Washington Wizards Rumors
June 18 at 6:30pm CST By Michael Pina
A few notes about the upcoming NBA draft, which, remarkably enough, is only nine days away.
- The Nuggets are scheduled to evaluate six more players in a pre-draft workout on Wednesday, June 19th, according to Aaron J. Lopez from Nuggets.com. It will be their fourth workout before the June 27th draft.
- The Nets are hosting two pre-draft workouts later this week, one on Wednesday and one on Thursday, according to the team's official site. A total of 12 players will be worked out by the team.
- According to their official site, the Wizards will be conducting a workout on Wednesday, with six players expected to be in attendance.
- In search of a point guard, the Jazz worked out Syracuse prospect Michael Carter-Williams, but do not expect Trey Burke to be available with the 14th pick, and thus won't be working him out, according to The Salt Lake Tribune's Steve Luhm.
June 17 at 9:55pm CST By Zach Links
Earlier today, Bucks guard Monta Ellis informed the Bucks that he'll be exercising his early termination option this offseason, making him an unrestricted free agent on July 1st. The guard, according to Chris Broussard of ESPN.com, has the Lakers on his wish list, but that seems pretty far fetched given their cap situation. Well, we can add another fiscal longshot to the bunch as Ellis likes the Grizzlies too, according to Gery Woelfel of the Journal Times (on Twitter). Ellis probably isn't a fit for the stats-driven Memphis front office either, as his 16.3 PER was good for 27th last season amongst point guards. Here's more from around the Association..
- Time is on the Clippers' side in their trade talks with the Celtics, a source tells Sean Deveney of the Sporting News (on Twitter). "[The] Clippers can be patient and [the] C's will be in position to get something rather than nothing," the source says.
- The Bucks announced that they will host a mini-camp for free agents this week. Damion James, Dominique Jones, and Salim Stoudamire will be among those with NBA experience in attendance.
- J. Michael of CSNWashington.com (on Twitter) isn't convinced that the Wizards have to target size after seeing the Heat and Spurs do well with small lineups.
- The Suns withdrew from contract talks to make Roy Rogers an assistant coach on Jeff Hornacek’s new staff, according to Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic.
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 8:30pm CST By Zach Links
Here's a look at the latest out of the Central Division..
- The Cavs are seriously considering Alex Len, Anthony Bennett, Ben McLemore, Nerlens Noel, and Otto Porter for the top pick, with Victor Oladipo as a long shot, the Plain Dealer's Terry Pluto writes. While Noel was long thought to be the slam-dunk No. 1 pick, the Cavs' desire to win this year coupled with concerns over his ACL injury have them considering other options.
- Oladipo will work out for the Cavs next week, but he's declined an invitation from the Wizards to work out at their home arena and prefers to have the team audition him at a location of his choosing, reports Michael Lee of The Washington Post. Oladipo's camp doesn't believe the Wizards will draft him third overall.
- Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times shares the heart-wrenching personal saga of second-round hopeful Dwayne Davis, who worked out Saturday for the Bucks. He's also worked out for the Bulls and Suns, and has auditions scheduled with the Warriors and Mavs.
Chuck Myron contributed to this post.
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 9:31pm CST By Chuck Myron
An NBA-record 12 coaching jobs are changing hands this offseason, with almost half the jobs still open. Five teams are still searching for a coach, though David Joerger appears the strong front-runner for the Grizzlies. It looks like Jason Kidd has the edge for the Nets job, but Brian Shaw remains in the mix. It's more unsettled for the Nuggets, Clippers and Sixers, and as we await more clarity on those vacancies, here's the latest coaching news:
- Byron Scott's interview with the Clippers today "went very well," an executive tells Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times. The Cavaliers are rumored to owe Scott more than $4MM for the final season of his contract, and Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com wonders if that could drive down his price, making him more attractive to skinflint Clippers owner Donald Sterling (Twitter link).
- The Clippers haven't spoken to George Karl yet, but he remains a strong candidate for the job, Shelburne also tweets.
- New Suns coach Jeff Hornacek added a couple of assistants to his staff, tweets John Gambadoro of Sports 620 KTAR radio. Wizards assistant Jerry Sichting and Mark West, who had been serving as the Suns' vice president of player programs, will be on the Phoenix bench.
- Maurice Cheeks developed a strong connection with Russell Westbrook the past few seasons as a Thunder assistant, and The Oklahoman's Jenni Carlson wonders if the fiery point guard will miss the calming influence of Cheeks, whom the Pistons hired as head coach on Monday.
- Cheeks faces an uphill climb in Detroit, MLive's David Mayo opines.
- Nick Friedell of ESPNChicago.com thinks Tom Thibodeau's new position as a Team USA assistant coach could help the Bulls attract superstar talent.
- Tyrone Corbin has survived this spring's purge of head coaches around the NBA, but Brad Rock of the Deseret News believes the Jazz boss will be among the unemployed if the team falters next year.
June 11 at 5:54pm CST By Chuck Myron
Chad Ford of ESPN.com delivered enough draft rumors for their own post this afternoon, and we rounded up more draft-related news in another post this morning. It's not hard to tell that the big event takes place just two weeks and two days from now. Here are tonight's updates, via Twitter unless otherwise noted:
- In spite of rumors that the Cavaliers probably won't draft him first overall, Nerlens Noel will visit with Cleveland on June 20th, following Saturday's meeting with the Wizards, The Plain Dealer's Mary Schmitt Boyer reports.
- Tony Snell's stock is on the rise, and two executives have told Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports that the New Mexico swingman has solidified a spot in the first round.
- Kelly Olynyk is the most prominent name among a group of six prospects working out for the Blazers today, as Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com passes along. John Allen, Chris Babb, Erik Murphy, D.J. Stephens and Khalif Wyatt were the others in attendance.
- The Timberwolves will turn their focus to big men Thursday, when Steven Adams, Rudy Gobert and Mike Muscala will participate in a group workout for the team, observes Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune. Cody Zeller will be in Minnesota the same day, but he'll work out separately.
- C.J. McCollum will participate in a workout Wednesday for the Jazz that will also include Scott Bamforth from nearby Weber State, notes Jody Genessy of the Deseret News.
- Jared Berggren has shown off his skills in front of the Blazers and Suns, and the Wisconsin power forward will get to do so for the Bucks, likely on Thursday, according to Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times.
- Mason Plumlee is the headliner in a Wizards audition set for Wednesday, the team announced via press release. Karron Johnson, Bruce Massey, Brock Motum, Dexter Strickland and Kellen Thornton will join him.
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 10:00am CST By Zach Links
The Bucks and Wizards have explored a trade involving big man Ersan Ilyasova and the No. 3 pick in this year's draft, according to Sam Amico of FOX Sports (via Twitter). It's unclear if the Bucks would keep their own first round selection in such a deal, but they currently hold the No. 15 pick.
Ilyasova, 26, just finished the first year of a five-year, $40MM deal in Milwaukee. The stretch four averaged 17.2 PPG, 9.3 RPG, and 2.1 APG last season while shooting 44.4% from the outside. Ilyasova was in high-demand at the trade deadline this year, but the Bucks turned away suitors, including the Hawks, who were dangling Josh Smith.
No one knows how the top of the draft will shake out yet, but the No. 3 pick could yield a high-level talent for the Wizards, whether it's UNLV power forward Anthony Bennett or Georgetown's Otto Porter. The Washington front office is reportedly split on which player to take, but they won't have that dilemma if they move the pick.
It's not clear who the Bucks are targeting at No. 3 - they could tap Bennett to replace the outgoing Ilyasova or they may instead look to one of the top guards in the draft such as Kansas' Ben McLemore or Michigan's Trey Burke if they can't hold on to their key backcourt pieces this summer.