Alex Len Rumors
June 18 at 4:03pm CST By Luke Adams
As I wrote last week when I previewed the Cavaliers' offseason, Cleveland figures to be one of the league's most active teams this summer, particularly in the trade market. With four draft picks in the top 33 (including No. 1 overall) and a good chunk of cap space available, there are plenty of options available to the Cavs this summer. Here are the latest rumblings out of Cleveland on how the club may look to improve its roster:
- While the Cavs remain undecided on who they'll pick first overall, it won't be Anthony Bennett or Victor Oladipo unless they trade down, sources tell Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio.
- That leaves Nerlens Noel, Otto Porter, Alex Len, and Ben McLemore as potential options for the first overall pick, and the Cavs figure to meet with all those players this week. Mary Schmitt Boyer of the Cleveland Plain Dealer passes along a report from ESPN.com's Andy Katz (via Twitter) suggesting that Porter, McLemore, and Oladipo will work out for the Cavs on Wednesday, while the injured Noel and Len will interview with the club on the weekend.
- In addition to the aforementioned players, one other prospect is under consideration by the Cavs with the No. 1 pick, sources tell Amico, though it's unclear who the player is. Cleveland will continue to look into trading the top pick as well.
- The Cavs are also exploring trade options involving their two second-round picks (31st and 33rd), according to Amico. The team could attempt to package those two picks for a third first-rounder, or could throw the 19th pick into the mix as well in an attempt to move up in the first round.
- We heard from ESPN.com's Chad Ford earlier today that the Cavs like Sergey Karasev, and Amico echoes that report, also noting that the Russian forward may not be on the board when Cleveland picks at No. 19.
- Cleveland has recently engaged in trade talks involving a "viable" small forward, a source tells Amico.
June 18 at 3:08pm CST By Luke Adams
Echoing an overnight report from Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio, ESPN.com's Chad Ford says in his latest mock draft that the Cavaliers remain undecided on their first overall pick. While the team appears likely to keep the pick, a number of players are still being considered, including Nerlens Noel and Alex Len. According to Ford, Noel remains the favorite because he fits the sort of high-upside profile the Cavs typically target, but there are some in the organization who prefer Len.
Here are several more highlights from version 5.0 of Ford's 2013 mock:
- Ford hears that Victor Oladipo has the upper hand over Ben McLemore for the Magic at No. 2, though the team would strongly consider Noel if the Cavs passed on him.
- The Bobcats will likely be deciding between Anthony Bennett and Len at No. 4, if both players are available, but Cody Zeller could be a dark horse, says Ford.
- Teams are worried about McLemore after a series of unimpressive workouts, and it's possible he slips past the Suns at No. 5, according to Ford.
- The Timberwolves appear to have narrowed down their choice at No. 9 to Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Shabazz Muhammad.
- The Sixers figure to target size at No. 11, with Zeller, Mason Plumlee, and Lucas Nogueira among the possibilities.
- Assuming the Mavericks don't trade the 13th pick, though it's very likely they will, a player like Sergey Karasev, who could be stashed overseas for a year or two, is a strong possibility, says Ford.
- Karasev also interests the Cavaliers at No. 19, though Cleveland likes Reggie Bullock as a potential consolation prize, according to Ford.
- The Jazz appear to be a good bet to target a big man at No. 14 and a point guard at No. 21.
- Ford continues to hear that the Knicks have a "strong affinity" for Tony Mitchell.
June 18 at 10:00am CST By Luke Adams
Although one report yesterday suggested that the Cavaliers were leaning toward selecting big man Alex Len with the first overall pick in next week's draft, Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio hears that's not the case. Amico reports (via Twitter) that there's still no clear frontrunner for the Cavs' No. 1 pick, which likely means Len remains in the mix along with prospects like Nerlens Noel, Ben McLemore, and Otto Porter. As we enjoy the uncertainty of not knowing which player will be picked first overall, let's round up a few more of today's draft-related news and rumors....
- If the Celtics end up acquiring the Clippers' 2013 first-round pick (25th overall), Ricky Ledo represents a likely target for Boston, tweets ESPN.com's Chad Ford.
- Like a number of international prospects we heard about yesterday, Norvel Pelle has also withdrawn from the NBA draft, according to Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times. Pelle, who missed workouts with several NBA teams due to foot issues, remained eligible to withdraw from the draft up until yesterday's deadline, since he didn't attend college.
- Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer (Twitter link) hears that Cody Zeller will work out for the Bobcats on Wednesday.
- In an Associated Press report (via ESPN.com), Glen Rice Jr. talks about attempting to become the first player drafted in the first round after playing in the D-League.
June 17 at 2:29pm CST By Luke Adams
Up to this point, we've heard that the Cavaliers are weighing a number of options for their first overall pick. Assuming they don't trade the pick, it's possible the Cavs could select Nerlens Noel, Otto Porter, Ben McLemore, Victor Oladipo, Alex Len, or Anthony Bennett. Previous reports have suggested Cleveland isn't tipping its hand, but Jimmy Smith of the New Orleans Times-Picayune is hearing that Len appears to be the frontrunner for that No. 1 spot (Twitter link)
As we wait to see whether Smith is right, or whether the Cavs' top choice turns out to be someone else 10 days from now, let's round up a few draft items....
- Gorgui Dieng and Nate Wolters are among the prospects scheduled to work out with the Knicks tomorrow, according to the team's PR Twitter account.
- Wolters is also among the six prospects working out for the Bucks today, per Milwaukee's PR department (Twitter link).
- Archie Goodwin has workouts lined up with three Western teams, according to Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv (via Twitter): The Jazz, Kings, and Trail Blazers.
- With three second-round picks in hand, the Blazers brought in a handful of potential targets for those picks today, as Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com tweets.
- The Wizards will work out a number of international prospects later this week, writes J. Michael of CSNWashington.com.
- Joel Brigham of HoopsWorld identifies a few of the players he thinks will be steals in this year's draft.
June 16 at 8:30pm CST By Zach Links
Here's a look at the latest out of the Central Division..
- The Cavs are seriously considering Alex Len, Anthony Bennett, Ben McLemore, Nerlens Noel, and Otto Porter for the top pick, with Victor Oladipo as a long shot, the Plain Dealer's Terry Pluto writes. While Noel was long thought to be the slam-dunk No. 1 pick, the Cavs' desire to win this year coupled with concerns over his ACL injury have them considering other options.
- Oladipo will work out for the Cavs next week, but he's declined an invitation from the Wizards to work out at their home arena and prefers to have the team audition him at a location of his choosing, reports Michael Lee of The Washington Post. Oladipo's camp doesn't believe the Wizards will draft him third overall.
- Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times shares the heart-wrenching personal saga of second-round hopeful Dwayne Davis, who worked out Saturday for the Bucks. He's also worked out for the Bulls and Suns, and has auditions scheduled with the Warriors and Mavs.
Chuck Myron contributed to this post.
June 16 at 12:59pm CST By Chuck Myron
The Magic appear to have heavy interest in acquiring Eric Bledsoe in return for Arron Afflalo, according to Joe Kotoch of SheridanHoops.com, who delivers his latest mock draft. That jibes with the notion that the Clippers are holding out for an additional asset in the rumored trade proposal, which would also send Caron Butler to Orlando. Kotoch adds that Cavs executive Zydrunas Ilgauskas is pushing Cleveland to take Alex Len first overall. Here's more from around the NBA:
- The Nuggets plan for most of their interviews for a new GM to occur once the team hires a coach, reports Christopher Dempsey of the Denver Post. Wednesday's scheduled meeting with Lionel Hollins will be the first formal interview the team will conduct for the coaching job, and it's unclear when any other candidates will be interviewed, Dempsey notes.
- Nuggets president Josh Kroenke tells Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post that he wouldn't have allowed a team other than the Raptors to have permission to speak with former GM Masai Ujiri. Kroenke admits he put himself in a difficult position because of his friendship with Ujiri, who had a soft spot for the Raptors organization for which he worked once before.
- The Rockets have paid the luxury tax just once in the 15 seasons its been in existence, but owner Leslie Alexander tells Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle that he'd be "thrilled to pay a tax if we have a championship-caliber team."
- Dan McCarney of the San Antonio Express-News glances at the personnel decisions facing the Spurs this summer once the Finals are over.
- Tyson Chandler tells Marc Berman of the New York Post that he tried all season long to convince former teammate and new Nets head coach Jason Kidd not to end his playing career. Chandler doesn't believe Kidd's 10-game scoreless streak in the postseason influenced his decision.
- Jared Zwerling of ESPNNewYork.com checks in with free agent center Jerome Jordan, who'll be playing in summer leagues for both the Knicks and Pacers and will also take part in mini-camps with the Spurs and Mavericks.
- Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun figures the Raptors may carry only 13 players next season, given their proximity to tax territory (Twitter links).
June 15 at 6:09pm CST By Spencer Lund
There's a lot still swirling about the Clippers-Celtics deal, with Ramona Shelburne and Marc Stein of ESPN.com, and many others tweeting about a possible deal every few minutes. We'll certainly have more for you a little later, but before we do so, let's delve into the upcoming draft, as we're less than two weeks away from the big night:
- Maryland center Alex Len will be visiting the Cavaliers next week, according to his agent, writes Mary Schmitt Boyer of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. His visit will come after UNLV power forward Anthony Bennett comes on Monday, and Kentucky big man Nerlens Noel visits on Tuesday.
- Noel also told Alex Kennedy, writing for the USA Today, that there are "no excuses" if his knee doesn't work out. According to the Wizards' Twitter feed, Noel said he's gained weight since the combine and is up to 218 lbs(Twitter link), so hopefully it doesn't affect the knee.
- Mark Giannato of the Washington Post writes that despite the small chance Noel lands with the Wizards with the third pick, Noel believes "anything can happen," so he's ready for the unexpected despite the fact he's the favorite to be selected number one overall.
- Former Lousiville guard Peyton Siva, worked out for the Warriors today, reports Curtis Pashelka of the San Jose Mercury News. Siva was excited at the prospect of playing for former Rick Pitino disciple Mark Jackson, with Siva saying that playing for the Warriors would be "wonderful."
- The Bucks continued to look at shooting guards, with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Ricky Ledo working out for the squad today, writes Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Sam Amico of Fox Sports says Ledo may be working his way into the late-first round (Twitter).
June 14 at 4:52pm CST By Luke Adams
With the 2013 draft less than two weeks away, the majority of the NBA's teams are continuing to bring in prospects to get a closer look at them. Here are the latest updates on draft workouts:
- In addition to Michael Carter-Williams, who we heard about yesterday, Trey Burke and Alex Len also participated in the Pelicans' first draft workout today, tweets Jim Eichenhofer of Pelicans.com.
- The Pistons won't start working out players for the No. 8 pick until next week, according to Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press, who tweets that Mason Plumlee will work out for the club next Friday.
- The six players scheduled to work out for the Nets on Monday include C.J. Leslie and Tony Mitchell, according to a team release.
- Ray McCallum, Brandon Paul, Tony Snell, Nate Wolters, Jack Cooley, and Zeke Marshall worked out for the Trail Blazers today, according to Joe Freeman of the Oregonian (Twitter link).
- The Timberwolves will work out six players on Sunday, according to the team's PR Twitter account: Shabazz Muhammad, Archie Goodwin, Rodney Williams, James Ennis, Kyle Barone, and Jamelle Hagins (Twitter links).
- Brandon Davies, Mike Muscala, Elijah Johnson, B.J. Young, Grant Jerrett, and Colton Iverson worked out for the Clippers today, tweets Clips reporter Madelyn Burke.
- Jerrett and Davies are also among the players who will work out for the Jazz tomorrow, along with Snell, Gorgui Dieng, Jamaal Franklin, Isaiah Canaan, and Kelly Olynyk, among others (link via Utah's official site).
June 13 at 1:43pm CST By Luke Adams
Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities brings us his weekly Scoops column a day early this week, publishing it on Thursday rather than Friday. Wolfson's usual look at Minnesota sports is heavy on Timberwolves content this time around, so let's dive in and round up a few highlights....
- Team president Flip Saunders will head to Washington, D.C. to meet with Victor Oladipo tomorrow morning. Considering the Wolves draft at No. 9, and Oladipo isn't expected to make it past the top five, it appears his camp has some level of confidence that Minnesota could trade up.
- Gorgui Dieng and the T-Wolves are trying to figure out a workout time, but it doesn't look like Alex Len will visit with the team before the draft. Len is unlikely to be around by the time the Wolves pick anyway.
- Re-signing Nikola Pekovic remains a high priority for the T-Wolves, though it's still not clear if the club will be willing to pay $12MM+ annually to retain him.
- Minnesota is one of a few NBA teams talking to the D-League's Iowa Energy about a possible one-to-one affiliation. This past season, the Energy served as the D-League affiliate for the Bulls, Nuggets, Pelicans, and Wizards. The Wolves lost their own affiliate when the Sioux Falls SkyForce entered into a single affiliation partnership with the Heat.
- While Wolfson wonders if a reunion between the Wolves and Kevin Garnett would be possible if the Celtics enter rebuilding mode, a source close to KG shoots down the idea, telling Wolfson it would "never happen."
- Although the Wolves' director of player personnel, R.J. Adelman, is expected to remain with the organization, it's possible he could join Sam Hinkie's front office with the Sixers.
June 12 at 8:30pm CST By Michael Pina
A few notes regarding draft prospects and the various teams they're meeting with throughout the league.
- Maryland center Alex Len reportedly worked out with the Trail Blazers last week, reports OregonLive.com's Sean Meagher. Standing seven feet tall, Len would provide Portland with stabilizing rim protection, something they sorely lacked last season.
- The Nets worked out several wing players who've shined at making plays off the dribble, including Reggie Bullock, Tony Snell, and Archie Goodwin, according to the New York Post's Fred Kerber.
- The Hawks are set to work out St. Joseph's C.J. Aiken, a 6'9" forward who's already worked out for several NBA teams and is projected to go undrafted, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer's Tyler Tynes.
- According to an official release from the team, the Pacers will hold a work out for Iowa State's Will Clyburn, Virginia Commonwealth's Troy Daniels, North Carolina State's C.J. Leslie, Missouri's Alex Oriakhi, Syracuse's James Southerland, and Ohio State's DeShaun Thomas.
- The Bucks will work out Tony Mitchell, James Ennis, Solomon Hill, Adonis Thomas, Trey McKinney Jones, and Steven Pledger, according to a tweet from the team's PR account.
- The Timberwolves are scheduled to work out six players on Thursday, according to a tweet from the team's PR account.