And-Ones: Draft, D. Smith, Ball, Sixers, Webb

It’s still a little early for NBA prospects to start formally declaring for the 2017 NBA draft, but there’s “no question” that North Carolina State freshman Dennis Smith Jr. will be among the players who enter, a source tells Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv (Twitter link). According to Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News (Twitter link), the Timberwolves had multiple people, including assistant GM Noah Croom, in attendance to watch N.C. State play Clemson at this week’s ACC tournament — Smith certainly would have been a player of interest in that game.

Here are a few more odds and ends from across the NBA:

  • Lavar Ball, the father of UCLA freshman Lonzo Ball, has made headlines by boasting about his son’s potential, and NBA executives have to take Lavar’s presence into consideration when evaluating Lonzo, writes Sean Deveney of The Sporting News. “That is going to be another thing to look at when it comes to due diligence before the draft,” one GM told Deveney. “How does he handle his dad — is it just something he laughs about, or is it real pressure on him?”
  • Sixers cornerstones Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid won’t play again for the team this season, but will they be ready to contribute in Summer League action in July? Head coach Brett Brown believes it’s “too early to make that judgment,” though he acknowledges that it’s something the team is considering. Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer has the quotes and the details.
  • James Webb III, who has been with the Delaware 87ers as an affiliate player this season after being waived by the Sixers in the fall, has fractured his right ankle and will be sidelined for the rest of the D-League season, the team announced today in a press release. A camp invitee who received a $65K guarantee from Philadelphia, Webb has averaged 13.1 PPG and 9.3 RPG in 39 NBADL games.

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