Arnoldas Kulboka

Southeast Notes: Haslem, Kulboka, Simpson, Simon

Heat veteran forward Udonis Haslem, who re-signed with Miami for a 17th season just yesterday, will not commit to this being his final season, tweets Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel.

Winderman adds in a separate tweet that Haslem will not treat the 2019/20 season as a farewell tour, but given Haslem’s primary status as a reserve for the Heat, it’s probably too presumptive to conclude from that alone that this won’t be his last season.

Finally, Winderman opines that unless someone like former Heat player Yante Maten ends up flourishing for another team in the near future, the signing of Haslem as a veteran locker room presence is well worth using up the last roster spot.

There’s more news out of the Southeast Division tonight:

  • Hornets draft-and-stash prospect Arnoldas Kulboka, a 21-year-old Lithuanian swingman who was drafted No. 55 overall in the 2018 NBA Draft, has officially signed his contract with RETAbet Bilbao Basket of Liga ACB, reports Donatas Urbonas (Twitter link).
  • Per Chase Hughes of NBC Sports WashingtonWizards point guard John Wall believes that teammate Bradley Beal will sign the three-year, $112MM contract extension being offered by Washington despite the financial reasons for not doing so, as we’ve detailed.
  • The Wizards have officially announced the hiring of Mark Simpson as the team’s new vice president of player performance. Simpson has spent the last three seasons as director of performance for the Clippers, where he oversaw the team’s player load management strategies.
  • Undrafted St. John’s rookie guard Justin Simon recently underwent a workout with the Heat, but left without a contract, reports Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald.

Southeast Notes: Adebayo, Heat, Miles, Kulboka

Heat center Bam Adebayo has accepted an invitation to Team USA’s training camp in preparation for the FIBA World Cup tournament in China, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets. USA Basketball is scrambling for replacements after nine members of the original 20-man roster decided not to participate this summer, a list that includes Paul MillsapKevin LoveBradley BealAnthony DavisEric GordonJames HardenTobias HarrisDamian Lillard, and CJ McCollum. A 12-man team will represent Team USA in China.

We have more from the Southeast Division:

  • The Heat have named Eric Glass head coach of the G League Sioux Falls Skyforce, according to a team press release. Glass has been in the organization nine seasons and served as a video coordinator and player development coach the last two seasons. Additionally, Adam Simon has been named VP of basketball operations and assistant GM, while Eric Amsler has been promoted to director of scouting and director of player personnel.
  • C.J. Miles is eager to show he can still be an effective player for the Wizards once he returns from foot surgery, he told Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington. Miles split time with the Raptors and Grizzlies last season and was traded to Washington this summer in exchange for Dwight Howard. “Last year I just felt like I never really got in a groove after the work I put in to really help my team,” he said. “It just didn’t fit. It’s not personal, it was new coach and a trade happened.” Miles underwent surgery on Thursday to repair a stress fracture in his left foot and will be re-evaluated in six weeks.
  • Hornets draft-and-stash prospect Arnoldas Kulboka will remain overseas and play in Spain during the upcoming season, Lithuanian journalist Donatas Urbonas tweets. The 6’9” Kulboka, 21, was a late second-round pick last year.

International Moves: Peters, Kulboka, Goudelock

Former Suns forward Alec Peters, the 54th pick in the 2017 draft, is headed to Russia to play for CSKA Moscow, the team announced today. Peters spent the 2017/18 on a two-way contract, appearing in 20 games for Phoenix. He averaged 4.1 PPG and 1.9 RPG in 11.3 minutes per contest. Having not received a qualifying offer from the Suns at season’s end, Peters will continue his career overseas.

“I could not be more excited to join such a prestigious and well-known organization as CSKA Moscow,” Peters said in a statement. “I appreciate the belief of coaching staff and management, who know my set of skills and think that my style of playing will fit the team. I know that I come to the first-class organization and look forward to help the team win the EuroLeague title.”

Here are a few more international transactions of note:

  • Lithuanian forward Arnoldas Kulboka is back with German club Brose Bamberg after being loaned to Orlandina in Italy last season, according to an announcement from the team (hat tip to Sportando). Kulboka was selected by the Hornets with the 55th overall pick in the 2018 draft, so Charlotte will retain his NBA rights and could have the opportunity to bring him stateside in a future season.
  • Former NBA guard Andrew Goudelock, who appeared in 49 total games with the Lakers and Rockets, has signed with the Shandong Golden Stars in China, per an announcement from his agency (hat tip to Sportando). International basketball journalist David Pick first reported earlier this month (via Twitter) that Goudelock was signing a $1.5MM+ deal with Shandong to replace Ty Lawson.
  • French big man Jonathan Jeanne, who was considered a potential 2017 NBA draft pick before he was diagnosed with Marfan syndrome, has officially signed with Iberojet Palma in Spain after being medically cleared earlier this year.

Southeast Notes: Kulboka, Sanon, Taylor, Walker

The Hornets plan to stash 6’10” forward Arnoldas Kulboka in Europe, Chapel Fowler of the Charlotte Observer relays. The Hornets took the Lithuanian native with the No. 55 pick with that plan in mind. “He’s got a buyout that’s manageable, but we’ve talked to his representative …” GM Mitch Kupchak told Fowler and other media members. “At least right now, the plan is to keep him over there and hopefully watch him develop and then, when he’s ready, bring him back over here and see how good he is.”

In other developments around the Southeast Division:

  • The Wizards will go the draft-and-stash route with the No. 44 pick, Issuf Sanon, Candace Buckner of the Washington Post tweets. The Ukrainian combo guard is just 18 years old and played in the Slovenian League last season.
  • The Hawks have pushed back the date of Isaiah Taylor‘s partial guarantee from Friday until the end of the month, Michael Cunningham of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution tweets. Taylor would receive a $300K guarantee by remaining on the roster through the due date. The remainder of his $1,544,951 salary for next season would become guaranteed if he’s on the roster through July 27th. The 6’3” point guard appeared in 67 games last season and averaged 6.6 PPG and 3.1 APG.
  • The Hawks dealt their early second-round pick at No. 34 because the players they liked in that spot were guards and they already got two backcourt players in the first round, Cunningham reports in a separate tweet. The Hawks secured two future second-rounders in their deal with the Hornets. In the first round, Atlanta wound up with point guard Trae Young after dropping down two spots from the No. 3 slot and chose shooting guard Kevin Huerter at No. 19.
  • Kupchak would like to see point guard Kemba Walker play his whole career with the Hornets but can’t do much about that before Walker hits free agency next season, Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer writes. A contract extension isn’t feasible because of Charlotte’s salary-cap restraints. “He is on a (contract) that may make it a challenge going forward to figure out (the best course) before he becomes a free agent,” Kupchak told Bonnell.

Draft Workouts: Sixers, Grizzlies, Pacers, Hornets, T-Wolves

The Sixers will host Kentucky forward Kevin Knox and Texas Tech guard Zhaire Smith for the second time on Tuesday, according to a team release. Knox’s workout will be separate from the other six players they will bring in, including Smith. The Sixers hold the No. 10 selection in the lottery. Knox is currently ranked No. 9 by ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, while Smith is slotted at No. 16.

The other members of the group workout are all guards, including B.J. Johnson (La Salle), De’Anthony Melton (USC), Tyler Nelson (Fairfield), Malik Newman (Kansas) and Landry Shamet (Wichita State). Melton (No. 24, Givony) is a possibility for the Sixers with their other first-rounder at No. 26.

We have numerous other draft workouts to pass along:

Draft Updates: Musa, Knox, Williams, Sixers

The Nets may be willing to package their picks to move up for Bosnia’s Dzanan Musa, according to Brian Lewis of The New York Post. The 19-year-old small forward has spent the past week visiting teams that might be willing to use a first-round selection on him. The Nets hold the 29th pick, but may have to give up their second-rounders at 40 and 45 to get into Musa’s range.

Musa has two years remaining on his contract with KK Cedevita in the EuroLeague, but he plans to come to the NBA next season.

“I want to compete at the highest level and to compete with the best players in the world,” Musa said in an interview with CBS Sports affiliate 1430-AM in Indianapolis. “[My strength is] scoring: shooting, midrange floaters, to the rim. … I just want to get picked by the team who sees me as a project. But I think I’m a lottery pick for sure.”

There’s more draft-related news to pass along:

Draft Notes: R. Williams, Nuggets, Clips, Wizards

Texas A&M center Robert Williams, who previously worked out for the Bulls, Hornets, and Knicks, continues to earn looks from teams picking in the top half of the first round. According to Sean Deveney of The Sporting News (Twitter link), Williams still has workouts on tap with the Clippers, Nuggets, Wizards, who hold the picks from 12 through 15.

Williams’ session with the Nuggets will take place today, according to a press release from the club. In addition to scheduling an individual session with Williams, Denver has also lined up a group workout which will feature Hayden Dalton (Wyoming), Jacob Evans (Cincinnati), Arnoldas Kulboka (Capo d’Orlando), Dzanan Musa (Cedevita), Ajdin Penava (Marshall), and Johnathan Williams (Gonzaga).

Meanwhile, the Bucks – who hold the No. 17 selection – also wanted to bring in Williams for a workout, but he expects to be off the board before Milwaukee picks and has passed on the team’s invitation, per Gery Woelfel of The Racine Journal Times. According to Woelfel, Texas Tech’s Zhaire Smith, another good bet to be drafted in the top 16, also won’t work out for the Bucks.

Here’s more on the 2018 NBA draft:

Doncic, Okobo, Others Remaining In NBA Draft

With the NBA’s withdrawal deadline for early entrants right around the corner, top prospect Luka Doncic will keep his name in the 2018 NBA draft, a source tells Jonathan Givony of ESPN.com. While that doesn’t mean he’s obliged to come to the NBA next season, it makes Doncic draft-eligible next week, when he’s expected to come off the board within the first four or five picks.

According to Givony, a number of teams have inquired about the possibility of acquiring a top-three pick, with an eye toward nabbing Doncic. We heard previously that the Clippers had explored that possibility, but it sounds like they’re not the only team weighing that scenario.

Meanwhile, Givony has several more updates on international prospects who have decided to either keep their names in the draft or withdraw from the 2018 pool. Here’s the latest:

Staying in the draft:

Withdrawing:

Draft Notes: B. Brown, Govan, Lakers, Bulls

Kansas State junior guard Barry Brown will be returning to the Wildcats for his senior year, he confirmed in an announcement today on Twitter.

“Although the process was more than enjoyable, I have decided to withdraw my name from the 2018 NBA Draft,” Brown wrote in a statement. “Thank you to everyone who supported me, and I am looking forward to finishing my senior season as a WILDCAT!”

Brown, who had workouts with the Lakers and Nets, averaged 15.9 PPG, 3.2 APG, 3.1 RPG, and 1.8 SPG for Kansas State in 2017/18. He’ll look to build on those numbers in his senior season before becoming draft-eligible again next spring.

Here are more draft-related notes and updates:

Draft Updates: Sedekerskis, Kulboka, Azubuike

A pair of international prospects that rank within the top 100 on Jonathan Givony’s big board at ESPN.com have declared for the 2018 NBA draft, Givony reports.

Tadas Sedekerskis, a 6’10” Lithuanian combo forward, is one of those two prospects declaring for the draft as an early entrants, according to Givony, who refers to Sedekerskis as “one of the most decorated players of his generation in Europe.” Although his rights were acquired by Spanish powerhouse Baskonia, Sedekerskis has been on loan in his native Lithuania for Nevezis this season. The 1998-born forward is the No. 86 prospect on Givony’s big board.

Meanwhile, Givony’s 76th-ranked prospect, Lithuanian wing Arnoldas Kulboka, is also entering the 2018 draft (Twitter link). Kulboka, a 1998-born forward who entered the draft a year ago but ultimately withdrew from consideration, is currently averaging 8.3 PPG for Italian team Capo D’Orlando.

Here are a few more draft-related notes:

  • Kansas sophomore center Udoka Azubuike has decided to test the 2018 NBA draft waters without hiring an agent, the school announced today in a press release. “I’m going to wait and see where I stand among other bigs out there,” Azubuike said in a statement. “I appreciate everyone’s support, but I’m not saying goodbye. I’m saying I want to find out. Like many other players, I’m curious.” The seven-footer enjoyed a breakout sophomore season in 2017/18, averaging 13.0 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 1.7 BPG, and a .770 FG% for the Jayhawks.
  • Over at ESPN.com, Jonathan Givony has put out an early mock draft for 2019 (Insider link). Among the players picked: Azubuike, who goes 48th overall.
  • Kent State guard Jaylin Walker is also entering the 2018 draft without hiring an agent, per a press release. In his junior year, Walker averaged 16.6 PPG, but struggled a little with his efficiency (.380 FG%, .328 3PT%).
  • Marshall junior forward Ajdin Penava has elected to forgo his senior year and go pro, according to an announcement from the school. After posting modest numbers in his first two years at Marshall, Penava set career highs in PPG (15.6), RPG (8.5), BPG (3.9), and several other categories in 2017/18.