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Eastern Notes: Morris, Simmons, Hornets

ESPN draft guru Chad Ford believes the Wizards made the right move in dealing away the No. 13 overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft for mercurial forward Markieff Morris. Speaking on ESPN 980’s “Inside the Locker Room” with Brian Mitchell and Scott Jackson, Ford said, “You look at [everything] and probably say the Wizards made the right call here in that they got more value [with Morris] than they would have gotten with the 13th pick.” Ford noted that after the presumptive top two of Ben Simmons and Brandon Ingram the quality of players drops off significantly in the second-tier, adding, “I think all of those guys are solid players. They’ll probably be starters in the league and make a positive contribution. … Typically, you’re still drafting high-level starters in the 5-7 range. Instead I think you’re probably drafting average starters.”

After that, I think you’re looking at role players throughout the rest of the draft,” Ford continued. “That means I think the value in this is draft is a little low. At nine, if you’re drafting a role player, that’s again not great value compared to other drafts.

Here’s the latest from the Eastern Conference:

  • The Sixers met with projected No. 1 overall pick Simmons and agent Rich Paul on Thursday night in Cleveland, Marc Stein of ESPN.com relays  (Twitter links).
  • Former North Carolina point guard Marcus Paige worked out for the Hawks on Thursday and will do the same for the Hornets today, Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution relays (via Twitter).
  • Hornets GM Rich Cho, speaking at a press conference today, noted that the team believes it can land an impact player with the No. 22 overall pick, but didn’t rule out making an attempt to move up in the draft, Charlotte relayed in a series of tweets. “We feel like it’s a deep draft and we’ll get a good player at pick 22. At the same time we’re looking at our options,” Cho said. “With 8 free agents, I don’t know what’s going to happen. We’re trying to get more depth with our team and get guys that can play in our rotation. At this point in the process, we’ve already done all our work. Scouted tons of games and did all background work and intel. We’ll be ready.

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