Ethan Happ

Bulls Notes: Point Guard, Cap Room, Workouts

Finding a solution at point guard and making savvy additions in free agency will be among the Bulls‘ goals this offseason, writes Bobby Marks of ESPN.com (Insider link) in his preview of the team’s summer.

In Marks’ view, there’s a role for Kris Dunn in Chicago, but he’s probably not the long-term solution at point guard, so the club needs to use its No. 7 overall pick or a chunk of its cap space to address the position. Coby White as a possible option at No. 7, according to Marks, who says that if Chicago doesn’t draft a point guard, the club should set aside about $13-14MM of its cap room to try to get one in free agency.

Here’s more on the Bulls:

Southeast Draft Notes: Hornets, Hawks, Magic, Heat

The Hornets are one of multiple Southeast teams that has been busy this week scouting draft-eligible prospects. According to a pair of press releases from the club, Charlotte brought in six prospects for pre-draft workouts on Friday and will take a closer look at six more on Saturday.

Nassir Little (UNC) and Nickeil Alexander-Walker (Virginia Tech) were the headliners in Friday’s group for the Hornets, joined by Devontae Cacok (UNC-Wilmington), Tyler Cook (Iowa), Jordan Davis (Northern Colorado), and Matt Morgan (Cornell).

On Saturday, the Hornets will work out Jordan Bone (Tennessee), Oshae Brissett (Syracuse), Ethan Happ (Wisconsin), C.J. Massinburg (Buffalo), Isaiah Roby (Nebrasaka), and Simisola Shittu (Vanderbilt).

Here are a few more draft-related updates from out of the Southeast:

Heat Notes: Richardson, Haslem, Draft

The Heat decided to pull back in trade discussions when discussing a Josh Richardson-centered deal for Jimmy Butler last season, but the swingman won’t be untouchable in trade talks going forward, Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel relays in his latest mailbag.

Winderman writes that if Richardson is needed to complete a deal, he could be in a similar situation to Caron Butler‘s in the mid-2000s. Butler was included in the trade with the Lakers to bring Shaquille O’Neal to the Heat. Richardson, who will turn 26 in September, cooled off as a long-range marksman in 2018/19, making just 35.7% of his attempts from behind the arc. He’s under contract through the 2021/22 season (final year of the pact is a player’s option).

Here’s more from Miami:

  • Udonis Haslem could have a role as a consultant with the Heat, Winderman contends in the same piece. Haslem remains undecided about retiring as a player, though Winderman notes that he expects the power forward to actively remain with the Heat in some capacity regardless of his official decision. Former Heat center Alonzo Mourning trains with the team and instructs younger players, though he isn’t required to travel. That wouldn’t be a bad deal if Haslem decides to retire.
  • Kevin Porter Jr. (USC) will make a visit to Miami to work out for the Heat, a source tells Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Jackson writes that the team is intrigued by his scoring ability, athletism, and high ceiling.
  • Pat Riley and the Heat’s brass attended Priority Sports’ Chicago workout last week to see a handful of prospects, Jackson relays in the same piece. Gonzaga’s Brandon Clarke, Purdue’s Carsen Edwards, Maryland’s Bruno Fernando, Wisconsin’s Ethan Happ, Virginia’s Ty Jerome, Nebraska’s Isaiah Roby, Tennessee’s Admiral Schofield, DePaul’s Max Strus and Belmont’s Dylan Windler participated in drills. Jackson notes that Clarke is likely the only prospect in contention for the No. 13 overall pick.

Draft Workouts: Pistons, Sixers, Wolves, Kings

Centers Bruno Fernando (Maryland) and Daniel Gafford (Arkansas) were among the prospects the Pistons brought in on Tuesday, Rod Beard of the Detroit News tweets. Fernando is ranked the fifth-best center prospect by ESPN’s Jonathan Givony and No. 34 overall. Gafford is right behind him among centers and No. 38 overall. Detroit currently holds the No. 15 and No. 45 picks. Shooting guards Fletcher Magee (Wofford), SG Jaylin Walker (Kent State) and Ky Bowman (Boston College) and wing Cody Martin (Nevada) also visited the Pistons’ practice facility on Tuesday.

We have more draft workout info:

NBA Announces 80 Players For G League Elite Camp

The NBA has announced in a press release that 80 players are set to participate in its G League Elite Camp next week in Chicago from May 12-14. The event will include 40 prospects who are eligible for this year’s draft, as well as 40 standout prospects from the 2018/19 G League season.

Heading into this spring, the NBA revamped its G League Elite Camp, which in past years has simply showcased some of the NBAGL’s top performers.  That aspect of the event will still exist, but G League players will only participate in the first two days of the event.

The second half of the event will feature 40 draft-eligible prospects who aren’t among the 60 prospects invited to the actual draft combine. The list of participants was determined by an NBA team vote, and those prospects will work out and scrimmage during the final two days of the event — there will be no overlap with the G League portion of the event.

As this week’s announcement confirms, a select number of draft-eligible prospects participating l in the G League Elite Camp will also be invited to attend the combine itself, which takes place from May 15-19 in Chicago.

Here are the list of draft-eligible prospects who are expected to participate in the 2019 G League Elite Mini Camp, per the NBA:

  1. Tyus Battle (Syracuse)
  2. Bennie Boatwright (USC)
  3. Phil Booth (Villanova)
  4. Oshae Brissett (Syracuse)
  5. Bryce Brown (Auburn)
  6. Zylan Cheatham (Arizona State)
  7. Chris Clemons (Campbell)
  8. Amir Coffey (Minnesota)
  9. Tyler Cook (Iowa)
  10. Jarron Cumberland (Cincinnati)
  11. Aubrey Dawkins (Central Florida)
  12. Javin DeLaurier (Duke)
  13. Mamadi Diakite (Virginia)
  14. CJ Elleby (Washington State)
  15. Tacko Fall (UCF)
  16. Robert Franks (Washington State)
  17. Jared Harper (Auburn)
  18. Ethan Happ (Wisconsin)
  19. Dewan Hernandez (Miami)
  20. Amir Hinton (Shaw (NC))
  21. DaQuan Jeffries (Tulsa)
  22. Sagaba Konate (West Virginia)
  23. Matur Maker (Mississauga Prep (Canada))
  24. Terance Mann (Florida State)
  25. Caleb Martin (Nevada)
  26. Cody Martin (Nevada)
  27. Luke Maye (North Carolina)
  28. Trey Mourning (Georgetown)
  29. Andrew Nembhard (Florida)
  30. James Palmer Jr. (Nebraska)
  31. Josh Perkins (Gonzaga)
  32. Reggie Perry (Mississippi State)
  33. Jalen Pickett (Siena)
  34. Myles Powell (Seton Hall)
  35. Justin Robinson (Virginia Tech)
  36. Marial Shayok (Iowa State)
  37. Max Strus (DePaul)
  38. Lindell Wigginton (Iowa State)
  39. Kenny Wooten (Oregon)
  40. Justin Wright-Foreman (Hofstra)

Here are the 40 G League players set to participate in the G League Elite Camp:

  1. Josh Adams (Raptors 905)
  2. Jaylen Barford (Greensboro Swarm)
  3. Amida Brimah (Austin Spurs)
  4. Jared Brownridge (Delaware Blue Coats)
  5. Antonius Cleveland (Santa Cruz Warriors)
  6. Charles Cooke (Sioux Falls Skyforce)
  7. Cody Demps (Stockton Kings)
  8. Aaron Epps (Northern Arizona Suns)
  9. Abdul Gaddy (Oklahoma City Blue)
  10. John Gillon (Greensboro Swarm)
  11. Kaiser Gates (Windy City Bulls)
  12. Isaac Haas (Salt Lake City Stars)
  13. Johnny Hamilton (Grand Rapids Drive)
  14. Dusty Hannahs (Memphis Hustle)
  15. Zak Irvin (Westchester Knicks)
  16. Peter Jok (Northern Arizona Suns)
  17. Matt Jones (Stockton Kings)
  18. Marcus Lee (Sioux Falls Skyforce)
  19. Zach Lofton (Grand Rapids Drive)
  20. Tahjere McCall (Long Island Nets)
  21. Brandon McCoy (Wisconsin Herd)
  22. MiKyle McIntosh (Raptors 905)
  23. Jordan McLaughlin (Long Island Nets)
  24. Jaylen Morris (Erie BayHawks)
  25. Mychal Mulder (Windy City Bulls)
  26. Malik Newman (Canton Charge)
  27. Retin Obasohan (Northern Arizona Suns)
  28. Chinanu Onuaku (Greensboro Swarm)
  29. Norvel Pelle (Delaware Blue Coats)
  30. Darel Poirier (Capital City Go-Go)
  31. Billy Preston (Texas Legends)
  32. Desi Rodriguez (Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario)
  33. Kenneth Smith (Grand Rapids Drive)
  34. Richard Solomon (Oklahoma City Blue)
  35. Emanuel Terry (Sioux Falls Skyforce)
  36. Juan Toscano-Anderson (Santa Cruz Warriors)
  37. Dakarai Tucker (Rio Grande Valley Vipers)
  38. Andrew White III (Maine Red Claws)
  39. Thomas Wimbush (Long Island Nets)
  40. Todd Withers (Grand Rapids Drive)

Draft Decisions: Happ, Matthews, Gabriel, Riley

Draft decisions have been rolling in all day as we move closer to the 11:59pm Eastern deadline. While some prominent names such as Jontay Porter, PJ Washington, Brian Bowen, Tyus Battle and Lindell Wigginton have announced their choices, we’re still waiting to hear from prospects such as Kentucky’s Jarred Vanderbilt, Nevada’s Caleb Martin and Cody Martin and a few others.

Here are some of the players who reached decisions today:

  • Wisconsin’s Ethan Happ will return to the Badgers for his senior season, tweets Gery Woelfel of Woelfel’s Press Box. He averaged 17.9 points and 8.0 rebounds this season and was a first team All-Big 10 selection for the second straight year.
  • Charles Matthews will return to Michigan for his senior season, according to Tom Wywrot of MGoBlue.com. Matthews averaged 13.0 points per night in helping the Wolverines reach the national title game. “I learned a lot throughout this process, but my main focus will now be completing my education at Michigan and leading my teammates to more success next season,” he said.
  • Kentucky’s Wenyen Gabriel plans to sign with an agent and remain in the draft, relays Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports (Twitter link). He appeared in 38 games as a freshman, averaging 4.6 points and 4.8 rebounds.
  • Cody Riley will play another season at UCLA, Rothstein adds (Twitter link). Riley was held out the entire year after being involved in an alleged shoplifting incident in China.
  • Iowa’s Tyler Cook will also leave the draft, according to Rothstein (Twitter link). He averaged 15.3 points and 6.8 rebounds as a sophomore.
  • Noah Dickerson will return to Washington for another season, tweets ESPN’s Jeff Goodman. Dickerson earned first team All-Pac 12 honors as a junior, averaging 15.5 points and 8.4 rebounds per game.
  • Wyoming’s Justin James has withdrawn from the draft, according to a story on GoWyo.com. The 6’7″ guard averaged 18.9 points and 6.0 rebounds as a junior. “I received some very promising feedback from around the NBA,” James said. “I will continue to grow my game here in Laramie and put myself in position to live my dream and play at the next level following one more season playing for the Cowboys.”
  • Robert Franks will play his senior season at Washington State, tweets the school’s basketball program. Franks posted a 17.4/6.6/1.9 line this year.

Pistons Notes: Bower, GM Search, Draft Workouts

Earlier today, the Pistons made their first major hire since Stan Van Gundy‘s departure, finalizing a three-year agreement that makes former Grizzlies executive Ed Stefanski a senior advisor in Detroit. As we relayed in that story, Stefanski will have a major role in hiring a new GM and head coach, but before he does that, he intends to assess the Pistons’ current front office group, led by general manager Jeff Bower.

According to Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press (Twitter links), Stefanski – who knows Bower well – plans to meet with the GM and other members of the club’s front office on Tuesday.

“I’m going to spend a lot of time with Jeff Bower,” Stefanski said, per Ellis. “I respect him and I want to talk to him and I want to find out what he thinks of the situation there. Obviously he’s been there for four years and he’s been right at the pulse of everything.”

As we wait to hear how that meeting goes, let’s round up a few more Pistons-related notes…

  • The Pistons are in the market for a young, rising executive for their GM job, according to Ellis, who writes that the ideal candidate would become “the face of the franchise for a decade.” Ellis reports that the Pistons would “love” to explore hiring Thunder assistant GM Troy Weaver, but Weaver isn’t expected to be available.
  • While they’ll have plenty of competition, the Pistons figure to be in the market for an athletic, 3-and-D-type wing with the No. 42 pick in this year’s draft, says Keith Langlois of Pistons.com. That type of player is a hot commodity in today’s NBA, so the pickings may be slim for Detroit by the middle of the second round.
  • As Rod Beard of The Detroit News relays (via Twitter), the Pistons brought in six prospects for workouts today, auditioning Jaylen Adams (St. Bonaventure), Bogdan Bliznyuk (Eastern Washington), Ethan Happ (Wisconsin), Kelan Martin (Butler), Malik Pope (San Diego State), and Andrew Rowsey (Marquette).

Northwest Notes: Nuggets, Nurkic, O’Neale

While making a decision on Nikola Jokic‘s team option – and possible subsequent free agency – will be the Nuggets‘ top priority this offseason, the club will face several challenges in the coming weeks and months, writes Bobby Marks of ESPN.com (Insider link).

As Marks outlines, one of those challenges will be finding a way to bring back Will Barton next season, since it looks on paper like the Nuggets won’t be able to afford him. Still, with Wilson Chandler, Kenneth Faried, and Darrell Arthur all expected to be on expiring contracts in 2018/19, Denver shouldn’t worry too much about going over the tax line, according to Marks, who points out that the team should be able to cut costs when those veteran contracts expire in the summer of 2019. That would mean avoiding multiple years in tax territory.

Here’s more from around the Northwest:

  • Six prospects participated in the Nuggets‘ latest pre-draft group workout, according to Chris Dempsey of Nuggets.com, who provides the list (via Twitter): Tyler Cook (Iowa), Jon Elmore (Marshall), Ethan Happ (Wisconsin), Mustapha Heron (Auburn), Charles Matthews (Michigan), and Shamorie Ponds (St. John’s).
  • Frank Urbina of HoopsHype examines four potential landing spots for restricted free agent Jusuf Nurkic, identifying the Mavericks, Hawks, Wizards as possible suitors. However, Urbina writes that a return to the Trail Blazers is the most likely outcome for Nurkic.
  • Dakari Johnson didn’t play a whole lot in his rookie season, but he’s still just 22 years old and may still have a place in the Thunder‘s long-term plans, writes Brett Dawson of The Oklahoman.
  • After spending the 2017/18 season with the Jazz as an undrafted free agent, Royce O’Neale called his rookie year a “dream come true,” as Ryan McDonald of The Deseret News details. While O’Neale wasn’t a lock to stick with Utah for multiple years coming into the season, his $1.38MM non-guaranteed salary for 2018/19 looks like a bargain now, McDonald observes.

Draft Notes: DiVincenzo, Spellman, Walker, Bearden

Coach Jay Wright will recommend to Donte DiVincenzo and Omari Spellman that they return to Villanova if it doesn’t look like they’ll be drafted in the first round, according to Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv. DiVincenzo goes to the Mavericks at No. 33 in the latest mock draft compiled by ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, while Spellman isn’t projected to be taken. Players have until May 30 to make their decisions.

“Omari and Donte are out there to try to prove themselves as first-round picks,” Wright said of his players’ trips to the NBA Draft Combine. “For them, I hope they are. And I think this process has been good for them. I think they will get some good information.”

DiVincenzo met with the LakersMagicTimberwolvesTrail BlazersCavaliersSpursHawks and Grizzlies at the combine and said he received a lot of “positive feedback.” Spellman has upcoming workouts with the Lakers [May 23], Clippers [May 24], Spurs [26] and Jazz [28] that will likely influence his decision, Zagoria adds.

There’s more draft news as the deadline for decisions draws closer:

  • The Sixers may consider Miami guard Lonnie Walker at No. 10, writes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Walker met with Philadelphia officials Friday and was impressed by the experience. “It went well,” he said. “See a little bit of Elton Brand and all those guys, I felt like a little kid, seeing guys I watched on TV.” Givony has Walker projected at No. 13 to the Clippers.
  • Lamonte Bearden of Western Kentucky will sign with an agent and stay in the draft, tweets ESPN’s Jeff Goodman. The guard averaged 11.8 points and 3.4 assists as a redshirt junior.
  • Kent State’s Jaylin Walker tweeted that he will return to school for his senior season. He averaged 16.6 points per game for the Golden Flashes this season.
  • The Nuggets have pre-draft workouts scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, the team announced in an e-mail. Scheduled to appear at Monday’s session are Tyler Davis of Texas A&M, Cody Martin of Nevada, William McDowell-White of Brose Bamberg, Isaiah Reese of Canisius, Admiral Schofield of Tennessee and Reid Travis of Stanford. Tuesday’s schedule features Tyler Cook of Iowa, Jon Elmore of Marshall, Ethan Happ of Wisconsin, Mustapha Heron of Auburn, Charles Matthews of Michigan and Shamorie Ponds of St. John’s.

Draft Workouts: Hawks, Bucks, Spurs, Wolves

The Hawks, who hold four of the top 33 picks in this year’s draft, are bringing in six more prospects for pre-draft workouts on Friday. Jaylen Adams (St. Bonaventure), Tyler Hall (Montana State), Kevin Huerter (Maryland), Jo Lual-Acuil (Baylor), Doral Moore (Wake Forest), and Lindell Wigginton (Iowa State) will get a look from Atlanta, according to a team release.

Here are a few more updates on pre-draft workouts:

  • The Bucks are working out local standout Ethan Happ on Thursday, per Jeff Potrykus of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Happ, who averaged 17.9 PPG and 8.0 RPG for Wisconsin this past season, is testing the draft waters as a junior.
  • Chinese forward Abudushalamu Abudurexiti has already worked out for eight NBA teams this spring, according to Michael Scotto of The Athletic, who identifies the Nets, Mavericks, Lakers, Bucks, Suns, and Jazz as clubs that have taken a look at the youngster. Scotto’s piece is worth checking out in full for a closer look at the under-the-radar prospect.
  • The Spurs worked out Seton Hall big man Angel Delgado on Wednesday, tweets Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog.com. San Antonio also worked out Missouri’s Jontay Porter today, according to Aaron Reiss of The Kansas City Star (Twitter link).
  • Cincinnati forward Gary Clark will be among the prospects working out for the Timberwolves this week, tweets Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News. So will Jontay Porter, per Aaron Reiss (Twitter link).
  • Xavier senior Trevon Bluiett auditioned for the Timberwolves this week and has a workout lined up with the Warriors on Sunday, per Shannon Russell of The Athletic (Twitter link).