Draft Notes: Ball, Haliburton, Okongwu, Bane

LaMelo Ball was the highest-profile prospect to take part in this year’s virtual draft combine, but as we noted earlier this week, there was an expectation that his participation in the event might be limited.

According to Jeremy Woo of SI.com (Twitter link), that will indeed be the case. Sources tell Woo that Ball has withdrawn from the remainder of the combine after taking part in a media session on Monday, as well as the standard league interview.

According to Rod Beard of The Detroit News (Twitter link), Ball will still interview with team representatives, but won’t participate in the combine’s on-court program, so teams scouting him will have to rely on existing video.

Here’s more on the 2020 NBA draft:

  • Projected top-10 pick Tyrese Haliburton said today that he has interviewed with the Knicks, Warriors, and Pistons so far during the pre-draft process (video link via Ian Begley of SNY.tv). Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv (Twitter link) has heard that the Pistons – who hold the No. 7 pick – “really like” Haliburton.
  • In a Q&A with Bryan Kalbrosky of HoopsHype, former USC big man Onyeka Okongwu said that he aspires to emulate Bam Adebayo‘s game at the NBA level. Like Haliburton, Okongwu is a projected top-10 pick, ranking fifth overall on ESPN’s top-100 list.
  • TCU sharpshooter Desmond Bane has interviewed with nearly every team in the NBA, telling reporters today that he has spoken to 26 clubs (Twitter link via Brian Lewis of The New York Post). Bane, the No. 41 prospect on ESPN’s big board, said that his agent thinks the Suns, Sixers, and Bucks have shown the most interest in him, per Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic (Twitter link).
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17 thoughts on “Draft Notes: Ball, Haliburton, Okongwu, Bane

  1. Sillivan

    Knicks are the only team which has figured out the real Ball.
    My prediction
    Okongwu 5
    Haliburton 8

  2. DeathbyDeathwest

    Ball trying to self-tank to fall to the Knicks. Lol.

    How much further he falls after the Knicks pass on him. Lmao.

  3. KnickerbockerAl

    Knicks don’t want Ball. Stop drinking the Kool-aid please. Halliburton would be the ideal pick. But I’m thinking he’ll be gone. So it’s looking like Okoro to me. I’m good with that. Could be next Jimmy Butler. If Okongwu is there. They will not pass on him. He’d be perfect next to Mitch. And we can trade Randle. Okoro Halliburton, or Okongwu would start from day 1.

    • I think thib will love ntikilina so he wont draft pg.maybe thib will try to sign kriss dunn.he played well as sf this season.okongwu will be great for knick.he can play as 4 or 5.knick should trade out julius randle.let barret take the ball.

    • alproof

      Okongwu or Okoro with Knicks’ first pick, PG with second. Thibs can’t see after all these years that Ntilikina can’t play? Or won’t play? Clean house. Keep top three draft picks, Robinson, Barrett, Knox, Brazdeikis, not much more.

  4. hiflew

    I wouldn’t draft anyone that was unwilling to “audition” at the combine. Even in this year’s weird combine, the big question running through my mind would be, “What is he trying to hide?” I understand the reluctance of these players to risk injury, but this is a very high paying, high profile job interview when it comes down to it. If you are interviewing with a new company, are you just going to say “look at my resume” and be done? Or are you going to show some of the things that you can do for your employer that would be worth investing a lot of money in your talents?

    • Employers hiring Joe Nobodies don’t have hours and hours of film available instantaneously. There is no comparison between your life, and the lives of top sportspeople – never has been, never will be.

      • hiflew

        I’m sorry you don’t think much of yourself, but I don’t view these people as demigods. They are exactly the same as me and you, except they have more talent at basketball. They are just people and their lives are no different than everyone else’s.

    • sleepyfloyd

      Plenty of really high draft picks over the past decade have not been part of the draft combine, therefore you’re opinion holds no weight.

  5. hiflew

    The Pistons are kind of shooting themselves in the foot by mentioning liking Haliburton unless it is a ruse. The Hawks pick at #6 is clearly in play for a move and Haliburton is one of those talents that I could see a team jumping up to 6 to grab. Whether it be the Knicks or someone even further down the list. I am thinking he could be a great pickup for the Mavericks. Dallas and Atlanta have a history of trading during the draft. Maybe something like this.

    Atlanta gets
    pick 18
    pick 31
    Seth Curry

    Dallas gets
    pick 6 (Haliburton if available)
    Cam Reddish

    Atlanta gets the vet shooter they need and can pick up a couple of older lower ceiling, higher floor players that can fit in with their up and coming team. Plus, the 1st pick of the second round is always in demand. You might find someone willing to give up a future 1st for it if the right player is available.

    Dallas gets their PG of the future that can back up Delon Wright for a year or two along with a diamond in the rough in Reddish.

      • mlbnyyfan

        Hawks should never deal with Dallas again after Doncic. Hawks and Kings and possibly Suns losing sleep every night. Can you imagine a backcourt of Doncic and Booker. WOW.

  6. alproof

    For Knicks: Okongwu top choice; Okoro second. Take PG with second first-round pick—almost no dropoff from second-tier PGs. Don’t give up on Brazdeikis, Knox; go w/Robinson, Barrett, Knox, first-round PF & PG; Brazdeikis starts season as sixth-man. Clean out PGs & FAs.

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