Battle and Brown agreed to Exhibit 10 contracts with Minnesota after going undrafted in June. They played for the Wolves’ Summer League team, but didn’t officially sign until Monday, so neither saw any preseason action.
The back of the Timberwolves‘ roster has undergone some turnover today, with the team announcing in a press release that it has signed guards Tyus Battle and Barry Brown. The two new Wolves will occupy the roster spots vacated by forward Jordan Murphy and guard Lindell Wigginton, who have been waived.
Battle, who went undrafted out of Syracuse, agreed to an Exhibit 10 deal with the Timberwolves right after the draft ended in June, but the two sides didn’t finalize that agreement until now. That’s a signal that Minnesota views the 6’6″ guard as someone who will join the Iowa Wolves – the team’s G League affiliate – after he’s waived.
Brown, who played his college ball at Kansas State, also went undrafted this spring. He averaged 14.6 PPG, 4.1 RPG, and 1.9 SPG in 34 games (35.0 MPG) during his final college season, then played for the Wolves’ Summer League team in Las Vegas in July. His contract, like Battle’s, is an Exhibit 10 pact, tweets Darren Wolfson of SKOR North.
According to Wolfson, it appears likely that all four players involved in today’s transactions – including Murphy and Wigginton – will ultimately end up playing for the Iowa Wolves.
With six of the top 44 picks in the 2019 NBA draft, the Hawks have been understandably busy when it comes to bringing in prospects for pre-draft workouts. While Atlanta is unlikely to keep all six of its selections, the club is doing its due diligence on players who might be available at each spot — or as undrafted free agents.
On Sunday, the Hawks worked out Darius Bazley (Princeton HS), Robert Franks (Washington State), Matur Maker (Zlatorog Lasko), William McDowell-White (Baunach), Miye Oni (Yale), and Trayvon Reed (Texas Southern), according to the team.
The Hawks conducted another workout on Monday, bringing in Jordan Bone (Tennessee), Brian Bowen (Sydney), Dewan Hernandez (Miami), Jordan Poole (Michigan), Justin Robinson (Virginia Tech), and Dean Wade (Kansas State) in for a look.
On Tuesday, the Hawks will host yet another workout, with Charlie Brown Jr. (St. Joe’s), Zylan Cheatham (Arizona State), Keldon Johnson (Kentucky), Nassir Little (UNC), KZ Okpala (Stanford), and Kevin Porter Jr. (USC) set to participate.
Here are a few more updates on pre-draft workouts from around the Eastern Conference:
- R.J. Barrett doesn’t have many team visits on his schedule this month. According to Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv (via Twitter), Barrett’s individual workout and meeting with the Knicks today represents his first and only session of the pre-draft process. “This is the place I want to be. So I hope they draft me,” the Duke forward said today (Twitter link via Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic). Barrett is widely viewed as the favorite to be selected with the No. 3 overall pick.
- Croatian forward Luka Samanic, an early entrant who will keep his name in the 2019 NBA draft pool, will have an individual workout on Tuesday with the Pacers, the team announced in a press release.
- Nickeil Alexander-Walker (Virginia Tech), KeVaughn Allen (Florida), Robert Franks (Washington State), Tyler Herro (Kentucky), Christ Koumadje (Florida State), and Greg Malinowski (Georgetown) worked out for the Magic on Monday, tweets Josh Robbins of The Athletic.
- The Pistons worked out Nickeil Alexander-Walker (Virginia Tech), Luguentz Dort (Arizona State), Amir Hinton (Shaw), Talen Horton-Tucker (Iowa State), Nassir Little (UNC), and Shamorie Ponds (St. John’s) on Friday, then auditioned Oshae Brissett (Syracuse), Barry Brown Jr. (Kansas State), Digue Diawara (France), Nikola Miskovic (Serbia), Zach Jackson (Omaha), and Josh Perkins (Gonzaga) on Monday, per Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press (Twitter links).
The Magic had a full day of pre-draft workouts today, bringing in two separate groups featuring six prospects apiece. As Josh Robbins of The Athletic details (via Twitter), Orlando’s first group this morning was made up of Darius Bazley (Princeton HS), Jaylen Hoard (Wake Forest), Keldon Johnson (Kentucky), Terance Mann (Florida State), KZ Okpala (Stanford), and Miye Oni (Yale).
Later in the day, the Magic auditioned Barry Brown (Kansas State), Tacko Fall (UCF), Kyle Guy (Virginia), Kaleb Johnson (Georgetown), John Konchar (IPFW), and Cameron Lard (Iowa State), according to Robbins (via Twitter).
Several of the prospects who worked out today for Orlando shared additional details on their respective workout schedules, so we’ll round up some of those updates…
- Keldon Johnson, the No. 19 overall prospect on ESPN’s big board, said he has worked out for the Celtics and also has sessions on tap with the Heat, Hornets, and Timberwolves, per Robbins (via Twitter).
- Potential first-round pick Darius Bazley said today that he has worked out for the Spurs and has a workout lined up with the Pistons, tweets Robbins.
- Big man Tacko Fall has workouts scheduled with the Pacers, Knicks, Lakers, Cavaliers, and Hornets, according to Robbins (via Twitter). He may add more teams to that list if his schedule allows for it.
- The Nets, Knicks, Bulls, and Cavaliers will work out FSU’s Terance Mann prior to the draft, tweets Robbins.
Another unflattering story on the state of the Lakers was published on Tuesday, with the latest report from ESPN portraying the inner workings of one of the NBA’s marquee franchises in a particularly negative light. Despite the revelations included in that story, commissioner Adam Silver remains said in an appearance on ESPN’s Get Up on Wednesday morning that he still has “tremendous” confidence in the Lakers’ leaders to turn things around.
“I know [Lakers owner] Jeanie [Buss] knows how to manage a team,” Silver said, per Malika Andrews of ESPN.com. “Sure, when things start to go wrong, a lot of fingers get pointed. But they’ll figure it out.”
Silver’s name actually came up in ESPN’s report on the Lakers, with sources detailing an anecdote about LeBron James‘ agent Rich Paul approaching the commissioner at a lunch and complaining about then-coach Luke Walton. During today’s appearance on Get Up, Silver confirmed that interaction took place.
“He was in the same restaurant,” Silver said of Paul. “There were two people sitting there. He sat down for a second, and I think he said something along the lines that ‘Luke Walton is not the right guy to coach LeBron.’ My reaction was to shrug my shoulders and maybe say, ‘Well, who do you think is the right guy to coach?’ And he mentioned a name and that was that.
“I think he just wanted to say it out loud,” Silver added. “I don’t think he had any expectation that I would repeat that to anyone.”
Here’s more from around the Pacific:
- The Kings are hosting their fifth pre-draft workout at their practice facility on Wednesday, the team announced in a press release. Sacramento listed Anthony Cowan (Maryland), Barry Brown (Kansas State), Alpha Diallo (Providence), Amir Coffey (Minnesota), Robert Franks (Washington State), and Dedric Lawson (Kansas) as the participants, though Cowan and Diallo are both expected to pull out of the draft before tonight’s NCAA withdrawal deadline.
- While the Clippers always expected to make a play for a top free agent or two this summer, the team didn’t expect to already have two long-term building blocks in its backcourt by this point, writes Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times. As Greif outlines, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Landry Shamet both look like keepers for the franchise.
- The legal battle over the Clippers‘ efforts to build a new arena in Inglewood continues, per Nathan Fenno of The Los Angeles Times. According to Fenno, the L.A. County’s district attorney’s office found that the Inglewood City Council violated state law by approving an agreement with a Clippers-controlled company allowing it to explore building an arena in the city, but the D.A. didn’t take any action because the time limit to “remedy the violation” had passed.
“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:
- We can remove another name from this year’s list of early entrants, according to ESPN’s Jeff Goodman, who tweets that Georgetown big man Jessie Govan is withdrawing from the draft. That’s good news for the Hoyas, who will get Govan back for his senior year after he posted a double-double (17.9 PPG, 10.0 RPG) as a junior.
- The Lakers‘ pre-draft workout on Friday featured some interesting faces, with Grayson Allen (Duke), Allerik Freeman (NC State), Kevin Huerter (Maryland), Arnoldas Kulboka (Capo D’Orlando), Matur Maker (Mississauga Prep), and Bryant McIntosh (Northwestern) earning a look from the team, per a press release.
- After working out for the Lakers earlier this week, Missouri forward Jordan Barnett auditioned today for the Celtics, tweets Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog.com. Barnett’s session with the Lakers also included Jordan Caroline (Nevada), Drew Eubanks (Oregon State), Jock Landale (Saint Mary’s), Daryl Macon (Arkansas), and Shamorie Ponds (St. John’s), according to the team.
- The Bulls‘ pre-draft workout on Thursday, which was heavy on local prospects, featured Eugene German (Northern Illinois), Anas Mahmoud (Louisville), Fred Sims Jr. (Chicago State), Donte Ingram (Loyola Chicago), Ben Richardson (Loyola Chicago), and Nick Ward (Michigan State), according to the club.
UCLA point guard Aaron Holiday and Villanova floor leader Jalen Brunson headline the list of six players the Hawks will work out on Friday, according to a team press release. Holiday is ranked No. 17 by ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, while Brunson is rated No. 26 overall.
Gary Clark (Cincinnati), Rawle Alkins (Arizona), Juwan Morgan (Indiana) and Tony Carr (Penn State) are the other players trying to make a favorable impression. The Hawks hosted Donte DiVincenzo (Villanova), Ben Lammers (Georgia Tech), Jalen McDaniels (San Diego State), Markis McDuffie (Wichita State), Doral Moore (Wake Forest) and Brandon Sampson (LSU) on Thursday.
In other draft workouts by Eastern Conference clubs:
- The Wizards hosted six players on Thursday, according to the team’s website. Yuta Watanabe (George Washington), Junior Robinson (Mount St. Mary’s), Junior Etou (Tulsa), Marcus Derrickson (Georgetown), James Daniel III (Tennessee) and Phillip Carr (Morgan State) were the players Washington’s staff evaluated.
- Jon Elmore (Marshall), Marcus Foster (Creighton), Jairus Lyles (Maryland Baltimore-County), Dakota Mathias (Purdue), Marcus Lee (California) and Nana Foulland (Bucknell) worked out for the Raptors on Thursday, the team’s media relations department tweets.
- Among the players the Nets have worked out are Shamorie Ponds (St. John’s), Barry Brown Jr (Kansas State), Chris Silva (South Carolina), Mustapha Heron (Auburn), PJ Washington (Kentucky), Reid Travis (Stanford), Jordan Caroline (Nevada), Matt Mobley (St. Bonaventure), Abudushalamu Abudurexiti (Xingyang Long Lions), Cody Martin (Nevada) and Admiral Schofield (Tennessee), according to NetsDaily.com.
While the Lakers don’t hold their own first-round pick in this year’s draft, the club is currently armed with a pair of selections at 25th and 47th overall, and is doing its due diligence on potential selections. One prospect earning a look from Los Angeles is Duke guard Gary Trent Jr., who will work out for the club on Wednesday, per Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News (Twitter link).
Before they bring in Trent, the Lakers will work out six prospects on Tuesday, according to a team release. Emmett Naar (St. Mary’s), Barry Brown (Kansas State), Fletcher Magee (Wofford), Gabe DeVoe (Clemson), Duncan Robinson (Michigan), and Obi Enechionyia (Temple) are auditioning for L.A.
Here’s more draft workout news from around the NBA:
- IMG Academy guard Anfernee Simons worked out for the Bulls on Sunday, according to Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog.com, who tweets that Simons also had a Pro Day prior to last week’s draft combine. Approximately 20 NBA teams attended that session, per Zagoria.
- The Wizards are working out six prospects on Tuesday, including Kentucky’s Hamidou Diallo, the team announced in a press release. Chris Chiozza (Florida), Tiwian Kendley (Morgan State), Jairus Lyles (UMBC), Doral Moore (Wake Forest), and Ray Spalding (Louisville) will also participate.
- Purdue’s Carsen Edwards, who is still weighing whether or not to remain in the draft, worked out for the Nets on Monday and is still scheduled to get a look from the Pistons and Hawks, tweets Scott Agness of Vigilant Sports.
- Six players worked out for the Nuggets on Monday, with Cody Martin (Nevada), Reid Travis (Stanford), Isaiah Reese (Canisius), Admiral Schofield (Tennessee), William McDowell-White (Brose Bamberg), and local prospect Daniel Amigo (Denver) auditioning for the club.
After announcing last month that he’d be testing the 2018 NBA draft waters, Louisville power forward Ray Spalding has decided to forgo his final year of NCAA eligibility. In a post on his Instagram page, Spalding called his three years at Louisville a “journey like none other” and confirmed that he’d be hiring an agent and going pro.
The No. 56 prospect on Jonathan Givony’s big board at ESPN.com, Spalding averaged 12.3 PPG and 8.7 RPG in his junior year for the Cardinals, contributing on the defensive end with 1.7 BPG and 1.5 SPG.
Here are a few more of the latest draft notes and updates:
- Three juniors from the University of Nevada have declared their intent to enter the 2018 NBA draft without hiring agents. Twin forwards Cody Martin and Caleb Martin will test the draft waters, along with teammate Jordan Caroline (all Twitter links). The Martin twins each earned a spot on Givony’s ESPN big board, coming in at No. 87 and No. 96, respectively.
- Miami sophomore forward Dewan Huell announced (via Twitter) that he has decided to test the 2018 draft waters without hiring an agent. A 6’11” big man, Huell is coming off a 2017/18 season in which he posted 11.4 PPG and 6.7 RPG for the Hurricanes.
- Junior guard Barry Brown is entering the draft, but won’t hire an agent, giving him the option of returning to Kansas State for his senior year (Twitter link). Brown averaged 15.9 PPG, 3.2 APG, 3.1 RPG, and 1.8 SPG for the Wildcats in 2017/18.
- Junior guard Chris Clemons, who became Campbell’s all-time leading scorer this season, will test the draft waters, as Evan Moesta of MillbrookBasketball.com details. Clemons averaged 24.9 PPG in his junior year after putting up 25.1 PPG as a sophomore.
- With the NCAA Tournament in the books, Sean Deveney of The Sporting News spoke to an NBA scout and GM about which prospects increased their value during March Madness, while Evan Daniels of 247Sports.com examines the rising stock of Villanova’s Donte DiVincenzo, the star of Monday’s championship game.