Jacob Evans

Warriors Notes: D. Jones, Evans, Cousins, Jerebko

The Warriors came into camp expecting to make Damian Jones their starting center on opening night, but they were happy he was able to earn the job with his preseason play, writes Anthony Slater of The Athletic. Jones was competing with Jordan Bell and Kevon Looney for the starting honor, but has separated himself from the pack.

“I think Damian has probably been one of the best stories in camp,” coach Steve Kerr said. “We were committed to giving him minutes, but we weren’t sure what we’d see.”

Jones’ performance may be enough to convince the team to pick up his $2.3MM option for next season. That decision is due by the end of October, and every dollar is important to the Warriors, who project to be well into the luxury tax again in 2019/20. DeMarcus Cousins is expected to take over as the starting center once he returns from an Achilles injury, but the chances are remote that he’ll return next year, so Golden State has to decide if Jones is the center of the future.

There’s more Warriors news to pass along, all courtesy of Slater:

  • Patrick McCaw‘s holdout gave rookie guard Jacob Evans a chance to earn a rotation spot, but he wasn’t able to impress the coaching staff. Evans didn’t play well in either the summer league or the preseason, prompting Kerr to say, “We’ll throw him out there from time to time.” Evans is fine as a defender, but he shot 6 for 25 during the preseason and missed all 10 of his 3-point attempts.
  • Cousins seems to be making progress in his rehab work, although he and the team haven’t talked much about it. No target date has been set for his return, but coaches allowed him to participate in a two-on-two scrimmage in front of the media at Thursday’s practice.
  • There are concerns that offseason addition Jonas Jerebko might be a repeat of Omri Casspi, who suffered a loss of confidence and became hesitant to shoot as last season wore on. Jerebko, who signed in July after being waived by the Jazz, had a difficult preseason and started passing up shots. Slater suggests that the start of the season might provide a welcome “mental reset” for the veteran shooter.

Warriors Notes: McCaw, Durant, Cousins, Evans

Accepting the Warriors’ $1.7MM qualifying offer remains the most likely scenario for shooting guard Patrick McCaw, writes Anthony Slater of The Athletic. In a column that offers a list of questions for each Golden State player, Slater notes that McCaw’s other options are extremely limited with training camp starting next week.

Despite the summer-long contract standoff, McCaw still enters a positive situation if he returns to the Warriors. The team held a roster spot open for him, and regular playing time appears to be available. Slater reports that Golden State originally planned to pursue Tyreke Evans in free agency, which would have made McCaw expendable, but changed direction when DeMarcus Cousins became an option.

Coach Steve Kerr has expressed a desire to give more rest to his veteran players, which should mean more minutes for younger guys like McCaw, who won’t turn 23 until October. It will also give him a chance to improve on his 4.0/1.4/1.4 career line before taking another shot at free agency next summer.

There’s more on the Warriors, all courtesy of Slater:

  • This is the first time since Kevin Durant came to Golden State that his re-signing doesn’t seem like a sure thing. Durant’s latest contract includes a $31.5MM player option for next season that he is expected to turn down in pursuit of a long-term deal. Durant has made it clear that he has an open mind about where he might play next year, and Slater notes that an early-season trip to New York should amp up the discussion.
  • Cousins has a long way to go until he can play again, and the Warriors can’t begin to answer questions about his fit with the team until that happens. Cousins was considered a major steal when he agreed to sign with Golden State for the $5.3MM taxpayer mid-level exception. However, nobody knows how much the Achilles tear he suffered last season will affect his game or how he will handle a reduced role in the Warriors’ offense.
  • First-round pick Jacob Evans was just 2 of 18 on 3-pointers during Summer League, which raises concerns about how well he can fit into the offense. The Warriors like the defensive versatility that Evans provides and he’ll be one of the players Kerr is counting on to reduce the veterans’ minutes, but he has to shoot better to get regular playing time.

Pacific Notes: Ferrell, M. Wagner, J. Robinson, Evans

By waiting out the initial wave of free agency, the Kings were able to add another young rotational player in the backcourt, further bolstering their depth at guard, writes James Ham of NBC Sports. In Ham’s training camp profile on Yogi Ferrell, he notes that Ferrell’s speed, quickness and knack for scoring make him one of the team’s significant additions in the offseason.

Ferrell initially agreed to a deal to return to the Mavericks, but backed out and signed a two-year, $6.2MM deal with the Kings, the second year being non-guaranteed. The 25-year-old, who is entering his third season in the league, is coming off a solid – if unspectacular – season with the Mavericks in which he averaged 10.2 points, 3.o rebounds and 2.5 assists per game, playing a career-high 27.8 minutes per game.

While the Kings have several capable guards to fill backcourt minutes, Ferrell should open the season as the team’s primary backup point guard and may fill in at both guard positions if injuries strike. With De’Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield, Frank Mason, Ben McLemore and Bogdan Bogdanovic all capable of playing in the backcourt, Ferrell will likely see a decrease in minutes and usage this season.

In a pinch, Ferrell can be the spark-plug scoring guard off the bench, a role Sacramento could certainly use in the upcoming season. With the additions of Nemanja Bjelica and Marvin Bagley alongside Ferrell, the Kings were able to add to their young core and boost their offensive potential in the offseason.

There’s more today from the Pacific Division:

  • Two rookies in the division were able to secure shoe deals, with Moritz Wagner of the Lakers signing with the Jordan brand and the Clippers Jerome Robinson signing with Nike. Both players were first round picks in the 2018 Draft and could become key parts of the young cores on their respective teams in the upcoming season, although the veteran depth ahead of them will likely limit their playing time in the immediate future.
  • After being selected by the Warriors at No. 28 in the 2018 Draft, Jacob Evans III is preparing for the upcoming season, one in which he may be called upon to provide depth at multiple positions. As Mark Medina writes for The Mercury News, Evans is looking to accelerate his learning curve by hanging around the Warriors’ practice facility and meeting everyone that he can in the organization. With the Warriors failing to address their lack of quality wing depth in the offseason, Evans may be in line for a larger role than expected, especially throughout the regular season as the team keeps its focus on the playoffs.
  • The Clippers‘ G-League team (the Agua Caliente Clippers) held open tryouts this weekend, as hopefuls worked to earn a spot on the squad, per Mirjam Swanson of The Orange County Register. Last season, the organization’s NBA team was bolstered by contributions from players such as C.J. Williams, Tyrone Wallace and Jamil Wilson, who split their time between the G-League and NBA. Attendees had varying levels of basketball experience, but are looking to earn a spot on the roster and perhaps continue the team’s success for the NBA club.

Warriors Sign First-Rounder Jacob Evans

The Warriors have officially signed first-round pick Jacob Evans to his rookie scale contract, the team announced today in a press release. While most transactions can’t be completed until after the July moratorium ends, first-rounders can sign rookie deals this week.

Evans, the 28th pick in this year’s draft, played his college ball at Cincinnati, where he averaged 13.0 PPG, 4.7 RPG, and 3.1 APG in 2017/18. The 6’6″ wing, who made 37.7% of his three-pointers during his college career, projects as a potential three-and-D option at the NBA level.

The NBA’s rookie scale will result in a first-year salary of $1.6MM+ for Evans, who will get a four-year contract with two guaranteed seasons and two team options. Assuming he plays out the full contract, he’d be eligible for an extension during the 2021 offseason and would be on track for restricted free agency in 2022.

Draft Updates: Mavericks, Kings, Celtics, Warriors

There’s a “growing sense” that the Mavericks will scoop up Michael Porter Jr. if he’s still available at No. 5, tweets Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders. He cautions that Dallas hasn’t reached a final decision, but the team likes Porter enough to take him even if he has to sit out all of next season because of back issues.

A report earlier today has the Sixers interested in moving into the top five to grab Porter, so it appears they’ll need a top four pick to trump the Mavericks. Porter also remains in contention for the Kings at No. 2.

There are more draft day rumors to pass along:

  • The Kings have narrowed their choices down to Luka Doncic and Marvin Bagley III, according to Chris Mannix of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). The team’s ownership may break the deadlock later today. Mannix adds that the Hawks will get a “stampede” of offers from teams interested in Doncic if Sacramento opts for Bagley.
  • A conflicting report from Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated states that the Kings have already reached a decision and believe they are adding a “franchise altering prospect.” (Twitter link).
  • Former NBA coach Larry Brown believes Doncic will need to land in the right situation to be successful, relays Sportando (Twitter link). “At 16 he was as good as he’s now,” said Brown, who recently accepted a job with Fiat Torino in the Italian League. “He’s smart but I don’t know in which role he can play. Maybe forward/big man. If he’d play for [Rockets coach Mike] D’Antoni or a coach with European mentality he’d be phenomenal.”
  • The Celtics are working to trade into the top five, but their chances are small unless they part with Jaylen Brown or Jayson Tatum, tweets Sam Amick of USA Today. The Clippers, who own the 12th and 13th selections, also want to move up and the Bucks would like to add more picks.
  • The Warriors are still hoping to buy a pick somewhere in the 30s, according to Jeremy Woo of Sports Illustrated (Twitter link). They worked out a group of players yesterday who might be available in that range, including Jacob Evans, Devon Hall, Gary Trent Jr. and Hamidou Diallo. Golden State already owns the 28th pick and can spend up to the maximum $5.1MM to acquire another.
  • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander confirmed that he held a workout for the Clippers, relays Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer (Twitter link). Gilgeous-Alexander admitted that he turned down a few workout requests, but didn’t specify the teams. In addition to the Clippers, the Knicks and Hornets have also watched him work out, according to Woo, who adds that Gilgeous-Alexander isn’t believed to have a promise but could be taken in the top 10 by teams that need backcourt help (Twitter link).
  • The Sixers attempted to see Donte DiVincenzo in person, but weren’t able to work out a time because of scheduling conflicts, according to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer (Twitter link).
  • Mitchell Robinson was limited by a sprained left ankle in his recent workouts, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The 7-footer expects to be fully recovered soon.

 

Wolves Notes: Thibodeau, Towns, Aldrich, Patton

Timberwolves head coach and president of basketball operations Tom Thibodeau and General Manager Scott Layden hosted a news conference this afternoon to discuss tomorrow’s draft, upcoming free agency, and reports of Karl-Anthony Towns wanting out of Minnesota, reports Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune.

Despite reports of Towns’ unhappiness, Thibodeau says the relationship between the franchise and its star player is all well, telling reporters that everybody is in a good place.

 “Yeah, yeah. He’s doing quite well. And I love KAT. He has had a terrific start to his career… To get to where we are — obviously we’re not ultimately where we want to be, but it was a major step forward — you can’t do it individually. It’s got to be the whole group doing it together. And for the most part, I think we are in a good place.”

Regarding the draft, the Wolves own the No. 20 and No. 48 picks and Thibodeau said anything remains possible as the team tries to address their needs.

“It’s one of the few times through the year you have a chance to improve the club, so all options are open right now. We know there’s a great challenge in front of us. The shooting and the toughness, the defense and building the depth.”

As for free agency, Layden said that the team would concentrate more on the free agent market once July 1 draws closer, but that he knows the type of player Thibodeau looks for.

“We know the type of player we need to be in coach’s system and to succeed here. I think we have a real good understanding of that now. So whether it’d be trade, whether it be through free agency or the draft, we have a clear understanding of what type of players will fit here.”

There’s more out of Minneapolis:

  • In the same story, Zgoda says he expects the team to buy out backup center Cole Aldrich before the new league year begins next weekend. Aldrich is owed nearly $7MM in 2018/19, but only about $2MM is guaranteed, so the Wolves can significantly reduce his cap hit by cutting him. Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News confirms that the salary guarantee deadline for Aldrich is June 30.
  • Another backup center, Justin Patton, whom the Wolves used their first round selection on last year at No. 16, is finally working out after surgery, but Thibodeau says he will miss all summer and likely most of the fall as well, tweets Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic.
  • Krawczynski also tweeted that Layden believes the team is fortunate because their need for wings and shooting line up well with what prospects should still be available at No. 20 tomorrow night.
  • In a separate piece for the Star Tribune, Zgoda takes a look at the prospects the Wolves may be targeting with the No. 20 overall selection, including Grayson AllenDonte DiVincenzoKhyri Thomas, and Jacob Evans.

Draft Updates: Musa, Knox, Williams, Sixers

The Nets may be willing to package their picks to move up for Bosnia’s Dzanan Musa, according to Brian Lewis of The New York Post. The 19-year-old small forward has spent the past week visiting teams that might be willing to use a first-round selection on him. The Nets hold the 29th pick, but may have to give up their second-rounders at 40 and 45 to get into Musa’s range.

Musa has two years remaining on his contract with KK Cedevita in the EuroLeague, but he plans to come to the NBA next season.

“I want to compete at the highest level and to compete with the best players in the world,” Musa said in an interview with CBS Sports affiliate 1430-AM in Indianapolis. “[My strength is] scoring: shooting, midrange floaters, to the rim. … I just want to get picked by the team who sees me as a project. But I think I’m a lottery pick for sure.”

There’s more draft-related news to pass along:

Draft Notes: Evans, Jazz, J. Robinson, Simons, Lakers

Potential first-round pick Jacob Evans will work out on Sunday for the Jazz, league sources tell Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune (Twitter link). A swingman out of Cincinnati, Evans could be an option for Utah when the club is on the clock at No. 21.

Meanwhile, the Jazz are bringing in several more prospects for a Friday audition, according to the team (Twitter link). Josh Okogie (Georgia Tech) and Jerome Robinson (Boston College), two more possible targets at No. 21, are the headliners. They’ll be joined by Trevon Duval (Duke), Landry Shamet (Wichita State), Kelan Martin (Butler), and George King (Colorado).

Here are several more draft-related notes:

  • Anfernee Simons is generating some first-round buzz, according to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, who tweets that the Trail Blazers and Lakers are among the teams with interest in the IMG Academy guard.
  • The Lakers will host another group workout on Friday, with De’Anthony Melton (USC), Yante Maten (Georgia), Gabe DeVoe (Clemson), Peyton Aldridge (Davidson), Justin Tillman (VCU), and Kyle Washington (Cincinnati) taking part, per a team release.
  • The Timberwolves are among the teams that have worked out Boston College guard Jerome Robinson, according to Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News, who suggests (via Twitter) that Robinson has made a good impression on the workout circuit. Robinson currently ranks as the No. 17 prospect on Jonathan Givony’s ESPN big board, so he’s a potential target for Minnesota at No. 20.
  • In addition to Kevin Knox and Wenyen Gabriel, whose workouts were previously reported, the Sixers will be taking a closer look today at Jacob Evans (Cincinnati), Tra Holder (Arizona State), E.C. Matthews (Rhode Island), and Jordan Barnett (Missouri), as Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer relays (via Twitter).
  • Despite the declining importance of centers in the modern NBA, many of this year’s very best prospects play the five, creating some risk at the top of the draft, Kevin Pelton writes in an interesting piece for ESPN.com.

Draft Notes: R. Williams, Nuggets, Clips, Wizards

Texas A&M center Robert Williams, who previously worked out for the Bulls, Hornets, and Knicks, continues to earn looks from teams picking in the top half of the first round. According to Sean Deveney of The Sporting News (Twitter link), Williams still has workouts on tap with the Clippers, Nuggets, Wizards, who hold the picks from 12 through 15.

Williams’ session with the Nuggets will take place today, according to a press release from the club. In addition to scheduling an individual session with Williams, Denver has also lined up a group workout which will feature Hayden Dalton (Wyoming), Jacob Evans (Cincinnati), Arnoldas Kulboka (Capo d’Orlando), Dzanan Musa (Cedevita), Ajdin Penava (Marshall), and Johnathan Williams (Gonzaga).

Meanwhile, the Bucks – who hold the No. 17 selection – also wanted to bring in Williams for a workout, but he expects to be off the board before Milwaukee picks and has passed on the team’s invitation, per Gery Woelfel of The Racine Journal Times. According to Woelfel, Texas Tech’s Zhaire Smith, another good bet to be drafted in the top 16, also won’t work out for the Bucks.

Here’s more on the 2018 NBA draft:

Draft Notes: Sixers, Z. Smith, Pacers, Suns, Wolves

The Sixerspreviously-reported workout with Villanova wing Mikal Bridges is taking place today, but Bridges isn’t the only prospect in town to get a look from the club. According to a press release, the 76ers also hosted a group workout today, with Marcus Derrickson (Georgetown), Marcus Foster (Creighton), Donte Ingram (Loyola Chicago), Nick King (Middle Tennessee State), MiKyle McIntosh), and Zhaire Smith (Texas Tech) taking part.

Speaking of Smith, his busy workout schedule will continue, with an audition for the Hornets still on tap, as Jessica Camerato of NBC Sports Philadelphia tweets. We previously heard that Smith also has a workout lined up with Phoenix.

Let’s round up a few more draft-related notes…