Charles Jackson

Western Notes: Barton, Buycks, Blazers

The Nuggets have tendered Will Barton a qualifying offer worth $1,181,348, making the guard a restricted free agent this offseason, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders reports (Twitter link). The move was expected since both sides have previously expressed a desire for the player to return to Denver next season. The 24-year-old saw sparse playing time with the Blazers over his first two and a half seasons in the league, but the deadline trade that sent him to Denver this February provided him with more opportunities to get on the court. He averaged 11.0 points in 24.4 minutes per game over 28 appearances for the Nuggets.

Here’s more from the Western Conference:

  • The Warriors are exploring options regarding trading up from the No. 30 overall pick in the draft, Scott Howard-Cooper of tweets. Which player the team could be targeting with such a move is unknown, Howard-Cooper adds.
  • The chances that the Lakers will select Duke big man Jahlil Okafor with the No. 2 overall pick have increased since last week, Chad Ford of relays (on Twitter). Ford pegged the odds at 70% last Friday, and now has them at 80% that Los Angeles nabs Okafor on Thursday night.
  • The Lakers have informed free agent guard Dwight Buycks that they are interested in re-signing him for next season, David Pick of tweets. Buycks, who inked a single 10-day deal with the team this past season, was reportedly set to be signed for the remainder of the 2014/15 campaign before a hand injury knocked him out for the remainder of the team’s contests.
  • The Blazers will work out UNLV shooting guard Rashad Vaughn on Wednesday, reports Gery Woelfel of the Journal Times.
  • Woelfel adds the Warriors to the list of teams that have worked out UNLV big man Christian Wood.
  • Working out for Portland today were Darion Atkins (Virginia), Javonte Green (Radford), Charles Jackson (Tennessee Tech), Jordan Railey (Washington State), Satnam Singh (India), and Gary Bell Jr. (Gonzaga), the Blazers announced.
  • Virginia swingman Justin Anderson is scheduled to work out for the Grizzlies on Wednesday, Chris Vernon of ESPN 92.9 FM relays (Twitter links). Vernon also dispels the notion that Memphis made a draft promise to LSU big man Jarell Martin, and says that Martin shut down scheduling any further workouts for other reasons.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Western Notes: Lakers, Duncan, Ginobili, Wolves

Mitch Kupchak admits that finding someone who can make an immediate impact as Kobe Bryant nears retirement factors into his approach to the offseason, as the Lakers GM tells Chris Mannix of Climbing merely to mediocrity would be a dangerous proposition, Kupchak cautions.

“To some degree,” Kupchak said. “We feel we want to make significant progress from this year to next year. And if we can do that and not mortgage the future — in other words, with a player who is in free agency that’s a veteran — then yeah. It’s a factor because we do want and we need in this city to show progress. And we’ve not made the playoffs for two years running, I suppose you can do it a third year, but our fans are impatient, and they’re used to a good product, and that’s not what we want to do. And we know Kobe is not as happy when the town around him is not enough to win. But, we’ve got to be careful that we don’t do something that puts us in the middle of the pack for the next six or seven years. Because all that does is get you the eighth seed in the playoffs and a draft pick that’s not very good.”

There’s more on the Lakers amid the latest from the Western Conference:

  • Tony Parker is optimistic that both Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili will return to the Spurs for next season, though he admits that his hope that they indeed come back may cloud his ability to accurately predict what they’ll do, as Parker tells Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News. Regardless, Duncan said to Scott Soshnick of that the loss of more than $20MM that he alleges that a former financial adviser swindled him out of won’t play a role in his decision whether to return.
  • Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor dismissed any lingering doubt Wednesday, declaring that president of basketball operations Flip Saunders will continue as coach of the team for next season, as Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities relays (on Twitter).
  • The Pelicans would like to add former Nuggets interim coach Melvin Hunt as an assistant coach, reports Marc Stein of (Twitter link).
  • The Lakers have interest in trading the No. 27 pick to clear the salary that goes with it, and talk has also centered on the team packaging the pick with other assets in an offer for another pick higher in the order, as Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders writes within his mock draft.
  • Notre Dame swingman Pat Connaughton, N.C. State shooting guard Trevor Lacey, Iowa State shooting guard Bryce Dejean-Jones, Tennessee Tech center Charles Jackson and UC Santa Barbara center Alan Williams were among those who worked out for the Wolves this week, Wolfson reports (Twitter link).

Western Notes: Calathes, Jazz, McCullough

Grizzlies guard Nick Calathes has insisted that he prefers to remain in the NBA, but rumors continue to signal that his camp is soliciting his services overseas, as David Pick of hears that he’s seeking a $3.5MM annual salary from international clubs (Twitter link). Calathes can become a restricted free agent this summer if Memphis tenders him a qualifying offer worth $1,147,276.

Here’s more from the Western Conference:

  • The Jazz have two sets of workouts scheduled for tomorrow, the team announced (Twitter links). The first group consists of Jonathan Holmes (Texas), Gabriel Olaseni (Iowa), Charles Jackson (Tennessee Tech), Kenneth Smith (Louisiana Tech), J.J. O’Brien (San Diego State), and Marcus Thornton (William and Mary).
  • The second group working out for the Jazz on Saturday will be comprised of Jerian Grant (Notre Dame), Trey Lyles (Kentucky), Olivier Hanlan (Boston College), Mouhammadou Jaiteh (France), Cady Lalanne (UMass), and Myles Turner (Texas).
  • The Mavericks brought in Syracuse forward Chris McCullough for an interview on Thursday, Michael Scotto of SheridanHoops tweets.
  • The Thunder will bring in Tennessee swingman Josh Richardson on Saturday as part of a group workout, Scotto relays (Twitter link).

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Southwest Notes: Pelicans, Mavs, Grizzlies

The Pelicans and Celtics assistant coach Darren Erman have an agreement in principle for Erman to join Alvin Gentry‘s coaching staff in New Orleans, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. Marc Stein of reported overnight that the Pelicans were aggressively pursuing Erman, a detail-oriented defensive whiz who complements Gentry’s offensive acumen. The Raptors also recently made a run at Erman, sources told Wojnarowski. New Orleans is poised to hire Thunder assistant coach Robert Pack for Gentry’s staff, too, as Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times hears (Twitter link). However, Wojnarowski, whose story appeared later, writes that the Pelicans and Pack are in talks but makes no mention of a deal. Regardless, new Thunder head coach Billy Donovan is unlikely to keep Pack on his staff, Wojnarowski adds. Here’s more from around the Southwest Division:

  • San Diego State small forward Dwayne Polee worked out for the Mavericks late last month, as he tells Zach Links of Hoops Rumors (Twitter link). Michigan State’s Travis Trice, Stanford’s Chasson Randle, Dayton’s Jordan Sibert and Harvard point guard Wesley Saunders showed off for Dallas today, tweets Michael Scotto of SheridanHoops.
  • Big men highlight the Grizzlies workout scheduled for Wednesday, with Kentucky center Dakari Johnson and French center Mouhammadou Jaiteh on the docket, writes Ronald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal in a subscription-only piece. Centers Youssou Ndoye from St. Bonaventure and Charles Jackson from Tennessee Tech, Connecticut point guard Ryan Boatright and Boise State shooting guard Derrick Marks are the others in the workout, as Tillery details.
  • Florida’s Michael Frazier is auditioning for the Spurs today, Scotto reports, and the team will also get a look at North Carolina’s J.P. Tokoto, according to Pincus (Twitter links).
  • Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders adds the Rockets to the list of teams working out N.C. State shooting guard Trevor Lacey (Twitter link).

Western Notes: Rockets, Muhammad, Lakers

Now that the Rockets have been eliminated from the playoffs the franchise will begin working toward its offseason plans. Josh Smith, Jason Terry, and Corey Brewer, all of whom are set to become unrestricted free agents this summer, have indicated that they want to return to Houston next season, Jenny Dial Creech of The Houston Chronicle writes. “I like the future if we can keep all the pieces together,” Smith said. “I like what the future holds for us. You never know in free agency what may occur. The city of Houston and this team has definitely embraced me for my individuality and the way I play the game. It would be great to do something special for the city and for this team.”

Here’s more from around the Western Conference:

  • Wolves swingman Shabazz Muhammad has parted ways with agent Bill Duffy of BDA Sports Management and signed with Rob Pelinka of Landmark Sports, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports relays (Twitter link).
  • The Lakers held workouts earlier today for Justin Anderson, Askia Booker, Anthony Brown, Charles Jackson, Stefan Nastic, and Delon Wright, the team announced (via Twitter).
  • Arkansas forward Bobby Portis is scheduled to work out for the Thunder this Friday, Gary Washburn of Boston Globe tweets.
  • The Nuggets brought in Florida guard Michael Frazier for a workout today, Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops relays (Twitter link).
  • Center Andrew Bogut praised the Warriors‘ front office for keeping the core of the team intact and not going for a “home run” in the NBA draft, via trades, or through free agency, Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee relays (on Twitter).

Pacific Notes: Suns, Bryant, Draft

Suns GM Ryan McDonough believes there is quite a talent dropoff in this year’s NBA Draft after the team’s pick at No. 13 overall, Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic writes. Phoenix hasn’t targeted a specific player, and if it retains the pick, will likely target the best player available, Coro adds. “As a non-playoff team, I think you need help everywhere,” McDonough said. “So we’ll take the best player, even if that goes against what some people think we should do in terms of conventional wisdom. I think, unless you’re a championship-level team, you always take the best available player. Our philosophy is if he’s better than the guys who are on your current roster, maybe he beats him out and you move one of the guys on your current roster. I think some mistakes, in the history of the draft, are made drafting for saying, ‘Oh, we need this. Let’s do the best player who does whatever.’ When you draft that guy, you tend to reach sometimes.

Here’s the latest from the NBA’s Pacific Division:

  • McDonough also indicated that the Suns may be more willing to deal away their first round pick than in years past, Coro adds. “At some point, there is a saturation point for young players as you try to put together a team that is capable of competing and making the playoffs in the Western Conference,” McDonough said. “I think it [trading the pick] is something we’re more open to than in the past but, at the same time, we like the players that we think will be there at 13.
  • In an radio appearance with ESPN’s Colin Cowherd (hat tip to Charles F. Gardner of the Journal Sentinel), Jared Dudley spoke about NBA free agents not wanting to play with the LakersKobe Bryant. Dudley said, “Most guys don’t want to play with Kobe. He gets in this thing where he doesn’t pass and then overpasses and then tries to get triple-doubles every night. …. That’s why I think it will be a while for the Lakers to get good because they’ve got no stars. I would be surprised if Kevin Love goes there.”
  • Former Minnesota guard Andre Hollins has a workout scheduled with the Clippers, Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN tweets.
  • The Kings have workouts scheduled for Friday with Corey Hawkins, Mikh McKinney, Shaquielle McKissic, Alan Williams, Charles Jackson, and Will Davis II, the team announced.

Southeast Notes: Hawks, Heat, Pierce

The Hawks are optimistic about their chances to bounce back next season despite the sting of having been eliminated from the playoffs by Miami, Paul Newberry of The Associated Press writes. ”It’s clear that we have some work to do as a team,” center Al Horford said. ”We will all learn from this process and I know it will make us a better team. We have a group that’s resilient. We have a group with a lot of high-character guys, guys that I’m willing to go to war with any day.”

If Atlanta decides not to reinstate GM Danny Ferry, coach Mike Budenholzer could take on an expanded role in player personnel matters, likely assisted by assistant GM Wes Wilcox, in an arrangement similar to the one in San Antonio between coach Gregg Popovich and GM R.C. Buford, Newberry adds. Budenholzer would like the team to add a rim-protecting big man to the mix for next season after being pushed around on the inside during the playoffs, the AP scribe notes.

Here’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • The Heat held workouts on Tuesday for Rondae-Hollis Jefferson, Rashad Vaughn, Charles Jackson, and Mouhammadou Jaiteh, Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald reports. The team was especially impressed with Vaughn’s showing, Jackson tweets.
  • Working out today for the Heat was potential lottery pick Sam Dekker, tweets Jeff Goodman of The former Wisconsin forward is who Miami is projected to select in Hoops Rumors’ most recent mock draft.
  • Paul Pierce had as much of an impact on the Wizards‘ locker room culture as he did with his production on the court, Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post writes in his season review for the veteran. Pierce has a player option for 2015/16 worth $5,543,725, though it’s unclear if he’ll retire, or possibly look to join the Clippers and his former coach Doc Rivers.

Charles Jackson Entering Draft

Tennessee Tech junior center Charles Jackson has decided to enter this year’s draft and signed with agent Scott Nichols, reports Shams Charania of RealGM. The 21-year-old, who turns 22 next month, is an unheralded prospect outside the top 100 rankings for both Chad Ford of and Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress.

The 6’10” Jackson was eighth in the nation in double-doubles this season, tied with first-round prospect Christian Wood and ahead of lottery hopeful Kevon Looney, as Charania points out, though Jackson did his much of his damage against weaker competition in the Ohio Valley Conference. He put up 13.0 points, 9.5 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in 27.2 minutes per game this season, his only NCAA Division I year after he transferred from junior college.

Jackson intends to stay in the draft, according to Charania, though the RealGM scribe notes that it’s possible he’ll withdraw by the NBA’s June 15th deadline and instead play in the D-League or overseas. He can’t return to NCAA competition if he formally enters the draft or has indeed hired an agent.