Gregory Echenique

Odds & Ends: Faverani, Mavs, Rockets, Heat

Signs seem to be pointing toward Brazilian center Vitor Faverani finally joining the Celtics, according to a staff report from the Boston Herald.  Faverani's Spanish team in Valencia issued a press release on Friday that the 25-year-old has officially told them that he is leaving the team to pursue his basketball career elsewhere.  The Celtics and Faverani agreed on a three-year, $6MM framework of a deal, but the contract was delayed due to the Celts' efforts to get below the luxury tax line of $71.7MM.  Here's more from around the Association..

  • Beckley Mason of the New York Times takes a very interesting look at the directions that the Mavericks and Rockets are going in.  The Mavs are employing a similar strategy to Daryl Morey & Co. which may not be glamorous in the short term, but its a gameplan that ultimately brought Dwight Howard to Houston.
  • With Mike Miller out of the picture, the Heat have to find a rotation player who can help produce when Dwayne Wade's knees are acting up, opines Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel.
  • Former Rutgers and Creighton big man Gregory Echenique is signing with a German team, but his deal will come with an NBA out clause, sources tell Sportando.

Draft Notes: Nets, Hawks, Franklin, Oladipo

Earlier today, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reported that the Nuggets have made their first-round pick (27th overall) available via trade, in the hopes of acquiring a future first-rounder or moving down to the second round. But it sounds like Denver isn't the only team potentially interested in such a deal. Wojnarowski tweets that the more he talks to teams drafting in the late-20s, the less enthusiasm he hears from them about keeping their picks. Here are more draft news, notes, and rumors, with just over 72 hours remaining until things get underway:

  • Nets GM Billy King echoes Wojnarowski's point, telling Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News (Twitter link) that plenty of GMs are looking to trade out of the draft, but they may not have many willing trade partners.
  • The Hawks are interested in using their 17th and 18th overall picks in an attempt to move up in the draft, reports Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports. According to Spears, Atlanta has had trade conversations with at least one team picking in the top five. Spears adds that the Hawks, who will have a final workout tomorrow featuring Jamaal Franklin, are intrigued by Shabazz Muhammad.
  • Chad Ford of ESPN.com (Insider sub. req'd) asked NBA GMs and scouts to rate the top 50 prospects in the 2013 draft using a 1-10 scale.  Ford then took those scores, averaged them, and prorated them on a 100-point scale.  Somewhat surprisingly, the top-rated player was not Nerlens Noel but instead Indiana's Victor Oladipo.  
  • Franklin met and worked out with the Bucks today, according to the team's official PR Twitter account. Franklin wasn't part of the team's group workout for possible second-rounders (Twitter link).
  • Michael Carter-Williams worked out for the Sixers over the weekend, according to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
  • TNT's David Aldridge has unveiled his mock draft at NBA.com, with a surprise name at the top.
  • The Pacers announced that their workout schedule for prospects on Tuesday.  Reggie Bullock (North Carolina), A.J. Davis (James Madison), and Greg Echenique (Creighton) are among the players participating.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Draft Notes: Knicks, Larkin, Hardaway Jr., Bucks

Otto Porter, Victor Oladipo, Ben McLemore, and Anthony Bennett will likely be among the candidates visiting with the Wizards in the second or third week of June, when the team will look at candidates for the No. 3 overall pick, writes Michael Lee of the Washington Post. For now, the team is concentrating on targets for its pair of second-round pick, and Lee lists more than a dozen such players scheduled for workouts with the team next week.  The Wizards' pick may very well come down to a decision between who is left over between Porter and Nerlens Noel, but they'll leave no stone unturned when it comes to their top pick.  Here's more draft news..

  • Former Miami point guard Shane Larkin won’t work out for the Knicks, his agent told Adam Zagoria of SNY.   “Currently, Shane’s not scheduled to work out for the Knicks,” agent Steve McCaskill said. “And we don’t have any intentions of scheduling one. We don’t feel like he’s going to be on the board when they select.”  The Knicks have the No. 24 pick in the draft and while some view Larkin as a mid-round talent, it's worth noting that DraftExpress currently has him going at No. 23 to the Pacers.
  • Tim Hardaway Jr. auditioned for the Bucks and told reporters, including Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, that he has already worked out for the Bulls and T'Wolves.  The Michigan product is widely viewed as a fringe first-round talent.
  • Murray State's Isaiah Canaan says he has already worked out for the Spurs and he has more workouts scheduled with the Pacers, Knicks, Cavs, Suns, Mavs, and Jazz, Gardner writes.  Canaan, who auditioned for the Bucks, could be a candidate for the club's No. 43 selection.
  • Former Creighton and Rutgers big man Gregory Echenique will work out for the Wizards, Suns, and Nets in the coming weeks, Zagoria writes. The 6-foot-9, 260-pound center has already worked out for the Celtics, Timberwolves, and Trail Blazers.  At this time, Echenique figures to be a second round pick at best.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Draft Notes: Noel, Jones, Franklin, Mitchell

Andy Katz of ESPN noted earlier that Nerlens Noel will visit with the Magic this Sunday, and is yet to schedule a meeting with the Cavaliers. The potential number one pick is up six pounds (from 206 to 212) since the Chicago Pre-Draft Camp two weeks ago, and isn't expected to visit any other teams beyond Orlando and Cleveland unless a team trades up to the first or second draft slots or there is a strong sense that a deal gets done (All Twitter links). We'll keep you posted on anything draft related tonight below:

  • The Wizards are slated to bring in Archie Goodwin, Peyton Siva, Mike Muscala, James Southerland, Will Clyburn, Adonis Thomas, Khalif Wyatt, and Romero Osby for workouts starting on Monday. Otto Porter, Victor Oladipo, and Ben McLemore may be among the next wave of prospects to work out for the team during the following week.
  • SNYtv’s Josh Newman passes along that Iona standout Lamont Jones is set to work out for the Nets on June 20. Jones is the second confirmed prospect set to work out for Brooklyn, who will also take a look at San Diego State product Jamaal Franklin at a date yet to be determined (Twitter links).  
  • Joe Freeman of The Oregonian reports that the Trail Blazers brought in six draft hopefuls in for predraft workouts today, among them being a projected first-rounder in Tony Mitchell. Joining the North Texas big man were second round prospects Richard HowellDexter StricklandAdonis ThomasBJ Young, and James Ennis. Freeman profiled each of today's visitors in a separate piece. 
  • Hoopworld's Alex Kennedy presents his list of 10 possible steals in this year's draft. 
  • Although the Pistons GM Joe Dumars acknowledged that the team's preference would be to draft a viable wing player, he wouldn't rule out the possibility of drafting the best available big man by the time Detroit is on the clock with the eighth pick (Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press).
  • According to this article from NBA.com, the Timberwolves hosted Tim Hardaway Jr., Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Ricky Ledo, Allen Crabbe, Mouphtaou Yarou, and Gregory Echenique for workouts today. 

Atlantic Rumors: Amare, Williams, Celtics, Raptors

Amare Stoudemire will be working with Hakeem Olajuwon for a second consecutive summer, and despite his lack of contribution this past season, the Knicks still have high regard for their most lavishly paid player, as Jared Zwerling of ESPNNewYork.com passes along. GM Glen Grunwald called Stoudemire "a heck of a player."

"We hope he'll be able to play significant minutes for us next year," Grunwald said. "How much that will be, we don't know at this time. But when he came and played for us … he was, as (coach Mike Woodson) said, a big factor in those games." 

While we wait to see how Stoudemire bounces back next year, here's the latest from around the Atlantic Division:

  • Terrence Williams, whose contract for next season is non-guaranteed, addressed reporters today after working out at the Celtics facility. He said that, in spite of his recent legal troubles, Danny Ainge and Doc Rivers still view him as part of the team's future, as Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com notes.
  • The Celtics have worked out a dozen players in the past two days, as A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com and Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe round up (Twitter links). On Friday the team saw Colton Iverson, Erick Green, Jeff Withey, Peyton Siva, Vander Blue and Ricky Ledo, and today the C's looked at Pierre Jackson, Gregory Echenique, Myck Kabongo, Shane Larkin, Phil Pressey and Steven Adams.
  • Masai Ujiri appears destined to become the next GM of the Raptors, and Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun hears Ujiri and Phil Jackson are the only two candidates the team has aggressively pursued so far (All Twitter links). The Raptors have been linked to Kevin Pritchard and Troy Weaver as well, but they seem to have a strong preference for Ujiri.
  • Ben Goldberg-Morse of the Philadelphia Inquirer lays out how new Sixers GM Sam Hinkie's emphasis on analytics could improve the production of Jrue Holiday, who received a long-term extension last summer, and Evan Turner, who's up for one this offseason.