Ben Sullivan

Atlantic Notes: Petrusev, Knicks, Begarin, Celtics, Sullivan, Ujiri

Sixers second-round pick Filip Petrusev is eager to join his teammates in Philadelphia, but the team will likely keep the 21-year-old overseas as a draft-and-stash player, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes.

Petrusev, the No. 50 pick in the draft, is coming off an impressive season with KK Mega Basket in Serbia. He averaged 23.6 points and 7.6 rebounds per game, impressing Philadelphia enough to draft him — but not enough to bring him over just yet.

“My intentions would be obviously to come over as soon as possible,” Petrusev said. “But it’s not up to me.”

The 6’11” Petrusev can technically opt out of his contract with Mega before next season, but that remains unlikely given Philadelphia’s intentions.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division today:

  • By signing Julius Randle to a four-year contract extension, the Knicks improved their chances of becoming an intriguing free-agent destination down the road, Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic writes. New York is also set to sign Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier while keeping most its returning playoff core from last season.
  • Celtics second-round pick Juhann Begarin asked president of basketball operations Brad Stevens if he could play summer league with the team this month, according to Jared Weiss of The Athletic. “Normally after the draft, I normally come back (to) France,” said Begarin, whose wish has been granted. “But I asked Brad Stevens to play the summer league and show them if I can play in the NBA, and after the summer league I will see what’s happened.”
  • Speaking of the Celtics, the team is hiring Bucks assistant Ben Sullivan to Ime Udoka‘s coaching staff, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). Sullivan started his NBA career as a video intern for the Spurs, then became an assistant coach with the Hawks in 2014. He joined the Bucks in 2018.
  • Michael Grange of Sportsnet examines Masai Ujiri‘s new deal and title with the Raptors, noting that Ujiri’s new “vice chairman” position won’t give him a stake in team ownership.

Central Notes: Pacers, Budenholzer, Bulls, Tate

The Pacers will host their first pre-draft workout tomorrow morning and it too will consist of six participants, per an official release from the team. The highest rated players are UNLV big man Brandon McCoy and Wichita State guard Landry Shamet.

ESPN’s Jonathan Givony has Shamet coming off the board at No. 50 in the second round to the Pacers, so it makes sense that he’d be one of the first prospects they brought in. The Pacers also have the No. 23 overall selection. Meanwhile, McCoy is rated as the No. 70 overall prospect by Givony.

In addition to Shamet and McCoy, the Pacers will also host Jaylen Adams (St. Bonaventure), Marcus Foster (Creighton), Nick King (Middle Tennessee State), and Yante Maten (Georgia).

There is more tonight from the Central Division:

And-Ones: Hawks, Young, International Play

The Hawks have added Charles Lee and Ben Sullivan to Mike Budenholzer‘s staff as assistants, the team announced. The Hawks also announced that Jim Thomas will leave his assistant coaching role to become a scout in Atlanta’s front office. Here’s more from around the league:

  • Tom Moore of Calkins Media suggests that the Sixers could still swap Thaddeus Young for other Wolves players and/or a first-round pick if they are unable to land Anthony Bennett as the third team in a Kevin Love deal, although it’s unclear if Moore is reporting on the team’s plans or is merely hypothesizing.
  • Commisioner Adam Silver acknowledged to reporters including Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPNNewYork.com that international play is “a big risk without enormous financial reward” for NBA players, but still views it as a legitimate endeavor for willing stars. “Ultimately they have to make that very personal decision as to whether they want to play in the summer: whether it makes sense for their bodies, whether it makes sense for their families,” said Silver.
  • Silver does expect the issue of international play to be debated by the league soon. “I do anticipate it will be a hot topic at the competition meeting and the Board of Governors meeting just because it always has been,” Silver said. “We are always evaluating and re-evaluating everything we do; it is a part of running any business.”
  • Jorge Castillo of The Washington Post spoke with Otto Porter and Glen Rice Jr., who are both vying to become the Wizards primary small forward off the bench, about their development heading into next season.