Mfiondu Kabengele

Clippers Sign Mfiondu Kabengele, Terance Mann

The Clippers have signed rookies Mfiondu Kabengele and Terance Mann, according to a team press release.

Kabengele, the nephew of Dikembe Mutombo, was the No. 27 overall pick in this year’s draft. Assuming he signed for the full 120% of the rookie scale, he’ll take home slightly under $1.98MM during the 2019/20 season, as our Rookie Scale Salaries page shows.

Mann was selected with the No. 48 overall pick in the draft. The two players were teammates at Florida State.

Clippers Acquire No. 27 Pick, Select Kabengele

JUNE 21: This deal is now official, according to the Nets, who used the No. 56 pick to select Jaylen Hands.

JUNE 20: The Clippers acquired the No. 27 overall pick from the Nets and selected Florida State center Florida State’s Mfiondu Kabengele, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter links).

The Nets acquired a 2020 first-round pick that the Sixers owed the Clippers plus the 56th pick in tonight’s draft, Wojnarowski adds in another tweet. Philadelphia sent that pick to the Clippers in the Tobias Harris trade. That pick is  protected for selections 1-14 in 2020, 1-14 in 2021 and 1-14 in 2022 and converts into two second-rounders if the pick isn’t conveyed by 2022.

Brooklyn opened up more cap room to pursue two high-level free agents this summer.

The 6’10” Kabengele averaged 13.2 PPG, 5.9 RPG and 1.5 BPG last season.

Draft Rumors: Knicks, Barrett, Herro, Porter, More

Although they brought in Vanderbilt point guard Darius Garland for a last-minute workout today, the Knicks remain locked in on selecting Duke forward R.J. Barrett with the No. 3 overall pick, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter).

With just over 24 hours to go until the 2019 NBA draft, rumors continue to trickle in about which prospects other teams might be targeting with their first-round picks. Jeremy Woo and Jake Fischer of SI.com suggest that league sources believe the Celtics – who hold Nos. 14, 20, and 22 – have serious interest in Kentucky sharpshooter Tyler Herro. The SI duo also reports that the Spurs – who pick at 19 and 29 – are among the teams with real interest in Croatian forward Luka Samanic.

Woo and Fischer share a few more tidbits in their latest mock draft, writing that the Hornets, Heat, and Celtics are all showing “a degree of interest” in USC’s Kevin Porter Jr., who could be in play to come off the board near the end of the lottery.

League sources also tell SI.com that the Magic have put the No. 46 pick on the trade block and could sell it, with the Lakers, Wizards, and Trail Blazers among the teams believed to have interest in purchasing a second-rounder.

Here’s more on the draft:

  • Kevin Porter Jr. (USC), Nicolas Claxton (Georgia), and Mfiondu Kabengele (Florida State) have received last-minute invites to the Green Room for Thursday’s NBA draft, reports ESPN’s Jonathan Givony (Twitter links). That increases the number of prospects expected to be in attendance in the Green Room to 23, Givony notes.
  • Speaking today to reporters, including Jake Fischer of SI.com (Twitter link), Texas center Jaxson Hayes said he only worked out for two teams, the Bulls and Hawks, during the pre-draft process. Those clubs hold three top-10 picks between them.
  • UNC guard Coby White also confirmed his pre-draft workouts today, as Gina Mizell of The Athletic relays (via Twitter). White worked out for four lottery teams, including the Suns and Bulls, who are both believed to be in the market for a point guard.
  • Terry Harris, the younger brother of pending free agent Tobias Harris, is seeing his stock rise, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer relays (Twitter link). The younger Harris has worked out for the Suns and Thunder, among many other teams.

Chris Crouse contributed to this post.

Draft Notes: Bol, Williamson, Hawks, Knicks, Langford

Oregon center Bol Bol has received the last of 20 invites to the draft’s Green Room, Jonathan Givony of ESPN tweets. Bol Bol is ranked No. 15 overall by Givony. The 7’2” freshman appeared in only nine games with the Ducks due to a foot injury but averaged 21.0 PPG, 9.6 RPG and 2.7 BPG.

We have more draft notes:

  • Projected top pick Zion Williamson has filed a lawsuit in an attempt to terminate an agreement he signed with a Florida marketing company, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports. Williamson signed a marketing deal, which included a clause that it couldn’t be terminated for five years, with Gina Ford and Prime Sports in April. Williamson’s family told the agency two weeks ago that it was terminating the agreement and the agency responded that it would sue for damages in excess of $100MM, Wojnarowski continues. According to Williamson’s suit, the agreement was unlawful under North Carolina’s Uniform Athlete Agents Act because Prime Sports is not certified by the Players Association or a registered athlete agent in North Carolina or Florida.
  • The Knicks’ workout on Friday included St. John guard Justin Simon and Kansas power forward Dedric Lawson, Adam Zagoria of the New York Times tweets. Virginia Tech swingman Ahmed Hill and St. Louis guard Javon Bess also participated in the workout, Zagoria adds.
  • The Pistons, Magic and Hornets are the teams most likely to take first-round prospect and former Indiana swingman Romeo Langford, Dustic Dopirak of The Athletic writes.
  • The Hawks will look at six big men on Saturday according to a team press release. That group includes center Nicolas Claxton (Georgia), Aric Holman (Mississippi State), Mfiondu Kabengele (Florida State) and Naz Reid (LSU) along with Europeans Sekou Doumbouya and Luka Samanic. Langford will also visit with the Hawks on Saturday but will not workout.

Eastern Notes: Leonard, Pistons, VanVleet, Hornets, Wizards

Despite a report from last week that Kawhi Leonard bought a house in Toronto, Leonard denied the story on Saturday in front of reporters, according to a Canadian Press report (via The Toronto Star).

Raptors fans were optimistic that this could be a clue of Leonard’s upcoming free agency decision, with the 2014 Finals MVP scheduled to become a free agent on June 30, one day after his 28th birthday. He’ll likely register interest from several suitors outside of Toronto, including his hometown teams in Los Angeles.

“No, it didn’t. It didn’t happen yet, no,” Leonard said of the report.

Leonard has guided the Raptors through the Eastern Conference and out to a 3-1 series lead over the Warriors, averaging a playoff career-high 31.1 points, 9.1 rebounds and 1.6 steals in 22 postseason games.

The Raptors have a chance to win their first ever NBA championship on Monday night, a pivotal game for a franchise hoping to persuade Leonard to re-sign on a lucrative free-agent contract this summer.

There’s more from the Eastern Conference tonight:

Central Draft Notes: Pacers, Cavs, Bucks, Pistons

Holding the 18th and 50th overall picks in the 2019 NBA draft, the Pacers should have a wide variety of options available to them in both the first and second rounds, so they’re doing plenty of homework in the weeks leading up to the draft.

On Wednesday, the Pacers held a pre-draft workout that featured Shizz Alston Jr. (Temple), Ky Bowman (Boston College), Tacko Fall (UCF), Mfiondu Kabengele (Florida State), Juwan Morgan (Indiana), and Elijah Thomas (Clemson), according to the team. Fall’s ability to participate in that session was limited after he rolled an ankle, as we noted yesterday.

Today, the Pacers are working out six more prospects, announcing that Luguentz Dort (Arizona State), Kyle Guy (Virginia), Amir Hinton (Shaw), Talen Horton-Tucker (Iowa State), Cody Martin (Nevada), and Josh Reaves (Penn State) are in town.

The Pacers will audition six more prospects on Friday, per the club’s latest press release. Ignas Brazdeikis (Michigan), Jon Elmore (Marshall), Aric Holman (Mississippi State), Luke Maye (UNC), Miye Oni (Yale), and Admiral Schofield (Tennessee) will attend that session.

Here are more updates on pre-draft workouts from around the Central:

Draft Notes: Culver, Fall, Edwards, Clarke

Texas Tech’s Jarrett Culver made his case to be drafted third overall during a workout today with the Knicks, relays Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Calling himself “an elite two-way player,” Culver told reporters his defensive abilities separate him from other top prospects.

“Nowadays, it’s hard to find people who take pride in defense. But I’m one of them,” he said. “I take pride in defense. Being at Texas Tech taught me a lot, so I feel like on the defensive side I’m elite.”

Most mock drafts have Duke’s R.J. Barrett headed to New York, following Duke’s Zion Williamson and Murray State’s Ja Morant off the board. Culver said he’s confident in what he has to offer and doesn’t compare himself to Barrett.

“I feel like we’re great players, both of us,” Culver said. “He has a lot of talent, I have a lot of talent. And at the end of the day it’s not our choice where we go, it’s for everybody else to choose. So we just put in the work. I know he’s working hard, I’m working hard. So it is what it is.”

Culver already had a workout with the Lakers, who hold the No. 4 selection, and he has sessions scheduled with the next three teams in the draft, the Cavaliers, Suns and Bulls.

There’s more draft news tonight:

  • Central Florida’s Tacko Fall wasn’t able to participate in shooting drills with the Pacers today after rolling his ankle earlier in the workout, writes Wheat Hotchkiss of NBA.com. The injury doesn’t sound serious and the 7’7″ center made an impression by towering over his workout partners. “Whenever people see me, it’s like, ‘Oh yeah, he’s tall, but can he play?,'” Fall said. “It’s something that I had to work on. I have worked really hard. I have great people around me that have helped me become the player I am today. I just have to keep working.” Others at the session included Indiana’s Juwan Morgan, Florida State’s Mfiondu Kabengele and Clemson’s Elijah Thomas.
  • Purdue’s Carsen Edwards, who worked out for the Sixers today, has also been through sessions with the Pacers, Jazz and Nets, tweets Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. He has upcoming workouts set with the Bucks, Celtics and Thunder.
  • Gonzaga’s Brandon Clarke has worked out for several teams already and has sessions scheduled with the Celtics, Nets, Bulls, Pistons and Timberwolves, according to Josh Robbins of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Draft Workouts: Reid, Dort, Fernando, Poirier

With the 2019 NBA draft just 19 days away, teams around the league are ramping up their workout schedules, bringing in draft-eligible prospects to get a first-hand look at those players in action before they make their final decisions. Here are some of the latest workout updates from across the NBA:

  • LSU big man Naz Reid said on Friday that he has worked out for the Celtics and also has sessions on tap with the Nets, Cavaliers, Sixers, and Spurs, tweets Josh Robbins of The Athletic. Previous reports indicated that Reid also auditioned for Detroit, Utah, and Orlando.
  • In addition to bringing in Reid on Monday, the Sixers will also work out Arizona State guard Luguentz Dort, per Keith Pompey of Philly.com (via Twitter). Dort ranks 26th on ESPN’s big board, which could make him a candidate for Philadelphia’s picks at 24, 33, and 34.
  • Maryland’s Bruno Fernando, who also projects as a potential first-round pick, also worked out for the Celtics, and will do the same for the Hawks, Pacers, Timberwolves, Spurs, and Jazz, tweets Robbins. Workouts with Charlotte, Detroit, and Orlando had been previously reported for Fernando.
  • Florida State big man Mfiondu Kabengele has worked out for the Celtics too, according to Robbins (via Twitter).
  • After visiting the Lakers on Friday, French center Darel Poirier had workouts lined up with the Heat, Sixers, Jazz, and Timberwolves, according to Nicola Lupo of Sportando (Twitter link). Poirier played in the G League in 2018/19 with Washington’s affiliate, but remains draft-eligible for 2019.
  • According to Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog.com (via Twitter), the workout list for Indiana forward Juwan Morgan includes the Suns, Pacers, Bulls, Grizzlies, Timberwolves, Jazz, and Kings.

Southeast Draft Notes: Hornets, Hawks, Magic, Heat

The Hornets are one of multiple Southeast teams that has been busy this week scouting draft-eligible prospects. According to a pair of press releases from the club, Charlotte brought in six prospects for pre-draft workouts on Friday and will take a closer look at six more on Saturday.

Nassir Little (UNC) and Nickeil Alexander-Walker (Virginia Tech) were the headliners in Friday’s group for the Hornets, joined by Devontae Cacok (UNC-Wilmington), Tyler Cook (Iowa), Jordan Davis (Northern Colorado), and Matt Morgan (Cornell).

On Saturday, the Hornets will work out Jordan Bone (Tennessee), Oshae Brissett (Syracuse), Ethan Happ (Wisconsin), C.J. Massinburg (Buffalo), Isaiah Roby (Nebrasaka), and Simisola Shittu (Vanderbilt).

Here are a few more draft-related updates from out of the Southeast:

Nets Targeting Big Men In Draft?

There’s no guarantee that the Nets will use all three of their picks (Nos. 17, 27, and 31) in the 2019 NBA draft, as those selections could become trade assets next month. But assuming they keep at least one or two, they’ll be using those picks to target a certain type of player, writes Ian Begley of SNY.tv.

According to Begley, Brooklyn is hoping to draft a big man that can either complement or back up starting center Jarrett Allen.

As Begley observes, there’s not necessarily a consensus among draft evaluators this season about which players will come off the board in the middle or back end of the first round, so it’s hard to say which bigs will be available to the Nets. However, Begley identifies Bol Bol (Oregon), Goga Bitadze (Republic of Georgia), Mfiondu Kabengele (Florida State), Naz Reid (LSU), and Nicolas Claxton (Georgia) as possible options.

Allen had a promising sophomore season for Brooklyn in 2018/19, averaging 10.9 PPG, 8.4 RPG, and 1.5 BPG with a .590 FG%. Despite Allen’s strides, the Nets’ front line, with Allen and Ed Davis handling most of the center minutes, was undersized on many nights, Begley notes. That was on display during the team’s first-round loss to Joel Embiid and the Sixers.

With Davis facing unrestricted free agency and a desire to add more size to their frontcourt, the Nets will see if they can address that hole at all in the draft.