JT Thor

Western Notes: Culver, Mann, Grizzlies, Pelicans, Nuggets

It’s possible that Timberwolves third-year wing Jarrett Culver could be available this offseason for a second-round pick, according to a tweet from Darren Wolfson of SKOR North.

Not only has Culver had trouble carving out a role for himself with the Timberwolves, but between last year’s No. 1 pick Anthony Edwards and Malik Beasley, who was signed to a four-year deal last summer, there’s little room on the wing for the 22-year-old to get developmental reps.

The Wolves are only two years removed from trading Dario Saric and the No. 11 pick to Phoenix in order draft Culver with the sixth overall pick, so the idea that they may be willing to settle for a second-round pick is discouraging. But it doesn’t take long for a prospect’s value to decline if he isn’t taking positive strides forward — even if he was a lottery pick.

We have more news from around the Western Conference:

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

New York Notes: Tucker, Thor, Duarte, Knicks Front Office, Martin

After winning a title with the Bucks this week, free agent forward P.J. Tucker seems unlikely to pursue another with the Nets, according to NetsDaily.com. The Athletic’s Alex Schiffer has indicated the Nets were interested in the veteran forward even before the James Harden trade and Tucker is also good friends with Harden and Kevin Durant. However, Brooklyn will likely be limited to the taxpayer mid-level exception and Tucker is expected to command more in the open market. Milwaukee also holds Tucker’s Bird rights and wants to retain him despite luxury tax concerns.

We have more on the Nets and Knicks:

  • Count both New York clubs among the 11 teams that have brought in JT Thor for a workout, Mike Mazzeo tweets. The Auburn power forward is ranked No. 28 overall on ESPN’s Best Available list. Brooklyn owns the No. 27 pick and three second-rounders, the earliest at No. 44, while New York has picks No. 19, 21 and 32.
  • Chris Duarte worked out for the Knicks on Friday, Adam Zagoria of the New York Times tweets, and it was a solo workout, Ian Begley of SNY.TV tweets. The Oregon shooting guard is ranked No. 23 on ESPN’s list but others have Duarte going much higher, Begley points out. The Knicks are seeking to move up into the late lottery, Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report said on the Knicks Film School podcast (Twitter link). Today’s workout could indicate Duarte is the target.
  • While the Knicks have agreed to a two-year extension with Scott Perry, multiple Western Conference teams have expressed interest in other members of the front office, according to Begley. The contracts of several of those executives expire at the end of the month, Begley adds.
  • Point guard Jeremiah Martin will join the Knicks’ summer league team in Las Vegas, Hoops Rumors’ JD Shaw tweets. Martin played with the Cavaliers in the closing weeks of the season on a two-way deal.

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:

Southeast Notes: Hornets’ Workouts, Westbrook, Beal, Mosley, McMillan

The Hornets worked out seven draft prospects on Friday, headlined by UConn guard James Bouknight, P.J. Morales of the Charlotte Observer writes. Bouknight is rated as the No. 8 overall prospect on ESPN’s Best Available list. Auburn guard Sharife Cooper (No. 18 on ESPN’s list), Tennessee guard Jaden Springer (No. 27), and Auburn forward JT Thor (No. 28) were some of the other potential first-rounders who visited. The group also included Iowa center Luka Garza, Howard center Makur Maker, and Croatian forward Roko Prkacin (No. 37).

We have more from the Southeast Division:

  • Not surprisingly, Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beal are the players most likely to remain on the Wizards‘ roster heading into next season, Fred Katz of The Athletic anticipates. Katz takes a look at every player on the roster and projects the odds they’ll return with Washington for the 2021/22 campaign.
  • Mavericks assistant Jamahl Mosley was interviewed for the Magic’s head coaching job on Thursday, Josh Robbins of The Athletic tweets. Orlando’s desire to interview Mosley was previously reported. Mosley is likely to leave Dallas after being passed over for the head coaching job that went to Jason Kidd.
  • Nate McMillan has far exceeded all expectations as the Hawks’ interim coach and Mark Bradley of the Atlanta Journal Constitution notes how the veteran coach has connected with his players in ways that previous coach Lloyd Pierce failed to do.

Draft Notes: Pelicans, Giddey, Murphy, Duarte, Thor

There’s a belief that the Pelicans won’t be especially eager to add another rookie to an already young roster, according to Jonathan Givony of ESPN (Insider link), who says the No. 10 pick in next month’s draft, currently held by New Orleans, is considered one of the most available in the lottery.

Within his latest mock draft, Givony also provides some intel on some other picks at the top of the draft, confirming that the Pistons are looking hard at Jalen Green and Evan Mobley, though most executives anticipate they’ll select Cade Cunningham. According to Givony, NBA teams don’t have a good feel for which direction the Rockets will go at No. 2, since the new front office doesn’t have an extensive track record. For now, Givony believes Green would be the pick for Houston over Mobley.

Here’s more on the 2021 NBA draft, which is exactly one month away:

  • In a separate Insider-only story for ESPN, Givony and Mike Schmitz break down the winners and losers of last week’s draft combine, noting that Australian prospect Josh Giddey was generating plenty of buzz despite not even attending the event in Chicago. James Bouknight, Sharife Cooper, and Trey Murphy were among the other projected first-round picks receiving positive feedback.
  • Speaking of Murphy, he has worked out for the Celtics and Spurs so far in the pre-draft process, as he told reporters. Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington has the story on the Virginia forward whose draft stock is on the rise.
  • The “rumor in Chicago” was that Oregon’s Chris Duarte, who pulled out of the draft combine, has received a guarantee early in the second round, per Marc Berman of The New York Post.
  • Potential first-round pick JT Thor of Auburn is working out for the Pacers, Hornets, Hawks, and Pelicans between now and July 6, as Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report details (Twitter link).

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: Thor, C. Parker, Combine, T. Taylor

Auburn freshman forward JT Thor has decided to remain in the 2021 NBA draft and go pro, announcing on Instagram that he has signed with an agency (hat tip to Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports).

Thor’s numbers were modest during his first and only college season. In 27 games (all starts) for the Tigers, he averaged 9.4 PPG, 5.0 RPG, and 1.4 BPG on .440/.297/.741 shooting in 23.0 minutes per contest. However, his stock is thought to be rising ahead of next month’s draft.

Thor, currently ranked No. 66 on ESPN’s big board, is generating a “ton of buzz” based on his workouts in Miami, according to Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report, who tweets that the 6’10” youngster is showing “flashes of untapped shot-making versatility.”

Here’s more on the 2021 draft:

  • Liberty guard Chris Parker, who declared for the draft following his senior season, tells Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports (Twitter link) that he has signed with an agent and plans to keep his name in the draft pool rather than using his extra year of NCAA eligibility. Parker, who began his college career at Henderson State, averaged 10.3 PPG and 3.4 APG on .455/.373/.826 shooting in 29 games (28.3 MPG) in 2020/21.
  • Approximately 100 prospects will be invited to participate in either the 2021 draft combine or the college portion of the G League Elite Camp, says Jonathan Givony of ESPN (Twitter link). Givony expects a few more international prospects at this year’s combine since the pre-draft calendar has been pushed back by about a month.
  • Austin Peay wing Terry Taylor has workouts lined up with the Warriors, Grizzlies, and Kings this week, according to Alex Kennedy of BasketballNews.com (Twitter link).

Draft Notes: G. Brown, Stewart, Mikhailovskii, Hollatz, More

Texas forward Greg Brown is going pro after a single college season, announcing on Instagram that he has decided to enter the 2021 NBA draft and has signed with BDA Sports for representation.

Brown put up relatively modest numbers as a freshman for the Longhorns in 2020/21, averaging 9.3 points and 6.2 rebounds in 26 games (20.6 MPG). However, his athleticism and his long-term upside make him an intriguing prospect — ESPN ranks him at No. 29 on its big board for 2021.

Here are several more draft-related notes and updates:

  • After initially testing the draft waters, Mississippi State sophomore wing D.J. Stewart has decided to hire an agent and remain in the draft, according to Paul Jones of Gene’s Page. Stewart comes in at No. 86 on ESPN’s top-100 list.
  • Russian wing Nikita Mikhailovskii, who sneaks onto ESPN’s big board at No. 94, is entering the draft, agent Arturs Kalnitis tells Jonathan Givony of ESPN (Twitter link). The 20-year-old averaged 8.5 PPG on .468/.418/.811 shooting in 24 games (18.3 MPG) for BC Avtodor this season.
  • German guard Justus Hollatz has also declared for the draft, according to agent Dragan Jankovski of BeoBasket (Twitter link). Hollatz currently plays for the Hamburg Towers in Germany.
  • Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report passes along some of the latest buzz he has heard on this year’s draft-eligible prospects, identifying Joshua Primo and JT Thor as potential risers on NBA teams’ boards.
  • Looking ahead to the 2022 NBA draft, Jonathan Givony of ESPN (Insider link) provides his impressions of some of the top prospects who participated in the Iverson Classic over the weekend, including Chet Holmgren and Paolo Banchero.

Tre Mann, Others Declare For 2021 NBA Draft

Florida sophomore guard Tre Mann is entering the 2021 NBA draft and will forgo his remaining college eligibility, writes ESPN’s Jonathan Givony.

Mann played well in the SEC and NCAA tournaments this month, boosting his stock substantially in the eyes of NBA evaluators, says Givony. The 6’5″ guard averaged 16.0 PPG, 5.6 RPG, and 3.5 APG on .459/.402/.831 shooting in 24 games (32.4 MPG) this season.

Givony ranks Mann 15th on ESPN’s list of top 2021 prospects, calling him one of the most talented ball-handlers and shot-creators in this year’s draft class.

“I think that NBA teams were able to see my ability to play on and off the ball as well as my improved stats across the board,” Mann told ESPN. “I was able to showcase my leadership skills, efficiency shooting the ball, defensive versatility and ability to rebound.”

Here are some of the other prospects who have recently declared for the draft: