Immanuel Quickley

Draft Notes: Pro Days, No. 1 Pick, Williams, Quickley

The NBA’s new pre-draft rules aren’t popular with several teams, according to Jonathan Givony of ESPN, who states that at least half the league is considering not having executives attend workouts and may have just a “minimal presence” at pro days.

Givony says many front offices don’t believe it’s worth making a trip to watch a prospect work out by himself, and some of the teams are located in states that require a mandatory two-week quarantine for travelers. There’s also concern that an executive might contract COVID-19 and not be available on draft night. Also, some teams are reluctant to give away any secrets by providing the league with a list of the 10 players they would most like to scout.

The league office has received requests to alter its new rules, Givony adds, but complications will remain even if that happens. He notes that agents will have difficulty scheduling more than three or four teams each day for a workout, an in-person interview and then a 30-minute medical exam. Teams with high lottery picks are expected to be most active in trying to attend those sessions.

There’s more draft news to pass along:

  • Givony talked to several teams that confirm Minnesota has been involved in trade talks regarding the No. 1 pick. Agents who represent players that are expected to be taken early say Timberwolves general manager Gersson Rosas has been “noncommittal” about what he plans to do and seems open to moving down. Givony adds that LaMelo Ball and Anthony Edwards are still the most likely candidates for the top pick, but the team’s uncertain ownership status may play a role in its draft plans.
  • In the same story, ESPN’s Mike Schmitz identifies Patrick Williams of Florida State as the player making the biggest jump on draft boards. The 19-year-old handles the ball well for his 6’8″ size and could wind up being selected in the top 10. Schmitz also sees potential in Washington’s Jaden McDaniels, while Givony names Kansas center Udoka Azubuike as a possible sleeper.
  • Kentucky guard Immanuel Quickley has met twice with the Knicks, Pistons and Thunder and has held one meeting with several other teams, including the Nets and Celtics, tweets Adam Zagoria of Forbes.

LaMelo Ball Headlines List Of Draft Combine Participants

Potential No. 1 overall pick LaMelo Ball will be among the prospects participating in the revamped virtual draft combine this week, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. Ball is scheduled to take part in team interviews and a media session this week, but may not participate in any other portion, Jeremy Woo of cautions (via Twitter).

While Ball’s participation might be limited, many of this year’s other top prospects aren’t taking part in the event at all. As Woo points out (via Twitter), Anthony Edwards, James Wiseman, Obi Toppin, Onyeka Okongwu, Cole Anthony, Aaron Nesmith, Devin Vassell, and Saddiq Bey are among the players who don’t appear on the list of participants sent out by the NBA.

The list of top prospects besides Ball who will be participating in the event includes Precious Achiuwa, Deni Avdija, Tyrese Haliburton, RJ Hampton, Killian Hayes, Theo Maledon, and Isaac Okoro, among others.

Here’s the full list of combine participants, via Charania:

  1. Precious Achiuwa, F, Memphis
  2. Ty-Shon Alexander, G, Creighton
  3. Deni Avdija, F, Maccabi Tel Aviv (Israel)
  4. Udoka Azubuike, C, Kansas
  5. LaMelo Ball, G, Illawarra Hawks (Australia)
  6. Desmond Bane, G, TCU
  7. Tyler Bey, F, Colorado
  8. Vernon Carey Jr., C, Duke
  9. Yoeli Childs, F, BYU
  10. Mamadi Diakite, F, Virginia
  11. Devon Dotson, G, Kansas
  12. Paul Eboua, F, VL Pesaro (Italy)
  13. CJ Elleby, F, Washington State
  14. Malachi Flynn, G, San Diego State
  15. Trent Forrest, G, Florida State
  16. Josh Green, G/F, Arizona
  17. Ashton Hagans, G, Kentucky
  18. Tyrese Haliburton, G, Iowa State
  19. Josh Hall, F, Moravian Prep
  20. RJ Hampton, G, New Zealand Breakers (New Zealand)
  21. Jalen Harris, G, Nevada
  22. Killian Hayes, G, Ratiopharm Ulm (Germany)
  23. Markus Howard, G, Marquette
  24. Elijah Hughes, G/F, Syracuse
  25. Isaiah Joe, G, Arkansas
  26. Mason Jones, G, Arkansas
  27. Tre Jones, G, Duke
  28. Nathan Knight, F/C, William & Mary
  29. Kira Lewis, G, Alabama
  30. Theo Maledon, G, ASVEL (France)
  31. Karim Mane, G, Vanier College (Canada)
  32. Nico Mannion, G, Arizona
  33. Naji Marshall, F, Xavier
  34. Kenyon Martin Jr., F, IMG Academy
  35. Skylar Mays, G, LSU
  36. Jaden McDaniels, F, Washington
  37. Sam Merrill, G, Utah State
  38. Zeke Nnaji, F, Arizona
  39. Jordan Nwora, F, Louisville
  40. Isaac Okoro, F, Auburn
  41. Daniel Oturu, C, Minnesota
  42. Reggie Perry, F, Mississippi State
  43. Myles Powell, G, Seton Hall
  44. Payton Pritchard, G, Oregon
  45. Immanuel Quickley, G, Kentucky
  46. Jahmi’us Ramsey, G, Texas Tech
  47. Paul Reed, F, DePaul
  48. Nick Richards, F/C, Kentucky
  49. Grant Riller, G, Charleston
  50. Jay Scrubb, G, John A. Logan College
  51. Jalen Smith, F, Maryland
  52. Cassius Stanley, G, Duke
  53. Lamar Stevens, F, Penn State
  54. Isaiah Stewart, F/C, Washington
  55. Tyrell Terry, G, Stanford
  56. Xavier Tillman, F/C, Michigan State
  57. Kaleb Wesson, F/C, Ohio State
  58. Kahlil Whitney, F, Kentucky
  59. Cassius Winston, G, Michigan State
  60. Robert Woodard II, F, Mississippi State

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the NBA is unable to hold its typical in-person draft combine this year, but the league has put together an alternative combine that will feature interviews through videoconferencing as well as the making of “pro day” videos, which will include strength and agility testing, anthropometric measurements, and shooting drills. Participants will also undergo medical testing and exams.

For more details on this year’s combine, be sure to check out our full story on the changes.

Wizards Notes: Quickley, J. Smith, Draft, Facility

While they can’t meet in person with this year’s draft prospects, the Wizards are doing their homework on a number of players.

According to Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington, the team has spoken to Kentucky’s Immanuel Quickley and intends to interview Maryland’s Jalen Smith this week. The Wizards have also touched base with Arizona’s Zeke Nnaji, as we noted on Tuesday.

While much of the draft speculation involving the Wizards will focus on the team’s lottery pick, the club is also projected to hold the 37th overall selection. The three players listed above could be candidates for that pick — Smith is ranked 30th on ESPN’s big board, with Nnaji coming in at No. 34 and Quickley at No. 54.

Hughes also points out that even if the Wizards don’t get a chance to draft any of those players, it makes sense to get as familiar with them as possible. For instance, after working him out a couple times, the team was high on Moritz Wagner leading up to the 2018 draft. Although they couldn’t justify picking him at No. 15, the Wizards ultimately ended up acquiring Wagner from the Lakers in a trade a year later.

Here’s more on the Wizards:

  • In a two-part series, Sam Vecenie and Fred Katz of The Athletic break down what a number of different draft scenarios would look like for the Wizards, who will likely end up at No. 9 or 10 if they don’t get lucky in this year’s lottery. The Athletic’s duo have Washington selecting Anthony Edwards at No. 1 and view Tyrese Haliburton, Cole Anthony, and Devin Vassell as some of the team’s potential options in the 9-10 range.
  • Head coach Scott Brooks said during an NBA TV appearance earlier this week that as long as “everything goes as planned,” the Wizards will reopen their practice facility for individual voluntary workouts on Friday, tweets Katz. As Katz notes, not all the Wizards players are still in the D.C. area, but some are.
  • In case you missed it, Rui Hachimura earned a spot on Hoops Rumors’ All-Rookie Second Team for 2019/20, based on your votes. Check out the full results of our All-Rookie polls right here.

Kentucky’s Immanuel Quickley Enters 2020 Draft

Kentucky sophomore guard Immanuel Quickley has become the latest Wildcat to declare for the 2020 NBA draft, telling ESPN’s Jonathan Givony that he’ll forgo his remaining college eligibility and sign with an agent.

Quickley, who started 20 of 30 Kentucky games in 2019/20, averaged a team-high 16.1 PPG to go along with 4.2 RPG, 1.9 APG, and a .417/.428/.923 shooting line. His breakout sophomore season earned him SEC Player of the Year honors.

Givony, who has Quickley ranked 58th overall on ESPN’s big board for the 2020 draft, notes that the guard’s impressive wingspan helped him defend guards, wings, and forwards. While Quickley’s defense and his outside shot will intrigue NBA teams, those clubs likely won’t get a chance to evaluate his play-making and shot-creating abilities during pre-draft workouts, given the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Givony writes.

Quickley is the fourth Kentucky underclassman to declare for the NBA draft so far this spring, joining Tyrese Maxey, Ashton Hagans, and Kahlil Whitney. Junior big man Nick Richards is expected to be the next Wildcat to enter the draft, tweets Adam Zagoria of Forbes.