Billy Preston

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 Workouts: Sexton, Hornets, Lakers, Wizards

Alabama point guard Collin Sexton will headline the Hornets‘ pre-draft workouts on Thursday, according to a press release from the team. Sexton’s stock is high enough that he’s a decent bet to come off the board within the first 10 picks of next week’s draft, but if he slips to No. 11, Charlotte would face an interesting decision — drafting Sexton would almost certainly increase the trade buzz surrounding the team’s current standout point guard Kemba Walker.

In addition to Sexton and previously-reported participant Zhaire Smith, Josh Newkirk (Indiana), Matt Mobley (St. Bonaventure), Deng Adel (Louisville), Gary Clark (Cincinnati), and Devon Hall (Virginia) will also get a look from the Hornets on Thursday.

Here are more updates on pre-draft workouts from around the NBA:

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:

Draft Notes: Sixers, Z. Smith, Pacers, Suns, Wolves

The Sixerspreviously-reported workout with Villanova wing Mikal Bridges is taking place today, but Bridges isn’t the only prospect in town to get a look from the club. According to a press release, the 76ers also hosted a group workout today, with Marcus Derrickson (Georgetown), Marcus Foster (Creighton), Donte Ingram (Loyola Chicago), Nick King (Middle Tennessee State), MiKyle McIntosh), and Zhaire Smith (Texas Tech) taking part.

Speaking of Smith, his busy workout schedule will continue, with an audition for the Hornets still on tap, as Jessica Camerato of NBC Sports Philadelphia tweets. We previously heard that Smith also has a workout lined up with Phoenix.

Let’s round up a few more draft-related notes…

Draft Notes: Celtics, Z. Smith, Knicks, Hornets

After having stocked up in draft picks in many recent seasons, the Celtics head into this month’s draft with only one selection at No. 27 overall. That allows Boston to narrow its focus during its pre-draft preparations, and the club is doing just that as it weighs its options at No. 27, according to director of player personnel Austin Ainge (Twitter link via Chris Forsberg of ESPN.com).

“I think there are about 10 guys that we’ve kind of narrowed it down to that we think have a chance to be there,” said the Celtics’ executive. “Like I said, we evaluate the whole draft all the time. But we’ve kind of tried to laser focus in to about 10.”

One of those 10 players could be Duke’s Grayson Allen, who is viewed as a probable late first-round pick and is working out for Boston today, as previously reported. Joining him at that group workout are Deng Adel (Louisville), Jeffrey Carroll (Oklahoma State), Billy Preston (Bosnia), Allonzo Trier (Arizona), and Kenrich Williams (TCU), tweets Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe.

Here are a few more pre-draft workout updates:

  • Texas Tech guard Zhaire Smith is the latest top prospect to schedule a workout with the Knicks, according to ESPN’s Ian Begley, who writes that Smith will earn a look from the club on Saturday. New York is auditioning a handful of potential lottery picks tomorrow, with Miles Bridges and Kevin Knox also set to attend.
  • Elsewhere on the Knicks‘ scouting front, the team was represented at Michael Porter Jr.‘s Pro Day today, though Scott Perry and Steve Mills didn’t attend as previously reported, tweets Ian Begley of ESPN.com. The Knicks have a pre-draft meeting scheduled with Porter, Begley adds.
  • The Hornets are hosting their fourth pre-draft workout on Saturday, according to the team. Joe Chealey (College of Charleston), Allerik Freeman (N.C. State), Dakota Mathias (Purdue), Doral Moore (Wake Forest), and Jeff Roberson (Vanderbilt) will participate, alongside Texas A&M’s Robert Williams.
  • After auditioning for Charlotte, Purdue guard Dakota Mathias also has workouts on tap with the Lakers, Pistons, and Kings, a league source tells Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog.com (Twitter link). Mathias, who averaged 12.0 PPG with a .466 3PT% in his senior year, previously worked out for Toronto.

Hawks Notes: No. 3, Bagley, Bamba, Allen

The Hawks own the No. 3 overall pick in the upcoming draft and figuring out who they’ll select is no easy feat. Jonathan Givony of ESPN.com has the team selecting Jaren Jackson Jr. out of Michigan State. The big man, who won’t turn 19 until mid-September, has a high ceiling and would be an ideal partner in the frontcourt alongside John Collins, Givony contends.

Both Jackson and Marvin Bagley III, a projected top-3 pick, will work out for the team next week, according to Michael Cunningham of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Twitter link).

[RELATED: Five Key Offseason Questions: Atlanta Hawks]

Luka Doncic won’t work out for the Hawks, as he’s not holding any individual workouts for teams ahead of the draft. Heading into lottery night, he appeared to be a lock to be selected in the top-2. However, the 19-year-old will likely be available when Atlanta picks based on the Kings’ reported disinterest in the Slovenian wing. It’s been reported that the Hawks are likely to pass on him as well.

Whoever is selected with the No. 3 pick is projected to make a starting salary of approximately $6.5MM. While we wait to see what the Hawks do with their selection, check out some notes from Atlanta:

  • Mohamed Bamba is tentatively scheduled to work out for the Hawks on June 14, Cunningham tweets. Grayson Allen and Trae Young are also expected to workout for the team next week.
  • The Hawks will have several prospects come into town on Wednesday, according to a team press release. Alize Johnson (Missouri State), George King (Colorado), Billy Preston (Bosnia), Omari Spellman (Villanova), Jared Terrell (Rhode Island) and Thomas Welsh (UCLA) will all visit Atlanta.
  • Atlanta has hired Nate Babcock to be a special assistant on coach Lloyd Pierce’s staff, Cunningham reports (via Twitter). The Hawks’ coaching staff is now complete.

Draft Decisions: McDaniels, Cody & Caleb Martin

Forward Jalen McDaniels will return to San Diego State for his sophomore season, tweets Jeff Goodman of ESPN. McDaniels is part of a crop of late decision makers who waited until shortly before tonight’s deadline of 11:59pm Eastern to announce whether they are staying in the draft.

“After thoughtful consideration with my family and coaching staff, I have decided to return to San Diego State for my sophomore year.” McDaniels posted on Twitter“I’m looking forward to furthering my education and returning to the NCAA Tournament. Go Aztecs!”

McDaniels averaged 10.5 points and 7.5 rebounds in his first year at San Diego State. He held workouts with Cavaliers, ClippersTimberwolvesJazz, Warriors, CelticsNets, Hawks, Bucks, Spurs and Bulls, according to Mark Zeigler of The San Diego Union-Tribune.

In another significant last-minute decision, Nevada stars Cody Martin and Caleb Martin will both return to school, tweets Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports. Cody is ranked 90th and Caleb is 91st in the list of top 100 prospects compiled by ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, but Jeff Goodman of ESPN suggests the Wolf Pack could be a top 10 team next season with both staying (Twitter link).

There’s also news to pass along on pre-draft workouts:

Draft Notes: Wright-Foreman, Davis, Clippers, Kings

Hofstra’s Justin Wright-Foreman is returning to school for his senior year, he announced on Twitter. The 6’1” point guard averaged 24.4 PPG and 3.2 APG in his junior season. Ole Miss guard Terence Davis is also going back to school for his senior campaign, Jeff Goodman of ESPN tweets. The 6’4” Davis averaged 13.8 PPG and 6.2 RPG in his junior year.

In other draft-related news:

  • The Clippers and Lakers worked out forwards Omari Spellman (Villanova) and Terry Larrier (UConn) on Thursday, Adam Zagoria of Zagsblog.com tweets. Larrier also has workouts lined up with the Nets (June 5), Knicks (June 6) and Mavericks (June 14), Zagoria adds in another tweet. Spellman is ranked No. 49 by ESPN’s Jonathan Givony on his Top 100 prospects list.
  • Seton Hall big man Angel Delgado will work out for the Jazz in the near future after visiting the Lakers on Thursday, according to Zagoria (Twitter link).
  • The Kings will bring in centers Jock Landale (St. Mary’s) and Dusan Ristic (Arizona); forwards Todd Withers and Billy Preston; and guards Joel Berry (North Carolina) and Jordan McLaughlin (USC) on Friday, James Ham of NBC Sports Bay Area tweets.
  • Rhode Island guard E.C. Matthews has worked out for the Nets, Knicks and Celtics, Zagoria tweets.