Patrick Williams

Central Notes: Oladipo, Pacers, Bulls, Pistons

Pacers guard Victor Oladipo is a candidate to be traded this offseason, but ESPN’s Tim Bontemps is somewhat skeptical that a deal will get done before the 2020/21 season begins. Appearing on Brian Windhorst’s Hoop Collective podcast on Monday, Bontemps suggested that Oladipo’s lengthy recovery from a leg injury and his up-and-down play upon returning may reduce his value on the trade market.

“From talking to people around the league, I don’t think his value is nearly as high as his name brand would suggest at the moment,” Bontemps said (hat tip to RealGM). “And I think it’s more likely that the Pacers go into the season and either hope he plays really well and they do great and he decides to stay, or that he plays better and then they maybe trade him later, when his value goes up some.”

If the Pacers do seriously consider moving Oladipo, they’ll be looking to extract a significant return for a player who has made two All-Star teams since arriving in Indiana. But if Bontemps is right and Oladipo’s health, diminished 2019/20 production, and contract situation (he’ll be a free agent in 2021) result in underwhelming offers, the team will likely be reluctant to pull the trigger.

Here’s more from around the Central:

Draft Notes: Pro Days, No. 1 Pick, Williams, Quickley

The NBA’s new pre-draft rules aren’t popular with several teams, according to Jonathan Givony of ESPN, who states that at least half the league is considering not having executives attend workouts and may have just a “minimal presence” at pro days.

Givony says many front offices don’t believe it’s worth making a trip to watch a prospect work out by himself, and some of the teams are located in states that require a mandatory two-week quarantine for travelers. There’s also concern that an executive might contract COVID-19 and not be available on draft night. Also, some teams are reluctant to give away any secrets by providing the league with a list of the 10 players they would most like to scout.

The league office has received requests to alter its new rules, Givony adds, but complications will remain even if that happens. He notes that agents will have difficulty scheduling more than three or four teams each day for a workout, an in-person interview and then a 30-minute medical exam. Teams with high lottery picks are expected to be most active in trying to attend those sessions.

There’s more draft news to pass along:

  • Givony talked to several teams that confirm Minnesota has been involved in trade talks regarding the No. 1 pick. Agents who represent players that are expected to be taken early say Timberwolves general manager Gersson Rosas has been “noncommittal” about what he plans to do and seems open to moving down. Givony adds that LaMelo Ball and Anthony Edwards are still the most likely candidates for the top pick, but the team’s uncertain ownership status may play a role in its draft plans.
  • In the same story, ESPN’s Mike Schmitz identifies Patrick Williams of Florida State as the player making the biggest jump on draft boards. The 19-year-old handles the ball well for his 6’8″ size and could wind up being selected in the top 10. Schmitz also sees potential in Washington’s Jaden McDaniels, while Givony names Kansas center Udoka Azubuike as a possible sleeper.
  • Kentucky guard Immanuel Quickley has met twice with the Knicks, Pistons and Thunder and has held one meeting with several other teams, including the Nets and Celtics, tweets Adam Zagoria of Forbes.

Draft Rumors: Warriors, P. Williams, Oturu, More

Assuming Anthony Edwards is selected first overall in the 2020 NBA draft, LaMelo Ball and James Wiseman would be among the top prospects available for the Warriors at No. 2. However, sources from multiple front offices believe that Golden State would prefer to draft a wing, according to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer.

In O’Connor’s first 2020 mock draft, he has the Warriors selecting Maccabi Tel Aviv wing Deni Avdija at No. 2. However, O’Connor acknowledges that Edwards would be a prime option if he’s available, and notes that trading down is very much in play for the club.

Here’s more on the draft:

  • Florida State forward Patrick Williams has been generating “heavy interest” from teams in the mid-to-late lottery, front office sources tell O’Connor. Williams is ranked 12th overall on ESPN’s big board, though O’Connor has him at No. 8 in his mock draft.
  • Other prospects that O’Connor has heard positive buzz about include Maryland big man Jalen Smith (20th on ESPN; 13th in O’Connor’s mock) and Stanford guard Tyrell Terry (42nd on ESPN; 24th in O’Connor’s mock).
  • University of Minnesota big man Daniel Oturu has interviewed – or will interview – with the Timberwolves, Spurs, Wizards, and Cavaliers, among other teams, tweets Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News.
  • According to Keith Smith of RealGM (Twitter links), some fringe prospects for the 2020 draft are beginning to sign overseas, since international leagues are getting underway before the NBA’s 2020/21 season will. Smith points to Providence’s Alpha Diallo as one example, suggesting that Diallo probably could’ve earned a Summer League spot and potentially a training camp invite, but has signed with a Greek team instead.

FSU’s Patrick Williams Declares For 2020 Draft

Florida State freshman forward Patrick Williams is entering his name in the 2020 NBA draft pool, he confirms to Evan Daniels of 247Sports.

Williams put up modest numbers in his first – and possibly only – college season, averaging 9.2 PPG and 4.0 RPG with a .459/.320/.838 shooting line in 29 games (22.5 MPG). However, he has impressed NBA scouts and appears likely to become a first-round pick if he remains in the draft.

Williams currently ranks 20th overall on ESPN’s big board and comes in at No. 25 on 247Sports’ list. One scout tells Daniels that the freshman’s long-term three-and-D potential is intriguing.

Two Florida State underclassmen have now declared for the 2020 draft, as Williams joins teammate Devin Vassell, another probable first-round pick. Our running list of early entrants can be found right here.

Draft Notes: Maker, Primo, Toppin, Azubuike

Having ruled earlier this week that Makur Maker – the younger cousin of Thon Maker – is eligible to enter the 2020 draft, the NBA and NBPA reached a revised agreement on the draft eligibility of players in similar situations to Maker, according to Jonathan Givony of Going forward, 19-year-old prospects who are still enrolled in high school won’t be eligible to enter the draft, clearing up an area of confusion for NBA teams.

As for Maker specifically, even though he’s now free to enter this year’s draft, there’s no guarantee he’ll do so. His guardian Ed Smith told ESPN that Maker will go pro if he’s projected to be a lottery pick. Givony currently has the young center ranked 77th overall on this year’s big board.

  • In an Insider-only article, Givony and Mike Schmitz evaluate which prospects had the biggest impact at last weekend’s Basketball Without Borders Global Camp in Chicago. According to ESPN’s draft experts, Canadian guard Josh Primo “stole the show,” looking comfortable playing both on and off the ball. Primo, currently a high school junior, projects to be a first-rounder in 2021, says Givony.
  • John Hollinger of The Athletic identifies nine undervalued draft prospects that have piqued his interest, including Dayton forward Obi Toppin, Florida State forward Patrick Williams, and French guard Killian Hayes.
  • Elsewhere at The Athletic, Sam Vecenie makes the case for why Kansas big man Udoka Azubuike is the best center in the NCAA, while Mike Vorkunov takes a look at which prospects the Knicks should be targeting this spring, with some help from Spencer Pearlman of The Stepien.