Northwest Notes: Harrell, Batum, Jokic, Ollie

Montrezl Harrell is a dangerous force around the basket, but it’s the former Louisville power forward’s improving midrange game that would make him attractive to the Jazz at pick No. 12, as Jody Genessy of the Deseret News examines. He’d certainly already have been drafted by the time Utah’s other picks, at Nos. 42 and 54, come up, Genessy notes. Harrell worked out for the team Sunday. Here’s more from around the Northwest Division:

  • Nicolas Batum envisions someday returning to play in France to finish his career, mentioning Le Mans and Caen as preferred destinations to Alexandre Lacoste of BeBasket.fr (translation via HoopsHype). Of course, that probably won’t be for a while, since Batum is only 26 even as he’s set to enter the final season of his contract with the Trail Blazers.
  • Draft-and-stash prospect Nikola Jokic has his sights set on joining the Nuggets, tweets David Pick of Eurobasket.com. Pick reported last month that Jokic was holding out for a long-term deal from Denver, but it appears as though the center who plays for Mega Leks in his native Serbia is nonetheless enthusiastic about joining the NBA team that selected him 41st overall last year.
  • The Thunder and Kevin Ollie never engaged in formal talks about the Connecticut coach taking the Oklahoma City job, as Dom Amore of the Hartford Courant writes. There nonetheless appeared to be some contact, as Ollie was reportedly the team’s No. 1 target and apparently listened to overtures before pulling out of the running.
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