Bryson Williams

Southeast Notes: Hornets, Workouts, Wizards, Russell, Magic

The Hornets hold three picks in the 2022 NBA draft (Nos. 13, 15, and 45) and are keeping busy in the weeks leading up to June 23, bringing in a handful of prospects on a daily basis for a closer look.

On Tuesday, the Hornets worked out Tyson Etienne (Wichita State), Jordan Goldwire (Oklahoma), John Meeks (College of Charleston), Orlando Robinson (Fresno State), D’Shawn Schwartz (George Mason), and Bryson Williams (Texas Tech), according to the team (Twitter link). All six of those players rank outside of the top 75 on ESPN’s big board, so they figure to receive consideration as possible second-round or UDFA targets.

On Wednesday, Hugo Besson (New Zealand Breakers), Khalifa Diop (Gran Canaria), Hyunjung Lee (Davidson), Javante McCoy (Boston University), Andrew Nembhard (Gonzaga), and Yannick Nzosa (Unicaja) make up the Hornets’ workout group (Twitter link). Several of those prospects are more highly regarded by draft experts — ESPN ranks Nembhard, Besson, and Diop 35th, 38th, and 39th respectively.

Here’s more from around the Southeast:

  • The Wizards will be in the market for a starting point guard this offseason, but don’t expect them to pursue D’Angelo Russell. Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News said on his podcast (The Scoop w/ Doogie) that he has heard Washington has no interest in the Timberwolves guard (hat tip to HoopsHype).
  • The Wizards‘ pre-draft workout on Wednesday will feature Kenny Baptiste (France), Garrison Brooks (Mississippi State), Kyle Foster (Howard), Justin Kier (Arizona), Aminu Mohammed (Georgetown), and Gabe Osabuohien (West Virginia), as Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington relays (via Twitter).
  • Murray State guard Tevin Brown was in Orlando on Tuesday, presumably to work out for the Magic, tweets Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel. The Murray State guard is the No. 74 on ESPN’s big board, so the Magic could consider him in the second round or as an undrafted free agent.

Draft Notes: Banchero, Harper, Withdrawals, Boeheim, Combine, Mock Drafts

Paolo Banchero is expected to be among the first names off the board in next month’s draft, and the Duke star did some campaigning to be the No. 1 overall pick in an interview with ESPN following Tuesday’s lottery (video link).

Banchero earned second-team All-America honors during his freshman season with the Blue Devils, averaging 17.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 3.2 assists in 39 games. Possessing exceptional passing skills and offensive versatility for his 6’10” size, Banchero told the ESPN crew he patterns his game after players such as LeBron James, Jayson Tatum, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Carmelo Anthony and said he’ll be ready to contribute right away to whichever team drafts him.

“From day one, they’ll get versatility for sure,” Banchero said. “There’s not a position on the court where I’m not comfortable, with the ball in my hands or the ball off my hands. I’m going to be all right. I’m going to be an immediate impact because I’m ready physically and I’m ready mentally. I am ready to get to work.”

There’s more on the draft:

  • Rutgers forward Ron Harper Jr. has signed with Roc Nation Sports, officially ending his college career, according to Brian Fonseca of NJ.com. The senior earned honorable mention All-America honors, was a two-time all-Big Ten selection and helped the Scarlet Knights reach the NCAA Tournament in back-to-back seasons after a 30-year absence.
  • Kyle Lofton, formerly of St. Bonaventure, has decided to withdraw from the draft, tweets Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports. He will transfer to Florida for next season.
  • Andre Kelly, who played the last four years for California, is also taking his name out of the draft, Rothstein adds (Twitter link). He will use his extra year of eligibility to transfer to UC Santa Barbara.
  • Hofstra’s Aaron Estrada also plans to exit the draft and return to school, according to Rothstein (Twitter link).
  • Syracuse guard Buddy Boeheim has worked out for the Knicks, Kings and Warriors and had an impressive showing at the G League Elite Camp, per Adam Zagoria of Zagsblog. Boeheim will hold a Pro Day in Chicago today.
  • Seven players from the Elite Camp were able to earn spots at the NBA’s draft combine, the G League announced on Twitter. They are LSU’s Darius Days, Louisiana Tech’s Kenneth Lofton Jr., Connecticut’s Tyrese Martin, Seton Hall’s Jared Rhoden, Houston’s Marcus Sasser, Texas Tech’s Bryson Williams and Kansas’ Jalen Wilson.
  • Auburn forward Jabari Smith is number one on the list of top 20 prospects by John Hollinger of The Athletic. Banchero is the only other prospect in Hollinger’s top tier, and he ranks Purdue guard Jaden Ivey and Gonzaga center Chet Holmgren right below them.
  • Several new mock drafts were released after Tuesday’s lottery. Jonathan Givony of ESPN and Sam Vecenie of The Athletic both have Smith going to the Magic at No. 1, followed by Holmgren to the Thunder at No. 2 and Banchero to the Rockets at No. 3. Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer has Holmgren going to Orlando, Smith to Oklahoma City and Banchero to Houston.

44 Prospects Announced For 2022 NBA G League Elite Camp

The NBA G League has formally announced its field of 44 draft prospects for the 2022 NBA G League Elite Camp.

The event, which will take place May 16 and 17 in Chicago, “gives draft prospects an opportunity to display their skills in front of NBA and NBA G League scouts, coaches and front-office executives over the course of the camp by playing in five-on-five games and participating in strength and agility drills.”

The top performers from the camp will be invited to the NBA Draft Combine, which will take place from May 18-22 in Chicago. Some NBA players who have participated in past G League Elite Camps include Pelicans guard Jose Alvarado, Pacers forward Oshae Brissett, Clippers wing Terance Mann, and Heat wing Max Strus.

Here’s the list of 44 draft-eligible attendees:

The list of attendees features 13 players on ESPN’s big board, notes Jonathan Givony of ESPN (via Twitter), so some players have a chance to be drafted.

The top-ranked prospect at the camp is Scheierman (No. 69), who averaged 16.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.3 steals on .508/.469/.802 shooting this season for South Dakota State (35 games, 33.3 minutes per contest).