Justin Tillman

Lakers Notes: Irving, Draft, Mini-Camp

If the Lakers have a realistic chance to land Kyrie Irving, they should brush aside any concerns about his reliability and make the move, argues Bill Oram of The Athletic. L.A. has been mentioned as a potential destination for Irving if his contract talks with the Nets remain at an impasse. While that could be a negotiating ploy from Irving’s camp, there was a report Wednesday that he has spoken to LeBron James about teaming up again.

Oram believes head of basketball operations Rob Pelinka should jump at the chance to add Irving, who could spark a quick turnaround for an L.A. team that missed the playoffs this season. Oram admits there’s a “buyer beware” component to Irving, who has only played 93 total games in his three seasons with the Nets because of injuries, a commitment to social causes and his stand against vaccine mandates, but he says the Lakers can’t afford to pass on his talent.

There’s more on the Lakers:

Warriors Notes: Green, Game 6, Kerr, Evans

Draymond Green admits the Celtics present certain challenges, but it’s not the same as facing LeBron James in the NBA Finals, writes Joe Vardon of The Athletic. One victory away from picking up his fourth ring with the Warriors, Green reflected Wednesday on the four Finals matchups with James when he was in Cleveland.

“It doesn’t compare to mentally playing against LeBron James, who I think is arguably the smartest guy to ever play this game,” Green said. “Not one of, he is arguably the smartest guy to set foot on a basketball court. To say that it compares to that, it’s disrespectful to LeBron, and it’s a lie to you.”

Green noted that the Celtics provide matchup problems because they’re “super athletic,” but said he has been able to outthink them so far. He singled out point guard Marcus Smart and coach Ime Udoka as being especially cerebral, but again mentioned James and his ability to diagnose the game.

“Like that’s just a skill that not many people possess,” Green said. “Not many people can come and sit here and find a random stretch from seven minutes to four minutes in the second quarter and give you every play like to the T and not miss a beat. There’s not many people that can do that.”

There’s more on the Warriors:

  • Golden State will lean on its experience as it tries to wrap up the series in Boston tonight, according to Kendra Andrews of ESPN. The Warriors have been in this situation plenty of times before and realize the clinching game can be the hardest to win. “You just understand what the nerves are like,” Stephen Curry said. “We understand the specifics of how we need to approach the game from a physicality perspective, our game plan adjustments from Game 5 to Game 6, understanding what the building is going to feel like, that energy, being prepared for it.”
  • Steve Kerr has a chance to add another championship to his legacy of success, per Brian Mahoney of The Associated Press. Kerr is already the first person to win at least at least three titles as both a player and a coach. “Just hanging around the right people,” he said as an explanation. “You hang around superstars long enough, you’re going to get some residual success falling your way.”
  • Former NBA guard Tyreke Evans was among the players at a Warriors mini-camp held Wednesday, tweets JD Shaw of Hoops Rumors, who adds that Evans worked out for the team in March. Justin Tillman and Louis King also attended.

Central Notes: Branham, Terry, Beauchamp, Tillman, Pacers

The Cavaliers are hosting Ohio State’s Malaki Branham for a pre-draft workout on Wednesday, according to Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. Cleveland holds the No. 14 overall pick and Branham, a shooting guard, is ranked 13th on ESPN’s Best Available list. He averaged 13.7 PPG and knocked down 41.6% of his 3-pointers in his lone college season.

We have more from the Central Division:

Northwest Notes: Blazers, Daniels, Kroenke, Jazz

G League Ignite guard Dyson Daniels was the headliner of the Trail Blazers‘ first pre-draft workout on Tuesday, writes Aaron Fentress of The Oregonian. Of the six prospects who auditioned for Portland, Daniels is the only one expected to receive consideration at No. 7, assuming the Blazers keep the pick and he’s still on the board.

Julian Champagnie (St. John’s), Darius Days (LSU), Mouhamed Gueye (Washington State), Fatts Russell (Maryland), and Dallas Walton (Colorado), all of whom are viewed as probable second-round or UDFA prospects, were the other players to work out for the Trail Blazers on Tuesday. In addition to controlling the No. 7 overall pick, Portland also holds the 36th and 57th selections in this month’s draft.

  • The media availability for Nuggets governor Josh Kroenke, who is expected to address Tim Connelly‘s departure, was postponed again, according to Mike Singer of The Denver Post (Twitter link). Kroenke was originally scheduled to speak last Thursday, then had that session tentatively pushed back to Tuesday after he tested positive for COVID-19. It will likely happen later this week once he clears the health and safety protocols, says Singer.
  • The Jazz held a free agent mini-camp on Tuesday, according to our JD Shaw, who notes (via Twitter) that G League standouts Justin Tillman and Craig Randall II were among the attendees.
  • Loyola guard Lucas Williamson has a pre-draft workout on tap with the Jazz on Thursday, tweets Tony Jones of The Athletic. Williamson has already worked out for several teams, including the Bucks, Celtics, and Grizzlies, Jones adds.
  • Eric Walden of The Salt Lake Tribune proposes 29 hypothetical offseason trades involving the Jazz — one with each of the NBA’s teams.

NBA G League Announces 2021/22 All-NBAGL Teams

Rockets two-way player Trevelin Queen, who was named the NBA G League MVP and the G League Finals MVP this season, has added two more honors to his impressive 2021/22 résumé.

Queen headlined this year’s All-NBA G League First Team and also earned a spot on the NBAGL’s All-Defensive team, as the league announced today in a press release.

The complete list of the 2021/22 All-NBA G League teams, along with the All-Rookie and All-Defensive squads, is below. Players who finished the season on NBA contracts are noted with an asterisk (*), while those on two-way contracts are noted with a caret (^).


All-NBAGL First Team

All-NBAGL Second Team

All-NBAGL Third Team


NBAGL All-Rookie Team

  • Charles Bassey (Delaware Blue Coats) *
  • Luka Garza (Motor City Cruise) *
  • Carlik Jones (Texas Legends)
  • Mac McClung (South Bay Lakers) ^
  • Micah Potter (Sioux Falls Skyforce)

NBAGL All-Defensive Team

  • Charles Bassey (Delaware Blue Coats) *
  • Braxton Key (Delaware Blue Coats) ^
  • Tacko Fall (Cleveland Charge)
  • Shaquille Harrison (Delaware Blue Coats)
  • Trevelin Queen (Rio Grande Valley Vipers) ^

All 19 players who earned a spot on one of the G League’s All-NBAGL, All-Rookie, or All-Defensive teams this year were on some form of standard, two-way, or 10-day NBA contract during the 2021/22 season.

Of those 19, Tillman is the only player who has yet to make his NBA debut, as he didn’t appear in any games after signing a 10-day deal with Atlanta in December.

Hawks Sign Justin Tillman To 10-Day Deal

The Hawks have signed forward Justin Tillman to a 10-day contract under the hardship provision, the team announced in a press release.

Tillman, 25, has been playing for Atlanta’s G League affiliate, the College Park Skyhawks, where he’s averaging 13.1 points and 7.5 rebounds in 14 games. After going undrafted out of VCU in 2018, Tillman spent most of his time overseas before catching on with the Skyhawks.

Atlanta has been one of the hardest-hit teams by the COVID-19 outbreak, with 10 players currently in the league’s health and safety protocols.

Draft Notes: Evans, Jazz, J. Robinson, Simons, Lakers

Potential first-round pick Jacob Evans will work out on Sunday for the Jazz, league sources tell Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune (Twitter link). A swingman out of Cincinnati, Evans could be an option for Utah when the club is on the clock at No. 21.

Meanwhile, the Jazz are bringing in several more prospects for a Friday audition, according to the team (Twitter link). Josh Okogie (Georgia Tech) and Jerome Robinson (Boston College), two more possible targets at No. 21, are the headliners. They’ll be joined by Trevon Duval (Duke), Landry Shamet (Wichita State), Kelan Martin (Butler), and George King (Colorado).

Here are several more draft-related notes:

  • Anfernee Simons is generating some first-round buzz, according to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, who tweets that the Trail Blazers and Lakers are among the teams with interest in the IMG Academy guard.
  • The Lakers will host another group workout on Friday, with De’Anthony Melton (USC), Yante Maten (Georgia), Gabe DeVoe (Clemson), Peyton Aldridge (Davidson), Justin Tillman (VCU), and Kyle Washington (Cincinnati) taking part, per a team release.
  • The Timberwolves are among the teams that have worked out Boston College guard Jerome Robinson, according to Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News, who suggests (via Twitter) that Robinson has made a good impression on the workout circuit. Robinson currently ranks as the No. 17 prospect on Jonathan Givony’s ESPN big board, so he’s a potential target for Minnesota at No. 20.
  • In addition to Kevin Knox and Wenyen Gabriel, whose workouts were previously reported, the Sixers will be taking a closer look today at Jacob Evans (Cincinnati), Tra Holder (Arizona State), E.C. Matthews (Rhode Island), and Jordan Barnett (Missouri), as Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer relays (via Twitter).
  • Despite the declining importance of centers in the modern NBA, many of this year’s very best prospects play the five, creating some risk at the top of the draft, Kevin Pelton writes in an interesting piece for ESPN.com.

Eastern Draft Notes: Sixers, Bulls, Diallo, Raptors

The Sixers, who hold the 10th and 26th picks in the 2018 NBA draft, continue to take a closer look at potential early- and late-first-round picks. According to Michael Scotto of The Athletic (Twitter links), Philadelphia will have an interesting pair of prospects participating in a group workout next Monday when they bring in Miami guard Lonnie Walker and MSU forward Miles Bridges. Both players are considered potential lottery selections, making them options at No. 10.

Duke’s Grayson Allen, a possible candidate for the No. 26 pick, participated in a workout today for the Sixers, notes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. However, Allen – who will also work out for the Celtics on Friday, per Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald (Twitter link) – wasn’t the most notable person present at the session.

According to Pompey, embattled president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo was in attendance at today’s workout. While that doesn’t mean that the Sixers have made a decision one way or the other on Colangelo’s future, it certainly doesn’t seem like bad news for him.

Here’s more on pre-draft workouts from around the Eastern Conference:

Northwest Notes: Blazers, Jazz, Wolves, Nuggets

While most NBA teams are focusing on workouts for 2018 draft prospects these days, this is also a time of year when clubs take a closer look at veteran free agents, bringing them in for auditions of their own. The Trail Blazers are doing just that at a mini-camp this week, as Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype details (Twitter link).

According to Kennedy, former Sixers, Rockets, and Nets swingman K.J. McDaniels is among the players earning a look from the Trail Blazers, along with Casper Ware, Kadeem Jack, Isaiah Cousins, Kyle Randall, and a number of others. A handful of current Portland players, including Zach Collins and Caleb Swanigan, participated in those sessions alongside the free agents on Monday, Kennedy notes.

Here’s more from around the Northwest division: