Draft Rumors: Hayes, J. Smith, Ball, Edwards, Krejci

With the NBA’s virtual combine underway, a handful of this year’s top draft-eligible prospects are speaking with reporters today on conference calls and are revealing some information about their pre-draft meetings.

French point guard Killian Hayes, for instance, confirmed that he has interviewed with the Spurs, Wizards, Knicks, Bulls, and Warriors, adding that his agent has told him to expect to come off the board between No. 2 and No. 10 on draft night (Twitter link via Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic).

Maryland big man Jalen Smith told reporters, including Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington (Twitter links), that he has met with the Wizards, Spurs, Raptors, Nets, Suns, and Bulls, among other teams. Smith ranks No. 20 on ESPN’s big board.

Potential No. 1 pick LaMelo Ball was more evasive when asked about his meetings, refusing to name any teams he has talked to except for the Knicks, as K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago tweets. That meeting occurred prior to the lottery, per Steve Popper of Newsday (Twitter link).

While it’s possible Ball has had other meetings with top teams that he declined to mention, Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News (Twitter link) hears that the guard’s interview with the Timberwolves is still to come. Minnesota, of course, holds the top pick in the draft.

Here’s more on the draft:

  • There’s a belief around the NBA that the Timberwolves may make an effort to trade down from No. 1, but if they keep that pick, multiple sources believe they’ll select LaMelo Ball rather than Anthony Edwards, says Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report.
  • According to Wasserman, there’s some concern among scouts and executives about Edwards’ professionalism, drive, and desire to win. While the Georgia wing still figures to come off the board early, the likelihood of him falling to No. 3 appears to have increased, Wasserman notes.
  • One scout who spoke to Bleacher Report said his team will be putting more stock this year into prospects’ basketball IQ and other intangibles, and Wasserman believes other clubs around the NBA could take a similar approach. Tyrese Haliburton and Isaac Okoro are among the players who could benefit from that trend, Wasserman adds.
  • Czech guard Vit Krejci, who is playing for Zaragoza in Spain, has suffered a left ACL injury that will require surgery and is expected to sideline him for the rest of the season, according to the team (hat tip to Sportando). Krejci had declared for the 2020 NBA draft as an early entrant, but could still withdraw his name before the league’s November deadline.
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16 thoughts on “Draft Rumors: Hayes, J. Smith, Ball, Edwards, Krejci

  1. x%sure

    I think Ive said all this before, but maybe not after a draft article.
    Events at the Orlando camp work in Okoro’s favor. One, a social temperment is a survivor tactic in semi-lockup. Two, Okaro may be just the sort for 1 of the 2 in the 2-3 Miami used. (I can’t be sure of the terms). I used to regret that CLE was in a likely position to take him, but I can live with it now, I’m sure GM Altman is pleased to know. /s

    100% sure MIN takes Ball over Edwards. If that takes the ball out of D’Lo’s hands, they’re better off. He can’t get too comfy with Towns and a committed FO… a green light should be enough.

    GMs will be kicking themselves if they sleep on the shooting forms of Toppin & Jalen Smith. Big, short-range centers are not trending.

    • stevep-4

      Ball just becomes the next Ricky Rubio in MIN. Not sure that takes them to the next level.

      • x%sure

        The “level” thing is why they go for talent over need. I don’t think it will bump them up that far either. But the management mindset is, if they trade down, they risk missing out.

        If you mean he may not want to go there even if he might like to be the #1 pick… a truer risk! Both of the top 2 slots have teams there that do not need to be there.

  2. Sillivan

    What should Warriors do if Wolves select Ball?
    Ball has interviewed with Knicks

    • kingcong95

      Somebody might want Edwards enough to trade up, since the word is that we wouldn’t.

  3. Black Ace57

    I’m surprised there hasn’t been an Oladipo article yet, but I don’t know how old that news is so it may be too soon.

    • mlbnyyfan

      If Wolves take Ball hopefully they trade DLo to Knicks. Wolves need Edwards.

      • DLo isn’t going anywhere as long as the Wolves have Towns. It’s the whole reason why DLo is there.

  4. DeathbyDeathwest

    The TWolves have KAT and D’Lo, and a supporting cast that looked promising after the trade deadline and before the shutdown – but no real other standouts.

    They have so many PGs on the roster, and drafting LaMelo is a huge risk – to put it neutrally. Edwards fits better on their roster, but the TWolves should use the pick to trade for the most talented player they can.

    Johnson’s contract + 1st overall + trade-bait should open a few possibilities.

    Trading for Oladipo or drafting Ball would be classic disappointing TWolves.

    • x%sure

      Just D’Lo and Jordan McLaughlin at PG, who did have a good year in as a rookie with a PER of 17, so maybe D’Lo will be a 2G anyway.
      People say to draft for talent.
      IDK how effective D’Lo is off the ball. <<pun.

    • hiflew

      For a franchise that once drafted 2 point guards back to back at picks 5 & 6 ahead of Stephen Curry, they have proven that they think you can never have too many point guards.

  5. bumpy93

    is it just me or does it seem like lamelo ball might be laying the groundwork of him coming out saying he only wants to play for the New York Knicks?

  6. KnickerbockerAl

    LaBust ain’t coming here. Thibs no way is taking a one way player. If it’s true about Edwards. It’s something fans can’t really know. And all scouts should, teams should. I can see Minny trading down. Considering news about Beasley. I would think they look hard at Oladipo.

  7. Appalachian_Outlaw

    I’d be really excited if Charlotte ended up with Anthony Edwards. He has his question marks, but he’d add some more scoring to the club. In a weaker draft, he’s probably the best fit if they don’t move down.

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