New York Knicks Rumors
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 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 3:20pm CST By Zach Links
Despite talk in recent weeks that teams have been having doubts about Sergey Karasev, it appears that the tide has turned sharply in the other direction. Interest in the Russian swingman has elevated so much from seven teams between the Nos. 9 and 22 picks in the NBA draft, that he will have those organizations fly out to meet him in Europe, league sources told Shams Charania of RealGM. The 19-year-old remains unlikely to leave Russia for any workouts or interviews, but teams have insisted they come sit down with him in Russia, even though he won't work out. Here's the latest draft news..
- The Pistons are likely to go international at some point during the 2013 draft, according to David Mayo of MLive.com. Among international players expected to go in the first round and be available when the Pistons select at No. 8 are German point guard Dennis Schroeder, Karasev, and Greek small forward Giannis Adetokunbo. Detroit is looking hard at international players in the draft, partcicularly with their two second-round picks, with consideration to keeping at least one of their selections stashed overseas next season.
- Steve Popper of the Bergen Record (Sulia link) has the full list of players who have or will work out for the Knicks.
- The Wolves announced that Monday's workout session will feature Trevor Mbakwe, Reggie Bullock, Deshaun Thomas, Carrick Felix, Jason Washburn, and Tony Snell.
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 10:04am CST By Zach Links
While the basketball world is zeroed in on the Heat and Spurs, the Nets managed to steal some of the spotlight this week by naming Jason Kidd as their new head coach. Here's a look at the latest out of Brooklyn and Manhattan..
- Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov is happy with his new head coach, writes David M. Herszenhorn of the New York Times. The billionare reportedly hasn't talked to Kidd directly, but he made it clear at a press conference in Moscow this week that he approved of the move. “The point is that there are people who are born coaches,” Prokhorov said. “It is known that Jason Kidd was, in fact, a player-coach on many teams, and he has been training for a long time. He has played under many coaches, and he has always wanted to be a coach.”
- When asked about the potential departure of C.J. Watson, Billy King said that he has already discussed possible replacements for players who may leave with Kidd, writes Tim Bontemps of the New York Post. If Watson does wind up leaving, the question will be who the Nets bring in to provide competition to Tyshawn Taylor for the backup point guard job. They could either draft a point guard with the No. 22 pick or pursue a veteran free agent.
- In the wake of Kidd going from player to head coach in a matter of weeks, Patrick Ewing is disappointed that his time has yet to come, Marc Berman of the New York Post writes.
June 13 at 5:56pm CST By Ryan Raroque
When Pistons general manager Joe Dumars traded Chauncey Billups to the Nuggets for Allen Iverson's expiring contract in 2008, the cap space it later created was ultimately used on the free agent signings of Charlie Villanueva and Ben Gordon during the summer of 2009. At the time, Villanueva agreed to an offer worth $35MM over five seasons, while Gordon signed on for $55MM over five seasons. Unfortunately, Villanueva's scoring averages and minutes dipped every season since then, whereas Gordon struggled to consistently regain the form that had made him an enticing commodity in Chicago and was later traded to Charlotte. Now set to be equipped with significant cap room this offseason, Dumars implied that he'll be very conscientious about what he'll do with the flexibility:
"What we don’t want to do is use all of it for the sake of it. You want to use it wisely" (Vincent Goodwill of the Detroit News relayed the quote via tweet).
Here's more from around the Association:
- Vincent Ellis of the Detroit Free Press hears that the Knicks and Lakers have expressed interest in Pistons free agent point guard Will Bynum (Twitter link).
- Jared Zwerling of ESPN New York reports that Marcus Camby has no plans of retiring and is currently preparing to return next season with a bigger role in the Knicks' rotation.
- While the Celtics ponder over whether or not to pick up the last year of Paul Pierce's deal or buy him out for $5MM, Sean Deveney of the Sporting News heard from one Eastern Conference GM that people in Pierce's camp are readying themselves for free agency. Hoopsworld's Eric Pincus has heard rumblings that if the veteran forward is let out of his contract with Boston, he'd have interest in joining the Clippers (Twitter link).
- Warriors center Festus Ezeli underwent successful surgery yesterday to reinforce the MCL and PCL in his right knee, as per the team's official website. The timetable for recovery is expected to be a minimum of six to nine months. With Ezeli out, Andrew Bogut plagued by injuries, and Andris Biedrins seemingly lost in the fold, Matt Steinmetz of CSN Bay Area tweets that Golden State is clearly in the market for a big man.
- Emiliano Carchia of Sportando.net tweets that former 2011 second round pick Davis Bertans (whose draft rights are currently owned by the Spurs) suffered a torn ACL but should be able to return later this year. The 6'10 forward is in the second of a three-and-a-half year deal with KK Partizan of the Serbian League.
June 11 at 1:28pm CST By Luke Adams
Chad Ford's latest big board at ESPN.com sees Alex Len leap into the top five after being ranked at ninth in Ford's previous update. According to Ford, of the two injured big men near the top of draft boards, Len is viewed as being more polished offensively and having more upside than Nerlens Noel. Len is in the discussion for the Cavaliers' No. 1 pick, and is also drawing serious interest from the Bobcats, Suns, and Pelicans, says Ford. Here's more from the ESPN.com draft expert:
- Victor Oladipo has moved into the Cavs' conversation for first overall, along with Noel, Len, and Otto Porter, according to Ford.
- Porter will work out for the Cavs, Magic, and Wizards in the coming days, and that's it. It seems he's confident he won't slip out of the top three -- if he does, there's "no way" he gets past the Pelicans at No. 6, says Ford.
- Virtually every team near the top of the draft is still considering Ben McLemore, but during a workout with the Suns, he declined to compete against Oladipo and Shabazz Muhammad, which didn't sit well with some evaluators. "He needs to compete," said a GM whose team has a lottery pick. "Or it's only
going to reinforce our biggest fears about him. There is no consensus
in this draft. He's got to come and earn it."
- The Kings may prefer Michael Carter-Williams to Trey Burke, if they draft a point guard.
- Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had a "terrific" workout with the Timberwolves, and could be the team's sleeper at No. 9 overall, says Ford.
- Dennis Schroeder's stock may have been negatively affected by his workouts. "He looked frustrated," said a scout for one team that worked out Schroeder. "His body language wasn't great. He's a very good talent and I
wouldn't read too much into the workout, but it didn't really help him."
- The Knicks are "especially high" on Tony Mitchell, according to Ford.
June 11 at 8:51am CST By Luke Adams
As I suggested last week when a report surfaced that Dario Saric was withdrawing from the 2013 draft, it sounds like he and his representatives have yet to make the decision official. Still, all signs are pointing to Saric pulling out of this year's class, according to Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com. The Croatian forward has until next Monday at 4:00pm central time to make a formal decision.
Here are a few more of the latest draft-related updates:
- ESPN.com's Chad Ford believes there's a good chance Saric would go in the top 10 if he remained in the draft, adding that scouts familiar with Europe don't think there's a huge difference between Saric and Otto Porter.
- Speaking of Porter, Ford says he remains a possibility for the Cavaliers at No. 1, since Cleveland is still a couple weeks away from making up its mind.
- Could Nerlens Noel be available for the Bobcats when they pick fourth overall? One player-personnel executive connected to a lottery team thinks so, telling Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer that he believes the first three picks in the draft will be, in some order, Anthony Bennett, Ben McLemore, and Porter.
- Tim Hardaway Jr., Glen Rice Jr., and Phil Pressey, three sons of former NBA players, will work out for the Knicks today, tweets Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv.
- Lucas Nogueira tells Brett Pollakoff of NBCSports.com that he's flexible about the possibility of returning to Europe if the NBA team that drafts him thinks he needs more time overseas to develop.
- Emiliano Carchia of Sportando passes along a report indicating that Janis Timma will be heading stateside to work out for several NBA teams in hopes of securing a spot in the draft. Like Saric, Timma has until June 17th to decide whether to remain in the draft or withdraw his name.
June 8 at 6:14pm CST By Spencer Lund
Jared Zwerling of ESPNNewYork.com talked with two NBA scouts who said the Knicks might need an offensive-minded assistant to help head coach Mike Woodson. The Knicks small ball lineup with Carmelo Anthony at power forward, had them playing well in a run of wins to start and end the 2012/13 season.
Unfortunately, those wins didn't come about with the Knicks' two ostensible superstars sharing the front court together. Amar'e Stoudemire was out with an injury to start the season, and in the month leading up to the playoffs when the Knicks won 10-straight to secure the 2nd playoff seed in the East.
But if the Knicks are going to take advantage of their two highest-paid players--Anthony and Stoudemire, who are set to make $23.742MM and $23.411MM next season--they'll have to find a way to share the ball on offense from their naturally overlapping high-block positions on the court.
A couple of the candidates offered by Zwerling include David Blatt and his Princeton offense, which has been successful with Maccabi Tel Aviv, and former Lakers assistant during the 2011/12 season and an assistant with Woodson on the title-winning 2004 Pistons team, John Kuester. Kuester's "early offense" approach as an offensive assistant with the Cavs from 2007-2009 helped another point forward led team, with LeBron James initiating a lot of that early offense.
Here are some more notes surrounding two of the three Atlantic division playoff teams:
- Tony Mitchell, the power forward out of North Texas, thinks he’s the answer for the Knicks’ front court problems this past season, writes Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com. He’s expected to be a mid-first round pick, and the Knicks have the 24th pick in this year's draft.
- The Knicks also looked at Providence combo guard, Ricky Ledo, during a workout on Friday, which he told Zwerling was his best during the run-up to the draft. The Knicks might use him as a replacement for the recently retired Jason Kidd.
- The Celtics have a lot of questions that need answering this offseason regarding franchise cornerstones, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, but they’ve also got to figure out what to do with their younger players as well, writes Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald.
- One of those younger players on the Celtics’ roster was last season’s rookie from Ohio State University, Jared Sullinger. He wasn’t able to play for the Celtics in the playoffs because of a back injury before the season ended, but ESPNBoston.com has tracked his recovery and Sullinger told MassLive.com his back is “completely fixed.”
- A reader asked ESPNBoston.com’s Chris Forsberg if the Spurs’ success in this year’s finals will persuade Danny Ainge the Celtics can compete for a title with the aging Pierce and Garnett. Forsberg says the Spurs’ fate in the Finals will have no impact on Ainge’s decision making process.
June 7 at 4:50pm CST By Luke Adams
Yesterday, ESPN.com's Chad Ford reported that Croatian forward Dario Saric was leaning toward withdrawing from this year's draft, a surprising stance given how much his stock has risen in recent weeks. Today, Michael McNamara of Bourbon Street Blues passes along an email he received from Saric's agent, Robert Jablan, which reads:
"We make decision this morning that we will withdraw Dario from the 2013 draft."
We have yet to hear officially that Saric has pulled his name out of this year's draft class, and it's possible something was lost in translation. But it certainly appears as if Saric is leaning in that direction. He still has 10 days to make a final decision, so while we wait for the official word on the potential lottery pick, let's check out a few more draft-related updates:
- Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio reports that the Cavaliers are "seriously dissecting" the possibility of drafting Ben McLemore first overall, though he cautions that the team is far from decided on what it'll do with the pick (Twitter links). I'd be surprised if Cleveland eventually decided on McLemore -- it sounds to me as if the team is just covering all its bases.
- The latest Insider-only blog from Ford at ESPN.com is full of good info, including updates on Saric, Nerlens Noel, Trey Burke, and a handful of other prospects.
- Anthony Bennett is unable to work out due to a rotator cuff injury, but he will meet with the Wizards next week, writes J. Michael of CSNWashington.com.
- Lorenzo Brown, Myck Kabongo, Allen Crabbe, Jeff Withey, and Mike Muscala will work out for the Knicks on Monday, according to the team's official PR Twitter feed.
- The Suns' workout today included C.J. Leslie, Matthew Dellavedova, Ian Hummer, Korie Lucious, Rodney McGruder, and Phil Pressey, says Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic (via Twitter).
- Michael Carter-Williams intends to visit the Magic soon for a meeting and workout, tweets Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel.
- Larry Drew II, E.J. Singler, Ian Clark, Ed Daniel, Trevor Mbakwe and Glen Rice Jr. worked out for the Trail Blazers today, according to a tweet from Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com, who also reports that Cody Zeller is having an individual workout with Portland today.