Nets Rumors

Combine Notes: Bridges, Sixers, DiVincenzo, Sexton

Michigan State wing Miles Bridges, a probable lottery pick, interviewed with the Bulls, Pacers, Kings, Cavaliers, Spurs, Nuggets, and Clippers earlier this week, and was set to meet with the Sixers, Hornets, and Knicks on Friday, per Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Bridges is one of several intriguing prospects the Sixers are meeting with in Chicago this week, according to Pompey, who adds Missouri forward Michael Porter Jr., Michigan State power forward Jaren Jackson Jr., and IMG Academy guard Anfernee Simons to that list. Kentucky’s Hamidou Diallo was also scheduled to interview with Philadelphia on Friday, Pompey tweets.

Finally, Pompey has details on Villanova’s Donte DiVincenzo, who has been impressing NBA evaluators at this week’s combine and says he’s received plenty of “positive feedback.” According to Pompey, DiVincenzo has had meetings with the Lakers, Magic, Timberwolves, Trail Blazers, Cavaliers, Spurs, Hawks, and Grizzlies in Chicago.

Here’s more on meetings taking place at the combine:

Nets Express Interest In Anfernee Simons

  • According to Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog.com (Twitter link), the Pelicans, Hawks, Cavaliers, Kings, Thunder, Grizzlies, Jazz, Spurs, Sixers, Nets, and Timberwolves have reached out to express interest in IMG Academy prospect Anfernee Simons.

Nets Notes: Atkinson, Draft-And-Stash, Weissenbock

The Nets hired Kenny Atkinson to be the team’s head coach prior to the 2016/17 season, which was a deviation from the norm for NBA head coaching hires. While Atkinson was a respected assistant coach, he had no head coaching experience and was more of a developmental coach; someone who works with players individually, aside from the usual team mindset.

On his podcast, The Woj Pod, alongside Bobby Marks and Brian Windhorst, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski noted that Atkinson’s hiring may be a blueprint for future coaching hires. With several teams in the market for head coaches, and more organizations prioritizing development, hiring someone in the mold of Atkinson is an appealing choice. Just recently, the Hawks hired former Sixers assistant Lloyd Pierce, who is viewed in a similar light as Atkinson (via NetsDaily).

“You may see a new vehicle in the coaching profession because all these organizations are saying there are so many teams in rebuild,” Wojnarowski said. “There are so many teams that are not trying to win and they’re saying for the next two or three years we’re gonna have a lot of young guys. We’re going to have some draft picks. And we feel like we’ve got to get those guys better.”

 Check out more Nets notes below:
  • With the Nets wielding a late first-round pick and two second-round picks in this year’s draft, the team can get creative with their prospective selections. During a recent interview, the Nets’ director of player personnel, Gregg Polinsky, indicated the team could go the draft-and-stash route by selecting a European player and giving him the chance to develop overseas, per NetsDaily.
  • Brose Bamberg, a top team in Germany, will be lending the services of player development coach Stefan Weissenbock to the Nets this summer, NetsDaily relays. Weissenbock will travel to New York several times over the summer while Bamberg will receive a rental fee for his services, per the report. He has worked with several NBA players.
  • As we noted yesterday, Nets assistant general manager Trajan Langdon is among several candidates for the Pistons’ basketball operations position.

2018 NBA Draft Picks By Team

While the Sixers were knocked out of the 2018 playoffs in the Eastern Conference Semifinals by the underdog Celtics, few teams are better positioned in this year’s draft than Philadelphia. The 76ers own six of the 60 picks in the 2018 NBA draft, including a pair of first-rounders.

As our full 2018 draft order shows, the Sixers are one of seven NBA teams that holds more than two selections in this year’s draft. On the other end of the spectrum, eight teams have just one pick in 2018, while two teams – the Heat and Raptors – don’t have any selections.

To present a clearer picture of which teams are most – and least – stocked with picks for the 2018 NBA draft, we’ve rounded up all 60 picks by team in the space below. Let’s dive in…

Teams with more than two picks:

  • Philadelphia 76ers (6): 10, 26, 38, 39, 56, 60
  • Phoenix Suns (4): 1, 16, 31, 59
  • Atlanta Hawks (4): 3, 19, 30, 34
  • Dallas Mavericks (3): 5, 33, 54
  • Orlando Magic (3): 6, 35, 41
  • Denver Nuggets (3): 14, 43, 58
  • Brooklyn Nets (3): 29, 40, 45

Teams with two picks:

  • Sacramento Kings: 2, 37
  • Memphis Grizzlies: 4, 32
  • Chicago Bulls: 7, 22
  • New York Knicks: 9, 36
  • Charlotte Hornets: 11, 55
  • Los Angeles Clippers: 12, 13
  • Washington Wizards: 15, 44
  • San Antonio Spurs: 18, 49
  • Minnesota Timberwolves: 20, 48
  • Utah Jazz: 21, 52
  • Indiana Pacers: 23, 50
  • Los Angeles Lakers: 25, 47
  • Oklahoma City Thunder: 53, 57

Teams with fewer than two picks:

  • Cleveland Cavaliers (1): 8
  • Milwaukee Bucks (1): 17
  • Portland Trail Blazers (1): 24
  • Boston Celtics (1): 27
  • Golden State Warriors (1): 28
  • Detroit Pistons (1): 42
  • Houston Rockets (1): 46
  • New Orleans Pelicans (1): 51
  • Miami Heat (0)
  • Toronto Raptors (0)

Latest On Pistons’ GM/Front Office Search

The Pistons continue to conduct separate searches for a new head coach and a new head of basketball operations, and while it’s possible they’ll hire a coach sooner rather than later, they prefer to address their front office opening first. That would allow the new head of basketball operations to have a say in the head coaching hire.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski provides an update on Detroit’s front office search today, reporting (via Twitter) that NBA executive VP of basketball operations Kiki VanDeWeghe, Grizzlies executive VP of player personnel Ed Stefanski, Rockets executive VP of basketball operations Gersson Rosas, and Nets assistant GM Trajan Langdon are among the candidates the Pistons are eyeing to run their basketball operations department. Current GM Jeff Bower also remains a candidate to be promoted, Wojnarowski adds (via Twitter).

Most of those executives have received consideration for top front office jobs in the recent past. Rosas, for instance, was cited as a contender for the Hornets’ GM opening this spring. Stefanski was said to be in the mix for the Bucks’ GM vacancy last summer, while Langdon received consideration for the Hawks job around the same time.

In addition to considering those aforementioned candidates for their top basketball operations job, the Pistons are also targeting TNT analyst Brent Barry and Heat director of basketball development and analytics Shane Battier for front office roles, according to Wojnarowski.

Although Bower is currently running the Pistons’ basketball operations department, his contract is set to expire on June 30, so Detroit could end up making several new hires this spring. Should Bower depart, the Pistons may hire a new president of basketball operations, a new GM, and a new head coach.

Draft Notes: Ponds, Heron, Spellman, Melton

After being passed over for the NBA Draft Combine, Shamorie Ponds of St. John’s is concentrating on team workouts to prove himself, writes Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog. The sophomore guard put up a 21.6/5.0/4.7 line for the Red Storm this season, but wasn’t among the 69 players who received combine invitations.

“For sure, I was most definitely upset,” he said. “I feel I deserved it.”

Ponds worked out today for the Cavaliers and has held a session with the Nets. Cleveland GM Koby Altman spoke with all the participants after the workout, and Ponds said he received positive feedback. “[Altman] said he really likes my game a lot, he really enjoyed watching it,” Ponds added. “There was great energy after the workout.”

Ponds still has workouts remaining with the Jazz, Pistons and Lakers and wants to reschedule sessions with the Knicks and Hawks that he had to cancel because of final exams. He will use the results of those workouts to determine whether to remain in the draft, a decision that has to be made by May 30.

There are more draft-related notes to pass on:

Abudushalamu Abudurexiti Worked Out For Nets

  • Chinese forward Abudushalamu Abudurexiti has already worked out for eight NBA teams this spring, according to Michael Scotto of The Athletic, who identifies the Nets, Mavericks, Lakers, Bucks, Suns, and Jazz as clubs that have taken a look at the youngster. Scotto’s piece is worth checking out in full for a closer look at the under-the-radar prospect.

Draft Notes: Washington, Ward, Brown, Hudson

Kentucky freshman forward PJ Washington is working out for the Clippers this week and will meet with the Timberwolves and Bucks before next week’s draft combine, Fletcher Page of the Louisville Journal Courier reports. Washington, who has already visited the Celtics and Nets, has a pinky finger injury that will require surgery, Page continues. Father Paul Washington told Page that his son isn’t assured of staying in the draft.

“It’s real simple — if he’s guaranteed a first round pick, then he’ll stay in the draft,” Paul Washington said. “If he doesn’t get that, we’ll have to make a decision. It’s PJ’s decision.”

The 6’8” Washington is listed at No. 51 among Jonathan Givony’s top 100 prospects at ESPN.com. He averaged 10.8 PPG and 5.7 RPG for the Wildcats.

In other draft developments:

  • Michigan State sophomore center Nick Ward will work out for the Pistons this weekend, Brendan Quinn of The Athletic tweets. Ward has already worked out for the Knicks and Thunder and at least eight other teams are interested in bringing him in, Quinn adds. He averaged 12.4 PPG and 7.1 RPG for the Spartans. He is not listed among Givony’s top 100 prospects.
  • The Hawks are bringing in six prospects on Wednesday, according to a team press release. South Carolina forward Brian Bowen, Auburn guard Bryce Brown, Purdue guard Nojel Eastern, Maryland forward Bruno Fernando, Florida shooting guard Jalen Hudson and Utah Valley center Akolda Manyang are the players visiting Atlanta. Hudson, ranked No. 45 by Givony, is the most prominent member of the group.