Matt Stainbrook

Atlantic Notes: Winslow, Celtics, Raptors

Duke small forward Justise Winslow is “definitely in play” for the Knicks, who pick fourth overall, league sources tell Ian Begley of The Knicks gave Winslow positive feedback after his workout with the team Monday, Begley hears. A more conventional candidate for the fourth pick, D’Angelo Russell, will work out for the Knicks soon, as Russell told reporters in Los Angeles, Begley notes. The team also has tentative plans to work out Wisconsin power forward Frank Kaminsky, reports Marc Berman of the New York Post (Twitter link), another possible sign the Knicks are thinking of trading down. Not surprisingly, many sources have indicated to Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders that the Knicks remain torn over their multitude of options for the pick (Twitter link). While the Knicks mull just what to do come June 25th, there’s plenty more draft news from around the Atlantic Division:

  • Winslow will also work out for the Sixers, who hold pick No. 3, sources told Adam Zagoria of
  • The Celtics would like to move into the lottery and are offering their pair of first-rounders, at Nos. 16 and 28, to make that happen, league sources tell Gery Woelfel of The Journal Times. Boston also has the 33rd and 45th picks and continues to audition non-lottery prospects. Kentucky center Dakari Johnson, Italian small forward Simone Fontecchio, Xavier center Matt Stainbrook, Villanova small forward Darrun Hilliard and Baylor small forward Royce O’Neale are working out for the Celtics today, as the team announced and as Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston relays (Twitter link). They join previously reported participant Pat Connaughton, a small forward from Notre Dame.
  • The Raptors today will audition UCLA shooting guard Norman Powell, Wisconsin forward Duje Dukan, and power forwards Christian Wood of UNLV, Michale Kyser of Louisiana Tech and Darion Atkins of Virginia, the team announced (on Twitter). They’ll join UNLV shooting guard Rashad Vaughn, a previously reported participant.

And-Ones: Nets, Rondo, Draft

There is no truth to the report that the Nets are among the teams interested in trading for Euroleague MVP Nemanja Bjelica, tweets NetsDaily’s Robert Windrem, who cites league sources. The Wolves acquired the rights to Bjelica on draft night in 2010 after the Wizards made him the 35th overall pick. He has a contract with Turkey’s Fenerbahce Ulker that runs out after next season, but an opt-out clause would allow him to join the NBA this summer. Earlier today, Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities listed (in a tweet) the Mavericks, Spurs, Heat, Nets and Bulls as teams that would be interested in Bjelica, if he were made available.

Here’s more from around the basketball world:

  • Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe labels the Kings as a darkhorse team to land Rajon Rondo in free agency this summer, citing Sacramento’s need for a premiere point guard in a pivotal year for the franchise. Rondo spurned Sacramento the last time he was a free agent, as Washburn points out. However, Washburn adds, Rondo is close friends with Kings forward Rudy Gay, and that could make it a more desirable location this time around.
  • Wolves coach and president of basketball operations Flip Saunders confirmed on’s Chris Mannix’s radio show that Kevin Garnett will be part of the draft process and will meet with in person and/or talk on the phone with players, Wolfson relays in a tweet.
  • Former Arizona swingman Stanley Johnson believes that the Thunder are enamored with his versatility and added the team has scouted him since high school, Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman writes. “I think they think I’m the best two-way player in the draft,” Johnson said. “And that’s appealing to them, as it is to most people. They really like me.”
  • Former Murray State point guard Cameron Payne will work out for the Knicks and Lakers, who both own top five picks in the draft, tweets Yahoo! Sports’ Marc J. Spears, who cites a source.
  • Darion Atkins, Wayne Blackshear, Marcus Burton, Michael Frazier, Terry Rozier and Matt Stainbrook all worked out for the Hornets, according to the team’s official website.

Pacific Notes: Curry, Clippers, Draft

While Stephen Curry won’t be worrying about how he will afford to put food on his table anytime soon, his contract with the Warriors is one of the biggest values in the NBA, and the MVP can be considered one of the most underpaid athletes in all of professional sports, Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders writes. There were a total of 50 NBA players who earned more than the $10,629,213 that Curry did last season, including 11 point guards, Kennedy notes. On his way to winning the MVP award the 27-year-old appeared in 80 contests, averaging 23.8 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 7.7 assists in 32.7 minutes per game.

Here’s more out of the Pacific Division:

  • The Clippers need to make changes to their existing roster but won’t be able to add any big ticket free agents this offseason thanks to their difficult salary cap situation. Arash Markazi and Ben Alamar of run down some hypothetical blockbuster trades that Los Angeles could potentially make if it wished to shake up its roster this summer.
  • University of Illinois shooting guard Rayvonte Rice has a workout scheduled with the Suns, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders tweets.
  • The Lakers held workouts today for Alan Williams (UC Santa Barbara), Norman Powell (UCLA), Cliff Alexander (Kansas), Mitch McCarron (Metropolitan State College), Byron Wesley (Gonzaga), Matt Stainbrook (Xavier), and Josh Smith (Georgetown), the team announced (on Twitter).
  • Kings forward Carl Landry underwent surgery today to repair a torn ligament in his right wrist, the team announced. Landry will begin rehabilitation immediately and is expected to be out of action for approximately four to five months.

Pacific Notes: D’Alessandro, Draft, Clippers

Clippers coach/executive Doc Rivers denies that there is any rift between teammates Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason, Arash Markazi of relays. “I can put this to rest: They get along great,” Rivers told Fred Roggin of The Beast 980. “Clearly, like everybody, they don’t get along all the time, and they don’t get along with me all the time, either, by the way. I don’t see that as an issue. I think all three, and I’m including Blake [Griffin] in this as well, understand how important the other guy is to them. Meaning, they all three need each other to win, and I think all three get that and all three know that and all three want to do it together. To me, that’s the most important thing.”

Here’s the latest out of the NBA’s Pacific Division:

  • The Clippers held workouts today for Phil Greene, Rayvonte Rice, Cady Lalanne, Maurice Walker, Bryce Dejean-Jones, and Matt Carlino, Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops reports (Twitter link).
  • Kings GM Pete D’Alessandro is a “significant candidate” for the now vacant athletic director post at St. John’s University, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports (Twitter link). D’Alessandro lost a significant amount of his authority when the team hired new president of basketball and franchise operations, Vlade Divac.
  • The Suns worked out Quinn Cook, Marcus Thornton (Georgia), D.J. Newbill, Tyler Haws, Matt Stainbrook, and Aaron Thomas, Scotto tweets.
  • When speaking about potential 2015 draftees Aaron Harrison and Kevin Pangos, both of whom recently worked out for the team, Suns coach Jeff Hornacek noted that both players may not get selected this June, but could have a shot at making an NBA roster because of the changes in how guards are used today, Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic writes. “There are probably more guys that are the combo guards because they’re not really true point guards,” Hornacek said. “They’re all scoring guys. They all come up with the scoring mentality. You try to find those guys that can do both those things. But especially in today’s game, the point guard, he may be a scorer but he’s still got to lead the team. He’s still got to have that ability to direct guys and not be afraid.