Keon Johnson

Clippers Acquire No. 21 From Knicks, Select Keon Johnson

11:59pm: The trade is now official, according to a Knicks press release.


9:23pm: After trading the No. 19 pick to Charlotte, the Knicks have agreed to trade away their No. 21 selection as well, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). It’s going to the Clippers, who have used it to select Tennessee wing Keon Johnson, per Charania.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter), New York will receive the No. 25 pick and a future second-rounder from Los Angeles in the deal. That second-round pick will be Detroit’s 2024 selection, Woj adds (via Twitter).

Johnson had been viewed as a potential lottery pick, but some teams had concerns about his medical records, according to Jeremy Woo of SI.com, who notes (via Twitter) that the swingman still has significant upside.

Meanwhile, although Knicks fans may be disappointed that the team traded away one of its first-rounders and moved down four spots with the other, the moves allowed the team to add two extra future draft picks and will create even more cap room for free agency — New York will only have to account for the cap hold for the No. 25 pick now, rather than Nos. 19 and 21.

O’Connor’s Latest: Nuggets, Grizzlies, Warriors, Kings, Hornets

Within his latest mock draft, Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer confirms a few items we’ve heard elsewhere in recent days. According to O’Connor, Jalen Green‘s workout with the Pistons last week was “outstanding,” the Jazz are willing to attach the No. 30 pick to Derrick Favors in a potential trade, and league sources widely expect Scottie Barnes to be the Magic‘s pick at No. 5.

O’Connor also reiterates that the Rockets continue to explore moving up to No. 1 and says the Thunder have made efforts to trade up, with Green, Cade Cunningham, and Evan Mobley among their presumed targets.

Here are a few more notes of interest from O’Connor’s latest article:

  • League sources tell O’Connor that the Nuggets are trying to move up from No. 26 into the top 20, dangling young bench players or future draft assets in those talks.
  • Although O’Connor confirms that the Grizzlies are interested in Josh Giddey after trading up to No. 10, he says Memphis could try to move up even further, with an eye on Jonathan Kuminga or James Bouknight.
  • Giddey, Kuminga, and Bouknight could also be in the mix for the Warriors at No. 7, according to O’Connor, who says Giddey is thought to be one of Golden State’s “main targets.” O’Connor adds that Keon Johnson‘s ceiling may be the Warriors’ pick at No. 7.
  • The Kings continue to be active in shopping the No. 9 pick, Buddy Hield, and Marvin Bagley III in separate trade scenarios, per O’Connor.
  • League sources continue to connect the Hornets, who will be seeking a center this summer, to Myles Turner, Richaun Holmes, and Nerlens Noel, according to O’Connor.

Draft Notes: Warriors, Hornets, Green Room Invites, Preston

The Warriors brought in some first-round prospects for workouts on Friday, Anthony Slater of The Athletic tweetsChris Duarte, Keon Johnson, Corey Kispert, Trey Murphy III, Ziaire Williams and Ayo Dosunmu visited the Warriors’ training facility. Johnson is the highest-rated prospect on the list, as the Tennessee guard is currently ranked No. 9 overall by ESPN.

Gonzaga’s Kispert (No. 13), Virginia’s Murphy (18), Oregon’s Duarte (23), Stanford’s Williams (24) and Illinois’ Dosunmu (34) could all be off the board by the second round. Golden State holds the seventh and 14th overall picks.

We have more draft-related news and tidbits:

Kings Notes: Haliburton, Draft Workouts, Wagner

Kings guard Tyrese Haliburton is enjoying his experience with the U.S. Select Team, which is giving him a chance to test his skills against some of the NBA’s best players, writes Jason Jones of The Athletic. Haliburton had previous experience in the international format as part of the USA under-19 National Team while at Iowa State.

Haliburton has fully recovered from the hyperextended left knee that brought an early end to his first NBA season. Although he played just 58 games, he was an All-Rookie First Team selection and finished third in the Rookie of the Year voting. He has been working out in Sacramento for the past month and now gets to see how his expanded game fares against elite competition.

“For me to get out and use that stuff against other guys and see it work against them in live action, it helps a lot,” Haliburton said. “And just kind of seeing what other guys are working on at the same time, how other guys are improving. Just taking bits and pieces of that, putting that into my training and things like that.”

There’s more from Sacramento:

Draft Notes: Executive Roundup, Duarte, Monyyong, Lakers, Mini-Combine

In a Draft Confidential column for The Athletic, Hall-of-Fame reporter David Aldridge interviews anonymous team executives and college coaches to get their inside scoop on the 2021 draft’s burning questions.

Some of the topics discussed: the Jalen Green versus Jalen Suggs debate, who will be the fourth guard taken after Suggs, Green, and Cade Cunningham are off the board (James Bouknight, Moses Moody, Davion Mitchell, and Keon Johnson are the top candidates), draft promises, some of the late risers (Joshua Primo, Nah’Shon Hyland, Miles McBride, and others), and a whole lot more.

We have more news from the draft:

Draft Notes: Early Entrant Decisions, Bleijenbergh, K. Johnson

July 7 is the deadline for college early entrants who declared for the 2021 NBA draft to withdraw and maintain their NCAA eligibility. The NBA’s own withdrawal deadline for early entrants is July 19, but a college player who removes his name from the draft after today wouldn’t be able to play college ball next season.

With that in mind, we’re expecting several more updates before the end of the day on which players are going pro and which are returning to college.

Italian wing Gabriele Procida, Marquette forward Dawson Garcia, Southern Utah guard John Knight III, and Louisiana forward Dou Gueye are among the players withdrawing from the draft, according to reports from Jonathan Givony of ESPN, Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports, and Jeff Goodman of Stadium (all links go to Twitter). Garcia may transfer, with UNC, Arizona, and Illinois in the mix for his services, per Rothstein.

Conversely, Boston College forward Steffon Mitchell tells Rothstein (Twitter link) that he intends to remain in the draft, forgoing his final year of NCAA eligibility. Loyola Maryland forward Santi Aldama will also go pro rather than returning to college, a source tells Rothstein (Twitter link).

Here’s more on the draft:

  • Belgian wing Vrenz Bleijenbergh will keep his name in the draft, tweets Jonathan Givony of ESPN. Bleijenbergh, who will take part in the upcoming group workout in Minnesota, also has auditions lined up with the Thunder, Grizzlies, Kings, Hornets, and Mavericks, Givony reports.
  • Givony is joined by ESPN colleagues Mike Schmitz and Bobby Marks for an in-depth look at where things stand with the draft. The trio discusses how much trade action we should expect in the first round and suggests that Keon Johnson is one of the most polarizing prospects in this year’s class. Some teams have Johnson in the second tier of prospects alongside Jonathan Kuminga and Scottie Barnes, while others view him as a middle-to-late first-round flier, Givony writes.
  • Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report has shared a new version of his 2021 mock draft.

Draft Notes: Monyyong, Hornets, Bleijenbergh, Castleton

Little Rock big man Ruot Monyyong is set to work out for the Kings on July 8, tweets Jason Jones of The Athletic. Jones adds that the 6’10” Monyyong was the 2020 Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Year and was twice named to the All-Sun Belt team during his college career. Monyyong averaged 11.9 PPG, 10.3 RPG, 1.8 BPG, 1.5 APG, and 0.9 SPG across his two NCAA seasons.

There’s more on the draft:

  • The Hornets tweeted their draft prospect workouts for Saturday, July 3. The club took a look at the following players: Western Kentucky center Charles Bassey, Marquette guard D.J. Carton, Oregon guard Chris Duarte, Tennessee guard Keon Johnson, Kentucky forward Isaiah Jackson, and Alabama guard Joshua Primo. Charlotte currently possesses the No. 11 and No. 56 picks in the upcoming 2021 draft.
  • 6’10” Belgian wing Vrenz Bleijenbergh has pre-draft workouts scheduled with the Thunder, Grizzlies, Pistons and Kings, tweets Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report. Wasserman notes that the oversized small forward is thought of as a solid play-maker and shooter.
  • Florida power forward Colin Castleton plans to return to school for the 2021/22 season, and will accordingly withdraw from the 2021 NBA draft, tweets Jeff Goodman of Stadium. The 6’11” Castleton averaged 12.4 PPG, 6.4 RPG, and 1.1 APG last season.

Combine Notes: Garza, K. Johnson, Barnes, Kuminga

Iowa center Luka Garza was one of the best players in college basketball, but he has to prove to scouts that his skills will translate to the NBA. The Wooden Award winner was hoping to do that at the draft combine this week, but he was slowed by a groin injury, writes Mike Hlas of The Iowa Gazette.

Garza, who ranks 53rd on ESPN’s big board, was forced to sit out the combine scrimmages and was limited to athletic tests and shooting. His performances were among the worst in the shuttle run, sprint and vertical leap, but he was one of the most accurate shooters at the combine.

Garza calls himself “the best big-man shooter in the draft” and has dropped considerable weight as he prepares to turn pro. He is now 243 pounds after playing at 265 at Iowa and credits the change to hiring a dietitian and chef.

“I definitely know the criticisms about my game,” he said. “I’m trying to show I move better than they think. … To me, I welcome it. It’s a to-do list.”

There’s more from the combine:

  • Tennessee’s Keon Johnson has been “the biggest standout” at the event, according to Chase Hughes of NBC Sports. Johnson made headlines this week when he broke the combine record with a 48-inch vertical leap, and he recorded the third-fastest sprint time as well. Hughes notes that Johnson, who is ranked eighth overall by ESPN, has more than just athleticism to offer. He can score, rebound and defend and is working to improve his ball-handling and shooting range.
  • The measurements taken at the combine should help Florida State forward Scottie Barnes‘ chances of being selected in the top five, Hughes adds. Barnes is 6’8″ with a 7’3″ wingspan and has the third-largest hands in this year’s class. Hughes suggests the success of former Seminoles teammate Patrick Williams, who was taken at No. 4 last year by the Bulls, could also work to Barnes’ advantage.
  • Former G League Ignite star Jonathan Kuminga generated “positive buzz” at today’s pro day, tweets Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report.

Draft Notes: Butler, K. Johnson, Sharpe, Mocks

Baylor guard Jared Butler has been referred to a Fitness to Play panel by the NBA, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, who reports (via Twitter) that Butler won’t be able to play or practice in the league until he’s cleared. In the short term, he’s also unable to participate in on-court elements of the pre-draft process, though he can still meet with teams and conduct off-court activities (Twitter link).

While it’s unclear what aspect of Butler’s medicals caught the NBA’s attention, the league’s Fitness to Play panels typically deal with cardiac illnesses or conditions, or issues related to blood clots and other blood disorders. Hopefully this setback is just a temporary one for precautionary reasons and Butler is cleared to get back on the court soon.

Here are a few more draft-related updates:

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)