Malik Monk

Draft Rumors: Monk, Ntilikina, Hornets, Thunder

Malik Monk and Frank Ntilikina may be in “weird positions” tonight, according to ESPN’s Chad Ford. As Ford explains, one of those two players is a good bet to land with the Knicks at No. 8. However, the player who isn’t picked by New York is a candidate to fall out of the top 10 and perhaps to the end of the lottery. In his final mock draft, Ford has Ntilikina going to the Knicks and Monk slipping to the Pistons at No. 12.

Here are a few more draft rumors and notes:

  • Tim Bontemps of The Washington Post continues to hear that if he’s still on the board at No. 11, Donovan Mitchell appears likely to land with the Hornets (Twitter link).
  • There’s “growing chatter” that Frank Jackson has a first-round promise, and the Thunder may be that team that gave him that guarantee, tweets Royce Young of Young adds (via Twitter) that Oklahoma City may look to trade back a few spots in the first round in an effort to pick up a second-round selection.
  • John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 identifies Davon Reed and Semi Ojeleye as two players to watch for the Suns in the second round (Twitter link).

Draft Notes: Mitchell, Jackson, Tatum, Ferguson

Louisville guard Donovan Mitchell will hold a last-minute workout for the Knicks today, posts Ian Begley on ESPN Now. The sophomore out of Louisville, whose session was originally scheduled for Tuesday, is being considered with the No 8 pick, Begley adds, along with French point guard Frank Ntilikina, Kentucky guard Malik Monk, Arizona big man Lauri Markkanen and others. Team president Phil Jackson is intrigued by Mitchell’s defensive prowess and athleticism and likes the fact that he prefers to work out in a group setting to showcase his defense. Joining Mitchell today will be Villanova’s Josh Hart, Miami’s Davon Reed, Iowa State’s Naz Long and others.

There’s more draft news on the eve of the big event:

  • The Celtics have received Josh Jackson‘s medical records, but the Kansas forward still refuses to work out for the team, tweets Chad Ford of Boston appears to be leaning toward Duke’s Jayson Tatum with the No. 3 pick, Ford states, but no decision has been made.
  • Ford still has Jackson as the third selection in his latest mock draft, which was released today. Markelle Fultz remains No. 1, followed by Lonzo Ball, with the rest of the top 10 as Tatum, Jonathan Isaac, De’Aaron Fox, Dennis Smith Jr., Monk, Zach Collins and Markkanen.
  • Terrance Ferguson recently pulled out of workouts with the Pistons, Hawks and Bucks, tweets Jake Fischer of Sports Illustrated. It’s possible that Ferguson received a draft promise from the Nuggets or Nets or he may have been responding to poor workouts (Twitter link).
  • A 7-footer with a soft shooting touch, Markkanen is drawing comparisons to Dirk Nowitzki, writes Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders. Some scouts believe the 20-year-old Finnish star is the best 3-point shooter in the draft. “It’s probably not fair to him to have some young guy compared to a Hall of Fame player and champion,” Markkanen said of Nowitzki. “We have similarities because of the height, being from Europe and shooting. But I have a long way to go before I’m in the same category as him. Hopefully, I can get there one day.”
  • The Wizards will work out six players today, the team announced on its website. They are French center Alpha Kaba, Cincinnati’s Troy Caupain Jr., VCU’s JeQuan Lewis, Eastern Michigan’s Jalen Ross, Niagara’s Tahjere McCall and East Tennessee State’s Hanner Mosquera-Perea.

Northwest Rumors: Gallinari, Blazers, Monk, Timberwolves

Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari doesn’t consider Denver his preferred choice in free agency, according to a Premium Sport interview that was relayed by Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia. Gallinari, who will decline his $16.1MM player option in order to enter the market, says the Nuggets are “exactly at the same level” as any other team that pursues him. The only thing in Denver’s favor is that it can offer an extra year, Gallinari adds in the interview.

In other news around the Northwest Division:

  • North Carolina swingman Justin Jackson was among six players the Trail Blazers brought in for pre-draft workouts on Monday, the team’s website reports. Considered a potential late-lottery selection, Jackson is currently ranked No. 16 on DraftExpress’ list of Top 100 prospects. A trio of big men with first-round potential were also at the workout, including Isaiah Hartenstein (No. 19), who played in Lithuania last season; University of California’s Ivan Rabb (No. 30); and Oregon’s Jordan Bell (No. 35).
  • The Timberwolves will have a tough decision if Kentucky shooting guard Malik Monk is still available when their turn comes up in the lottery, as Jerry Zgoda of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune details. Monk could turn into a prolific scorer in the mold of the Trail Blazers’ C.J. McCollum, Zgoda continues. Alternatively, Minnesota might conclude that the 6’3” Monk will end up being an off-the-bench scorer because of his lack of size and length for his position, Zgoda adds. Minnesota holds the No. 7 overall pick.
  • Along with the well-documented Jimmy Butler rumors, the Timberwolves could pursue a number of pricey veterans in trades, Zgoda writes in a separate piece. LaMarcus Aldridge, Dwight Howard, Eric Bledsoe and Wes Matthews are among the players that Zgoda speculates could be potential trade targets for Minnesota.

Ford’s Latest: Lakers, Suns, Kings, Magic, Mavs

Sources in Los Angeles say that the Lakers have been “moving closer and closer” in recent days to making Lonzo Ball their man at No. 2, ESPN’s Chad Ford writes in his latest mock draft (Insider-only link). However, the Suns also have legitimate interest in Ball, and have had conversations with both the Lakers and Celtics about trading up, says Ford. Phoenix has interest in Josh Jackson too, but if both Jackson and Ball come off the board in the top three and the Suns don’t move up, Ford expects Jayson Tatum to be the team’s choice.

Here are several more interesting tidbits from Ford’s latest mock:

  • The Kings have explored moving up to No. 2 or No. 3, with De’Aaron Fox as their target. Ford’s mock suggests Sacramento will have a chance to nab Fox with the No. 5 pick though.
  • The Magic have shown “serious interest” in Jayson Tatum, but Ford thinks he’ll be off the board at No. 6, and has Orlando picking Jonathan Isaac instead.
  • The Knicks and Mavericks both appear to be very high on French point guard Frank Ntilikina. Ford says not to be surprised if Dallas attempts to leapfrog New York by trading up to No. 6 or No. 7 to secure Ntilikina.
  • Ford’s newest mock forecasts a potential fall out of the top 10 for Malik Monk. ESPN’s draft guru suggests that if Monk makes it past the Timberwolves and Knicks, he could slip to the Hornets at No. 11.
  • There has been “a lot of buzz” about the possibility of OG Anunoby landing with the Nuggets, Ford writes. The injured Indiana forward is receiving interest as high as No. 10 (Kings), but Denver would be a good fit, since the Nuggets wouldn’t need him to play right away.
  • The Trail Blazers, who hold three first-round picks, continue to shop around No. 20, per Ford.

Atlantic Notes: Ntilikina, Lowry, Pasecniks, Goodwin

Clarence Gaines Jr., the closest advisor to Knicks president Phil Jackson, is the latest team official to get a first-hand look at Frank Ntilikina, reports Marc Berman of The New York Post. Jackson’s preference for big guards may be enough for New York to draft Ntilikina at No. 8, although Berman notes that North Carolina State’s Dennis Smith Jr.  and Kentucky’s Malik Monk both have supporters in the front office. Ntilikina is 6’5″ with a 7-foot wingspan, a reputation for defensive intensity and a high basketball IQ. Jackson has developed a liking for European prospects after his success with Kristaps Porzingis and Willy Hernangomez. Ntilikina’s case isn’t helped by his modest numbers — 5.2 points and 1.2 assists in about 18 minutes per game in the French League — but he says he is becoming a more aggressive player.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Saturday’s trade between the Sixers and Celtics removes a potential destination for Raptors free agent Kyle Lowry, writes Ryan Wolstat of The Toronto Sun. Philadelphia had been considered a threat to sign Lowry because it’s his hometown and the Sixers have considerable cap space. But with point guard Markelle Fultz headed to Philadelphia, there’s no need to spend money on Lowry.
  • The Nets may gamble on Latvian star Anzejs Pasecniks with one of their two picks late in the first round, according to Brian Lewis of The New York Post. A former teammate of Porzingis, the 7-foot-2, 226-pound center will have to develop his body to handle the NBA game. “Pasecniks is one of those guys that’d be perfect for a team with multiple [first-round] picks. Brooklyn’s got multiple picks,” said ESPN international analyst Fran Fraschilla. “Portland, and maybe even Utah may have multiple picks. He’s one of those guys that you could draft [and stash] him. Although he’s 21 and he’s anxious to get over here and start his NBA career.”
  • Brooklyn guard Archie Goodwin is a rare player with four years of experience who is volunteering for Summer League, tweets NetsDaily. Goodwin played briefly for the Pelicans and Nets this season, but spent most of the year in the D-League. He is hoping to secure a spot on the team after signing a two-year deal in April that contains several guarantee dates.

Draft Rumors: Lakers, Ball, Monk, Kennard

On Thursday, we learned that the Lakers are “taking and making calls” about the No. 2 overall pick, and according to ESPN’s Chad Ford (Insider-only link), one scenario in particular has piqued the team’s interest. Ford reports that the Lakers have had internal discussions about trading back to No. 4 if the Suns are willing to offer them a 2018 first-round pick. The Suns are currently in line to have two first-rounders next year, with Miami’s top-seven protected pick coming their way, but that’d still be a steep price to move up two spots.

According to Ford, the Lakers are unwilling to trade their No. 2 overall pick if it involves dropping out of the top five entirely, since they want to land at least one prospect with star potential next Thursday. The most likely scenario involves the team simply keeping the pick, according to Ramona Shelburne of, who hears from team sources that a trade remains a long shot.

Here are more draft rumors and notes, with less than a week to go until the big day:

  • Lonzo Ball, who will work out for the Lakers again on Friday, is considering talking to other lottery teams that want to meet with him, according to Ramona Shelburne. Ball’s preference is to land in Los Angeles, but if the team doesn’t give him any indication after Friday’s meeting that he has “separated himself” from other contenders for that No. 2 pick, he may explore more options, per Shelburne.
  • Having worked out for four teams with picks between Nos. 3 and 8, Malik Monk doesn’t intend to audition for any more clubs before the draft, tweets Jessica Camerato of
  • Former Duke sharpshooter Luke Kennard is starting to be considered alongside several second-tier prospects in this draft, according to Chad Ford, who reports that the Knicks are “seriously considering” Kennard at No. 8. One GM tells Ford that his team has Kennard ranked higher than Monk on its board, while a Lakers source says Kennard would be the favorite for L.A. if the club could acquire a second top-10 pick.
  • Another GM from a late-lottery team to Ford, regarding Kennard: “There’s no way he gets to us. I don’t think there’s any way he’s out of the top 10. We think he’s the best shooter in the draft. We think he’s tough. He’s more athletic than you think. He really thinks the game. He’s the most underrated guy in this draft.”
  • Danny Chau, Jonathan Tjarks, and Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer identify eight prospects who are rising or falling on their respective draft boards.

76ers Notes: Fox, Monk, Korkmaz, Workouts

De’Aaron Fox of Kentucky is slated to work out for the 76ers this weekend, reports Keith Pompey of The workout is tentatively scheduled for Saturday. Fox worked out for the second-pick-possessing Lakers on Tuesday. Philadelphia holds the third overall pick. Pompey also adds that former Miami shooting guard Davon Reed will work out for the Sixers on Friday.

Here’s more professional basketball from the City of Brotherly Love:

  • Malik Monk (Kentucky) will work out for the Sixers on Thursday, according to Derek Bodner of The Ringer (link via Twitter).
  • Other prospects scheduled to work out for Philadelphia on Thursday include Dillon Brooks (Oregon), Dylan Ennis (Oregon), Jack Gibbs (Davidson), Josh Hart (Villanova), Tidjan Keita (France), and Darryl Reynolds (Villanova), also via Bodner (link via Twitter). This workout will be separate from Monk’s.
  • Furkan Korkmaz, who was drafted by Philly a year ago but has yet to play an NBA game, will play for Turkey’s under-20 team, which overlaps with the Las Vegas Summer League schedule, reports Bodner (link via Twitter). Still, Korkmaz is undecided on whether he will play for the 76ers during the summer league, adds Jessica Camerato of (link via Twitter).
  • The Sixers are considering using at least a couple of their four second-round picks on draft-and-stash options and Jonah Bolden (Australia) is one of the prospects they are most closely following, reports Orazio Cauchi of Bolden played one season for UCLA before beginning his professional career in Europe’s Adriatic League.

Draft Notes: Monk, Kennard, Green Room Invitations

The Knicksworkout with Kentucky’s Malik Monk this week will be private, according to Ian Begley of Projected as a high to mid-lottery pick, Monk has already worked out for the Suns, who own the fourth selection, and Magic, who have No. 6. New York’s front office is giving serious consideration to Monk at No. 8, along with French point guard Frank Ntilikina and North Carolina State point guard Dennis Smith, Begley notes. Smith had a session scheduled with the Knicks this week, but wound up having dinner with team president Phil Jackson and didn’t participate in a workout.

There’s more draft news as June 22nd approaches:

  • Shooting specialist Luke Kennard of Duke also has a private workout scheduled for the Knicks, Begley adds in the same piece. Kennard may have pushed himself into the top 12 with his performance in pre-draft workouts, including CAA’s event last weekend in Los Angeles, according to Begley, who adds that the Knicks would like to trade for another first-rounder and may be targeting Kennard if that happens. New York has discussed a deal with the Trail Blazers, who hold picks 15, 20 and 26. The Pistons have expressed a willingness to swap the 12th selection for veteran help, and Begley believes the Knicks have reached out to them.
  • Kennard is part of a high-profile group to work out for the Pistons today, tweets Keith Langlois of MLive. He is joined by Duke’s Harry Giles, Wake Forest’s John Collins and Kentucky’s Isaac Humphries. Teams are permitted to bring in up to six players at a time, but Detroit is having difficulty getting players to visit because it doesn’t own a second-round pick (Twitter link). Kennard told reporters he has upcoming sessions with the Magic, Knicks, Mavericks and Hornets, who all pick before the Pistons. (Twitter link).
  • Ntilikina, Collins and Jarrett Allen of Texas have been added to the list of green room invites for draft night, according to Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress. That brings the total to 13, with more invitations to be extended Monday.
  • Creighton’s Justin Patton held his first pre-draft workout this week for the Trail Blazers, tweets Joe Freeman of The Oregonian. He also plans to visit the Nuggets, Pistons, Hornets, Heat and maybe the Thunder.
  • Wisconsin’s Bronson Koenig will work out for the Clippers Monday, Begley posts on ESPN Now. He has a session later in the week with the Rockets.
  • Georgetown’s L.J. Peak had a workout with the Sixers this week, tweets Jessica Camerato of CSNPhilly. He has future sessions set up with the Hawks, Nets, Knicks, Celtics, Spurs, Wizards and Suns.
  • Vanderbilt’s Luke Kornet worked out for the Knicks this week, relays Marc Berman of The New York Post. He also had workouts for the Kings, Celtics, Suns and Jazz.
  • Indiana’s James Blackmon Jr. has worked out for the Pistons, Kings, Wizards, Magic and Rockets, with more on the schedule, tweets Alex Kennedy of Hoops Hype.

Atlantic Notes: Olynyk, Monk, Draft

A big time signing could jeopardize Kelly Olynyk‘s future with the Celtics, Jay King of Massachusetts Live writes. The organization would need to explore renouncing the restricted free agent’s contract in order to free up cap space.

Still, King writes, it’s possible that the franchise could free up money in other ways that don’t involve parting ways with the sharp shooting big man. The British Columbia native averaged 9.0 points per game in 75 contests with Boston this season.

Olynyk could yield as much as $10-$12MM this summer, his value no doubt inflated by the NBA’s growing emphasis on outside shooting, but whether or not the C’s will be in a position to retain him depends on the rest of their plans over the course of a busy offseason.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Knicks will bring Kentucky’s Malik Monk in for a workout early next week, Ian Begley of ESPN writes. New York picks eighth in this month’s draft and actually slots Monk in at the No. 8 spot in their latest mock draft.
  • While there will be plenty of intriguing options available to the Sixers when they select third in the NBA Draft particularly Justin Jackson and De’Aaron Fox, Keith Pompey of the Inquirer says not to overlook Duke product Jayson Tatum.
  • The latest list of free agents and rookies to be worked out by the Nets has been published by Nets Daily.
  • The Raptors auditioned a number of draft prospects this week, Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun wrote about their workouts.

Draft Notes: Monk, Wolves, Bell, Knicks

Selecting Malik Monk is the Sixers‘ best option at No. 3, Bob Ford of the Philadelphia Inquirer contends. While taking Monk so high may be considered a reach, Ford doesn’t see it that way. He argues that front office should disregard expert rankings and pick the player who would fit in best with the team.

Only five teams were worse than the Sixers from long-range last season, as I mentioned in the franchise’s offseason preview. The Sixers’ greatness need may be shooting and Monk, who Jonathan Givony of Draft Express ranks as the eighth best prospect in the draft, made 39.7%  of his attempts from behind the arc during his lone season in Kentucky.

Here’s more on the upcoming draft:

  • Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau said other teams have been trying to acquire the No. 7 overall pick, ESPN’s Nick Friedell tweets. Thibs added that he believes there will be high demand for many picks in the draft.
  • Jordan Bell had an impressive workout with the Sixers, according to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer“For a Dennis Rodman-like player who has the ability to play across a few positions, mainly defensively, we sat with him, had a great interview as we’ve learned more about him,” Sixers executive Brandon Williams said. If Bell falls in the draft, Philadelphia could be a team to watch out for since it has four selections in the second round.
  • The Knicks worked out Ike Iroegbu and Trevor Thompson, Marc Berman of the New York Post passes along (Twitter link).
  • Elie Okobo worked out for the Sixers today, Jessica Camerato of Comcast Sports relays (Twitter link). Okobo previously worked out for the Jazz and he plans to meet with the Nets and Hawks.
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