12:07pm: The Boardroom has provided a full list of the 16 participants in the tournament, along with the first-round matchups (Twitter link). Devin Booker (Suns), Trae Young (Hawks), and Zach LaVine (Bulls) are among the other stars set to take part in the event.
11:19am: With no NBA games expected to happen on the court anytime soon, the league is setting up a virtual tournament in an attempt to sate fans’ appetite for basketball, reports Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.
According to Haynes, the league intends to launch an NBA 2K tournament that will feature NBA players competing against one another. The goal is to begin the 10-day event this Friday, though the league is still working out and finalizing the details, sources tell Haynes. The tournament would be broadcast on ESPN.
Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel had previously tweeted that Trail Blazers center Hassan Whiteside and Heat swingman Derrick Jones were among the players set to play in an NBA 2K20 Players Tournament in April. That info appears to be based on an announcement from the NBPA, which was quickly deleted. Jeff Garcia of Spurs Zone (via Twitter) shares the full list of participants the NBPA identified in that premature release.
According to Winderman, the tournament is expected to have a $100K prize for charity.
- The Suns flashed their potential under coach Monty Williams this season, The Athletic’s Gina Mizell said in a roundtable of Pacific Division beat writers. “Devin Booker became an All-Star. Deandre Ayton, even in limited action due to suspension and injury, made strides,” Mizell said. “Ricky Rubio was a playmaker and veteran leader. Kelly Oubre Jr. had a career season and Mikal Bridges progressed.”
Cameron Johnson, who was the No. 11 overall pick in the 2019 draft, should see an increased role next season in Phoenix, Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic contends. The Suns rookie had made 91 three-pointers in 49 games and his progression may allow the franchise to focus on other position as it looks to upgrade the roster this summer.
Here’s more from the Western Conference:
- Lakers star LeBron James is being sued by a photographer for posting content on his social media pages without permission, as I detailed on Heavy.com. The photojournalist captured a picture of James dunking on Meyers Leonard earlier in the season.
- Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News examines LaMarcus Aldridge‘s season and wonders if the 34-year-old big man has a lengthy future with the Spurs. Aldridge has one year and $24MM left on his deal after this season.
- DeMar DeRozan‘s future with the Spurs isn’t certain either, as McDonald writes in a separate piece. The shooting guard is expected to decline his player option for next season and seek a long-term contract—either with San Antonio or another club.
Killian Hayes, who skipped college basketball to play professionally in Germany, might be the answer the Knicks are looking for at point guard, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. Hayes was born in Florida, but has spent much of his life in France, where his father was a pro.
“He’s got good size for a young point guard, close to 6’5″, and he’s got a feel for the game,’’ said former Sixers general manager Brad Greenberg, who has spent several years coaching in Europe. “He’s used to having the ball in his hands and playing in a ball-screen offense. A very nice feel.’’
Hayes, who turns 19 in July, is ranked 10th in ESPN’s latest list of draft prospects and is the third point guard on the board behind LaMelo Ball and Tyrese Haliburton. Under the current standings, the Knicks’ pick could be as high as No. 1 and as low as No. 10.
There’s more draft news to pass along:
- Arizona’s Nico Mannion makes sense for the Suns if they opt for a point guard in the draft, contends Jeremy Cluff of The Arizona Republic. Cluff rounds up draft projections for Phoenix, which is currently slotted at No. 10. Ricky Rubio is under contract for two more years, but he’s 29 and the Suns may be looking for his long-term replacement.
- Despite an adjusted pre-draft schedule that has already resulted in the cancellation of the NCAA Tournament and the Nike Hoop Summit, the Warriors believe they will be prepared whenever the draft arrives, according to Wes Goldberg of The San Jose Mercury News. Assistant general manager Larry Harris said the team was about 90% done with its evaluations when the sports world was shut down last week, adding that everything else would have been “finishing touches.”
- Seton Hall forward Sandro Mamukelashvili plans to declare for the draft without hiring an agent, reports Adam Zagoria of NJ.com. The 6’11” junior averaged 11.9 points and 6.0 rebounds per game this season. “It’s a great opportunity to see where he is at and where we go from here,” Pirates coach Kevin Willard said. “The draft process now helps kids make educated decisions and we are looking forward to going through the process with him.”
- Renovations for the Suns’ Talking Stick Resort Arena and construction of their new practice facility are expected to remain on schedule despite the suspension of the season, according to Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic. The $45MM practice facility is projected to be completed by August. The $230MM arena renovation project is scheduled to have 65% of the upgrades done going into next season.
With the news coming out about four Nets players testing positive for the coronavirus on Tuesday, the Lakers decided to get tested on Wednesday morning, writes Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times.
According to the L.A. Times, the tests were not mandatory for the players and none of the Lakers’ coaches were tested. The players who were tested are hoping to get results by Friday.
The Lakers played the Nets last Tuesday at the Staples Center, which was the last game for both teams. Laker players reportedly just started a two-week quarantine.
Here’s more news out of the Pacific:
- Michael Grange of Sportsnet details the journey that Canadian player and Warriors guard Mychal Mulder has taken from Windsor, Ontario, to the NBA. If not for the NBA’s postponement, the Warriors were scheduled to play in Toronto and nearby Detroit this week. Earlier this month, the Warriors signed Mulder to a multi-year deal.
- The Kings announced on Tuesday that all basketball activities at the team’s practice facility have been suspended. In a statement released by the team, they also said that no players have experienced symptoms of the coronavirus.
- Gina Mizell of The Athletic looks at five questions regarding the Suns that may or may not get answered, depending on whether the NBA returns to play. Phoenix has 26 wins under head coach Monty Williams and appeared to be finding its identity out west.
Earlier today, we explored what the lottery odds for the 2020 NBA draft would look like if the regular season doesn’t resume. We’re now applying that hypothetical to another aspect of the draft and examining which traded 2020 picks would and wouldn’t change hands based on the current standings.
Our projections below assume that the NBA will sort its standings by winning percentage in scenarios where teams haven’t played the same number of games this season. Again, this is just a hypothetical exercise — if the season resumes, the order below would likely change.
With that in mind and with the help of our reverse standings, let’s take a closer look at where this year’s traded draft picks would land if the NBA has played its last regular season game of 2019/20.
- Minnesota Timberwolves (from Nets)
- Boston Celtics (from Grizzlies)
- Brooklyn Nets (from Sixers)
- Note: Could be No. 20 depending on random tiebreaker.
- Milwaukee Bucks (from Pacers)
- Note: Could be No. 19 depending on random tiebreaker.
- Philadelphia 76ers (from Thunder)
- Note: Could be No. 22 depending on random tiebreaker.
- Denver Nuggets (from Rockets)
- Note: Could be No. 21 depending on random tiebreaker.
- Oklahoma City Thunder (from Nuggets)
- New York Knicks (from Clippers)
- Boston Celtics (from Bucks)
- Golden State Warriors (to Nets; top-20 protected)
- Cleveland Cavaliers (to Pelicans; top-20 protected)
- Utah Jazz (to Grizzlies; top-7 and 15-30 protected)
- The Thunder pick would be the one worth watching closest if the season does resume. It’s top-20 protected, so OKC would keep it if it were to move up a spot or two, sending the Sixers second-round picks in 2022 and 2023 instead.
- Dallas Mavericks (from Warriors)
- Charlotte Hornets (from Cavaliers)
- Philadelphia 76ers (from Hawks)
- Sacramento Kings (from Pistons)
- Philadelphia 76ers (from Knicks)
- Washington Wizards (from Bulls)
- New York Knicks (from Hornets)
- New Orleans Pelicans (from Wizards)
- Memphis Grizzlies (from Suns)
- Boston Celtics (from Nets)
- Chicago Bulls (from Grizzlies)
- Golden State Warriors (from Mavericks)
- Atlanta Hawks (from Rockets)
- Note: Could be No. 51 depending on random tiebreaker.
- Sacramento Kings (from Heat)
- Golden State Warriors (from Jazz)
- Brooklyn Nets (from Nuggets)
- Charlotte Hornets (from Celtics)
- Philadelphia 76ers (from Lakers)
- New Orleans Pelicans (from Bucks)
- Indiana Pacers (to Nets; 45-60 protected)
- Portland Trail Blazers (to Nets; top-55 protected)
- The Hawks will receive the more favorable of Houston’s and Miami’s second-round picks, while the Kings will receive the less favorable of those two picks. Those two picks could end up right next to one another, since the Rockets (40-24) and Heat (41-24) have nearly identical records.
- The Celtics’ pick looks like it will be one of the rare second-rounders with heavy protection that will actually change hands. Boston would have kept it if it had fallen in the top 53.