Mathias Lessort

Draft Rumors: Collins, Carroll, Brunson, Lessort

Gonzaga big man Zach Collins has signed with veteran agent Mark Bartelstein of Priority Sports, according to Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders. The 7-footer is ranked No. 12 by both DraftExpress and ESPN Insider Chad Ford. The freshman helped his draft status during the Zags’ run to the national title game. He declared for the draft last week.

In other news regarding the draft:

  • Euroleague prospect Vasilis Charalampopoulos will not enter the draft, international journalist David Pick tweets, citing a source. He wants more Euroleague exposure, Pick adds. The 20-year-old small forward, who plays for Panathinaikos, is listed at No. 10 in DraftExpress’ International 1997 rankings.
  • Oklahoma State forward Jeffrey Carroll has opted not to go through the draft process, Jeff Goodman of ESPN tweets. Carroll decided to test the waters late last month after a breakout junior season with the Cowboys in which he averaged 17.5 PPG and 6.6 RPG.
  • Villanova guard Jalen Brunson is headed back to college for his junior season, Adam Zagoria of the 4 Quarters Podcast tweets. He averaged 14.7 PPG and 4.1 APG during his sophomore year. Brunson didn’t crack DraftExpress’ Top 100.
  • French draft prospect Mathias Lessort has signed with Wasserman and will be represented by Jason Ranne and former Pistons executive George David, HoopsHype tweets. The 6-9 forward is rated No. 34 by DraftExpress and No. 51 by Ford.

International Prospects Withdrawing From Draft

With the deadline for early entrants to withdraw from the NBA draft just a few hours away (4:00pm central time), a number of international prospects have removed their names from consideration.

We’ll be updating this list today if and when more decisions are reported. For now though, nine international players whose intentions had been previously unreported have withdrawn from draft consideration, and won’t be eligible to be picked until at least 2017. According to ESPN’s Chad Ford (all Twitter links), the following prospects have removed their names from the 2016 NBA draft:

  • Diego Flaccadori, SG
  • Marko Guduric, SF
  • Ognjen Jaramaz, PG
  • Alpha Kaba, F/C
  • Emircan Kosut, C
  • Mathias Lessort, PF/C
  • Adam Pechacek, PF
  • Jordan Sakho, C
  • Kenan Sipahi, PG

Northwest Notes: Jazz, Vivant Arena, Nuggets

Tyrell Corbin, son of former Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin, was among the participants in Utah’s free agent mini-camp this week, writes Jody Genessy of The Deseret News. It’s the fourth year for the camp, which GM Dennis Lindsey brought to the Jazz after experiencing similar sessions when he worked for the Spurs and Rockets. Thirteen players from the last three free agent mini-camps have either landed spots on an NBA roster or earned invitations to training camp. “It’s a chance for them to play in front of an NBA coaching staff and for us to get a look at them,” said Jazz director of pro player personnel David Friedman. “Last year, we had a kid by the name of Jonathon Simmons [in camp] just to give you an idea. He didn’t end up with us, but he ended up with the Spurs.”

The camp has an extra dimension this year because Utah has its own D-League team and will be looking for players to fill the roster. Along with Corbin, other prominent names at this week’s event included Preston Medlin, Spencer ButterfieldDionte Christmas and Julian MavungaGreg Stiemsma, who has played for four NBA teams, was also in attendance, along with Argentinian prospect Nicolas Brussino.

There’s more news from the Northwest Division:

  • The Jazz hosted a workout this morning, Genessy notes in the same piece. Attending were LSU’s Tim Quarterman, California-Santa Barbara’s Michael Bryson, Memphis’ Shaq Goodwin, Texas’ Isaiah Taylor, Oral Roberts’ Obi Emegano and French prospect Mathias Lessort.
  • Utah is planning a $125MM renovation project at Vivant Arena, Genessy writes in a separate story. Larry H. Miller Sports & Entertainment will cover $102.3MM, and the franchise is hoping for $22.7MM from Salt Lake City’s Redevelopment Agency. The Jazz will submit their proposal to the agency this week.
  • Washington’s Dejounte Murray will have a private workout with the Nuggets Monday afternoon, the team announced in a press release. The 6’5″ point guard has been rising on draft boards and is listed ninth on the latest list of 100 best prospects compiled by ESPN’s Chad Ford. Denver will hold a Monday morning workout for Bryson, Joe De Ciman of Colorado State, Patrick McCaw of Nevada-Las Vegas, Egidijus Mockevicius of Evansville, Abdel Nader of Iowa State and Chinanu Onuaku of Louisville.
  • Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin is joining the effort to keep Kevin Durant with the Thunder, according to The Tulsa World. She is willing to offer the free agent forward a government job to get him to stay with Oklahoma City. “Oklahoma loves Kevin Durant and Kevin Durant loves Oklahoma,” Fallin said. “But if he’ll stay, I’ll make him a Cabinet person for health and fitness.”

And-Ones: Salary Cap, Draft, Jersey Ads

Croatian power forward Marko Arapovic will enter this year’s NBA draft, as he announced on Twitter, and the same is true for Slovenian shooting guard Blaz Mesicek, as his agent, Benjamin Stevic, told Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress (Twitter link). Both hold a degree of intrigue, with Givony having slotted the 6’6″, 18-year-old Mesicek at No. 32 in his 2017 mock draft, though he’s not in Givony’s top 100 prospects for this year. The 6’9″, 19-year-old Arapovic is 96th among this year’s prospects, as Givony ranks them, and he’s No. 100 with Chad Ford of ESPN.com. International prospects aren’t bound to NCAA rules, so they can hire agents and withdraw from the draft as late as June 13th.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • The latest official projection for next year’s salary cap is $92MM, according to a memo the NBA sent to executives around the league, notes Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today (Twitter link). That’s an increase on the $90MM projection reported in February, though many had already estimated the cap would wind up in the $92MM to $95MM range.
  • Owners sense the league is prosperous and the collective bargaining agreement is working, commissioner Adam Silver said today about this week’s board of governors meetings, as Ken Berger of CBSSports.com relays (Twitter link). Silver remains optimistic about avoiding a work stoppage next year as negotiations with the players union progress toward a new labor deal, tweets Tim Bontemps of The Washington Post.
  • The addition of jersey ads, which the board of governors have formally approved for the start of the 2017/18 season, are liable to raise the salary cap $2MM to $3MM annually based on projections circulating around the league, reports Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link). Silver estimates the ads will generate $100MM in annual revenue, according to Darren Rovell of ESPN.com (Twitter link).
  • French power forward/center Mathias Lessort intends to enter the 2016 NBA draft, YouFirstBasket.com announced (via Twitter). The 20-year-old is a long shot to be selected, not appearing among the top 100 players on either Ford’s or Givony’s rankings.
  • Vanderbilt junior center Damian Jones intends to enter the draft and will sign with Austin Brown of CAA, Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com relays (Twitter links). Jones is ranked as the No. 21 overall prospect by Givony and comes in at No. 43 according to Ford. Jones has long planned to go into the draft this year, having said as much in October.
  • Former Pelicans big man Jarnell Stokes was named the MVP of the NBA D-League, the Sioux Falls Skyforce announced. In 28 D-League appearances, Stokes averaged 20.6 points and 9.3 rebounds in 30.7 minutes per contest.
  • Wichita State senior shooting guard Ron Baker has signed with agent Aaron Mintz of CAA, Goodman tweets. The 23-year-old is the No. 98 overall prospect in this year’s draft according to Givony.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

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