The Pacers are intrigued by Murray State guard Cameron Payne, Candace Buckner of the Indianapolis Star reports. Payne, who worked out for Indiana on Monday, has zoomed up to No. 11 — where the Pacers are currently slotted — on Chad Ford’s ESPN Insider Big Board. He’s No. 20 on Jonathan Givony’s DraftExpress prospect list. “We followed him all year,” Pacers president of basketball operations Larry Bird told Buckner. “We know he can shoot it, he can drive it. He’s a playmaker. His size is against him a little bit but he’s a nice little player. He didn’t play against top schools but that doesn’t mean he can’t play.” Jerian Grant (Notre Dame), Olivier Hanlan (Boston College), Joseph Young (Oregon) Rakeem Christmas (Syracuse) and Richaun Holmes (Bowling Green) also worked out for the Pacers on Monday, according to Buckner. Payne hopes to jump into the top 10 in the draft, as he recently told Hoops Rumors’ Zach Links in a Q&A session.
In other news around the league:
- Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak does not anticipate having three rookies on his roster next season, even if the team retains its lottery pick, Bill Oram of the Orange County Register reports. The Lakers must stay in the top five when the lottery results are announced or they will have to convey their first-rounder to the Sixers. They also have the No. 27 and No. 34 overall picks but Kupchak may trade at least one of them. “It may be a little much to add three more young players,” Kupchak told the team’s beat reporters. Kupchak added that the team could bring in as many as 80 players for workouts, Oram adds.
- New Jersey native and top prospect Karl-Anthony Towns would be thrilled to be drafted by the Knicks since he grew up as a fan of the team, he told Steve Serby of the New York Post in a Q&A session. “It would be an honor, not only as a player, but as a Knicks fan, to be able to play for that organization,” Towns said. “It’s gonna be, I guess a childhood dream — rooting for the Knicks all this time, and the next thing you know, you hear an organization call your name to go out there and give it your best shot. I think it would very cool, and really very honored and blessed to be able to play for them.”
- International prospect Mouhammadou Jaiteh made a strong impression at the draft combine, NetsDaily.com tweets. The 6’11” center has moved up to the No. 34 on Ford’s board and No. 35 spot on Givony’s list.