Jon Elmore

Central Draft Notes: Pacers, Cavs, Bucks, Pistons

Holding the 18th and 50th overall picks in the 2019 NBA draft, the Pacers should have a wide variety of options available to them in both the first and second rounds, so they’re doing plenty of homework in the weeks leading up to the draft.

On Wednesday, the Pacers held a pre-draft workout that featured Shizz Alston Jr. (Temple), Ky Bowman (Boston College), Tacko Fall (UCF), Mfiondu Kabengele (Florida State), Juwan Morgan (Indiana), and Elijah Thomas (Clemson), according to the team. Fall’s ability to participate in that session was limited after he rolled an ankle, as we noted yesterday.

Today, the Pacers are working out six more prospects, announcing that Luguentz Dort (Arizona State), Kyle Guy (Virginia), Amir Hinton (Shaw), Talen Horton-Tucker (Iowa State), Cody Martin (Nevada), and Josh Reaves (Penn State) are in town.

The Pacers will audition six more prospects on Friday, per the club’s latest press release. Ignas Brazdeikis (Michigan), Jon Elmore (Marshall), Aric Holman (Mississippi State), Luke Maye (UNC), Miye Oni (Yale), and Admiral Schofield (Tennessee) will attend that session.

Here are more updates on pre-draft workouts from around the Central:

Pacific Notes: Barnes, Suns, Rajakovic, Kings

Harrison Barnes can hit the open market if he turns down his $25.1MM player option and the Kings would like to have him on the roster next season one way or another. If Barnes stays with Sacramento, it could be an indicator that the organization is on the upswing after years of perceived dysfunction, Jason Jones of The Athletic writes.

Kings’ management envisioned Barnes playing the small forward position when they traded for him at last season’s deadline. Dave Joerger had different plans, playing Barnes heavy minutes at the four spot next to Bogdan Bogdanovic at the three. Barnes at power forward also took time away from Marvin Bagley and made it more difficult for the rookie to rise to the starting lineup. Joerger has since been fired.

The Kings are hoping that their switch to Luke Walton as well as a renewed alignment between the coaching staff and front office will be viewed favorably around the league, particularly with agents. Here’s more from around the Kings and the Pacific Division:

Draft Updates: Elmore, Morgan, Jazz

Marshall’s Jon Elmore has withdrawn his name from the draft, Jeff Goodman of ESPN tweets. Elmore did that same thing last year after his sophomore campaign. That stat-stuffing guard posted 22.7 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 6.8 APG and 1.6 SPG in his junior year.

In other draft-related developments:

  • Cornell’s Matt Morgan is headed back to school, Goodman reports in another tweet. Morgan, a 6’2” guard, averaged 22.5 PPG, 4.6 RPG and 3.2 APG for the Big Red as a junior.
  • The Jazz own the No. 21 and No. 52 picks and VP of player personnel Walt Perrin said the team is leaning toward developmental players with upside, Ryan McDonald of Deseret News reports. “I think next year with the majority hopefully of our team coming back, if not all of them, you look at more upside,” Perrin told McDonald. “You’re looking more at, ‘Can we bring this player in and work with him, probably play him a little bit with the [G League’s Salt Lake City] Stars, and how much better can we get him in, say, two or three years?’”
  • The Jazz have been busy working out prospects. Get the latest update here.

East Draft Notes: Hawks, Wizards, Raptors, Nets

UCLA point guard Aaron Holiday and Villanova floor leader Jalen Brunson headline the list of six players the Hawks will work out on Friday, according to a team press release. Holiday is ranked No. 17 by ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, while Brunson is rated No. 26 overall.

Gary Clark (Cincinnati), Rawle Alkins (Arizona), Juwan Morgan (Indiana) and Tony Carr (Penn State) are the other players trying to make a favorable impression. The Hawks hosted Donte DiVincenzo (Villanova), Ben Lammers (Georgia Tech), Jalen McDaniels (San Diego State), Markis McDuffie (Wichita State), Doral Moore (Wake Forest) and Brandon Sampson (LSU) on Thursday.

In other draft workouts by Eastern Conference clubs:

Northwest Notes: Nuggets, Nurkic, O’Neale

While making a decision on Nikola Jokic‘s team option – and possible subsequent free agency – will be the Nuggets‘ top priority this offseason, the club will face several challenges in the coming weeks and months, writes Bobby Marks of ESPN.com (Insider link).

As Marks outlines, one of those challenges will be finding a way to bring back Will Barton next season, since it looks on paper like the Nuggets won’t be able to afford him. Still, with Wilson Chandler, Kenneth Faried, and Darrell Arthur all expected to be on expiring contracts in 2018/19, Denver shouldn’t worry too much about going over the tax line, according to Marks, who points out that the team should be able to cut costs when those veteran contracts expire in the summer of 2019. That would mean avoiding multiple years in tax territory.

Here’s more from around the Northwest:

  • Six prospects participated in the Nuggets‘ latest pre-draft group workout, according to Chris Dempsey of Nuggets.com, who provides the list (via Twitter): Tyler Cook (Iowa), Jon Elmore (Marshall), Ethan Happ (Wisconsin), Mustapha Heron (Auburn), Charles Matthews (Michigan), and Shamorie Ponds (St. John’s).
  • Frank Urbina of HoopsHype examines four potential landing spots for restricted free agent Jusuf Nurkic, identifying the Mavericks, Hawks, Wizards as possible suitors. However, Urbina writes that a return to the Trail Blazers is the most likely outcome for Nurkic.
  • Dakari Johnson didn’t play a whole lot in his rookie season, but he’s still just 22 years old and may still have a place in the Thunder‘s long-term plans, writes Brett Dawson of The Oklahoman.
  • After spending the 2017/18 season with the Jazz as an undrafted free agent, Royce O’Neale called his rookie year a “dream come true,” as Ryan McDonald of The Deseret News details. While O’Neale wasn’t a lock to stick with Utah for multiple years coming into the season, his $1.38MM non-guaranteed salary for 2018/19 looks like a bargain now, McDonald observes.

Draft Notes: DiVincenzo, Spellman, Walker, Bearden

Coach Jay Wright will recommend to Donte DiVincenzo and Omari Spellman that they return to Villanova if it doesn’t look like they’ll be drafted in the first round, according to Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv. DiVincenzo goes to the Mavericks at No. 33 in the latest mock draft compiled by ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, while Spellman isn’t projected to be taken. Players have until May 30 to make their decisions.

“Omari and Donte are out there to try to prove themselves as first-round picks,” Wright said of his players’ trips to the NBA Draft Combine. “For them, I hope they are. And I think this process has been good for them. I think they will get some good information.”

DiVincenzo met with the LakersMagicTimberwolvesTrail BlazersCavaliersSpursHawks and Grizzlies at the combine and said he received a lot of “positive feedback.” Spellman has upcoming workouts with the Lakers [May 23], Clippers [May 24], Spurs [26] and Jazz [28] that will likely influence his decision, Zagoria adds.

There’s more draft news as the deadline for decisions draws closer:

  • The Sixers may consider Miami guard Lonnie Walker at No. 10, writes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Walker met with Philadelphia officials Friday and was impressed by the experience. “It went well,” he said. “See a little bit of Elton Brand and all those guys, I felt like a little kid, seeing guys I watched on TV.” Givony has Walker projected at No. 13 to the Clippers.
  • Lamonte Bearden of Western Kentucky will sign with an agent and stay in the draft, tweets ESPN’s Jeff Goodman. The guard averaged 11.8 points and 3.4 assists as a redshirt junior.
  • Kent State’s Jaylin Walker tweeted that he will return to school for his senior season. He averaged 16.6 points per game for the Golden Flashes this season.
  • The Nuggets have pre-draft workouts scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, the team announced in an e-mail. Scheduled to appear at Monday’s session are Tyler Davis of Texas A&M, Cody Martin of Nevada, William McDowell-White of Brose Bamberg, Isaiah Reese of Canisius, Admiral Schofield of Tennessee and Reid Travis of Stanford. Tuesday’s schedule features Tyler Cook of Iowa, Jon Elmore of Marshall, Ethan Happ of Wisconsin, Mustapha Heron of Auburn, Charles Matthews of Michigan and Shamorie Ponds of St. John’s.

Draft Updates: Milton, McCoy, Roach, Ball, More

SMU guard Shake Milton has decided to test the 2018 NBA draft waters, a source tells Patrick Engel of Pony Stampede. A junior, Milton would have the opportunity to return to school for his senior year if he enters the draft without hiring an agent.

Milton, who is currently ranked 34th on Jonathan Givony’s big board at ESPN.com, is coming off a strong season at SMU, averaging 18.0 PPG, 4.7 RPG, and 4.4 APG with a shooting line of .449/.434/.847. In Givony’s most recent mock draft, he has Milton coming off the board at No. 36 to the Mavericks.

Here are more of the latest draft updates from around the basketball world:

  • UNLV center Brandon McCoy, who averaged 16.9 PPG and 10.3 RPG as a freshman and ranks 58th on ESPN’s big board, announced he’ll forgo his remaining years of NCAA eligibility to enter the draft, according to the school. “This is probably one of the toughest decisions I have ever made,” McCoy said in a statement. “I will always be a Rebel, but when weighing all the factors, with the support of my family I have decided it is in my best interest to forgo my collegiate eligibility and pursue my lifelong dream of playing in the NBA.”
  • The 65th-ranked prospect on ESPN’s top 100, Texas junior guard Kerwin Roach II will test the draft waters without hiring an agent, the school announced in a press release. “We want to see where I may stand in this year’s draft, but we’re also keeping all options open,” Roach said. “We want to get the most accurate feedback directly from the NBA, so we can make the best decision for my future.”
  • Marshall junior guard Jon Elmore and Eastern Michigan junior forward Elijah Minnie are each expected to declare for the 2018 draft without hiring an agent, reports Jeff Goodman of ESPN (Twitter links).
  • Washington State’s basketball program announced on Monday that junior forward Robert Franks is declaring for the NBA draft without hiring an agent. An earlier report from Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports suggested that Franks would hire an agent rather than simply testing the waters, but that hasn’t happened yet.
  • Lonzo Ball‘s younger brother LiAngelo Ball has declared for the 2018 NBA draft after spending the last few months playing for Lithuanian team Vytautas Prienu, agent Harrison Gaines tells Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports. The former UCLA swingman isn’t expected to be drafted.

Draft Notes: Elmore, Mock Drafts, Swanigan, Diallo

Marshall point guard Jon Elmore has decided to withdraw his name from the 2017 draft pool and return to school for one more year, he tells Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com (Twitter link). It’s probably a smart decision for Elmore, who had initially declared for the draft after his junior year — despite coming off an impressive season in which he averaged 20.0 PPG and 6.0 APG, Elmore isn’t viewed as a top prospect by draft experts.

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

  • In Chad Ford’s new mock draft at ESPN.com (Insider-only link), the first five picks off the board are Markelle Fultz (Celtics), Lonzo Ball (Lakers), Malik Monk (Sixers), Josh Jackson (Suns), and De’Aaron Fox (Kings).
  • Matt Kamalsky of DraftExpress.com also takes a look at the ramifications of Tuesday’s lottery results and makes his predictions for the first 10 picks. Kamalsky’s forecast differs a little from Ford’s, with Monk falling to the Magic at No. 6, while the Sixers take Jackson and the Suns select Jayson Tatum.
  • It’s a busy week for Purdue’s Caleb Swanigan, who will be working out for the Sixers and Spurs in addition to his previously-reported meetings with Indiana, Brooklyn, and Orlando (Twitter links via Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog.com). Swanigan has one more week before he has to make a decision on whether to remain in the draft, so he’s getting as much feedback as possible while he can.
  • Kentucky’s Hamidou Diallo worked out for the Bulls and Bucks already this week in advance of his Thursday workout with the Nets, as Adam Zagoria details. Meanwhile, Mark Strotman of CSNChicago.com wonders if Diallo, who could still return to Kentucky, might be the splash the Bulls are seeking.
  • Like Swanigan and Diallo, UNC’s Tony Bradley continues to test the draft waters and has a full workout schedule before next Wednesday’s decision deadline. Per Jeff Goodman, Bradley will work out for the Lakers (Friday), Spurs (Sunday), Bucks (Tuesday), and Thunder (Wednesday) within the next week, after auditioning for New York today.

Draft Notes: Carroll, D. Fox, J. Bell, Elmore

Oklahoma State guard Jeffrey Carroll has decided to test the waters for the 2017 draft, tweets Dylan Buckingham of KFOR. Carroll enjoyed a breakout junior season, comfortably establishing new career bests in PPG (17.5), RPG (6.6), and FG% (.537), among other categories. However, he isn’t considered a top prospect for 2017 by DraftExpress. Since Carroll won’t hire an agent, he’ll have the opportunity to withdraw his name from the draft pool before May’s deadline and return to Oklahoma State for his senior year.

Here are a few more draft-related updates worth passing along:

  • Kentucky point guard De’Aaron Fox and Oregon forward Jordan Bell top David Aldridge’s list of 10 prospects who have boosted their NBA stock in this year’s NCAA tournament. Aldridge’s full list is available in his latest Morning Tip column at NBA.com.
  • In an Insider article for ESPN.com, draft guru Chad Ford also examines how the tournament’s Sweet 16 and Elite Eight games affected prospects’ stocks. That list overlaps several times with Aldridge’s, though Ford also provides a list of players whose stocks have slipped a little as of late.
  • Marshall junior guard Jon Elmore is expected to test the draft waters without hiring an agent, reports ESPN’s Jeff Goodman (via Twitter). Elmore averaged 20.0 PPG and 6.0 APG for Marshall this season.
  • Panathinaikos guard Michalis Lountzis has decided to enter the 2017 NBA draft, a source tells international basketball reporter David Pick (Twitter link). Lountzis, who is just 18 years old, ranks 19th among international prospects born in 1998, according to DraftExpress.
  • Antelope Valley Community College center Antone Warren has signed with an agent and will enter the 2017 draft, according to Brendan Walker of JucoRecruiting.com. Warren is one of the top-ranked junior college players of this year’s class, as Walker details.