Daulton Hommes

Draft Notes: Blazers, Hawks, Hunter, Samanic, Kings, Warriors

The Trail Blazers, who hold just one pick – No. 25 overall – in this year’s draft, brought in a total of 24 prospects for workouts, according to Casey Holdahl of Blazers.com.

In addition to the 12 prospects whose names we previously relayed, the Trail Blazers also brought in David Crisp (Washington), Matur Maker (Slovenia), KZ Okpala (Stanford), Samir Sehic (Tulane), Jaylin Walker (Kent State), Cameron Young (Quinnipiac), Vic Law (Northwestern), Ignas Brazdeikis (Michigan), Talen Horton-Tucker (Iowa State), Louis King (Oregon), Admiral Schofield (Tennessee), Rayjon Tucker (Little Rock) over the last week.

Not all of those players are candidates to be selected 25th overall, so the Trail Blazers were also doing their homework on potential undrafted free agent signings — or possibly even second-round picks, if Portland opts to trade back into the draft.

Here are a few more draft-related notes and rumors worth rounding up:

  • The Hawks are “very high” on Virginia forward De’Andre Hunter, according to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony (Insider link). Sources tell Givony that Atlanta is the only team Hunter has worked out for, though if the Hawks want to secure him, they may have to trade up from No. 8. The Hawks are also said to like Jarrett Culver.
  • Croatian forward Luka Samanic isn’t interested in becoming a draft-and-stash player, sources tell Givony. That might cause his stock to fall a little, since he’s still “raw and inexperienced,” Givony writes. Some teams may be reluctant to guarantee him a roster spot until he’s a little more NBA-ready.
  • The Kings worked out Kyle Guy (Virginia), Jaylen Hands (UCLA), Rayjon Tucker (Little Rock), Miye Oni (Yale), Daulton Hommes (Point Loma), and Kenny Wooten (Oregon) on Monday, per James Ham of NBC Sports Bay Area (Twitter link).
  • The Rockets are among the teams that brought in Purdue Fort Wayne’s John Konchar for a pre-draft workout, tweets ESPN’s Jordan Schultz.
  • Jordan Poole (Michigan) and Jarrell Brantley (Charleston) auditioned for the Warriors today, per Gery Woelfel and Adam Zagoria, respectively (Twitter links).

Atlantic Notes: Celtics, Wade, Raptors, Workouts

The Celtics own three of the first 22 selections in the NBA draft and we reported last month that the team was expected to shop at least one of those picks. It appears that Boston has begun making calls with Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders connecting Houston as a potential trade partner for the franchise.

Boston has interest in Clint Capela, though the big man is not the organization’s top priority. As we wait to see if Capela is shipped to Boston or if Danny Ainge‘s squad unloads a first-rounder elsewhere, let’s take a look at some draft notes from the Atlantic Division:

Southeast Notes: Heat, Hawks, Jerome, Vucevic

The Heat probably don’t have enough to offer to trade into the top 10 of the draft, Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald opines. Miami has the No. 13 pick and would likely have to get a third party involved in order to move up, Chiang continues, noting that the Heat can’t combine their first-rounder with their 2020 or 2022 first-round pick under current rules. Miami might be able to secure a future protected first-rounder if it trades down in the first round. If the club trades the pick without getting a first-rounder in return, the incentive would be to dump a big contract, Chiang adds.

We have more from around the Southeast Division:

  • The Hawks worked out six prospects on Friday, Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution tweets. The group included guards Jalek Felton (BC Nokia), Joshua Obiesie (Oliver Wurzburg) and Charles Matthews (Michigan), forwards Daulton Hommes (Point Loma) and Nikola Miskovic (Mega Bemax) and center Sagaba Konate (West Virginia).
  • Shooting guard Ty Jerome, a mid- to late first-round prospect, worked out for the Magic on Friday, Adam Zagoria of the New York Times tweets. Jerome is ranked No. 25 overall by ESPN’s Jonathan Givony. The Magic hold the No. 16 pick in the first round.
  • The Magic worked out Gonzaga forward Brandon Clarke on Wednesday, Josh Robbins of The Athletic tweets. Clarke is ranked No. 13 overall by Givony. Forwards Paul Eboua (Italy), Miskovic and Grant Williams (Tennessee) visited on the same day as well as point guards Chris Clemons (Campbell) and Jeremiah Martin (Memphis).
  • Magic center Nikola Vucevic will be highly coveted on the free agent market but he’ll strongly consider staying put in Orlando, Stefan Djordjevic of Eurohoops.net relays. “I’m satisfied in Orlando. This was our best season since I arrived,” Vucevic said. “Everything clicked with the arrival of the new coach. We advanced to the playoffs surpassing all expectations and everything’s fine on that side. I’ve also been reading that many are interested but to be honest, I don’t know which teams want me. When I see all the offers, I’ll think and decide.”
  • Taking on a bad contract or two in order to add draft picks might be a prudent strategy for the Heat next summer, Winderman writes in a commentary.

Pacific Notes: Durant, Suns, Kings, Clippers

As relayed by The Associated Press, this Tuesday is the next time we may know more about a possible return of Warriors superstar Kevin Durant. Having already been ruled out for tonight’s Game 2, Wednesday night’s Game 3 marks the next opportunity for Durant’s return, but Tuesday is Golden State’s next practice.

Head coach Steve Kerr, having already said that Durant will need to practice before playing in a game, expounded upon his stance today, saying that Durant could potentially only need one day of practice to be cleared for game action.

“It’s really a day-to-day thing,” Kerr said “If we had a crystal ball, we would have known a long time ago what we were dealing with. But it’s just an injury (where) there’s been a lot of gray area. So, literally, it’s just day-to-day and how the progress is coming. And at this point he’s still not ready.”

But, when further pressed on the issue, and asked whether Durant will only need one practice, said “it’s feasible.” Accordingly, we should know a lot more on Tuesday as to whether Durant can return for Game 3.

There’s more from the Pacific Division this afternoon:

Draft Notes: FAQ, Hommes, Fernando

While most NBA fans are currently glued to their televisions every night watching playoff basketball, the 2019 NBA Draft is now less than two months away, meaning it’s also time for fans to begin thinking about what their favorite team is going to do on June 20.

Fortunately, Jeremy Woo of Sports Illustrated has put together a constructive FAQ piece to help the average fan with some common questions related to the NBA Draft process. From whether Zion Williamson is a lock for the No. 1 overall pick to the new rules regarding agents, Woo does a nice job giving an overview of this year’s hot topics.

One of those topics is how the NBA continues to attempt to improve its pre-draft process with the addition of the inaugural G League Elite Camp set to take place from May 12–14 (the night of the NBA lottery), followed by the combine from May 15–19. Part of the camp includes testing of fringe-combine prospects who, if they perform well during the camp, will earn combine invitations.

There are some more draft-related notes to pass along this evening:

  • Daulton Hommes, the 2018/19 Division II Men’s National Player of the Year, will reportedly keep in his name in the 2019 NBA Draft and forego his final season of college basketball, per Mark Zeigler of The San Diego Union-Tribune. Hommes, 22, played his college ball at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego and is one of the only D-II players to crack ESPN’s big board, currently coming in at No. 93.
  • Sam Vecenie of The Athletic has put out his latest mock draft, and he’s shared some interesting information he obtained from one high-level NBA front office representative. Per that individual, there’s no such thing as a “bad” draft from an NBA scouting perspective, as each team is generally only looking for one player who exceeds the value of where their team’s draft slot is located. Therefore, the league’s premier front offices have confidence they can come away with a player they like relative to their draft position.
  • Maryland sophomore forward Bruno Fernando, ESPN’s No. 34 prospect, will remain in the draft, per a message posted on his Twitter account. In the post, Fernando thanks God and everyone who helped him at Maryland along his journey, including his teammates, professors, coaching staff, and head coach Mark Turgeon. Fernando had until May 29 to officially remain the the draft.

Draft Updates: Waters, Mays, Hommes, Wigginton

After LSU center Naz Reid announced earlier this week that he’s entering his name in the 2019 NBA draft pool, two of his teammates have followed suit. According to a pair of press releases from the program, sophomore point guard Tremont Waters and junior combo guard Skylar Mays have also declared for the draft.

Waters, who is ranked as the No. 49 prospect on Jonathan Givony’s big board at ESPN.com, confirmed that he’ll be hiring an agent. While that doesn’t necessary preclude a return to LSU next season, his announcement doesn’t say anything about preserving his college eligibility, so it seems like a safe bet that he’ll go pro. The 5’11” guard is coming off a sophomore year in which he averaged 15.3 PPG, 5.8 APG, and 2.8 SPG in 33 games and was named to the All-SEC first team.

As for Mays, his announcement doesn’t reveal whether he’ll hire an agent, or whether he’s leaving the door open to return to the Tigers for his senior season. A second-team All-SEC selection, Mays posted 13.4 PPG on .421/.313/.860 shooting in 35 games. He’s not ranked in Givony’s top 100.

Here are a few more updates on early entrants declaring for this year’s draft:

  • Division II Player of the Year Daulton Hommes has informed Jonathan Givony of ESPN.com that he’s entering the draft and will look to hire an agent. The junior forward, who played his college ball at Point Loma Nazarene University, is one of the only D-II players to crack Givony’s big board, coming in at No. 96.
  • Iowa State sophomore guard Lindell Wigginton is entering the draft and plans on keeping his name in this year’s pool, he tells Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). The 6’2″ Canadian – who tested the draft waters in 2018 before withdrawing – averaged 13.4 PPG, 4.0 RPG, and 2.1 APG with a .413/.390/.720 shooting line off the bench for the Cyclones this season.
  • All-Ivy League guard Bryce Aiken announced that he’ll test the draft waters, leaving the door open to potentially return to Harvard for his senior year. “I am excited for the opportunity to see where I stand in this process the NBA has created,” Aiken said in a statement. “My goal has always been to be a Harvard graduate and an NBA player.”
  • Our full list of the early entrants for 2019’s draft can be found here.