Dustin Hogue

Eastern Notes: Knicks, Wizards, Johnson

The Knicks‘ hope that either Duke big man Jahlil Okafor or Ohio State playmaker D’Angelo Russell will still be on the board when the team picks at No. 4 isn’t likely to pan out, Marc Berman of The New York Post writes. According to a league source, the Sixers, who pick third, still have a firm top three of Karl-Anthony Towns, Russell, and Okafor, and Philly won’t let any of that trio slip past them, Berman notes. There is also little chance of New York gambling on Latvian forward Kristaps Porzingis, who dazzled scouts during his Friday showcase, the Post scribe adds. “The body’s a long way off so he’s couple of years away from impact,’’ one NBA scout said of Porzingis. “He’s going to look great in a workout but he’s a young European who hasn’t played much. Too much risk at [No.] 4 for the Knicks.’’

Here’s more out of the NBA’s Eastern Conference:

  • The Pistons have workouts scheduled today for Sam Dekker (Wisconsin), Le’Bryan Nash (Oklahoma State), Dustin Hogue (Iowa State), and LaDontae Henton (Providence), the team announced (on Twitter).
  • Working out for the Wizards on Monday will be Tyler Harvey (Eastern Washington), Rashad Madden (Arkansas), Jarell Martin (LSU), Bobby Portis (Arkansas), Jordan Sibert (Dayton), and Keifer Sykes (Wisconsin-Green Bay), the team announced.
  • The Knicks‘ scheduled workout for Arizona forward Stanley Johnson, who I recently profiled, was moved from Friday to today, Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com writes. New York has also been trying to bring in Murray State point guard Cameron Payne, who is suddenly a hot commodity, for a showcase, but the two sides have been unable to agree on a date, Begley adds.

Northwest Notes: Hunter, Bjelica, Aldridge, Jazz

The Thunder could be the team to give Georgia State’s R.J. Hunter a chance to show he belongs in the NBA, writes Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman. Hunter, best known for hitting a game-winning shot against Baylor in the NCAA Tournament, rejects any accusation that he got special treatment because he played for his father in college. “Every team asks about that,” Hunter said. “They ask me how I work. And I think it’s some correlation between work ethic and coaches’ sons because they think you’re given it all.” Mayberry contends that Hunter’s outside shooting prowess could make him attractive to the Thunder, who want to create more space for Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • The Wolves will find plenty of suitors if they decide to trade power forward Nemanja Bjelica, tweets Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities. He mentions the Mavericks, Spurs, Heat, Nets and Bulls as teams that would be interested and suggests there could be more. Minnesota acquired the rights to Bjelica on draft night in 2010 after Washington made him the 35th overall pick. He has a contract with Turkey’s Fenerbahce Ulker that runs out after next season, but an opt-out clause would allow him to join the NBA this summer.
  •  If LaMarcus Aldridge leaves Portland, it will be because of the franchise’s poor postseason record, according to John Canzano of The Oregonian. The Blazers have only advanced beyond the first round once in Aldridge’s nine years with the team. Aldridge will become an unrestricted free agent July 1 and is expected to be among the hottest names on the market.
  • The Jazz have six players scheduled for workouts Monday, tweets Jody Genessy of The Deseret News. On the list are Ryan Boatright, Dustin Hogue, Sir’Dominic Pointer, Norman Powell, Chasson Randle and Josh Richardson.