Top high school recruit Andrew Wiggins has announced he'll attend the University of Kansas when he begins his freshman year in the fall, according to Keith Morehouse of WSAZ-TV (via Twitter). Wiggins, who ranked No. 1 on Rivals.com's list of this year's recruits, is widely considered the favorite to be drafted first overall in 2014, and could have even gone first overall in this year's draft if he were eligible.
"Everyone last year was trying to figure out a way to get him next year,"
a longtime NBA scout and ex-player told Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports last month. "Teams are
plotting and preparing for when he gets out of school. Character.
Demeanor. Athleticism. Coachable. He makes the game look like it's
insanely too easy. While everyone is sweating, he isn't and he jumps
over your head. The total package."
We typically don't cover the college game too extensively on Hoops Rumors until the draft rolls around, but as Gregg Doyel of CBSSports.com tweets, the 18-year-old Wiggins represents perhaps the best high school prospect since LeBron James, so it'll be worth keeping an eye on his progress as a Jayhawk next season. A year from now, there's a good chance we'll be referring to the draft lottery as the "Andrew Wiggins sweepstakes."
Wiggins, who was born in Canada, chose Kansas over a list of potential schools that included Kentucky, North Carolina, and Florida State. According to Morehouse (via Twitter), Wiggins' decision came down to Kansas and Florida State.
Yesterday, Luke Adams went over the owed draft picks for 2013 that won't be changing hands thanks to the protections tied to them. The Bulls have a first round pick from the Bobcats coming their way thanks to the 2010 Tyrus Thomas trade, but they won't see that pick, which has a ~20% chance at being the No. 1 selection in June, come their way this year. Chicago may have to wait a while as it is top 10 protected in 2014, top eight protected in '15, and not completely unprotected until '16. Here's today's roundup of draft news..
- Russ Smith is feeling the tug of both Louisville and the NBA, writes Rick Bozich of WDRB. Smith, who is set to make his decision tomorrow, still quantifies the odds of him jumping into the 2013 draft at 50/50. Smith is ranked the 57th best prospect in this class by ESPN.com's Chad Ford but is projected to go No. 33 overall by DraftExpress.
- Hoops prodigy Andrew Wiggins is ready to take Canadian hoops to the next level, writes Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports. Meanwhile, teams are already salivating over the projected No. 1 pick of the 2014 draft. "Everyone last year was trying to figure out a way to get him next year," a longtime NBA scout and ex-player said. "Teams are plotting and preparing for when he gets out of school. Character. Demeanor. Athleticism. Coachable. He makes the game look like it's insanely too easy. While everyone is sweating, he isn't and he jumps over your head. The total package."
- Earlier tonight, I profiled N.C. State forward C.J. Leslie in the latest installment of our Prospect Profile series.
With less than a month to go until the 2013 draft lottery, let's check in on the latest draft updates and links....
- French big man Mouhammadou Jaiteh has elected to enter the 2013 draft, agent Herman Manakyan tells Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress.com (Twitter link). Givony, who ranks Jaiteh 32nd among this year's prospects, is more bullish on the 18-year-old than ESPN.com's Chad Ford, who has him 63rd.
- Givony also reports (via Twitter) that German center Philip Neumann will enter this year's draft, according to agent Brad Ames. Neumann ranks 84th on Givony's big board.
- Syracuse's C.J. Fair will hold a press conference this week, perhaps on Tuesday, to announce whether he'll go pro or return for his senior year, according to Mike Waters of Syracuse.com.
- We're still more than two months away from the 2013 draft, but Ford is also getting ready for the 2014 draft too. His Insider-only blog entry at ESPN.com today examines the freshman class of 2013/14, and next year's potential top picks, led by Andrew Wiggins and Julius Randle.
- In his latest preview of the 2013 draft class for NBA.com, TNT's David Aldridge focuses on this year's crop of small forwards.
The final standings for the 2012/13 NBA regular season ensured that many draft pick debts have now been settled. The Warriors, for instance, after keeping their top-seven-protected pick in 2012 and using it to draft Harrison Barnes, will give up that first-round pick (now top-six-protected) in this year's draft, sending it to the Jazz.
However, there are plenty of other instances this year where protected picks won't change hands, pushing the debt back to at least 2014. With the help of RealGM's list of traded picks, here are the traded 2013 picks that will stay put this June, but will be up in the air again next year:
Pick: Bobcats (1st)
Traded to: Bulls
Future protection: Top 10 (2014), Top 8 (2015), Unprotected (2016)
Pick: Kings (1st)
Traded to: Cavaliers
Future protection: Top 12 (2014), Top 10 (2015, 2016, 2017)
Pick: Pistons (1st)
Traded to: Bobcats
Future protection: Top 8 (2014), Top 1 (2015), Unprotected (2016)
Pick: Timberwolves (1st)
Traded to: Suns
Future protection: Top 13 (2014), Top 12 (2015, 2016)
Pick: 76ers (1st)
Traded to: Heat
Future protection: Top 14 (2014, 2015)
Pick: Mavericks (1st)
Traded to: Thunder
Future protection: Top 20 (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017), Unprotected (2018)
Pick: Trail Blazers (2nd)
Traded to: Nuggets
Future protection: Unprotected (2014)
There are also two protected first-round picks which still may or may not change hands this season, depending on how the ping-pong balls fall in the lottery. In the case of the Raptors' 2013 first-rounder, it's very likely it will be sent to the Thunder, extinguishing future debts. The Trail Blazers' 2013 first-rounder, on the other hand, is nearly guaranteed to remain with Portland, meaning the Blazers' debt to Charlotte will be pushed back until at least 2014. Here are the details on those picks:
Pick: Raptors (1st)
Traded to: Thunder
Odds it changes hands in 2013: 97.5%
Future protection, if necessary: Top 2 and 15-30 (2014, 2015), Top 1 and 15-30 (2016, 2017), Unprotected (2018)
Pick: Trail Blazers (1st)
Traded to: Bobcats
Odds it stays put in 2013: 99.9%
Future protection: Top 12 (2014, 2015), Unprotected (2016)
Here's today's look around the Association as we get set for the 2013 playoffs to get underway, starting with the Knicks and Celtics at 2pm central..
- If the Cavs really want to make a run at bringing LeBron James back to Cleveland in the 2014 offseason, it will be interesting to see how they replace coach Byron Scott, writes Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel. If John Calipari somehow winds up as the Cavaliers' choice, then it might be time to at least consider how deep the James-Calipari connections run.
- Jerry Brewer of the Seattle Times is displeased with how commissioner David Stern has handled the Seattle-Sacramento battle over the Kings. Brewer opines that it's frustrating to see Stern continue to defend the Sacramento offer while inferring that it does not fully match the Chris Hansen deal.
- The latest mock draft from HoopsWorld still has Nerlens Noel going No. 1 but has some changes elsewhere in the lottery. Victor Oladipo is at No. 3 in the latest mock while Georgetown's Otto Porter is projected to go No. 6.
- Despite rumblings to the contrary, Canadian high school standout Andrew Wiggins says that he won't be announcing his college choice anytime soon, writes Michael Grange of Sportsnet. Wiggins is universally projected to be the top pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.
A pair of underclassmen declared their intentions to enter the NBA draft today, with N.C. State's C.J. Leslie and Kentucky's Archie Goodwin entering the mix. Here's more of what we're hearing with the draft now less than three months away:
- The tournament bracket makes it clear which NCAA teams are winners, but Ben Standig of CSNWashington sorts through the March Madness winners and losers as it pertains to the draft.
- Standig cites Kentucky center Nerlens Noel as a winner, and Sean Deveney of The Sporting News agrees, even though Noel has been out since February with a torn ACL (Twitter link). Other contenders to be the No. 1 overall pick, like Cody Zeller, Ben McLemore, Otto Porter and Marcus Smart all faltered, Deveney observes.
- Joe Kotoch of SheridanHoops.com unveils the initial version of his mock draft, and has Noel going first overall, followed by Smart and McLemore.
- A Western Conference GM tells Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv that six or seven members of the 2014 draft class would be in the mix for the No. 1 pick if they were eligible this year (Twitter link).
- A GM who spoke to Dave Telep of ESPN.com echoed that sentiment, citing five potential All-Stars who could be in next year's draft: Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, Aaron Gordon, Julius Randle and Andrew Harrison (Twitter link).
Here's a look at some draft news as we get set for another day of NCAA hoops..
- While many are knocking the 2013 draft class, Ric Bucher of 95.7 The Game (Sulia link) talked to one evaluator who believes there will be multiple players in the class who will have solid 10-year careers. Projections for players can also change as they have been watched by scouts up until this point but will now be evaluated by GMs.
- The 2014 draft figures to be stronger than this year's and one director of scouting tells Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv that Kentucky could have as many as eight first round picks. Freshmen Willie Cauley-Stein, Archie Goodwin, and Alex Poythress are all projected to be first round pick's in this year's draft but they plan on returning to the Wildcats next season. Commits Julius Randle, Andrew Harrison, and Aaron Harrison will also be in the mix next season and UK could still net Andrew Wiggins and Aaron Gordon.
- UCLA's Shabazz Muhammad is dogged by the baggage surrounding his age discrepancy and his sliding play, writes Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com.
It's a 10-game night in the NBA, and the best game might be the last one to tip off, as the Warriors and Clippers square off for the second time in four days. The teams, who occupy the top two spots in the Pacific Division, will also meet January 21st, so it's a taste of playoff-level familiarity for untested Golden State. Here's more from around the Association.
- Mark Heisler, writing for The New York Times, reveals that part of the reason the Lakers hired Mike D'Antoni instead of Phil Jackson was because the front office was concerned the triangle offense would minimize Steve Nash's effect on the offense.
- People who've seen Derrick Rose work out believe he's almost ready to return, but the Bulls front office and coaching staff have different opinions on when the star point guard will be back on the court, as Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News writes.
- The Magic can place DeQuan Jones on waivers by Monday afternoon and avoid paying him his full rookie minimum salary this season, but as Josh Robbins affirms via Twitter, it's unlikely the team will do that with the 6'8" small forward who rejoined the team's starting lineup this week.
- With another bumper crop of prospects on the way, including point guard Andrew Harrison, No. 3 on the Draft Express 2014 mock, and twin brother Aaron Harrison, 13th on that list, next year's University of Kentucky team is already drawing plenty of interest from NBA scouts. Some teams will assign scouts to Lexington for the entire season, notes Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv (Twitter links).
- Keith Schlosser of Ridiculous Upside engages Mike James in a Q&A after the 37-year-old guard signed this week with the Texas Legends of the D-League in hopes of getting a call-up from the Mavericks.
Jabari Parker, the second highest-recruited high-school player of the 2013 graduating class behind Andrew Wiggins, has committed to play for Duke University in 2013/14. Parker announced his decision in a 30-minute television special that aired Thursday on ESPNU.
Parker, a senior at Simeon Career Academy in Chicago, is expected to be the second overall pick of the 2014 NBA Draft, after Wiggins. He is considered a gifted scorer with superstar potential.
The latest news and notes from around the NBA on Wednesday night:
- Al Iannazzone of Newsday.com writes that Mike Woodson has been more successful at coaching Carmelo Anthony than Mike D'Antoni was.
- James Harden was indifferent in his reaction to reports that the Wizards had rejected an offer from the Thunder to send him to Washington.
- Jason Terry did not rule out a return to the Mavericks later in his career, writes Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com.
- ESPN.com's Chad Ford took a variety of questions from fans relating to the 2013 NBA Draft in a live chat.
- SNY.com's Adam Zagoria reports that Jabari Parker, the second-rated prospect of the 2014 Draft, is down to Duke and Michigan State in his choice of colleges.
- Chris Broussard of ESPN.com reports that John Wall will have his knee re-examined on Friday.
- Sam Amico of FoxSportsOhio.com writes that youth is not an excuse for the Cavs' poor play.
- D.J. Augustin has been a disappointment since signing with the Pacers this summer.
- Sean Michael Meager of the Oregonian has an interview with Trail Blazers rookie Will Barton about his recent D-League assignment and the adjustment from college to the NBA.
- Brandon Jennings was perhaps the best player up for a rookie-scale extension who didn't get one, but he's drawing comparisons to Chris Paul and Mike Conley from Bucks coach Scott Skiles for his play this season, as Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel documents.
- Stephen Curry is feeling happy with his level of play this season and is not disappointed with his contract extension, he tells Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports.