Jeremiah Robinson-Earl

Knicks Trade Robinson-Earl To Thunder For Jokubaitis, McBride

JULY 30: The trade is now official, the Knicks announced in a press release.


JULY 29: The Knicks will send the No. 32 pick to the Thunder for the Nos. 34 and 36 selections, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. Shams Charania of The Athletic adds (via Twitter) that the Knicks will be choosing Villanova forward Jeremiah Robinson-Earl with the No. 32 pick, and he will then be rerouted to Oklahoma City.

The Knicks drafted sharpshooting 6’4″ Žalgiris guard Rokas Jokubaitis with the No. 34 pick and 6’2″ West Virginia point guard Miles McBride with the No. 36 selection.

New York also has the No. 58 pick still upcoming in tonight’s draft. Marc Berman of the New York Post tweets that the club could be making further deals before the night is through.

In the first round, the Knicks selected Houston shooting guard Quentin Grimes with the No. 25 pick after sending their No. 21 pick, Tennessee wing Keon Johnson, to the Clippers in exchange for the No. 25 selection and a future second-rounder. Earlier, the Knicks flipped the No. 19 pick to the Hornets for a protected 2022 first-round pick.

Robinson-Earl, 20, was the 2020/21 Big East Player of the Year, and averaged 15.7 PPG, 8.5 RPG and 2.2 APG across his 25 contests as a sophomore at Villanova.

Eastern Draft Notes: Hawks, Sixers, Cavaliers, Hornets

Tennessee guard Jaden Springer and Oregon guard Chris Duarte are expected to work out for the Hawks shortly before the draft, Chris Kirschner of The Athletic tweets. Duarte is ranked No. 23 on ESPN’s Best Available list, though he’s expected by some outlets to go higher, and Springer is rated No. 27. Atlanta holds the No. 20 pick.

We have more draft news involving Eastern Conference teams:

Northwest Notes: Lillard, Blazers, Hernangomez, Nuggets

While it doesn’t look at this point like the Trail Blazers will seriously explore Damian Lillard trades this offseason, that doesn’t mean they’re not getting calls about their All-NBA point guard. Front office sources tell Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer that the Heat, Kings, Knicks, Rockets, and Sixers have been the most aggressive suitors for Lillard as of late.

With no Lillard trade request imminent, the Blazers are more likely to pursue upgrades around the star guard, though O’Connor notes that the team’s trade assets are somewhat limited. Portland doesn’t have any draft picks this year and rival teams aren’t particularly high on young players like Anfernee Simons and Nassir Little, according to O’Connor. The club’s best bet for a deal that reshapes the roster and increases its ceiling might involve CJ McCollum and Ben Simmons, O’Connor adds.

Here’s more from around the Northwest:

Eastern Notes: Sexton, Knicks, Heat, Hawks, Raptors

Following up on Shams Charania’s report that the Knicks have been the most aggressive trade suitor for Collin Sexton so far, Marc Berman of The New York Post confirms that the team has the Cavaliers guard on its trade radar.

According to Berman, the Knicks would’ve picked Sexton over Kevin Knox in the 2018 draft if he had slipped to No. 9 instead of being selected at No. 8. Berman adds that Knicks forward Obi Toppin, who played his college ball at Dayton, may be a player the Cavs would target in a trade.

A source tells Berman that the Knicks – who hold the 19th and 21st overall picks – are open to trading out of the first round entirely in order to acquire an “established player.” Sexton has certainly established himself as a talented scorer, having averaged 24.5 points per game in 2020/21, though it’s unclear if New York would be willing to offer both of its first-round picks in a package for him.

Here’s more from around the East:

Charania’s Latest: Collins, Rockets, E. Gordon, I. Todd, More

John Collins‘ playoff averages of 13.9 points and 8.7 rebounds per game (in 32.0 MPG) don’t jump off the page. However, people around the NBA believe the Hawks big man bolstered his case for a maximum-salary type investment this offseason with his postseason performance, says Shams Charania of The Athletic. Collins played a key role in Atlanta winning two series as an underdog and getting to within two games of the NBA Finals.

Since Collins will be a restricted free agent, the Hawks will have the ability to either sign Collins to a new deal themselves or match any offer sheet he signs with another team. Still, the club has projected reluctance to go all the way up to max for the 23-year-old, so a rival suitor could put pressure on Atlanta’s ownership and front office by presenting an aggressive four-year offer. The Mavericks, Heat, Spurs, and Timberwolves are among the teams expected to display interest, sources tell Charania.

Here’s more from Charania:

  • The Rockets have been actively exploring ways to move up from No. 2 and acquire the Pistons‘ No. 1 pick, sources tell Charania. A report last week suggested Houston has been “fixated” on Cade Cunningham, the top prospect in this year’s draft class, while multiple reports have stated that Detroit likes Jalen Green and Evan Mobley, so it’s possible the two teams could be motivated to work something out.
  • The Rockets have also been discussing veteran guard Eric Gordon in trade scenarios, according to Charania. Gordon, who still has two guaranteed years left on his contract, would be a better fit on a win-now team than a rebuilding Houston squad.
  • Isaiah Todd, who played for the G League Ignite in 2020/21, is canceling draft workouts with teams late in the first round, including the Jazz, and is focusing on teams with lottery picks, says Charania. That seems awfully optimistic for a prospect ranked 47th overall on ESPN’s big board.
  • Villanova’s Jeremiah Robinson-Earl has been impressing teams, including the Pelicans, during the pre-draft process, per Charania. Robinson-Earl ranks 60th on ESPN’s board.

Central Notes: Tucker, Bucks, Pacers, Workouts, Pistons

P.J. Tucker is used to being a part of contending teams, but this season took a detour before he landed in Milwaukee, notes Eric Nehm of The Athletic. Tucker had to endure a lot of losing in Houston after the Rockets dealt James Harden in mid-January. He was stuck in a rebuilding situation until the Bucks traded for him in March.

“I thought about the stuff I was doing with Houston this year, this season has just been a long year for me,” Tucker said. “To go from being a top team in the West to falling apart instantly and being the last one left (in Houston) and everything I went through with that, the transition, it was just a lot this season.”

Tucker has enjoyed his time with the Bucks and is looking forward to competing for his first NBA championship, but isn’t sure whether his time in Milwaukee will extend beyond this season, as Nehm writes.

“I’m really excited to be able to pick where I want to go,” Tucker said. “The (contract) extension thing was for a different period of time. We didn’t even talk about that when I came to Milwaukee. There was no extension. I just wanted to come play and get a chance to do what I do and that was it. I just wanted to have a chance.”

Here’s more from around the Central:

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

Full List Of 2021 NBA Draft Combine Participants

The NBA has revealed via press release its list of 69 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 June 21-17.

While several of the prominent names at the top of the draft will opt to skip the event – most notably, presumed number one pick Cade Cunningham and Gonzaga’s Jalen Suggs – there are several high-profile prospects set to attend. Evan Mobley, widely considered a likely choice for the No. 2 pick as well as potential top-five picks Jonathan Kuminga and Jalen Green headline the class of participants this year, along with potential lottery picks Moses Moody, Corey Kispert and Scottie Barnes.

According to the press release, players will conduct interviews with NBA teams, participate in five-on-five games, and go through shooting, strength and agility drills throughout the week-long event. It’s likely that the more high-profile names will focus more on the interviews than the drills.

The press release also confirms that a select number of standout players from the G League Elite Camp will be invited to participate in the Combine as well.

Here’s the full list of 69 names announced by the NBA today, in alphabetical order:

  1. Max Abmas, G, Oral Roberts (sophomore)
  2. Ochai Agbaji, G, Kansas (junior)
  3. Marcus Bagley, F, Arizona State (freshman)
  4. Scottie Barnes, F, Florida State (freshman)
  5. Charles Bassey, C, Western Kentucky (junior)
  6. Brandon Boston Jr., G/F, Kentucky (freshman)
  7. James Bouknight, G, UConn (sophomore)
  8. Greg Brown, F, Texas (freshman)
  9. Jared Butler, G, Baylor (junior)
  10. Julian Champagnie, G/F, St. John’s (sophomore)
  11. Justin Champagnie, G/F, Pittsburgh (sophomore)
  12. Josh Christopher, G, Arizona State (freshman)
  13. Sharife Cooper, G, Auburn (freshman)
  14. Ayo Dosunmu, G, Illinois (junior)
  15. David Duke, G, Providence (junior)
  16. Kessler Edwards, F, Pepperdine (junior)
  17. Luka Garza, C, Iowa (senior)
  18. RaiQuan Gray, F, Florida State (junior)
  19. Jalen Green, G, G League Ignite (auto-eligible)
  20. Quentin Grimes, G, Houston (junior)
  21. Sam Hauser, F, Virginia (senior)
  22. Aaron Henry, G/F, Michigan State (junior)
  23. Ariel Hukporti, C, Lithuania (born 2002)
  24. Matthew Hurt, F, Duke (sophomore)
  25. Nah’Shon Hyland, G, VCU (sophomore)
  26. Isaiah Jackson, F, Kentucky (freshman)
  27. David Johnson, G, Louisville (sophomore)
  28. Jalen Johnson, F, Duke (freshman)
  29. Keon Johnson, G, Tennessee (freshman)
  30. Herb Jones, F, Alabama (senior)
  31. Kai Jones, F, Texas (sophomore)
  32. Johnny Juzang, G/F, UCLA (sophomore)
  33. Corey Kispert, F, Gonzaga (senior)
  34. Jonathan Kuminga, F, G League Ignite (auto-eligible)
  35. Scottie Lewis, G, Florida (sophomore)
  36. Isaiah Livers, F, Michigan (senior)
  37. Makur Maker, C, Howard (freshman)
  38. Sandro Mamukelashvili, F/C, Seton Hall (senior)
  39. Tre Mann, G, Florida (sophomore)
  40. Matthew Mayer, G/F, Baylor (junior)
  41. Miles McBride, G, West Virginia (sophomore)
  42. Davion Mitchell, G, Baylor (junior)
  43. Evan Mobley, F/C, USC (freshman)
  44. Isaiah Mobley, F, USC (sophomore)
  45. Moses Moody, G, Arkansas (freshman)
  46. Trey Murphy III, G, Virginia (junior)
  47. Daishen Nix, G, G League Ignite (auto-eligible)
  48. John Petty Jr., G, Alabama (senior)
  49. Yves Pons, G/F, Tennessee (senior)
  50. Jason Preston, G, Ohio (junior)
  51. Joshua Primo, G, Alabama (freshman)
  52. Roko Prkacin, F, Croatia (born 2002)
  53. Neemias Queta, C, Utah State (junior)
  54. Austin Reaves, G, Oklahoma (senior)
  55. Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, F, Villanova (sophomore)
  56. Terrence Shannon Jr., G/F, Texas Tech (sophomore)
  57. Day’Ron Sharpe, F/C, North Carolina (freshman)
  58. Jericho Sims, F/C, Texas (senior)
  59. Jaden Springer, G, Tennessee (freshman)
  60. DJ Steward, G, Duke (freshman)
  61. Cameron Thomas, G, LSU (freshman)
  62. JT Thor, F, Auburn (freshman)
  63. Isaiah Todd, F, G League Ignite (auto-eligible)
  64. Trendon Watford, F, LSU (sophomore)
  65. Joe Wieskamp, G/F, Iowa (junior)
  66. Ziaire Williams, F, Stanford (freshman)
  67. McKinley Wright IV, G, Colorado (senior)
  68. Moses Wright, F, Georgia Tech (senior)
  69. Marcus Zegarowski, G, Creighton (junior)

Draft Notes: Robinson-Earl, Moody, Ayayi, Wiggins, Ayala, Jefferson

Villanova forward Jeremiah Robinson-Earl is signing with an agent and will enter the draft, he announced on his Twitter feed. Robinson-Earl is ranked No. 46 overall and No. 9 among power forward on ESPN’s Best Available list. The 6’9” sophomore averaged 15.7 PPG and 8.5 RPG for the Wildcats this season.

We have more draft decisions:

  • Arkansas swingman Moses Moody is headed for the draft, according to an ESPN story. Moody, who made his announcement on ESPN’s The Jump, is a potential first-rounder — he’s currently ranked No. 21 overall on the Best Available list. The one-and-done prospect averaged 16.8 PPG and 5.8 RPG for the Razorbacks.
  • Gonzaga swingman Joel Ayayi has signed with an agent and will enter the draft, CBS’ Jon Rothstein tweets. The 6’4” Ayayi averaged 12.0 PPG, 6.9 RPG and 2.7 APG for the national championship runners-up. He’s ranked No. 62 by ESPN.
  • Maryland’s Aaron Wiggins will test the waters but maintain his college eligibility, Jonathan Givony of ESPN tweets. Ranked No. 86 by ESPN, the Terrapins junior shooting guard averaged 14.5 PPG, 5.8 RPG and 2.5 APG. Maryland’s top scorer, junior guard Eric Ayala (15.1 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 2.2 APG), will follow in Wiggins’ footsteps, Rothstein tweets.
  • Creighton’s Damien Jefferson will forgo his additional year of eligibility and enter the draft, Rothstein tweets. The 6’5” Jefferson averaged 11.9 PPG and 5.4 RPG this season.

Draft Notes: 2020 Class, Haliburton, Vassell, More

The 2020 NBA draft class has repeatedly been referred to by analysts and league observers in recent months as subpar. However, Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer doesn’t think that’s quite right.

As O’Connor explains, the 2020 NBA draft may not have the star power that some past drafts have — there’s no consensus future superstar like LeBron James, Anthony Davis, or Zion Williamson among this year’s top prospects. However, O’Connor believes it’s a deep class that features “a plethora of potential high-end role players who could develop into the missing ingredient of a championship team’s recipe.”

In O’Connor’s view, teams picking in the lottery this year will have to weigh certain players’ possible star upside with other prospects’ solid, high-floor skill sets. For instance, big man James Wiseman is at or near the top of most draft boards, but O’Connor has players like Tyrese Haliburton and Devin Vassell ranked higher than Wiseman on his own board, viewing them as safe picks capable of improving a team as complementary pieces. Positional value could also be weighed more heavily in 2020 than it typically is, O’Connor adds.

Here’s more on the 2020 draft:

Jeremiah Robinson-Earl Alters Draft Decision Because Of Coronavirus Concerns

Jeremiah Robinson-Earl will not enter the 2020 draft after all. Head coach Jay Wright had previously said the Villanova forward would test the draft waters, but Robinson-Earl provided Wright with his final decision earlier this week, as the University’s website relays.

“A few days ago Jeremiah called me and told me he wanted to just continue working out and concentrate on getting better,” Wright said. “He said ‘ I don’t want to bother with the NBA stuff, so I just want to say I’m coming back. He didn’t want to make a big deal out of this.”

Wright added that JRE had gotten some feedback on his game from the NBA early entry committee and it was likely that he would have been drafted.

Robinson-Earl, who is No. 64 on ESPN’s big board, said the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus and how the NBA will respond to it played a role in his decision.

“The uncertainty of what the NBA is going to do did a play a part in this,” the forward said. “I just feel like I don’t want to worry a lot about that with the times we’re all going through right now. I just want to focus on getting better, going back to Villanova and getting my mindset on that.

“I did get some feedback [from the NBA] and it was good feedback. I just felt like I wanted to focus on being a better overall player. The feedback was that I would have gotten drafted but I feel like I can put myself in a better position just by coming back.”