At least one GM is among the multiple executives who believe Latvian power forward Kristaps Porzingis has a shot to be drafted as highly as No. 2, reports Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com. The head of basketball ops for another team said that he’s a “lock” for the top five and that it wouldn’t be surprising to see him go within the top three, adding that he’d draft him in front of Jahlil Okafor, the Duke center who occupied the top spot in projections for most of the season. The 19-year-old is No. 5 in Chad Ford’s ESPN.com rankings and No. 8 with Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress. Here’s more as draft rumors kick into high gear:
- Christian Wood, a power forward out of UNLV, is hoping to follow in Giannis Antetokounmpo‘s footsteps as a ball-handler with unusual height and length, Howard-Cooper writes in the same piece. The Bucks intend to interview Wood, Virginia small forward Justin Anderson and others today, tweets Gery Woelfel of The Journal Times.
- Both the DraftExpress team and Ford go in depth on the measurements from the combine, with Ford, in his Insider-only piece, noting that most top prospects sized up well and that this year’s draft class is among the longest groups in memory in terms of both height and wingspan.
- Michigan State power forward Branden Dawson has interviewed with the Wizards, Clippers and Pelicans at the draft combine, as he told Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press. Ellis, in the same report, adds Stanley Johnson, Frank Kaminsky and Rashad Vaughn to the list of prospects with whom the Pistons have spoken.
- Terry Rozier met with the Pistons, too, as well as the Mavs, Suns, Knicks and Spurs, reports Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders (on Twitter).
- The Sixers, Lakers, Cavs and Bucks have interviewed Cameron Payne, Kyler also tweets. Payne spoke with our Zach Links recently about his draft prospects.
- Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer adds the Hornets and Warriors to the list of teams speaking with Rakeem Christmas (Twitter link).