With the NBA’s virtual combine underway, a handful of this year’s top draft-eligible prospects are speaking with reporters today on conference calls and are revealing some information about their pre-draft meetings.
French point guard Killian Hayes, for instance, confirmed that he has interviewed with the Spurs, Wizards, Knicks, Bulls, and Warriors, adding that his agent has told him to expect to come off the board between No. 2 and No. 10 on draft night (Twitter link via Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic).
Maryland big man Jalen Smith told reporters, including Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington (Twitter links), that he has met with the Wizards, Spurs, Raptors, Nets, Suns, and Bulls, among other teams. Smith ranks No. 20 on ESPN’s big board.
Potential No. 1 pick LaMelo Ball was more evasive when asked about his meetings, refusing to name any teams he has talked to except for the Knicks, as K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago tweets. That meeting occurred prior to the lottery, per Steve Popper of Newsday (Twitter link).
While it’s possible Ball has had other meetings with top teams that he declined to mention, Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News (Twitter link) hears that the guard’s interview with the Timberwolves is still to come. Minnesota, of course, holds the top pick in the draft.
Here’s more on the draft:
- There’s a belief around the NBA that the Timberwolves may make an effort to trade down from No. 1, but if they keep that pick, multiple sources believe they’ll select LaMelo Ball rather than Anthony Edwards, says Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report.
- According to Wasserman, there’s some concern among scouts and executives about Edwards’ professionalism, drive, and desire to win. While the Georgia wing still figures to come off the board early, the likelihood of him falling to No. 3 appears to have increased, Wasserman notes.
- One scout who spoke to Bleacher Report said his team will be putting more stock this year into prospects’ basketball IQ and other intangibles, and Wasserman believes other clubs around the NBA could take a similar approach. Tyrese Haliburton and Isaac Okoro are among the players who could benefit from that trend, Wasserman adds.
- Czech guard Vit Krejci, who is playing for Zaragoza in Spain, has suffered a left ACL injury that will require surgery and is expected to sideline him for the rest of the season, according to the team (hat tip to Sportando). Krejci had declared for the 2020 NBA draft as an early entrant, but could still withdraw his name before the league’s November deadline.