Ismael Kamagate

Pistons’ Procida, Cavs’ Diop Among Draftees Expected To Be Stashed Overseas

Italian wing Gabriele Procida, who was drafted 36th overall on Thursday night after spending last season with Fortitudo Bologna, is expected to be stashed overseas by the Pistons, reports James L. Edwards III of The Athletic (Twitter link).

While Procida is the highest of this year’s draft picks reported to be a likely draft-and-stash prospect, he’s hardly the only one. Here are a few more updates on 2022’s draft-and-stash candidates:

  • After using the No. 39 pick to draft him on Thursday, the Cavaliers intend to keep 20-year-old center Khalifa Diop overseas for the 2022/23 season, writes Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. The Senegalese big man won the EuroCup Rising Star award playing for Gran Canaria in Spain this past season.
  • The Nuggets plan to stash center Ismael Kamagate in Europe next season, a source tells Harrison Wind of DNVR Sports (Twitter link). The No. 46 pick on Thursday, Kamagate had an All-Star season playing for Paris in 2021/22.
  • Italian shooting guard Matteo Spagnolo, drafted at No. 50 by the Timberwolves, will likely remain overseas next season, per president of basketball operations Tim Connelly (Twitter link via Dane Moore). Spagnolo is still just 19 years old.
  • Crotian forward/center Karlo Matkovic, selected 52nd overall by the Pelicans, is expected to join New Orleans’ Summer League roster but will continue playing in Europe for another year or two, general manager Trajan Langdon told reporters, including Andrew Lopez of ESPN (Twitter link).
  • Wizards president of basketball operations Tommy Sheppard said after the draft that No. 54 pick Yannick Nzosa will be a “stash guy” in the Spanish League next season, according to Ava Wallace of The Washington Post (Twitter link).

Nuggets To Acquire Ismael Kamagate From Blazers

The Nuggets are acquiring French center Ismael Kamagate, the 46th pick of the 2022 NBA draft, from the Trail Blazers in exchange for a 2024 second-round pick, sources tell Mike Singer of The Denver Post (All Twitter links). Portland acquired the 46th pick from Detroit as part of the impending Jerami Grant trade.

In 34 appearances (27.1 MPG) for Paris Basketball of France’s LNB Pro A league (first division) this season, Kamagate averaged 11.3 PPG, 6.3 RPG and 1.6 BPG while shooting 64.3% from the floor and 65.4% from the free throw line.

According to Mike Schmitz, who used to work for ESPN but was recently hired as an assistant GM by the Blazers, the 6’11” big man has an impressive physical profile but is considered more of a long-term project than a player who’s ready for immediate action in the NBA. Kamagate is a strong inside finisher and a skilled offensive talent, per Schmitz, but he’s not a great rebounder and is a pretty poor defender at this point.

Based on Schmitz’ scouting report, Kamagate might be a draft-and-stash candidate for a Denver team that hopes to contend for a title next season.

Givony’s Latest: Sharpe, Magic, Kings, Duarte, Suns, Knicks, More

Kentucky’s Shaedon Sharpe, perhaps the biggest enigma of the 2022 NBA draft, is the subject of several rumors in Jonathan Givony’s latest mock draft at ESPN.com (Insider link).

Givony has Sharpe coming off the board at No. 7 to Portland, writing that Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard is believed to be a fan of the young guard, despite the fact that Sharpe is 12 years younger than Lillard and is on a “completely different timetable.”

A pair of teams picking later in the lottery may also have their sights set on Sharpe. The Thunder, who hold the No. 12 pick, continue to pursue trade-up opportunities, according to Givony, who says Sharpe and Jaden Ivey are among the players Oklahoma City appears to be targeting.

Meanwhile, Sharpe is also said to intrigue the Hornets if they trade up from No. 13, Givony writes, noting that the Kentucky guard surprised other teams when he opted to work out for Charlotte.

Here are a few more of the most interesting tidbits from Givony’s newest mock:

  • Virtually every NBA team expects the Magic to select Jabari Smith first overall and would be surprised if they go in a different direction.
  • The Kings are considered more likely to stand pat than to trade the No. 4 pick, but they’ve had discussions with almost every team behind them in the lottery and even some outside of the lottery, per Givony. Pacers wing Chris Duarte is among the possible trade targets the Kings have done their homework on, Givony adds.
  • Surprisingly, Givony has heard the Suns are among the clubs exploring trade scenarios involving the Pelicans‘ No. 8 pick. Givony suggests Phoenix could potentially include a player like Cameron Johnson in its offer to help create more long-term cap flexibility to retain Deandre Ayton.
  • There’s a widespread belief that the Knicks won’t end up picking at No. 11, Givony reports. they’re “aggressively” exploring scenarios in which they trade back or trade out of the first round.
  • Rival teams believe the Cavaliers are high on Ousmane Dieng, though he could be off the board by No. 14, says Givony.
  • Echoing multiple recent reports, Givony identifies Hawks big man John Collins as a major draft-day trade candidate. Givony goes a step further, suggesting that Collins could even be packaged with Kevin Huerter in a deal involving the Kings‘ No. 4 overall pick.
  • The Bucks (No. 24) are eyeing older prospects who could help them win right away, such as Andrew Nembhard, Jake LaRavia, Christian Braun and Ismael Kamagate, according to Givony, who has heard from rival teams that Milwaukee has also conveyed some interest in trading up into the teens, possibly for a big man like Mark Williams and Walker Kessler.

Draft Decisions: Dieng, Jovic, Besson, Kamagate, L. Miller, More

The players who declared as early entrants for the 2022 NBA draft have until 5:00 pm Eastern time on Monday to decide whether or not to keep their names in this year’s draft pool.

Since the NCAA’s own withdrawal deadline passed earlier this month, today’s deadline doesn’t have a real impact on most college players — if they were going to withdraw, they’ve probably done so already to avoid forgoing their remaining NCAA eligibility. However, today’s deadline is an important one for non-college prospects, including those who are playing in professional leagues in Europe and around the world.

ESPN’s Jonathan Givony has provided a series of updates on top international prospects who are finalizing their early entry decisions today. Let’s round them up…

(Note: The country listed for each prospect is where he has been playing, not necessarily where he’s from.)

Staying in the draft:

Dieng, the No. 12 player on ESPN’s big board, and Jovic, ESPN’s No. 24 prospect, are considered good bets to be first-round picks, so it comes as no surprise that they’ll remain in the draft. The other players in this list may not be first-rounders, but most of them have a good chance to be drafted.

Besson comes in at No. 38 on ESPN’s board, while Kamagate is No. 40. Procida is the 52nd on player on ESPN’s list, but has received “strong reviews” during the pre-draft process, according to Givony.

Samar, the No. 61 player on ESPN’s board, has also gained traction recently due to his strong workouts for teams and the fact that his NBA buyout is flexible and inexpensive, making him an appealing draft-and-stash option, Givony explains.

Santos is the No. 76 player on ESPN’s top 100.

Withdrawing from the draft:

Miller, the No. 43 prospect on ESPN’s big board for 2022, will sign with the G League Ignite, he tells Givony.

“My decision to withdraw from this year’s draft is based on what’s best for my long-term development,” Miller said. “With another year of development both on and off the court, I will put myself in an even better position for the 2023 draft. Going through the pre-draft process, I learned about what it takes to be a successful professional. Whether it’s the daily on-court work, off-court work, diet, or recovery, I have gained a much greater understanding of the habits it takes to get to the top of this field.”

Givony is bullish on Miller’s chances of boosting his draft stock for next year, tweeting that the young forward will likely be a top-20 pick in ESPN’s next 2023 mock draft.

Matkovic was the No. 60 prospect on ESPN’s board, while Ivisic was No. 63, which made them borderline candidates to be drafted. Strazel was unranked.

A total of 37 international prospects declared for the draft as early entrants and typically no more than about 10 or 15 of those players keep their names in the pool. In other words, it’s a safe bet that many more players on our list of international early entrants will withdraw by today’s deadline, even if it those decisions aren’t reported immediately.

Southeast Notes: Hornets Workouts, Atkinson, Wizards

The Hornets hosted a couple of potential lottery picks for solo workouts on Friday, the team announced (Twitter links): Duke’s Mark Williams, who is ranked No. 14 on ESPN’s big board, and Shaedon Sharpe, who is ranked No. 7 due to his enormous upside despite not playing a game for Kentucky. The Hornets control the Nos. 13, 15 and 45 picks in the 2022 NBA draft.

Williams has been linked to Charlotte multiple times in mock drafts, which makes perfect sense since he’s a rim-running, paint-protecting center with great size and athleticism. He could fill a major weak spot if he’s NBA-ready, as the team has lacked a big man in that mold for several years.

Sharpe seems unlikely to fall to No. 13, so the Hornets were probably just doing their due diligence and getting a look at a player who hasn’t played competitively in nearly a year, but they theoretically could package their picks in order to move up and select him.

The team also hosted a group workout on Friday (Twitter link) featuring Michigan State’s Max Christie, UConn’s R.J. Cole, Richmond’s Grant Golden, Furman’s Alex Hunter, France’s Ismael Kamagate, and Brazil’s Gui Santos. Kamagate and Christie are the highest-rated prospects among the group at Nos. 40 and 45, respectively, so they could be possibilities for Charlotte’s second-rounder.

Here’s more from the Southeast:

  • Alex Schiffer of The Athletic explores what the Hornets are getting in new head coach Kenny Atkinson, noting that Atkinson earned league-wide praise by establishing a culture in Brooklyn that was reminiscent of a college team, something the Nets have sorely lacked since he resigned in 2020. Known as a meticulous worker who embraces analytics, Atkinson used to physically participate in Nets practices, writes Schiffer, adding that Atkinson appears to be entering a better situation in Charlotte than his previous head coaching job in Brooklyn.
  • The Wizards are among the teams weighing the idea of trading their lottery pick (No. 10 overall) in a possible win-now move, Marc Stein reports in his latest article for Substack.
  • Fresno State’s Orlando Robinson and Kansas’ David McCormack will work out for the Wizards on Saturday, tweets Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington. Robinson is ranked No. 77 on ESPN’s board, so he could be a possibility for the team’s second-round pick, which is No. 56 overall.

Northwest Notes: Nuggets, Blazers, Wolves, Jazz

In addition to featuring Colorado State forward David Roddy, the Nuggets‘ group workout on Tuesday included Wendell Moore (Duke), Jake LaRavia (Wake Forest), Josh Minott (Memphis), Jermaine Samuels (Villanova), and Lucas Williamson (Loyola), according to Mike Singer of The Denver Post (Twitter link).

LaRavia (No. 31), Moore (36), and Minott (47) all rank as top-50 prospects on ESPN’s big board, as does Roddy (46). Denver only holds the No. 21 pick in this year’s draft, but may like one or more of those prospects more than ESPN’s experts do. The Nuggets could also just be doing their homework in case they trade back in the draft, pick up a extra second-round selection, or have an opportunity to sign any of these players as undrafted free agents.

Here’s more from around the Northwest:

  • In a mailbag for The Denver Post, Singer discusses possible offseason targets for the Nuggets, identifying Dillon Brooks, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Cam Reddish, Josh Hart, and Kenrich Williams as possibilities on the trade market and Bruce Brown, Caleb Martin, and Cody Martin as free agents worth considering. While Singer doesn’t necessarily have any inside info saying Denver will pursue those players, he notes that he ran his list past a couple NBA executives and “they didn’t outright laugh at me.”
  • Memphis center Jalen Duren worked out for the Trail Blazers earlier this week, tweets Aaron J. Fentress of The Oregonian. It remains to be seen whether or not the Blazers will hang onto the No. 7 pick in this month’s draft, but if they do, Duren could be a player they consider — he’s ranked 10th on ESPN’s big board.
  • French big man Ismael Kamagate and Duke’s Wendell Moore were among the prospects working out for the Timberwolves this week, per Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News (Twitter links). Both are top-40 prospects on ESPN’s board.
  • Jazz CEO Danny Ainge believes getting player input on the team’s head coaching search is important, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that candidates who have existing relationships with star guard Donovan Mitchell (or other Utah players) will have a leg up, writes Sarah Todd of The Deseret News. “You have to sell (players) on what you’re doing, whatever it is — if you’re making a trade that they might not like you have to be able to sell why you’re doing it,” Ainge said. “That’s just to get them in the right frame of mind so they can give that change an opportunity to succeed. But, I believe players are partners in this thing, too.”

Full List Of 2022 NBA Draft Combine Participants

The NBA has revealed its list of 76 players who have been invited – and who are expected to attend – next week’s draft combine in Chicago. The combine workouts will take place from May 18-20.

Over the course of the week, players will conduct interviews with NBA teams, participate in five-on-five games, and go through shooting, strength and agility drills.

While several of the prominent names at the top of the draft likely won’t participate in scrimmages, those top prospects are still expected to attend. That group includes Chet Holmgren, Jabari Smith, Paolo Banchero, and Jaden Ivey.

A handful of standout players from the G League Elite Camp could be invited to participate in the combine as well.

Here’s the full list of 76 names announced by the NBA today, in alphabetical order, per Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link):

  1. Ochai Agbaji, G/F, Kansas (senior)
  2. Patrick Baldwin Jr., F, Milwaukee (freshman)
  3. Paolo Banchero, F, Duke (freshman)
  4. Dominick Barlow, F, Overtime Elite (auto-eligible)
  5. MarJon Beauchamp, G/F, G League Ignite (auto-eligible)
  6. Hugo Besson, G, Australia (born 2001)
  7. Malaki Branham, G/F, Ohio State (freshman)
  8. Christian Braun, G, Kansas (junior)
  9. Kendall Brown, F, Baylor (freshman)
  10. John Butler Jr., F/C, Florida State (freshman)
  11. Julian Champagnie, G/F, St. John’s (junior)
  12. Kennedy Chandler, G, Tennessee (freshman)
  13. Max Christie, G, Michigan State (freshman)
  14. Kofi Cockburn, C, Illinois (junior)
  15. Dyson Daniels, G, G League Ignite (auto-eligible)
  16. Johnny Davis, G, Wisconsin (sophomore)
  17. JD Davison, G, Alabama (freshman)
  18. Moussa Diabate, F, Michigan (freshman)
  19. Ousmane Dieng, F, Australia (born 2003)
  20. Khalifa Diop, C, Spain (born 2002)
  21. Jalen Duren, C, Memphis (freshman)
  22. Tari Eason, F, LSU (sophomore)
  23. Keon Ellis, G, Alabama (senior)
  24. Michael Foster, F, G League Ignite (auto-eligible)
  25. Collin Gillespie, G, Villanova (super-senior)
  26. AJ Griffin, F, Duke (freshman)
  27. Jaden Hardy, G, G League Ignite (auto-eligible)
  28. Ron Harper Jr., F, Rutgers (senior)
  29. Chet Holmgren, C, Gonzaga (freshman)
  30. Harrison Ingram, F, Stanford (freshman)
  31. Jaden Ivey, G, Purdue (sophomore)
  32. Trayce Jackson-Davis, F, Indiana (junior)
  33. Nikola Jovic, F, Serbia (born 2003)
  34. Johnny Juzang, G, UCLA (junior)
  35. Ismael Kamagate, C, France (born 2001)
  36. Trevor Keels, G, Duke (freshman)
  37. Walker Kessler, F/C, Auburn (sophomore)
  38. Christian Koloko, C, Arizona (junior)
  39. Jake LaRavia, F, Wake Forest (junior)
  40. Justin Lewis, F, Marquette (sophomore)
  41. E.J. Liddell, F, Ohio State (junior)
  42. Bennedict Mathurin, G/F, Arizona (sophomore)
  43. Matthew Mayer, F, Baylor (senior)
  44. Bryce McGowens, G, Nebraska (freshman)
  45. Leonard Miller, F, Canada (born 2003)
  46. Josh Minott, F, Memphis (freshman)
  47. Aminu Mohammed, G/F, Georgetown (freshman)
  48. Iverson Molinar, G, Mississippi State (junior)
  49. Jean Montero, G, Overtime Elite (auto-eligible)
  50. Wendell Moore, F, Duke (junior)
  51. Keegan Murray, F, Iowa (sophomore)
  52. Andrew Nembhard, G, Gonzaga
  53. Scotty Pippen Jr., G, Vanderbilt (junior)
  54. Gabriele Procida, G/F, Italy (born 2002)
  55. Orlando Robinson, F/C, Fresno State (junior)
  56. David Roddy, F, Colorado State (junior)
  57. Ryan Rollins, G, Toledo (sophomore)
  58. Dereon Seabron, G, NC State (sophomore)
  59. Shaedon Sharpe, G, Kentucky (freshman)
  60. Jabari Smith, F, Auburn (freshman)
  61. Terquavion Smith, G, NC State (freshman)
  62. Jeremy Sochan, F, Baylor (freshman)
  63. Matteo Spagnolo, G, Italy (born 2003)
  64. Julian Strawther, G/F, Gonzaga (sophomore)
  65. Dalen Terry, G, Arizona (sophomore)
  66. Drew Timme, F, Gonzaga (junior)
  67. Jabari Walker, F, Colorado (sophomore)
  68. TyTy Washington Jr., G, Kentucky (freshman)
  69. Peyton Watson, G/F, UCLA (freshman)
  70. Blake Wesley, G, Notre Dame (freshman)
  71. Alondes Williams, G, Wake Forest (super-senior)
  72. Jalen Williams, G, Santa Clara (junior)
  73. Jaylin Williams, F/C, Arkansas (sophomore)
  74. Mark Williams, C, Duke (sophomore)
  75. Trevion Williams, F/C, Purdue (senior)
  76. Fanbo Zeng, F, G League Ignite (auto-eligible)

Draft Updates: Kamagate, Prkacin, Flagler, More

French center Ismael Kamagate has put his name in the 2022 NBA draft pool, agent Bouna Ndiaye tells Jonathan Givony of ESPN (Twitter link).

The 21-year-old big man has boosted his draft stock this season with his play for Paris Basketball — he has averaged 11.8 PPG, 6.3 RPG, and 1.5 BPG in 30 games (27.4 MPG), shooting 64.8% from the field. According to Givony, Kamagate – the No. 35 prospect on ESPN’s big board – is a potential first-round pick.

Meanwhile, Croatian power forward Roko Prkacin, who shows up on ESPN’s top-100 list at No. 62, has decided not to enter the draft, agent Matej Mamic tells Givony (Twitter link).

Viewed as a borderline first-round pick in 2021, Prkacin opted to withdraw from the draft at last July’s deadline, but his stock took a hit this season when he missed a significant chunk of the year due to an ankle injury. With a bounce-back performance in 2022/23, he’s a potential first-rounder in the ’23 draft, says Givony.

Here are a few more updates on early entrants:

  • Baylor junior guard Adam Flagler will enter the NBA draft while maintaining his NCAA eligibility, he tells Givony (Twitter link). After winning a title with the Bears in 2021, Flagler became a full-time starter in 2021/22 and averaged 13.8 PPG and 3.0 APG on .438/.387/.741 shooting, earning a spot on the All-Big 12 second team.
  • Florida A&M senior guard MJ Randolph will test the draft waters this spring, he announced on Thursday (video link via HBCU Gameday). Randolph was named the Southwestern Athletic Conference Player of the Year in 2021/22 after he put up 18.8 PPG, 6.2 RPG, and 3.5 APG in 30 games (38.6 MPG).
  • Coastal Carolina senior swingman Vince Cole is entering the draft, he announced on Instagram. Cole, who averaged 15.2 PPG with a .390 3PT% in 33 games (30.7 MPG), will hire an agent and go pro, as Scott Eisberg of WCIV in Charleston relays (video link).
  • Texas-Rio Grande Valley wing Justin Johnson has announced (via Twitter) that he’s declaring for the draft while maintaining his final year of college eligibility. Johnson, who transferred from Southern Miss in 2021, averaged 17.7 PPG and 6.7 RPG on .501/.333/.679 shooting in 31 games (34.8 MPG) as a senior.

And-Ones: Li. Ball, Restricted Free Agency, 2022 Draft, Floyd

LiAngelo Ball, the brother of NBA guards LaMelo Ball and Lonzo Ball, is signing a G League contract and will enter the October 23 NBAGL draft, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

LiAngelo played for the Hornets in the Las Vegas Summer League, and Charania suggests he’s a candidate to be selected by the Greensboro Swarm – Charlotte’s G League affiliate – in the NBAGL draft. However, if the Hornets were prioritizing Ball for a spot on their G League squad, they’d likely sign him to an Exhibit 10 contract in order to make him an affiliate player.

As John Hollinger of The Athletic tweets, the G League draft isn’t expected to be packed with talent, so Ball has a good chance of coming off the board in the top 10 or 20 picks.

Here are more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz of ESPN (Insider link) have updated their top-100 list for the 2022 NBA draft. Within the article, Schmitz identifies French center Ismael Kamagate as the international prospect who is “making the most noise” early in the season. Kamagate is the No. 36 player on ESPN’s 2022 big board.
  • In an interesting piece for HoopsHype, Michael Scotto spoke with a handful of agents and team executives about how restricted free agency works behind the scenes. One agent suggested that restricted free agency is “not really free agency,” since rival teams are so reluctant to sign players to offer sheets that tie up cap space for several days at the start of the league year and may just end up being matched.
  • The Bucks (No. 2), Heat (No. 5), Suns (No. 6), Warriors (No. 7), and Hawks (No. 11) are among the biggest risers in ESPN’s latest installment of “future” power rankings from Kevin Pelton, Bobby Marks, Andre’ Snellings, and Tim Bontemps (Insider link). For a second consecutive year, the Nets rank first and the Cavaliers are dead-last on ESPN’s list, which is essentially designed to be power rankings that cover the next three seasons.
  • Free agent guard Jordan Floyd, who was on the Lakers’ Summer League roster, is signing with Kolossos H Hotels in Greece on a deal that includes an NBA out, a source told our JD Shaw (Twitter link).