Maurice Watson Jr.

And-Ones: Barnes, Clippers, Briscoe

Despite the reports that the Warriors are planning to make a run at Kevin Durant this offseason, Harrison Barnes, who is set to become a restricted free agent, said during a podcast appearance opposite Tim Kawakami of The Bay Area News Group that he doesn’t take such chatter personally. When asked if he has accepted that Golden State may try to sign Durant this summer, Barnes noted it wasn’t the first time he’s dealt with rumors. “For sure. It was after my first year, was that when Dwight Howard was thinking about leaving? So it was funny, Andrew Bogut texted me and asked me, are we going to L.A.? Because he was going to come here,” Barnes said. We joked about that. And last summer it was [the] Kevin Love thing, is he going to come here? So me and David Lee were joking about the fact that we might have to buy winter coats.

You always kind of take it with a grain of salt,” the forward continued. “We’re a great team. And this is a place where people want to play now. Front office is going to do their job, and they’re going to go and try to recruit the best talent, that’s what they’re going to do. You don’t really get too personal about it, or say oh my gosh, they’re looking at other players. Because that’s how business goes.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Clippers coach/executive Doc Rivers noted that the franchise wants to establish its own D-League affiliate in the near future, Rowan Kavner of relays. “We’re going to discuss it, for sure,” Rivers said. “I don’t know if we’ll be able to do it by the start of the [2016/17] season, but it’s something we want to do. We’re a ways away from it, but we’ve had discussions with some outside forces that could make that happen, possibly.” Los Angeles was one of 11 NBA teams without its own D-League affiliate this season.
  • Kentucky point guard Isaiah Briscoe worked out for the Spurs on Wednesday and has workouts scheduled with the Clippers this week and the Lakers after the scouting combine is complete, Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress tweets.
  • Creighton junior point guard Maurice Watson Jr. has withdrawn from the 2016 NBA Draft and will return to school for the 2016/17 season, Jeff Goodman of reports (via Twitter). Watson is the 70th-best prospect among juniors, according to Givony’s rankings.
  • San Diego State sophomore small forward Malik Pope has workouts scheduled for later this month with the Celtics and the Jazz, Adam Zagoria of tweets. Pope is the No. 25 sophomore according to Givony and the No. 46 player overall according to Chad Ford of

And-Ones: Dunleavy Sr., Diallo, Murray

Mike Dunleavy Sr. has officially been hired as head coach of Tulane, the university announced. “We could not be more excited to welcome Mike Dunleavy to the Green Wave family,” Tulane’s athletic director Troy Dannen said. “His reputation as a great evaluator of talent, master of strategy and teacher of the game define him today as one of the top basketball minds in the country at any level. His commitment to Tulane athletics is a game changer for our program.” Dunleavy has zero college coaching experience but owns a career NBA mark of 613-716 from his stints with the Lakers, Bucks, Trail Blazers and Clippers.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Hawaii junior combo forward Stefan Jankovic intends to sign with an agent and enter the 2016 NBA draft, Jon Rothstein of reports (via Twitter). The 22-year-old is the No. 78 ranked junior according to Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress.
  • Creighton junior point guard Maurice Watson Jr. intends to declare for the draft but won’t hire an agent, Jeff Goodman of tweets. Watson is the No. 70 ranked junior according to Givony.
  • Kansas freshman forward/center Cheick Diallo, who has announced his intention to enter this year’s NBA draft, may be better served to return to school for another season, Adam Zagoria of relays. “He will get drafted but he could be in a much better position if he stayed another year to develop. He is headed to the D-League if he stays in the draft,” an NBA executive told Zagoria regarding Diallo’s NBA prospects.  The young big man is currently ranked 36th in Chad Ford’s ESPN Insider rankings and 39th according to Givony.
  • University of Washington freshman Dejounte Murray intends to sign with agent Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, reports Chris Haynes of The Northeast Ohio Media Group (on Twitter). Hiring an agent would eliminate the possibility of the combo guard returning to school in 2016/17. The 19-year-old is the No. 37 overall prospect, according to Givony, though Haynes notes that Murray is a potential lottery selection come June.
  • The Celtics have assigned James Young to their D-League affiliate, the team announced. This will be Young’s 12th jaunt to Maine on the season.