Nikola Radicevic

Northwest Notes: Mudiay, Radicevic, Towns

The first round selection of Emmanuel Mudiay on Thursday night all but assures that Ty Lawson‘s time with the Nuggets is up, Mark Kiszla of The Denver Post writes. Denver feels fortunate that the young point guard fell to them at the No. 7 overall pick, and the team acknowledges that Mudiay’s limitations as a shooter are why he was still on the board that late in the lottery, Kiszla notes. If he had a jumper, we’re not getting him. He’s No. 1, with a bullet,” Nuggets GM Tim Connelly said. “His shot’s not broken. He’s confident. And he’s a worker.” Connelly insisted that Mudiay and Lawson could exist in the same backcourt, saying “Absolutely. Excited about it,” when the prospect was brought up. But the team shouldn’t risk exposing Mudiay to the potentially negative influence that Lawson could provide, and must find a trade partner to facilitate the veteran’s departure from Denver, Kiszla opines.

Here’s the latest out of the Northwest Division:

  • The Thunder had been making a push to acquire the No. 12 pick from the Jazz before the draft, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (on Twitter).
  • The Nuggets‘ plan for Serbian point guard Nikola Radicevic is for him to remain overseas next season with Sevilla in Spain’s Liga ACB, Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post tweets. Denver selected Radicevic with the No. 57 overall pick on Thursday night.
  • Karl-Anthony Towns was the Timberwolves‘ primary target in the draft from day one, writes Sid Hartman of The Star Tribune. Minnesota coach/executive Flip Saunders believes that the 2015 No. 1 overall pick has only scratched the surface of his ability, Hartman notes. “The thing about Towns is he has great versatility, I mean, he handles the basketball extremely well for a guy that is just under 7-foot,” Saunders said. “He is a two-way player. He can block shots and score offensively. He didn’t show it in college, because [Kentucky coach John] Calipari didn’t ask him to do it, but he’s a very, very good perimeter-type shooter. So I just think his versatility, and then he’s very charismatic.

NBA Draft Withdrawal Deadline Updates

The deadline for college underclassmen to pull out of the draft and retain NCAA eligibility was way back on April 12th, but the NBA’s deadline isn’t until 4:00pm Central time today. That means that prospects from overseas who aren’t automatically draft-eligible finally have a decision to make. It’s possible that an early entrant from college or two will pull out, too, though that would force them to play in the D-League or overseas next season.

We’ll be tracking news of each player withdrawing from the draft today with this post, and we’ll pass along news about players deciding to stay in the draft here, too. A few reports came in over the recent days and weeks — Cyprus-born small forward Aleksandar Vezenkov is expected to withdraw, and so will German forward Paul Zipser, while South Korean center Jong-Hyun Lee is staying in the draft — but if the narrative changes on them, we’ll note it.

A few prospects changed their minds in the hours leading up to the deadline last year, so we’ll transfer names from one list below to the other if that happens again. Once it’s all settled, we’ll update our early entrants list with the final account as the draft, set for a week from Thursday, approaches.

So, here’s our list as it stands now. We’ll update it and bump it to the top of our home page as new information comes in.

Withdrawing from the draft

  • Brazilian point guard George de Paula, aka George Lucas, has left the draft, tweets Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress.
  • Rade Zagorac, a Serbian small forward is out of the draft, agent Misko Raznatovic says, as Givony reports (Twitter link).
  • Russian center Andrey Desyatnikov will withdraw from the draft, according to the ASM Sports Agency, Givony tweets.
  • Nedim Buza, a small forward from Bosnia and Herzegovina, will pull out of the draft, Givony tweets.
  • Combo forward Lucas Dias, aka Lucas Dias Silva, and small forward Humberto Gomes, both from Brazil, have withdrawn from the draft, according to their agent, as Givony tweets.
  • Point guard Miroslav Pasajlic, shooting guard Dusan Kutlesic and center Djoko Salic, all from Serbia, are pulling out of the draft, agent Alex Raskovic tells Givony (Twitter link).
  • Another Serbian, center Marko Tejic, will also withdraw from the draft, Raznatovic tells Givony (Twitter link).
  • Vladislav Korenyuk, a Ukrainian center, will pull out of the draft, agent Saulius Svetkauskas confirmed to Oleksandr Proshuta of basket-planet.com (Twitter link; hat tip to Givony).
  • Brazilian shooting guard Danilo Fuzaro will withdraw, agent Vinicius Fontana tells Givony (Twitter link).
  • Moussa Diagne, a center from Senegal, is out of the draft, according to agent Herb Rudoy, as Givony tweets.
  • French power forward Alexandre Chassang will pull out of the draft, according to agent Pedja Materic, Givony tweets.
  • Big man Alpha Kaba of France won’t keep his name in, either, Materic says, as Givony relays (Twitter link).
  • Swingman Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, another Frenchman, is also coming off the early-entrant list, Materic tells Givony (Twitter link).
  • Simone Fontecchio, a small forward from Italy, is pulling out of the draft, a source told Daniele Labanti of Corriere di Bologna (Twitter link).
  • French small forward Kevin Harley has decided to come off the draft board, agent Olivier Mazet tweets (hat tip to Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia).
  • Latvian center Andzejs Pasecniks is withdrawing from the draft, agent Artūrs Kalnītis tweets (hat tip to Givony).

Remaining in the draft

  • It’s no surprise, but Latvian power forward Kristaps Porzingis and Croatian shooting guard Mario Hezonja, both candidates to become top-10 picks, will stay in the draft, tweets Chad Ford of ESPN.com.
  • Guillermo Hernangomez, a center from Spain, will stick on this year’s early entrants list, according to the ASM Sports Agency, tweets Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress.
  • Serbian point guard Nikola Radicevic is staying in the draft, agent Alex Raskovic said to Givony (Twitter link).
  • Mouhammadou Jaiteh, a center from France, will remain draft-eligible, agent Herman Manakyan tells Givony (Twitter link).
  • Serbian center Nikola Milutinov will stay in the draft, agent Marc Fleisher says, according to Givony (on Twitter).
  • Satnam Singh, a center from India, is keeping his name on the draft list, agent Travis King tells Givony (Twitter link).
  • Macedonian-born small forward Cedi Osman will stay in the draft, tweets Can Pelister of Trendbasket.
  • Greek power forward Dimitrios Agravanis is staying in the draft, tweets agent Georgios Dimitropoulos (hat tip to Givony).

Draft Notes: Lakers, Mudiay, Nuggets

Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak told Mark Medina of The Los Angeles Daily News that the team, which owns the second overall pick in the draft, is not going to pick a player based on whether or not he meshes well with Kobe Bryant. “We’re not going to pick a player because he can play with Kobe, likes Kobe or dislikes Kobe,” Kupchak said. “We’re going to pick the player that can have the longest and best career.” Bryant has signaled that next season will be his last as an NBA player. The Lakers hope their No. 2 pick can lead the franchise following Bryant’s eventual retirement, Medina writes. “Kobe is going to impart a work ethic in training camp that will be beneficial to any player we bring,” Kupchak said. The Lakers are expected to take either Jahill Okafor or Karl-Anthony Towns.

Here’s more draft-related news:

  • Emmanuel Mudiay will work out for the Sixers, who own the third overall pick, on Tuesday, Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv tweets.
  • Gilvydas Biruta (Rhode Island), Trey Lyles (Kentucky), D.J. Newbill (Penn State), Cameron Payne (Murray State) and Serbia guard Nikola Radicevic will all work out on Monday for the Nuggets, who own the seventh and 57th overall picks, the team announced in a press release.
  • Former UNLV guard Rashad Vaughn had a private workout for the Hawks and will work out for the Timberwolves Monday, followed by showcases for the Mavs, Spurs  and Celtics, Zagoria also tweets.

Northwest Notes: Nuggets, Jazz, Oubre, Booker

The Nuggets may be looking to deal for another lottery pick, writes Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post. Dempsey says Denver, which holds the No. 7 selection, may target a slightly lower pick, possibly No. 8 from the Pistons. He notes Detroit’s need for a small forward and writes that the Nuggets have players to offer. Denver has worked out just one point guard so far — Notre Dame’s Jerian Grant — but Murray State’s Cameron Payne is due in Monday, along with Serbian Nikola Radicevic. The Nuggets are also trying to schedule a visit from Emmanuel Mudiay, who has been widely regarded as a top four selection.

There’s more as Northwest teams prepare for the draft:

  • Six more players are scheduled for workouts with the Jazz Monday, the team tweeted. Due in are Stanford’s Anthony Brown, California-Davis’ Corey Hawkins, Temple’s Jesse Morgan, Harvard’s Wesley Saunders, Bobby Parks Jr. of the Philippines and Mateusz Ponitka of Poland.
  • Kansas’ Kelly Oubre was filled with confidence during Sunday’s workout with the Jazz, tweets Jody Genessy of The Deseret News. Oubre compared himself to NBA stars Jimmy Butler, Kawhi Leonard and James Harden, saying, “I feel like I can be as good as or better than those guys.” Oubre also had a message for NBA teams considering him in the draft: “Whoever calls my name on draft night, I’m going to help them win a championship.” (Twitter link).
  • Kentucky’s Devin Booker is a potential draft steal for the Thunder, writes Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman. Oklahoma finished 22nd in three-point shooting last season and could use a perimeter sniper like Booker. “I know Oklahoma would be a good fit for me,” Booker said. “A lot of good looks with Russell [Westbrook] and KD [Kevin Durant] there. So that’d be nice to have. A few people have said things to me about that’d just be a good fit for me. So we’ll see what happens.”

Southeast Notes: Carroll, Hornets, Wizards

Hawks forward DeMarre Carroll is the top unrestricted free agent set to hit the open market this summer, and Carroll can expect to command an annual salary in the $14MM-$15MM range, writes Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The 28-year-old also believes that his best basketball is still ahead of him, Vivlamore adds. “I think I have a lot more to come,” Carroll told Vivlamore. “I think I can be an All-Star player, like Jimmy Butler and Kawhi Leonard. I see myself as one of those guys, but in order for me to get to being on the elite level, like Paul George, you have to be consistent. People got a glimpse of it this year.

Here’s more out of the Southeast:

  • Though Carroll is happy in Atlanta and with the Hawks, he still intends to test the market this offseason, Vivlamore notes. “A player has few opportunities to hit the free-agent market and get a contract to take care of his family,” said Mark Bartelstein, Carroll’s agent. “However, there are a lot of elements to consider other than pure economics. The Hawks have been sensational with DeMarre’s development in so many ways. They deserve a lot of credit. At the same time, DeMarre’s work ethic and his relentless pursuit of greatness is why he continues to get better every single year, and I know it will just continue. We will weigh everything in making a great decision for DeMarre.
  • The Hornets held workouts today for Devin Booker (Kentucky), Sam Dekker (Wisconsin), Keon Moore (Winthrop), Kevin Pangos (Gonzaga), Travis Trice (Michigan State), and Julian Washburn (UTEP), the team announced (via Twitter).
  • Scheduled to work out for the Wizards on Thursday are Brandon Ashley (Arizona), Corey Hawkins (UC Davis), David Laury (Iona), Nikola Radicevic (Serbia), Rashad Vaughn (UNLV), and Dez Wells (Maryland), the team has announced.
  • Kansas swingman Kelly Oubre has a workout scheduled with the Hornets on Thursday, Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer tweets.

And-Ones: Okafor, Mickey, Stiggers, Lottery

The Lakers will work out Jahlil Okafor on Tuesday, the team announced (Twitter link), in what will be the first predraft workout that the center from Duke will have with an NBA team. Okafor recently dismissed rumors that he preferred to play for the Lakers, who draft No. 2 overall, instead of the Timberwolves, who have the top pick, but it seems he’s no certainty for either the first or second picks, so Tuesday’s audition carries no small consequence. Okafor won’t have to travel far, as he’s been working out independently in Southern California of late, as he tells Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders. Eddie Scarito of Hoops Rumors recently broke down the big man’s game as part of our Prospect Profile Series. Here’s more from around the NBA:

  • The Pacers, Hawks and Thunder will work out LSU power forward Jordan Mickey, as he told reporters, including Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link).
  • University of Houston guard Jherrod Stiggers will work out this week for the Hawks and Nets, his agent tells Shlomo Sprung of SheridanHoops (Twitter link). Dan Curtin is the representative for Stiggers, according to Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress.
  • Serbian point guard Nikola Radicevic will have predraft workouts with the Wizards and Thunder, reports David Pick of Eurobasket.com (on Twitter).
  • Commissioner Adam Silver made it clear last week that while he supports lottery reform, he’d like to wait to see the league’s economics after the salary cap jumps next summer before making a renewed push for change, as RealGM transcribes.

And-Ones: Monroe, Rondo, Draft

The Pistons haven’t given up hope that they can re-sign unrestricted free agent Greg Monroe this summer, Terry Foster of The Detroit News writes. In a letter sent to the team’s season ticket holders, coach/executive Stan Van Gundy indicated that Monroe was one of the players whom the franchise hoped to build around, Foster relays. “We have a nice young nucleus forming with Andre Drummond [22 years old], Reggie Jackson [24 years old], Kentavious Caldwell-Pope [22 years old], Greg Monroe [24 years old] and Spencer Dinwiddie [21 years old],” Van Gundy wrote. “We will continue to build around this young group with quality veterans cut from the same mold as Caron Butler, Tayshaun Prince, Joel Anthony and Anthony Tolliver.”

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Brad Stevens, Rajon Rondo‘s coach while a member of the Celtics, said he was shocked with all the difficulties Rondo has had with the Mavs, Jimmy Toscano of CSNNE.com writes. “Yeah. I am,” Stevens said when asked if he was surprised by his former point guard’s issues in Dallas. “And I haven’t paid as much attention or read every article or even really watched anything on it.  So yeah I was a little bit surprised.”
  • Coach Rick Carlisle says he was simply being truthful when he said that he didn’t expect to see Rondo in a Mavericks uniform again during an appearance on “The Afternoon Show with Cowlishaw and Mosley” (hat tip to the Dallas Morning News). “Well it’s highly unlikely, to be honest,” Carlisle said. “I think it’s important to be truthful in these situations. But here’s the other fact: this is a guy that’s going to have a lot of free-agent options in the summer. If we wanted to get him back, we were going to be bidding against multiple other teams with a lot of cap space, and there’s going to be a big market for him So that’s where all that stuff is at, but right now our attention and focus has got to be on Game 3.
  • Greek power forward Dimitrios Agravanis intends to enter the 2015 NBA draft, Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress tweets. The 20-year-old isn’t expected to hear his name called in June’s draft after averaging 4.4 points and 2.7 rebounds for Olympiakos this past season.
  • Serbian point guards Miroslav Pasajlic (20) and Nikola Radicevic (20) will enter the 2015 NBA draft, Givony reports (Twitter link). Neither player is projected to be drafted come June.
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