Jabari Smith

And-Ones: Davis, Georges-Hunt, All-Star Picks, 2022 Draft

Former NBA big man Deyonta Davis has signed with a Taiwanese team, the Taoyuan Leopards, according to Sportando. Davis, an early second-round selection in the 2016 draft, last appeared in the NBA during the 2018/19 season, when he saw action in nine games with Atlanta.

We have more from around the basketball world:

And-Ones: Kerr, 2022 Draft, Mitchell, 10-Day Contracts, Kings

Warriors coach Steve Kerr is pushing for fouls committed to prevent fast breaks to be upgraded to technicals, Tim MacMahon of ESPN tweets. That would mirror the FIBA rule regarding transition-stopping take fouls. “It’s terrible,” Kerr said. “It’s terrible for the game. It’s terrible for the fans.”

Kerr added that the NBA is “very serious” about changing its current rule. The league’s competition committee has discussed an increased penalty for take fouls.

We have more from around basketball world:

  • The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie has posted his latest mock draft and the first player taken doesn’t play for Gonzaga of Duke. He projects Auburn forward Jabari Smith going off the board first due to his superior shooting ability for a big man, giving him a slight edge over Duke’s Paolo Banchero and Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren.
  • Smith is also No. 1 on the latest rankings from Chad Ford of NBABigBoard.com. Ford even goes as far to say that’s he’s a consensus No. 1 among scouts and GMs he’s talked to, with Holmgren ranking No. 2.
  • Former Pistons forward Tony Mitchell is signing in Uruguay with Club Trouville, JD Shaw of Hoops Rumors tweets. The 29-year-old last played in Venezuela. He saw action in 21 NBA games with Detroit during the 2013/14 season.
  • What has it been like for NBA executives to try to bring in players when members of their 15-man roster enter protocols? ESPN’s Brian Windhorst takes an in-depth look at the frenzy of free agent signings on 10-day deals to fill in for players who test positive.
  • The Kings have been fined $50K for violating league rules prohibiting team owners and executives from interacting with scorer’s table personnel during game play, NBA Communications tweets.  Assistant GM Wes Wilcox was fined $15K.

And-Ones: Franchise Valuations, Maker, Ferrell, J. Smith

Kurt Badenhausen of Sportico has released his annual NBA franchise valuations, with the Knicks ($6.12 billion), Warriors ($6.03 billion), and Lakers ($5.63 billion) leading the way. Those three clubs are far and away the NBA’s most valuable, in Sportico’s view — no other team is valued above $3.61 billion, which is where the fourth-place Nets land, and the average league-wide valuation is about $2.6 billion.

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

  • Former NBA lottery pick Thon Maker and Hapoel Jerusalem have parted ways, the Israeli team announced earlier this week (via Twitter). Maker, who spent part of last season with the Cavaliers, is once again a free agent.
  • Veteran guard Yogi Ferrell recently signed with a team in Slovenia, but he remains focused on playing his way back to the NBA, he said this week on Eurohoops’ EurohooPOD podcast. “I definitely want to get back over there and still show I belong in the league,” Ferrell said.
  • While Paolo Banchero and Chet Holmgren have long been viewed as the consensus top two prospects in the 2022 draft class, John Hollinger of The Athletic says that Auburn’s Jabari Smith is making a legitimate case to be considered at No. 1.
  • The Bulls‘ organization is being impacted by COVID-19 at multiple levels. Like the NBA squad, the G League’s Windy City Bulls have had their schedule affected by the health and safety protocols and won’t take part in the upcoming NBAGL Winter Showcase, the league announced in a press release.

And-Ones: I. Thomas, Trade Candidates, Lin, Noel, Draft

Team USA only won one of two games in the first round of qualifiers for the 2023 World Cup this week in Mexico, but veteran guard Isaiah Thomas played against both Cuba and Mexico, leading the U.S. with 42 total points and 13 assists in 49 minutes across the two contests.

After putting up 21 points in Team USA’s win over Cuba on Sunday, Thomas reiterated his desire to get back onto an NBA roster, while leaving the door open to the possibility of playing in an international league.

The ultimate goal is to get back in the NBA,” he said, per Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press (Twitter link). “I just love playing the game of basketball. So, obviously, at some point, if the NBA isn’t an option I’ve got to look at options overseas. … I love competing and I love playing.”

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

  • In the latest HoopsHype Podcast, Michael Scotto and Yossi Gozlan identified some potential trade candidates among the group of the players who will become eligible to be dealt on December 15 or January 15. Nuggets wing Will Barton, Pelicans swingman Josh Hart, Rockets center Daniel Theis, and a few Pistons veterans are among the players Scotto and Gozlan discussed.
  • Former NBA point guard Jeremy Lin has returned to the Beijing Ducks for another season, as EuroHoops relays. Lin, who has been out of the NBA since winning a title with Toronto in 2019, said in a statement that “playing basketball in China feels at home.”
  • After filing suit against his former agent Rich Paul, Knicks center Nerlens Noel now finds himself at odds with the players’ union. As Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic explains, the NBPA’s standard player agent contract states that disputes should be settled through arbitration, which Noel has circumvented by taking his issue with Paul to court.
  • ESPN’s Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz (Insider link) updated their top-100 big board for the 2022 NBA draft on Tuesday and shared some insights on several college prospects. Auburn’s Jabari Smith made a significant impression on Schmitz, who said he was “blown away” by what he saw from the 18-year-old and considers him a potential dark horse to be next year’s No. 1 pick.

Draft Notes: Banchero, Holmgren, Smith, Ivey, NCAA

Tonight’s highly anticipated matchup between between No. 1 Gonzaga and No. 5 Duke features the top two prospects on most 2022 draft boards — freshmen Paolo Banchero and Chet Holmgren.

Sam Vecenie of The Athletic recently shared his third mock draft for 2022, with Banchero, a 6’10” forward for Duke, at No. 1, and Holmgren, a 7’0″ center for Gonzaga, at No. 2. Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report currently has the two players flipped, with Holmgren’s elite shot-blocking and offensive versatility slightly outranking Banchero’s physical tools and high skill-level.

Jeremy Woo of Sports Illustrated thinks that Holmgren has more at stake in Friday’s marquee matchup, because it might be his only opportunity to prove he can physically compete against two strong, NBA-bodied big men in Banchero and Mark Williams (No. 31 on Vecenie’s board). Holmgren has a huge 7’6″ wingspan, but weighs just 195 pounds.

The game will also feature three other projected draft picks, per Vecenie’s board: No. 12 A.J. Griffin (Duke), No. 17 Trevor Keels (Duke) and No. 44 Drew Timme (Gonzaga).

The two 6-0 teams face off at 9:30 PM CT on ESPN in what is likely to be the most heavily-scouted game of the men’s college basketball season.

Here are some more 2022 draft-related notes:

  • Some scouts viewed Banchero and Holmgren in a tier of their own for 2022. However, freshman Jabari Smith of Auburn has been turning heads with his strong play, and Wasserman writes that he could be a future star as well. Vecenie has Smith third on his board, while Jeremy Woo has him second in his initial mock draft, ahead of Holmgren. Smith, who’s six months younger than Banchero and a year younger than Holmgren, is a 6’10” forward with an intriguing mix of skills, and is viewed as the best shooter of the projected top three picks.
  • John Hollinger of The Athletic breaks down 10 potential draft picks — two sophomores and eight upperclassmen. The players range from projected high lottery picks (Jaden Ivey of Purdue, number five on Vecenie’s board) to fringe second-rounders (Scotty Pippen Jr. of Vanderbilt, not currently on Vecenie’s board).
  • Jake Fisher of Bleacher Report wonders whether the NCAA is still the best path to the NBA for top prospects. He explores the pros and cons of the NCAA and alternatives such as G League Ignite, Overtime Elite, and playing internationally.

And-Ones: McDonald’s Game Rosters, Cooper, Suggs, More

While the game itself won’t be played this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, McDonald’s formally announced its ceremonial rosters this week for the annual All American Game, a showcase of the nation’s top high school players.

The 24-player boys squad is headlined by a number of prospects who are expected to be lottery selections in the 2022 NBA draft, including Chet Holmgren, Paolo Banchero, and Jabari Smith, whom ESPN’s Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz had as the top three picks in their first ’22 mock draft in December.

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

  • Auburn point guard Sharife Cooper, the No. 9 ranked prospect on ESPN’s big board for the 2021 NBA draft, may have played his last game for the Tigers, writes Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog.com. Cooper is in a walking boot after suffering an ankle injury, and ESPN’s Jimmy Dykes said during Tuesday’s Auburn/Florida broadcast that he’d be surprised if Cooper returns this season. “We will see how the week progresses. We never rush guys back,” Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl said. “He is working to try and get back, but we just don’t know.”
  • NBA teams picking in the top half of the 2021 lottery will have to determine whether Gonzaga guard Jalen Suggs – who is the third-leading scorer for the Bulldogs this season – is capable of becoming a primary option at the next level or if he projects to be a star role player, writes Jonathan Tjarks of The Ringer. Suggs is the No. 4 prospect on ESPN’s 2021 big board.
  • Johnathan Williams, who recently parted ways with Turkish team Galatasaray, didn’t take long to find a new home, having signed with Niners Chemnitz in Germany for the rest of the season, according to the club. Williams, a 6’9″ forward/center, spent time with the Lakers in 2018/19 and the Wizards in ’19/20, averaging 5.2 PPG and 4.2 RPG in 39 total NBA games.
  • Former first-round pick Jared Sullinger, who hasn’t played professionally since 2019 and hasn’t been in the NBA since 2017, has reportedly agreed to a deal with Anyang KGC in South Korea, as Emiliano Carchia of Sportando relays. Sullinger spoke last month about his goal of making it back to the NBA.