Isaiah Jackson

Wizards Trading No. 22 Pick For Aaron Holiday, No. 31

The Wizards are adding some point guard reinforcements and the Pacers are adding even more promising size, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Charania reports (via Twitter) that Washington is sending the No. 22 draft pick they’re getting from the Lakers – 6’10” Kentucky big man Isaiah Jackson – to Indiana in exchange for point guard Aaron Holiday and the still-undrafted No. 31 selection (which the Pacers are set to acquire from the Bucks for two late second-round picks).

All three transactions – the Lakers/Wizards, Bucks/Pacers, and Wizards/Pacers trades – have yet to be officially announced.

The Wizards have been quite active so far during the 2021 NBA draft. They agreed to acquire Los Angeles’ No. 22 pick, in addition to several veteran role players, in exchange for veteran point guard Russell Westbrook and two future second-round picks earlier today.

J. Michael of the Indianapolis Star, who has previously reported the Pacers’ Holiday trade talks, says the young point guard is “elated” by the move (Twitter link). The youngest Holiday brother playing in the NBA was supplanted by T.J. McConnell as the Pacers’ reserve point guard during the 2019/20 and 2020/21 seasons.

Still on his rookie contract for 2021/22, Holiday will have ample opportunity to get more run in Washington. The 6’0″ Holiday has room to grow. He is still just 24 ahead of his fourth pro season.

Michael adds (via Twitter) that the Pacers are finished making moves in this draft with this move. The club also selected Oregon swingman Chris Duarte with its No. 13 selection. Michael also tweets that he projects free agent McConnell as a “lock” to re-sign with Indiana now.

Draft Notes: Giddey, I. Jackson, Jokubaitis, Barnes, Kuminga

Due in large part to his obligations with the Australian national team, Josh Giddey hasn’t worked out for any NBA clubs leading up to the draft, tweets James Ham of NBC Sports California. Giddey has been limited to interviews during the pre-draft process. The 6’8″ guard is still viewed as a potential lottery pick, however, ranking 11th on ESPN’s big board.

Here are a few more draft-related notes:

  • Kentucky center Isaiah Jackson told reporters today that he has worked out for the Hawks, Nets, Kings, Thunder, Rockets, and Spurs, according to Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic (Twitter link). He also confirmed that he auditioned for New York, Indiana, and Charlotte, as was previously reported.
  • Rokas Jokubaitis, one of eight international early entrants who kept his name in the 2021 NBA draft, signed a four-year contract with Barcelona this week, as Alessandro Maggi of Sportando relays. As a BasketNews.com report explains, an NBA team could still draft Jokubaitis and bring him stateside immediately, but would have to pay a $750K buyout to his old team, Zalgiris Kaunas. If he remains in Europe, Barcelona would pay Zalgiris Kaunas a more modest buyout.
  • Sam Vecenie of The Athletic takes a look at each team’s biggest need, then considers which prospects each club should target with its first draft pick to address that need.
  • Several coaches and executives at various levels (NBA, G League, and college) shared their thoughts on a handful of draft prospects with David Aldridge of The Athletic. Among the topics Aldridge explored: The Scottie Barnes vs. Jonathan Kuminga debate — the two forwards are the best bets to be drafted fifth and sixth overall in some order, and both have fans among NBA executives.

Atlantic Notes: Barnes, Raptors Picks, Mann, Jackson, MacLeay

Projected lottery pick Scottie Barnes worked out for the Raptors on Tuesday, Jonathan Givony and Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports. Toronto holds the No. 4 pick and Florida State’s Barnes is the top-rated small forward on ESPN’s Best Available list, though he’s ranked No. 6 overall.

We have more from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Raptors have back-to-back second-round picks at No. 46 and No. 47 and Blake Murphy of The Athletic takes a look at a dozen prospects the front office might consider at those spots. Georgia Tech’s Moses Wright and Michigan’s Isaiah Livers are among the players profiled.
  • Tre Mann, Charles Bassey, Ayo Dosunmu and Isaiah Jackson worked out for the Knicks on Tuesday, Ian Begley of SNY.TV reports. New York has picks at No. 19, 21 and 32. Kentucky forward Jackson (No. 19 on ESPN’s list) and Florida guard Mann (No. 22) are the highest-rated prospects among that group.
  • The Celtics have hired DJ MacLeay away from the Sixers as a player enhancement coach, Clevis Murray reports (via Twitter). He’s been Philadelphia’s video coordinator the last three seasons.

Draft Notes: Green Room Invites, Makur, Taylor, Draft Intel

The NBA has finalized the list of 20 prospects who will be invited to the Green Room on draft night, writes ESPN’s Jonathan Givony. While 15 of the names had already been reported, the final five players were identified over the last two days: Chris Duarte, Cameron Thomas, Isaiah Jackson, Alperen Sengun and Ziaire Williams will round out the group.

While an invitation to the Green Room is no guarantee of being drafted in the top 20, the decision is considered to be an indication of teams’ thinking, as the invitations are determined through a series of conversations with general managers and a voting process where teams vote on the 25 prospects most likely to have their name called first, Givony writes.

We have more news from around the draft world:

  • Howard University’s Makur Maker has withdrawn from the draft, tweets draft analyst Chad Ford. The 6’11 forward flashed versatility at the NBA Combine, but his draft stock was still hazy. Because he missed the NCAA’s withdrawal deadline, Maker will likely pursue professional options, whether in the G League, Australia’s NBL, or elsewhere.
  • Terry Taylor worked out with the Bucks yesterday and the Nuggets today, tweets Adam Zagoria of Forbes. Taylor has workouts lined up with the Nets, Cavaliers and Mavericks this week, and already worked out for the Knicks, Warriors, Kings, Pacers, Grizzlies, Bulls, Spurs and Pelicans. The 6’5″ wing led the country in double-doubles, Zagoria notes.
  • Sports Illustrated’s Jeremy Woo released his latest mock draft today, sharing some pieces of intel gathered from sources. Within his mock, Woo confirms that the prevailing notion is that the Rockets prefer Jalen Green to Evan Mobley, that the Thunder are being increasingly linked to James Bouknight, that the Magic covet Scottie Barnes, and that Jonathan Kuminga‘s range seems to be settling around six-to-eight, rather than being a top-five pick.

Draft Notes: Butler, Duarte, Knicks, Rockets

Baylor guard Jared Butler has received medical clearance from the NBA’s Fitness to Play panel, writes Shams Charania of The Athletic. Butler, the Most Outstanding Player in this year’s Final Four, had been considered a possible mid first-round pick when the draft process began, but he was sidelined in June due to a heart condition.

Butler hasn’t been permitted to do anything on the court for the past three weeks, but he was still allowed to meet with teams and go through off-court activities such as interviews and medical exams. He met this week with executives from the Kings, who hold the ninth and 39th picks in the draft.

“I am fully healthy and cleared to play in the NBA!” Butler wrote on Twitter“Out of an abundance of care, the NBA is incredibly thorough in vetting the health of every player during the pre-Draft process and throughout our careers. I am forever grateful that their comprehensive and strict health analysis has unanimously confirmed my fitness to play in the NBA. Now, my focus is entirely on the Draft and working daily to prepare myself to fulfill my lifelong dream !!”

There’s more draft news to pass along:

  • Oregon’s Chris Duarte was happy with the results of Friday’s workout for the Warriors, per James Crepea of The Oregonian. Duarte, who is expected to be selected around the middle of the first round, has also visited the Wizards, Hornets, Thunder, Pelicans and Spurs. “It went great,” Duarte said of Friday’s session. “I really love it, enjoying this time here.”
  • Butler and Duarte may be possibilities for the Knicks if they hold onto the 19th and 21st picks, ESPN’s Fran Fraschilla tells Steve Serby of The New York Post. Fraschilla also mentions Kentucky center Isaiah Jackson and international prospect Usman Garuba.
  • The Rockets‘ interest in trading up for the No. 1 pick is legitimate, but they don’t have any really strong future draft choices to offer the PistonsZach Harper of the Athletic writes in his latest mock draft. Harper expects Detroit to hang on to the No. 1 selection and take Cade Cunningham, leaving Houston to decide between keeping the No. 2 choice or trading down for extra assets. Jalen Green is the expected pick, but Harper cites “people within the Rockets’ decision-making process” who are in favor of drafting Jalen Suggs.

Central Notes: Tucker, Bucks, Pacers, Workouts, Pistons

P.J. Tucker is used to being a part of contending teams, but this season took a detour before he landed in Milwaukee, notes Eric Nehm of The Athletic. Tucker had to endure a lot of losing in Houston after the Rockets dealt James Harden in mid-January. He was stuck in a rebuilding situation until the Bucks traded for him in March.

“I thought about the stuff I was doing with Houston this year, this season has just been a long year for me,” Tucker said. “To go from being a top team in the West to falling apart instantly and being the last one left (in Houston) and everything I went through with that, the transition, it was just a lot this season.”

Tucker has enjoyed his time with the Bucks and is looking forward to competing for his first NBA championship, but isn’t sure whether his time in Milwaukee will extend beyond this season, as Nehm writes.

“I’m really excited to be able to pick where I want to go,” Tucker said. “The (contract) extension thing was for a different period of time. We didn’t even talk about that when I came to Milwaukee. There was no extension. I just wanted to come play and get a chance to do what I do and that was it. I just wanted to have a chance.”

Here’s more from around the Central:

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

Draft Notes: Monyyong, Hornets, Bleijenbergh, Castleton

Little Rock big man Ruot Monyyong is set to work out for the Kings on July 8, tweets Jason Jones of The Athletic. Jones adds that the 6’10” Monyyong was the 2020 Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Year and was twice named to the All-Sun Belt team during his college career. Monyyong averaged 11.9 PPG, 10.3 RPG, 1.8 BPG, 1.5 APG, and 0.9 SPG across his two NCAA seasons.

There’s more on the draft:

  • The Hornets tweeted their draft prospect workouts for Saturday, July 3. The club took a look at the following players: Western Kentucky center Charles Bassey, Marquette guard D.J. Carton, Oregon guard Chris Duarte, Tennessee guard Keon Johnson, Kentucky forward Isaiah Jackson, and Alabama guard Joshua Primo. Charlotte currently possesses the No. 11 and No. 56 picks in the upcoming 2021 draft.
  • 6’10” Belgian wing Vrenz Bleijenbergh has pre-draft workouts scheduled with the Thunder, Grizzlies, Pistons and Kings, tweets Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report. Wasserman notes that the oversized small forward is thought of as a solid play-maker and shooter.
  • Florida power forward Colin Castleton plans to return to school for the 2021/22 season, and will accordingly withdraw from the 2021 NBA draft, tweets Jeff Goodman of Stadium. The 6’11” Castleton averaged 12.4 PPG, 6.4 RPG, and 1.1 APG last season.

Draft Notes: Mayer, Murphy, Duarte, Ayayi, Combine

Baylor forward Matthew Mayer, who had been set to attend the draft combine in Chicago this week, is withdrawing from both the combine and the draft, a source tells Jonathan Givony of ESPN.

Mayer, ranked as this year’s No. 63 overall prospect by ESPN, was a candidate to be selected in the second round and almost certainly would’ve received a two-way deal or a training camp invite if he went undrafted. However, the 6’9″ junior has decided to return to the national-champion Bears for another year.

Givony expects another college season to boost Mayer’s draft stock, since he should be in line for a larger role at Baylor. The forward could be a Big 12 Player of the Year candidate and a potential 2022 first-round pick, says Givony.

Here’s more on the 2021 NBA draft:

  • Potential first-round pick Trey Murphy III has decided to hire an agent, he told Givony. Murphy will remain in the draft and forgo his remaining NCAA eligibility after averaging 11.3 PPG on .503/.433/.927 shooting in 25 games (29.6 MPG) at Virginia as a junior.
  • Oregon’s Chris Duarte and Gonzaga’s Joel Ayayi were among the players who turned down combine invites, according to Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report. Wasserman hears that Duarte may not have wanted to give up a week of working with his personal trainer, while Ayayi’s camp is confident in his draft outlook without the combine, though there are no indications he has received a promise.
  • Cameron Thomas of LSU and Isaiah Jackson of Kentucky are withdrawing from this week’s combine, tweets Jeremy Woo of SI.com. Both players are projected first-round picks.
  • In his preview of the draft combine, Givony (Insider link) identifies Alabama guard Josh Primo, Arizona State forward Marcus Bagley, West Virginia guard Miles McBride, and Texas Tech wing Terrence Shannon as some of the players with the most at stake this week. They all rank between Nos. 32 and 41 on ESPN’s big board and will be looking to establish themselves as first-rounders.

Full List Of 2021 NBA Draft Combine Participants

The NBA has revealed via press release its list of 69 players who have been invited to next week’s draft combine in Chicago and who are expected to attend. The combine will take place from June 21-17.

While several of the prominent names at the top of the draft will opt to skip the event – most notably, presumed number one pick Cade Cunningham and Gonzaga’s Jalen Suggs – there are several high-profile prospects set to attend. Evan Mobley, widely considered a likely choice for the No. 2 pick as well as potential top-five picks Jonathan Kuminga and Jalen Green headline the class of participants this year, along with potential lottery picks Moses Moody, Corey Kispert and Scottie Barnes.

According to the press release, players will conduct interviews with NBA teams, participate in five-on-five games, and go through shooting, strength and agility drills throughout the week-long event. It’s likely that the more high-profile names will focus more on the interviews than the drills.

The press release also confirms that a select number of standout players from the G League Elite Camp will be invited to participate in the Combine as well.

Here’s the full list of 69 names announced by the NBA today, in alphabetical order:

  1. Max Abmas, G, Oral Roberts (sophomore)
  2. Ochai Agbaji, G, Kansas (junior)
  3. Marcus Bagley, F, Arizona State (freshman)
  4. Scottie Barnes, F, Florida State (freshman)
  5. Charles Bassey, C, Western Kentucky (junior)
  6. Brandon Boston Jr., G/F, Kentucky (freshman)
  7. James Bouknight, G, UConn (sophomore)
  8. Greg Brown, F, Texas (freshman)
  9. Jared Butler, G, Baylor (junior)
  10. Julian Champagnie, G/F, St. John’s (sophomore)
  11. Justin Champagnie, G/F, Pittsburgh (sophomore)
  12. Josh Christopher, G, Arizona State (freshman)
  13. Sharife Cooper, G, Auburn (freshman)
  14. Ayo Dosunmu, G, Illinois (junior)
  15. David Duke, G, Providence (junior)
  16. Kessler Edwards, F, Pepperdine (junior)
  17. Luka Garza, C, Iowa (senior)
  18. RaiQuan Gray, F, Florida State (junior)
  19. Jalen Green, G, G League Ignite (auto-eligible)
  20. Quentin Grimes, G, Houston (junior)
  21. Sam Hauser, F, Virginia (senior)
  22. Aaron Henry, G/F, Michigan State (junior)
  23. Ariel Hukporti, C, Lithuania (born 2002)
  24. Matthew Hurt, F, Duke (sophomore)
  25. Nah’Shon Hyland, G, VCU (sophomore)
  26. Isaiah Jackson, F, Kentucky (freshman)
  27. David Johnson, G, Louisville (sophomore)
  28. Jalen Johnson, F, Duke (freshman)
  29. Keon Johnson, G, Tennessee (freshman)
  30. Herb Jones, F, Alabama (senior)
  31. Kai Jones, F, Texas (sophomore)
  32. Johnny Juzang, G/F, UCLA (sophomore)
  33. Corey Kispert, F, Gonzaga (senior)
  34. Jonathan Kuminga, F, G League Ignite (auto-eligible)
  35. Scottie Lewis, G, Florida (sophomore)
  36. Isaiah Livers, F, Michigan (senior)
  37. Makur Maker, C, Howard (freshman)
  38. Sandro Mamukelashvili, F/C, Seton Hall (senior)
  39. Tre Mann, G, Florida (sophomore)
  40. Matthew Mayer, G/F, Baylor (junior)
  41. Miles McBride, G, West Virginia (sophomore)
  42. Davion Mitchell, G, Baylor (junior)
  43. Evan Mobley, F/C, USC (freshman)
  44. Isaiah Mobley, F, USC (sophomore)
  45. Moses Moody, G, Arkansas (freshman)
  46. Trey Murphy III, G, Virginia (junior)
  47. Daishen Nix, G, G League Ignite (auto-eligible)
  48. John Petty Jr., G, Alabama (senior)
  49. Yves Pons, G/F, Tennessee (senior)
  50. Jason Preston, G, Ohio (junior)
  51. Joshua Primo, G, Alabama (freshman)
  52. Roko Prkacin, F, Croatia (born 2002)
  53. Neemias Queta, C, Utah State (junior)
  54. Austin Reaves, G, Oklahoma (senior)
  55. Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, F, Villanova (sophomore)
  56. Terrence Shannon Jr., G/F, Texas Tech (sophomore)
  57. Day’Ron Sharpe, F/C, North Carolina (freshman)
  58. Jericho Sims, F/C, Texas (senior)
  59. Jaden Springer, G, Tennessee (freshman)
  60. DJ Steward, G, Duke (freshman)
  61. Cameron Thomas, G, LSU (freshman)
  62. JT Thor, F, Auburn (freshman)
  63. Isaiah Todd, F, G League Ignite (auto-eligible)
  64. Trendon Watford, F, LSU (sophomore)
  65. Joe Wieskamp, G/F, Iowa (junior)
  66. Ziaire Williams, F, Stanford (freshman)
  67. McKinley Wright IV, G, Colorado (senior)
  68. Moses Wright, F, Georgia Tech (senior)
  69. Marcus Zegarowski, G, Creighton (junior)

Projected Lottery Pick Isaiah Jackson To Stay In Draft

Kentucky freshman power forward Isaiah Jackson will remain in the pool for the 2021 NBA draft, per Jonathan Givony of ESPN.

The 6’10” Jackson could be a late-lottery pick. The 19-year-old is projected as the No. 11 selection on ESPN’s big board. Givony adds that Jackson has hired an agent, and will forgo his remaining NCAA eligibility for an opportunity at the next level.

“All the feedback from teams has been good,” Jackson told ESPN. “People are saying lottery, which is what I wanted. That’s one of the main reasons I’m declaring, so my agent can get involved and speak on my behalf in terms of negotiating and making sure he can get me to the right team.”

“I want to do camps and autograph signings to get some money in my pocket,” Jackson added. “In order to set that up I need to be fully declared.”

During his lone college season with Kentucky, Jackson averaged 8.6 PPG (on 55% field goal shooting), 6.6 RPG and 2.1 BPG across 21 minutes per contest. Givony notes that the athletic Jackson’s growth during the season as a rim runner and pick-and-roll finisher bodes well for his two-way potential.

On defense, Jackson was an excellent rebounder and boasted an elite 12.7% shot-blocking percentage that put him in the heady company of recent Wildcats-turned-pros Anthony Davis and Nerlens Noel. Jackson made the All-Freshman and All-Defensive SEC teams for the 2020/21 season.