AJ Green

Central Notes: Haliburton, Turner, Bogdanovic, Green

When the Pacers attempted to recruit Deandre Ayton in free agency this past offseason, Tyrese Haliburton traveled to Santa Barbara, California with president Kevin Pritchard, general manager Chad Buchanan, and head coach Rick Carlisle to be part of the team’s pitch to the Suns center.

Indiana’s four-year, maximum-salary offer sheet for Ayton was ultimately matched by Phoenix, but Haliburton said it “meant a lot” that the club included him in its recruitment of the former No. 1 pick, writes Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports. As Fischer details, it’s part of the Pacers’ plan to give the third-year guard the reins during the team’s rebuilding process.

“He is the franchise guy, very, very openly,” one rival executive told Fischer, referring to Haliburton. “They have handed him the keys, and they’re betting he can be their alpha guy.”

Here’s more from around the Central:

  • After sharing his thoughts on a possible trade to the Lakers, Pacers center Myles Turner wanted to make clear during a conversation with Michael Scotto of HoopsHype that he’s still committed to his current team. “I’m excited about what we have here in Indiana,” Turner said. “I understand that some of the things I might’ve said in that podcast (with Adrian Wojnarowski) could’ve gotten misconstrued answering hypothetical questions. This isn’t a hypothetical. I’m here in Indiana. I’ve got real estate in Indiana. I’ve got a fan section in our own arena. I’m a Pacer. I’ve been a Pacer my entire career. I can’t tell the future, but where I’m at right now, I’m very happy.”
  • Given how much projected 2023 cap room they had, the Pistons essentially did some offseason shopping early by extending Bojan Bogdanovic, writes Omari Sankofa II of The Detroit Free Press (subscription required). Sankofa likes the decision to lock up Bogdanovic, noting that he’s exactly the type of player Detroit’s roster needed.
  • Bucks rookie guard A.J. Green is expected to be sidelined for about three weeks due to a nasal fracture, the team announced today in a press release. Green, who underwent surgery to repair the fracture, is on a two-way contract with Milwaukee and has just appeared briefly in one game so far this season.

Eastern Notes: Martin, Beauchamp, Mazzulla, Parker, Celtics

Rookie Tyrese Martin signed a two-year contract with the Hawks over the weekend. The second-round selection out of UConn signed for the minimum of $1,017,781 and the contract is only partially guaranteed for $450K, Hoops Rumors has learned. The second year of the contract ($1,719,864) is non-guaranteed.

Martin averaged 13.8 PPG, 3.6 RPG and 2.2 APG in five games at the Las Vegas Summer League.

We have more from the Eastern Conference:

  • Bucks rookie MarJon Beauchamp delivered some solid Summer League performances, Eric Nehm of The Athletic writes, with his 3-point shooting standing out. However, it’s not always indicative of what will happen in the regular season, he adds. Nehm also breaks down the performances of two-way players Sandro Mamukelashvili and AJ Green.
  • The Jazz hired Celtics assistant Will Hardy as their new head coach but Joe Mazzulla, another Boston assistant, was also a finalist for the position, Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe notes. He’ll now have a front-of-the-bench role due to Hardy’s departure. Jazz CEO and president of basketball operations Danny Ainge hired Mazzulla in 2018 out of the Division II ranks. “I just liked his presence,” Ainge said. “He just had a good way about him and how he developed players. … He just has a great way about him of pushing guys, holding them accountable, and letting them know this is a serious time.”
  • The Spurs bounced back from losing the 2013 Finals to Miami to win the championship the following season. Retired Spurs star Tony Parker told The Athletic’s Jay King that the Celtics can use their loss in this year’s Finals as a motivational tool. “For me, the way we lost in 2013, it created what happened in 2014,” Parker said. “Maybe one of the best finals in NBA history. Maybe the best Spurs basketball that we played. In 2014, the way we played, the passing game, everything, we were maybe at the highest level of my whole career. It started with a tough loss in 2013.”

Bucks Sign AJ Green To Two-Way Deal

JULY 1: Green’s two-way contract is now official, the Bucks confirmed today in a press release.


JUNE 24: Undrafted rookie AJ Green of Northern Iowa will sign a two-way contract with the Bucks, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The 6’4″ combo guard played four seasons with the Panthers and was named Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year in 2020 and 2022. Green missed most of his junior year because of hip surgery, but he bounced back strong as a senior, averaging 18.8 points, 3.7 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game while shooting 38.8% from three-point range.

Green, who had one year of eligibility remaining, entered the transfer portal at the same time he declared for the draft. He ultimately decided to pursue a pro career rather than return to school.

Milwaukee’s other two-way slot currently belongs to Sandro Mamukelashvili.

Hugo Besson, whom the Bucks took with the final pick in Thursday’s draft, might have been a candidate for a two-way contract, but the team plans to keep him overseas next season, according to Eric Nehm of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Draft Notes: Mohammed, Decisions, 2022 Mock Drafts, More

Georgetown guard Aminu Mohammed, the No. 80 prospect on ESPN’s big board, will remain in the 2022 NBA draft, sources tell Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports (Twitter link). Mohammed averaged 13.7 PPG, 8.2 RPG, 1.8 APG, and 1.6 SPG in 31 games (32.2 MPG) as a freshman for the Hoyas, but struggled with his shot, posting a slash line of .379/.310/.722.

Guard Donovan Williams will also stay in the draft, he told Rothstein (via Twitter). Williams put up 12.7 PPG and 3.3 RPG for UNLV last season.

Northern Iowa guard AJ Green is staying in the draft, he told Cole Bair of 1650KCNZ and The Cedar Rapids Gazette (Twitter link). Green was a two-time Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year for the Panthers.

Former Texas Tech guard Kevin McCullar is withdrawing from the draft and transferring to Kansas, reports Jeff Goodman of Stadium (via Twitter). McCullar averaged 10.1 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 3.1 APG, and 1.4 SPG as a junior in 2021/22.

With the NCAA’s withdrawal deadline less than four hours away, here are some more draft-related notes:

  • Former Minnesota guard Payton Willis worked out for the Timberwolves on Tuesday and also has a workout scheduled with the Grizzlies later this week, according to Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News (Twitter link). Willis has exhausted his eligibility after spending five seasons in college.
  • Jonathan Givony of ESPN provides his latest mock draft for ’22 (Insider link). He has Michigan’s Caleb Houstan, who just announced he’s staying in the draft, going No. 25 to the Spurs.
  • Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report also released an updated mock draft, with inside information on several prospects. He reports that G League Ignite guard/forward Dyson Daniels could go as high as No. 4, while Ohio State’s Malaki Branham, another draft riser, could be a lottery pick in the Nos. 8-14 range.
  • In a separate article for ESPN (Insider link), Givony explores which ’22 draft prospects are comparable to five breakout players of the ’21/22 postseason. He writes that G League Ignite guard Jaden Hardy, projected to go No. 22 in his mock, resembles Golden State’s Jordan Poole as an aggressive scorer with questionable shot selection and defense.

Hawks Notes: Bogdanovic, Draft Workout, Trade Tiers

Bogdan Bogdanovic‘s lingering knee issue will likely prevent the Hawks wing from participating with the Serbian National Team in the EuroBasket tournament during September, according to MozzartSport.com (hat tip to Eurohoops.net). Bogdanovic, who was limited to 63 regular-season games,  played through the pain in the first round of the playoffs, and MozzartSport’s report suggests offseason surgery is a possibility.

We have more on the Hawks:

Pacific Notes: Biyombo, LaVine, Holmes, Kings

Suns center Bismack Biyombo expects to be fined for his altercation with Mavericks big man Marquese Chriss in the closing seconds of Tuesday’s game. They both ran down the same tunnel after being ejected and had to be separated by security. Biyombo explained his side of the incident in a video posted by Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic.

“I think it was nothing serious,” Biyombo said, adding that Chriss seemed upset that Phoenix was still trying to score with the game already in hand. “… I think when we play here they play all the way until the end, and I think that’s understandable. It’s the playoffs, you know.”

Any fines or suspensions will be announced sometime in advance of Thursday night’s Game 6. Biyombo is only averaging 8.6 minutes in seven games in this year’s playoffs and Chriss is at 3.8 minutes in four games, so any disciplinary action won’t have a significant impact on the series.

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • The Lakers may be a long shot to land free agent guard Zach LaVine, but they shouldn’t be discounted entirely, writes Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report. There has been speculation this week that LaVine may be interested in joining the Trail Blazers, but L.A. could be another option if he wants to head west, particularly since LaVine is represented by Klutch Sports. Pincus examines potential trades involving the Bulls, Thunder, Pacers and Magic that could clear LaVine’s path to the Lakers if he decides he wants to join them.
  • Kings big man Richaun Holmes has won a court victory in the custody battle that led to him missing the season’s final 11 games for personal reasons, according to James Ham of ESPN 1320. Holmes was accused of domestic violence by his ex-wife, but judges in Los Angeles and Georgia ruled in his favor, granting him sole physical and legal custody of his son.
  • The Kings hosted six players Wednesday in their second round of pre-draft workouts, Ham tweets. On hand were Grayson Murphy of Belmont, AJ Green of Northern Iowa, Jalen Adaway of St. Bonaventure, Buddy Boeheim of Syracuse, Keve Aluma of Virginia Tech and Grant Golden of Richmond. Sacramento owns two second-round picks at No. 37 and 48. Its first-round pick will be determined by next week’s lottery.

44 Prospects Announced For 2022 NBA G League Elite Camp

The NBA G League has formally announced its field of 44 draft prospects for the 2022 NBA G League Elite Camp.

The event, which will take place May 16 and 17 in Chicago, “gives draft prospects an opportunity to display their skills in front of NBA and NBA G League scouts, coaches and front-office executives over the course of the camp by playing in five-on-five games and participating in strength and agility drills.”

The top performers from the camp will be invited to the NBA Draft Combine, which will take place from May 18-22 in Chicago. Some NBA players who have participated in past G League Elite Camps include Pelicans guard Jose Alvarado, Pacers forward Oshae Brissett, Clippers wing Terance Mann, and Heat wing Max Strus.

Here’s the list of 44 draft-eligible attendees:

The list of attendees features 13 players on ESPN’s big board, notes Jonathan Givony of ESPN (via Twitter), so some players have a chance to be drafted.

The top-ranked prospect at the camp is Scheierman (No. 69), who averaged 16.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.3 steals on .508/.469/.802 shooting this season for South Dakota State (35 games, 33.3 minutes per contest).

Draft Notes: Cockburn, Bernard, McCormack, Green, Gibson

Illinois junior center Kofi Cockburn is once again entering his name in the NBA draft, according to Jonathan Givony of ESPN. Because he previously tested the draft waters in 2020 and 2021, Cockburn won’t be permitted to withdraw from the draft this time around, so he’ll forgo his remaining NCAA eligibility.

“I’m 100% in now,” Cockburn told ESPN. “I’m not going back to college. I’m signing with agent Todd Ramasar. I’ve tested the waters enough, I’m 100% dedicated to going all the way.”

The No. 89 prospect on ESPN’s top-100 list, Cockburn was a consensus first-team All-American and was the only college player to average 20+ points and 10+ rebounds per game in 2021/22, says Givony.

The 22-year-old put up 20.9 PPG, 10.6 RPG, and 1.0 BPG in 28 appearances (30.7 MPG) for the Fighting Illini, but acknowledges that he’ll have to tweak his college game – which was heavy on back-to-the-basket, low-post scoring – to succeed in the NBA.

“The NBA values players like Steven Adams and Jonas Valanciunas — guys who set great screens, who know the pick and roll game, how to slip and seal, how to be a physical defender and rebounder who blocks shots,” Cockburn said. “My size can be a major advantage in the NBA. I don’t need the ball to be happy.”

Here are a few more updates on early entrants declaring for the 2022 NBA draft:

  • UCLA senior wing Jules Bernard will go through the draft process while maintaining his college eligibility, he announced on Instagram. Bernard, the Bruins’ third-leading scorer with 12.8 PPG in 2021/22, joins teammate Peyton Watson among UCLA players in the draft pool.
  • Kansas senior power forward David McCormack is entering the 2022 draft and appears prepared to go pro, forging his final year of NCAA eligibility, he announced on Instagram. After earning Big 12 Most Improved Player honors in 2021, McCormack had another strong season for the eventual champs, averaging 10.6 PPG and 7.0 RPG in 40 games (21.9 MPG).
  • Northern Iowa junior guard AJ Green has decided to enter the draft while maintaining his college eligibility and entering the transfer portal, he announced on Twitter. The two-time Player of the Year in the Missouri Valley Conference has averaged 19.4 PPG with a .390 3PT% in 65 contests (35.7 MPG) since the start of the 2019/20 season.
  • Oklahoma senior guard Umoja Gibson will test the draft waters, he announced on Twitter. Gibson, who has spent the last two years at Oklahoma after transferring from North Texas, averaged 13.3 PPG on .435/.390/.871 shooting in 35 games (32.1 MPG) in his senior year.

Draft Decisions: Dennis, Lewis, Green, Teague, Camper, Vogt

As Sam Vecenie of The Athletic observes within his latest big board for the 2020 NBA draft, the unusual circumstances surrounding this year’s NBA and NCAA calendars have created an unprecedented situation for early entrants.

The NCAA’s withdrawal deadline for players to pull out of the 2020 draft class is August 3. However, the NBA is allowing early entrants to declare up until August 17, since the draft itself has been postponed until October.

As a result, Vecenie confirms, an NCAA underclassman who is struggling with his decision could withdraw by August 3, then re-enter by August 17 if he has change of heart. At that point, he’d be forgoing his remaining college eligibility, but it would essentially give him an extra two weeks to make up his mind.

With that detail in mind, here are a handful of updates on players withdrawing their names from the draft pool:

  • Wichita State guard Dexter Dennis will return to school for at least one more year, he announced on Twitter. Dennis averaged 9.2 PPG and 5.0 RPG in 28 games (25.8 MPG) as a sophomore for the Shockers.
  • James Madison guard Matt Lewis will head back to school for his senior season, he tells Jeff Goodman of Stadium (Twitter link). Lewis was, by far, the Dukes’ leading scorer in 2019/20, posting 19.0 PPG on .410/.373/.715 shooting in 30 games (35.6 MPG).
  • Northern Iowa’s AJ Green is withdrawing from the draft after testing the waters, a source tells Goodman (Twitter link). The 6’4″ guard is coming off a big sophomore year in which he averaged 19.7 PPG on .416/.391/.917 shooting in 31 games (34.8 MPG).
  • MaCio Teague is returning to Baylor for his senior year, he announced in a Twitter video. The 6’3″ guard previously spent two years at UNC Asheville before transfering to Baylor and averaging 13.9 PPG in 28 games for the Bears in 2019/20.
  • Siena swingman Manny Camper will return to school after testing the draft waters, the program announced in a press release. “Even though I couldn’t do a ton, it was still great to be able to get a little feedback from the NBA on what I need to work on and also what I do well that I can continue to improve on,” Camper said in a statement.
  • Cincinnati center Chris Vogt confirmed on Twitter that he’s rejoining the Bearcats for a “last go around.” The big man averaged 11.0 PPG and 5.9 RPG in 30 games (28.5 MPG) as a junior.

Draft Notes: Nakic, Sylla, Alocen, Williams

Today marks the deadline for early entrants to declare for the NBA draft, and three overseas players have decided to wait another year, according to Jonathan Givony of ESPN. Potential second-round picks Mario Nakic (Twitter link), Amar Sylla (Twitter link) and Carlos Alocen (Twitter link) will all bypass this year’s draft.

Nakic, 18, is a former MVP of the Adidas Next Generation Tournament. The 6’8″ wing played for Real Madrid this season, and Givony considers him a “breakout draft candidate” for 2021.

Sylla. a 6’9″ center from Senegal, played for the Belgian/BCL team Oostende this season. The 18-year-old could be a first round-pick next year, according to Givony.

Alocen is 6’5″ and is the starting point guard with Zaragoza in the Spanish ACB at age 19.

There are more draft decisions to pass along:

  • LSU sophomore Emmitt Williams has declared for the draft, tweets Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports. Williams, who also tested the draft waters last year, made the announcement on his Instagram page. He averaged 13.3 points and 6.6 rebounds per game this season.
  • Northern Iowa’s AJ Green has decided to enter the draft while keeping his college eligibility, according to basketball analyst Jeff Goodman (Twitter link). Green was named Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year as a sophomore, averaging a league-best 19.7 PPG.
  • Tennessee’s Yves Pons has also declared for the draft and will hold onto his eligibility, Goodman adds (Twitter link). The junior forward was Defensive Player of the Year in the SEC.
  • Brazilian guard Caio Pacheco has opted to enter the draft, tweets Raúl Barrigón of HoopsHype. Pacheco averaged 19.4 points, 3.1 rebounds and 6.0 assists per game this season with Bahía Blanca Basket in Argentina.