- The Spurs will consider bringing over 6’10” Slovenian power forward Erazem Lorbek this summer, according to Jabari Young of The San Antonio Express-News. San Antonio acquired the rights to the 32-year-old in a 2011 deal that sent George Hill to the Pacers. At one time, Lorbek was among the best big men in the Euroleague, but he sat out last season and the Spurs aren’t sure if he is in NBA shape.
The Bulls and Celtics are still discussing a deal involving Jimmy Butler, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical. Chicago, which traded Derrick Rose to the Knicks on Wednesday, reportedly wants to draft Providence point guard Kris Dunn, but isn’t enamored with Boston’s latest offer, according to K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune (Twitter link).
More trade rumors are heating up as the draft is under way:
- Another deal the Bulls received came from the Timberwolves, who offered the fifth pick and Zach LaVine, tweets Ian Begley of ESPN.com. Minnesota is willing to listen to offers for anyone besides Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns, tweets Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities, but he doesn’t believe that offer will be enough to land Butler.
- The Kings have been “heavily engaged in trade talks” with several teams this week and are targeting Lakers‘ point guard D’Angelo Russell, tweets Marc Stein of ESPN. Sacramento is seeking a possible replacement for starting point guard Rajon Rondo, who is headed toward free agency.
- Before picking up Thaddeus Young in a deal with the Nets today, the Pacers talked to the Kings about Rudy Gay, according to Wojnarowski.
The Pacers have acquired Thaddeus Young from the Nets in exchange for the No. 20 overall pick in tonight’s NBA Draft and a future protected second-rounder, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reports (on Twitter). The scribe had reported earlier that several Western Conference teams had been aggressively pursuing Young, who Brooklyn was looking to deal to the highest bidder in an effort to land a first round pick, which it nabbed from Indiana in the swap.
This is the second big move by Indiana in the past two days, with the team landing point guard Jeff Teague from Atlanta in a three-team trade on Wednesday. It certainly appears that team executive Larry Bird is serious about retooling his squad for new coach Nate McMillan.
For Brooklyn, flipping Young for a first-rounder clearly signals that the franchise is shifting into full-rebuild mode. Given the Nets’ lack of talent, it is a bit puzzling why they would give up on Young, who is under contract for three more seasons at a fairly reasonable rate. Young, 28, is slated to earn $12,078,652 next season, $12,921,348 in 2017/18 and $13,764,045 the final year.
In 73 appearances for Brooklyn this past season, Young averaged 15.1 points, 9.0 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 33.0 minutes per outing. His shooting line was .514/.233/.644.
The Pacers, Jazz, and Hawks have agreed to a three-way trade, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical, who reports that Indiana will acquire Atlanta point guard Jeff Teague and send George Hill to Utah in the deal. The Hawks, meanwhile, will get the No. 12 overall pick in tomorrow’s draft from Utah, says Wojnarowski.
Teague, 28, has been the subject of trade rumors this year despite having an All-Star appearance on his résumé. With just one year left on his contract, Teague has become somewhat expendable in Atlanta due to the continued development of fellow point guard Dennis Schröder, who has made no secret about his desire to be the starter going forward
Teague, who said earlier this month that he played the 2015/16 season with a torn patellar tendon in his knee, still appeared in 79 games, averaging 15.7 points and 5.9 assists, and shooting 43.9% from the field and 40% from three-point range. According to Wojnarowski, the Pacers intend to try to extend Teague’s contract beyond the 2016/17 season. The veteran point guard will be eligible to restructure his deal beginning on July 13th.
In Hill, meanwhile, the Jazz are acquiring a solid defender who can also contribute on the offensive end, particularly from beyond the arc. In 74 regular-season games, Hill averaged 12.1 points, 3.5 assists, and 4.0 rebounds per game, to go along with a 40.8% mark from three-point range. The 30-year-old was also solid in Indiana’s first-round playoff loss to Toronto, increasing his three-point percentage to 48.1% for those seven games. He’ll team with Dante Exum at the point in Utah, and his arrival may push Trey Burke to the trade block.
Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution suggests (via Twitter) that the trade won’t become official until July, which makes sense if no other pieces are involved. That would allow the Jazz to use their cap space in July to absorb Hill’s $8MM salary without moving any other players. From the Pacers’ perspective, Teague’s salary – which will increase to $8.8MM due to his 10% trade kicker – is only a marginal increase on Hill’s.
As for the Hawks, they’d clear Teague’s salary while taking on a cap hold of just under $2MM for the No. 12 overall pick. The move would reduce the guaranteed salaries on Atlanta’s books for 2016/17 to about $44MM, not including the cap holds for their two first-rounders or pending free agents, giving the team plenty of room to re-sign Al Horford and potentially pursue another free agent or two as well.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
With Ben Simmons having reportedly received a promise from the Sixers at No. 1, the Lakers know who will be on the board for them at No. 2, and barring a last-minute blockbuster trade offer, Los Angeles intends to select Duke’s Brandon Ingram with that pick, according to ESPN’s Chad Ford and Ramona Shelburne. The decision, which comes as no surprise, comes after the Lakers spent three hours meeting with new head coach Luke Walton on Tuesday night, per the ESPN.com report. The team did its homework on other top prospects, but this year’s class has always been viewed as having a consensus top two, so it would have been a huge upset if the Lakers had landed on anyone but Ingram.
Let’s check in on a few more draft rumors, notes, and updates around the league…
- ESPN’s Marc Stein wrote last night that the Celtics‘ preference at No. 3 – assuming they keep the pick – has “emerged as one of the bigger mysteries of draft week.” Bill Simmons of The Ringer agrees, tweeting that the Suns (Marquese Chriss), Timberwolves (Kris Dunn), Pelicans (Jamal Murray), and Kings (Buddy Hield) all appear to have preferred targets, but Boston could throw a wrench into the top eight by selecting one of those players. Meanwhile, Brett Dawson of The Advocate cautions (via Twitter) that it’s not yet clear whether Murray is New Orleans’ top target.
- The Hawks, Sixers, and Spurs – all of whom have picks in the 20-30 range tomorrow night – have done the most extensive research on former St. Joseph’s wing DeAndre’ Bembry, a source tells Jon Rothstein of CBSSports.com (Twitter link).
- Rothstein adds (via Twitter) that two names he’s hearing on the Grizzlies‘ short list for the No. 17 pick are Wade Baldwin (Vanderbilt) and Malachi Richardson (Syracuse).
- The Pacers have narrowed down their list of realistic targets for the No. 20 overall pick to eight prospects, and prioritizing versatility, writes Nate Taylor of The Indianapolis Star.
- ESPN’s Chad Ford (Insider-only link) has revealed his final big board for the 2016 draft, which has Kris Dunn supplanting Jamal Murray at No. 3, and Marquese Chriss cracking the top five.
- The NBA has announced 19 Green Room invitees for the 2016 draft, as Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv details. The list of prospects who will be in attendance on Thursday night includes the usual suspects, such as Simmons and Ingram, but also features a handful of names further down on draft boards, including Timothe Luwawu, Malik Beasley, and Denzel Valentine.
- Former Kansas big man Cheick Diallo will work out for the Pacers today and will display his wares for the Grizzlies on Saturday, Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv tweets.
- Working out for the Pacers today will be Kyle Collinsworth (BYU), Cheick Diallo (Kansas), Yogi Ferrell (Indiana), Brice Johnson (North Carolina), Niang, and Ante Zizic (Croatia), Nate Taylor of The Indianapolis Star relays (via Twitter).
As the 2016 NBA draft rapidly approaches the term draft-and-stash will be mentioned quite often in regard to international players and late second-rounders. While some of these athletes will eventually sign with an NBA team, it seems like the majority of them stay overseas and never make it to the league. Those players in the latter category aren’t without value as they become trade assets for the teams holding their rights.
While many players fail to work out the way teams expect them to, they can at least become tradeable assets for teams that don’t want to part with a future second-round pick in a deal. Each team must give up something in a trade, which is why many swaps include top-55 protected second-round picks. Older draft rights held players who clearly will never come over to the NBA are essentially the same as flipping those heavily protected second-rounders, for all intents and purposes.
Listed below are the current unsigned draftees for the teams of the Central Division:
- Tadija Dragicevic — Selected No. 53 overall in 2008.
- Milovan Rakovic — Selected No. 60 overall in 2007.
- Vladimir Veremeenko — Selected No. 48 overall in 2006.
- Edin Bavcic — Selected No. 56 overall in 2006.
- Ilkan Karaman — Selected No. 57 overall in 2012.
- Milan Macvan — Selected No. 54 overall in 2011.
- Cedi Osman — Selected No. 31 overall in 2015.
- Sir’Dominic Pointer — Selected No. 53 overall in 2015.
- Ejike Ugboaja — Selected No. 55 overall in 2006.
- Stanko Barac — Selected No. 39 overall in 2007.
- Andrew Betts — Selected No. 50 overall in 1998.
- Andrei Fetisov — Selected No. 36 overall in 1994.
- Albert Miralles — Selected No. 39 overall in 2004.
- Eurelijus Zukauskas — Selected No. 54 overall in 1995.
- The Pacers have their sixth pre-draft workout scheduled for Wednesday, the team announced. Attendees will include Kellen Dunham (Butler), Jordan Loyd (Indianapolis), Taurean Prince (Baylor), Alex Poythress (Kentucky), Diamond Stone (Maryland), and Goodluck Okonoboh (UNLV), according to the release.