Jarrett Culver

Hawks Notes: Draft, No. 8, Reddish, Fernando

The Mavericks agreed to send their top-5 protected 2019 first-rounder to the Hawks as part of the Luka Doncic draft night trade last June. Entering the NBA draft lottery, Dallas had hoped to keep this year’s pick and delay conveying the selection.

Assistant GM Keith Grant told Chris Kirschner of the Athletic that the Mavs would have liked to add another young piece to the Doncic-Kristaps Porzingis nucleus. Still, the team views last year’s trade as a win for both parties.

“We actually do believe that,” Grant said about both teams getting the guy they wanted. “We evaluated every player and thought Luka was our guy. Atlanta obviously had Trae as theirs, and so we had a deal.”

The trade between Dallas and Atlanta had been agreed to prior to the actual draft but was contingent on both Doncic and Trae Young being available at No. 3 and No. 5, respectively.

The Hawks are armed with two top-10 draft selections in this year’s draft and Kirschner passes along more from Atlanta:

  • It would be surprising if the Hawks didn’t pick a wing, assuming they stay at the No. 8 spot, Kirschner hears from sources within the organization. Texas Tech’s Jarrett Culver has been linked to Atlanta but it’s hard to envision him falling out of the top seven.
  • Zion Williamson and Ja Morant are widely expected to be the top two picks in the draft. One Hawks executive told Kirschner that he expects three other players—R.J. Barrett, Darius Garland, and Coby White—to be unavailable when Atlanta makes its first selection at No. 8. The Suns and Bulls both covet upgrades at the point guard spot and Garland and White are the best available after Morant.
  • The Hawks have interest in Cam Reddish. While he failed to live up to lofty expectations at Duke, there’s “not much doubt” within Atlanta’s organization that playing alongside Young, John Collins, and Kevin Huerter would allow him to reach his potential, Kirschner adds.
  • Coach Lloyd Pierce prefers a center who can stretch the floor but that wouldn’t stop the team from selecting Jaxson Hayes if he’s the best player on the board at No. 10. “Roster building isn’t always about trying to perfectly pair up guys,” a source tells Kirschner.
  • Multiple sources tell Kirschner that the team likes Bruno Fernando out of Maryland. The big man likely isn’t in play with one of the Hawks‘ two top-10 selections, but the franchise holds three second-round picks (No. 35, No. 41, No. 44).

Bulls Notes: Bzdelik, Adams, Draft, Dunn

Former Rockets assistant coach Jeff Bzdelik could be a candidate to join Jim Boylen’s staff in Chicago, tweets K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune. The Rockets decided not to pursue a new contract with Bzdelik, who is considered the architect of the defense in Houston. He briefly retired from the game last fall before rejoining the Rockets in November.

The Bulls interviewed Bzdelik for an assistant’s job in 2002 and were interested in hiring him before he joined the Nuggets. He also interviewed with executive vice president John Paxson for Chicago’s head coaching position in 2008. Bzdelik hasn’t decided if he wants to keep coaching next season, but Johnson notes that the Bulls still have an opening to fill.

There’s more today from Chicago:

  • Mark Adams, an assistant at Texas Tech and a long-time friend of Boylen’s, had discussions about coming to the Bulls but decided to remain in Lubbock, tweets Jeff Goodman of Stadium.
  • The Bulls are looking at Texas Tech’s Jarrett Culver, Duke’s Cam Reddish and North Carolina’s Coby White as possibilities in next month’s draft, Johnson writes in a full story. Paxson said after the lottery that he is open to all possibilities with the No. 7 pick, including a trade. If the Bulls keep their selection, they could choose a defensive upgrade in Culver, a shooting specialist in Reddish or address a position of need by taking White. “I’m a point guard,” White said when asked where he projects himself in the NBA. “Put the ball in my hands.”
  • The Bulls may opt to give Kris Dunn another chance rather than chase a crop of free agent point guards that isn’t outstanding, speculates Sam Smith of NBA.com. Dunn only established himself as a scorer occasionally under coach Fred Hoiberg and he never gained the trust of Boylen once he took over the team, Smith adds. However, with D’Angelo Russell and Terry Rozier both being restricted free agents — and Ricky Rubio and Darren Collison as realistic alternatives — Chicago may decide to spend its free agent money elsewhere.

Draft Notes: Combine, Langford, Horton-Tucker, Acquaah

The competition to be the No. 4 pick remains unsettled after this week’s draft combine, according to Scott Gleeson of USA Today. Texas Tech’s Jarrett Culver, Duke’s Cam Reddish and North Carolina’s Coby White all improved their standing through measurements and drills, Gleeson states, but Vanderbilt’s Darius Garland and Virginia’s De’Andre Hunter may have helped themselves just as much by skipping the combine.

Duke’s Zion Williamson, Murray State’s Ja Morant and Duke’s R.J. Barrett are believed to have the top three spots locked up, leaving a difficult decision at the fourth pick for the Lakers or whomever they deal the selection to.

Gleeson identifies several players who stock either rose or fell at the combine. Among the winners are UCF’s Tacko Fall, Gonzaga’s Brandon Clarke, Tennessee’s Jordan Bone, North Carolina’s Nassir Little, Croatian Luka Samanic and Virginia’s Kyle Guy. Gleeson’s list of players who failed to help themselves includes Oregon’s Bol Bol, Kentucky’s Tyler Herro, former Syracuse signee Darius Bazley and St. John’s guard Shamorie Ponds.

There’s more draft news to pass along:

  • Jeremy Woo of Sports Illustrated also chimes in with a list of draft risers and fallers based on their performance at the combine. He believes Georgia’s Nicolas Claxton improved his chances of being selected in the first round with an impressive defensive performance, while LSU guard Tremont Waters helped ease worries about his size and Miami’s Dewan Hernandez showed off his athleticism after sitting out the season because of connections to the FBI investigation.
  • Indiana’s Romeo Langford says he has fully recovered from the back problems that bothered him in college, tweets Scott Agness of The Athletic. Langford met with 13 teams at the combine, including the Pacers, Celtics (Twitter link) and Pistons (Twitter link).
  • Iowa State’s Talen Horton-Tucker is committed to staying in the draft as he hopes to become the Cyclones’ first player taken in the first round since 2012, relays Travis Hines of The Ames Tribune. A top 50 recruit coming out of high school, Horton-Tucker has already interviewed with 14 teams.
  • Milan Acquaah of Cal Baptist has taken his name out of the draft, tweets Jeff Goodman of Stadium.

Draft Notes: C. White, Barrett, Culver, G. Williams

A number of draft-eligible prospects who attended this week’s combine decided against participating in today’s scrimmages, with at least one prospect leaving the event altogether.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski first reported (via Twitter) that Jalen Lecque, who performed well during Thursday’s scrimmages, decided not to play anymore based on feedback to his family. Croatian forward Luka Samanic followed suit, as did Charles Bassey (Western Kentucky), Moses Brown (UCLA), and DaQuan Jeffries (Tulsa), according to Jeremy Woo of SI.com (via Twitter), who adds that Brown is believed to have suffered an injury on Thursday.

Meanwhile, projected lottery pick Coby White (UNC) left the combine on Friday after interviewing with several teams, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). White’s departure will likely fuel speculation of a draft promise, and while it’s a possibility, there have been no reports yet suggesting that’s the case.

Here’s more on the draft:

Pelicans Notes: Zion, Culver, Davis

Those concerned about Zion Williamson‘s game being dependent on his athleticism are overthinking the evaluation process.

“So (Williamson) is 18 now,” a non-Pelicans executive explains to Sam Vecenie of The Athletic. “He’ll play his first NBA season at 19. He’ll be 23 when his second contract starts. Even if we get him for eight seasons and that takes us all the way through his team-controlled years, that only gets us through his age-26 season. And if he ends up being good enough to be with us for eight years as a No. 1 overall pick, we probably won’t complain because he’ll have been a good player. I don’t think we should worry about his athleticism falling off by then unless he gets hurt.”

A few of the front office analytic executives who spoke with Vecenie told him that Williamson’s projection is actually more favorable than Anthony Davis‘ was coming out of college. Opinions throughout the league are split. Some executives believe Davis was the better prospect while others feel it’s extremely close.

The Pelicans are selecting Williamson after winning the draft lottery, barring an upset of massive proportions. Let’s take a look at more notes from New Orleans:

  • The Pelicans met with Jarrett Culver (Texas Tech) at the draft combine in Chicago, NBA writer Jim Eichenhofer tweets. “You never know what could happen. Anything could happen. You just have to be ready,” Culver said. New Orleans could be looking at a second top-5 selection if they trade Davis to the Knicks or Lakers.
  • Pelicans owner Gayle Benson called Davis’ trade request “disappointing” during a commencement speech she made for Loyola University. Benson referred to the team’s on-court performance as “frustrating” and said that the franchise has “not adapted to the reality of today’s NBA,” as Christopher Dabe of The Time-Picayune passes along.
  • The Pelicans hired David Griffin to lead a more analytical approach in the front office. It wasn’t easy for ownership to dismiss former GM Dell Demps, as Dabe relays in the same piece. “I must be honest with myself in making painful decisions because my ultimate responsibility is to the fans,” Benson said.

Atlantic Notes: Crabbe, Draft, Sixers’ No. 24

The Nets are heading into the most crucial offseason under GM Sean Marks. The franchise is armed with cap space, owns a bevy of draft selections (Nos. 17, 27, and 31 overall picks), and has young talent on hand, all parts that make Brooklyn a reportedly desirable destination for marquee free agents.

Michael Scotto of The Athletic examines what strategy the Nets should take with their picks. Attaching a draft selection to Allen Crabbe in order to shed his $18.5MM salary via trade makes sense, especially if the team intends to pursue two marquee free agents. Without making moves like this, the Nets only project to have roughly 30.4MM in salary cap space, as our Salary Cap Digest shows.

Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Oregon’s Bol Bol is a name to keep an eye on for the Nets, Scotto adds in the same piece. Bol, who is getting attention from the Cavaliers at No. 5 overall, could drop out of the lottery because of medical concerns. Brooklyn could find itself with a similar opportunity to the one it had in 2017 with Caris LeVert.
  • Jarrett Culver (Texas Tech) has met with the Knicks. Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News relays (Twitter link). Culver, who is reportedly on the Hawks’ radar, is a top-10 prospect and New York owns the No. 3 overall pick.
  • North Carolina’s Cameron Johnson and Purdue’s Carsen Edwards could be options for the Sixers in the first round, Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer writes. Philadelphia owns the No. 24 overall pick in addition to four second-rounders.

Eastern Draft Notes: Cavs, Wizards, Bulls

The Cavaliers will cast a “wide net” when searching for the right prospect to select with the No. 5 overall pick, Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com writes. Kevin Porter Jr. (USC) and Bol Bol (Oregon) are two of the players the team will consider in that spot.

Porter, who was suspended during the 2018/19 season for a “personal conduct issue” at USC, met with the Cavs on Wednesday. The team plans to bring him in for a pre-draft workout in the coming weeks.

Bol underwent measurements at the combine in Chicago but is not expected to workout or conduct interviews. The 7’2″ center suffered a foot injury back in December and was unable to play the remainder of the campaign for the Ducks.

Here’s more from on the draft from teams in the Eastern Conference:

  • Cam Reddish will meet with the Cavaliers on Friday, Fedor adds in the same piece. Reddish is a candidate to be a top-five pick.
  • The Wizards hold the No. 9 overall pick and they have interviewed several top prospects, according to Candace Buckner of the Washington Post (Twitter link). Reddish, Coby White (North Carolina), Brandon Clarke (Gonzaga), Jarrett Culver (Texas Tech), and Jordan Poole (Michigan) were interviewed by Washington. Other players who the team sat down with included Eric Paschall (Villanova), KZ Okpala (Stanford), and Ty Jerome (Virginia).
  • Prior to the combine, the Bulls worked out six prospects, Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic relays (Twitter link). Alpha Diallo (Providence), Fletcher Magee (Wofford), Isaiah Roby (Nebraska), Justin Turner (Bowling Green), Quinndary Weatherspoon (Mississippi State), Zach Norvell (Gonzaga/Simeon) all participated in drills with the team.

Draft Notes: Morant, Garland, Suns, Bucks

While he seems very likely to be selected by Memphis with the No. 2 overall pick, Murray State point guard Ja Morant covered his bases at this week’s draft combine in Chicago, according to Jeremy Woo of SI.com, who reports (via Twitter) that Morant met with the Pelicans, Grizzlies, and Knicks. Those, of course, are the teams with the top three picks in this year’s draft.

While Morant is in attendance at the combine, he’s not participating in the 5-on-5 games this week, per an Associated Press report. That’s no surprise, since it’s rare for top prospects to play in those games and put their stock at risk.

Here’s more on the 2019 NBA draft:

  • If point guard prospect Darius Garland received a promise from a team near the top of the draft, as has been speculated, it seems unlikely it came from the Cavaliers. According to Joe Vardon of The Athletic (via Twitter), Garland left the combine without having met with Cleveland.
  • John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 suggests that Garland, Coby White (UNC), and Jarrett Culver (Texas Tech) are the three players worth keeping a close eye on as possibilities for the Suns at No. 6.
  • USC guard Kevin Porter Jr. is among the players who have met with the Knicks at the combine, tweets Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic. The No. 14 prospect on ESPN’s big board, Porter probably isn’t a target for New York unless the club makes some sort of trade.
  • The Bucks are believed to be keeping a close eye on shooting guards at this year’s combine, tweets Gery Woelfel of Woelfel’s Press Box. Milwaukee has the 30th overall pick in the 2019 draft.

Draft Notes: Hawks, Culver, Morant, Knicks

The Pelicans and Grizzlies made meteoric rises in tonight’s draft lottery, landing the first and second picks respectively. It’s widely assumed that Zion Williamson and Ja Morant will be the selections, however, much can happen before the draft next month.

Let’s take a look at some notes from teams that didn’t move up in the lottery:

  • The Hawks are fond of Texas Tech’s Jarrett Culver, Sean Deveney of Sporting News writes. The franchise believes Culver’s “blend of athleticism and defensive prowess” will allow him to make the leap from the college ranks to the professional level.  Atlanta owns the Nos. 8 and 10 picks in the draft.
  • Had the Hawks landed the No. 2 pick, they likely would have drafted Culver or made a trade, according to Deveney, who suggests Atlanta was never going to draft Morant. Atlanta is fully committed to Trae Young as its point guard of the future and Young’s game next to Morant would be an awkward fit, writes Deveney.
  • The Cavaliers and the Mavericks are other teams that would have explored options outside of Morant had they landed No. 2, Deveney adds. Cleveland drafted Collin Sexton last June while Dallas invested in Luka Doncic.
  • The Knicks would not have traded Williamson if they landed the No. 1 pick, Adrian Wojnarowski said during ESPN’s Draft Lottery coverage. New York will have no such opportunity, as the team ended up with the No. 3 selection.
  • New York didn’t land the No. 1 pick as the franchise had hoped, but the Suns should be more disappointed than the Knicks in their result, Katherine Fitzgerald of the Arizona Republic writes. Phoenix landed the No. 6 overall pick in the draft.

Full List Of 2019 NBA Draft Combine Participants

The NBA has revealed its list of 66 players who have been invited to next week’s draft combine in Chicago and who are expected to attend. The combine will take place from May 15-19.

While a small handful of top prospects often skip the event, that won’t be the case this year — Zion Williamson and Ja Morant are on the league’s list of 66 names, along with R.J. Barrett, Cam Reddish, Jarrett Culver, Darius Garland, De’Andre Hunter, and many more. Of course, those top prospects may not participate fully in all of the workouts and scrimmages at the combine.

A few more names figure to be added to this list, as a select number of the 40 draft-eligible prospects participating in the G League Elite Camp earlier in the week are expected to receive invites to the combine.

Here’s the full list of 66 names announced by the NBA today, in alphabetical order:

  1. Nickeil Alexander-Walker, G, Virginia Tech (sophomore)
  2. R.J. Barrett, G/F, Duke (freshman)
  3. Charles Bassey, C, Western Kentucky (freshman)
  4. Darius Bazley, F, Princeton HS (OH) (N/A)
  5. Bol Bol, C, Oregon (freshman)
  6. Jordan Bone, G, Tennessee (junior)
  7. Brian Bowen, F, USA (born 1998)
  8. Ky Bowman, G, Boston College (junior)
  9. Ignas Brazdeikis, F, Michigan (freshman)
  10. Moses Brown, C, UCLA (freshman)
  11. Brandon Clarke, F, Gonzaga (junior)
  12. Nicolas Claxton, F, Georgia (sophomore)
  13. Jarrett Culver, G/F, Texas Tech (sophomore)
  14. Luguentz Dort, G, Arizona State (freshman)
  15. Devon Dotson, G, Kansas (freshman)
  16. Carsen Edwards, G, Purdue (junior)
  17. Bruno Fernando, F, Maryland (sophomore)
  18. Daniel Gafford, F/C, Arkansas (sophomore)
  19. Darius Garland, G, Vanderbilt (freshman)
  20. Quentin Grimes, G, Kansas (freshman)
  21. Kyle Guy, G, Virginia (junior)
  22. Jaylen Hands, G, UCLA (sophomore)
  23. Jaxson Hayes, F/C, Texas (freshman)
  24. Tyler Herro, G, Kentucky (freshman)
  25. Jaylen Hoard, F, Wake Forest (freshman)
  26. Talen Horton-Tucker, G, Iowa State (freshman)
  27. De’Andre Hunter, F, Virginia (sophomore)
  28. Ty Jerome, G, Virginia (junior)
  29. Cameron Johnson, G, UNC (senior)
  30. Keldon Johnson, F, Kentucky (freshman)
  31. Mfiondu Kabengele, C, Florida State (sophomore)
  32. Louis King, F, Oregon (freshman)
  33. Romeo Langford, G, Indiana (freshman)
  34. Dedric Lawson, F, Kansas (junior)
  35. Jalen Lecque, G, Brewster Academy (NH) (N/A)
  36. Nassir Little, F, UNC (freshman)
  37. Charles Matthews, G, Michigan (junior)
  38. Jalen McDaniels, F, San Diego State (sophomore)
  39. Ja Morant, G, Murray State (sophomore)
  40. Zach Norvell Jr., G, Gonzaga (sophomore)
  41. Jaylen Nowell, G, Washington (sophomore)
  42. Jordan Nwora, F, Louisville (sophomore)
  43. Chuma Okeke, F, Auburn (sophomore)
  44. KZ Okpala, F, Stanford (sophomore)
  45. Miye Oni, G/F, Yale (junior)
  46. Eric Paschall, F, Villanova (senior)
  47. Shamorie Ponds, G, St. John’s (junior)
  48. Jordan Poole, G, Michigan (sophomore)
  49. Jontay Porter, F, Missouri (sophomore)
  50. Kevin Porter Jr, G, USC (freshman)
  51. Neemias Queta, C, Utah State (freshman)
  52. Cam Reddish, F, Duke (freshman)
  53. Naz Reid, C, LSU (freshman)
  54. Isaiah Roby, F, Nebraska (junior)
  55. Luka Samanic, F, Croatia (born 2000)
  56. Admiral Schofield, G, Tennessee (senior)
  57. Simisola Shittu, F, Vanderbilt (freshman)
  58. Killian Tillie, F, Gonzaga (junior)
  59. PJ Washington, F, Kentucky (sophomore)
  60. Tremont Waters, G, LSU (sophomore)
  61. Quinndary Weatherspoon, G, Missippi State (senior)
  62. Coby White, G, UNC (freshman)
  63. Kris Wilkes, G, UCLA (sophomore)
  64. Grant Williams, F, Tennessee (junior)
  65. Zion Williamson, F, Duke (freshman)
  66. Dylan Windler, G, Belmont (senior)

Rui Hachimura (Gonzaga) and Matisse Thybulle (Washington) are among the potential first-round picks who aren’t on the NBA’s list of combine participants, as noted by Jeremy Woo of SI.com and ESPN’s Jonathan Givony (Twitter links).