The Knicks are giving serious thought to drafting Murray State point guard Cameron Payne, league sources tell Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com. That’s sign that the team is also strongly considering trading down from the fourth pick, since Payne isn’t widely considered a top-four prospect, Begley surmises. The notion that Payne has a promise from a team late in the lottery doesn’t hold too much water, as Chad Ford of ESPN.com writes in an Insider-only piece, suggesting that Payne has a decent chance to rise all the way to the Kings at the No. 6 spot. That would exceed Payne’s goal of going as high as seventh that the point guard told Zach Links of Hoops Rumors that he’d set for himself. Here’s more from around the draft:
- It appears that No. 6 is the floor for Emmanuel Mudiay, as a source tells Sean Deveney of The Sporting News that the Kings would snap him up if he were still available when they pick.
- UNLV power forward Christian Wood‘s stock is taking a beating, as Ford writes in the above-linked piece, suggesting that Wood is in danger of falling out of the first round. Ford also speculates that the back injury that is to keep Tyus Jones from working out for a while is cover for a promise from the Rockets at pick No. 18.
- Former University of Washington center Robert Upshaw is optimistic that a heart issue that prompted him to stop workouts last week isn’t serious, citing similar scares in the past, according to Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com. Upshaw is expected to be cleared to resume predraft prep this week, Howard-Cooper adds (Twitter links).
- The Mavericks, Spurs, Rockets, Celtics and Kings are among the teams interested in Indian-born center Satnam Singh, according to Gery Woelfel of The Journal Times. Boston had him in for a workout, but it’s unclear if the other teams have or plan to do so.