A few notes about the upcoming NBA draft.
- University of Michigan big man Mitch McGary has had a tremendous NCAA tournament run, and as a freshman, his promise as someone capable of banging down low with the NBA's trees has dramatically improved. After declaring there was a "100 percent chance" he'd be returning to school for his sophomore season, McGary has changed his tune, writes Mlive.com's Nick Baumgardner. Given the fact that this year's class is incredibly thin, McGary's stock has risen higher than even he thought possible. He's now appearing in mock drafts as a first round pick, and it's forced him to say he'll reassess whether he'll be returning to school at some point after the season.
- SNY.TV's Adam Zagoria ranks the top NBA prospects participating in this year's Final Four.
- Mike Moser, a junior forward at UNLV, is currently deciding whether he should transfer to the University of Washington, or declare for the NBA draft, reports CBSSports.com's Jeff Goodman.
To get an idea of the size and signficance of last week's blockbuster, consider the notion that Andre Iguodala heading to the Nuggets was probably the least publicized leg of the deal. Iguodala was not only an All-Star last season, but he was one of 12 members of a Team USA that has been fawned over by sports fans around the globe for the past month. According to Aaron Lopez of Nuggets.com, some of Iguodala's post-trade quotes were misconstrued and the veteran wing is, in fact, very excited to join what should be an ultra-athletic team in Denver. Let's round up some of the other links and happenings from around the Association on this Tuesday night:
- New Celtics sixth man Jason Terry spoke with Molly McGrath from Celtics.com and stated Boston's case for legitimate title contention in the 2012-13 season. Greg Payne from ESPN Boston transcribed the interview.
- Mark Medina from the L.A. Times spoke with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who sees a lot of similarities between his situation with the Lakers in 1975 and the one Dwight Howard is about to enter.
- Power forward Craig Smith, who saw less than 10 minutes per game with the Blazers last year, explained to Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com why he passed up NBA offers to play in Israel in the upcoming season. Smith was tired of being an NBA "roster filler" and was willing to take less money for an opportunity to show what he can do with consistent playing time.
- The Magic have hired Brett Gunning as an assistant coach, according to Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel. Gunning, who spent the last four seasons in various roles in the Rockets organization, will join first-time head coach Jacque Vaughn on the Orlando bench.
- According to UNLV head coach Dave Rice, Rebels swingman Mike Moser is preparing for what will likely be his last season in Las Vegas, reports Mike Youmans at the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Moser is a rising junior, but Rice says he essentially considers him a senior. Moser averaged 14 points and more than 10 rebounds as a sophomore last season for the Rebels and briefly flirted with the 2012 draft. He projects as a late first-round pick in the 2013 NBA Draft.
- Tom Moore of Phillyburbs.com writes that the Sixers, a franchise that has historically gotten burned in trades involving superstars, finally got the best player in a mega-deal in Andrew Bynum. Moore is only referring to what the team directly gave up and received, which eliminates Dwight Howard from consideration.
We'll post today's draft-related updates here:
The Cavs are relying on top-pick Kyrie Irving for heavy minutes, notes Tom Reed of The Cleveland Plain Dealer, and a rotation shortened by injuries is taking its toll on the team, Reed says. The heavy use must not be affecting Irving's play, however. Justin Kubatko notes in The New York Times that Kyrie Irving is quietly on his way to perhaps becoming the first rookie to ever shoot 50% from the floor, 40% from three-point range, and 80% from the free-throw line.
Here are a few notes as teams try to find the next Irving in preparation for June's draft:
- Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv reports multiple sources have said St. John's freshman Moe Harkless may enter the draft. The 6-foot-8 Harkless is rated as the 36th best prospect by DraftExpress.com. Zagoria quotes a scout who predicts a "great future," but wishes he'd stay another year.
- ESPN projects UNLV sophomore forward Mike Moser, a UCLA transfer, as a late first-round pick (Insider only), but Moser tells Jim Beseda of The Oregonian that he's glad to be a Rebel and isn't planning on leaving for the draft after this year.
- Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel wonders what would have happened if the Magic hadn't passed over Danny Granger for Fran Vasquez in the 2005 draft.