Fardaws Aimaq

Kings Notes: Haliburton, Draft Workouts, Wagner

Kings guard Tyrese Haliburton is enjoying his experience with the U.S. Select Team, which is giving him a chance to test his skills against some of the NBA’s best players, writes Jason Jones of The Athletic. Haliburton had previous experience in the international format as part of the USA under-19 National Team while at Iowa State.

Haliburton has fully recovered from the hyperextended left knee that brought an early end to his first NBA season. Although he played just 58 games, he was an All-Rookie First Team selection and finished third in the Rookie of the Year voting. He has been working out in Sacramento for the past month and now gets to see how his expanded game fares against elite competition.

“For me to get out and use that stuff against other guys and see it work against them in live action, it helps a lot,” Haliburton said. “And just kind of seeing what other guys are working on at the same time, how other guys are improving. Just taking bits and pieces of that, putting that into my training and things like that.”

There’s more from Sacramento:

Draft Notes: Bagley, Preston, Aimaq, Baker

Marcus Bagley is the latest high-profile player to take his name out of the NBA draft. Bagley announced his decision this afternoon (Twitter link), saying he will explore his college options after playing for Arizona State last season.

“After talking to my family, I’ve decided to withdraw from the NBA draft and return to college, while remaining in the transfer portal,” Bagley wrote. “I want to continue working on different parts of my game and improve my draft stock for next year’s draft. I’m looking forward to returning to college and having a big season.”

Bagley, the younger brother of Marvin Bagley III of the Kings, averaged 10.8 points and 6.2 rebounds per game as a freshman with the Sun Devils. He was limited to 12 games because of injuries to his calf and ankle.

Bagley would probably have been selected in the mid-to-late part of the second round, tweets Jeff Goodman of Stadium, citing conversations with multiple NBA executives. Goodman believes Bagley made the right choice and can improve his chances next year by improving his body and becoming a more versatile scoring threat.

Bagley “more or less cratered” his draft stock with his performance at the combine, according to Jeremy Woo of Sports Illustrated (Twitter link). Teams questioned his decision to not participate in five-on-five games, and Woo states that he “didn’t leave a great impression” at his pro day.

There’s more on the draft as the NCAA deadline for decisions draws near:

  • Ohio guard Jason Preston has elected to stay in the draft and will sign with Drew Gross of Roc Nation Sports, writes ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Preston ranks 43rd on ESPN’s list of the top 100 prospects and is moving up draft boards after a strong showing at the combine, Woj adds. Considered one of the top playmakers in the draft, Preston averaged 15.7 points, 7.3 rebounds and 7.3 assists for the Bobcats last season.
  • Fardaws Aimaq of Utah Valley will withdraw from the draft and return to school, tweets Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports. The 6’11” center was named Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year in the WAC.
  • Senior guard Geo Baker announced in a video posted to Twitter that he will return to Rutgers for the extra season of eligibility being offered by the NCAA. “Although last year was historic, the way it ended still doesn’t sit well with me,” he said. “We still have some unfinished business to take care of and I’m excited to get to it with Rutgers nation by my side. I’m back.”

Draft Notes: Griffin, Robinson, Stevenson, More

Syracuse swingman Alan Griffin won’t be returning to the Orange for his senior year, having opted to go pro and forgo his remaining college eligibility. Griffin announced the decision in a video on Twitter, as Mike Waters of Syracuse.com relays.

After spending two years at Illinois, Griffin transferred to Syracuse for his junior season and emerged as a starter, averaging 13.3 PPG 5.8 RPG, and 1.6 BPG in 28 games (29.3 MPG).

Here are a few more draft-related updates: