And-Ones: Payne, Duke, Belinelli

Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski is barring NBA teams from scouting his program’s practices this season – except for two pro days scheduled in October, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reports. NBA executives were extended invitations to the pro days on October 19th and 25th at Cameron Indoor Stadium, the second of which coincides with the opening night of the NBA regular season, Duke informed front offices on Tuesday, Wojnarowski adds. The university currently has two freshmen forwards, Jason Tatum and Harry Giles, who are ranked in DraftExpress’ top five projected players in the 2017 NBA draft, as well as junior guard Grayson Allen, who is ranked in the top 25.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • It’s been less than two months since Cameron Payne underwent surgery on his right foot to repair a Jones fracture and the Thunder guard is on track to be ready for the start of training camp, Erik Horne of The Oklahoman writes. But despite his solid progress, Payne doesn’t want to rush things and risk a setback, Horne adds. “I’m getting back into things,” Payne said. “I’m shooting, jumping around, running. Everything’s been going great. I hope I’m ready as soon as the first day comes. But I don’t want to rush anything. I want to be perfectly ready. One-hundred percent. It’s really day-by-day, but right now, the things that we’re doing, we’re going at 100%.”
  • The five players in the Western Conference who will make the biggest impact this season after changing teams, according to A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com, are: Harrison Barnes (Mavs), Kevin Durant (Warriors), Chandler Parsons (Grizzlies), Evan Turner (Blazers) and Joe Johnson (Jazz).
  • Hornets coach Steve Clifford praised the team’s draft day deal to acquire Marco Belinelli from the Kings in exchange for the rights to No. 22 overall pick, Malachi Richardson, Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer tweets. The coach noted that a player selected at that draft spot would not have been able to contribute this season, unlike the veteran shooting guard they obtained in the swap, Bonnell relays.

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