- Warriors All-Star point guard Stephen Curry has been a solid voice of reason amidst the coronavirus chaos, as Ann Killion of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Curry hosted an informative 30-minute Q&A on his Instagram with Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
- During an appearance on Dell and Sonya Curry’s podcast Raising Fame, Klay Thompson‘s father Mychal Thompson talked about the respect that his son has for Warriors teammate Stephen Curry, as Josh Shrock of NBC Sports Bay Area relays. “He has said it to me in private that he loves playing with Steph and he wants to retire as a Warrior after another 10 years,” the elder Thompson said.
Dotson, who will turn 26 in May, has spent his first three NBA seasons with the Knicks, appearing in 165 games and averaging 7.8 PPG on .419/.361/.721 shooting in 20.1 minutes per contest. Because he only has three years of experience, he can be made a restricted free agent at season’s end if the Knicks give him a qualifying offer worth just over $2MM.
However, as Berman notes, it’s unclear whether New York will make an effort to re-sign Dotson to a new deal. The new management group isn’t the one that drafted him, and he had fallen out of the rotation prior to the NBA’s hiatus, appearing in just one of the Knicks’ last nine games.
“That seemed (to be) the writing on the wall,” one NBA scout told Berman. “You’d think they’d be still trying to develop him.”
Former Knicks head coach David Fizdale, who lauded Dotson’s “work ethic, leadership qualities, and toughness,” also praised the youngster’s willingness to be coached and expressed to Berman that the 6’5″ wing has a promising NBA future.
“He’s a game shooter and improved his handle and as a finisher,” Fizdale said. “He’s a good rebounding guard, but he still has to improve defensive awareness on the weak side. Overall he’s a solid NBA player.”
Killian Hayes, who skipped college basketball to play professionally in Germany, might be the answer the Knicks are looking for at point guard, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. Hayes was born in Florida, but has spent much of his life in France, where his father was a pro.
“He’s got good size for a young point guard, close to 6’5″, and he’s got a feel for the game,’’ said former Sixers general manager Brad Greenberg, who has spent several years coaching in Europe. “He’s used to having the ball in his hands and playing in a ball-screen offense. A very nice feel.’’
Hayes, who turns 19 in July, is ranked 10th in ESPN’s latest list of draft prospects and is the third point guard on the board behind LaMelo Ball and Tyrese Haliburton. Under the current standings, the Knicks’ pick could be as high as No. 1 and as low as No. 10.
There’s more draft news to pass along:
- Arizona’s Nico Mannion makes sense for the Suns if they opt for a point guard in the draft, contends Jeremy Cluff of The Arizona Republic. Cluff rounds up draft projections for Phoenix, which is currently slotted at No. 10. Ricky Rubio is under contract for two more years, but he’s 29 and the Suns may be looking for his long-term replacement.
- Despite an adjusted pre-draft schedule that has already resulted in the cancellation of the NCAA Tournament and the Nike Hoop Summit, the Warriors believe they will be prepared whenever the draft arrives, according to Wes Goldberg of The San Jose Mercury News. Assistant general manager Larry Harris said the team was about 90% done with its evaluations when the sports world was shut down last week, adding that everything else would have been “finishing touches.”
- Seton Hall forward Sandro Mamukelashvili plans to declare for the draft without hiring an agent, reports Adam Zagoria of NJ.com. The 6’11” junior averaged 11.9 points and 6.0 rebounds per game this season. “It’s a great opportunity to see where he is at and where we go from here,” Pirates coach Kevin Willard said. “The draft process now helps kids make educated decisions and we are looking forward to going through the process with him.”
- The Warriors will likely sign a veteran free agent wing during the offseason using the taxpayer mid-level exception, Anthony Slater of The Athletic speculates. Maurice Harkless, Jae Crowder, Josh Jackson, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Marvin Williams are possibilities, as is a reunion with Glenn Robinson III. Among members of the current roster, Damion Lee is the most likely to stick behind Andrew Wiggins and Klay Thompson, Slater adds.
- The Warriors will be looking in the lottery for a player who can jump right into their rotation, Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area reports. The team’s director of player personnel, Larry Harris, told Poole of the plan. “Yes, we’ll try to find someone who can come in play right away,” Harris said. “But we also know that when you’re picking this high, a lot of guys are 18, 19, 20 years old. To expect them to come in and be contributors right away, we’re not so naive to think it won’t take time. But we feel there are some players in this draft, up high, that have the ability to come in and play some minutes.”
- Michael Grange of Sportsnet details the journey that Canadian player and Warriors guard Mychal Mulder has taken from Windsor, Ontario, to the NBA. If not for the NBA’s postponement, the Warriors were scheduled to play in Toronto and nearby Detroit this week. Earlier this month, the Warriors signed Mulder to a multi-year deal.
As the NBA waits to see if resuming regular-season play will be possible, the league is also considering the possible impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the next two events on its schedule: The NBA draft lottery and combine.
Marc Berman of the New York Post reported on Tuesday that the lottery and combine could be next on the proverbial “chopping block.” The draft lottery is tentatively scheduled for May 19 in Chicago, while the combine is scheduled for May 21-24.
However, if the league doesn’t return to play for another two or three months, then both events would have to be canceled or pushed back. That being said, Berman writes that the NBA has not made any final decisions about the draft lottery or the combine.
On Tuesday, we looked at the potential lottery odds for the 14 teams in contention for the first overall draft pick.
Here’s more on what’s happening with the NBA:
- Marc Stein of the New York Times explains why the NBA wants to resume the season instead of moving onto next season. As Stein writes, the desire to crown a champion and avoid more substantial revenue losses are among the league’s concerns.
- At least three teams (the Kings, Bucks, and Warriors) wanted the NBA to take a hiatus before last Wednesday’s games were played, writes Jeff Zillgitt of USA TODAY. In his story, Zillgitt also details NBA commissioner Adam Silver’s thought process behind shutting down the league.
- ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Tuesday that the NBA is planning to raise its credit line to $1.2 billion to help with the extended shutdown due to the coronavirus. Wojnarowski adds that the league’s credit line was previously $650MM.
Unlike a handful of other NBA teams, the Warriors haven’t had any of their players tested for the coronavirus, as Mark Medina of USA Today writes. The franchise hasn’t had any players show symptoms of COVID-19 and is wary of the fact that tests aren’t widely available to the general public at this time.
“We’ve been told that testing’s in short supply,” Warriors president of basketball operations Bob Myers said on Tuesday. “We’re treating ourselves like people, which is what we are. We’re not better than anybody. We’re not worse. We’re just a basketball team, like any company. Right now, we’re not interacting with anybody. I’ve been told by our doctors that we shouldn’t be testing asymptomatic people in California.”
With the city of San Francisco advising people to stay at home except for essential needs, the Warriors’ facility is closed for workout purposes, but the team has remained in daily communication with its players, and is prepared to take action if players start showing symptoms. For now though, that hasn’t been the case.
“Every team’s responsibility is to check in with their players each day and staff members or anybody for that matter, even me, to report symptoms,” Myers said, per Medina. “So we’re doing that. But outside of that, we’re not mandating, nor do I think we should be at this time until testing becomes more available that everybody gets tested.”
Here’s more on the Warriors:
- The club has allowed three unnamed players to travel out of the Bay Area this week, Myers said on Tuesday (per Medina). The NBA is allowing players to leave their team’s market as long as they get approval to do so and remain in contact with the franchise.
- With the Warriors completely “shut down,” Myers acknowledged that an injured player like Klay Thompson doesn’t have access to the team’s facilities for rehab purposes. “Yes, that’s the thing,” Myers said, according to Anthony Slater of The Athletic (Twitter link). “It’s hard. Privately by himself. Maybe with one of the trainers at his house.”
- Myers said the Warriors aren’t concerned about losing their $17MM+ traded player exception from last summer’s Andre Iguodala deal, which is currently scheduled to expire after July 7. “I imagine that they’ll figure that out,” Myers said, suggesting the expiry date would likely be adjusted (Twitter link Nick Friedell of ESPN). ESPN’s Bobby Marks wrote earlier today that those TPE expiry dates seem likely to be pushed back along with the start of the 2020/21 league year.
Earlier today, we explored what the lottery odds for the 2020 NBA draft would look like if the regular season doesn’t resume. We’re now applying that hypothetical to another aspect of the draft and examining which traded 2020 picks would and wouldn’t change hands based on the current standings.
Our projections below assume that the NBA will sort its standings by winning percentage in scenarios where teams haven’t played the same number of games this season. Again, this is just a hypothetical exercise — if the season resumes, the order below would likely change.
With that in mind and with the help of our reverse standings, let’s take a closer look at where this year’s traded draft picks would land if the NBA has played its last regular season game of 2019/20.
- Minnesota Timberwolves (from Nets)
- Boston Celtics (from Grizzlies)
- Brooklyn Nets (from Sixers)
- Note: Could be No. 20 depending on random tiebreaker.
- Milwaukee Bucks (from Pacers)
- Note: Could be No. 19 depending on random tiebreaker.
- Philadelphia 76ers (from Thunder)
- Note: Could be No. 22 depending on random tiebreaker.
- Denver Nuggets (from Rockets)
- Note: Could be No. 21 depending on random tiebreaker.
- Oklahoma City Thunder (from Nuggets)
- New York Knicks (from Clippers)
- Boston Celtics (from Bucks)
- Golden State Warriors (to Nets; top-20 protected)
- Cleveland Cavaliers (to Pelicans; top-20 protected)
- Utah Jazz (to Grizzlies; top-7 and 15-30 protected)
- The Thunder pick would be the one worth watching closest if the season does resume. It’s top-20 protected, so OKC would keep it if it were to move up a spot or two, sending the Sixers second-round picks in 2022 and 2023 instead.
- Dallas Mavericks (from Warriors)
- Charlotte Hornets (from Cavaliers)
- Philadelphia 76ers (from Hawks)
- Sacramento Kings (from Pistons)
- Philadelphia 76ers (from Knicks)
- Washington Wizards (from Bulls)
- New York Knicks (from Hornets)
- New Orleans Pelicans (from Wizards)
- Memphis Grizzlies (from Suns)
- Boston Celtics (from Nets)
- Chicago Bulls (from Grizzlies)
- Golden State Warriors (from Mavericks)
- Atlanta Hawks (from Rockets)
- Note: Could be No. 51 depending on random tiebreaker.
- Sacramento Kings (from Heat)
- Golden State Warriors (from Jazz)
- Brooklyn Nets (from Nuggets)
- Charlotte Hornets (from Celtics)
- Philadelphia 76ers (from Lakers)
- New Orleans Pelicans (from Bucks)
- Indiana Pacers (to Nets; 45-60 protected)
- Portland Trail Blazers (to Nets; top-55 protected)
- The Hawks will receive the more favorable of Houston’s and Miami’s second-round picks, while the Kings will receive the less favorable of those two picks. Those two picks could end up right next to one another, since the Rockets (40-24) and Heat (41-24) have nearly identical records.
- The Celtics’ pick looks like it will be one of the rare second-rounders with heavy protection that will actually change hands. Boston would have kept it if it had fallen in the top 53.
While the NBA hopes that resuming the 2019/20 season will be possible, there are scenarios in which the league could proceed directly to the postseason or has to cancel the rest of the ’19/20 campaign entirely. If such measures are necessary, it would mean that the NBA’s current standings will be its final standings.
It’s tricky to say exactly what that would mean for an event like the 2020 NBA draft, which hinges in large part on the previous season’s standings. After all, some teams have played as few as 64 games, while others have played as many as 67.
Teams like the Hawks (20-47) and Cavaliers (19-46) are an equal number of games back of the clubs ahead of them the standings, but Atlanta has the better winning percentage. Presumably, that would mean Cleveland moves ahead of the Hawks in the projected draft order and for lottery odds purposes. Based on winning percentage, the Cavs would also have better lottery positioning than the Timberwolves (19-45), despite having the same number of wins.
With that in mind, we’re looking today at what the lottery odds would be if the NBA’s regular season doesn’t resume and the league ranks its teams by winning percentage. It’s a hypothetical exercise, but one which could become increasingly relevant the longer the league’s hiatus extends.
For a full breakdown of how the NBA draft lottery works, be sure to check out our glossary entry on the subject. The standard odds chart for the new draft lottery format is included in our glossary entry, but the numbers in that chart don’t quite match up with 2020’s lottery, since the Kings and Pelicans currently have identical records. That tie would impact the odds for this year’s lottery.
With the help of our reverse standings and data from Tankathon.com – which is worth bookmarking for all sorts of draft-related info – we’ve listed the new, hypothetical odds for 2020 in the chart below.
The numbers in the chart indicate percentages, so the Warriors, for example, have a 14% chance of landing the No. 1 pick and a 47.9% chance of ending up at No. 5. If a team’s odds are listed as >0, that percentage is below 0.1%.
Here’s the full chart:
* The Kings and Pelicans have matching 28-36 records and would be subject to a random tiebreaker to determine which team gets the No. 12 slot and which gets No. 13. Their spots in this list (and their odds) could be flipped.