Devin Vassell

Spurs Sign First-Round Pick Vassell

The Spurs have signed lottery pick Devin Vassell, according to a team press release.

Assuming that Vassell received the usual 120% above the rookie scale for his draft slot, the swingman out of Florida State will make $4,033,440 during the upcoming season and a total of $18,593,499 over the next four seasons.

The 6’7” Vassell was chosen with the 11th overall pick, becoming the first Spurs lottery selection since 1997.

As a sophomore last season, Vassell averaged 12.7 PPG, 5.1 RPG and 1.6 APG in 28.7 MPG  while shooting 41.5% from 3-point range.

Draft Rumors: Hayes, Nesmith, Anthony, Okongwu, Hawks, More

In his latest mock draft in advance of tonight’s event, Jeremy Woo of SI.com shares several interesting tidbits, writing that Killian Hayes is “strongly in play” for the Pistons at No. 7 and suggesting there’s some concern about Aaron Nesmith‘s injured foot, which ended his season at Vanderbilt.

Woo also hears from sources that Cole Anthony has interviewed in recent days with multiple teams outside the top 20 and that the Celtics and Spurs would be among the teams with interest in Onyeka Okongwu if he slides out of the top 10 due to his foot injury.

Woo reports that there’s “significant traction” for Devin Vassell within the Knicks‘ front office, making him a viable option at No. 8 if the team stays put. Finally, Woo says the Celtics have shown interest in Duke big man Vernon Carey Jr., who could be an option at No. 26 or No. 30.

Here’s more on the 2020 NBA draft:

  • The Hawks are currently planning to keep and use the No. 6 pick tonight, a source tells Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report (Twitter link). That could change if Atlanta gets a surprise last-minute offer, Wasserman cautions, but for the time being, it sounds as if the team is comfortable staying put.
  • We still don’t know with any certainty which player the Timberwolves will select with the No. 1 pick tonight, but Georgia guard Anthony Edwards has emerged as the betting favorite at Las Vegas sportsbooks, writes David Purdum of ESPN.com.
  • While USC big man Onyeka Okongwu may not be ready for training camp due to a foot injury, it sounds like the issue shouldn’t impact his draft stock too significantly. One source who spoke to Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer (Twitter link) predicted that Okongwu will still likely come off the board before the Wizards pick at No. 9.

Draft Rumors: Wolves, Edwards, Ball, P. Williams, Hawks, Knicks, More

With the 2020 NBA draft just two days away, several draft experts are publishing their final mocks of the year, nearly five months after the event was initially scheduled to take place. Jonathan Givony of ESPN, Jeremy Woo of SI.com, Sam Vecenie of The Athletic, and Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report are among those who published new mock drafts today. Let’s round up a few of the key pieces of intel from those mocks…

  • Sources tell Vecenie that the Timberwolves still haven’t finalized a decision on what they’ll do with their No. 1 pick, as they expect “real” trade offers to start coming in during the next couple days. However, Givony and Woo have both heard that most teams around the NBA are operating as if the Wolves will select Anthony Edwards if they stay put.
  • LaMelo Ball‘s private workouts with teams last week were strong, according to Givony, who suggests that the Warriors were among the teams impressed by what they saw from Ball. Still, Givony and other draft experts view James Wiseman as Golden State’s most likely pick at No. 2.
  • There has been plenty of chatter about Florida State forward Patrick Williams, whose ceiling is as high as No. 4 to the Bulls, according to both Woo and Givony.
  • Opposing front offices say the Hawks (No. 6) have been the most active team in trade talks, according to Givony, who says Atlanta could push for an impact player (such as Jrue Holiday or Victor Oladipo) or trade down and pick up another young player.
  • Sources tell Wasserman that the Knicks (No. 8) appear to be “looking hardest” at Devin Vassell, Isaac Okoro, and Kira Lewis Jr. Sources have also linked Obi Toppin to New York for some time, per Woo, though the Dayton forward is less likely to be on the board at No. 8.
  • Assuming the Suns keep the No. 10 pick, sharpshooter Aaron Nesmith is thought to be high on their list, says Wasserman.
  • While the Celtics have looked into packaging their three first-rounders (Nos. 14, 26, and 30) for a mid-lottery pick, interest in that sort of deal appears to be lukewarm, according to Woo, who says Boston may be more likely to make smaller trades with their picks.
  • Sources tell Wasserman that the Trail Blazers (No. 16) have expressed interest in Serbian forward Aleksej Pokusevski, while Vecenie says Jay Scrubb‘s name is the one he has heard linked most frequently to Portland.
  • The Bucks‘ pick at No. 24 is one to watch in trade talks as Milwaukee tries to upgrade its roster, writes Vecenie. If they keep the pick, Josh Green is among the options the Bucks are eyeing, per Wasserman.

Draft Notes: Anthony, Vassell, Maledon, Maxey

Southeast Division clubs have shown the most interest in North Carolina point guard Cole Anthony. He’s had individual workouts for the Wizards, Heat and Magic, Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News tweets. The son of former NBA guard Greg Anthony is ranked 19th on ESPN’s Best Available list. The Wizards own the No. 9 pick, with Orlando holding the No. 15 selection and Miami sitting at No. 20.

We have more draft news:

  • Florida State guard Devin Vassell, ranked 11th by ESPN, has worked out for a handful of teams, Steve Popper of Newsday tweets. Vassell said he’s visited with the Knicks, Warriors, Celtics, Hawks and Magic. The presence of the Hawks (No. 6 pick) and Knicks (No. 8) suggest Vassell could go in the top 10. Golden State’s interest is intriguing, suggesting Vassell would be a target if the club trades down from the No. 2 pick.
  • French point guard Theo Maledon has worked out for three Atlantic Division clubs as well as the Spurs, Brian Lewis of the New York Post tweets. The Nets (19th pick), Celtics (three first-rounders) and Raptors (No. 29) have also taken a look at Maledon, who is rated 24th overall by ESPN.
  • As of Thursday, the Pelicans were the only team to host Tyrese Maxey, Rod Beard of the Detroit News tweets. The Kentucky shooting guard is 14th on ESPN’s list and New Orleans holds the 13th pick, so its interest late in the lottery makes sense.

Draft Rumors: Warriors, Vassell, Suns, Spurs, Mavs, More

The Warriors continue to actively discuss trades involving the No. 2 pick, according to Jonathan Givony of ESPN (Insider link), who writes within his latest mock draft that the Bulls, Pistons, and Knicks are among the candidates to make a deal with Golden State.

If the Warriors remain at No. 2, the team seems more likely to select Memphis center James Wiseman than Georgia guard Anthony Edwards, per Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report. Wasserman has heard that there are some voices in Golden State’s front office against drafting Edwards, as well as mixed opinions within the front office on LaMelo Ball.

As Wasserman details, the Warriors have also expressed “legitimate” interest in sharpshooting wing Devin Vassell, but the assumption is that the club wouldn’t take the Florida State prospect at No. 2 — he’d be an option in a trade-down scenario. Wasserman adds that Vassell’s camp is confident he’ll go in the middle of the lottery and is unlikely to slip past the Kings at No. 12.

Here are a few more draft-related updates and rumors:

  • According to Givony, the Suns (No. 10) are “looking heavily” at point guards and wing players, especially prospects who can complement Devin Booker, while the Spurs (No. 11) are eyeing both big men and wings in the hopes of bolstering their frontcourt.
  • The Mavericks have expressed some interest in trading up into the lottery, league sources tell Jeremy Woo of SI.com. Dallas currently holds the 18th and 31st overall picks.
  • Teams with picks in the 20s aren’t expecting Precious Achiuwa to be available, according to Wasserman, who says the Memphis forward will likely be picked in the 9-18 range.
  • Multiple teams believe Arizona shooting guard Josh Green could slip a little, with some clubs viewing him as a “fringe first-rounder,” writes Wasserman.
  • Jaden McDaniels, Tyrell Terry, Daniel Oturu, Tyrese Maxey, and RJ Hampton are among the first-round candidates with the widest projected draft ranges, per Wasserman.

Nuggets Exploring Trading Into Top 10 Of Draft

The Nuggets are exploring the possibility of trading up into the top 10 of this year’s draft, two league sources tell Mike Singer of The Denver Post. The team currently holds the No. 22 overall pick.

Moving into the top 10 wouldn’t be easy for the Nuggets, who would likely have to give up some combination of young players and/or future draft picks. A source tells Singer that a deal is probably unlikely, though a handful of lottery selections – including those belonging to the Hawks (No. 6), Wizards (No. 9), and Celtics (No. 14) – are believed to be available.

It’s unclear which prospect the Nuggets would be targeting if they trade up into the top 10 — or if they might simply be looking to acquire a more appealing draft pick to flip in a package for an impact player. Singer contends that Tyrese Haliburton, Isaac Okoro, and Devin Vassell are among the potential top-10 picks who would be fits in Denver.

If the Nuggets don’t make a trade and remain at No. 22, they’re confident they’ll still end up with a player they like, a source tells Singer.

Draft Notes: Haliburton, Wiseman, Ball, International Players

In a draft full of uncertain prospects, Iowa State’s Tyrese Haliburton may be the safest pick, writes Steve Popper of Newsday. Haliburton offers good size for a point guard at 6’5″ with a 6’9″ wingspan. He’s also an elite passer, an effective shooter and has natural leadership qualities.

“I’ve had a lot of No. 1, No. 2 picks, and this guy is a difference maker,” said Joe Abunassar, who trained Haliburton at Impact Basketball in Las Vegas after the season was shut down. “As teams look at him, part of that is his approach, his mentality, his personality. Everyone steps up their game when he steps in the game. He’s the most humble guy. I know with him, what you’re getting is a guy that’s going to win games for your franchise.”

Abunasser said Haliburton has gotten stronger since the college basketball season ended, adding roughly 15 to 18 pounds to his frame. With so many lottery teams needing a point guard, he could go higher than projected on draft night.

“He’s a winner. He has an amazing personality,” Abunassar added. “He’s contagious. He’s something that if I was a GM, I’d say we need guys like that.”

There’s more draft news to pass along:

  • There’s increasing chatter around the league that former Memphis center James Wiseman is the most likely No. 1 pick, according to Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report. Sources tell Wasserman that some Golden State officials believe Wiseman will be selected first, whether the Timberwolves keep their pick or not. Sources also say the Hornets “want Wiseman badly” and are interested in trading up to get him.
  • Warriors ownership may put pressure on the front office to select LaMelo Ball with the second pick if Wiseman is off the board, Wasserman adds in the same story. A source close to the team claims Ball has supporters and detractors in the front office. Golden State remains in the market to trade down, with Deni Avdija and Devin Vassell as possible targets.
  • More international prospects have pulled their names out of the draft ahead of today’s deadline, according to Nicola Lupo of SportandoNikola Miskovic, Marko Simonovic and Darko Bajo, all of ABA Liga, have all withdrawn. At No. 70, Simonovic was the only one in ESPN’s list of the top 100 prospects. Serbian big man Filip Petrusev (story link), who is 59th on ESPN’s list, and Lithuanian guard Rokas Jokubaitis (story link) are also skipping this year’s draft. On Saturday, we shared decisions from seven other overseas players.

Draft Notes: Mouaha, Ebeling, Achiuwa, Knicks

The NCAA’s withdrawal deadline for the 2020 NBA draft has long since passed, but the NBA’s own deadline falls 10 days before the draft. That means that a number of international prospects – for whom the NCAA deadline didn’t apply – face final decisions on whether or not to keep their names in this year’s draft pool.

Cameroonian guard Aristide Mouaha and Italian forward Michele Ebeling are two international early entrants who have decided to pull out of the draft, according to a pair of reports from Nicola Lupo of Sportando. Both prospects are currently playing in Italy. Ebeling will become automatically draft-eligible in 2021, while Mouaha is on track to be draft-eligible in 2022 if he doesn’t re-enter his name next year.

As our tracker shows, we still have 34 international prospects listed as early entrants for 2020. It’s safe to assume that many more will withdraw before the November 8 deadline — I’d expect that list to be cut at least in half within the next couple days.

Here’s more on the 2020 NBA draft:

  • Former Memphis big man Precious Achiuwa worked out for the Wizards earlier this week and is working out for the Celtics on Friday, according to Adam Zagoria of Forbes (Twitter link). Achiuwa is the 12th overall prospect on ESPN’s big board, so both Washington at No. 9 and Boston at No. 14 could in play for him.
  • In a pair of Insider articles for ESPN.com, Jonathan Givony, Mike Schmitz, and Kevin Pelton discuss the best wings and big men of this year’s draft class. All three experts rate Deni Avdija as the top wing in the draft, with Givony and Schmitz placing Isaac Okoro second while Pelton takes Devin Vassell. In a bit of a surprise, both Givony and Schmitz pick Onyeka Okongwu over James Wiseman as the top big man prospect.
  • While the Knicks’ No. 8 pick has been the main focus, the team is working diligently on its options at No. 27 and 38 and is hoping to find a “diamond in the rough,” a source tells Marc Berman of The New York Post. Berman examines former Arizona shooting guard Josh Green and Duke center Vernon Carey Jr. as a couple potential late-first-round options for New York, citing one talent evaluator who says Green would be a “perfect fit” for the team.

Draft Rumors: Avdija, Warriors, Okongwu, Trades, More

The list of teams that have talked to Israeli wing Deni Avdija includes the Hawks, Pistons, Cavaliers, Spurs, and Bucks, according to Ethan Strauss of The Athletic.

Those first three teams all have draft picks in the top seven and San Antonio could theoretically move up from No. 11, but it’s hard to imagine a scenario in which Milwaukee would have a shot at Avdija. Strauss adds that Avdija is believed to prefer to land with the Warriors, who worked him out last month.

Speaking of the Warriors, as they mull the possibility of trading down from No. 2, Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report says there are definitely players they like who will be available in the mid-to-late lottery range. If they remain at No. 2, James Wiseman is probably the favorite, according to Wasserman, who hears Golden State is higher on Wiseman than Anthony Edwards. The team is also believed to be high on Avdija and Devin Vassell, Wasserman adds.

Here’s more on the draft:

  • Wasserman provides a few more interesting tidbits within his latest mock draft for Bleacher Report, writing that Patrick Williams has become a “coveted target” for the Pistons, the Suns have legit interest in Kira Lewis, and the Kings are heavily weighing analytics as they mull their draft options. Previous reports indicated that Williams is in play for Detroit at No. 7 and that Phoenix has interviewed Lewis more than once.
  • Projected lottery pick Onyeka Okongwu has recently met with the Hornets, Spurs, and Wizards and will meet with the Cavaliers this week, tweets Wasserman. Teams believe that Okongwu could come off the board as high as No. 3 to Charlotte and is unlikely to fall past Washington at No. 9, Wasserman notes (via Twitter).
  • ESPN’s Zach Lowe doesn’t expect any teams with first-round picks to sell them, but wouldn’t be surprised if some clubs look to swap a late first-rounder for a “roughly equivalent” future pick. He also says it’s a safe bet that a number of second-rounders will be sold for cash.

Draft Rumors: Mavs, P. Williams, Trades, Sixers

The Mavericks have made the No. 18 overall pick in this year’s draft available as they search for immediate help, according to Jeremy Woo of SI.com.

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard that the Mavericks will likely be active in trade talks this offseason. A previous report suggested that Dallas would like to upgrade its roster prior to the 2020/21 season rather than waiting until 2021 to make a splash, once the team can open up some cap space.

The Mavericks don’t have a ton of expendable assets that would interest potential trade partners, having surrendered a pair of future first-round picks when they acquired Kristaps Porzingis in 2019. But the team does have the 18th and 31st picks in the 2020 draft, which will be of interest to teams looking to add young talent.

Here’s more from Woo on the draft:

  • Expect Florida State big man Patrick Williams to be drafted ahead of his former college teammate Devin Vassell, says Woo. Williams’ “raw skill set” and potential upside are viewed favorably by teams, Woo adds.
  • While it’s widely known that Golden State and Minnesota have interest in moving down in the draft, there are plenty of other lottery teams viewed as trade-candidates too. Woo says the Bulls (No. 4), Cavaliers (No. 5), Hawks (No. 6), and Suns (No. 10) are all worth keeping an eye on.
  • The Sixers have five picks in this year’s draft, starting with No. 21, but probably aren’t “married” to any of them and are a strong candidate to be active on draft night, per Woo.
  • Woo also confirms a pair of items that were previously reported by Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, writing that the Hornets have interest in Onyeka Okongwu and that teams expect Tyrell Terry to be drafted in the mid-to-late teens.