Bryce McGowens

Hornets Notes: Williams, Coaching Search, McGowens

The Hornets were considering three centers heading into Thursday’s draft, but Duke’s Mark Williams was at the top of their list, writes Varun Shankar of The Charlotte Observer. Williams opened eyes with his measurements at the draft combine and will have the longest standing reach in the NBA at 9’9″. General manager Mitch Kupchak likes the idea of Williams catching lob passes from LaMelo Ball, but he said the 20-year-old big man needs to improve as a rebounder and add strength to get ready for the next level.

“He has a lot of work in getting stronger and I don’t have any doubt that he’ll work hard and get in the weight room,” Kupchak said. “He’s a good rebounder, I wouldn’t say that he’s gonna be our rebound monster right now, but I think if he gets stronger, I think he can become an excellent rebounder.”

The Hornets actually drafted Memphis center Jalen Duren first, but he was traded to the Knicks and ultimately to the Pistons. Charlotte received a protected first-round pick and four second-rounders in return, and Kupchak explained that the team wasn’t comfortable adding two more rookies after having three on the roster this season.

“We didn’t feel using both picks was prudent,” he said.

There’s more from Charlotte:

  • Kupchak also spoke about Kenny Atkinson‘s decision to reconsider his agreement to become the Hornets’ next head coach, per Steve Reed of The Associated Press. Kupchak has been discussing the situation with owner Michael Jordan and indicated the organization may consider some new possibilities. “We have spent a lot of time going over candidates, maybe some new candidates and making sure we cover our bases,” Kupchak said. “We have never felt the need to rush this process. We want to pick the right coach — and we thought we did.”
  • Former Hornets head coach Steve Clifford met with Kupchak and Jordan this week and is now considered to be a serious candidate for the position, sources tell Roderick Boone and Scott Fowler of The Charlotte Observer. Jordan also met with Mike D’Antoni, who was considered the runner-up when the offer was made to Atkinson.
  • Nebraska’s Bryce McGowens, whom Charlotte traded up to draft at No. 40, is likely to be given a two-way contract, Boone tweets.

Timberwolves Send McGowens To Hornets For Minott, Future Pick

11:53pm: The trade is now official, according to a press release from the Hornets.


10:42pm: The Timberwolves are set to send Nebraska shooting guard Bryce McGowens, selected with the No. 40 pick in the 2022 draft, to the Hornets, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link).

The Wolves will receive Memphis wing Josh Minott, the No. 45 pick in this year’s draft, as well as the 2023 second-rounder the Hornets acquired from the Knicks earlier in the draft, per Rod Boone of the Charlotte Observer (via Twitter).

The 6’7″ McGowens appeared in 31 games, all starts, for the Cornhuskers during his lone collegiate season. He averaged 16.8 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 1.4 APG and 0.7 SPG across 33.5 MPG. McGowens converted 40.3% of his 12.8 field goal attempts and 83.1% of his 6.3 free-throw looks during 2021/22.

A Big Ten All-Freshman Team honoree, McGowens was also named to the 2021/22 All-Big Ten Third Team in 2022.

The 6’8″ Minott played more sparingly with Memphis during the ’21/22 season, averaging 6.6 PPG and 3.8 RPG in just 14.6 MPG over the course of his 33 games with the Tigers.

Southeast Draft Notes: Holmgren, Hornets, Williams, O’Neal

Chet Holmgren met with the Magic‘s front office on Wednesday and Thursday, writes Matt Murschel of The Orlando Sentinel. Holmgren is the No. 1 prospect on ESPN’s big board, although his thin frame has caused some other talent evaluators to drop him a bit lower than that.

A person with knowledge of the situation tells Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press that the 20-year-old’s visit included “meetings, interviews and a dinner.” The Magic previously held a solo workout with Jabari Smith, and Paolo Banchero “expects to meet with” Orlando before the draft on June 23, according to Reynolds.

The big men are widely considered the top three prospects in the draft, and the Magic hold the No. 1 overall pick, so it makes perfect sense that they’re meeting with all of them.

In 32 games (26.9 MPG) in his lone college season with Gonzaga, Holmgren was a consensus All-American with averages of 14.1 PPG, 9.9 RPG, 1.9 APG and 3.7 BPG on .607/.390/.717 shooting.

Here are a few more draft-related notes from the Southeast Division:

  • The Hornets, who control the Nos. 13, 15 and 45 picks in the 2022 draft, are hosting a group workout on Friday (Twitter link) featuring Malaki Branham, MarJon Beauchamp, Kendall Brown, Bryce McGowens, Isaiah Whaley and Trevion Williams. Branham (No. 13) and Beauchamp (No. 23) are both projected first-round picks, with McGowens (No. 33) and Brown (No. 38) considered early second-rounders. Williams also has a solid shot to get drafted going by ESPN’s rankings, as he’s No. 56 on the board, but Whaley isn’t listed.
  • Mark Williams has a solo workout with the Wizards on Saturday, tweets Josh Robbins of The Athletic. Williams is a potential lottery picked at No. 14 on ESPN’s board, and Washington controls the No. 10 pick. The 7’0″ center averaged 11.2 PPG, 7.4 RPG and 2.8 BPG while shooting 72.1% from the floor and 72.7% from the free-throw line in 39 games (23.6 MPG) as a sophomore for Duke this season, winning ACC Defensive Player of the Year in the process.
  • Shareef O’Neal worked out for the Heat on Thursday, Robbins relays in another tweet. O’Neal only averaged 2.9 PPG and 2.1 RPG in 14 games (9.2 MPG) as a junior for LSU and isn’t considered a strong draft candidate, but perhaps he could be auditioning for summer league as an undrafted free agent. Miami currently controls the No. 27 pick.

Northwest Notes: Eason, Connelly, Wolves, Thunder, Terry

LSU forward Tari Eason, who headlined the Trail Blazers‘ six-player workout on Friday, already has some connections to the franchise, writes Aaron Fentress of The Oregonian. A Seattle native, Eason’s high school coach was one-time Portland star Brandon Roy, and the Blazers’ roster already includes another recent LSU standout, Trendon Watford.

Although Portland likes Eason enough to see him in person, he probably won’t be in the mix for the seventh pick, which is the Blazers’ only current selection in the first round. Fentress notes that Eason has a wide variety of projections in mock drafts and has worked out for other teams ranging from Washington at No. 10 to Minnesota at No. 19. Eason says he’s tried to avoid such predictions as he prepares for draft night.

“I don’t really have a preference or really look into that sort of thing,” he said. “I don’t really get caught up in that. I just control the things that I can control.”

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • New Timberwolves president of basketball operations Tim Connelly is approaching the draft with an open mind, according to Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. Minnesota needs more size, but may not find any attractive options with the 19th pick. The team also has three second-rounders at 40, 48 and 50 that may be used to facilitate a trade. “We feel good about adding another valuable piece, a good player at 19,” Connelly said. “There will potentially be some pretty cool opportunities to use that as a trade asset as well. Anytime you have four draft picks, it’s exciting. It’s the one day of the year where you really control what you can do, largely.”
  • Six players worked out Friday for the Timberwolves, tweets Andrew Slater of Pro Insight. They are Christian Braun of Kansas, Jordan Hall of St. Joseph’s, Dereon Seabron of North Carolina State, Jalen Williams of Santa Clara, Bryce McGowens of Nebraska and Donovan Williams of UNLV.
  • ESPN’s Jonathan Givony (Insider link) tries to build an ideal draft for the Thunder using their four picks. Givony’s simulation gives Oklahoma City Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren at No. 2, Kentucky’s Shaedon Sharpe at No. 12, Wake Forest’s Jake LaRavia at No. 30 and Khalifa Diop of Gran Canaria at No. 34.
  • Jason Terry had his interview today as the Jazz search for their next head coach, tweets Tony Jones of The Athletic. Utah assistants Alex Jensen and Lamar Skeeter also interviewed this week.

Full List Of 2022 NBA Draft Combine Participants

The NBA has revealed its list of 76 players who have been invited – and who are expected to attend – next week’s draft combine in Chicago. The combine workouts will take place from May 18-20.

Over the course of the week, players will conduct interviews with NBA teams, participate in five-on-five games, and go through shooting, strength and agility drills.

While several of the prominent names at the top of the draft likely won’t participate in scrimmages, those top prospects are still expected to attend. That group includes Chet Holmgren, Jabari Smith, Paolo Banchero, and Jaden Ivey.

A handful of standout players from the G League Elite Camp could be invited to participate in the combine as well.

Here’s the full list of 76 names announced by the NBA today, in alphabetical order, per Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link):

  1. Ochai Agbaji, G/F, Kansas (senior)
  2. Patrick Baldwin Jr., F, Milwaukee (freshman)
  3. Paolo Banchero, F, Duke (freshman)
  4. Dominick Barlow, F, Overtime Elite (auto-eligible)
  5. MarJon Beauchamp, G/F, G League Ignite (auto-eligible)
  6. Hugo Besson, G, Australia (born 2001)
  7. Malaki Branham, G/F, Ohio State (freshman)
  8. Christian Braun, G, Kansas (junior)
  9. Kendall Brown, F, Baylor (freshman)
  10. John Butler Jr., F/C, Florida State (freshman)
  11. Julian Champagnie, G/F, St. John’s (junior)
  12. Kennedy Chandler, G, Tennessee (freshman)
  13. Max Christie, G, Michigan State (freshman)
  14. Kofi Cockburn, C, Illinois (junior)
  15. Dyson Daniels, G, G League Ignite (auto-eligible)
  16. Johnny Davis, G, Wisconsin (sophomore)
  17. JD Davison, G, Alabama (freshman)
  18. Moussa Diabate, F, Michigan (freshman)
  19. Ousmane Dieng, F, Australia (born 2003)
  20. Khalifa Diop, C, Spain (born 2002)
  21. Jalen Duren, C, Memphis (freshman)
  22. Tari Eason, F, LSU (sophomore)
  23. Keon Ellis, G, Alabama (senior)
  24. Michael Foster, F, G League Ignite (auto-eligible)
  25. Collin Gillespie, G, Villanova (super-senior)
  26. AJ Griffin, F, Duke (freshman)
  27. Jaden Hardy, G, G League Ignite (auto-eligible)
  28. Ron Harper Jr., F, Rutgers (senior)
  29. Chet Holmgren, C, Gonzaga (freshman)
  30. Harrison Ingram, F, Stanford (freshman)
  31. Jaden Ivey, G, Purdue (sophomore)
  32. Trayce Jackson-Davis, F, Indiana (junior)
  33. Nikola Jovic, F, Serbia (born 2003)
  34. Johnny Juzang, G, UCLA (junior)
  35. Ismael Kamagate, C, France (born 2001)
  36. Trevor Keels, G, Duke (freshman)
  37. Walker Kessler, F/C, Auburn (sophomore)
  38. Christian Koloko, C, Arizona (junior)
  39. Jake LaRavia, F, Wake Forest (junior)
  40. Justin Lewis, F, Marquette (sophomore)
  41. E.J. Liddell, F, Ohio State (junior)
  42. Bennedict Mathurin, G/F, Arizona (sophomore)
  43. Matthew Mayer, F, Baylor (senior)
  44. Bryce McGowens, G, Nebraska (freshman)
  45. Leonard Miller, F, Canada (born 2003)
  46. Josh Minott, F, Memphis (freshman)
  47. Aminu Mohammed, G/F, Georgetown (freshman)
  48. Iverson Molinar, G, Mississippi State (junior)
  49. Jean Montero, G, Overtime Elite (auto-eligible)
  50. Wendell Moore, F, Duke (junior)
  51. Keegan Murray, F, Iowa (sophomore)
  52. Andrew Nembhard, G, Gonzaga
  53. Scotty Pippen Jr., G, Vanderbilt (junior)
  54. Gabriele Procida, G/F, Italy (born 2002)
  55. Orlando Robinson, F/C, Fresno State (junior)
  56. David Roddy, F, Colorado State (junior)
  57. Ryan Rollins, G, Toledo (sophomore)
  58. Dereon Seabron, G, NC State (sophomore)
  59. Shaedon Sharpe, G, Kentucky (freshman)
  60. Jabari Smith, F, Auburn (freshman)
  61. Terquavion Smith, G, NC State (freshman)
  62. Jeremy Sochan, F, Baylor (freshman)
  63. Matteo Spagnolo, G, Italy (born 2003)
  64. Julian Strawther, G/F, Gonzaga (sophomore)
  65. Dalen Terry, G, Arizona (sophomore)
  66. Drew Timme, F, Gonzaga (junior)
  67. Jabari Walker, F, Colorado (sophomore)
  68. TyTy Washington Jr., G, Kentucky (freshman)
  69. Peyton Watson, G/F, UCLA (freshman)
  70. Blake Wesley, G, Notre Dame (freshman)
  71. Alondes Williams, G, Wake Forest (super-senior)
  72. Jalen Williams, G, Santa Clara (junior)
  73. Jaylin Williams, F/C, Arkansas (sophomore)
  74. Mark Williams, C, Duke (sophomore)
  75. Trevion Williams, F/C, Purdue (senior)
  76. Fanbo Zeng, F, G League Ignite (auto-eligible)

Bryce McGowens, Others Declare For 2022 NBA Draft

Nebraska freshman shooting guard Bryce McGowens has opted to declare for the 2022 NBA draft and will go pro, reports ESPN’s Jonathan Givony.

“I am planning on forgoing my college eligibility and hiring agent Drew Gross of Roc Nation Sports,” McGowens told ESPN.

In his first and only college season, McGowens averaged 16.8 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 1.4 assists per game in 31 appearances (33.3 MPG) for the Cornhuskers. He got the opportunity to play with his brother, junior guard Trey McGowens, en route to earning a spot on the Big Ten All-Rookie team.

Bryce McGowens is the No. 30 prospect on ESPN’s big board for 2022, with Givony writing in his scouting report that the 6’7″ wing looked like a potential lottery pick on some nights and a second-rounder on others. McGowens told ESPN that he hopes to “squeeze into the lottery.”

Givony praised McGowens as a “fluid, versatile scoring threat” who can finish with either hand around the basket and has deep range on his pull-up jumper. However, he had some trouble scoring efficiently as a freshman, making just 40.2% of his field goal attempts, including 27.2% of his three-pointers.

Saint Joseph’s sophomore forward Jordan Hall (Instagram link) and Rutgers freshman guard Jaden Jones (press release) have also declared for the 2022 draft in recent days. The wording of their statements suggest they both plan to forgo their remaining NCAA eligibility rather than simply testing the draft waters. Hall tested the waters in 2021 before returning to school.