Daniel Gafford

Central Notes: Horst, Pistons, Kornet, Holidays

Eric Nehm of The Athletic recently sat down with the Bucks’ award-winning GM Jon Horst to discuss the team’s free agency this summer. Here are a few noteworthy passages from Horst’s interview.

Regarding the team’s ability to bring back Khris Middleton on a five-year deal:

“Khris was always a focus… He’s our second superstar, our second star. He’s an All-Star. He’s been one of our best players for a long period of time here… Khris was a target obviously and he got a contract that represents that and we think it’s a great contract because we got our second All-Star locked up for the next five years.”

Regarding the team’s trade of Tony Snell and a first-round pick for Jon Leuer in order to create the requisite cap space needed to re-sign Brook Lopez:

“When we got Brook last offseason, we understood, at some level, how important he was going to be to us… (and) we also understood if he’s as good as we think he’s going to be, it’s going to present a lot of challenges.”

“So, we spent the entire year trying to prepare for that… Just different things we did throughout the year were in preparation to position ourselves to either be prepared to keep Brook, be in a position to keep Brook or be prepared to react if we couldn’t… I don’t know if a lot of people saw it coming, maybe after the Tony Snell deal. Then, maybe they were like, ‘Okay, this is how they’re going to try to do it.’ But before that, I don’t think people saw the moves we lined up to position ourselves to hopefully keep Brook and I’m very thankful we were able to.”

Regarding the decision to trade RFA Malcolm Brogdon to Indiana and whether the luxury tax was a factor in that decision:

“I think there’s a lot that goes into restricted free agency. It’s a monster. Malcolm is very, very important and we knew how important he was to our team. It will be hard to replace him. I think we’ve done the best that we can and we’ll continue to work in ways to be creative and fill that gap.”

“I would say the luxury tax was only part of the consideration for not matching or not being willing to pay Malcolm the market that he was able to get from Indiana. Whether or not he had that market from anywhere else besides Indiana, I don’t know. The decision on Malcolm was much more about our internal evaluations, the roster fit, the ability to be flexible and have options going forward and just building a team that, as I always say, can sustain success over a long period.”

There’s more from the Central Division this afternoon:
  • Horst confirmed in the above interview that the Bucks were not able to create a traded player exception when they traded Brogdon to Indiana, as the signing of George Hill with cap space occurred after the trade, and teams lose their exceptions (other than the Room MLE) when they go under the cap.
  • Taking a look at what each player’s role may be for the Pistons’ during the 2019/20 season, Keith Langlois of Pistons.com opines that there are five guys locked in to being sure-fire rotation pieces – Blake Griffin, Andre Drummond, Reggie Jackson, Luke Kennard, and Derrick Rose, and three who will almost certainly join that group – Markieff Morris, Tony Snell, and Bruce Brown.
  • The Bulls are hoping that the three-point shooting ability of free-agent addition, big man Luke Kornet, will be a nice complement next to starter Wendell Carter Jr. and fellow reserve, rookie Daniel Gafford, writes Sam Smith of Bulls.com.
  • Pacers’ new addition Justin Holiday is excited about the prospect of playing with his baby brother, reserve point guard Aaron Holiday, reports Scott Agness of The Athletic. “It was the best situation I had at this time,” Justin said. “(T)he Pacers obviously being a contender every year and going to the playoffs, and then also them having my brother was something that was very, very enticing for me. To be able to be a part of that culture and play with my brother, I think it made it pretty simple where I needed to go.”

Eastern Notes: Bulls, Frazier, Oladipo, Stoudemire

Bulls head coach Jim Boylen is excited about the new players his team brought in this offseason, and he hopes that the additions of veterans Thaddeus Young and Tomas Satoransky alongside rookies Coby White and Daniel Gafford will allow him to deploy a deeper roster during the 2019/20 season, writes Sean Highkin of NBC Sports Chicago.

“What we (the Bulls) talked about is we wanted to bring in high character depth that could support our current roster,” Boylen said. “I also wanted a team that was duplicit and redundant so we could play the same way (when we go to our bench).”

Specifically, Boylen spoke on how the last couple years’ lack of depth caused the Bulls to rely on G League level players whenever stars like Zach LaVine or Lauri Markkanen were out with injury or sickness.

“We’ve struggled the last couple years to play on a night when we had injury or illness, where we had to change our style of play before the game. I don’t want that (for the Bulls). The good teams don’t have that.”

There’s more news out of the Eastern Conference tonight:

  • Veteran point guard Tim Frazier is eager for the opportunity that awaits him with the Pistons, writes Rod Beard of The Detroit News. While Frazier may see limited minutes behind Reggie Jackson and Derrick Rose, Detroit sees value in having a young and experienced option in case Jackson or Rose get hurt.
  • As Jackie MacMullan of ESPN explains, Pacers guard Victor Oladipo has seen his appreciation for basketball grow as he’s been sidelined with a ruptured right quadriceps tendon. Regarding watching his team’s performance during the playoffs last season, Oladipo said “It was so hard. It makes you appreciate the game more, your teammates more, even yourself more… Sometimes we don’t realize our own impact. You take it for granted. I won’t ever do that again.”
  • The Knicks do not plan on signing former NBA All-Star big man Amar’e Stoudemire to a contract for the 2019/20 season, reports Marc Berman of The New York Post. Stoudemire worked out for the Knicks and 14 other teams in Las Vegas on Monday. He last played in the NBA for the Heat during the 2015/16 season.

Bulls Sign Daniel Gafford

JULY 8: The Bulls have officially signed Gafford, the team announced today in a press release.

JULY 7: Second-round pick Daniel Gafford has reached an agreement with the Bulls on a four-year contract with a total value of $6.1MM, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic. The first two seasons of the deal are fully guaranteed.

The 6’11” center out of Arkansas was the 38th player taken in last month’s draft. He spent two years with the Razorbacks, averaging 16.9 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks per game as a sophomore and earning a spot on the SEC All-Defensive Team as well as first team All-SEC honors.

The Bulls will use cap room to make it a four-year deal, with yearly salaries likely to be set at $898,310, $1,517,981, $1,782,621 and $1,930,681.

“He’s a defensive rolling center, high energy, can run the floor,” Bulls executive vice president John Paxson said after the draft. “He’s very athletic. His rebounding numbers, analytically, his shot-blocking numbers were really high.”

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.

Central Notes: Bulls, Gasol, Cavs, Pacers, Pistons

There’s a growing belief around the NBA that the Bulls are open to discussing trades for anyone on their roster – and any assets they hold – besides Lauri Markkanen and Wendell Carter Jr., sources familiar with the team’s plans tell Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic.

Still, while the Bulls will likely consider a number of trade options this offseason, Mayberry makes a case that the club shouldn’t part ways with the No. 7 overall pick. Mayberry argues that cashing in their chips now for a veteran could be both premature and risky for the Bulls, who would have marginal assets available going forward. Plus, the No. 7 selection has proven valuable for the franchise in recent years — Markkanen and Carter were both selected at that spot.

Meanwhile, K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune tackles a handful of Bulls-related topics in his latest mailbag, exploring draft, trade, and free agency options. Johnson believes the Bulls would “absolutely” try to get involved as a facilitator in a multi-team Anthony Davis trade, and later suggests that if Chicago pursues an RFA point guard, Malcolm Brogdon is probably a more realistic target than D’Angelo Russell.

Here’s more from around the Central:

Jazz Notes: Workouts, Reed, G League, Free Agency

The Jazz will hold two workout sessions for draft prospects on Saturday, Eric Walden of the Salt Lake Tribune tweets. The first group will include guards Frankie Ferrari (San Francisco), Makai Mason (Baylor), wings Rayjon Tucker (Arkansas Little-Rock) and Vic Law (Northwestern) and big men Darel Poirier (France) and Kenny Wooten (Oregon).

The afternoon session will include guards Jeremiah Martin (Memphis) and Jordan Bone (Tennessee), wings Charlie Brown (St. Joseph) and Paul Eboua (Cameroon) and big men Luka Samanic (Croatia) and Daniel Gafford (Arkansas).

Utah possesses the No. 23 and 53 picks in this year’s draft.

We have more on the Jazz:

  • Center Willie Reed, who played for the team’s G League franchise in Salt Lake City last season, was among 30 free agent invitees to participate in the team’s annual mini-camp this week, Eric Woodyard of the Deseret News reports. Reed averaged 20.1 PPG and 11.2 RPG before suffering a season-ending shoulder injury in January. Reed, 29, has played for four other franchises and appeared in 152 NBA games.
  • Farmington City is lobbying the Jazz to relocate its G League team to Station Park once the Stars’ lease with Salt Lake Community College expires, Patrick Carr of the Standard-Examiner reports. The construction of a 5,000-seat, multi-use arena is part of the pitch, Carr adds.
  • Darren Collison, Patrick Beverley, Danny Green, Jeremy Lamb and Reggie Bullock are some of the middle-tier free agents the Jazz might pursue, Walden writes.
  • The Jazz brought in six guard/wing prospects on Tuesday, the team’s PR department tweets. That group included Terence Davis (Ole Miss), Aubrey Dawkins (UCF), Robert Franks (Washington State), Ahmed Hill (Virginia Tech), Eric Paschall (Villanova) and Jordan Varnado (Troy).

Southeast Notes: Wizards Workouts, Hornets, Hawks Offseason

The Wizards brought in three guards and three forwards during a pre-draft workout on Monday, according to the team’s website. They took a look at backcourt candidates Shannon Bogues (Stephen F. Austin), Shizz Alston Jr. (Temple) and Jamall Gregory (Jacksonville State) and forwards Trey Mourning (Georgetown), Ed Polite Jr. (Radford) and Trey Porter (Nevada).

The Wizards will be looking at six more prospects on Tuesday, including four guards — Matt Morgan (Cornell), Marcquise Reed (Clemson), Garrison Mathews (Lipscomb) and B.J. Stith (Old Dominion), according to another website post. They’ll also work out big men James Thompson IV (Eastern Michigan) and Raasean Davis (N.C. Central).

We have more Southeast Division news:

  • The Wizards have a workout scheduled with USC shooting guard Kevin Porter Jr., Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington tweets. They’ll also bring in forward Jordan Caroline (Nevada) in the near future, Jordan Schultz of ESPN tweets. Porter ranks No. 20 overall on ESPN’s Jonathan Givony’s draft board.
  • Arkansas big man Daniel Gafford heads the list of six prospects the Hornets will bring in on Tuesday, according to a team press release. Gafford sits at No. 41 on Givony’s board. They’ll also take a look at guards Ky Bowman (Boston College), Amir Coffey (Minnesota), Miye Oni (Yale)  and forwards Cody Martin (Nevada) and Chris Silva (South Carolina).
  • Should the Hawks dive into free agency? Should they deal their two lottery picks to move up in the draft? These are some of the questions that ESPN’s Bobby Marks tackles in Atlanta’s offseason preview.

Knicks Notes: Irving, Barrett, L.A., Pro Day

Free agency has not even begun, so this list is by no means set in stone, but as we sit here this evening, there appear to be four teams with a realistic shot of landing Kyrie Irving this summer – the Celtics, Knicks, Nets, and Lakers. For what it’s worth, Irving’s head coach from high school, Kevin Boyle, believes that Irving will sign with the Knicks, per Ian Begley of SportsNet New York.

“I think there’s a good chance in my opinion that Kyrie ends up here [in New York],” Boyle said. “In my gut, I would think that would work best for him and I would think that [the Knicks] have a really strong chance of that happening.”

Boyle made it clear that he was speaking as a fan and not someone who knows what Irving’s plans are this offseason, but this a man who spent time with Irving on the basketball floor and may have a better idea of what he’s thinking than some other pundits.

Irving will likely be one of the top candidates on the free agent market this summer after being named All-NBA Second Team earlier today, despite reports of some teams having second thoughts about adding him to their roster.

There’s more news from the Knicks:

  • In his conversation with Begley, Boyle adds that R.J. Barrett, the presumptive pick of the Knicks with the No. 3 overall pick in this summer’s draft and another player that Boyle coached in high school, should be in the conversation with Zion Williamson as the best NBA prospect in the 2019 Draft.
  • With the Lakers quickly overtaking the Knicks as the most dysfunctional franchise in the NBA, the Knicks have an opportunity to entice free agents without having to overcome the Lakers’ mystique, opines Frank Isola of The Athletic.
  • In more news from Ian Begley of SNY (Twitter link), the Knicks are among a large contingent of teams attending a joint Pro Day for Arkansas’ Daniel Gafford and North Carolina’s Cameron Johnson in Miami on June 7. Johnson is currently the No. 22-ranked prospect by ESPN, while Gafford comes in at No. 38.

Draft Workouts: Pistons, Sixers, Wolves, Kings

Centers Bruno Fernando (Maryland) and Daniel Gafford (Arkansas) were among the prospects the Pistons brought in on Tuesday, Rod Beard of the Detroit News tweets. Fernando is ranked the fifth-best center prospect by ESPN’s Jonathan Givony and No. 34 overall. Gafford is right behind him among centers and No. 38 overall. Detroit currently holds the No. 15 and No. 45 picks. Shooting guards Fletcher Magee (Wofford), SG Jaylin Walker (Kent State) and Ky Bowman (Boston College) and wing Cody Martin (Nevada) also visited the Pistons’ practice facility on Tuesday.

We have more draft workout info:

Full List Of 2019 NBA Draft Combine Participants

The NBA has revealed its list of 66 players who have been invited to next week’s draft combine in Chicago and who are expected to attend. The combine will take place from May 15-19.

While a small handful of top prospects often skip the event, that won’t be the case this year — Zion Williamson and Ja Morant are on the league’s list of 66 names, along with R.J. Barrett, Cam Reddish, Jarrett Culver, Darius Garland, De’Andre Hunter, and many more. Of course, those top prospects may not participate fully in all of the workouts and scrimmages at the combine.

A few more names figure to be added to this list, as a select number of the 40 draft-eligible prospects participating in the G League Elite Camp earlier in the week are expected to receive invites to the combine.

Here’s the full list of 66 names announced by the NBA today, in alphabetical order:

  1. Nickeil Alexander-Walker, G, Virginia Tech (sophomore)
  2. R.J. Barrett, G/F, Duke (freshman)
  3. Charles Bassey, C, Western Kentucky (freshman)
  4. Darius Bazley, F, Princeton HS (OH) (N/A)
  5. Bol Bol, C, Oregon (freshman)
  6. Jordan Bone, G, Tennessee (junior)
  7. Brian Bowen, F, USA (born 1998)
  8. Ky Bowman, G, Boston College (junior)
  9. Ignas Brazdeikis, F, Michigan (freshman)
  10. Moses Brown, C, UCLA (freshman)
  11. Brandon Clarke, F, Gonzaga (junior)
  12. Nicolas Claxton, F, Georgia (sophomore)
  13. Jarrett Culver, G/F, Texas Tech (sophomore)
  14. Luguentz Dort, G, Arizona State (freshman)
  15. Devon Dotson, G, Kansas (freshman)
  16. Carsen Edwards, G, Purdue (junior)
  17. Bruno Fernando, F, Maryland (sophomore)
  18. Daniel Gafford, F/C, Arkansas (sophomore)
  19. Darius Garland, G, Vanderbilt (freshman)
  20. Quentin Grimes, G, Kansas (freshman)
  21. Kyle Guy, G, Virginia (junior)
  22. Jaylen Hands, G, UCLA (sophomore)
  23. Jaxson Hayes, F/C, Texas (freshman)
  24. Tyler Herro, G, Kentucky (freshman)
  25. Jaylen Hoard, F, Wake Forest (freshman)
  26. Talen Horton-Tucker, G, Iowa State (freshman)
  27. De’Andre Hunter, F, Virginia (sophomore)
  28. Ty Jerome, G, Virginia (junior)
  29. Cameron Johnson, G, UNC (senior)
  30. Keldon Johnson, F, Kentucky (freshman)
  31. Mfiondu Kabengele, C, Florida State (sophomore)
  32. Louis King, F, Oregon (freshman)
  33. Romeo Langford, G, Indiana (freshman)
  34. Dedric Lawson, F, Kansas (junior)
  35. Jalen Lecque, G, Brewster Academy (NH) (N/A)
  36. Nassir Little, F, UNC (freshman)
  37. Charles Matthews, G, Michigan (junior)
  38. Jalen McDaniels, F, San Diego State (sophomore)
  39. Ja Morant, G, Murray State (sophomore)
  40. Zach Norvell Jr., G, Gonzaga (sophomore)
  41. Jaylen Nowell, G, Washington (sophomore)
  42. Jordan Nwora, F, Louisville (sophomore)
  43. Chuma Okeke, F, Auburn (sophomore)
  44. KZ Okpala, F, Stanford (sophomore)
  45. Miye Oni, G/F, Yale (junior)
  46. Eric Paschall, F, Villanova (senior)
  47. Shamorie Ponds, G, St. John’s (junior)
  48. Jordan Poole, G, Michigan (sophomore)
  49. Jontay Porter, F, Missouri (sophomore)
  50. Kevin Porter Jr, G, USC (freshman)
  51. Neemias Queta, C, Utah State (freshman)
  52. Cam Reddish, F, Duke (freshman)
  53. Naz Reid, C, LSU (freshman)
  54. Isaiah Roby, F, Nebraska (junior)
  55. Luka Samanic, F, Croatia (born 2000)
  56. Admiral Schofield, G, Tennessee (senior)
  57. Simisola Shittu, F, Vanderbilt (freshman)
  58. Killian Tillie, F, Gonzaga (junior)
  59. PJ Washington, F, Kentucky (sophomore)
  60. Tremont Waters, G, LSU (sophomore)
  61. Quinndary Weatherspoon, G, Missippi State (senior)
  62. Coby White, G, UNC (freshman)
  63. Kris Wilkes, G, UCLA (sophomore)
  64. Grant Williams, F, Tennessee (junior)
  65. Zion Williamson, F, Duke (freshman)
  66. Dylan Windler, G, Belmont (senior)

Rui Hachimura (Gonzaga) and Matisse Thybulle (Washington) are among the potential first-round picks who aren’t on the NBA’s list of combine participants, as noted by Jeremy Woo of SI.com and ESPN’s Jonathan Givony (Twitter links).