Dzanan Musa

Nets, Rodions Kurucs Agree To Multiyear Deal

The Nets and second-round pick Rodions Kurucs have reached an agreement on an NBA contract, according to international basketball journalist David Pick, who reports (via Twitter) that it will be a four-year deal.

Kurucs, who was selected using the 40th overall pick that initially belonged to the Lakers, had one year left on his contract with Barcelona. However, the Nets and Kurucs’ Spanish club were able to negotiate the terms of a buyout, says Pick.

[RELATED: Full 2018 NBA Draft Results]

While Kurucs’ buyout was believed to be worth upwards of $4MM at one point, his camp was reportedly able to get that figure lowered substantially, per ESPN’s Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz (as relayed by NetsDaily).

Because Kurucs wasn’t a first-round pick, he won’t be subject to the NBA’s rookie scale, but it sounds like he’ll still sign a four-year contract. The Nets will have the flexibility to offer that many years because they’ll start the 2018/19 league year as an under-the-cap team. It’s not yet clear how much Kurucs’ contract will be worth, or how many years will be guaranteed, but the two sides will be able to finalize the agreement in July.

Kurucs was one of two international prospects the Nets selected in the 2018 draft, along with No. 29 pick Dzanan Musa. General manager Sean Marks indicated last night that club also expects to bring over Musa immediately, per Brian Lewis of The New York Post (Twitter link). The Bosnia forward reportedly has a buyout worth about $1MM.

Draft Workouts: T. Young, Cavs, Blazers, Warriors

Potential top-10 pick Trae Young conducted a “secret” workout for the Cavaliers on Saturday, reports Jonathan Givony of ESPN.com (via Twitter). Givony, echoing what Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com wrote earlier today, suggests that Michael Porter Jr. may be Cleveland’s top target at No. 8.

However, if Porter is no longer available, the Cavaliers’ decision could come down to Young vs. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, according to Givony, who notes that he has the team taking Gilgeous-Alexander in his latest mock draft.

Here are a few more updates on pre-draft workouts from around the NBA:

Draft Updates: Musa, Knox, Williams, Sixers

The Nets may be willing to package their picks to move up for Bosnia’s Dzanan Musa, according to Brian Lewis of The New York Post. The 19-year-old small forward has spent the past week visiting teams that might be willing to use a first-round selection on him. The Nets hold the 29th pick, but may have to give up their second-rounders at 40 and 45 to get into Musa’s range.

Musa has two years remaining on his contract with KK Cedevita in the EuroLeague, but he plans to come to the NBA next season.

“I want to compete at the highest level and to compete with the best players in the world,” Musa said in an interview with CBS Sports affiliate 1430-AM in Indianapolis. “[My strength is] scoring: shooting, midrange floaters, to the rim. … I just want to get picked by the team who sees me as a project. But I think I’m a lottery pick for sure.”

There’s more draft-related news to pass along:

Celtics Notes: Leonard, Irving, Draft, Summer League

President of basketball operations Danny Ainge is wary of paying a steep price for Kawhi Leonard without a guarantee that he’ll stay more than one season, writes Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe. Leonard has asked for a trade out of San Antonio and the Celtics may be able to put together the best offer, but Ainge will probably be cautious, according to Washburn.

He suggests Jaylen Brown or Jayson Tatum would have to be part of the package, along with the rights to the Kings’ first-rounder in 2019. It might be easier to match salaries by including Gordon Hayward, but his trade value has dropped after missing the season with a severe ankle fracture.

Kyrie Irving can already opt out next season, and the Celtics might be reluctant to have two stars on their roster who could leave at the same time, especially if it means breaking up a young core that looks like it will be a contender for several years.

There’s more today from Boston:

  • Irving hopes to resume playing again “in like a month,” he said in an appearance this week on The Bill Simmons Podcast. NBC Sports Boston relayed a few of his comments, including an explanation of what it was like to deal with a knee infection that forced him to miss the entire playoffs. “I was leaving the games at halftime because I had eight-hour shifts of antibiotics I had to take for my infection,” Irving said. “I had a PICC line in my arm for two months and I’m just like… every day is like OK, I can’t necessarily lift, I can’t run, I can’t do anything. If I didn’t have my PICC line in for my infection I would have definitely tried to go after being ready for at least the Eastern Conference Finals.”
  • The Celtics have a recent history of going the draft-and-stash route late in the first round, but the overseas talent doesn’t warrant it this year, writes A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston. Apart from Luka Doncic, the only foreign players with a shot at being taken in the first round are French point guard Elie Okobo and Bosnian wing Dzanan Musa, according to Blakely.
  • Guerschon Yabusele, Kadeem Allen and Jabari Bird are all expected to be part of the Celtics’ summer league team in Las Vegas, Washburn notes. Bird has a two-way contract, so Boston has to make a qualifying offer before he is eligible. Jay Larranaga will coach the team.

Draft Notes: R. Williams, Nuggets, Clips, Wizards

Texas A&M center Robert Williams, who previously worked out for the Bulls, Hornets, and Knicks, continues to earn looks from teams picking in the top half of the first round. According to Sean Deveney of The Sporting News (Twitter link), Williams still has workouts on tap with the Clippers, Nuggets, Wizards, who hold the picks from 12 through 15.

Williams’ session with the Nuggets will take place today, according to a press release from the club. In addition to scheduling an individual session with Williams, Denver has also lined up a group workout which will feature Hayden Dalton (Wyoming), Jacob Evans (Cincinnati), Arnoldas Kulboka (Capo d’Orlando), Dzanan Musa (Cedevita), Ajdin Penava (Marshall), and Johnathan Williams (Gonzaga).

Meanwhile, the Bucks – who hold the No. 17 selection – also wanted to bring in Williams for a workout, but he expects to be off the board before Milwaukee picks and has passed on the team’s invitation, per Gery Woelfel of The Racine Journal Times. According to Woelfel, Texas Tech’s Zhaire Smith, another good bet to be drafted in the top 16, also won’t work out for the Bucks.

Here’s more on the 2018 NBA draft:

Western Notes: Clippers, Nuggets, Bjelica, Musa

The Clippers will bring in some first-round candidates for a pre-draft group workout on Wednesday, league sources tell Michael Scotto of The Athletic (Twitter link). According to Scotto, Miles Bridges (Michigan State), Kevin Knox (Kentucky), Aaron Holiday (UCLA), and Mitchell Robinson will participate in the session.

The Clippers currently hold the 12th and 13th overall picks in the draft, presenting a number of potential opportunities and directions for the club. Bridges and Knox are viewed as two potential lottery picks who may still be on the board at No. 12, while Holiday and Robinson are ranked slightly lower on most big boards.

Let’s round up a few more Western Conference notes…

  • Speaking last week to reporters, Nuggets president of basketball operations Tim Connelly said the team will target a strong defensive player with two-way versatility with the No. 14 pick, and didn’t rule out the possibility of trading or waiving highly-paid players to maintain cap flexibility. Matt L. Stephens of The Denver Post has the story and the quotes.
  • The Jazz and Suns are among the teams that could show interest in power forward Nemanja Bjelica this summer, a source tells Orazio Cauchi of Sportando. Bjelica is eligible for restricted free agency, so the Timberwolves have the chance to match any offer he receives, assuming they extend a qualifying offer.
  • Bosnian wing Dzanan Musa, a potential first-round pick who will be keeping his name in the 2018 NBA draft, has workouts on tap with the Trail Blazers, Nuggets, Spurs, and Jazz, tweets Scott Agness of Vigilant Sports.
  • Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News passes along word of a few more of the players who participated in the Timberwolvesveteran mini-camp on the weekend, tweeting that that Hollis Thompson, Dorell Wright, and Jordan McRae took part, among others.
  • Veteran guard Rodney Stuckey is participating in a free agent mini-camp with the Trail Blazers, a league source tells Michael Scotto of The Athletic (Twitter link).

NBA’s Early Entrant Withdrawal Deadline Looms

The NCAA’s deadline for early entrants to withdraw from the 2018 NBA draft and retain their college eligibility came and went last month, with underclassmen deciding by May 30 whether or not they wanted to keep their names in the draft.

However, while NCAA eligibility rules dictated that those prospects had to make decisions early, the NBA’s own withdrawal deadline for early entrants arrives today. Any early entrant who remains undecided on whether to keep his name in the 2018 draft will have to make a final call by 4:00pm central time on Monday.

[RELATED: Key 2018 NBA offseason dates, deadlines]

Since college prospects have already made their decisions, today’s deadline generally only applies to international early entrants. There’s no shortage of those this year, as 55 international prospects showed up on the NBA’s official list of early entrants in April, including Luka Doncic, Elie Okobo, and many others. We have all those names right here.

That list of 55 names figures to be trimmed significantly once today’s deadline passes. In 2017, for instance, 46 international early entrants initially declared for the draft, but only 10 remained in the draft pool through the NBA’s withdrawal deadline.

BeoBasket agent Misko Raznatovic provided an update on some of his clients today, tweeting that Dzanan Musa (Croatia) will remain in the 2018 draft, while Vanja Marinkovic (Serbia), Blaz Mesicek (Italy), and Goga Bitadze (Serbia) are withdrawing. Musa’s decision is particularly notable, as he currently ranks as the 20th overall prospect on Jonathan Givony’s big board at ESPN.com.

We’ll keep an eye out for any more noteworthy decisions from international early entrants today, and soon after Monday’s deadline passes, we’ll have an official list of 2018 early entrants straight from the NBA.

Draft Notes: M. Porter, T. Brown, Sixers, Wizards

As the Cavaliers prepared on Friday for what turned out to be their final game of the 2017/18 season, the team also had at least one front office representative present at Michael Porter Jr.‘s Pro Day in Chicago, a source tells Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com. Depending on how confident teams are about the health of Porter’s back, the young forward could still be on the board when Cleveland picks at No. 8 in this month’s draft.

While it’s not clear if Porter will last until No. 8, the Knicks – who hold the No. 9 overall selection – are also doing their homework just in case. As Marc Berman of The New York Post writes, “top-level” Knicks officials will travel to Chicago this Friday to work out the Missouri product. Porter said at last month’s combine that being drafted by the Knicks would be “awesome,” but sources tell Berman that the 19-year-old is probably a long shot to slip to No. 9.

Here are more notes and updates on pre-draft workouts:

And-Ones: NBA Africa Game, Global Camp, Upshaw

Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan and Sixers center Joel Embiid will headline the rosters in this summer’s NBA Africa Game, the league announced today. The event, which will take place on Saturday, August 4 in Pretoria, South Africa, will feature a Team Africa vs. Team World format, with Cameroon native Embiid heading Team Africa and DeRozan representing Team World.

Joining Embiid on Team Africa will be fellow NBAers Al-Farouq Aminu, Bismack Biyombo, Cheick Diallo, Evan Fournier, Serge Ibaka, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, and Pascal Siakam. DeRozan’s teamates on Team World will include Harrison Barnes, Danilo Gallinari, Rudy Gay, Khris Middleton, and Hassan Whiteside.

Here are a few more odds and ends from across the basketball world:

  • A total of 40 draft-eligible prospects from outside the United States will take part in the NBA Global Camp 2018 in Treviso, Italy from June 2-5, the NBA announced on Wednesday. While Luka Doncic won’t attend the pre-draft showcase, there will be plenty of prospects worth watching, including Cedevita forward Dzanan Musa, who is the No. 19 prospect on Jonathan Givony’s big board at ESPN.com.
  • The mother of Zeke Upshaw, the G League player who passed away earlier this year after collapsing during a Grand Rapids Drive game, has filed a federal lawsuit accusing the NBA and the Pistons of negligence. The suit alleges that the defendants failed to provide the Drive with the “the resources, policies, and procedures reasonably necessary” to prevent or handle Upshaw’s collapse. Noah Trister of The Associated Press has the full story and more details.
  • Now that two-way contracts have been in effect for nearly a full year, Adam Johnson of 2 Ways & 10 Days explores what sort of changes we may see to the rules surrounding those contracts in the future.

Dzanan Musa Enters 2018 NBA Draft

Bosnian swingman Dzanan Musa has elected to enter his name in the 2018 NBA draft pool, according to a tweet from agent Misko Raznatovic (hat tip to Sportando).

Musa, a 6’9″ scorer who is currently playing for Cedevita Zagreb in the Croatian League, is considered the No. 22 player in the 2018 draft class by Jonathan Givony of ESPN. In his most recent mock draft, Givony had Musa coming off the board 21st overall, writing that the youngster’s “size, scoring instincts and aggressiveness could be intriguing” in the second half of the first round.

When he scouted Musa earlier this year, ESPN’s Mike Schmitz suggested that the 18-year-old is “in the conversation” for 2018’s best international prospect outside of Luka Doncic. In Schmitz’s view, Musa projects as a productive bench scorer for an NBA team, though his medical reports will be important — Musa has dealt with back issues since he was young, per Schmitz.

Born in 1999, Musa would have a few more opportunities to enter the draft in future years if he decides to withdraw this spring. With no NCAA eligibility to worry about, he’ll have until June 11 to make that call.