also earned All-SEC First Team honors as voted by media, and was tabbed All-SEC Second Team and All-Freshman Team by SEC coaches. A 2017-18 AP Honorable Mention All-America selection, Sexton was additionally named to the SEC All-Tournament team after scoring a school-record 79 points over the Tide’s three games.

The Marietta, Ga. native played at Pebblebrook High School (Mableton, Ga.), where he was a 2016-17 Naismith High School All-American Second Team selection. He won a gold medal with USA Basketball at the 2016 FIBA Under-17 World Championship in Zaragoza, Spain, and was named MVP of the tournament after leading Team USA in both scoring and assists.

Here’s Bulls.com reporting on the results of last night’s draft, which saw Chicago drafting Wendell Carter Jr. with the 7th overall pick:

“A year ago draft night, we made a decision to trade Jimmy Butler and start a rebuild and we thought we got a jump on that with the three pieces we got, Lauri being the seventh pick, the cornerstone of our direction and with Zach LaVine and Kris Dunn,” said Bulls Executive Vice-president of Basketball Operations John Paxson Thursday after the NBA draft. “Tonight is just an extension of that and we walk away feeling really good about the two players we drafted and the direction we are heading, two positions of need and two players we feel fit us and hopefully help us grow, hopefully quickly. And though we are going to be patient, maybe more quickly than some of the teams in the past have in rebuilding situations.”

That’s perhaps because with the additions of Carter Jr. with the No. 7 selection and Hutchison with the No. 22 pick, the Bulls hope they have the outline of a future starting five to develop and grow together, a quintet that could even be starting together before the end of the 2018-19 season…

Carter Jr., was the main figure for the Bulls Thursday, a rugged all-around big man who has drawn comparisons to players like Al Horford and Elton Brand. Perhaps not athletically dominant, but with a wide variety of skills on offense and defense. He appears to be a seamless fit with Markkanen as both can switch off on defense, shoot from three-point range and defend centers. Carter Jr. at 6-10 and about 250 pounds, played center to complement No. 2 overall pick Marvin Bagley…

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Magic draft Mohamed Bamba 6th overall

The Orlando Magic on Thursday selected center Mohamed Bamba in the first round (sixth overall) of the 2018 NBA Draft.

Bamba (7’0”, 225, 5/12/98) played in 30 games (29 starts) last season (2017-18) as a freshman at the University of Texas, averaging 12.9 ppg., 10.5 rpg. and 3.70 blkpg. in 30.2 minpg., while shooting .541 (146-270) from the floor. He led the Big 12 in rebounding, blocked shots (also ranked second in the nation) and double-doubles (15). Bamba was named to the Big 12 All-Defensive Team, the All-Big 12 Second Team and the Big 12 All-Newcomer Team.

Bamba scored in double figures 23 times and had 20+ points four times, including a career-high 25 points on Jan. 27 vs. Mississippi. He pulled down 10+ rebounds 19 times. Bamba blocked three-or-more shots 22 times, including a career-high eight blocks on Dec. 29 vs. Kansas.

While at Westtown High School in West Chester, Pa., Bamba captured back-to-back Pennsylvania Independent Schools Athletic Association state championships as both a junior (2015-16) and a senior (2016-17). As a senior, he averaged 12.8 ppg., 9.3 rpg. and 3.4 blkpg., and earned both McDonald’s and Jordan Brand All-American honors. Bamba was one of five finalists for the Naismith National High School Player of the Year.

The Atlanta Hawks acquired the draft rights to Oklahoma guard Trae Young, the fifth overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, as well as a protected 2019 first round draft pick from the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for the draft rights to Luka Doncic (the third overall selection). Atlanta also selected Maryland guard Kevin Huerter 19th overall and Villanova forward Omari Spellman 30th overall in the first round.

An early-entry candidate, the 6’2 Young was a consensus First Team All-American as a freshman after becoming the first player in NCAA Division I history to lead the nation in scoring (27.4 ppg) and assists (8.7 apg), while also averaging 3.9 rebounds and 1.7 steals in 35.4 minutes (.422 FG%, .360 3FG%, .861 FT%) in 32 games (all starts). His scoring average was the highest in Big 12 history and his assists per game rank second on the all-time list. The Wayman Tisdale National Freshman of the Year award winner, Young was also a unanimous All-Big 12 First Team selection and named the conference’s Freshman and Newcomer of the Year.

“We love his (Young) ability to pass the ball, to make other players better with his court vision,” said Hawks General Manager and Head of Basketball Operations Travis Schlenk. “Obviously, he gets a lot of notoriety for his long-range shooting, but I think his ability to pass the ball is what we really liked about him.”

A former McDonald’s and Jordan Brand All-American in high school, Young recorded four 40-point games at Oklahoma and became the first major conference player in NCAA history to tally 800 points and 250 assists in a single season.

Huerter, also an early-entry candidate, averaged 14.8 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 34.4 minutes (.503 FG%, .417 3FG%, .758 FT%) as a sophomore while starting 32 games, garnering All-Big 10 Honorable Mention and All-Academic Big 10 honors. He ranked fourth in the conference in minutes per game and ninth in 3FG%. For his career, the 6’7 Huerter posted 12.0 points, 5.0 rebound and 3.0 assists in 31.9 minutes (.466 FG%, .394 3FG%, .748 FT%) in 65 games (all starts).

Huerter won a Gold medal with USA Basketball at the 2016 U18 FIBA Americas and a Bronze medal at the 2017 FIBA U19 World Cup.

“Kevin is a versatile player with the ability to really shoot the ball, and we’re thrilled he was available at 19,” Schlenk said. “With his size and athleticism, he’ll be a great fit with our club.”

Spellman entered the draft after a redshirt freshman season at Villanova that saw him named the Big East Freshman of the Year while helping the Wildcats to the 2018 National Championship. He averaged 10.9 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in 28.1 minutes (.476 FG%, .433 3FG%, .700 FT%) in 40 games (39 starting assignments).

The 6’9 Spellman ranked second in the Big East in blocks and fourth in both rebounding and 3FG%.

“Omari is a proven winner with great work ethic and I believe he’ll be able to help our team in a number of areas,” Schlenk said. “His skills and range for a player his size are impressive and we’re excited about what he’ll bring to the team.”

Additionally, the Hawks acquired two future second round picks from Charlotte in exchange for the draft rights to Atlanta’s second round pick (34th overall) Devonte’ Graham.

Memphis Grizzlies General Manager Chris Wallace last night during the 2018 NBA Draft announced that the Grizzlies selected Michigan State University freshman forward/center Jaren Jackson Jr. with the fourth overall pick in the first round and West Virginia University senior guard Jevon Carter with the 32nd overall pick in the second round.

Jackson (6-11, 242) became the second player in Big Ten history to win both Freshman and Defensive Player of the Year honors in the same season after leading the conference and ranking seventh in the nation in blocks per game (3.03) in 2017-18. The 18-year-old set an MSU single-season record with 106 blocks, and he tied the program’s single-game record with eight rejections in a win on Dec. 5, 2017 over Rutgers.

An All-Big Ten Third-Team and All-Freshman Team selection, Jackson started 34 of his 35 games with the Spartans and averaged 10.9 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 21.8 minutes while shooting 51.3 percent from the field, 39.6 percent from three-point range and 79.7 percent from the free throw line.

The Carmel, Indiana native, who was named a 2017 McDonald’s and Jordan Brand All-American at La Lumiere High School, is the highest-drafted Michigan State product since 1979, when Magic Johnson was selected first overall and Greg Kelser was taken fourth. Jackson’s father, Jaren Sr., enjoyed a 12-year NBA career with nine different teams, winning the 1999 NBA Championship as a member of the San Antonio Spurs.

Carter (6-2, 205) was named the 2017-18 Naismith Defensive Player of the Year and selected the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year for a second straight season after starting all 37 games and averaging 17.3 points, 4.6 rebounds, 6.6 assists and 3.03 steals in 35.5 minutes for the Mountaineers. A 2017-18 Associated Press Second Team All-American, Carter ranked second in the nation in steals per game and was the only Division I player to average at least 17.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.00 steals.

A native of Oak Park, Illinois, Carter is the fourth Big 12 player and first guard to win conference Defensive Player of the Year honors twice. The 22-year-old is West Virginia’s career steals leader (330) and set single-season school records last year for assists (246) and steals (112).

In addition, Carter was named the 2017-18 Arthur Ashe Men’s Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year, CoSIDA Academic All-American of the Year and the Division I Senior CLASS Award winner.

The Dallas Mavericks on Thursday acquired the draft rights to third overall pick Luka Doncic (LOO-kuh DON-chitch) from the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for the draft rights to fifth overall pick Trae Young and a protected 2019 first round draft pick.

Doncic (6-7, 218) is the reigning EuroLeague Most Valuable Player and EuroLeague Final 4 Most Valuable Player after leading Real Madrid to the 2017-18 EuroLeague title. He was the youngest player ever to garner both awards. In 33 games with Real Madrid last season, he averaged 16.0 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.9 assists while shooting .443 from the field, .329 from behind-the-arc and .816 from the foul line.

The versatile guard was the youngest ever to debut with Real Madrid in 2014 when he was 16 years and 61 days old. He was twice awarded the EuroLeague Rising Star and was named the Spanish ACB Best Young Player in 2016-17 and 2017-18.

The Ljubljana, Slovenia native is a member of the Slovenian National Team that went undefeated on its way to winning the country’s first gold medal at EuroBasket 2017. In that tournament, Doncic was named to the All-Tournament Team and won EuroBasket 2017 Most Valuable Player.

The Sacramento Kings on Thursday selected Duke freshman Marvin Bagley III with the second overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.

A 6-11, 234-pound forward, Bagley III was just one of four freshman in the nation to average a point-rebound double-double en route to posting 21.0 points (.614 FG%, .397 3pt%, .627 FT%), 11.1 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 33.9 minutes per game in 33 contests (32 starts), culminating in ACC Player and Freshman of the Year accolades in addition to consensus First Team All-American honors and NABC National Freshman and Pete Newell Big Man of the Year awards. He finished his lone collegiate campaign by joining Clemson’s Horace Grant (1986-87) and Wake Forest’s Tim Duncan (1996-97) as the only players in ACC history to lead the conference in scoring, rebounding and field goal percentage.

Bagley concluded this season ranked atop the Blue Devils’ all-time freshman annals in total points (948), scoring average, rebounds (366), double-doubles (22) and 30-point-10-rebound outputs (seven). He snared 15 rebounds to accompany a career-high 34 points (12-19 FG, 1-2 3pt, 9-13 FT) against Texas (Nov. 24), piggybacked by 30 points (10-20 FG, 1-2 3pt, 9-10 FT) and 15 rebounds versus Florida (Nov. 26). He collected a career-high 21 rebounds to complement 32 points (13-17 FG, 1-2 3pt, 5-11 FT) against Florida State (Dec. 30) starting a spate of three 30-point performances in the span of four games, punctuated by 30 points, 11 rebounds, three assists and four steals versus Wake Forest (Jan. 13).

The Arizona native accrued averages of 20.5 points (.689 FG%, 3-4 3pt, .680 FT%), 8.3 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 37.5 minutes per contest in four games during Duke’s Elite Eight run in the 2018 NCAA Tournament. His 30 combined rebounds in the ACC Tournament ranked second-most for a two-game span in tournament history. In the quarterfinals versus Notre Dame (Mar. 8), his 33 points rank third all-time for points by a freshman in ACC Tournament annals while his 17 rebounds were one shy of the Tournament mark for freshmen set by Virginia’s Ralph Sampson in 1980.

Selecting No. 1 overall for the first time in franchise history, the Phoenix Suns today selected University of Arizona center Deandre Ayton with the first pick in the first round of the 2018 NBA Draft in New York.

“This is a historic day for the Phoenix Suns franchise,” said General Manager Ryan McDonough. “Deandre is a special player and we are thrilled to welcome him home to Phoenix. It is extremely rare for a player with his size, length and athleticism to be able to not only finish around the rim but also step away from the basket and make shots. At 7-1 and exceptionally strong, he is uniquely gifted with his hand-eye coordination and footwork. In addition, he has strong ties to this area and we can’t wait to see him in a Suns uniform.”

“It means a lot to me because you know the fans out there are amazing—they’re the best fans in the world,” said Ayton, shortly after being selected on ESPN’s broadcast of the Draft. “I’m really happy to be a part of the Phoenix Suns now and we can really start a winning legacy with Devin Booker and Josh Jackson and all those other guys. We’re a young team and we’re ready. I’m just happy to be a Phoenix Sun.”

Having played collegiately at Arizona and in high school at Phoenix’s Hillcrest Prep, Ayton is the first No. 1 overall pick in NBA history to be selected by a team in the same state where he played in both college and high school. He is the first Arizona Wildcat to be taken with the No. 1 pick of the NBA Draft and is also the first No. 1 pick to have played high school ball in Arizona. Ayton is the 13th player born outside the United States to be drafted first overall and the second from the Bahamas, joining Mychal Thompson by Portland in 1978.

A rare combination of size and skill, the 7-1, 250-pound center possesses uncommon athleticism, footwork and shooting touch for a player with his length and strength. During his one season in Tucson, the 19-year-old was a Consensus First Team All-America selection and won the 2018 Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Award. Ayton averaged 20.1 points on 61.2 percent shooting, 11.6 rebounds and 1.9 blocks for Arizona, becoming the first to win Pac-12 Player of the Year, Pac-12 Freshman of the Year and Pac-12 Tournament Most Outstanding Player honors in the same season.

He set a Wildcats record and Pac-12 freshman record with 24 double-doubles, and became just the sixth freshman nationally in the past 25 years to average at least 20 points and 10 rebounds (two of the others were Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony). Ayton set Arizona freshman season records in points (704), rebounds (405), blocks (66) and field goal percentage (.612) while also being named to the Pac-12 All-Defensive Team.

Ayton played the final two seasons of his high school career at Phoenix’s Hillcrest Prep. As a senior in 2016-17, he led the Bruins to a 33-6 record and The Grind Session National Championship, averaging 26 points, 15 rebounds and 3.5 blocks. Among his many honors, he was a McDonald’s All-American, Naismith Trophy High School All-American, USA TODAY ALL-USA First Team selection, and played in the Jordan Brand Classic and Nike Hoop Summit.

Born and raised in Nassau, Bahamas, Ayton began seriously pursing basketball at age 12 after attending the Jeff Rodgers Basketball Camp, the Bahamas’ premier summer basketball program. Ayton flashed his immense potential and later that summer moved to San Diego to attend Balboa City School. He would later transfer to Hillcrest Prep and move to Phoenix to live with his family.

The Suns, drafting for the 51st time this year, had never before picked higher than second overall, most recently selecting Armen Gilliam with the No. 2 pick of the 1987 NBA Draft. The Suns also used the second overall pick to select Neal Walk in 1969, given the No. 2 pick on March 19, 1969, after losing a coin flip with Milwaukee to determine which team received the No. 1 pick and, eventually, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

The list of players selected first overall features some of the most legendary names in NBA history, including Abdul-Jabbar, LeBron James, Magic Johnson, Tim Duncan, Shaquille O’Neal and Hakeem Olajuwon. All-time, 11 first overall picks have become NBA MVP award winners and 17 are Hall of Famers, not counting several more who are certain to be inducted once eligible. In the Lottery Era (since 1985), nearly half of the players to be selected No. 1 have gone on to win NBA Rookie of the Year and 22 have become All-Stars at some point in their careers with a combined 136 All-Star appearances.

In Arizona professional sports history, the Phoenix Mercury have drafted first overall on three occasions and those three No. 1 picks have directly contributed to the team’s three WNBA Championships: Diana Taurasi, the WNBA’s all-time leading scorer, was taken first overall in 2004 and has won three titles with the Mercury; the first pick in 2007 was used to acquire Tangela Smith who helped the Mercury win titles in 2007 and 2009; and Brittney Griner was taken first overall in 2013, helping the Mercury to the title in 2014. The Arizona Diamondbacks have twice selected first overall in MLB’s draft, taking Justin Upton in 2005 and Dansby Swanson in 2015. Neither the Arizona Cardinals nor Arizona Coyotes have selected first overall in the NFL Draft nor NHL Draft since the franchises moved to the state.

The Suns were awarded the No. 1 overall pick for the first time in franchise history after winning the 2018 NBA Draft Lottery on May 15 in Chicago. The Suns had a 25.0 percent probability of winning the No. 1 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, highest of any team participating in the Lottery.

The Suns’ draft night continues as the team owns three more selections in the 2018 NBA Draft. In addition to the No. 1 overall pick, the Suns possess the No. 16 (via Miami), No. 31 and No. 59 (via Toronto) selections.

Nobody said the restaurant business was easy. Here’s TMZ Sports reporting on Yelp abuse directed towards the Curry family.

Houston Rockets fans are still so bitter at being knocked out of the playoffs by the Warriors, they’ve gone to Yelp to take out their frustrations on Ayesha Curry’s new Houston restaurant.

Steph Curry’s wife is opening International Smoke in Houston in July — and a bunch of haters have already bombarded the page with anti-Warriors trash talk, as first pointed out by NBA reporter Tomer Azarly.

Full article

It’s always interesting learning about a team’s individual draft workout style. What players do at the workout, who they’re working out with, who on the team is in attendance, etc. In the case of the Warriors, do-almost-everything forward Draymond Green sat in yesterday. Here’s NBC Sports Bay Area with more:

The Warriors on Tuesday brought in six more draft hopefuls, who went through drills under the watchful eyes of the five most significant layers of the team.

CEO Joe Lacob was there, as was general manager Bob Myers, assistant GM/chief scout Larry Harris, assistant coach Ron Adams and…forward Draymond Green.

This is a glimpse into the inner workings of the Warriors, a hoops democracy in which every voice is given a chance to be heard.

It’s conceivable, though, that no one’s words carried more weight than those of Green, who continues to prove his value to the franchise goes beyond defending, rebounding, playmaking and scoring.

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