Portland Trail Blazers Rumors
May 30 at 6:37pm CST By Ryan Raroque
Andy Katz of ESPN noted earlier that Nerlens Noel will visit with the Magic this Sunday, and is yet to schedule a meeting with the Cavaliers. The potential number one pick is up six pounds (from 206 to 212) since the Chicago Pre-Draft Camp two weeks ago, and isn't expected to visit any other teams beyond Orlando and Cleveland unless a team trades up to the first or second draft slots or there is a strong sense that a deal gets done (All Twitter links). We'll keep you posted on anything draft related tonight below:
- The Wizards are slated to bring in Archie Goodwin, Peyton Siva, Mike Muscala, James Southerland, Will Clyburn, Adonis Thomas, Khalif Wyatt, and Romero Osby for workouts starting on Monday. Otto Porter, Victor Oladipo, and Ben McLemore may be among the next wave of prospects to work out for the team during the following week.
- SNYtv’s Josh Newman passes along that Iona standout Lamont
Jones is set to work out for the Nets on June 20. Jones is the second confirmed prospect set to work out for Brooklyn, who will also take a look at San Diego State product Jamaal
Franklin at a date yet to be determined (Twitter links).
- Joe Freeman of The Oregonian reports that the Trail Blazers brought in six draft hopefuls in for predraft workouts today, among them being a projected first-rounder in Tony Mitchell. Joining the North Texas big man were second round prospects Richard Howell, Dexter Strickland, Adonis Thomas, BJ Young, and James Ennis. Freeman profiled each of today's visitors in a separate piece.
- Hoopworld's Alex Kennedy presents his list of 10 possible steals in this year's draft.
- Although the Pistons GM Joe Dumars acknowledged that the team's preference would be to draft a viable wing player, he wouldn't rule out the possibility of drafting the best available big man by the time Detroit is on the clock with the eighth pick (Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press).
- According to this article from NBA.com, the Timberwolves hosted Tim Hardaway Jr., Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Ricky Ledo, Allen Crabbe, Mouphtaou Yarou, and Gregory Echenique for workouts today.
May 29 at 6:30pm CST By Michael Pina
A few notes from around the NBA's Northwest Division.
- Hall of Fame forward Karl Malone announced on the radio today that he would be taking on a part-time coaching gig with the Jazz, tweets Deseret News reporter Jody Genessy. Malone will primarily focus on helping the team's big men develop.
- The Trail Blazers will began holding pre-draft workouts and interviews this week, writes The Oregonian's Joe Freeman. Portland holds the number 10 overall pick as well as three second round selections. They're sure to be a busy team leading up to draft night.
- Marcus Fuller of TwinCities.com spoke with Timberwolves president Flip Saunders about Andrei Kirilenko, upcoming draft needs, and the status of restricted free agent Nikola Pekovic.
May 28 at 10:06pm CST By Zach Links
Blazers big man LaMarcus Aldridge sat down with Leo Sepkowitz of Slam Online for a wide-ranging Q&A session earlier this week. Seven years after the 2006 draft, Aldridge has proven to be the only player taken in the top five that didn't fall short of expectations. Does the 27-year-old hold a grudge against the Bulls for passing him up? "I used to, but I don’t think I do anymore. I think someone named a stat that I average more points and rebounds against them and Dallas than anyone else. So people say that whenever I play them I have something to prove, but I don’t think I do anymore. But if the stats say I do, then I guess I do." Here's more from around the Association..
- Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com is stacking up the Mavericks, Lakers, and Rockets in different facets as they pursue Dwight Howard. Today, MacMahon weighs the allure of playing alongside Kobe Bryant vs. Dirk Nowitzki vs. James Harden. With age being a key factor, MacMahon gives the edge to Houston and Harden.
- Vincent Goodwill of the Detroit News (on Twitter) believes the process is too far down the line for the Pistons to bring Lionel Hollins in for an interview. Hollins hopes to remain with the Grizzlies but a number of other teams are said to be interested in him.
- Kansas center Jeff Withey is set to workout for the T'Wolves on June 13th, according to Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN (on Twitter). Our own Chuck Myron profiled Withey who recently worked out for the Celtics. Minnesota's only pick in the draft is at No. 9, which means that they'll have to find their way into the mid-to-late portion of the first round to make the KU product a possibility.
- Scouts representing the Celtics, Mavs, Thunder, and Grizzlies were in Varese, Italy to watch the game between Cimberio and Montepaschi, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando (via Twitter).
May 28 at 4:48pm CST By Luke Adams
Earlier in the day, we heard that a decision from Masai Ujiri on whether he'll be running the Raptors or Nuggets could come as early as today. But according to Ken Berger of CBSSports.com (Twitter links), Ujiri won't decide whether or not to accept the Raptors' offer until he meets with Denver ownership. That meeting could happen today or tomorrow, says Berger, so we may be waiting one more day to get closure on the Ujiri saga. In the meantime, let's round up a few odds and ends from across the NBA:
- While Nerlens Noel remains atop the latest version of Chad Ford's big board at ESPN.com (Insider link), there's a new name at No. 2, with Victor Oladipo on the rise in a big way.
- In an interesting piece for Grantland.com, Zach Lowe revisits the 2011 trade that sent George Hill to the Pacers and Kawhi Leonard to the Spurs, exploring how negotiations played out on draft night two years ago, and outlining how it's turned into a great deal for both teams.
- Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic lauds Phoenix's hiring of Jeff Hornacek, writing that the former Suns guard has what it takes to become a very good head coach.
- After announcing his retirement last year, Keyon Dooling returned to sign with the Grizzlies toward the end of the 2012/13 season, and he intends to play again next season, tweets Aggrey Sam of CSNChicago.com.
- The Grizzlies are facing major decisions on a coach and a GM in addition to a handful of players, as Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld details.
- No decisions have been made on Paul Pierce's future yet, Celtics GM Danny Ainge tells A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com, which echoes a report we passed along earlier.
- Dave Deckard of Blazer's Edge examines the possibility of the Trail Blazers trading out of next month's draft.
- As Keith Schlosser of Ridiculous Upside writes, the Sioux Falls Skyforce of the D-League are hoping to enter a hybrid affiliation with a single NBA team.
May 24 at 11:01pm CST By Chuck Myron
In the NFL, teams are frequently better off drafting for positional need rather than going for the best player, writes Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel, who argues that the opposite is true in the NBA. Thus, he implores the Magic to ignore fans who have football on the mind and draft the most talented player available with the No. 2 pick. He also notes that the Orlando summer league will add a title game this year, similar to the Las Vegas summer league, and sees Kevin Love's frequent chats with Flip Saunders as encouraging news for the Timberwolves. Here's more from around the Association as a long weekend commences:
- Dwight Howard's camp has "never given the slightest indication" that he wants to join the Warriors, tweets Tim Kawakami of the Bay Area News Group (Twitter link), echoing an earlier report from Ric Bucher of 95.7 The Game. Kawakami thinks the W's shouldn't pursue Howard as a result.
- Grantland's Bill Simmons points to evidence that suggests Howard is in decline, leading him to advise the Lakers to pass on him. Simmons encourages Howard to sign with the Rockets instead.
- DeAndre Jordan was surprised to see the Clippers and Vinny Del Negro part ways, as the center tells Mark Berman of Fox 26 Houston (Twitter link).
- As for Del Negro's replacement, HoopsWorld's Bill Ingram makes the case that Nate McMillan and Brian Shaw should top the list of coaching candidates for the Clippers.
- Point guard Pierre Jackson will work out on June 17th for the Trail Blazers, Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com reports, adding that strong workouts in New Jersey this past week have turned the Baylor senior into a potential first-round pick.
- Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune thinks the Wolves will shy away from guards with the No. 9 pick, as long as they don't trade the selection (Twitter link).
May 23 at 4:57pm CST By Luke Adams
As the lengthy layoff between Game Two and Game Three of the Western Conference Finals continues, let's check out a few links from around the West....
- Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times breaks down the pros and cons of a few potential candidates for the Clippers' head coaching position.
- Larry Drew hasn't been mentioned yet as a Clippers target, but he'd have interest in the job, tweets Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
- Peter May of Sheridan Hoops and Jonathan Tjarks of RealGM.com are the latest writers to make the case for why Dwight Howard should sign with the Rockets instead of the Lakers. Given Houston's relative youth and cleaner cap outlook, you can certainly see the logic behind the argument, particularly when it's not you who would be giving up $30MM+.
- In an in-depth piece for Blazer's Edge, Dave Deckard explores the possibility of the Trail Blazers trading up in next month's draft.
- If the Mavericks make a pitch to free agent point guard Chris Paul, can they sell him on complementing him with a strong supporting cast? Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com attempts to answer that question.
May 23 at 11:41am CST By Luke Adams
After bringing over a pair of international players, Joel Freeland and Victor Claver, last summer, the Trail Blazers aren't expected to do the same for Kostas Papanikolaou this offseason. George Sfairopoulos, the agent for Papanikolaou, tells Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com that he expects the Blazers to trade the rights to his client.
"As of now, we don't have any sign that leads us to believe
that Kostas will go to Portland," Sfairopoulos said. "Therefore, we believe that he will not be in the plans of the organization next season and probably will be traded."
Papanikolaou, 22, was drafted 48th overall in 2012 by the Knicks, before being sent to the Blazers as part of the sign-and-trade deal that saw Raymond Felton head to New York. Earlier this month, EuroHoops.net reported that the young forward was receiving some interest from the Spurs, Mavericks, and Knicks, among other teams.
As I noted when rumors about Papanikolaou's trade candidacy first surfaced, the Blazers have four picks in this year's draft and should have a nice chunk of cap space available in July. So
Papanikolaou's rights will be just one of many assets at Portland's disposal if the team elects to explore the trade market.
May 22 at 8:02pm CST By Michael Pina
A few notes about last night's lottery and next month's draft.
- According to a tweet from the Cleveland Plain Dealer's Mary Schmitt Boyer, Nerlens Noel's college coach John Calipari says Cavaliers general manager Chris Grant spent more time scouting his star center than any other NBA general manager.
- The Wizards are interested in drafting based on talent as opposed to a positional need, according to a tweet from CSNWashington.com's J. Michael. Head coach Randy Wittman and general manager Ernie Grunfeld are in agreement that using both second-round picks isn't wise.
- Sean Meagher from OregonLive.com has a poll up asking what the Trail Blazers should do with the 10th overall pick.
- Mike Ganter of the Toronto Sun writes that it's probably for the best that the Raptors won't have a pick in next month's draft, being that they have enough young players as it is. Toronto traded their first-round pick to the Rockets in exchange for Kyle Lowry last year. They would've been able to keep the pick only if it ended up as a top-three selection.
May 21 at 9:38pm CST By Alex Lee
We gave you the pre-Lottery links and the Lottery results, so with the 2013 NBA Lottery in the books, it's only fair that we round up for you the draft news and notes from around the league:
- Despite winning the lottery, the Cavaliers will still explore potential trade scenarios for the top selection, tweets ESPN's Brian Windhorst. The Cavs, who own the first, 19th, 31st and 33rd picks in June's draft, also have cap space and a hunger to win as soon as possible.
- If the Cavs, or whoever else, don't select Nerlens Noel with the top selection, the former Kentucky center could fall out of the top three, tweets Yahoo's Marc Spears.
- If not Noel, ESPN's Chad Ford tweets that Otto Porter could be a dark horse candidate to go first overall. According to Ford, Cleveland loves Porter because he is a perfect fit who is NBA-ready and can therefore help right away.
- The Mavericks will look to trade the No. 13 pick in an attempt to preserve cap space for a run at Dwight Howard, tweets ESPN's Chad Ford. Ford adds that the No. 13 pick will make $1,655,300 in 2013/14.
- With a roster ready to win now and a draft thin on impact talent, look for the Blazers to dangle their No. 10 pick in an attempt to move up or acquire veteran help for Damian Lillard, LaMarcus Aldridge and Nicolas Batum, writes Chris Haynes of CSN Northwest. Mike Tokito of the Oregonian agrees, writing that unless the team can acquire a legitimate center to guard the paint, look for Portland to be active in trade talks.
- The Timberwolves secured the No. 9 pick, which leads Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune, via Twitter, to guess that the team will take the best big man available with their first pick and then take a flyer on a shooting guard with their second first rounder at No. 26.
- Here is an assortment of mock drafts published immediately following the lottery results: ESPN via Chad Ford, Draft Express via Jonathan Givony, HoopsWorld, and Sheridan Hoops via Joe Kotoch.
May 21 at 6:18pm CST By Alex Lee
With less than two hours until the start of the 2013 NBA Draft Lottery, let's round up any and all pre-Lottery notes in one post here. Be sure to check back with us around 8:00pm CST for an updated list of this year's first 14 picks.
- With a 25 percent chance at landing the top pick, the Magic sit in the best position entering the night. While they are assured a top-four selection, the team will likely look to move the pick if it is worse than No. 2, tweets Sam Amico of FOX Sports.
- Kentucky's Nerlens Noel, current rehabbing from a torn ACL, is widely projected to be the first player taken in June. USA Today's Sean Highkin breaks down how the unique prospect would fit with each of the lottery's 14 participants.
- Royce Young from Daily Thunder details what is on the line tonight for the Thunder, who will own the Raptors' first round pick should it fall outside of the top three. They received the pick in the deal for James Harden (the Rockets got it via the Kyle Lowry deal). As our Luke Adams wrote earlier today, Toronto only has a 2.6 percent shot at a top-three selection, so the pick will likely go to Oklahoma City. If so, the Thunder will be picking either 12th or 13th.
- The only other trade that could take effect tonight depending on how the ping pong balls bounce is owned by the Blazers, who will send their pick to the Bobcats if it lands outside of the top 12.
- While it's not lottery specific, here is a link to RealGM's summary of all pending future draft picks trades.