Bol Bol

Nuggets Acquire No. 44 Pick Bol Bol From Heat

11:28pm: The trade is now official, per an announcement from the Nuggets. The draft pick the Heat received in the trade is a 2022 second-rounder, according to a press release from Miami.

10:51pm: The Nuggets have reached an agreement to trade for No. 44 pick Bol Bol, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (via Twitter). The Heat officially selected the Oregon center, but will send his draft right rights to Denver.

Miami will receive a future second-rounder and cash from Denver, Jeremy Woo of Sports Illustrated tweets.

The freshman big man, who only played nine games for the Ducks due to a foot injury, took the biggest slide in the draft. The son of former NBA center Manute Bol projected as a mid-first round selection and was one of 20 players invited to the Green Room.

Bol could miss a sizable chunk of next season, so the Nuggets are essentially bringing in another rehab project for the second straight draft. They acquired the rights to forward Michael Porter Jr. in the first round last summer and Porter sat out the entire season.

Draft Notes: White, Garland, Hawks, Bazley

The Knicks held a last-minute workout with North Carolina guard Coby White this morning, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. It’s the second significant workout in less than 24 hours for New York, which brought in Vanderbilt’s Darius Garland yesterday.

White was impressive in the private session, according to Ian Begley of SNY.TV (Twitter link), and the Knicks are prepared to trade down if they get the right offer. They have also worked out Texas Tech’s Jarrett Culver and met with Duke’s Cam Reddish, but are still expected to select Duke’s R.J. Barrett if they remain at No. 3.

There’s more draft news as tonight’s event draws closer:

  • Some members of the Knicks organization believe Garland is a better prospect than Barrett, according to Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News. The Pelicans have discussed teaming Barrett with his Duke pal, Zion Williamson, and may be willing to surrender an asset in addition to the fourth pick to trade up to No. 3. After yesterday’s workout, Garland met with Knicks president Steve Mills, GM Scott Perry and coach David Fizdale.
  • If the Knicks draft a point guard, they may look to trade Dennis Smith Jr. along with Frank Ntilikina, tweets Steve Popper of Newsday.
  • The Hawks might not be done moving second-round picks after sending No. 44 to the Heat yesterday and No. 41 to the Warriors this morning. Chris Vivlamore of the Journal-Constitution tweets that Atlanta’s selection at No. 35 is also available.
  • Darius Bazley appears to have a first-round promise from somebody, tweets Tony Jones of The Athletic.
  • Scouts tell Sean Deveney of The Sporting News that Auburn’s Chuma Okeke, Oregon’s Bol Bol, Virginia’s Ty Jerome and Arkansas’ Daniel Gafford are being underrated in pre-draft reports.
  • Teams with late first-rounders are focusing on Villanova’s Eric Paschall, tweets Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports, who expects him to be taken between 19th and 30th.

New York Notes: Barrett, Durant, Bol, Bazley

Family considerations are part of the reason R.J. Barrett wants to be drafted by the Knicks tomorrow, relays Marc Berman of The New York Post. At a press conference today, Barrett explained that his grandfather was a huge Knicks fan, his mother is from Brooklyn and his father played at St. John’s.

It appears Barrett will get his wish, unless someone leapfrogs New York and makes a deal with Memphis for the No. 2 pick. He has turned down requests for a workout with the Grizzlies, saying he prefers to play for the Knicks.

“My agent and I and my parents, we just decided not to (work out for Memphis),’’ Barrett said. “Not really anything wrong with Memphis. New York is just more where I wanted to be.”

Ja Morant ranks slightly higher on the Knicks’ board, but the team will be content to stay put at No. 3 and take Barrett if that’s how the draft works out, a source tells Berman.

There’s more from New York on the eve of the draft:

  • While the Knicks have clarity about their draft situation, free agency looks very different, notes Frank Isola of The Athletic. He cites league sources who believe Kevin Durant is headed to New York, even if Kyrie Irving winds up in Brooklyn. However, Isola is skeptical after hearing months of rumors that they want to play together. He adds that Durant’s Achilles surgery last week was performed by an orthopedic surgeon who formerly worked for the Knicks but is now with the Nets.
  • The Nets attended a private workout for Oregon center Bol Bol last week, tweets Ian Begley of SNY.TV. Brooklyn has the 27th pick and would probably have to move up for Bol, but the foot injury he suffered in college make his draft range unpredictable.
  • Darius Bazley is a name to watch if he’s still on the board for the Nets‘ selection, according to Brian Lewis of The New York Post. The 6’10” forward didn’t play college basketball after committing to Syracuse, but he has been impressive in workouts. Lewis mentions Stanford’s KZ Okpala, Auburn’s Chuma Okeke, USC’s Kevin Porter, Arizona State’s Luguentz Dort and Croatian Luka Samanic as other possibilities at No. 27.

Draft Notes: Bol, Williamson, Hawks, Knicks, Langford

Oregon center Bol Bol has received the last of 20 invites to the draft’s Green Room, Jonathan Givony of ESPN tweets. Bol Bol is ranked No. 15 overall by Givony. The 7’2” freshman appeared in only nine games with the Ducks due to a foot injury but averaged 21.0 PPG, 9.6 RPG and 2.7 BPG.

We have more draft notes:

  • Projected top pick Zion Williamson has filed a lawsuit in an attempt to terminate an agreement he signed with a Florida marketing company, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports. Williamson signed a marketing deal, which included a clause that it couldn’t be terminated for five years, with Gina Ford and Prime Sports in April. Williamson’s family told the agency two weeks ago that it was terminating the agreement and the agency responded that it would sue for damages in excess of $100MM, Wojnarowski continues. According to Williamson’s suit, the agreement was unlawful under North Carolina’s Uniform Athlete Agents Act because Prime Sports is not certified by the Players Association or a registered athlete agent in North Carolina or Florida.
  • The Knicks’ workout on Friday included St. John guard Justin Simon and Kansas power forward Dedric Lawson, Adam Zagoria of the New York Times tweets. Virginia Tech swingman Ahmed Hill and St. Louis guard Javon Bess also participated in the workout, Zagoria adds.
  • The Pistons, Magic and Hornets are the teams most likely to take first-round prospect and former Indiana swingman Romeo Langford, Dustic Dopirak of The Athletic writes.
  • The Hawks will look at six big men on Saturday according to a team press release. That group includes center Nicolas Claxton (Georgia), Aric Holman (Mississippi State), Mfiondu Kabengele (Florida State) and Naz Reid (LSU) along with Europeans Sekou Doumbouya and Luka Samanic. Langford will also visit with the Hawks on Saturday but will not workout.

Draft Updates: Bol, Claxton, Norvell, Green Room

As expected, Oregon center Bol Bol held a Pro Day on Wednesday in Los Angeles, according to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, who tweets that about a dozen NBA teams attended the event, including five general managers. Bol, who is viewed as one of the draft’s biggest high-risk, high-reward prospects, is coming back from surgery on his left foot and wanted to use the Pro Day to ease concerns about his health, says Givony.

Givony adds that Bol showed on Wednesday why he’s considered a top-five prospect in terms of talent, and Sam Vecenie of The Athletic (Twitter link) also hears from teams that the young big man looked good. However, Vecenie points out that the questions about Bol weren’t going to get answered in a non-contact open gym setting. He remains one of the draft’s most intriguing wild cards.

Here are a few more draft-related updates:

  • Georgia big man Nicolas Claxton has canceled and shut down all of his workouts for non-lottery teams, a source tells Vecenie (Twitter link). Claxton, who ranks 29th on ESPN’s big board, feels good about where he’ll be picked based on the feedback he’s received so far, per Vecenie.
  • Gonzaga guard Zach Norvell Jr., the 63rd prospect on ESPN’s big board, said today he’s been told he’s projected to be drafted in the 20-40 range, tweets Rod Beard of The Detroit News. Norvell also said that he’s had 15 workouts during the pre-draft process (Twitter link).
  • Two more draft prospects have been invited to the Green Room for next Thursday’s event, according to reports. Jonathan Givony of ESPN.com tweets that Georgian center Goga Bitadze has received an invite, while Evan Daniels of 247Sports.com adds Keldon Johnson (Kentucky) to the list (Twitter link). Sixteen other Green Room invitees were previously reported.
  • In addition to his previously-reported workouts, Cameron Johnson (UNC) has auditioned for the Timberwolves, Celtics, Thunder, Sixers, and Warriors, tweets Gery Woelfel of Woelfel’s Press Box.
  • ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, Mike Schmitz, and Kevin Pelton (Insider link) named several of their favorite draft sleepers, singling out Grant Williams (Tennessee), Dylan Windler (Belmont), and Zylan Cheatham (Arizona State), among others.

Draft Updates: Matthews, Bol, Porter, Withdrawals

Former Michigan guard Charles Matthews suffered some bad luck with the 2019 NBA draft right around the corner, as agent Adam Pensack tells Jonathan Givony of ESPN.com that his client has a torn ACL. The injury occurred during a workout with the Celtics, Givony adds.

Matthews, who had been ranked as the No. 60 prospect on ESPN’s big board and was receiving second-round interest, will head to his hometown of Chicago to undergo surgery to repair the ACL. He hasn’t given up hope of being selected in next week’s draft.

“Injuries are tough, but Charles is an extremely hard worker and will be back stronger than ever,” Pensack told Givony. “He had a series of outstanding workouts lately and has helped himself. Charles will continue that momentum when he returns to action. As of now, we have interest in the second round as Charles is OK signing a two-way contract like Edmond Sumner did with the Indiana Pacers in 2017.”

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

  • Bol Bol, who is recovering from a foot fracture, will hold an invite-only workout for select teams on Wednesday, according to Jeremy Woo and Jake Fischer of SI.com (Twitter link). Bol is one of the biggest wild cards in the draft for health-related reasons, so Wednesday’s session could have a major impact on where he’s selected.
  • Kevin Porter Jr., a probable first-round pick, has worked out for the Nets, Spurs, and Hornets, and has sessions lined up with the Magic and Hawks, tweets Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer. Porter’s previously-reported upcoming workouts with the Heat and Wizards will take place on June 13 and June 17, respectively (Twitter links via Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald and Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington).
  • With Monday’s withdrawal deadline looming, several international early entrants are pulling their names out of the 2019 draft pool. According to reports from Givony and Lithuanian journalist Donatas Urbonas (all four Twitter links), the following players are withdrawing: Nikita Mikhailovskii (Russia), Arturs Zagars (Latvia), Henri Drell (France), Tadas Sedekerskis (Lithuania), Gytis Masiulis (Lithuania), and Arnas Velicka (Lithuania).
  • Lithuanian early entrants Deividas Sirvydis and Matas Jogela intend to remain in the draft pool, sources tell Urbonas (Twitter link). According to Givony (all Twitter links), Sekou Doumbouya (France), Goga Bitadze (Georgia), Luka Samanic (Croatia), Adam Mokoka (France), and Marcos Louzada Silva (Brazil) will also stay in the draft.

Draft Rumors: Lakers, Suns, Cavs, Hawks, Health

League executives are bracing for the 2019 NBA draft to feature more traded picks than usual, according to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony (Insider link). As Givony details, the Lakers (No. 4) and Suns (No. 6) are active in trade discussions and would be willing to part with their first-round picks for the right established veteran(s).

The Cavaliers have also been mentioned by Givony’s sources as a team that has been active in trade talks involving picks in both rounds. Currently, Cleveland only holds the fifth and 26th overall selections, so the team may be looking to trade into the second round.

Additionally, multiple agents representing potential lottery-caliber players tell Givony they’ve talked to teams who say they have the ability to trade for the No. 10 overall pick, held by the Hawks. That’s a signal that Atlanta has been willing to discuss that selection in trade conversations.

Here’s more draft-related buzz from Givony:

  • Given the lack of consensus on many prospects outside of the top three, this year’s draft figures to be unpredictable even if there aren’t a ton of trades, Givony writes. Health is also a factor that could contribute to draft uncertainty — as Givony explains, prospects like Ja Morant, Cam Reddish, Romeo Langford, Bol Bol, and PJ Washington are currently injured and unable to work out for teams, while a number of healthy players have been unwilling to submit to physicals, with their agents apparently trying to steer them to specific destinations.
  • NBA teams are becoming frustrated by the increasing gaps in prospects’ medical information, according to Givony, who hears from a source that approximately 25 players at the combine didn’t fully complete the league-issued medical exam. Per Givony, a group of NBA owners have asked commissioner Adam Silver not to lower the age limit for the draft without getting concessions related to medical exams. “This is pretty easy for the NBA to clean up,” one owner said. “Because your physical health is germane to the job, the NBA can just require it in a future CBA.”
  • International early entrants have six more days to decide whether to remain in the draft or pull out, as the NBA’s official withdrawal deadline falls on June 10. Many of those prospects are in the United States to participate in private workouts for teams in the hopes of receiving assurances that they’ll be drafted, says Givony. Although 59 international early entrants declared for the draft, most of those players figure to withdraw in the coming days.

Southeast Notes: Magic, Heat, Bol Bol, Wizards

The Magic are banking on the power of team stability this offseason, Josh Robbins of The Athletic writes. With the exception of Nikola Vucevic, Terrence Ross and Jerian Grant, each of Orlando’s main rotation pieces are set to return for another season, providing the kind of stability and consistency the team hasn’t had in recent years.

“Obviously, this year is going to be different,” veteran guard Evan Fournier said, according to Robbins. “Having stability, it’s huge in this league. The fact that we know what to expect for next year, I think, is going to help us tremendously.”

Orlando sports a young core that consists of Aaron Gordon, Markelle Fultz, Jonathan Isaac, Mo Bamba and others, claiming the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference and finishing with a 42-40 record this past season.

In addition to gaining consistency with its players, the Magic aren’t expected to make any major moves with the coaching staff or front office. The team hired a new head coach in Steve Clifford last May, a veteran coach who helped the team compete throughout the difficult season.

“I believe this will be the most efficient and focused summer that I’ve had up to date in the NBA with not having to worry about who’s coming in the coaching staff or who’s going to be our next general manager or what offense we’re going to be running and knowing where I’m going to be, what city I’m going to be in,” Gordon said. “So my focus level will be there and there will be a tremendous payoff.”

There’s more out of the Southeast Division tonight:

  • The Heat have various trade options entering the month of June, though most of these options would come at a steep cost, Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel writes. Miami finished the season with a disappointing ending, missing the playoffs for the third time in the past five years.
  • Kawhi Leonard re-signing with the Raptors on a short-term deal could benefit the Heat if he chooses to go that route, Winderman writes in a separate article for the Sun Sentinel. By next summer, Miami will have the salaries of Goran Dragic ($18MM player option), Hassan Whiteside ($27MM player option) and Ryan Anderson ($21MM) off their books.
  • Chase Hughes of NBC Sports examines how former Oregon center Bol Bol could fit with the Wizards if the team chooses to select him in the draft later this month. Washington has the ninth overall pick in the draft and could use it on the 7’3″ Bol, a potentially dominant two-way presence at center. Bol is the son of former Washington player Manute Bol, who was drafted by the team back in 1985.

Nets Targeting Big Men In Draft?

There’s no guarantee that the Nets will use all three of their picks (Nos. 17, 27, and 31) in the 2019 NBA draft, as those selections could become trade assets next month. But assuming they keep at least one or two, they’ll be using those picks to target a certain type of player, writes Ian Begley of SNY.tv.

According to Begley, Brooklyn is hoping to draft a big man that can either complement or back up starting center Jarrett Allen.

As Begley observes, there’s not necessarily a consensus among draft evaluators this season about which players will come off the board in the middle or back end of the first round, so it’s hard to say which bigs will be available to the Nets. However, Begley identifies Bol Bol (Oregon), Goga Bitadze (Republic of Georgia), Mfiondu Kabengele (Florida State), Naz Reid (LSU), and Nicolas Claxton (Georgia) as possible options.

Allen had a promising sophomore season for Brooklyn in 2018/19, averaging 10.9 PPG, 8.4 RPG, and 1.5 BPG with a .590 FG%. Despite Allen’s strides, the Nets’ front line, with Allen and Ed Davis handling most of the center minutes, was undersized on many nights, Begley notes. That was on display during the team’s first-round loss to Joel Embiid and the Sixers.

With Davis facing unrestricted free agency and a desire to add more size to their frontcourt, the Nets will see if they can address that hole at all in the draft.

Heat Notes: Howard, Haslem, Whiteside, Dragic

Former NBA stars have a mixed record when taking over their alma maters, but Heat coach Erik Spoelstra is confident that his assistant, Juwan Howard, will be successful at Michigan, writes Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. Howard accepted a five-year deal this morning to coach the Wolverines, who recently lost John Beilein to the Cavaliers.

“Juwan is an absolute star as a person, player and coach,” Spoelstra said. “I feel he is more than ready. He is a terrific leader and mentor, which translates very well to the collegiate level. While we are losing a valuable member of our staff and a great friend, I am happy for him and his family. He will forever be a champion and part of the Heat family and I am excited to see him take the next step.”

Howard has been on the staff in Miami for the past six seasons, and his duties included helping to develop Hassan Whiteside and Bam Adebayo, so the Heat will likely seek a replacement who has experience in working with big men. Jackson notes that the team now only has two assistants, Chris Quinn and Anthony Carter, who have NBA playing experience.

There’s more news from Miami:

  • Although Udonis Haslem would be a logical choice to succeed Howard, he has stated numerous times that he doesn’t want to be a coach, tweets Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. Haslem, who has spent his entire 16-year career in Miami, has morphed into a virtual assistant coach’s role, playing just 16, 14 and 10 games the past three seasons. “I don’t want to do coaching,” he said last year. “The coaching is not for me.” Haslem also hasn’t announced his retirement and may want to stay on the active roster next season.
  • Whiteside and Goran Dragic will become instant trade chips if they exercise their options for next season, according to Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. Whiteside has a $27MM option, while Dragic’s is $19.2MM, which Winderman believes is too high for either player to opt out. Both must decide by June 29.
  • The Heat may take a chance at Oregon’s Bol Bol, whose father Manute briefly played for the organization, with the No. 13 pick, Winderman writes in a separate story. Bol represents a gamble because he’s recovering from a foot injury that limited him to nine games in college.