Jimmy Hall

Nets Notes: Birch, Workouts, Meeks, Obradovic

Khem Birch, a Quebec-born big man who went undrafted in 2014 and currently plays for Olympiacos in Greece, has been linked to the Nets. Nikos Varlas of Eurohoops cites sources who say that Brooklyn is “seriously considering” offering Birch a two-year contract for the upcoming season. However, NetsDaily (Twitter link) has been told that the Birch rumor is “completely false.”

Birch was solid last season as a part-time player for Olympiacos, and was a D-League All-Star back in 2015, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the UNLV alum get a shot at an NBA roster. But according to Eurohoops’ report, his buyout is worth upwards of $300K, so an NBA team with interest may be reluctant to pay that buyout for a camp invitee.

Here’s more on the Nets:

  • The Nets conducted a group workout today, according to Cody Taylor of Basketball Insiders, who tweets that Dillon Brooks, Jawun Evans, Jimmy Hall, Amile Jefferson, Erik McCree, and Derrick White were in attendance.
  • UNC’s Kennedy Meeks worked out for the Nets last week, and according to Ian Begley of ESPN.com, some sources familiar with the workout said that Meeks “excelled.” The former Tar heels center isn’t one of DraftExpress’ top 100 prospects, but Begley suggests Meeks is viewed as a possible late-second-round pick, so he could be an option for Brooklyn at No. 57.
  • The Nets are adding Sasa Obradovic to their Summer League coaching staff, tweets international basketball reporter David Pick. Obradovic, a former international point guard, is currently the haed coach of Lokomotiv Kuban in Russia.

Draft Updates: Hield, Korkmaz, Whitehead

Former Oklahoma star Buddy Hield is taking part in day-one activities at the NBA draft combine today, but he’ll leave for graduation ceremonies and miss the athletic testing portion of the predraft showcase that runs through Sunday, reports Chad Ford of ESPN.com (Twitter link). So, the combine for the shooting guard will consist of interviews with teams, measurements and medical tests, Ford notes. The ESPN scribe has Hield at No. 6 in his prospect rankings, while Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress pegs him seventh.

See more from the draft scene:

  • European superagent Misko Raznatovic has negotiated an NBA buyout clause into the contract of each of his draft entrants (Twitter link), including first-round prospect Furkan Korkmaz. Givony, who first reported the existence of Korkmaz’s clause, pegs its value at $2MM. The 18-year-old shooting guard would likely withdraw from the draft if he doesn’t get assurances that he’ll become a lottery pick, sources told Givony for a piece on The Vertical. Korkmaz is Ford‘s No. 15 prospect and No. 17 with Givony.
  • The Magic and Bulls have expressed interest in drafting Seton Hall sophomore shooting guard Isaiah Whitehead, and the Sixers have him on their radar as well, according to Jerry Carino of the Asbury Park Press. Still, Whitehead isn’t a contender for the lottery picks that those teams hold, as Carino points out. Instead, he’s a second-round prospect, ranking No. 35 with Ford and only No. 65 with Givony. He has the ability to pull out and return to college ball within the next two weeks if he doesn’t hire an agent.
  • Kent State junior forward Jimmy Hall has withdrawn from the draft, as he announced on Twitter (hat tip to Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com). Hall was a long shot to be drafted, ranking outside the top 100 on Ford’s and Givony’s lists.
  • Junior college power forward Emmanuel Malou has hired agent Daniel Moldovan and is staying in the draft, as Moldovan told ESPN’s Fran Fraschilla (Twitter link). Signing with an agent wipes out his remaining college eligibility, but concern had already existed about whether the NCAA would clear the 6’9″ Australian who’d committed to Iowa State, Goodman notes (on Twitter).