Grayson Allen

Northwest Notes: Allen, Nuggets, Harkless, Allen

Trail Blazers owner Paul Allen announced in a press release that he is once again being treated for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.  Allen was treated for the same cancer in 2009. Allen says he will remain involved in the operations of Trail Blazers as well as the NFL’s Seahawks and his other business ventures.

The statement reads in part, “A lot has happened in medicine since I overcame this disease in 2009. My doctors are optimistic that I will see good results from the latest therapies, as am I. I will continue to stay involved with Vulcan, the Allen Institutes, the Seahawks and Trail Blazers, as I have in the past. I have confidence in the leadership teams to manage their ongoing operations during my treatment.”

We have more news from around the Northwest Division:

  • The Nuggets have most of their rotation players back from last season and that led to a productive first week of training camp, according to Christopher Dempsey of the team’s website. “I think the advantage that we have is continuity – year four, we know each other,” coach Michael Malone told Dempsey. “That’s already in. … We’re ahead of the curve. So, we have hit the ground running. We are, I think, ahead of a lot of teams because of the continuity that we have.”
  • Trail Blazers forward Maurice Harkless has been limited in camp by a left knee injury he suffered last March, Joe Freeman of The Oregonian reports. Harkless would like to play in a couple of preseason games and ease his way into the regular season. “I want to play in a couple,” he said. “I don’t want to just go out there and just go all out. It’s tough on the body. Coming from an injury, it’s probably not smart to do.”
  • Jazz rookie guard Grayson Allen made a promising preseason debut, as Jordan Hicks of Basketball Insiders examines. Allen scored 19 points off the bench against Australia’s Perth Wildcats, making 7-of-14 shots overall while going 5-for-9 on 3-point tries. Bench scoring was an issue for Utah last season and the Duke rookie could prove to be a significant asset in another postseason run, Hicks points out.

Jazz Sign First-Round Pick Grayson Allen

Guard Grayson Allen has signed his rookie contract with the Jazz, the team tweets.

The 6’6” Duke star was the 21st pick of the draft. Allen will receive approximately $2.07MM in the first year of the deal.

Allen averaged 15.5 PPG and 4.7 APG in his senior year and made 38% of his 3-point attempts during his college career.

Primarily a shooting guard, he will compete for minutes at both guard spots behind Ricky Rubio and Donovan Mitchell and perhaps get some playing time at small forward in smaller lineups.

Wolves Notes: Thibodeau, Towns, Aldrich, Patton

Timberwolves head coach and president of basketball operations Tom Thibodeau and General Manager Scott Layden hosted a news conference this afternoon to discuss tomorrow’s draft, upcoming free agency, and reports of Karl-Anthony Towns wanting out of Minnesota, reports Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune.

Despite reports of Towns’ unhappiness, Thibodeau says the relationship between the franchise and its star player is all well, telling reporters that everybody is in a good place.

 “Yeah, yeah. He’s doing quite well. And I love KAT. He has had a terrific start to his career… To get to where we are — obviously we’re not ultimately where we want to be, but it was a major step forward — you can’t do it individually. It’s got to be the whole group doing it together. And for the most part, I think we are in a good place.”

Regarding the draft, the Wolves own the No. 20 and No. 48 picks and Thibodeau said anything remains possible as the team tries to address their needs.

“It’s one of the few times through the year you have a chance to improve the club, so all options are open right now. We know there’s a great challenge in front of us. The shooting and the toughness, the defense and building the depth.”

As for free agency, Layden said that the team would concentrate more on the free agent market once July 1 draws closer, but that he knows the type of player Thibodeau looks for.

“We know the type of player we need to be in coach’s system and to succeed here. I think we have a real good understanding of that now. So whether it’d be trade, whether it be through free agency or the draft, we have a clear understanding of what type of players will fit here.”

There’s more out of Minneapolis:

  • In the same story, Zgoda says he expects the team to buy out backup center Cole Aldrich before the new league year begins next weekend. Aldrich is owed nearly $7MM in 2018/19, but only about $2MM is guaranteed, so the Wolves can significantly reduce his cap hit by cutting him. Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News confirms that the salary guarantee deadline for Aldrich is June 30.
  • Another backup center, Justin Patton, whom the Wolves used their first round selection on last year at No. 16, is finally working out after surgery, but Thibodeau says he will miss all summer and likely most of the fall as well, tweets Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic.
  • Krawczynski also tweeted that Layden believes the team is fortunate because their need for wings and shooting line up well with what prospects should still be available at No. 20 tomorrow night.
  • In a separate piece for the Star Tribune, Zgoda takes a look at the prospects the Wolves may be targeting with the No. 20 overall selection, including Grayson AllenDonte DiVincenzoKhyri Thomas, and Jacob Evans.

Celtics Notes: Smart, Okogie, No. 27 Pick

Even though Marcus Smart‘s contract is just a week and a half from expiring, he’s not obsessing about his market or the possibility of changing teams. Speaking to Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald today at his Young Game Changers camp, Smart said that he expects to remain a Celtic next season, but has been preoccupied with his mother’s health issues.

“I haven’t really put too much thought into the offseason free agency thing,” Smart said. “My No. 1 focus is on my family right now. I got a lot of stuff going on with my mom. Right now she needs all the positive thinking and brain capacity that we can give her. That’s what my mental focus is right now. So I really haven’t even given a thought about free agency. It’s the last of my concerns right now. There’s more important things than basketball.”

A Tuesday report suggested that the Mavericks could be a team that makes a run at Smart, a Texas native. However, despite his mother’s situation, moving closer to home won’t necessarily be a priority for Smart this summer, as Bulpett relays.

“No, that doesn’t weigh in,” Smart said. “Wherever I go, if that’s here (Boston) or wherever that’s at, my mom’s going to be ecstatic. She’s going to support me, although being away from her is hard. But she understands.”

Here’s more on the C’s:

  • Georgia Tech’s Josh Okogie worked out for the Celtics today and is generating a lot of interest from teams in the 16-28 range in tomorrow’s draft, league sources tell Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog.com (Twitter link).
  • Mark Murphy of The Boston Herald confirms (via Twitter) that Okogie will “be in serious play” at No. 27 for the Celtics, adding that Jerome Robinson (Boston College) and Grayson Allen (Duke) fit that bill too. However, Robinson isn’t expected to be available that late, and Allen is increasingly likely to be off the board by then too, Murphy notes.
  • Icelandic big man Tryggvi Hlinason and Michigan’s Moritz Wagner are among the other prospects the Celtics have auditioned this week, tweets Murphy.
  • Earlier today, we relayed an interesting piece from Zach Lowe of ESPN.com, who took a deep dive into a potential Celtics offer for Kawhi Leonard, the team’s championship window, Jaylen Brown‘s potential, and more.

Central Draft Notes: Bulls, Bucks, Pistons

The Bulls have the pieces to move into the Top 5 of the draft but it’s unknown whether they like any prospect enough to do that, according to Mark Strotman of NBC Sports Chicago. The Bulls could package their picks at No. 7 and No. 22 and power forward Bobby Portis to make a deal with the Hawks at No. 3 or the Grizzlies at No. 4. Memphis, though, might want to unload Chandler Parsons contract, in which case the Bulls probably wouldn’t have to include Portis, Strotman continues. With Lauri Markkanen the long-term solution at power forward, the Bulls can afford to deal Portis, who might become a restricted free agent next summer if he doesn’t receive a contract extension, Strotman adds.

In other draft-related musings involving Central Division clubs:

  • If the Bulls retain their No. 22 pick, they should avoid Duke sharpshooter Grayson Allen and Villanova big man Omari Spellman, Scott Phillips of NBC Sports Chicago opines. Allen’s temperamental behavior during his college career is something the Bulls don’t need with an already young roster, while Spellman’s skills do not complement Markkanen because he’s not a rim protector, Phillips continues. De’Anthony Melton (USC), Mitchell Robinson (Western Kentucky) and Anfernee Simons are three other late first-round prospects the Bulls should pass on, Phillips adds.
  • The Bucks could select Michigan big man Moritz Wagner with the No. 17 pick, Gery Woelfel of WoelfelsPressBox.com speculates. The Bucks need a physical frontcourt player who can shoot from outside and Wagner would bring that, Woelfel continues. While most draft experts peg Wagner as a late first- or early second-round selection, he could move into the middle of the first round because of his offensive skills, Woelfel adds.
  • Missouri State forward Alize Johnson and Purdue guard Dakota Mathias are two of the players the Pistons might consider with their second-round pick, according to Ansar Khan of MLive. Both players came in for workouts this week. Detroit traded away its first-round pick in the Blake Griffin deal with the Clippers.

Draft Updates: Z. Smith, Huerter, Allen, Brunson

The Lakers are “super infatuated” with Zhaire Smith and have held several meetings with the Texas Tech guard, tweets Bryan Kalbrosky of HoopsHype. Smith has worked out for a number of teams, but L.A. is excited about his potential fit in its backcourt.

The Lakers, who don’t pick until No. 25, will have to trade up to have a shot at Smith. The 19-year-old averaged 11.3 points per game as a freshman with the Red Raiders and is projected to go to the Suns with the 16th selection in the latest mock draft compiled by ESPN’s Jonathan Givony.

There’s more draft-related news to pass along:

  • Maryland’s Kevin Huerter, a potential first-round pick, is expected to miss two months after having surgery to fix torn ligaments in his right hand, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. Projected at No. 21 in Givony’s mock draft, Huerter has been rising on draft boards since an impressive performance at the combine. He averaged 14.8 points per game for the Terrapins and shot 41.7% from 3-point range.
  • Duke’s Grayson Allen will work out for the Timberwolves Thursday, tweets Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News. Allen has already auditioned for the Sixers, Celtics, Lakers and Jazz, among others, and made a strong impression at the combine and his pro day.
  • Donte Ingram of Loyola-Chicago will also take part in a session Thursday with the Wolves, Wolfson adds (Twitter link). Ingram had a recent workout with the Grizzlies.
  • Oklahoma’s Trae Young will work out for the Bulls on Thursday, tweets ESPN’s Nick Friedell.
  • Villanova’s Jalen Brunson will have an individual workout for the Pacers Thursday, the team announced on its website.
  • Six players will work out for the Nuggets Thursday, tweets Gina Mizell of The Denver Post. Scheduled to attend are UCLA’s Thomas Welsh, Idaho’s Victor Sanders and Iowa State’s Donovan Jackson, along with Dayon Goodman of Westminster (Utah), Todd Withers of Queens (North Carolina) and Tryggvi Hlinason of Valencia Basket.
  • European sources are confident that Serbian center Dusan Ristic will be taken as a draft-and-stash player, according to Orazio Cauchi of Sportando (Twitter link).

Draft Updates: Bamba, Jackson Jr., Sexton, Knox

Texas center Mo Bamba got high praise from the Suns after working out for the team Saturday, relays Scott Bordow of The Arizona Republic. Phoenix is very likely to take another center, Arizona’s DeAndre Ayton, with the top pick, but GM Ryan McDonough believes Bamba has a bright NBA future, comparing him with Defensive Player of the Year finalist Rudy Gobert.

“At 20 years old, I think he’s ahead of where Rudy was,” McDonough said. “Now Rudy has made tremendous strides over the last three or four years. I think the question for Mo will be, can he build out his body like Rudy has? But in terms of measurements, they’re similar and in terms of willingness and desire to anchor a defense and protect the rim, they’re similar. It’s a great comp for Mo.”

There’s more draft news to pass along:

  • Bamba is part of a series of top prospects the Suns are working out this week. Michigan State’s Jaren Jackson Jr. is in town today, the team announced on its website, following appearances by Ayton and Marvin Bagley III.
  • Bamba looks like the definition of a modern NBA center and could wind up being the best player in the draft, writes Jonathan Givony of ESPN. Bamba provides size, a draft combine record 7’10” wingspan, mobility and intelligence, Givony notes, but there are questions about his physical frame after putting on 30 pounds in three years and his uneven performance in college. “Although there’s no one I really pattern my game after, I am a firm believer in stealing stuff from other people,” Bamba said. “When I sat down with [ player development specialist Drew Hanlen], we watched a lot of Jo-Jo [Joel Embiid], we watched a lot of AD [Anthony Davis]. Guys who can step out and move their feet and create their own shot offensively as a 7-footer.”
  • Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert called Collin Sexton a “very interesting prospect” after getting an up-close look at the Alabama guard during a workout Saturday, relays Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com.
  • Kentucky’s Kevin Knox and Michigan State’s Miles Bridges worked out for the Knicks on Saturday, according to Marc Berman of The New York Post“I’m the second-youngest player in the draft this year, but that doesn’t mean anything,’’ said Knox, who is still 18. “It’s not an excuse. I’m in the NBA and I put my name in the draft for a reason — because I think I’m ready. My age has nothing to do with it.’’ Also participating in the workout were SMU’s Shake Milton, Miami’s Bruce Brown , Texas Tech’s Zhaire Smith and Kentucky’s Hamidou Diallo.
  • The Jazz are hosting six players for a session today, the team announced on Twitter. Attending will be Utah’s Justin Bibbins, Purdue’s Vince Edwards, Australia’s William McDowell-White, France’s Amine Noua, Marshall’s Ajdin Penava and Lincoln Memorial’s Emanuel Terry.
  • Duke’s Grayson Allen had to pull out of today’s workout with the Hawks after suffering a minor injury during warmups, tweets Michael Cunningham of The Journal-Constitution. Also at today’s session were Creighton’s Marcus Foster, Louisville’s Anas Mahmoud, Rhode Island’s E.C. Matthews, UNLV’s Brandon McCoy and Boston College’s Jerome Robinson.
  • The Hornets will host their sixth pre-draft workout Monday with Southeastern Louisiana’s Jordan Capps, Notre Dame’s Matt Farrell, Mercer’s Ria’n Holland, Xavier’s J.P. Macura, Illinois-Chicago’s Tai Odiase and Queens College’s Todd Winters scheduled to attend.

Eastern Draft Notes: Sixers, Bulls, Diallo, Raptors

The Sixers, who hold the 10th and 26th picks in the 2018 NBA draft, continue to take a closer look at potential early- and late-first-round picks. According to Michael Scotto of The Athletic (Twitter links), Philadelphia will have an interesting pair of prospects participating in a group workout next Monday when they bring in Miami guard Lonnie Walker and MSU forward Miles Bridges. Both players are considered potential lottery selections, making them options at No. 10.

Duke’s Grayson Allen, a possible candidate for the No. 26 pick, participated in a workout today for the Sixers, notes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. However, Allen – who will also work out for the Celtics on Friday, per Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald (Twitter link) – wasn’t the most notable person present at the session.

According to Pompey, embattled president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo was in attendance at today’s workout. While that doesn’t mean that the Sixers have made a decision one way or the other on Colangelo’s future, it certainly doesn’t seem like bad news for him.

Here’s more on pre-draft workouts from around the Eastern Conference:

Draft Workouts: Simons, Allen, Grizzlies, Knicks

IMG Academy guard Anfernee Simons, projected as a possible first-round pick, has a busy workout schedule leading up to the 2018 NBA draft. Having already auditioned for the Lakers, Trail Blazers, Suns, and Bulls, Simons will reportedly work out for the Magic as well, as we heard on Monday. During Simons’ Tuesday workout with the Lakers, he added several more teams to that list, confirming that he’ll also get a look from the Jazz, Knicks, Sixers, and Bucks, as Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN.com relays.

That workout with the Jazz will happen on Thursday, league sources tell Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune (Twitter link).

While Simons has a wide range of potential landing spots, ESPN’s Jonathan Givony has the youngster coming off the board at No. 38 to the Sixers in his latest mock draft.

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

Hawks Notes: No. 3, Bagley, Bamba, Allen

The Hawks own the No. 3 overall pick in the upcoming draft and figuring out who they’ll select is no easy feat. Jonathan Givony of ESPN.com has the team selecting Jaren Jackson Jr. out of Michigan State. The big man, who won’t turn 19 until mid-September, has a high ceiling and would be an ideal partner in the frontcourt alongside John Collins, Givony contends.

Both Jackson and Marvin Bagley III, a projected top-3 pick, will work out for the team next week, according to Michael Cunningham of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Twitter link).

[RELATED: Five Key Offseason Questions: Atlanta Hawks]

Luka Doncic won’t work out for the Hawks, as he’s not holding any individual workouts for teams ahead of the draft. Heading into lottery night, he appeared to be a lock to be selected in the top-2. However, the 19-year-old will likely be available when Atlanta picks based on the Kings’ reported disinterest in the Slovenian wing. It’s been reported that the Hawks are likely to pass on him as well.

Whoever is selected with the No. 3 pick is projected to make a starting salary of approximately $6.5MM. While we wait to see what the Hawks do with their selection, check out some notes from Atlanta:

  • Mohamed Bamba is tentatively scheduled to work out for the Hawks on June 14, Cunningham tweets. Grayson Allen and Trae Young are also expected to workout for the team next week.
  • The Hawks will have several prospects come into town on Wednesday, according to a team press release. Alize Johnson (Missouri State), George King (Colorado), Billy Preston (Bosnia), Omari Spellman (Villanova), Jared Terrell (Rhode Island) and Thomas Welsh (UCLA) will all visit Atlanta.
  • Atlanta has hired Nate Babcock to be a special assistant on coach Lloyd Pierce’s staff, Cunningham reports (via Twitter). The Hawks’ coaching staff is now complete.