Anthony Barber

Western Rumors: DeRozan, Workouts, Nuggets

The Lakers are not that interested in Raptors free agent shooting guard DeMar DeRozan, Bleacher Report’s Kevin Ding told SiriusXM’s Noah Coslov in a radio interview. That comes as a surprise, as the Lakers were expected to make a strong push for DeRozan when he hit the open market. DeRozan indicated during his postseason press conference that he had every intention of staying with the Raptors.
In other news around the Western Conference:
  • The Jazz will work out six draft prospects on Tuesday, according to the team’s Twitter feed. That group includes forwards Zach Auguste (Notre Dame), Shavon Shields (Nebraska), Abdel Nader (Iowa State) and Anthony Gill (Virginia) and guards Andrew Andrews and Alex Caruso. Auguste is the only player considered a Top 100 prospects by both ESPN Insider Chad Ford (No. 86) and DraftExpress’ Jonathan Givony (No. 80).
  • The Suns had two sets of workouts on Monday, with some big names coming in for evaluations, according to their official Twitter feed (Twitter links). The first set of workouts included guards Tyler Ulis (Kentucky), Gabe York (Arizona), Anthony Barber (North Carolina State) and Isaia Cordinier and forwards Robert Carter (Maryland) and Alex Poythress (Kentucky). The second group included forwards Perry Ellis (Kansas), Troy Williams (Indiana) and Thon Maker, center Damian Jones (Vanderbilt) and guards Michael Gbinije (Syracuse) and Tyrone Wallace (California). Ulis (No. 18 on Ford’s list, No. 19 on Givony’s list) and Jones (No. 23, No. 22) are the highest-ranked players among those groups.
  • The Nuggets will have difficulty freeing up enough salary-cap space to sign a star player this summer and will thus likely have to pursue a trade to make a significant upgrade, as Christopher Dempsey of the Denver Post details in an examination of the team’s financial situation. It’s unrealistic for the team to max out a player in free agency, address other needs and sign draft picks, Dempsey adds.

Draft Rumors: Dunn, Pacers, Trimble

The results of the lottery probably damaged Providence point guard Kris Dunn’s draft prospects more than any other player, Derek Bodner of USA Today opines. Dunn was a strong possibility to go in the top five prior to the lottery but the teams at the top are unlikely to prioritize a point guard, Bodner continues. It’s possible Dunn could move back into the top five if the Celtics at No. 3 or Suns at No. 4 trade their pick, otherwise another lottery team could wind up with a bargain, Bodner adds. ESPN Insider Chad Ford still has Dunn ranked No. 4 overall on his Big Board, while Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress has Dunn ranked No. 5 overall.
In other draft-related news:
  • Oakland University point guard Kay Felder is among six players working out for the Pacers on Monday, according to the team’s official Twitter feed. Felder is considering a second-round prospect by both Ford (No. 43 overall) and Givony (No. 58). Purdue power forward Caleb Swanigan, Providence power forward Ben Bentil, Tennessee shooting guard Armani Moore, North Carolina State point guard Anthony Barber and Maryland shooting guard Rasheed Sulaimon are the other prospects working out for Indiana.
  • Maryland point guard Melo Trimble will make his final scheduled workout with the Hawks on Monday before deciding whether to stay in the draft, according to ESPN’s Jeff Goodman (Twitter link). Trimble is ranked No. 71 by Ford and No. 76 by Givony.
  • Xavier sophomore forward Trevon Bluiett is likely to withdraw from the draft and return to school, a source told Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv (Twitter link). Bluiett was not ranked among the Top 100 draft prospects by either Ford or Givony.
  • Villanova’s Josh Hart will work out for the Hawks on Tuesday and then decide whether to stay in the draft, Zagoria tweets. The junior shooting guard is ranked No. 46 by Ford and No. 43 by Givony.

Central Notes: McMillan, Pistons, Draft

It remains to be seen how well new Pacers coach Nate McMillan has evolved since his stint with the Blazers, given how much the league has changed since then, Candace Buckner of The Indianapolis Star writes. “The interesting thing is that Nate went to Portland and had a pretty decent run of success there but played a very methodical, slowed-down, precise type of offense,” said former player Brent Barry, who was coached by McMillan for four seasons, “and I think that’s why a lot of people are interested in how it is after Larry’s comments with regards to coach Vogel, wanting to be a more up-tempo offensive, quick-strike team, how it is that Nate has changed and evolved during his time on the bench in Indiana.

McMillan acknowledged that the game has changed on offense, telling reporters, “In 2005, nobody was talking about spread lineups. There’s no way, back in the day, I’d allow my center to be out here working on 3s. [Now] every team in the league’s center works on 3s. It’s just a different game.”

Here’s more from the Central Division:

  • The Pacers will hold their third predraft workout on Monday and participating will be Anthony Barber (North Carolina State), Ben Bentil (Providence), Kay Felder (Oakland), Armani Moore (Tennessee), Rasheed Sulaimon (Maryland), and Caleb Swanigan (Purdue), the team announced.
  • The Pistons‘ roster is relatively set for the 2016/17 season, which means that the team could look to get creative with its second round pick this June, Keith Langlois of NBA.com writes. Detroit’s options with the No. 49 overall pick include drafting an international player who’ll spend at least one more season in development overseas or trading it for a future second-round pick containing reasonable protections, Langlois adds. The Pistons are without second-rounders in 2017, 2019 and 2020, the scribe notes.
  • Former Cavaliers coach David Blatt reached out to Tyronn Lue, the man who replaced him in Cleveland, to offer his support and praise for the team’s postseason play, Chris Haynes of The Northeast Ohio Media Group relays. “He’s just a good person,” Lue told Haynes. “Always encouraging, always supportive. He just said how proud he was of me and what we’re doing, and that means a lot coming from him. His friendship is something I truly appreciate and value.
  • The Bucks, who hold the No. 10 overall pick in this year’s draft, are likely to hold onto the pick rather than trade it, Jim Paschke of NBA.com relays (video link). According to GM John Hammond, due to the difficulty involved in moving up in the draft, any deal involving Milwaukee’s pick would likely be to trade down.