A.J. English

International Notes: Beaubois, Maynor, Claver

Former Mavericks guard Rodrigue Beaubois, who appeared in 182 games for Dallas between 2009 and 2013, has been linked back to the Mavs multiple times this offseason. However, Beaubois continues to draw international interest as well. According to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando, Baskonia, a Spanish team, has interest in the 28-year-old free agent, as reported by multiple international outlets. It sounds as if Beaubois would like to return to the NBA, but he’s no lock for a roster spot in Dallas, so he’ll have to decide whether he wants to fight for an NBA job or continue to play a major role for an overseas club.

Here are a few more international items of interest:

  • Former Thunder point guard Eric Maynor is in “advanced talks” for a return to Italy’s Pallacanestro Varese, a team he played for in 2015, per Carchia. Maynor, who also spent time with the Jazz, Blazers, Wizards, and Sixers during his time in the NBA, is coming off a major knee injury.
  • Serbia’s KK Crvena Zvezda has officially announced the signing of former Warriors big man Ognjen Kuzmic to a three-year deal, as Carchia details. A second-round pick in 2012, Kuzmic previously appeared in 37 games for Golden State and had “solid interest” from the Warriors this offseason, per international basketball journalist David Pick (Twitter link)
  • Former Iona guard A.J. English, who worked out for at least a dozen NBA teams this spring, has signed with Enel Brindisi in Italy, as Carchia passes along. English went undrafted last month after averaging 22.6 PPG, 6.2 APG, and 5.0 RPG in his senior season at Iona.
  • A source tells Pick (Twitter link) that ex-Blazers forward Victor Claver is finalizing a deal with Barcelona that will lock him up through 2019. The Spaniard was a first-round pick in 2009, but never carved out a significant role with Portland after the team brought him stateside in 2012.

Western Draft Notes: Pelicans, Nuggets, Wolves

The Pelicans had a large workout group in on Monday, with a dozen players earning a look from the club. According to the team (via Twitter), the following players participated in the workout: Isaia Cordinier (France), Troy Williams (Indiana), Michael Gbinije (Syracuse), Jake Layman (Maryland), Guerschon Yabusele (France), Wayne Selden (Kansas), Gary Payton II (Oregon State), Yogi Ferrell (Indiana), Thomas Walkup (Stephen F. Austin), Kaleb Tarczewski (Arizona), Prince Ibeh (Texas), and Perry Ellis (Kansas).

While none of those prospects figures to come off the board at No. 6, when the Pelicans make their first selection, many of them could be in play in the second round — New Orleans currently holds the 39th and 40th overall picks, and is doing its due diligence on potential second-round prospects.

Let’s check in on a few more draft updates from around the Western Conference…

  • The Nuggets, armed with three top-20 picks, will work out former Michigan State forward Deyonta Davis on Wednesday morning, the team announced today in a press release. We profiled Davis, the 10th prospect on DraftExpress.com’s big board, in April, noting that Denver could be a fit. The Nuggets are also expected to bring in Villanova’s Ryan Arcidiacono for a workout later this week, tweets Chris Dempsey of The Denver Post.
  • The Timberwolves, who have the fifth overall pick in the draft, had Jamal Murray in for an individual workout on Monday, per Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News (Twitter link).
  • Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops passes along a pair of updates, reporting (via Twitter) that Domantas Sabonis (Gonzaga) worked out with the Jazz on Monday, and that Xavier’s James Farr participated in a group workout with the Thunder today.
  • The Clippers will work out Dayton’s Dyshawn Pierre, according to Jessica Camerato of CSNPhilly.com (Twitter link). Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv (Twitter link) adds former Kansas forward Cheick Diallo to the list of prospects that will work out with the Clips.
  • Former Iona guard A.J. English has a workout lined up with the Warriors, tweets Camerato.

Eastern Draft Notes: Sixers, Celtics, Pistons

LSU forward Ben Simmons may not work out for the Sixers or any other team prior to the draft, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Media Network reports. Philadelphia, which has the top pick, is trying to get Simmons in for a workout, Pompey continues. Simmons is expected to be the Sixers’ choice over Duke forward Brandon Ingram. “It’s not a red flag,” Sixers president of basketball operation Bryan Colangelo told Pompey. “Everybody deals with the draft process differently.”  The Sixers did not work out Nerlens Noel, Joel Embiid or Jahlil Okafor before selecting them in the last three drafts, Pompey notes.

In other draft developments around the Eastern Conference:

  • The Sixers will bring in California small forward Jaylen Brown for a workout on Tuesday afternoon, the team announced via press release. Brown could be a darkhorse candidate for the top pick in the draft. He could also be an option if Philadelphia trades down in the lottery, or if they package their two late first rounders to acquire another lottery selection. He’s ranked No. 8 on ESPN Insider Chad Ford’s Big Board and No. 5 by Draft Express’ Jonathan Givony. The Sixers will bring in six second-round hopefuls earlier in the day, including Iowa State forward Georges Niang, Iowa forward Jarrod Uthoff, UC Santa Barbara guard Michael Bryson, Iona guard A.J. English, Mississippi forward Tomasz Gielo and Dayton swingman Dyshawn Pierre.
  • The Celtics worked out two projected lottery picks on Monday, Oklahoma shooting guard Buddy Hield and Washington power forward Marquese Chriss, ESPN.com’s Jeff Goodman tweets. The workouts were held in California, Goodman adds. Ford slots Hield at No. 7 and Chriss at No. 6 on his Big Board, while Hield is rated No. 7 and Chriss is ranked No. 11 by Givony. The Celtics have three first-rounders, including the No. 3 pick.
  • The Pistons worked out six players on Monday, the most prominent being Notre Dame point guard Demetrius Jackson, according to Rod Beard of the Detroit News (Twitter links).  The Pistons, who hold the No. 18 pick, need a backup point gaurd and Jackson is ranked No. 26 by Ford and No. 16 by Givony. Washington point guard Andrew Andrews and a quartet of big men — Greece native Georgios Papagiannis, Clemson’s Landry Nnoko, Purdue’s A.J. Hammons and Maryland’s Diamond Stone — also participated in the workout, Beard adds.
  • Marquette power forward Henry Ellenson will meet with the Bucks on Tuesday, Gery Woelfel of Woelfelspressbox.com reports. The Bucks have the No. 10 pick and the 7’0” Ellenson is rated No. 11 by Ford and No. 13 by Givony.

And-Ones: Kalamian, Labissiere, Van Gundy, Udoh

Raptors assistant Rex Kalamian has turned down offers from the Rockets and Wizards and will remain in Toronto, tweets TNT’s David Aldridge. Kalamian just completed his first season with the Raptors after six years in Oklahoma City. A 20-year veteran, he has also been on the bench with the Clippers, Nuggets, Timberwolves and Kings.

There’s more news from around the basketball world:

  • Kentucky big man Skal Labissiere made an impression at the Relativity Sports Pro Day this afternoon at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, tweets Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders. Labissière now has workouts and meetings scheduled with nearly every team that owns a top 10 draft pick.
  • This marks Jeff Van Gundy’s 10th year as a broadcaster for the NBA Finals, and it seems unlikely he will ever return to coaching, writes Brian Mahoney of The Associated Press. Van Gundy was considered as a candidate for the Rockets‘ job that eventually went to Mike D’Antoni, but he and the team never formally discussed the position. After a decade away from coaching, Van Gundy admits a return would be difficult. “You don’t have the same feel for guys that you didn’t coach against or coach yourself. It’s not the same,” he said. “You can watch the games on TV, you can study in that way, but if you’re not competing against people, it’s hard to know as much as you do when you’re coaching.”
  • Isaiah Cousins will work out for the Clippers on Monday and the Lakers on Wednesday, tweets Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv. Zagoria hears the Oklahoma point guard’s “stock is rising.”
  • Iona guard A.J. English has workouts set for this week with the Bulls, Magic and Raptors, Zagoria tweets.
  • Former NBA player Ekpe Udoh is free to leave his Fenerbahce team in Turkey, according to Orazio Cauchi of Sportando. The 29-year-old Udoh’s last NBA experience came in 2014/15 with the Clippers“We will keep the roster intact. Only Udoh is waiting for the NBA,” said Fenerbahce president Aziz Yildirim. “He was afraid because of the attack which happened in Antep. There are 51% chances for him to stay. We will add two more players to that roster and we will keep all others.”

Draft Notes: Zizic, Ellis, English

Ante Zizic will go straight to the NBA upon being drafted as opposed to becoming a draft-and-stash prospect and playing overseas, international journalist David Pick reports (Twitter link). The 6’11” center is the 21st best prospect according to Chad Ford of ESPN.com and Jonathan Givony of Draft Express.

Here’s more on the upcoming draft:

  • Perry Ellis (Kansas) has worked out for the Bucks, Suns and Spurs in addition to participating in a Chicago pro day, Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders passes along (Twitter links). Ellis will also work out for the Hawks, Kennedy adds.
  • A.J. English (Iona) will work out for the Bulls, Magic and Raptors this week, Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv reports (Twitter link).
  • DeAndre’ Bembry (St. Joe’s) worked out for the Warriors and the Clippers today, Zagoria tweets.

Draft Workouts: Jazz, English, Pacers, Pistons

The Jazz, armed with four picks in this year’s draft, are doing plenty of due diligence in the weeks leading up to June 23rd, and will bring in six more prospects for workouts tomorrow. According to the team (via Twitter), the following players will participate in that workout: Bryn Forbes (Michigan State), Max Landis (IPFW), Trevor Cooney (Syracuse), Shawn Long (Louisiana-Lafayette), Kenny Gaines (Georgia), and Pascal Siakam (New Mexico State).

Utah is hardly the only NBA team bringing in prospects for pre-draft workouts, so let’s round up a few more updates from around the league…

  • Former Iona guard A.J. English has a pair of workouts for Eastern Conference teams lined up this week, according to Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv, who writes that English will get a look from the Wizards on Wednesday and the Knicks on Thursday.
  • Thon Maker‘s previously-reported workout with the Pacers will take place on Wednesday, and the seven-footer will be joined by five other players, according to Zagoria (Twitter link). Jake Layman (Maryland), Retin Obasohan (Alabama), Shavon Shields (Nebraska), Fred VanVleet (Wichita State), and Stephen Zimmerman (UNLV) will also participate in the workout.
  • Zagoria provides a couple more workout updates, tweeting that Manhattan’s Jermaine Lawrence will work out for the Warriors on June 6th, while his college teammate Shane Richards works out for the Nets on Wednesday.
  • Yogi Ferrell (Indiana), Ron Baker (Wichita State), Derrick Jones (UNLV), Thomas Walkup (Stephen F. Austin), and Marcus Paige (UNC) worked out for the Pistons on Tuesday, tweets Vincent Ellis of The Detroit Free Press. Ferrell’s participation had been previously reported. Meanwhile, per Ellis (Twitter link), Tobias Harris‘ brother Tyler Harris also was a part of Detroit’s workout — the younger Harris played college ball for N.C. State, Providence, and Auburn.

Pacific Notes: Hornacek, Bogut, Lemon Jr.

Jeff Hornacek, who is reportedly set to become the Knicks new head coach, was sabotaged during his tenure with the Suns by injuries and a toxic environment created by the trade demands of Markieff Morris, Marc Berman of The New York Post writes. “There were circumstances around him that caused us to not meet expectations more than his style of coaching or ability to coach,’’ Mark West, Phoenix’s vice president of player relations, told Berman. “If you look at a thin slice of the pie and not the whole body of work, [Knicks president] Phil Jackson is smarter than that. I’m sure he didn’t judge it over Jeff’s career in basketball. He was in a tough spot. It unraveled. We won 48 games his first year, lost some of those players that helped achieve those goals, and it went the other way.”

Discussing what Hornacek has to offer as a coach, West said, “He has a combination of different influences since being in the league — Cotton Fitzsimmons with the up-and-down, run-and-gun the Suns played — and playing for Philly in the East, more grinding, half-court set-it-up. With Utah, it was a blend of both. The best thing about Jeff is incorporating different styles, but he’s better coaching the up-and-down. He’ll morph the team to what they need to do.’’

Here’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • The Clippers held workouts today for A.J. English (Iona), Gary Payton II (Oregon State), Malcolm Brogdon (Virginia), Danuel House (Texas A&M), Marshall Plumlee (Duke) and Josh Scott (Colorado), Brad Turner of The Los Angeles Times relays (via Twitter).
  • The Warriors saved $4MM in luxury tax penalties as a result of Andrew Bogut not being named to the NBA’s All-Defensive team, Bobby Marks of The Vertical notes (on Twitter). Golden State’s tax bill for 2015/16 is now $14.9MM and Bogut’s cap hit for next season drops to approximately $11MM, Marks adds.
  • The Clippers are bringing in point guard Walter Lemon Jr. for their veteran mini-camp, Michael Scotto of Bleacher Report tweets. Lemon Jr. spent last season with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, the Pacers’ D-League affiliate, averaging 13.5 points, 2.6 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 24.7 minutes per outing.

And-Ones: Diallo, English, Telfair

Cheick Diallo has worked out for the Hawks today, Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv tweetsEddie Scarito of Hoops Rumors mentioned Diallo as a first round possibility in Atlanta’s Offseason Outlook. Atlanta has the No. 21 overall pick in addition to two second-rounders.

Here’s more on the upcoming draft

  • A.J. English has worked out for the Lakers , Zagoria reports (Twitter link). The Iona product will work out for the Clippers on Wednesday and the Mavs on Thursday
  • Malik Newman will work out for the Knicks on Tuesday, Zagoria reports (Twitter link). Newman previously worked out for the Bucks and Nets.
  • Coach Rick Pitino told Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports (Twitter link) that he expects Chinanu Onuaku to remain in the draft.
  • Makai Mason will withdraw from the draft and return to Yale, Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com tweets.
  • Ethan Telfair, the brother of former NBA player Sebastian Telfair, has withdrawn from the draft and will return to Idaho State, Goodman tweets.
  • The Kings will work out Venky Jois, Nick Faust, Mamadou Ndiaye, Mike Tobey, Codi Miller-McIntyre and Anthony Beene on Tuesday, reports James Ham of Comcast SportsNet (Twitter link).

Central Notes: Butler, Lue, Draft

Bulls swingman Jimmy Butler reaffirmed his desire to remain with in Chicago and said that he will definitely be with the team next season, Nick Friedell of ESPNChicago.com writes. “I love the city of Chicago. I’ve played here my entire career,” Butler said. “Let’s not get that misunderstood. I love the guys that we have on the roster. We continue to bring in high-character guys. I’m learning with [Fred] Hoiberg. I’m not perfect, I’ll tell you that. But I’m ready. I think I have to be able to help this team win games, though, that’s for sure.

When asked if he believes he will be with the team in 2016/17, Butler told Friedell, “Yeah, I think so. I definitely do. I do think that with the year that we did have last season — it’s unacceptable. So you have to then, truth be told, you got to look at everything. I didn’t do my job, so truth be told, can I help this team win? That’s the question that’s brought up. And I can’t be mad at that. You can use whatever excuse you want to use, but we didn’t make the playoffs. That’s all anybody sees and that’s rightfully so. So do I think I’m going to be here? Yeah, I think so. But that’s just me thinking.”

Here’s more out of the Central Division:

  • The Bucks held a workout on Wednesday that included A.J. English (Iona), Trahson Burrell (Memphis), Joel Bolomboy (Weber State), Matt Tiby (UW-Milwaukee), Jameel Warney (Stony Brook) and Shawn Long (Louisiana-Lafayette), the team announced.
  • Seton Hall sophomore guard Isaiah Whitehead cancelled his workout with the Pacers that was scheduled for Wednesday and the player is giving serious consideration to returning to school for his junior campaign, Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv relays.
  • The hiring of Tyronn Lue as coach and his willingness to confront LeBron James and regain control of the team turned around the Cavaliers‘ season and made Cleveland a true threat to win the NBA crown, Ken Berger of CBSSports.com writes.

Southwest Notes: Duncan, Grizzlies, English

Retirement decisions by Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili will determine the volume of roster moves made by Spurs GM R.C. Buford this offseason, Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News opines. Addressing the team’s five burning questions this summer, McDonald believes there’s a good chance that Tony Parker will be the only member of San Antonio’s longtime Big Three to return next season. The Spurs probably won’t overhaul their roster following a 67-win season, but there will be spots to fill if Duncan and Ginobili call it quits, McDonald continues. The Spurs will make runs at top-level free agents Kevin Durant, Al Horford, Mike Conley and possibly Pau Gasol but they will also attempt to infuse the bench with more youth and athleticism, McDonald adds.

In other news around the Southwest Division:

  • The Grizzlies are unlikely to use their first-round pick on a power forward, Chris Herrington of the Memphis Commercial-Appeal opines. Memphis, which holds the No. 17 pick, drafted Jarell Martin last June and the team views him as their future starter at the position, though he underwent a foot procedure after the postseason, Herrington continues. Zach Randolph still has at least one more quality season in him and JaMychal Green can bridge the gap between Randolph and Martin, Herrington adds.
  • Point guard A.J. English will work out for the Pelicans, Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv tweets. It was previously reported that English, who is considered a potential second-round pick, had scheduled workouts with the Pistons, Bucks, Cavaliers, Wizards, Clippers, Mavericks and Lakers.
  • Swingman Justin Anderson and power forward Dwight Powell give the Mavericks two young building blocks, Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning-News reports. The organization has big plans for both players after they showed flashes of promise this past season, as president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson told Sefko. “They are two young cornerstone-type pieces,” Nelson said. “Big hearts. Great work ethic. Those two guys are a piece of the fabric. Our hope is that we can keep that young core going.”