Orlando Magic 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 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 13 at 8:52pm CST By Luke Adams
8:52pm: Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald reports that Danny Ainge had denied the Clippers permission to contact Rivers earlier this week, though Rivers is said to now be intrigued at the prospect of other coaching opportunities.
7:57pm: Frank Isola of the New York Daily News (via Twitter) cites a source who tells him that Rivers ending up with the Clippers is "gaining momentum."
4:01pm: If Doc Rivers decides to part ways with the Celtics this offseason, there would be "strong mutual interest" between Rivers and the Clippers, according to Marc Stein and Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com. The ESPN.com duo reports that the idea of coaching the Clippers would be highly intriguing to Rivers, and that the current Celtics coach would be L.A.'s number one choice should he become available.
According to Stein and Shelburne, the Celtics would like Rivers to return and don't want to see him coaching another team next season, considering he has three years left on his contract in Boston. However, if Rivers decided he wanted to leave, the C's could potentially be persuaded to let him go to the Clippers if they received compensation, whether that came in the form of a veteran player or draft picks.
The ESPN.com report also includes a number of other juicy Clippers and Celtics tidbits, so we'll round them up here:
- Trade discussions between the two teams prior to February's deadline included expanded deals which would have sent both Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to the Clippers, with Eric Bledsoe and DeAndre Jordan among the pieces going to Boston. While those talks were unsuccessful at the time, it's possible the two sides could revisit them this summer. As the ESPN.com scribes point out, the L.A. job could become even more appealing to Rivers if Garnett or Pierce were heading west with him.
- No matter who is hired as the Clippers' head coach, the team is expected to very aggressive when it comes to roster moves, looking to re-sign Chris Paul and then upgrade the roster around CP3 and Blake Griffin.
- The Clippers have some interest in the rumored deal that would send Bledsoe and Caron Butler to the Magic in exchange for Arron Afflalo, but would likely want at least one more asset to part with Bledsoe.
- If the Celtics decide to bring back Pierce, it would greatly increase the odds of Garnett playing another season, which in turn would figure to improve the chances of Rivers returning as well.
June 13 at 6:20pm CST By Luke Adams
Earlier this afternoon, I asked for your thoughts on which prospect would be drafted first overall two weeks from tonight. While I provided five names in the poll, it appears I omitted one more viable option, as Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio reports that Anthony Bennett is also under consideration for the Cavaliers at No. 1 overall. While several opposing GMs tell Amico that they don't believe Cleveland would draft Bennett (or Alex Len) first overall, the Cavs aren't tipping their hand, so plenty of options still remain in play. Here's more from Amico's latest collection of NBA news and notes:
- One source says that the Cavs have been working on "something major," but no details were given due to the magnitude. While that may not reveal much, Amico relays from the same source that Cleveland has talked to one particular team several times about the number one pick, although discussions have only been exploratory at this point (Twitter links).
- Amico also tweets that the Cavaliers are lukewarm at the idea of taking Victor Oladipo or Anthony Bennett with their first overall pick and are going back and forth between Nerlens Noel and Ben McLemore.
- The Sixers are high on Michael Carter-Williams, who they believe could contribute at both guard positions, according to Amico. With Carter-Williams drawing some interest from teams in the top 10, it remains to be seen whether he'll be available for the Sixers at No. 11.
- While the Magic have explored trades involving the second overall pick, they're "far from desperate" to move it.
- Depending on how their pursuit of Dwight Howard goes, the Rockets may be interested in making a bid for trade candidate Danny Granger.
- The Bucks and Bobcats have engaged in discussions involving Milwaukee's 15th overall pick, says Amico.
- If DeMarcus Cousins was available at one point, he isn't any longer. New Kings coach Michael Malone is excited about working with the young big man.
June 13 at 4:59pm CST By Luke Adams
As June 27th inches closer, here are today's draft-related items:
- Mary Schmitt Boyer of The Plain Dealer relays a report (via the News Herald) which confirms that Anthony Bennett will visit the Cavaliers on Monday. The 6'8 forward will not work out for the club, as he is still recovering from rotator cuff surgery.
- The Timberwolves are expected to host Shabazz Muhammad and Archie Goodwin for workouts on Sunday, tweets Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune.
- With the deadline for international prospects to withdraw from the draft coming on Monday, Mouhammadou Jaiteh is considering pulling his name out, according to Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld. Kennedy says a decision is expected to come by Saturday for Jaiteh, who will only stay in if he'll be a first-round pick.
- Kennedy adds within the same piece that the 76ers are one of several teams looking to acquire a pick late in the first round.
- ESPN.com's David Thorpe (Insider link) believes Anthony Bennett would be an ideal fit for the Bobcats.
- Although his stock has taken a hit lately, Shabazz Muhammad still has a chance to be drafted in the top 10, tweets Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com.
- The Pelicans will get their workouts underway on Friday, and Michael Carter-Williams is expected to be in attendance, tweets John Reid of the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
- Chris Babb, Tim Hardaway Jr., Solomon Hill, Tony Mitchell, Andrew Smith, and Axel
Toupane will work out for the Pacers on Friday, the team announced today.
- Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel tweets that Ben McLemore is working out for the Magic, who have the No. 2 overall pick in the draft.
- The Lakers worked out the following prospects today, according to the team's official Twitter account: Kenny Kadji, Peyton Siva, Brandon Triche, Dewaye Dedmon, C.J. Harris, and B.J. Young.
- The Wizards announced their Friday workout participants, while the Bucks (Twitter link) announced the players who worked out for them today. Both groups consist primarily of second-round prospects, with the exception of Otto Porter in Washington.
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 11:49am CST By Luke Adams
As the latest rumors and rumblings continue to suggest that Nerlens Noel, long considered the odds-on favorite to be drafted first overall, could slip on draft day, Michael Lee of the Washington Post reports that the Kentucky big man has a meeting lined up on Saturday. Noel is unable to work out for teams while he recovers from his ACL injury, but he'll meet with the Wizards, who have the third overall pick, says Lee. Here are a few more notes out of the Eastern Conference:
- John N. Mitchell of the Philadelphia Inquirer echoes a similar report from ESPN.com's Marc Stein, writing that the Sixers have interest in Nuggets assistant Melvin Hunt for their head coaching opening. Philadelphia has yet to officially seek permission to speak to Hunt, who is also said to be in the running for the Denver job, but there has been "some talk through the back channels," a source tells Mitchell.
- Mike Miller talked this week about wanting to play a few more seasons in the NBA, but it remains to be seen if he'll remain with the Heat for the duration of his current contract. In his latest mailbag, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel discusses the possibility of Miami amnestying Miller.
- Now that the Sioux Falls Skyforce have entered a one-to-one affiliation with the Heat, the Magic will need a new D-League affiliate, as Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel explains.
- A week ago, Bucks owner Herb Kohl told reporters that bottoming out and undergoing a full-scale rebuild wasn't an option for his team. However, Michael Hunt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel isn't sure the Bucks have another better option.
- Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times believes Chris Andersen would make an ideal free agent target for the Bulls this offseason.
June 8 at 4:40pm CST By Zach Links
The Magic are considering moving down in the draft and have "quite a few" suitors interested in obtaining the No. 2 pick, sources tell Brian K. Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel (via Twitter). Orlando has been tied to guards Trey Burke, Ben McLemore, and Victor Oladipo in most recent mock drafts.
Orlando's willingness to move down from No. 2 could mean they believe that they can get one of the draft's elite guards further down the board. It could also mean that they have found a solution to their backcourt issues elsewhere. Recently, the Magic were linked to Clippers guard Eric Bledsoe. If they were to trade for the Kentucky product, they would use Arron Afflalo in the swap.
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.
June 5 at 5:58pm CST By Chuck Myron
Joe Kotoch of SheridanHoops.com has Nerlens Noel atop the latest version of his mock draft, and he has news about the Cavaliers, Noel and other potential lottery storylines. We'll round up the highlights here:
- The Magic and Clippers have had conversations about Eric Bledsoe, according to Kotoch. Chad Ford of ESPN.com wrote a week ago that if Orlando took a shooting guard in the draft, the team would have interest in trading Arron Afflalo for Bledsoe and Caron Butler.
- Speaking of the Magic and shooting guards, Victor Oladipo has eclipsed Ben McLemore on Orlando's draft board.
- Noel's torn ACL won't allow him to work out, but he'll visit with the Cavs on June 20th.
- The Thunder are prioritizing centers at No. 12, unless C.J. McCollum falls to them.
- An established wing player is what the Timberwolves are seeking as they reportedly dangle Derrick Williams in an effort to move up from No. 9.
- The Trail Blazers are in search of a big man who can defend and rebound in exchange for the tenth pick.
- The Mavericks would also "love" to trade pick No. 13, Kotoch writes.