D'Angelo Harrison

Atlantic Notes: Tatum, Harrison, Vildoza, Knicks

Speaking to Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe, Celtics All-Star forward Jayson Tatum discussed the hiring of new Boston head coach Ime Udoka, logging time with Team USA in this summer’s Tokyo Olympics, and more.

“Extremely happy about Ime,” Tatum said of Udoka. “I’ve known him for a little while. He’s extremely motivated and I think everybody has a good feeling about this. I think this is going to be great.” Tatum noted that he and fellow Celtics All-Star Jaylen Brown were both consulted as the team interviewed a variety of head coach candidates.

“It was tough, just everything that we had to endure, everything that kind of happened,” Tatum said of the Celtics’ disappointing 2020/21 season, which saw the club finish as the No. 7 seed in the East and lose in the first round to the Nets. “It put in perspective and made me appreciate those good years that we had and we made those deep playoff runs. It’s not always guaranteed and it made me appreciate that.”

There’s more out of the Atlantic Division:

  • Shooting guard D’Angelo Harrison is scheduled to attend the Sixers‘ mini-camp later in July, tweets Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. Since going undrafted out of St. John’s in 2015, the 6’4″ 27-year-old has played for a variety of international teams. During the 2020/21 season, Harrison played for Italian League club New Basket Brindisi.
  • Newly-added Knicks point guard Luca Vildoza showed off his sharpshooting bona fides during an Olympics exhibition match for Team Argentina last Saturday, as Marc Berman of the New York Post details. Vildoza connected on three of his eight three-point looks in the 87-84 loss to Team Australia.
  • The Knicks have a clear need to upgrade their starting point guard position. With that in mind, Ian Begley of SNY.tv examines several restricted free agent options for New York, noting that lead guards who are not ball-dominant (including Lonzo BallKendrick Nunn, and Devonte’ Graham) could be ideal fits alongside All-Star forward Julius Randle, who thrives with the ball in his hands.

Lakers Rumors: Second Pick, Russell, Kobe

The growing feeling around the league is that the Lakers will be willing to move the second overall pick in the upcoming draft if it means they get back a younger veteran who can make an immediate impact, as Chad Ford of ESPN.com writes in his latest chat with readers. Los Angeles isn’t keen on rebuilding, according to Ford, and he believes the right offer could mean the club parting ways with the chance to select either Karl-Anthony Towns or Jahlil Okafor. Nothing is certain yet, but the Lakers are in a good position whether they choose to keep the pick or deal it. Let’s round up some more on LA..

  • Ford writes in the same chat that it isn’t out of the realm of possibility that the Lakers select D’Angelo Russell over Okafor, should the club choose to retain its pick and Towns is selected first.
  • The Lakers will bring in St. John’s product D’Angelo Harrison as part of a workout group on Friday, a league source tells Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops (on Twitter).   Harrison is represented by Bernie Lee of Lee Basketball Services.
  • Free agents are said to be leery of playing with Lakers star Kobe Bryant, but some of this year’s draft prospects seem excited about the possibility, as Bill Oram of the OC Register writes. “I would probably sleep over at his house every night,” UNLV guard Rashad Vaughn said on Wednesday. “I’m serious; on his lawn. He’d probably have to kick me out. I think would be great to be able to come here and learn under him.”

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Draft Notes: Okafor, Harrison, Tokoto

Duke freshman center Jahlil Okafor has signed with agent Bill Duffy of BDA Sports Management, Darren Heitner of the Sports Agent Blog reports (Twitter link). Okafor, 19, is a projected top three pick in June’s draft. Both Chad Ford of ESPN.com (Insider subscription required) and Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress rank the big man as the No. 2 overall prospect behind Kentucky freshman Karl-Anthony Towns.

Here’s more news regarding June’s NBA Draft:

  • Duffy has also signed on to represent Kansas freshman Kelly Oubre, Cameron Chung of the Sports Agent Blog reports. Oubre is the No. 12 overall prospect according to both Ford and Givony. You can check out our full prospect profile for Oubre here.
  • Senior shooting guard D’Angelo Harrison has signed with agent Bernie Lee of Lee Basketball Services, Lee announced via Twitter. The 21-year-old out of St. John’s University isn’t projected to be taken in June, with ESPN.com (Insider subscription required) ranking him as the No. 104 overall prospect.
  • Projected second-rounder J.P. Tokoto has signed with agent Steve McCaskill of Relativity Sports, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports (Twitter link). DraftExpress ranks the junior out of North Carolina as the No. 42 overall prospect, while ESPN.com slots him at No. 47.
  • In a chat with readers, Ford shares his thoughts on whom the Wolves, Knicks, Lakers and Magic rank as their top five draft prospects.

Odds & Ends: Beaubois, Jordan, Paul

Chris Paul told reporters at All-Star Weekend that he isn’t sure if he would have stayed with New Orleans or left as a free agent had he not been traded to the Clippers  in 2011, reports Ken Berger of CBS Sports. “I can’t answer that because I don’t know,” Paul said. “It’s crazy; what was that, three years ago? It’s almost scary to think how much smarter I am now than I was then. That’s one of those that I don’t know.” Here are some more notes to pass along:

  • Rodrigue Beaubois will work out for the Grizzlies and Wizards late next week, a league source tells Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com. The four-year veteran point guard is still just 25 years old, but he has struggled to live up to the high expectations many had for the 6’2″ speedster. Beaubois recently recovered from a third surgery to his left hand, a procedure that has kept him from signing anywhere as a free agent so far this season.
  • Jerome Jordan is leaving the Italian league’s Virtus Bologna to join the Lebanese pro league, according to Il Corriere di Bologna (translation via Emiliano Carchia of Sportando). The 7-footer spent his lone NBA season with the Knicks in 2011/12.
  • St. John’s has multiple pros on the roster this year, scouts tell Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv, but none of them should come out for the upcoming draft. Zagoria runs down why the scouts think Rysheed Jordan, JaKarr Sampson, Chris Obekpa and D’Angelo Harrison, would all be best served by spending at least another year in college.