Issuf Sanon

Wizards Notes: Hachimura, Schofield, Simmons

Washington concluded a three-day minicamp today in which several notable players participated in full-court scrimmages and drills. No. 9 overall pick Rui Hachimura and No. 42 overall pick Admiral Schofield were among the prospects participating in drills for the Wizards. Schofield believes the two rookies can play well together, as he told Hoops Rumors and other media members in attendance.

“I can play multiple positions. So can [Hachimura],” Schofield said. “He can play the wing and the forward. That’s going to make us pretty lethal. We just have to get used to the [NBA level] and how things are done here, understanding from the vets how to pace ourselves and how to play the game the right way.”

Schofield, whose rights were traded to the Wizards in the Jonathon Simmons deal on draft night, initially thought he was going to Philadelphia. The 22-year-old said he actually found out about his draft spot through Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter, as I recently passed along.

“[My agent] told me I was going to get picked…but I saw the tweet before my agent called, which was pretty cool. Woj is elite,” Schofield said.

Here’s more from Washington:

  • The Wizards and Jonathon Simmons have agreed to move back the guarantee deadline on his deal from July 1 to July 8, sources confirm. Fred Katz of The Athletic was the first to report the news.
  • While no definite decision has been made, last year’s second-round pick Issuf Sanon is likely to spend another season abroad, a source tells Hoops Rumors. The organization is impressed by the progress Sanon is making. “He came back lighter,” assistant coach Robert Pack said during a session with the media. “He’s playing with a little more confidence.”
  • Hachimura said undrafted free agent Justin Robinson has helped him adjust to living in Washington D.C., as he told Hoops Rumors and other media members in attendance. “He’s from [the area],” Hachimura said. “Justin’s great…we talk a lot.” Robinson, who has been referred to by the team as the 61st pick in the draft, is expected to play for the team’s G League, as Candace Buckner of The Washington Post recently wrote.

Wizards Notes: White, Little, Sanon, Draft

The Wizards‘ workout with Coby White and Nassir Little drew a larger than normal crowd with owner Ted Leonsis and star Bradley Beal among the observers. Little said that more team representatives were present for his workout in Washington than in any of his other pre-draft workouts.

“The building is pretty full right now,” Little told Hoops Rumors and the other media in attendance. “It shows how interested they are in me and Coby, so that’s been pretty great.”

While the large turnout may lead to speculation about their interest in White and Little, there’s still no sense of what direction the Wizards will go in with the No. 9 overall pick. Interim GM Tommy Shepard is running the show for Washington and the front office will use the next couple days to further evaluate the pool of talented prospects.

Team officials had dinner with White on Sunday night and Washington clearly has interest in the North Carolina native. However, White may not be available by the time the Wizards are on the clock. Despite the projections, White doesn’t see the workout as a waste of time.

“I’m blessed to be here,” White said. “I love it. My sister lives not too far. It’s a great town. Blessed to be here and blessed that they gave me the opportunity to come in and work out for them.”

Here’s more from Washington:

  • Issuf Sanon, the team’s 2018 second-round draft-and-stash prospect, participated in drills during the workout with the North Carolina duo. No word yet on whether the Wizards will bring the 19-year-old guard over from the Slovenian League, though I’d speculate that the team keeps him abroad for at least one more season.
  • The workout with White and Little will be the Wizards’ final session before the draft barring any last-second scheduling.
  • Little made his pitch to be selected with the No. 9 overall pick. “Their roster is pretty short on wings. They have Bradley Beal and Troy Brown but in regards to the 3-spot, I think they have a real need right there and I think I can fill that with my ability to play defense and score,” Little told Hoops Rumors and other media in attendance.
  • The Wizards were the final workout for White. Little also has no more workouts scheduled, something that may return a sense of normalcy to the prospect’s life. “Throughout this process, you’re in a different city every other night. You don’t really have a home,” Little said. “…going to the draft, you have a sense of security… like you belong somewhere, so it’s really a relief.”

Southeast Notes: Kulboka, Sanon, Taylor, Walker

The Hornets plan to stash 6’10” forward Arnoldas Kulboka in Europe, Chapel Fowler of the Charlotte Observer relays. The Hornets took the Lithuanian native with the No. 55 pick with that plan in mind. “He’s got a buyout that’s manageable, but we’ve talked to his representative …” GM Mitch Kupchak told Fowler and other media members. “At least right now, the plan is to keep him over there and hopefully watch him develop and then, when he’s ready, bring him back over here and see how good he is.”

In other developments around the Southeast Division:

  • The Wizards will go the draft-and-stash route with the No. 44 pick, Issuf Sanon, Candace Buckner of the Washington Post tweets. The Ukrainian combo guard is just 18 years old and played in the Slovenian League last season.
  • The Hawks have pushed back the date of Isaiah Taylor‘s partial guarantee from Friday until the end of the month, Michael Cunningham of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution tweets. Taylor would receive a $300K guarantee by remaining on the roster through the due date. The remainder of his $1,544,951 salary for next season would become guaranteed if he’s on the roster through July 27th. The 6’3” point guard appeared in 67 games last season and averaged 6.6 PPG and 3.1 APG.
  • The Hawks dealt their early second-round pick at No. 34 because the players they liked in that spot were guards and they already got two backcourt players in the first round, Cunningham reports in a separate tweet. The Hawks secured two future second-rounders in their deal with the Hornets. In the first round, Atlanta wound up with point guard Trae Young after dropping down two spots from the No. 3 slot and chose shooting guard Kevin Huerter at No. 19.
  • Kupchak would like to see point guard Kemba Walker play his whole career with the Hornets but can’t do much about that before Walker hits free agency next season, Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer writes. A contract extension isn’t feasible because of Charlotte’s salary-cap restraints. “He is on a (contract) that may make it a challenge going forward to figure out (the best course) before he becomes a free agent,” Kupchak told Bonnell.

Issuf Sanon To Remain In 2018 NBA Draft

With the June 11 deadline to withdraw from this month’s draft right around the corner, Nicola Lupo of Sportando is reporting that Ukrainian point guard Issuf Sanon will remain in the 2018 NBA Draft, per his agent.

Sanon, 18, who has a multiyear contract with Petrol Olimpija Ljubljana in Slovenia that contains an NBA out, will be the youngest player in the draft, but ESPN’s Jonathan Givony has Sanon being selected No. 42 overall by the Pistons in his latest mock draft nonetheless. Givony also has Sanon ranked as his No. 63 overall prospect in his latest big board rankings.

In his recent report on the NBA’s new Global Camp in Italy, Givony noted that Sanon was “arguably the most talented draft-eligible player in attendance,” impressing scouts with his ability to push the ball up the floor and play pick-and-roll.

That being said, Sanon still needs to work on his shooting and keeping his emotions in check, notes Givony, but those are attributes in which many younger player often need improvement, meaning there’s room for growth.

Draft Notes: Newman, Duval, J. Robinson, Sanon

Malik Newman, a dynamic shooting guard who led Kansas to the Final Four, will declare for the draft and sign with an agent, according to a press release from the school’s athletic department.

The 21-year-old was named Big 12 Newcomer of the Year after transferring from Mississippi State. He averaged 14.2 points in 39 games and was named Most Outstanding Player in the Big 12 Tournament and the NCAA’s Midwest Regional.

“He had a terrific season this year and was one of the best players in the NCAA tournament,” said Jayhawks coach Bill Self. “I think this is good timing for Malik. We wish nothing but the best for him and appreciate all his efforts. We all know his best basketball is still ahead of him.”

Newman is listed 46th in the latest list of top 100 prospects compiled by Jonathan Givony of ESPN.

There are more early draft entrants to round up:

  • Duke’s Trevon Duval will enter the draft and sign with an agent, tweets Jeff Goodman of ESPN. Duval averaged 10.3 points per game and comes in 50th on Givony’s list.
  • Boston College teammates Jerome Robinson and Ky Bowman will both enter the draft without hiring agents, writes John Rothstein of Fanrag Sports. Partners in the Eagles’ backcourt, Robinson averaged a 20.7/3.6/3.3 line this season, while Bowman put up 17.6/6.8/4.7. Robinson is ranked 39th by Givony, while Bowman didn’t make the list.
  • Mississippi State’s Lamar Peters will declare for the draft, but won’t hire an agent, Rothstein relays in a separate story. The point guard, who averaged 9.6 points and 4.5 assists this year, also isn’t listed by Givony.
  • Auburn’s Mustapha Heron plans to declare for the draft and sign with an agent, relays Evan Daniels of 247Sports. The 20-year-old sophomore wing averaged 16.4 points and 5.3 rebounds per game this year. “It’s always been a dream to play at the highest level,” Heron said. “Now is a better time than any other time. I’m coming off a pretty good season and the buzz is there and I feel like I’m ready mentally and physically.” He’s also not ranked by Givony.
  • Issuf Sanon of Urkaine plans to enter the draft, according to Mike Schmitz of ESPN. The 18-year-old guard has a multiyear contract with Petrol Olimpija Ljubljana in Slovenia that contains an NBA out each season. He has until June 11 to withdraw, but his agent, Daniel Moldovan, said Sanon plans to remain in the draft. “Since moving to Olimpija Ljubljana my game has grown,” Sanon said. “Working with coaches, I feel myself getting better every day. It has been a dream of mine to play in the NBA and I’m excited for this next chapter.” Givony rates him as the 69th best prospect.