The Knicks held a private workout for Kristaps Porzingis on Monday morning, according to Frank Isola of the New York Daily News. The Knicks were impressed by his workout in Las Vegas two weeks ago and wanted to take a second look at the Latvian power forward, Isola continues. D’Angelo Russell is still the Knicks’ likely choice at No. 4 if he’s available and they do not trade the pick, Isola adds. Marc Berman of the New York Post, who also reported the workout, notes that team president Phil Jackson said he is trying to draft a starter with the fourth pick, which would make Porzingis an odd fit. “He’s absolutely not a starter on a good team next season and maybe not [on] a bad team,’’ one NBA scout told Berman. “He’s not physically ready. I’d be shocked if they took him.’’
In other draft news around the league:
- Officials from many teams sense that the interest the Sixers have in Porzingis is overstated and a ruse to convince competitors to trade up for the pick, Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress writes in his latest mock draft.
- Many believe that the Grizzlies, at pick No. 25, are the team that’s made the reported promise to Jarell Martin, Givony writes in the same piece.
- Willie Cauley-Stein would not make sense with the Kings’ lottery pick because he wouldn’t be a good fit alongside DeMarcus Cousins, Ailene Voisin of the Sacramento Bee tweets. Multiple scouts told Voisin that Cauley-Stein would clog the lane and limit the spacing for Cousins in the low post. In contrast, the Kings are intrigued by the pairing of Frank Kaminsky and Cousins, according to Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated (Twitter link). Kaminsky had a strong workout with the Kings on Monday, Mannix adds.
- The Celtics are trying to move up in the draft and have had discussions with at least one team in the Top 10, Mannix writes a separate tweet. Mannix quotes a rival executive that Boston is being “aggressive, one of the few teams thinking big.”
- The Pacers could trade out of the lottery and into the late teens or early 20s of the first round if the player they target at No. 11 is taken ahead of them, Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders tweets.