Eric Mika

Draft Notes: Tatum, Kennard, Jefferson, Allen

Duke’s Jayson Tatum worked out today in Los Angeles for the Suns, who will give him strong consideration with their No. 4 pick, writes Doug Haller of The Arizona Republic. The 6’8″ forward may be the most offensively talented player in the draft, but he has shortcomings on defense, which is the prime concern in Phoenix. Still, he is ranked fourth or fifth in most mock drafts and could easily wind up in a Suns uniform.

There’s more news from a busy day of draft workouts:

  • Duke’s Luke Kennard wants teams to think of him as more than just a shooter. In a video posted on The Detroit News website, Kennard tells reporters he can handle the ball and has the physical strength to play in the NBA. He worked out for the Pistons today and has upcoming sessions with the Magic, Knicks, Mavericks and Hornets.
  • Duke teammate Amile Jefferson is going through a workout marathon, relays Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer. Jefferson, who was part of a six-player session with the Hornets today, hopes to work out for about half the league’s 30 teams before draft day. “I love every minute of it,” Jefferson said. “This is the only chance you get to do something like this. From state to state, really introduce yourself and show off your talents to 15 or more teams in the NBA. I’m cherishing all these places. I’m really thankful for this opportunity.” He has also held workouts for the Timberwolves, Jazz, Knicks, Rockets and Nuggets, with six more on his schedule.
  • Texas center Jarrett Allen, who worked out for the Kings today, is trying to develop a more consistent outside shot, relays Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee. Allen watched Game 4 of the NBA Finals with team officials Friday night and said he enjoyed the laid-back atmosphere. “I like how they understand it’s a really busy time,” Allen said, “so they’re just trying to get into a relaxed situation; it helps us out a lot more than people think.” Sacramento also held a six-player workout today with Joe Rahon of Saint Mary’s, Milton Doyle of Loyola, Matt Williams of Central Florida, Semi Ojeleye  of SMU, RaShawn Thomas of Texas A&M Corpus Christi and Eric Mika of BYU. Zach Collins of Gonzaga is scheduled for a session on Sunday.
  • Terrance Ferguson, who committed to Alabama and Arizona before playing last season in Australia, was among the players who worked out for the Trail Blazers today, relays Mike Richman of The Oregonian. He is considered to be a first-round talent who can contribute as a “3 and D” wing player. “Every NBA teams needs shooting,” he said. “…Shooting and a coachable player and defense. I think I can bring that to the table.” Ferguson has also worked out for the Lakers, Pacers, Bulls and Nuggets and has visits remaining with the Hornets, Heat, Pistons, Nets and Bucks.

Southeast Notes: Porter, Wall, Gay, Hawks

The Wizards will face plenty of competition for free agent Otto Porter if they don’t submit a max offer, writes Bobby Marks of The Vertical. Coming off a season in which he put up career-best numbers in points, rebounds, steals and blocks, Porter is eligible for a new contract starting at $25.5MM per season. Because he is restricted, Washington can match any offer he receives. Another free agent priority will be Bojan Bogdanovic, who was acquired from the Nets at the trade deadline. He will be looking for a substantial raise from the $3.73MM he made this season, and Marks says Washington will have to determine how much luxury tax it is willing to absorb to keep him.

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • After earning All-NBA honors, Wizards point guard John Wall is eligible for an extension worth up to 35% of the salary cap, Marks notes in the same story. The DPVE would begin with the 2019/20 season and is projected at $168MM over four seasons. Wall’s cap hit, which is $18.1MM next season and $19.2MM in 2018/19, could be as much as $37.5MM when the extension kicks in. If Wall’s extension is delayed and he makes an All-NBA team again next season, he could increase the value of the deal by about $50MM. If he doesn’t, Wall would only be eligible for a regular extension worth 120% of his 2017/18 salary.
  • Kings free agent Rudy Gay continues to have interest in joining the Heat, tweets J.D. Shaw of Def Pen Hoops. However, it’s uncertain whether Miami intends to pursue him (Twitter link).
  • North Carolina forward Justin Jackson made an impression on the Hawks during a workout Friday, according to Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal Constitution. The ACC Player of the Year averaged 18.4 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.8 assists this year as a junior and helped the Tar Heels capture the national championship. Jackson’s trip to Atlanta was his fifth workout so far, and he hopes to complete five or six more before draft day. “Honestly, I’m just trying to put myself in the best position,” Jackson said. “Whether that is [overall pick No.] 10 or 20. In the back of my mind, I know these guys have watched me play all year, pretty much my whole career. At the end of the day, it’s one workout.”
  • Indiana center Thomas Bryant and BYU center Eric Mika were also part of Friday’s workout, Vivlamore notes in a separate story, along with Kansas guard Frank Mason, Kansas State guard Wesley Iwundu and Notre Dame small forward V.J. Beachem. Vivlamore believes the Hawks will be looking for size with the No. 19 pick (Twitter link).

Pacific Notes: David West, Jerry West, Kings, Bell

No one gave up more to be part of this year’s NBA Finals than the WarriorsDavid West, writes Michael Grange of Sportsnet. The 37-year-old turned down a $12MM player option with the Pacers in 2015 to pursue a ring, signing veteran’s minimum contracts with San Antonio and Golden State. Grange estimates West could have earned about $20MM over the past two seasons if he had sought a long-term deal instead of a championship. “I’m 36 and I’ve been playing basketball for 30 years of my life and you get to a point where [The Finals] is the only environment, the only stage I haven’t been in,” West explained. “I’ve been in high school championships, played collegiately at a high level, but you want to get this final stage and it was an opportunity where personally I felt I had to jump at.

There’s more out of the Pacific Division:

  • The Warriors plan to meet with consultant Jerry West after the playoffs are finished to discuss his future with the team, according to Tim Kawakami of The San Jose Mercury News. West recently met with the Clippers to discuss a similar role in their organization and confirmed he received an offer. West has been with Golden State for six seasons and GM Bob Myers and owner Joe Lacob have said they want him to stay. However, West said isn’t sure if the team still needs his input now that it has risen to the top of the league.
  • Markelle Fultz‘s willingness to visit the Kings is a sign that Sacramento no longer has a toxic reputation among potential draftees, writes Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee. The Kings, who own picks No. 5 and 10, were only able to bring in one first-rounder, Vanderbilt’s Wade Baldwin, in last year’s pre-draft workouts. The team has already had sessions with Kentucky’s De’Aaron Fox, North Carolina’s Justin Jackson and Louisville’s Donovan Mitchell.
  • Texas center Jarrett Allen, another potential lottery pick, will have a private workout with the Kings today, the team announced on its website. Also on today’s schedule is a group session with SMU’s Semi Ojeleye, St. Mary’s Joe Rahon, Loyola’s Milton Doyle, Texas A&M Corpus Christie’s Rashawn Thomas, BYU’s Eric Mika and Central Florida’s Matt Williams.
  • The Suns are intrigued by Oregon’s Jordan Bell, who worked out for the team Friday, relays Scott Bordow of The Arizona Republic. Bell, who compares himself to Draymond Green, enhanced his reputation when he blocked eight shots in an NCAA Tournament win over Kansas. “I very much take pride in my defense,” Bell said. “That’s what I hang my hat on every time I step on the floor. I think my ability to guard perimeter players, switch on screens and keep people in front of me is definitely something that will help me in the long run and keep me in the league for a long time.”

Western Notes: Warriors, Lakers, Mavs, Spurs

In the wake of the Warriors‘ Game 3 win over the Cavaliers, Cleveland may have to face the harsh reality that there will be no stopping Golden State for the next few years, writes Chris Mannix of The Vertical. As Mannix explains, there aren’t many obvious routes the Cavs can take to upgrade their roster, and the Warriors should have no trouble attracting ring-chasing veterans every year — this season, productive vets like David West and Zaza Pachulia were willing to take reduced salaries to join the Dubs.

Meanwhile, fans of rival teams may hope that the Warriors’ four core players get too expensive for the team to keep them all, but that’s unlikely to happen anytime soon. Klay Thompson has been the star most frequently cited as the potential victim of a Warriors cap crunch, and acknowledged to Mannix that he has thought about one day being the face of another franchise. However, he added: “It’s just winning is so much fun.”

Here’s more from around the Western Conference:

Central Rumors: Wade, Bucks, Teague, Butler

Most people around the Bulls organization expect shooting guard Dwyane Wade to opt in for next season, according to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune. Wade will make $23.8MM if he stays put and declines to re-enter the free agent market. Wade’s role for next season could be a determining factor, as Johnson notes that Wade often served as the anchor to the second unit in second-quarter situations. Coach Fred Hoiberg alienated Joakim Noah during the 2015/16 campaign by demoting him to the second unit, Johnson adds. Wade has until June 27th to decide whether to enter the free agent market, Johnson relays via The Vertical’s Bobby Marks.

In other developments around the Central Division:

  • North Carolina center Tony Bradley and BYU center/power forward Eric Mika were among the players who worked out for the Bucks on Tuesday, Gerry Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times tweets.
  • The Pistons will ideally draft a knock-down 3-point shooter or a perimeter player who can make plays off the dribble with the No. 12 overall pick, as Keith Langlois of Pistons.com details.
  • The Pacers need to re-sign Jeff Teague but the cost will be substantial, according to Jay Siskin of AmicoHoops.net.  Teague, who made $8MM this past season, will get a huge raise as he heads into the free agent market for the first time. While Teague enjoys playing for his hometown team, point-guard starved teams such as the Nets, Magic, Mavericks and Knicks could make runs at him and drive up his pricetag, Siskin adds.
  • Jimmy Butler‘s contract is a bargain for an All-Star player, which is a big reason why the Bulls should hold onto him, Marks writes in his Summer Agenda series. Butler has three years and $56MM remaining on his contract, with the final year being a player option. The uncertainty surrounding Butler has more to do with franchise’s questionable roster decisions and coaching changes rather than Butler’s productivity, Marks adds.

Draft Notes: Fall, Jones, Haas

Tacko Fall had a workout with the Magic today. He will work out for the Jazz and he may schedule one with the Rockets as well, according to Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel (Twitter links). The University of Central Florida center has previously worked out for the Celtics.

Fall is testing the draft waters but has until May 24 to make a final decision. The 7’6″ big man is the 92nd best prospect in the upcoming draft, according to Jonathan Givony of Draft Express.

Here’s more on upcoming draft:

  • Andrew Jones is leaning toward staying at Texas for another season, sources tell Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Givony has Jones as his 54th best prospect.
  • Isaac Haas will return to Purdue for his senior season, the university announced on its website“After going through the NBA evaluations and workouts with multiple teams, I have had many long discussions with my family and the Purdue coaching staff. We came to the decision that it’s best that I come back to Purdue and help bring Purdue to a better place than last year for my senior year,” Haas said.
  • BYU’s Eric Mika will sign an agent and remain in the draft, according to the school’s Twitter feed. Givony has Mika as 79th best prospect in the field.

Draft Workouts: Bucks, Knicks, Raptors, Kings, Lakers

With the lottery out of the way, pre-draft workouts are starting to intensify around the league. We bring you a roundup of several that we heard about today:

Draft Notes: Collins, Comanche, Combine, Jazz

Gonzaga big man Zach Collins is quickly rising up draft boards, tweets Jon Rothstein of Fanrag Sports. The 7’0″ freshman didn’t play a lot this season, but he has become a favorite of NBA scouts. Collins averaged 10.0 points and 5.9 rebounds in just 17.2 minutes per night for the national runners-up. He is ranked 12th in Jonathan Givony’s latest list of the top 100 prospects at DraftExpress and 11th by ESPN’s Chad Ford. Collins is the top-rated center on Ford’s list, while Givony has him one spot behind Jarrett Allen of Texas.

There’s more draft-related news today:

  • Sophomore big man Chance Comanche of Arizona has announced via Twitter than he plans to remain in the draft. He averaged 6.3 points and 3.6 rebounds this season and is a long shot to be drafted.
  • Cody Taylor of Basketball Insiders examines players who have gone on to NBA success after not receiving invitations to the draft combine. This year’s edition will be held this week in Chicago.
  • Kentucky guard Hamidou Diallo may be the best athlete at the combine, an NBA executive tells Rothstein (Twitter link). Diallo is projected to go early in the second round by both Givony and Ford.
  • Three Michigan players are headed to the combine, writes James Hawkins of The Detroit NewsMoritz Wagner and D.J. Wilson, who entered the draft without hiring agents, both received invitations, along with senior Derrick WaltonAnother Wolverines senior, Zak Irvin, also has draft aspirations but wasn’t invited to the combine.
  • Wagner will be among six players working out for the Jazz on Sunday, according to a tweet from the team. Joining him will be LSU’s Antonio Blakeney, UCLA’s Aaron Holiday, Florida State’s Xavier Rathan-Mayes, Georgetown’s L.J. Peak and BYU’s Eric Mika.

Draft Updates: Bacon, Peak, Adel, Mika

Florida State forward Dwayne Bacon has decided to enter the 2017 NBA draft, he announced today on Twitter. Although Bacon didn’t explicitly state that he’ll hire an agent and forgo his remaining years of NCAA eligibility, the 21-year-old sophomore didn’t sound like a player who plans to return to school next year.

“This organization has been instrumental in my path and as I look to embark on my professional career, I will carry the many lessons learned,” Bacon said in a statement. “We are truly family here and I’d like to thank Coach Ham, Coach C.Y., Coach Jones, Coach Gates, and the entire faculty and coaching staff for a great two years.”

Assuming Bacon does remain in the draft, as expected, he looks like a possible second-round pick. ESPN and DraftExpress have him ranked 56th and 57th, respectively, on their big boards.

Here are a few more draft-related updates:

  • Georgetown’s L.J. Peak will forgo his senior season in college, according to Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com, who reports that the junior forward intends to sign with an agent. DraftExpress ranks Peak as the No. 76 prospect on its big board.
  • We heard earlier today that Louisville’s Donovan Mitchell will test the NBA draft waters, but he’s not the only Cardinal who will declare his intent. Sophomore forward Deng Adel and junior forward Jaylen Johnson will also test the draft waters without agents, Louisville coach Rick Pitino tells Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv (Twitter link). Mitchell is the most promising prospect of the three, though Adel ranks 34th on DraftExpress’ list of top sophomores.
  • BYU sophomore Eric Mika will enter the 2017 NBA draft, but won’t hire an agent, tweets Jon Rothstein of FanRag Sports. While the 6’10” Mika will have the opportunity to test the draft waters, he could withdraw his name before May’s deadline.
  • With the Sweet 16 set to get underway on Thursday, Jonathan Tjarks of The Ringer identifies six under-the-radar NBA prospects to keep an eye on during this week’s NCAA games.