Mitchell Robinson

Draft Updates: Mavericks, Kings, Celtics, Warriors

There’s a “growing sense” that the Mavericks will scoop up Michael Porter Jr. if he’s still available at No. 5, tweets Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders. He cautions that Dallas hasn’t reached a final decision, but the team likes Porter enough to take him even if he has to sit out all of next season because of back issues.

A report earlier today has the Sixers interested in moving into the top five to grab Porter, so it appears they’ll need a top four pick to trump the Mavericks. Porter also remains in contention for the Kings at No. 2.

There are more draft day rumors to pass along:

  • The Kings have narrowed their choices down to Luka Doncic and Marvin Bagley III, according to Chris Mannix of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). The team’s ownership may break the deadlock later today. Mannix adds that the Hawks will get a “stampede” of offers from teams interested in Doncic if Sacramento opts for Bagley.
  • A conflicting report from Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated states that the Kings have already reached a decision and believe they are adding a “franchise altering prospect.” (Twitter link).
  • Former NBA coach Larry Brown believes Doncic will need to land in the right situation to be successful, relays Sportando (Twitter link). “At 16 he was as good as he’s now,” said Brown, who recently accepted a job with Fiat Torino in the Italian League. “He’s smart but I don’t know in which role he can play. Maybe forward/big man. If he’d play for [Rockets coach Mike] D’Antoni or a coach with European mentality he’d be phenomenal.”
  • The Celtics are working to trade into the top five, but their chances are small unless they part with Jaylen Brown or Jayson Tatum, tweets Sam Amick of USA Today. The Clippers, who own the 12th and 13th selections, also want to move up and the Bucks would like to add more picks.
  • The Warriors are still hoping to buy a pick somewhere in the 30s, according to Jeremy Woo of Sports Illustrated (Twitter link). They worked out a group of players yesterday who might be available in that range, including Jacob Evans, Devon Hall, Gary Trent Jr. and Hamidou Diallo. Golden State already owns the 28th pick and can spend up to the maximum $5.1MM to acquire another.
  • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander confirmed that he held a workout for the Clippers, relays Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer (Twitter link). Gilgeous-Alexander admitted that he turned down a few workout requests, but didn’t specify the teams. In addition to the Clippers, the Knicks and Hornets have also watched him work out, according to Woo, who adds that Gilgeous-Alexander isn’t believed to have a promise but could be taken in the top 10 by teams that need backcourt help (Twitter link).
  • The Sixers attempted to see Donte DiVincenzo in person, but weren’t able to work out a time because of scheduling conflicts, according to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer (Twitter link).
  • Mitchell Robinson was limited by a sprained left ankle in his recent workouts, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The 7-footer expects to be fully recovered soon.

 

Lakers To Acquire 2018 Second-Round Pick From Sixers

The Lakers will acquire the No. 39 selection in tomorrow night’s draft from the Sixers, league source tells Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. The Lakers will send the Bulls‘ 2019 second-round pick and cash to the Sixers in return.

The 39th pick, originally owned by the Knicks, was acquired by the Sixers back in 2014 when the Knicks traded it and forward Travis Outlaw to the Sixers in exchange for forward Arnett Moultrie.

As Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer opines, the Lakers could potentially package the No. 25 and No. 39 pick to move up in the draft, but it remains to be seen whether they’d be able to find a team with whom to trade.

Another possibility, per Jonathan Givony of ESPN, is selecting Mitchell Robinson, a long-projected target for the Lakers whose poor pre-draft process likely pushed him into the second round.

Finally, as noted by both Eric Pincus and Bobby Marks, this trade, as reported, can’t become official until the new salary cap year begins since the Sixers have already received the allotted $5.1MM in cash this season. As such, the Sixers will essentially be selecting a player for the Lakers tomorrow night.

Draft Notes: Grizzlies, Magic, Nuggets, Gabriel

Teams near the top of the draft continue to explore trade options as Thursday approaches. The Grizzlies are one of those teams, as they continue to receive significant interest in scenarios that would see them send out Chandler Parsons along with the No. 4 pick, per Marc Stein of The New York Times (Twitter link). According to Stein, it seems clear that remaining in the lottery is crucial to the Grizzlies, who are believed to be taking more calls than they’re making.

Meanwhile, a couple spots down the draft order, the Magic are also having “exploratory” trade talks, president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman said on Monday.

“We’re having discussions above us and below us, but I wouldn’t comment more specifically than that,” Weltman said, according to Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel. “It’s our job to explore every possible option, get to know the draft as well as we possibly can. And, obviously, the draft isn’t just about the draft. It’s about other roster moves that you could potentially look at as well. So there’s not a team we don’t talk to. There’s not a stone we don’t turn over.”

As Robbins notes, Weltman made similar comments leading up to last year’s draft. In that case, the Magic kept their lottery pick, but traded a couple of their other selections later in the draft.

Here’s more on the 2018 NBA draft:

  • The Nuggets‘ Monday workout with potential first-round pick Mitchell Robinson was canceled, according to an announcement from the team. No reason for the cancellation was provided.
  • Kentucky’s Wenyen Gabriel is working out for the Cavaliers today, then the Hornets on Tuesday, tweets Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog.com. Gabriel is a candidate to be drafted in the second round.
  • The Warriors continued to take a closer look at prospects on Monday, bringing in Jeffrey Carroll (Oklahoma State), Xavier Cooks (Winthrop), Ben Emelogu (SMU), Melvin Frazier (Tulane), Terry Larrier (UConn), and William Lee (UAB) for workouts (Twitter link via Mark Medina of The San Jose Mercury News).
  • Kerem Kanter, the younger brother of NBA veteran Enes Kanter, was in Oklahoma City on Monday to work out for the Thunder, writes Erik Horne of The Oklahoman. The younger Kanter brother isn’t considered likely to be drafted.
  • Loyola-Chicago guard Donte Ingram is scheduled to work out for the Knicks on Tuesday, sources tell Ian Begley of ESPN.com.

Draft Notes: Porter, Bridges, Williams, SGA, Robinson

Michael Porter Jr. was evaluated by teams on Friday and the results were positive, tweets Jordan Schultz of Yahoo Sports. Schultz noted that Porter’s results came back clean and that his previously ailing back was better than expected.

The Missouri product initially canceled his scheduled workout for lottery teams after a hip injury and spasms. Then, Porter was given the green light to be evaluated by lottery teams after an MRI came back clean. Porter is widely expected to be a top-10 selection in the NBA Draft, and it’s possible he’s taken among the first five picks.

Porter missed most of his lone collegiate season due to a back injury but the positive results from Friday should reinforce his standing as one of this year’s top prospects.

Check out more draft notes below:

  • Michigan State forward Miles Bridges landed in Cleveland on Friday night and is expected to meet with the Cavaliers later today, tweets Chris Manning of Fear The Sword. The Cavaliers own the eighth pick in the draft and Bridges will likely still be on the board.
  • The Clippers face an uncertain future at center with DeAndre Jordan and Montrezl Harrell so the team worked out Texas A&M’s Robert Williams on Friday, Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times writes. The Clippers have the 12th and 13th picks and Williams could be a solid insurance policy if both Jordan and Harrell depart.
  • Kentucky’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is expected to be one of the top point guards available in the draft but his lack of workouts for other teams casts uncertainty on who may draft him, HoopsHype’s Bryan Kalbrosky writes.
  • The Nuggets will meet with Chalmette high school alum Mitchell Robinson on Monday, the team announced via press release. Robinson abruptly left Western Kentucky University last year and has prepared for the NBA by himself.

Central Draft Notes: Bulls, Bucks, Pistons

The Bulls have the pieces to move into the Top 5 of the draft but it’s unknown whether they like any prospect enough to do that, according to Mark Strotman of NBC Sports Chicago. The Bulls could package their picks at No. 7 and No. 22 and power forward Bobby Portis to make a deal with the Hawks at No. 3 or the Grizzlies at No. 4. Memphis, though, might want to unload Chandler Parsons contract, in which case the Bulls probably wouldn’t have to include Portis, Strotman continues. With Lauri Markkanen the long-term solution at power forward, the Bulls can afford to deal Portis, who might become a restricted free agent next summer if he doesn’t receive a contract extension, Strotman adds.

In other draft-related musings involving Central Division clubs:

  • If the Bulls retain their No. 22 pick, they should avoid Duke sharpshooter Grayson Allen and Villanova big man Omari Spellman, Scott Phillips of NBC Sports Chicago opines. Allen’s temperamental behavior during his college career is something the Bulls don’t need with an already young roster, while Spellman’s skills do not complement Markkanen because he’s not a rim protector, Phillips continues. De’Anthony Melton (USC), Mitchell Robinson (Western Kentucky) and Anfernee Simons are three other late first-round prospects the Bulls should pass on, Phillips adds.
  • The Bucks could select Michigan big man Moritz Wagner with the No. 17 pick, Gery Woelfel of WoelfelsPressBox.com speculates. The Bucks need a physical frontcourt player who can shoot from outside and Wagner would bring that, Woelfel continues. While most draft experts peg Wagner as a late first- or early second-round selection, he could move into the middle of the first round because of his offensive skills, Woelfel adds.
  • Missouri State forward Alize Johnson and Purdue guard Dakota Mathias are two of the players the Pistons might consider with their second-round pick, according to Ansar Khan of MLive. Both players came in for workouts this week. Detroit traded away its first-round pick in the Blake Griffin deal with the Clippers.

Draft Notes: Knox, Hornets, Bucks, Hawks

The Hornets will become the latest team to meet with Kentucky prospect Kevin Knox, according to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer, who tweets that Knox is flying from Philadelphia to Charlotte to visit the club. Pompey notes that Knox will interview with the Hornets on Saturday, while Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer (Twitter link) expects a workout to happen Sunday.

There’s no shortage of potential options for the Hornets, and Knox figures to be among that group. However, in his latest mock draft, Bonnell has another former Kentucky standout – Shai Gilgeous-Alexander – going to Charlotte at No. 11.

As for Knox, he made a strong impression during a workout for New York last week, as Ian Begley of ESPN.com writes that multiple members of the Knicks came away from that session “very impressed” with the young forward.

Here are more draft-related updates from around the NBA:

  • The Bucks continue to take a closer look at possible candidates for their first-round pick, according to Gery Woelfel of The Racine Journal Times (Twitter links), who reports that Aaron Holiday (UCLA) and Mitchell Robinson (Western Kentucky) worked out for Milwaukee today. Holiday and Robinson rank 22nd and 23rd, respectively, on Jonathan Givony’s big board at ESPN.com.
  • The Hawks will host another group workout on Saturday, according to an announcement from the team. In addition to previously-reported headliner Keita Bates-Diop, the club will get a chance to audition Jordan Howard (Central Arkansas), Jock Landale (Saint Mary’s), Junior Robinson (Mount St. Mary’s), Zach Smith (Texas Tech), and Moritz Wagner (Michigan).
  • We have more details on a pair of previously-reported workouts, as Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel tweets that Wendell Carter Jr.‘s audition for the Magic happened today, while ESPN’s Ian Begley tweets that Anfernee Simons will visit the Knicks on Monday.
  • Jim Ayello of The Indianapolis Star looks for clues about the Pacers‘ draft plans based on the prospects the team has brought in for workouts, observing that there has been a focus on potential three-and-D wings.

Draft Notes: R. Williams, Nuggets, Clips, Wizards

Texas A&M center Robert Williams, who previously worked out for the Bulls, Hornets, and Knicks, continues to earn looks from teams picking in the top half of the first round. According to Sean Deveney of The Sporting News (Twitter link), Williams still has workouts on tap with the Clippers, Nuggets, Wizards, who hold the picks from 12 through 15.

Williams’ session with the Nuggets will take place today, according to a press release from the club. In addition to scheduling an individual session with Williams, Denver has also lined up a group workout which will feature Hayden Dalton (Wyoming), Jacob Evans (Cincinnati), Arnoldas Kulboka (Capo d’Orlando), Dzanan Musa (Cedevita), Ajdin Penava (Marshall), and Johnathan Williams (Gonzaga).

Meanwhile, the Bucks – who hold the No. 17 selection – also wanted to bring in Williams for a workout, but he expects to be off the board before Milwaukee picks and has passed on the team’s invitation, per Gery Woelfel of The Racine Journal Times. According to Woelfel, Texas Tech’s Zhaire Smith, another good bet to be drafted in the top 16, also won’t work out for the Bucks.

Here’s more on the 2018 NBA draft:

Western Notes: Clippers, Nuggets, Bjelica, Musa

The Clippers will bring in some first-round candidates for a pre-draft group workout on Wednesday, league sources tell Michael Scotto of The Athletic (Twitter link). According to Scotto, Miles Bridges (Michigan State), Kevin Knox (Kentucky), Aaron Holiday (UCLA), and Mitchell Robinson will participate in the session.

The Clippers currently hold the 12th and 13th overall picks in the draft, presenting a number of potential opportunities and directions for the club. Bridges and Knox are viewed as two potential lottery picks who may still be on the board at No. 12, while Holiday and Robinson are ranked slightly lower on most big boards.

Let’s round up a few more Western Conference notes…

  • Speaking last week to reporters, Nuggets president of basketball operations Tim Connelly said the team will target a strong defensive player with two-way versatility with the No. 14 pick, and didn’t rule out the possibility of trading or waiving highly-paid players to maintain cap flexibility. Matt L. Stephens of The Denver Post has the story and the quotes.
  • The Jazz and Suns are among the teams that could show interest in power forward Nemanja Bjelica this summer, a source tells Orazio Cauchi of Sportando. Bjelica is eligible for restricted free agency, so the Timberwolves have the chance to match any offer he receives, assuming they extend a qualifying offer.
  • Bosnian wing Dzanan Musa, a potential first-round pick who will be keeping his name in the 2018 NBA draft, has workouts on tap with the Trail Blazers, Nuggets, Spurs, and Jazz, tweets Scott Agness of Vigilant Sports.
  • Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News passes along word of a few more of the players who participated in the Timberwolvesveteran mini-camp on the weekend, tweeting that that Hollis Thompson, Dorell Wright, and Jordan McRae took part, among others.
  • Veteran guard Rodney Stuckey is participating in a free agent mini-camp with the Trail Blazers, a league source tells Michael Scotto of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Draft Notes: Robinson, Kings, Bluiett, Rorie, Caldwell

Despite reports suggesting otherwise, the Lakers aren’t believed to have made a promise to Mitchell Robinson to take him in the first round, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders tweets. Robinson skipped last week’s combine and a report surfaced that the Lakers made a pledge to him with the No. 25 overall pick. The seven-footer did not play college basketball, as he withdrew from Western Kentucky as a freshman last September to focus on the draft. He’s ranked as the No. 22 prospect on ESPN Jonathan Givony’s Top 100 list.

In other draft-related developments:

Chandler Hutchison, Mitchell Robinson Made Promises?

As we relayed on Wednesday, two notable NBA prospects, Chandler Hutchison  and Mitchell Robinson, withdrew from this week’s 2018 NBA Draft Combine in advance of the event. We also heard on Thursday that Hutchison was reported to have found a “safe landing spot” in the late first round.

Now, according to a tweet from NBADraft.net and a story from Bryan Kalbrosky of HoopsHype, it appears that promises may have been made to both players by teams picking in the 20’s of the upcoming draft. Hutchison is rumored to have received a promise by the Bulls at pick No. 22 while Robinson’s promise is purported to have come by the Lakers at pick No. 25.

It remains fairly early in the draft process for teams to be making promises to prospects, but the report at least provides a bit of context as to why Hutchison and Robinson may have withdrawn from the combine.