Nassir Little

Blazers Sign First-Rounder Nassir Little

The Trail Blazers have signed their first-round pick, small forward Nassir Little, according to a team press release.

Little will make approximately $2.1MM in his first NBA season if he receives the max on the rookie scale.

The 25th overall pick played one season at North Carolina, where he averaged 9.8 PPG and 4.6 RPG and 18.2 MPG over 36 games as the team’s top reserve.

Draft-Night Notes: Bazley, Thunder, Bulls, Suns

Some teams holding mid-first-round picks have expressed interest in forward Darius Bazley and he could go earlier than projected, Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today tweets. A McDonald’s All-American, Bazley didn’t go to college and instead spent the year preparing for the draft.

We have more draft nuggets:

  • The Thunder are engaged in trade talk with teams to move back in first round from the No. 21 pick, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweets.
  • The Bulls didn’t shop shooting guard Zach LaVine when they explored ways to move up in the lottery, K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune tweets. Chicago wound up holding onto the No. 7 pick and selecting North Carolina point guard Coby White. LaVine has three years and $58.5MM remaining on his contract.
  • The Suns’ selection of North Carolina power forward Cameron Johnson at No. 11 after trading down from the No. 6 pick earlier in the day was the surprise of the lottery. According to SInow’s Jake Fischer, it was an even bigger surprise due to injury concerns. Several teams red-flagged Johnson out of the first round due to his history of ailments on both hips (Twitter link).
  • The Sixers are trying to move up from the No. 24 pick, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer tweets. They’re hoping to snag either UNC small forward Nassir Little or USC shooting guard Kevin Porter Jr. and could wind up with one of them even if they don’t make a deal, Pompey adds.

Draft Notes: Porter Jr., Little, Pelicans, Barrett

Kevin Porter Jr. could go higher in Thursday’s draft than most observers expect, as Shams Charania of The Athletic passes along. Several executives on teams picking near the top of the draft told Charania that Porter Jr. is high on their board. “He has the gifts to be a top-five pick — easily,” one executive said.

Porter Jr. was expected to work out for the Wizards on Monday, though he pulled out of the appearance over the weekend. Washington owns the No. 9 overall pick. Porter Jr. previously worked out for the Hawks, owners of the No. 8 and No. 10 overall picks.

The USC prospect only played in 21 games while in college, as he dealt with quad and ankle injuries in addition to a suspension. Jonathan Givony has Porter Jr. going to the Nets at No. 27 in his latest mock draft for ESPN.

Here’s more on the upcoming draft:

  • The range for Nassir Little (UNC) likely begins with the Hawks at No. 8, though the Bulls are trying to get him into the building for a last-minute workout this week, sources tell Charania (same piece). During a media session in Washington, Little told Hoops Rumors that the Wizards would be his last workout.
  • The Pelicans have explored moving from No. 4 to No. 2 in order to select R.J. Barrett, sources tell Marc Berman of the New York Post. Barrett and Zion Williamson are best friends and former teammates at Duke. Berman notes that the Pelicans have also explored moving down from No. 4.
  • The Knicks have Ja Morant higher on their board than Barrett, Berman hears (same piece). New York had initial interest in moving back following the draft lottery but the organization is now content standing pat. “The Knicks have a good problem to have — pick three in a three-man draft,” an NBA executive tells Berman. “They just have to wait and see.”

Wizards Notes: White, Little, Sanon, Draft

The Wizards‘ workout with Coby White and Nassir Little drew a larger than normal crowd with owner Ted Leonsis and star Bradley Beal among the observers. Little said that more team representatives were present for his workout in Washington than in any of his other pre-draft workouts.

“The building is pretty full right now,” Little told Hoops Rumors and the other media in attendance. “It shows how interested they are in me and Coby, so that’s been pretty great.”

While the large turnout may lead to speculation about their interest in White and Little, there’s still no sense of what direction the Wizards will go in with the No. 9 overall pick. Interim GM Tommy Shepard is running the show for Washington and the front office will use the next couple days to further evaluate the pool of talented prospects.

Team officials had dinner with White on Sunday night and Washington clearly has interest in the North Carolina native. However, White may not be available by the time the Wizards are on the clock. Despite the projections, White doesn’t see the workout as a waste of time.

“I’m blessed to be here,” White said. “I love it. My sister lives not too far. It’s a great town. Blessed to be here and blessed that they gave me the opportunity to come in and work out for them.”

Here’s more from Washington:

  • Issuf Sanon, the team’s 2018 second-round draft-and-stash prospect, participated in drills during the workout with the North Carolina duo. No word yet on whether the Wizards will bring the 19-year-old guard over from the Slovenian League, though I’d speculate that the team keeps him abroad for at least one more season.
  • The workout with White and Little will be the Wizards’ final session before the draft barring any last-second scheduling.
  • Little made his pitch to be selected with the No. 9 overall pick. “Their roster is pretty short on wings. They have Bradley Beal and Troy Brown but in regards to the 3-spot, I think they have a real need right there and I think I can fill that with my ability to play defense and score,” Little told Hoops Rumors and other media in attendance.
  • The Wizards were the final workout for White. Little also has no more workouts scheduled, something that may return a sense of normalcy to the prospect’s life. “Throughout this process, you’re in a different city every other night. You don’t really have a home,” Little said. “…going to the draft, you have a sense of security… like you belong somewhere, so it’s really a relief.”

Draft Notes: Wizards, White, Garland

The Wizards will work out Coby White (North Carolina) and Nassir Little (North Carolina) on Monday, Chase Hughes of NBC Sports relays (Twitter link) Both prospects are options for the team at No. 9.

Jonathan Givony has White, who will be the highest-ranked prospect to work out for the Wizards, going to the Suns at No. 6 in his latest mock draft on ESPN. Givony places Little in Minnesota at No. 11.

[Related: Could The Wizards Be The “Right Situation” For Keldon Johnson?]

Kevin Porter Jr. (USC) was previously scheduled to take part in the workout, though he will no longer be in attendance. Here’s more on the upcoming draft:

  • The Bulls will work out Darius Garland this week, Givony passes along (Twitter link). The Knicks, Lakers, Cavs, and Suns have either worked out Garland or plan to do so.
  • Garland believes he’s the best point guard in the draft, as he tells Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com. “I humbly say this, I think I’m the best [guard] in the draft,” he told McMenamin. “I mean, I think I can do everything that an NBA team wants me to do.”
  • Garland’s workouts with the Lakers was particularly impressive, a source tells McMenamin while referencing the point guard’s shot-making ability and deep range. The event took place prior to the Anthony Davis trade.

Southeast Draft Notes: Hornets, Heat, Magic, Hawks

The Hornets have looked into the possibility of moving up in the draft from their current spot in the lottery at No. 12, tweets Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer. Bonnell acknowledges that it may be difficult for Charlotte to put together the sort of trade capital necessary to make a deal happen, but says GM Mitch Kupchak is active.

Meanwhile, the Hornets will continue to explore their draft options by bringing in six more prospects for workouts tomorrow, according to the team. Marques Bolden (Duke), Tacko Fall (UCF), Jaylen Hoard (Wake Forest), Jalen Hudson (Florida), and Luka Asceric (Mega Bemax) are among the players set to participate.

Here are a few more draft-related items from around the Southeast:

Draft Updates: Green Room, Culver, Samanic, More

The NBA continues to invite potential first-round picks to the Green Room for next Thursday’s draft, according to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, who tweets that Nassir Little (UNC), Romeo Langford (Indiana), and Tyler Herro (Kentucky) were the next invitees after the initial nine-player group.

According to Givony (Twitter links), Rui Hachimura (Gonzaga), Brandon Clarke (Gonzaga), PJ Washington (Kentucky) also received Green Room invites, as did international prospect Sekou Doumbouya. That brings us to 16 prospects who are expected to be in the Green Room on draft night, with four others still expected to be invited, per Givony.

Here are a few more draft-related updates:

  • Within his latest mock draft, Jeremy Woo of SI.com cites league sources who say that both the Suns and Hawks are high on Texas Tech swingman Jarrett Culver. However, it’s possible that neither team will have a shot at him without trading up — Woo has Culver coming off the board at No. 5 to the Cavaliers in his mock.
  • Croatian forward Luka Samanic has a busy workout schedule, according to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer (Twitter link), who adds the Warriors and Spurs to the list of teams Samanic has auditioned for. He also has workouts lined up with the Hawks and Bucks.
  • UCF guard Aubrey Dawkins has worked out for the Celtics, Pelicans, Knicks, and Raptors, and still has the Mavericks, Rockets, and Hornets on his workout schedule, tweets Josh Robbins of The Athletic.
  • Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog.com (Twitter links) provides a pair of updates on pre-draft workouts for prospects, reporting that Chris Silva (South Carolina) is working out for the Heat and Spurs, while Shamorie Ponds (St. John’s) worked out for the Cavaliers and Mavericks and has the Sixers and Rockets on tap.

Eastern Draft Notes: Hawks, Barrett, Knicks, Pistons

With six of the top 44 picks in the 2019 NBA draft, the Hawks have been understandably busy when it comes to bringing in prospects for pre-draft workouts. While Atlanta is unlikely to keep all six of its selections, the club is doing its due diligence on players who might be available at each spot — or as undrafted free agents.

On Sunday, the Hawks worked out Darius Bazley (Princeton HS), Robert Franks (Washington State), Matur Maker (Zlatorog Lasko), William McDowell-White (Baunach), Miye Oni (Yale), and Trayvon Reed (Texas Southern), according to the team.

The Hawks conducted another workout on Monday, bringing in Jordan Bone (Tennessee), Brian Bowen (Sydney), Dewan Hernandez (Miami), Jordan Poole (Michigan), Justin Robinson (Virginia Tech), and Dean Wade (Kansas State) in for a look.

On Tuesday, the Hawks will host yet another workout, with Charlie Brown Jr. (St. Joe’s), Zylan Cheatham (Arizona State), Keldon Johnson (Kentucky), Nassir Little (UNC), KZ Okpala (Stanford), and Kevin Porter Jr. (USC) set to participate.

Here are a few more updates on pre-draft workouts from around the Eastern Conference:

Atlantic Notes: Udoka, Knicks, Celtics

As we relayed earlier this week, new Sixers coach Ime Udoka is replacing Monty Williams as lead assistant coach under head man Brett Brown. Unlike Williams, however, Idoka will also be tasked with being the team’s new defensive coordinator next season, writes Rich Hofmann of The Athletic.

Udoka has interviewed unsuccessfully for some head coaching positions over the last couple offseasons in Cleveland, Toronto, Detroit, Charlotte and Orlando, but this new position for the Sixers will still be a promotion for him, as Ettore Messina is the lead assistant in San Antonio.

Getting the opportunity to be a lead assistant may very well increase Udoka’s chances of landing a head coaching role in the near future, especially considering the success that Brown’s other assistants for the Sixers like Lloyd Pierce (Hawks) and Williams (Suns) have had when they had the opportunity to interview for top jobs.

In the meantime, Udoka will oversee a defense that largely underperformed during the 2018/19 season given the talent on the Sixers’ roster.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division this afternoon:

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: