Dillon Brooks

Southwest Notes: Pelicans, Noel, Brooks

The Pelicans will be hard-pressed to improve their roster ahead of the trade deadline, especially since a case can be made that the team will keep DeMarcus Cousins close by with the intention of committing to him long-term, Bobby Marks of ESPN writes.

The club will face mounting pressure to appease Anthony Davis, their superstar center whose own free agency decision (in 2020) already looms. Unfortunately for general manager Dell Demps and the rest of the Pelicans’ front office, with so much money tied up between Davis, Cousins and Jrue Holiday they have little options for adding depth to the rest of the roster.

Marks suggests that the Pelicans could consider packaging a young player  like Cheick Diallo with a second-round pick to net a rotation player like much-improved Nets guard Joe Harris but cautions the team against dealing first-rounders considering their long-term financial forecast.

There’s more from the Southwest Division today:

Grizzlies Rumors: Gasol, Youngsters, Draft Missteps

After starting the season with a 7-4 record, the Grizzlies have won just one of their last 16 games, plummeting to second-last in the Western Conference at 8-19. Despite the team’s massive slump, general manager Chris Wallace continues to insist that Memphis won’t entertain the notion of trading Marc Gasol this season, writes Zach Lowe of ESPN.

“We think our window is still very much open with Mike [Conley] and Marc. I think we’ll be heard from the rest of this year, and in years to come,” Wallace recently said. The Grizzlies’ GM reiterated that sentiment on Tuesday, according to Lowe.

Wallace and others in the Grizzlies’ front office are “adamant” that their stance on Gasol – and rebuilding in general – won’t change this season, even if the team doesn’t start winning. Lowe is skeptical, suggesting there are probably scenarios in which Memphis at least gauges Gasol’s value, even if the team doesn’t shop him outright. Still, the ESPN scribe acknowledges that the Grizzlies may still prefer to play out the season, grab a lottery pick, and redouble their efforts to contend with Gasol and Conley in 2018/19.

Here’s more on the Grizzlies, including a few additional tidbits from Lowe’s feature:

  • Gasol insists that he won’t ask the Grizzlies for a trade, even if the team were to fall to 30 games below .500. “I would want to see how we got there — what the process is,” Gasol said, according to Lowe. “But as long as [owner] Robert [Pera] wants me here, my teammates want me here, they think I’m part of the solution — and not part of the problem — that’s all I need.” Still, if Memphis decides it wants to move him, Gasol would accept that too: “If they think it is best, I would do anything for this franchise.”
  • Wallace believes the Grizzlies can build for the future even as they focus on short-term contention, pointing to Dillon Brooks, Andrew Harrison, Jarell Martin, Deyonta Davis, and Ivan Rabb as young players who could evolve into solid rotation players. “How many teams who have been annual participants in the playoffs have as many guys under 24?” Wallace asked. Still, as Lowe notes, the Memphis GM admitted that it “remains to be seen” whether any of those players will develop into above-average NBA starters.
  • Taking a look back at some of the Grizzlies’ draft mistakes, Lowe cites sources who say that the club unsuccessfully tried to trade up for T.J. Warren in 2014. Memphis also considered drafting Nikola Jokic at No. 35 in 2014, but felt it was too high for him, per Lowe. Denver nabbed Jokic six picks later.
  • Like Lowe, Ronald Tillery of The Memphis Commercial Appeal has gone into extended detail this week about what has gone wrong for the Grizzlies this year. On Sunday, Tillery explored how Memphis’ retooling plan has backfired, while on Tuesday he wrote about the club’s culture being called into question.

Grizzlies Sign Second-Rounder Dillon Brooks

The Grizzlies have signed second-round pick Dillon Brooks to his first NBA contract, reports Shams Charania of The Vertical (via Twitter). According to Charania, Brooks will get a three-year deal with two guaranteed seasons.

[RELATED: 2017 NBA Draft Pick Signings]

A 6’7″ small forward, Brooks averaged 16.0 points and 3.3 rebounds per game in his final season for the Oregon Ducks, declaring for the draft following his junior year.

Brooks was one of two prospects acquired on draft night by the Grizzlies, who sent a future second-round pick to the Rockets in exchange for the No. 45 selection, which they used on Brooks. Memphis also traded a future second-rounder for the No. 35 pick and nabbed Ivan Rabb.

The Grizzlies don’t have any cap room available, but still have a portion of their mid-level exception free, allowing the club to do a three-year deal for Brooks. Memphis used most of its MLE to sign Ben McLemore and Rade Zagorac, but should still have a small amount of that exception left after locking up Brooks.

Rockets Trade Dillon Brooks To Grizzlies

JUNE 23, 12:11am: The trade is now official, the Grizzlies confirmed in a press release announcing the acquisitions of both Brooks and Rabb.

JUNE 22, 10:47pm: The Rockets drafted Oregon’s Dillon Brooks at No. 45 and will trade him to Memphis, tweets Shams Charania of The Vertical. In return, Houston will receive the worst of the Grizzlies’ 2018 second-rounders. In addition to their own, Memphis has the rights to picks from Charotte and Miami.

A 6’7″ junior, Brooks averaged 16.0 points and 3.3 rebounds per game for the Ducks. He could be part of a youth movement for the Grizzlies, who also acquired 35th pick Ivan Rabb from the Magic tonight.

Houston eliminated a potential financial commitment by dealing the 45th pick and using the 43rd choice on 19-year-old Isaiah Hartenstein, who will likely spend at least one more year overseas. That fits in with the Rockets’ reported desire to clear cap room and pursue elite free agents next month.

76ers Notes: Fox, Monk, Korkmaz, Workouts

De’Aaron Fox of Kentucky is slated to work out for the 76ers this weekend, reports Keith Pompey of Philly.com. The workout is tentatively scheduled for Saturday. Fox worked out for the second-pick-possessing Lakers on Tuesday. Philadelphia holds the third overall pick. Pompey also adds that former Miami shooting guard Davon Reed will work out for the Sixers on Friday.

Here’s more professional basketball from the City of Brotherly Love:

  • Malik Monk (Kentucky) will work out for the Sixers on Thursday, according to Derek Bodner of The Ringer (link via Twitter).
  • Other prospects scheduled to work out for Philadelphia on Thursday include Dillon Brooks (Oregon), Dylan Ennis (Oregon), Jack Gibbs (Davidson), Josh Hart (Villanova), Tidjan Keita (France), and Darryl Reynolds (Villanova), also via Bodner (link via Twitter). This workout will be separate from Monk’s.
  • Furkan Korkmaz, who was drafted by Philly a year ago but has yet to play an NBA game, will play for Turkey’s under-20 team, which overlaps with the Las Vegas Summer League schedule, reports Bodner (link via Twitter). Still, Korkmaz is undecided on whether he will play for the 76ers during the summer league, adds Jessica Camerato of CSNPhilly.com (link via Twitter).
  • The Sixers are considering using at least a couple of their four second-round picks on draft-and-stash options and Jonah Bolden (Australia) is one of the prospects they are most closely following, reports Orazio Cauchi of Sportando.com. Bolden played one season for UCLA before beginning his professional career in Europe’s Adriatic League.

Nets Notes: Birch, Workouts, Meeks, Obradovic

Khem Birch, a Quebec-born big man who went undrafted in 2014 and currently plays for Olympiacos in Greece, has been linked to the Nets. Nikos Varlas of Eurohoops cites sources who say that Brooklyn is “seriously considering” offering Birch a two-year contract for the upcoming season. However, NetsDaily (Twitter link) has been told that the Birch rumor is “completely false.”

Birch was solid last season as a part-time player for Olympiacos, and was a D-League All-Star back in 2015, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the UNLV alum get a shot at an NBA roster. But according to Eurohoops’ report, his buyout is worth upwards of $300K, so an NBA team with interest may be reluctant to pay that buyout for a camp invitee.

Here’s more on the Nets:

  • The Nets conducted a group workout today, according to Cody Taylor of Basketball Insiders, who tweets that Dillon Brooks, Jawun Evans, Jimmy Hall, Amile Jefferson, Erik McCree, and Derrick White were in attendance.
  • UNC’s Kennedy Meeks worked out for the Nets last week, and according to Ian Begley of ESPN.com, some sources familiar with the workout said that Meeks “excelled.” The former Tar heels center isn’t one of DraftExpress’ top 100 prospects, but Begley suggests Meeks is viewed as a possible late-second-round pick, so he could be an option for Brooklyn at No. 57.
  • The Nets are adding Sasa Obradovic to their Summer League coaching staff, tweets international basketball reporter David Pick. Obradovic, a former international point guard, is currently the haed coach of Lokomotiv Kuban in Russia.

Northwest Notes: Miller, Jokic, Jazz, Brooks

After 17 years in the NBA, Nuggets forward Mike Miller isn’t ready to think about retirement, writes Mick Garry of the Argus [S.D.] Leader. Mitchell returned to his home state Saturday for an annual appearance at a basketball clinic and reflected on what it’s like to play professionally at age 37. “For me, it’s just a lot of fun – I enjoy playing,” Miller said. “I always will. My family still enjoys me playing, which is most important. So we’re going to keep going as long as we can. Every year is a new challenge and I enjoy those challenges. Until I quit, finding something to replace this will be hard.” Miller signed with Denver last summer, but appeared in just 20 games and averaged 7.6 minutes per night. His $3.5MM salary for next season won’t become guaranteed until July 12th.

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • Miller believes Nikola Jokic‘s breakout season will give free agents a reason to come to Denver. In an interview posted on the Nuggetswebsite, Miller talked about the bright future the 22-year-old has in the league. “I think the good thing that we have right now is Joker is one of those guys that everyone in the league is starting to take heed to and understand who he is,” Miller said. “He’s one of those superstars, I think he’s going to be a superstar. I think you’ll see even more growth at the beginning of this next year, that everyone just wants to play with. He plays that style of basketball. I’ve compared him a lot to Marc and Pau Gasol, I think he’s a lot like that.”
  • The Jazz have 11 players scheduled for workouts today, including UCLA big man T.J. Leaf, who is projected as a late first-rounder, relays Brandon Judd of The Deseret News. Joining Leaf at the second session will be Kentucky’s Dominique Hawkins, Central Michigan’s Marcus Keene, Louisiana Tech’s Erik McCree and Virginia Tech’s Zach LeDay. The first workout will feature Kentucky’s Isaiah Briscoe, Oregon’s Dylan Ennis, South Carolina’s P.J. Dozier, Kansas State’s Wesley Iwundu, Indiana’s Thomas Bryant and North Carolina’s Tony Bradley.
  • Several players with NBA ties were among the 25 participants in Utah’s free agent mini-camp Friday and Saturday. Tyler Hansbrough, Lamar Patterson, Cleanthony Early and R.J. Hunter are the most recognizable names, and the complete list can be found on the Jazz website.
  • Oregon’s Dillon Brooks, who worked out Saturday for the Trail Blazers, told Casey Holdahl of NBA.com that he can see a role for himself with the organization. “I got to watch Portland a lot, you get to see where you’d fit in,” Brooks said. “Especially with Portland, they’ve got two dominant guards and they need help with role players scoring. They get up and down, get into guys, it’s kind of like Oregon. The coach is kind of like [Oregon] Coach [Dana] Altman, they just let their guys play and go out there and try to compete and try to win games.”

Draft Notes: Ball, Lakers, Pre-Draft Workouts

There has been much innuendo and rumor in recent weeks that Lonzo Ball would not necessarily be taken by the Lakers with their second overall pick. Still, a majority of executives at the adidas EuroCamp expect the Lakers to draft Ball second, reports Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com (link via Twitter). Howard goes on to state that these executives believe that the purple and gold like De’Aaron Fox and Josh Jackson, but still lean towards Ball.

Check out the latest news in pre-draft workouts here:

Atlantic Draft Notes: Johnson, Monk, Workouts

The Sixers don’t have a definite long-term answer at point guard, but that doesn’t mean they will necessarily address the position in the first round of this year’s draft, Jonathan Givony writes in a mock draft for The Vertical.

The team is expected to field offers for the No. 3 overall pick and if it decides to keep the selection, it’ll be hard to predict who the selection will be. Givony adds that the team is high on Kentucky guard Malik Monk, but also suggests that Kansas’ Josh Johnson could be the pick due to his upside.

Here’s more on the upcoming draft out of the Atlantic Division:

Central Notes: Pistons, Pacers, Bucks, Workouts

After a disappointing 2016/17 season, the Pistons will be looking this offseason for ways to improve the team’s outlook for next year. However, as Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press details, Andre Drummond doesn’t believe a roster overhaul is necessary.

“I don’t think we need to do any changes,” the Pistons center told reporters earlier this week. “We had a lot of bumps in the road last season with different things going on, and it took everybody out of sync. … With this summer coming up, we have to do a better job staying connected — the more stuff we do together, the better our camaraderie will be.”

Even if the Pistons were interested in making major changes to their roster, they would be tricky to pull off. Detroit has nearly $95MM in guaranteed salary on its books for 2017/18 without counting Aron Baynes‘ $6.5MM player option or Kentavious Caldwell-Pope‘s $9.2MM cap hold, so the team won’t have cap room to work with.

Here’s more from around the Central division:

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