Niels Giffey

Draft Notes: Embiid, Celtics, Trades

Joel Embiid‘s foot injury has shaken up the draft, with split opinions around the league regarding the seven-footer’s prospects for the draft and beyond. One league source tells Baxter Holmes of The Boston Globe that Embiid’s health concerns place him in legitimate danger of plummeting out of the lottery, while others are confident he will still be selected in the top 10. More draft rumblings:

  • Tyler Ennis will have his second audition for the Magic on Monday, tweets Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel (H/T Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic).
  • The international teams for Jusuf Nurkic, Nikola Jokic, Nemanja Dangubic, and Vasilije Micic will not put any barriers in place to keep the players from joining the NBA if drafted, per tweets from Yugobasket and Misko Raznatovic (H/T Emiliano Carchia of Sportando).
  • Marcus Smart, Noah Vonleh, and Aaron Gordon are the Celtics preferred group of draftees at No. 6, tweets Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe.
  • Boston’s “most likely” scenario for the draft is to keep both of their picks, GM Danny Ainge tells Washburn (Twitter link).

Earlier updates:

  • The Cavs are making efforts to trade down from the top spot to the No. 3-5 range in the draft, where they think Embiid would still be available, tweets Brett Poirier of Sheridan Hoops. The Magic, sitting at No. 4, have not been contacted by Cleveland, a source tells Poirier (Twitter link). The Sixers and Jazz own the third and fifth pick, respectively.
  • The Lakers would consider taking Embiid at No. 7 if he fell that far, a source familiar with their thinking tells Mark Medina of Los Angeles Daily News. Unsurprisingly, LA’s choice would hinge on their confidence in the big man’s recovery.
  • The Lakers are more likely to hang on to that seventh pick than deal it, despite their ongoing efforts to explore what they could net for it, writes Ramona Shelburne of The pick was linked to Klay Thompson as part of the Kevin Love discussions earlier today.
  • The Suns are willing to trade away the 27th pick for a future first-rounder, sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link).
  • Jakarr Sampson, Niels Giffey, Glenn Robinson III, and Chane Behanan will work out for the Celtics today, tweets Holmes.
  • As previously reported, the Warriors, Blazers, Pelicans, and Knicks are all looking to acquire first round draft picks, but the price tag is extremely high due to the deep draft pool, reports Alex Kennedy (via Twitter). Kennedy says that teams are asking for future picks that are unprotected or barely protected in return for first-rounders this year.
  • The NBA has invited 21 prospects to the green room for the draft broadcast, Chad Ford of reveals in two tweets. The invite is a sign of consensus around these players as first round selections. The players invited were Andrew Wiggins Jabari Parker, Joel Embiid, Dante Exum, Noah Vonleh, Aaron Gordon, Marcus Smart, Julius Randle, Doug McDermott, Dario Saric, Gary Harris, Elfrid Payton, Nik Stauskas, James Young, Zach LaVine, Jusuf Nurkic, Adreian Payne, T.J. Warren, Tyler Ennis, Rodney Hood, and Shabazz Napier.

Draft Rumors: Embiid, Wiggins, Gordon, Suns

Chris Mannix of hears from sources who maintain their belief that the Cavs are deciding between Joel Embiid and Andrew Wiggins, as Mannix writes in his latest mock draft. The Sixers hope that Embiid and Jabari Parker go with the first two picks, since they covet Wiggins, as Mannix hears. There’s more from Mannix amid our latest look at the draft:

  • Danny Ainge is “locked in” on Aaron Gordon at No. 6 for the Celtics, several sources tell Mannix, who nonetheless points to the distinct possibility that Ainge will trade the pick.
  • The Suns are shopping the 27th overall pick, rival executives tell Mannix.
  • The Wolves are listening to offers for the 13th overall selection, but they aren’t actively seeking deals, tweets Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
  • Clint Capela, Eric Moreland, Victor Rudd and Akeem Williams are the previously unreported names on the list of players working out for the Celtics today, as Chris Forsberg of details.
  • The Raptors are auditioning Deonte Burton and Niels Giffey today among others we’d already heard about, the team announced.
  • Chaz Williams has the Warriors, Bucks, and Cavs on his workout agenda, as he tells Daniel Malone of MassLive.
  • It appears as though Devyn Marble has set up another workout for the Bucks today after having to call off last week’s plans, as he tweeted that he would be auditioning for Milwaukee today after performing for the Spurs on Tuesday (hat tip to Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel).

And-Ones: Draft, Yao, LeBron

James McAdoo, Roscoe Smith, James Bell, Chris Fouch, Luke Hancock, and Niels Giffey all worked out for the Sixers today, reports Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. All project to be selected in the second round at best, where Philadelphia owns five draft picks. Here’s a roundup of the night’s news, including plenty from the draft:

  • The Bucks are having some difficulty scheduling pre-draft workouts with Joel Embiid, Andrew Wiggins, and Jabari Parker, director of scouting Billy McKinney tells Charles F. Gardner of The Journal Sentinel“I still think there’s a lot of thinking on their agents’ part of, ‘Hey, he’s not going to be there [at No. 2].'” McKinney said. “We’re going to have to be a little creative…which you have to do certain times to go out and get your private discussion and workouts in. That’s all part of it.”
  • C.J. Fair will workout for the Bucks and Hornets this week, tweets Adam Zagoria of
  • Wally Judge will work out for the Jazz, tweets Zagoria.
  • A front office executive tells Gino Pilato of D-League Digest that P.J. Hairston is expected to go either late in the first round, or early in the second.
  • Former Pelicans forward Lance Thomas will be among players participating in a mini-camp at the Nets facility next week, Zagoria reports (via Twitter).
  • Yao Ming earlier denied reports that he was assembling an investment group to purchase the Clippers, but told news outlets including ChinaDaily USA that he won’t rule out the possibility he will. “I know there are a lot of rumors, but I don’t think I have time to clarify the rumors one by one,” Yao said. “Nowadays, sports are globalized, and anything is possible, but so far, there is nothing substantial.”
  • In the case that LeBron James decides to opt out and leave the Heat in the offseason, Dwyane Wade doesn’t want the blame to be laid on his performance or health issues, he told Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today“Just don’t solely put it on me,” Wade said, laughing. “That’s what I’m saying. Don’t put the X on me… There’s a lot that goes into [the decision], so just don’t say, ‘If Dwyane Wade doesn’t have the year that we’re accustomed to, it’s over.'”

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Draft Notes: Ennis, Love, Sixers, Jazz

The draft lottery is just a day away, and in addition to finding out which teams have the best shot at a franchise-changing talent, the results could help foster a pre-draft trading spree. Here’s the latest on the draft front:

  • Tyler Ennis has been invited to the NBA’s Draft Lottery Show, tweets Fran Fraschilla of (H/T Adam Zagoria of The invitation reinforces the perception of Ennis as a lottery pick.
  • Sean Deveney of The Sporting News looks at how favorable lottery results could help the Lakers, Celtics, and Suns boost their chances of landing Kevin Love.
  • Bob Ford of The Philadelphia Inquirer looks at the strategy of Sixers GM Sam Hinkie, who has made a multitude of moves to tank the roster and acquire draft picks for the coming years. While the severe measures might not pay off and have raised some eyebrows in a league built on competition, Ford writes that Hinkie has been justified in his approach considering Philadelphia’s limitations and the league’s lottery system.
  • The Jazz will work out Melvin Ejim and Niels Giffey, among other players, on Tuesday, according to Aaron Falk of The Salt Lake Tribune.
  • Randy Hollis of Deseret News writes that the next few weeks could be the most critical time in the history of the Jazz, starting with how the team fares in the draft.