Kevin Porter

Eastern Draft Notes: Cavs, Wizards, Bulls

The Cavaliers will cast a “wide net” when searching for the right prospect to select with the No. 5 overall pick, Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com writes. Kevin Porter Jr. (USC) and Bol Bol (Oregon) are two of the players the team will consider in that spot.

Porter, who was suspended during the 2018/19 season for a “personal conduct issue” at USC, met with the Cavs on Wednesday. The team plans to bring him in for a pre-draft workout in the coming weeks.

Bol underwent measurements at the combine in Chicago but is not expected to workout or conduct interviews. The 7’2″ center suffered a foot injury back in December and was unable to play the remainder of the campaign for the Ducks.

Here’s more from on the draft from teams in the Eastern Conference:

  • Cam Reddish will meet with the Cavaliers on Friday, Fedor adds in the same piece. Reddish is a candidate to be a top-five pick.
  • The Wizards hold the No. 9 overall pick and they have interviewed several top prospects, according to Candace Buckner of the Washington Post (Twitter link). Reddish, Coby White (North Carolina), Brandon Clarke (Gonzaga), Jarrett Culver (Texas Tech), and Jordan Poole (Michigan) were interviewed by Washington. Other players who the team sat down with included Eric Paschall (Villanova), KZ Okpala (Stanford), and Ty Jerome (Virginia).
  • Prior to the combine, the Bulls worked out six prospects, Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic relays (Twitter link). Alpha Diallo (Providence), Fletcher Magee (Wofford), Isaiah Roby (Nebraska), Justin Turner (Bowling Green), Quinndary Weatherspoon (Mississippi State), Zach Norvell (Gonzaga/Simeon) all participated in drills with the team.

Draft Notes: Morant, Garland, Suns, Bucks

While he seems very likely to be selected by Memphis with the No. 2 overall pick, Murray State point guard Ja Morant covered his bases at this week’s draft combine in Chicago, according to Jeremy Woo of SI.com, who reports (via Twitter) that Morant met with the Pelicans, Grizzlies, and Knicks. Those, of course, are the teams with the top three picks in this year’s draft.

While Morant is in attendance at the combine, he’s not participating in the 5-on-5 games this week, per an Associated Press report. That’s no surprise, since it’s rare for top prospects to play in those games and put their stock at risk.

Here’s more on the 2019 NBA draft:

  • If point guard prospect Darius Garland received a promise from a team near the top of the draft, as has been speculated, it seems unlikely it came from the Cavaliers. According to Joe Vardon of The Athletic (via Twitter), Garland left the combine without having met with Cleveland.
  • John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 suggests that Garland, Coby White (UNC), and Jarrett Culver (Texas Tech) are the three players worth keeping a close eye on as possibilities for the Suns at No. 6.
  • USC guard Kevin Porter Jr. is among the players who have met with the Knicks at the combine, tweets Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic. The No. 14 prospect on ESPN’s big board, Porter probably isn’t a target for New York unless the club makes some sort of trade.
  • The Bucks are believed to be keeping a close eye on shooting guards at this year’s combine, tweets Gery Woelfel of Woelfel’s Press Box. Milwaukee has the 30th overall pick in the 2019 draft.

Northwest Notes: Kanter, Wolves, Nuggets

While the Trail Blazers and Raptors are underdogs in their respective conference finals, there’s still a chance that the two teams will meet in the NBA Finals. And if that happens, Portland wants to make sure it will have Enes Kanter available in road games.

With that in mind, Oregon Senator Ron Wyden wrote a letter this week to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, requesting that Canada facilitate “safe passage” for Kanter for any potential games in Toronto, per ESPN’s Royce Young.

A vocal critic of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Kanter is no longer welcome in his home country, with Turkish prosecutors reportedly seeking his extradition. Turkey, which previously revoked Kanter’s passport, is said to be seeking an Interpol “red notice” for the Trail Blazers center, whose ability to travel outside of America has become extremely limited.

While it’s unlikely that both Portland and Toronto advance to the NBA Finals, this would be a situation worth keeping an eye on in that scenario.

Here’s more from around the Northwest:

  • Within an in-depth look at the Timberwolves‘ newly-launched head coaching search, Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic reports that the team hadn’t reached out to Dave Joerger about the job, as of Tuesday afternoon. A Minnesota native, Joerger was speculatively linked to the Wolves’ job even before he was dismissed by Sacramento.
  • PJ Washington (Kentucky), Kevin Porter Jr. (USC), and Romeo Langford (Indiana) are among the players who will meet with the Timberwolves this week at the draft combine, tweets Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News.
  • Matt Schubert of The Denver Post identifies a few players who might be free agent targets for the Nuggets this summer. While Denver will be able to open up some cap room, the team is unlikely to have more than about $18MM available even without Paul Millsap on the books. As such, some of Schubert’s proposed targets – including Khris Middleton – may be long shots.
  • Myles Powell (Seton Hall) has auditioned for the Thunder and has additional workouts on his schedule, sources tell Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog.com (Twitter link).

Full List Of 2019 NBA Draft Combine Participants

The NBA has revealed its list of 66 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 May 15-19.

While a small handful of top prospects often skip the event, that won’t be the case this year — Zion Williamson and Ja Morant are on the league’s list of 66 names, along with R.J. Barrett, Cam Reddish, Jarrett Culver, Darius Garland, De’Andre Hunter, and many more. Of course, those top prospects may not participate fully in all of the workouts and scrimmages at the combine.

A few more names figure to be added to this list, as a select number of the 40 draft-eligible prospects participating in the G League Elite Camp earlier in the week are expected to receive invites to the combine.

Here’s the full list of 66 names announced by the NBA today, in alphabetical order:

  1. Nickeil Alexander-Walker, G, Virginia Tech (sophomore)
  2. R.J. Barrett, G/F, Duke (freshman)
  3. Charles Bassey, C, Western Kentucky (freshman)
  4. Darius Bazley, F, Princeton HS (OH) (N/A)
  5. Bol Bol, C, Oregon (freshman)
  6. Jordan Bone, G, Tennessee (junior)
  7. Brian Bowen, F, USA (born 1998)
  8. Ky Bowman, G, Boston College (junior)
  9. Ignas Brazdeikis, F, Michigan (freshman)
  10. Moses Brown, C, UCLA (freshman)
  11. Brandon Clarke, F, Gonzaga (junior)
  12. Nicolas Claxton, F, Georgia (sophomore)
  13. Jarrett Culver, G/F, Texas Tech (sophomore)
  14. Luguentz Dort, G, Arizona State (freshman)
  15. Devon Dotson, G, Kansas (freshman)
  16. Carsen Edwards, G, Purdue (junior)
  17. Bruno Fernando, F, Maryland (sophomore)
  18. Daniel Gafford, F/C, Arkansas (sophomore)
  19. Darius Garland, G, Vanderbilt (freshman)
  20. Quentin Grimes, G, Kansas (freshman)
  21. Kyle Guy, G, Virginia (junior)
  22. Jaylen Hands, G, UCLA (sophomore)
  23. Jaxson Hayes, F/C, Texas (freshman)
  24. Tyler Herro, G, Kentucky (freshman)
  25. Jaylen Hoard, F, Wake Forest (freshman)
  26. Talen Horton-Tucker, G, Iowa State (freshman)
  27. De’Andre Hunter, F, Virginia (sophomore)
  28. Ty Jerome, G, Virginia (junior)
  29. Cameron Johnson, G, UNC (senior)
  30. Keldon Johnson, F, Kentucky (freshman)
  31. Mfiondu Kabengele, C, Florida State (sophomore)
  32. Louis King, F, Oregon (freshman)
  33. Romeo Langford, G, Indiana (freshman)
  34. Dedric Lawson, F, Kansas (junior)
  35. Jalen Lecque, G, Brewster Academy (NH) (N/A)
  36. Nassir Little, F, UNC (freshman)
  37. Charles Matthews, G, Michigan (junior)
  38. Jalen McDaniels, F, San Diego State (sophomore)
  39. Ja Morant, G, Murray State (sophomore)
  40. Zach Norvell Jr., G, Gonzaga (sophomore)
  41. Jaylen Nowell, G, Washington (sophomore)
  42. Jordan Nwora, F, Louisville (sophomore)
  43. Chuma Okeke, F, Auburn (sophomore)
  44. KZ Okpala, F, Stanford (sophomore)
  45. Miye Oni, G/F, Yale (junior)
  46. Eric Paschall, F, Villanova (senior)
  47. Shamorie Ponds, G, St. John’s (junior)
  48. Jordan Poole, G, Michigan (sophomore)
  49. Jontay Porter, F, Missouri (sophomore)
  50. Kevin Porter Jr, G, USC (freshman)
  51. Neemias Queta, C, Utah State (freshman)
  52. Cam Reddish, F, Duke (freshman)
  53. Naz Reid, C, LSU (freshman)
  54. Isaiah Roby, F, Nebraska (junior)
  55. Luka Samanic, F, Croatia (born 2000)
  56. Admiral Schofield, G, Tennessee (senior)
  57. Simisola Shittu, F, Vanderbilt (freshman)
  58. Killian Tillie, F, Gonzaga (junior)
  59. PJ Washington, F, Kentucky (sophomore)
  60. Tremont Waters, G, LSU (sophomore)
  61. Quinndary Weatherspoon, G, Missippi State (senior)
  62. Coby White, G, UNC (freshman)
  63. Kris Wilkes, G, UCLA (sophomore)
  64. Grant Williams, F, Tennessee (junior)
  65. Zion Williamson, F, Duke (freshman)
  66. Dylan Windler, G, Belmont (senior)

Rui Hachimura (Gonzaga) and Matisse Thybulle (Washington) are among the potential first-round picks who aren’t on the NBA’s list of combine participants, as noted by Jeremy Woo of SI.com and ESPN’s Jonathan Givony (Twitter links).

USC’s Kevin Porter Jr. Declares For 2019 NBA Draft

Another probable first-round pick has joined the 2019 NBA draft pool, according to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, who reports that USC freshman Kevin Porter Jr. is declaring for the draft and signing with Roc Nation Sports for representation.

[RELATED: 2019 NBA Draft Early Entrants List]

“Starting off freshman year I really wasn’t focused on the NBA draft, but now that the season is over and I see the opportunity that I have I just want to pursue it for my family, my friends and everyone that has been supporting me,” Porter told Givony.

Although Porter ranks No. 14 on ESPN’s big board, Givony acknowledges that a number of NBA scouts consider the 6’6″ guard a top-five talent in this year’s draft class. One of the youngest prospects projected to be draft, Porter possesses an intriguing combination of “size, strength, ball-handling, shot-making ability, and long-term upside,” according to Givony.

Porter did have an inconsistent freshman year at USC due in part to injuries, averaging 9.5 PPG, 4.0 RPG, and a .471/.412/.522 shooting line in a total of 21 games (22.1 MPG). His decision-making ability and his shot selection also remain a work in progress, Givony writes in his scouting report.

And-Ones: Withey, Nunnally, K. Porter, NBA 2K

Former NBA center Jeff Withey, who has logged over 200 career games for New Orleans, Utah, and Dallas, is exploring opportunities in China after parting ways with his Turkish club last month. According to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando (Twitter link), a report suggesting that Withey has reached a deal with the Shanghai Sharks is inaccurate, but the big man has tried out for the Zhejiang Golden Bulls.

Meanwhile, another former NBA player, James Nunnally, is a candidate to head back overseas after being waived by the Timberwolves last week. As Carchia relays, Nunnally continues to weigh his options after being linked to Spanish team Baskonia.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Top 2019 draft prospect Kevin Porter Jr. has been suspended for “personal conduct issues” by USC, the team announced over the weekend. Trojans head coach Andy Enfield said after Sunday’s game that the suspension is indefinite, per J. Brady McCollough of The Los Angeles Times. “We’ll re-evaluate his future with the program this week,” Enfield said. In his most recent 2019 mock draft, ESPN’s Jonathan Givony had Porter, a freshman guard, coming off the board at No. 11 overall.
  • One executive who spoke to Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports today cautioned against reading too much into reports on trade discussions or inquiries (Twitter link). “Be careful of these reports of teams talking,” the executive told Smith. “I mean, everyone is talking to everyone else. It’s trade season. Of course we’re all talking. I have 20 conversations a day at least that go nowhere as far as deals go, but it just takes one.”
  • The NBA, NBPA, and 2K announced today in a press release that they’re extending their partnership. The agreement, which ensures that NBA teams and players will continue to appear in the NBA 2K franchise for the foreseeable future, is believed to be worth $1.1 billion over seven years, according to Liz Mullen of SportsBusiness Journal, who notes (via Twitter) that’s more than double the value of previous deals.

And-Ones: A. Brown, Hanlan, Draft, Africa

Former NBA swingman Anthony Brown and Serbian team KK Partizan Belgrade have officially parted ways, as Emiliano Carchia of Sportando relays. Brown’s deal was supposed to run through June, but the two sides agreed to terminate it just a month after it was finalized.

In other international basketball news, former Spurs second-round pick Olivier Hanlan has signed with German club Telekom Baskets Bonn, according to an announcement from the team (hat tip to Sportando). Hanlan signed with San Antonio in September, but was waived a few days later, so the Spurs no longer have his NBA rights.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • ESPN draft experts Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz have updated their 2019 mock draft (Insider link), with Zion Williamson now claiming the No. 1 spot, followed by Duke teammate R.J. Barrett at No. 2. Givony and Schmitz also zero in on players whose stocks have recently improved or fallen, with USC’s Kevin Porter (No. 21 to No. 9) and Murray State’s Temetrius “Ja” Morant (No. 16 to No. 10) among the big risers.
  • The NBA, which unveiled a new training facility at its basketball academy in Senegal this week, has “big plans” for Africa, writes Ken Maguire of The Associated Press. NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum suggests that the league believes the number of African players on NBA starting rosters (13) could double within a decade, Maguire notes.
  • In an Insider-only story for ESPN.com, Bobby Marks examines some NBA roster moves or salary-cap decisions that didn’t receive a ton of attention at the time, but have paid off so far, including the Grizzlies‘ acquisition of Garrett Temple.