Grant Williams

Celtics Sign Grant Williams, Romeo Langford

The Celtics have signed Romeo Langford and Grant Williams, according to a team press release.

Langford was the No. 14 overall pick in this year’s draft. The wing spent one year at Indiana, where he scored 16.5 points per game on 44.8% shooting. He’ll make approximately $3.46MM in the first year of his rookie deal, assuming he signed for the typical 120% of the rookie scale.

Williams spent three seasons at Tennessee and was selected with the no. 22 overall pick in this year’s draft. During his junior season, he scored 18.5 points and swatted 1.5 blocks per game. The big man will make roughly $2.38MM during the 2019/20 season, assuming he also signed for the typical 120% of the rookie scale.

Atlantic Notes: Sixers, Draft, Anunoby

The Sixers want to select someone in the mold of Landry Shamet with the No. 24 overall pick.

“[Shamet has] always been an overcomer and mature and very very self-aware,” senior director of scouting Vince Rozman said (via Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer). “…I think those are the guys that tend to make it in that range, because they know their role and they know what’s going to be asked of them.”

Pompey suggests that Cameron Johnson fits the profile and speculates that the UNC product may slip in the draft because of his age. Johnson turned 23 in March.

Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:

Draft Updates: Bol, Claxton, Norvell, Green Room

As expected, Oregon center Bol Bol held a Pro Day on Wednesday in Los Angeles, according to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, who tweets that about a dozen NBA teams attended the event, including five general managers. Bol, who is viewed as one of the draft’s biggest high-risk, high-reward prospects, is coming back from surgery on his left foot and wanted to use the Pro Day to ease concerns about his health, says Givony.

Givony adds that Bol showed on Wednesday why he’s considered a top-five prospect in terms of talent, and Sam Vecenie of The Athletic (Twitter link) also hears from teams that the young big man looked good. However, Vecenie points out that the questions about Bol weren’t going to get answered in a non-contact open gym setting. He remains one of the draft’s most intriguing wild cards.

Here are a few more draft-related updates:

  • Georgia big man Nicolas Claxton has canceled and shut down all of his workouts for non-lottery teams, a source tells Vecenie (Twitter link). Claxton, who ranks 29th on ESPN’s big board, feels good about where he’ll be picked based on the feedback he’s received so far, per Vecenie.
  • Gonzaga guard Zach Norvell Jr., the 63rd prospect on ESPN’s big board, said today he’s been told he’s projected to be drafted in the 20-40 range, tweets Rod Beard of The Detroit News. Norvell also said that he’s had 15 workouts during the pre-draft process (Twitter link).
  • Two more draft prospects have been invited to the Green Room for next Thursday’s event, according to reports. Jonathan Givony of ESPN.com tweets that Georgian center Goga Bitadze has received an invite, while Evan Daniels of 247Sports.com adds Keldon Johnson (Kentucky) to the list (Twitter link). Sixteen other Green Room invitees were previously reported.
  • In addition to his previously-reported workouts, Cameron Johnson (UNC) has auditioned for the Timberwolves, Celtics, Thunder, Sixers, and Warriors, tweets Gery Woelfel of Woelfel’s Press Box.
  • ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, Mike Schmitz, and Kevin Pelton (Insider link) named several of their favorite draft sleepers, singling out Grant Williams (Tennessee), Dylan Windler (Belmont), and Zylan Cheatham (Arizona State), among others.

Southeast Notes: Heat, Hawks, Jerome, Vucevic

The Heat probably don’t have enough to offer to trade into the top 10 of the draft, Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald opines. Miami has the No. 13 pick and would likely have to get a third party involved in order to move up, Chiang continues, noting that the Heat can’t combine their first-rounder with their 2020 or 2022 first-round pick under current rules. Miami might be able to secure a future protected first-rounder if it trades down in the first round. If the club trades the pick without getting a first-rounder in return, the incentive would be to dump a big contract, Chiang adds.

We have more from around the Southeast Division:

  • The Hawks worked out six prospects on Friday, Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution tweets. The group included guards Jalek Felton (BC Nokia), Joshua Obiesie (Oliver Wurzburg) and Charles Matthews (Michigan), forwards Daulton Hommes (Point Loma) and Nikola Miskovic (Mega Bemax) and center Sagaba Konate (West Virginia).
  • Shooting guard Ty Jerome, a mid- to late first-round prospect, worked out for the Magic on Friday, Adam Zagoria of the New York Times tweets. Jerome is ranked No. 25 overall by ESPN’s Jonathan Givony. The Magic hold the No. 16 pick in the first round.
  • The Magic worked out Gonzaga forward Brandon Clarke on Wednesday, Josh Robbins of The Athletic tweets. Clarke is ranked No. 13 overall by Givony. Forwards Paul Eboua (Italy), Miskovic and Grant Williams (Tennessee) visited on the same day as well as point guards Chris Clemons (Campbell) and Jeremiah Martin (Memphis).
  • Magic center Nikola Vucevic will be highly coveted on the free agent market but he’ll strongly consider staying put in Orlando, Stefan Djordjevic of Eurohoops.net relays. “I’m satisfied in Orlando. This was our best season since I arrived,” Vucevic said. “Everything clicked with the arrival of the new coach. We advanced to the playoffs surpassing all expectations and everything’s fine on that side. I’ve also been reading that many are interested but to be honest, I don’t know which teams want me. When I see all the offers, I’ll think and decide.”
  • Taking on a bad contract or two in order to add draft picks might be a prudent strategy for the Heat next summer, Winderman writes in a commentary.

Atlantic Draft Workouts: Sixers, Knicks, Nets

The Sixers will bring some potential late-first round prospects on Saturday, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Tennessee power forward Grant Williams, ranked No. 30 overall by ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, and Villanova power forward Eric Paschall (No. 31) will visit, as well as Oregon forward Louis King (No. 51). They’ll be joined by Justin Robinson (Virginia Tech), V.J. King (Louisville) and Phil Booth (Villanova). The Sixers have the No. 24 pick in the first round and three early second-rounders (Nos. 33, 34 and 42).

We have more draft news regarding Atlantic Division teams:

  • The Sixers also worked out six prospects on Friday, Pompey tweets. That group included big man Christ Koumadje (Florida State) and Josh Sharma (Stanford) and guards Adam Mokoka (Serbian League), Zach Norvell Jr. (Gonzaga), Justin Simon (St. John’s) and Bryce Brown (Auburn).
  • Wofford 3-point specialist Fletcher Magee worked out for the Knicks on Friday, Adam Zagoria of the New York Times tweets. Louisville’s V.J. King also visited, Ian Begley of SNY TV tweets. St. John’s Justin Simon will also work out for the Knicks next Friday, Zagoria reports in another tweet.
  • Auburn’s Bryce Brown worked out for the Nets on Thursday, Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington tweets.

Warriors Notes: Cousins, Iguodala, Durant, Williams

DeMarcus Cousins felt like quitting the game after being sidelined by a torn quad in the Warriors‘ first-round series against the Clippers, according to an ESPN story. In an interview today on ESPN’s “The Jump,” Cousins talks about the frustration of suffering another injury so soon after recovering from a torn Achilles.

“I was just ready to quit,” he said. “Like, throw the towel in. … Human nature is the first thing. It’s like, ‘Why? Why me? Why now? What did I do wrong? Why do I deserve this?’ And that’s not always the case. It’s usually [that] it’s repaying you for the next moment. This is you putting your armor on. Slowly but surely. Because your next moment’s gonna be even tougher.”

Cousins’ return to action was gradual, as he played just eight minutes in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. But he was a key contributor in Game 2 with 11 points, 10 rebounds and six assists in 28 minutes. The injury-plagued Warriors may need more performances like that to pull out the series.

“I had to dig deep,” Cousins said of the recovery process. “I had to do some soul-searching and, you know, throughout both injuries, it was times where I just — you know, like, ‘Forget it.’ Like, I’ll just take my time with it and whatever happens, happens. … I just couldn’t go out that way.”

There’s more Warriors news as Game 3 approaches:

  • Andre Iguodala addresses the topic of retirement in an interview with Marc Stein of The New York Times about a book from the veteran forward that will be released this month. “I have a good idea how much longer I want to play,” Iguodala said. “I’m keeping it to myself, but it’s going to be soon. I can play four or five more years. But I won’t.” Iguodala, 35, has one more season on his current deal at nearly $17.2MM, so it seems safe to say he’ll at least be back next year.
  • Coach Steve Kerr told reporters that Kevin Durant had good workouts yesterday and today, but hasn’t attempted to play in three-on-three or five-on-five games, tweets Ben Golliver of The Washington Post. Durant will practice tomorrow with some of the team’s younger players in hopes of returning for Friday’s Game 4.
  • Add Golden State to the list of teams that brought in Tennessee’s Grant Williams for a pre-draft workout, tweets Josh Robbins of The Athletic.

Pacific Notes: Durant, Suns, Kings, Clippers

As relayed by The Associated Press, this Tuesday is the next time we may know more about a possible return of Warriors superstar Kevin Durant. Having already been ruled out for tonight’s Game 2, Wednesday night’s Game 3 marks the next opportunity for Durant’s return, but Tuesday is Golden State’s next practice.

Head coach Steve Kerr, having already said that Durant will need to practice before playing in a game, expounded upon his stance today, saying that Durant could potentially only need one day of practice to be cleared for game action.

“It’s really a day-to-day thing,” Kerr said “If we had a crystal ball, we would have known a long time ago what we were dealing with. But it’s just an injury (where) there’s been a lot of gray area. So, literally, it’s just day-to-day and how the progress is coming. And at this point he’s still not ready.”

But, when further pressed on the issue, and asked whether Durant will only need one practice, said “it’s feasible.” Accordingly, we should know a lot more on Tuesday as to whether Durant can return for Game 3.

There’s more from the Pacific Division this afternoon:

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:

Northwest Notes: J. Howard, Jazz, Nuggets, Noel

Before he reached a deal to become the new head coach of the Michigan Wolverines, Juwan Howard reportedly drew interest from the Timberwolves as they considered whether to retain head coach Ryan Saunders or go in a different direction.

While Minnesota ultimately opted to retain Saunders and Howard left the NBA for a college job, the Wolverines’ new head coach revealed today that the Timberwolves’ interest was real. According to Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog.com (via Twitter), Howard said that the Wolves offered him their associate head coach position – presumably under Saunders – but he declined. “My heart is with Michigan,” he said.

Let’s round up a few more items from around the Northwest…

Draft Notes: Bol, Williams, Herro, Smart

With the 2019 NBA Draft Combine now over, ESPN’s Mike Schmitz and Kevin Pelton discuss the 2019 NBA Draft prospects whose stock rose or fell over the weekend, beginning with Croatian forward Luka Samanic, whose performance in his first game at the combine was good enough for him to shut himself down and put his name squarely within the first-round conversation.

The other players who impressed scouts and improved their stock include Florida State’s Terance Mann, Georgia’s Nicolas Claxton, Nebraska’s Isaiah Roby, and LSU’s Tremont Waters. Pelton was particularly impressed by Waters’ ability to knock down the NBA-three-pointer from off the dribble, an important skill in today’s NBA for a point guard.

As for those prospects who may have lowered their value, the list begins with two very productive All-American college big men – Tennessee’s Grant Williams and Kansas’ Dedric Lawson. Per the ESPN scribes, both may have put too much emphasis on their developing outside games during 5-on-5 action.

Additionally, Western Kentucky big man Charles Bassey and Utah State big man Neemias Queta both underwhelmed, with Schmitz saying both need improvement in different areas of the game (e.g. skill, fluidity, motor) before being ready to contribute at the NBA level.

There’s more from the lead-up to this year’s NBA Draft this afternoon:

  • If the Wizards are interested in a high risk-high reward option with the No. 9 overall selection, Oregon’s Bol Bol may be an intriguing pick, writes Ben Standig of NBC Sports Washington.
  • Despite struggling at the combine, Grant Williams does not regret playing in the 5-on-5 sessions, telling Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer that he’s “not just trying to show I can shoot, I’m showing I can defend… Be out there and be that guy who was there to win, and cheering on his teammates… I know that defensively I could have been a little better contesting shots. Being analytical — like I normally am — I play different guys certain ways, and that bit me a little bit.” Williams was dinged a bit for only measuring in at 6’6” and potentially being caught up in the “tweener” label.
  • The Celtics have three first-round picks, and while they may not end up keeping all of them, one prospect to keep an eye on for one of their selections is Kentucky guard Tyler Herro. Herro spoke with Boston brass at the combine and said they will be among the handful of teams he will workout for leading up to the draft, per A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston.
  • LSU freshman guard Javonte Smart is withdrawing his name from the 2019 NBA Draft and returning for his sophomore season in Baton Rouge, tweets Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports.