Aquille Carr

And-Ones: Carr, Jackson, Lakers, Sixers

Former high school standout Aquille Carr has officially declared for the 2014 draft, his agent tells Adam Zagoria of SNY (on Twitter).  Agent Joshua Wildes of Hazan Sports Management told Hoops Rumors via email that “Aquille is excited about this next chapter in his career and looks forward to fulfilling his dream.”  The 5’6″ guard, who turned down a scholarship offer from Seton Hall to pursue overseas opportunities, is not featured on DraftExpress’ 2014 mock. Here’s tonight’s look around the Association..

  • According to an NBA source, new president Phil Jackson has talked recently about his disappointment in some of the Knicks’ conditioning — or lack thereof — this year, writes Ian Begley of  It’s unclear which players Jackson was talking about, though J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert were coming off of offseason surgery and coach Mike Woodson mentioned that Shumpert was dealing with minor injuries throughout camp, which may have hindered him early on.
  • With the salary cap expected to rise to $63.2MM in 2014/15, Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times looks at the decisions facing the Lakers this offseason.  Waiving and stretching Steve Nash‘s salary would spread his salary over the next three seasons, reducing the Lakers spending power for 2015/16, when players like Kevin Love, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Rajon Rondo may be available, and 2016/17, when Kevin Durant could be a free agent.
  • The Sixers managed to have a remarkably bad season in 2013/14, but now comes the tricky part for GM Sam Hinkie, writes Bob Ford of the Philadelphia Inquirer.  Philly figures to have two top ten picks in this year’s draft and it’ll be up to Hinkie & Co. to choose wisely.
  • Sam Amico of FOX Sports (on Twitter) agreed with a follower who says that the Bobcats never should have taken Michael Kidd-Gilchrist at No. 2 last year since he’s a perimeter player in today’s NBA who can’t shoot.   However, he can’t fault them too much (link) since several teams were trying to trade up to get him.
  • Jorge Sierra of HoopsHype spoke with Euroleague standout Malcolm Delaney about his opportunity to sign with the Rockets earlier this year.  Houston wanted to sign Delaney but FC Bayern, who was about to begin a playoff run, declined to let him out of his contract.  The 25-year-old says he’s not bitter towards the German club and hopes to get another NBA opportunity this summer.

And-Ones: Knicks, Draft, Vasquez

Greivis Vasquez, traded to the Raptors in December, is finally feeling more like himself after undergoing ankle surgery in the offseason and experiencing a dip in production while playing for the Kings early this season, he tells Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee“I’m a little upset because I couldn’t really show the fans what I could really do. Last year, I led the league in total assists and was playing at a high level, and I wanted to do that in Sacramento,” Vasquez said. “I’ve been showing what I can do and getting better. The playoffs are going to buy me more time to show what I can do.” Here’s more from around the NBA:

  • Vasquez will become a restricted free agent this offseason if the Raptors extend a $3.2MM qualifying offer. In Jones’ piece, Vasquez says a return to the Kings isn’t out of the question.
  • Tom Moore of Calkins Media wonders if the Sixers will struggle badly next season, even if they manage to upgrade their talent level through the draft and free agency. Moore is skeptical that massive roster turnover won’t create new challenges, and sees evidence of bad habits taking hold in Philadelphia, including in standout rookie Michael Carter-Williams.
  • A former GM tells Al Iannazzone of Newsday that Carmelo Anthony would help the Knicks more by leaving this summer than re-signing with them. The former GM says losing Anthony and enduring one more season at the bottom of the standings is worth it to maintain New York’s cap space for the summer of 2015, when they could take swings at a number of star free agents. “Guys want to go to play in New York. It’s going to hurt for a little bit,” he said. “But if you have cap space, it’s not going to be that hard to get a good player to come to New York.” 
  • Aquille Carr discussed his hopes for the upcoming draft with Matthew Hochberg of Ridiculous Upside. The 5’5″ point guard chose to forgo college basketball, spending time in China and the D-League in preparation for this year’s draft.
  • Two NBA scouts are high on Kentucky’s James Young, telling Adam Zagoria of that Young will land in the first round (Twitter links). One of the scouts thinks he’s a lottery talent, while the other thinks Jones would be better served to stay in college another year despite his upside.

NBA Hopefuls: Graham, Carr, Addison, D-League

As we creep closer to the time when NBA teams begin to whittle down their rosters, let’s take a look at some NBA hopefuls, current and future, that are presently making news:

  • Stephen Graham, currently in camp with the Bucks, is determined to land a contract that keeps him in the NBA this season after floating between the D-League and overseas since the NBA lockout, writes Shams Charania of RealGM, who adds that Milwaukee already has 15 players on guaranteed deals. While he never found a permanent home in the NBA, Graham did spend time on seven teams in six seasons in the NBA before the Nets waived him in 2011.
  • Aquille Carr, the 20-year-old phenom from Baltimore who was previously playing in China, has signed a D-League contract for this season in an attempt to prepare himself for the 2014 NBA Draft, writes Gino Pilato of the D-League Digest.  As Pilato notes, Carr is following in the footsteps of Glen Rice Jr., who spent a season in the D-League after getting booted from Georgia Tech’s basketball team and ended up being drafted 35th and traded to the Wizards. Commissioner David Stern recently boasted of the improvement of the D-League when it comes to developing young players.
  • Keith Schlosser of Ridiculous Upside takes a look at 26-year-old Brian Addison, who was one of a handful of players that stood out to the Knicks at last month’s tryout for their D-League affiliate, the Erie Bayhawks. Addison, who went to Buffalo University, has played professionally in Portugal, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.
  • In a separate post, Schlosser reports the names of five players who are set to enter next month’s D-League Draft: Kyle Hunt, Orion Outerbridge, Jamine Peterson, Akeem Ellis and Derick Beltran. Schlosser also mentions Dami Sapara and Ahmad Aasiya-Bey as two talented prospects who have already stated their intentions to join the league.