Draft Rumors: Edwards, Haliburton, Pistons, Cavs, Suns, More

While John Hollinger of The Athletic believes Anthony Edwards will still come off the board very early in next Wednesday’s draft, he notes within his new mock draft that many teams don’t seem especially enthusiastic about the former Georgia guard. Those teams believe in Edwards’ talent, but a “blah” Pro Day workout and some “iffy” background reports have made them nervous, according to Hollinger.

Hollinger has also heard that LaMelo Ball and Nico Mannion are among the players who haven’t necessarily had great interviews with teams, though it remains to be seen how much it’ll affect where they’re drafted.

On the other end of the spectrum, everybody seems to be high on Tyrese Haliburton, according to Hollinger, who says the former Iowa State guard is benefiting from 1-on-0 workouts and the background on him is “impeccable.” Desmond Bane and Isaiah Stewart are among the other prospects who have received some positive buzz for the impressions they’ve made in interviews with teams, writes Hollinger.

Hollinger’s mock draft for The Athletic is full of interesting tidbits and is worth checking out in full if you’re a subscriber. Here are a few more highlights:

  • Hollinger confirms that the Pistons are very interested in Florida State’s Patrick Williams – as has been previously reported – and suggests there are whispers that Detroit has made Williams a promise.
  • Obi Toppin and Deni Avdija are the only two names Hollinger has heard regularly connected to the Cavaliers at No. 5.
  • Onyeka Okongwu looks like a lock to go to Washington at No. 9 if he makes it that far, according to Hollinger, who says the question isn’t whether the Wizards will take Okongwu — it’s who they’ll take if he’s not available.
  • “The word is pretty strong” that the Suns are eyeing a backcourt piece with the No. 10 pick, prompting Hollinger to point out that the team may be looking to address the power forward spot in free agency.
  • There are rumors that Serbian forward Aleksej Pokusevski received a promise from a team in the first round. As Hollinger observes, Pokusevski’s agent Jason Ranne used to work for the Thunder, who have been willing to make draft promises in the past. However, even if Oklahoma City did make Pokusevski a promise, Hollinger is skeptical that he’ll still be on the board at No. 25.
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27 thoughts on “Draft Rumors: Edwards, Haliburton, Pistons, Cavs, Suns, More

  1. Sillivan

    Obviously Bulls and Pistons did not offer enough assets to Wolves for 1
    Thunder should give Wolves any two young players and 4 Firsts for 1

    • hiflew

      Yeah I liked that too. In other words, this guy will look great on breakaway dunks, but don’t expect as much when he is guarded.

    • x%sure

      I like numbers. “1 vs 0” is great, very specific. It is what is possible in this era, but does not address Haliburton’s strength issue.

  2. thekayz

    What is the benefit of “making a promise” to a draft prospect? I don’t understand why a team would do this….

    • Luke Adams

      If it’s someone you really want, the goal would be to have him shut down workouts/interviews with other teams so they can’t get any more intel on him.

      • thekayz

        I still don’t understand why I’d want to do that. Especially for a team at #7 (or later!)
        Unless, as the player, I’d still go on visits/workouts for teams picking higher. I mean, why would I leave money on the table?
        Also, somebody always falls! I promise Patrick Williams and then I’m looking at Toppin or Ball at #7…. I still take Williams?!? Aren’t I backing myself into a corner?

        • It’s win-win. What if he works out for other teams and looks terrible.., or gets hurt? Then he drops all the way down to 20 or 25.

        • bravesfan88

          It might have been so he doesn’t withdraw his name from the draft..With an assurance that he will be picked in the 1st round, he is alot more likely to stay in the draft pool..

        • KnickerbockerAl

          No one is taking Williams higher than 7. Pistons are dumb to take him that high. Especially if Hayes is still there.
          Halliburton – also stories out there he has put on 15lbs. Which is probably biggest Knock on him. That he would be pushed around. Or not strong enough to get off his own shot. He’s best PG in draft. I pray Knicks get him.
          Stewart is nice talent at PF. He’s and old school 4. But can step out to defend and shoot. He’s also thick and athletic. He’s already has NBA body. At bottom of 1st rd. He is a great pickup. Would love to have him at 27. I doubt he lasts there.

          • hiflew

            7 is high for him, but no way does he last until 27. I think the farthest he falls would be the Celtics at 14 and even that is the absolute worst case scenario (as far as pick not location) for him. I think he goes at 11 to the Spurs, unless Killian Hayes is there for them. He really seems like a Spurs type player.

        • hiflew

          It’s a promise, not a blood oath. Those promises would not hold up in a court of law or anything. Plus I’m sure the words, “You are the #3 guy on our board. Unless something unforeseen happens like the top guy on our board falling into our laps, you will be the pick” are mentioned to the guy.

    • zzzxausted

      That’s a hot take, but I can’t hate on it, the Hornets, Bulls, and Cavs would love it too.

    • The Wolves aren’t going to pick a shoot second point guard. They already have Russell at the one and Halliburton needs a little work on that jumper.

      And the Warriors are not going to pick a shoot last 19 year old rookie. He’s an all business basketball player with wonderful skills but we’re looking for a guy who can be on the floor in the last 5 minutes of the fourth quarter in a playoff game. I like the Luke Kennard scenario thrown out a couple days ago.

      • hiflew

        I missed that one. What was the Luke Kennard scenario? I assume Kennard and 7 for the 2.

        • I think sillivan said he read it somewhere and then I Googled it and found this proposed scenario. Warriors send pick number 2 and Andrew Wiggins to the Pistons for Luke Kennard, Tony Snell and pick number 7. I like it from the Warriors perspective. What do you think?

          • thekayz

            Giving up Kennard AND taking on $85M is a lot of cash to move up 5 spots from the Pistons perspective.
            I’ll give up Wiggins and #2 for Snell.
            I can use the traded player exception that I received in the Iguodala trade to absorb Snell’s contract. Then, I believe, I’ll receive a new traded player exception for Wiggins salary of $29.5M!!!
            I can definitely acquire another star using that exception.

  3. El Don

    Lamelo, Wiseman & Avdija should be the top 3, they will be stars, make no mistake about it.
    Then the next ones should be Haliburton, Okongwu & Pokusevski, all three will be stars also.
    I am very high on Pokusevski, the kid can ball & some, he will need a bit of time but he is an unbelievable talent, can play the 2 to 4, even the five at 7″, shoots, dribbles… so flipping good!
    Whoever passes on him outside of top 5 will live to regret it, mark my words!

    • brownscavsr4me

      Almost no chance pokusevski is taken before 20 if that. Also he can’t play the 2 or 3, cause he’d have to guard them. But…i cant say he wont be good/great, but his body has to catch up to his skill first (IMO)

    • hiflew

      Everyone will pass on him in the top 5. And the top 10. And probably the top 20. He’ll be a late round flyer by a playoff team. You could be correct that teams will regret it. Or he could be the next Rafael Araujo or Saer Sene or Desagana Diop or any of the other foreign guys overdrafted in top 10 that failed to do anything in the league.

  4. KnickerbockerAl

    Those rumors about Edwards. Do not bode well for him. He was also looked as sometimes bored playing in college. One thing we can’t see on tape. Is attitude and commitment to excellence. Not everyone wants to be the best or better. Minny could just move the pick. They just dealt with Wiggins. Now Beasley. They don’t need to go down this rd again.
    Halliburton could go as high as 4 to Bulls. Hawks, Pistons, Knicks have all been linked to him. Even Warriors trading down for him. Still believe there’s a strong chance he will be there for Knicks.

  5. Dunkinstompin

    Good luck to whoever will get drafted by the Cavs. Theirs youngsters betrayed a good and experienced coach just because they didn’t want put in work like he demanded. They only guy left from the championship squad is that aging diva Love. Garland and Sexton are scrubs. The fact that they passed on Porter Jr and Shai for Sexton is mind blowing!

    • OhThatYoGirl

      That was a clown statement, bro. No one betrayed John Beilein, he just wasn’t a good NBA coach. Not many can make that transition, he couldn’t.

      Sexton averaged 21 PPG on 47% FG and 38% from 3. He was averaging 26 PPG and 4 assists post AS break on even better shooting numbers. I like SGA and wanted him over Sexton, but he’s not even that much better and there’s still a lot to be seen from Porter Jr. and he had HUGE red flags on his back which is why he dropped to 14. So educate yourself.
      Lastly, no one drafted after Garland has shown that he was the wrong pick, everyone drafted after also stunk it up, other than Tyler Herro but he wasn’t even in the discussion for top 5. Garland was pretty much a HS player going straight to the NBA. Small frame, off an injury etc. Still to early to put any labels on him. Stop hating.

    • x%sure

      ShaiGA and MPJ did not do predraft workouts and the FO grades workouts higher than most. They are probably concerned about a prize youngster wanting to leave soon after arriving and so take an enthusiastic effort probably more seriously than they should. Also Gilbert is impulsive. Oh well. Shai was my pick too, maybe #2 or 3 overall, but he wanted LA.

      I’m not worried about the guards, they just overlap and there’s no order and still no real PG… but they could be a playoff team depending. They may prefer Wiseman the most, who like Garland is too inexperienced at high levels.

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