Kaodirichi Akobundu-Ehiogu

Southeast Notes: Magic, Hornets, “Shadow Heat,” Bam

The Magic, owners of the top pick as well as the Nos. 32 and 35 selections in the 2022 draft, interviewed a variety of players at the pre-draft combine, have hosted several prospects for pre-draft workouts, and are expected to host several others as they do their due diligence with an eye towards the future.

Khobi Price of the Orlando Sentinel lists all the players the Magic are doing their homework on, including Duke guard Trevor Keels, Iowa forward Keegan Murray, Baylor forward Jeremy Sochan, Kentucky guard TyTy Washington Jr., and more.

There’s more out of the Southeast Division:

  • The Hornets, who possess the Nos. 13 and 15 picks in the upcoming draft, are hosting UT-Arlington forward Kaodirichi Akobundu-Ehiogu, Gonzaga guard Rasir Bolton, LSU forward Tari Eason, North Carolina State guard Terquavion Smith, SMU forward Marcus Weathers, and Connecticut forward Isaiah Whaley for a pre-draft workout today, per Rod Boone of the Charlotte Observer (Twitter link).
  • The Heat‘s young deep-bench players, a.k.a. the “Shadow Heat,” are gearing up for a summer of development, writes Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel. Winderman notes that the Miami front office brain trust of Pat Riley, Andy Elisburg, and Adam Simon have made it a habit to add intriguing youngsters near the end of the regular season, letting them work out with the team during the end of the year and the postseason ahead of hopeful Summer League success. The Heat have hit on solid role players this way in the past, and hope to do so again with Haywood Highsmith and two-way players Mychal Mulder and Javonte Smart. That trio has been traveling with the club as it continues its playoff run. “I think that gives you invaluable experience, any time you can be a part of a playoff run,” said Heat reserve center Omer Yurtseven, who underwent a similar late-season development process last year.
  • Though Heat All-Defensive Team center Bam Adebayo has had a relatively modest offensive output in the team’s Eastern Conference Finals series against the Celtics thus far, the team assesses his production beyond just the box score, writes Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald. Adebayo is averaging just 13.3 PPG in the series.

Pacific Notes: Wiseman, Lakers Draft, Brown, Kerr

Warriors center James Wiseman plans to play in the Summer League if he doesn’t suffer any more setbacks in his recovery from a right knee injury, Kerith Burke of NBC Sports Bay Area tweets. Wiseman was ruled out for the season in late March. “I’m never going to give up, no matter how hard it gets,” said Wiseman, the No. 2 pick in the 2020 draft. The big man has been doing stationary work but hasn’t returned to contact, Anthony Slater of The Athletic tweets.

We have more from the Pacific Division:

  • The Lakers are bringing in six draft prospects on Tuesday, Jovan Buha of The Athletic tweets. That group will include DeVante’ Jones (Michigan), Jeriah Horne (Tulsa), Kaodirichi Akobundu-Ehiogu (UT Arlington), Jamaree Bouyea (San Francisco), Jordan Usher (Georgia Tech) and Grant Golden (Richmond).
  • Kings fans will have to wait to hear from their new head coach. A press conference to introduce Mike Brown as Sacramento’s coach, which will also include GM Monte McNair, won’t occur until the Warriors are eliminated from the playoffs or win the championship, Jason Anderson of the Sacramento Bee tweets.
  • Until then, the Kings can take comfort in Steve Kerr‘s endorsement of his associate head coach, Kendra Andrews of ESPN tweets“He’s an amazing coach and an amazing friend. Sacramento made a great choice,” Kerr said. “It’s a loss for us, but this is how it’s supposed to go.” Brown filled in for Kerr in Game 4 of Golden State’s playoff series against Memphis after Kerr tested positive for COVID.

MSU’s Max Christie Among Early Entrants For 2022 NBA Draft

The list of early entrants for the 2022 NBA draft continues to grow, as college players put their names into this year’s draft pool ahead of the April 24 deadline.

[RELATED: 2022 NBA Draft Dates, Deadlines To Watch]

Michigan State’s Max Christie is among the players who recently declared for the draft, announcing his intentions in a post on Instagram. The freshman shooting guard stated that he’ll test the draft waters, maintaining his remaining college eligibility for the time being as he gets feedback on his draft stock.

A full-time starter for the Spartans in 2021/22, Christie averaged 9.3 PPG and 3.5 RPG on .382/.317/.824 shooting in 35 games (30.8 MPG). Those numbers are modest, but the 6’6″ guard has shown the potential to develop into a stronger shooter and a solid defender, per ESPN’s Mike Schmitz. Christie ranks 41st overall on ESPN’s big board.

Here are a few more of the college players who have recently entered the draft pool:

Expected to stay in draft, forgoing remaining NCAA eligibility:

Testing draft waters: