Darius Adams

And-Ones: Dante, Hampton, 2021 Draft, Grant

Oregon big man N’Faly Dante has been informed that he’ll be ineligible to play at the start of the 2019/20 season because the NCAA missed his clearance date, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic. In a statement, the five-star recruit that he has completed the academic requirements and intends to re-enroll to Oregon on December 14 in the hopes of being cleared to play.

Charania refers to Dante as a potential lottery pick in 2020, and NBADraft.net has him ranked 13th overall in the site’s latest mock draft. His name doesn’t show up at all in ESPN’s most recent 2020 mock, but it’s possible that will change if he gets his eligibility issues sorted out.

Here’s more from around the basketball world:

  • R.J. Hampton, a projected 2020 lottery pick, said he had “a lot of room for growth” after his New Zealand Breakers played exhibition games against the Grizzlies and Thunder last week. According to ESPN’s Royce Young, there were nearly 60 NBA scouts and executives in attendance at the game in Oklahoma City.
  • ESPN’s Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz (Insider link) have already unveiled their first mock draft for 2021, with point guard Cade Cunningham in the No. 1 spot.
  • With the Qingdao Eagles signing American-born guard Darius Adams, the Chinese club is apparently parting ways with another one of its U.S. players. According to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando (via Twitter), former Knicks, Bulls, and Magic point guard Jerian Grant is the odd man out for Qingdao and will be released. Carchia initially reported last month that the Eagles were considering waiving Grant.

Western Notes: Conley, Bogdanovic, Jazz Arena

There is growing concern in the Grizzlies‘ front office that point guard Mike Conley might leave the team in free agency this summer, posts Ian Begley on ESPN Now. The 28-year-old will be the top point guard on the market after spending nine years in Memphis. Begley says Grizzlies part-owner Justin Timberlake will appear in a video presentation trying to convince Conley to remain with the team. Begley presents the item as possible good news for the Knicks, but it’s equally positive for all the teams planning to pursue Conley, and very negative for Memphis, which is hoping to keep the core of its perennial playoff team together. The Grizzlies still have the advantage of being able to offer Conley a five-year contract worth about $124MM, while other teams are limited to four years in the neighborhood of $92MM.

There’s more news from the Western Conference:

  • The Suns will negotiate with 2014 first-round pick Bogdan Bogdanovic now that his Turkish League season is over, according to Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic. This is the last season that Bogdanovic would be required to sign a rookie contract that would give him a salary of about $5.7MM over four years. If he waits until next offseason, Bogdanovic is free to negotiate any amount, starting with his draft year’s rookie salary scale.
  •  A request for $22.7MM in public funding for renovations to Utah’s Vivant Arena was approved today by the Redevelopment Agency of Salt Lake City, writes Jasen Lee of The Deseret News. The money, which will be awarded though tax increment financing over the next 25 years, makes up 18% of the total cost of the proposed $125MM project. It will include safety and security improvements, heating and air conditioning upgrades, a new solar panel system and plaza, concession, seating and premium suite improvements.
  • The Mavericks are planning a free agent camp June 22nd with Arnett Moultrie, Bobby Brown, Dominic McGuire and Nick Minnerath among the players invited, tweets Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders. Thanasis Antetokounmpo, who played two games for the Knicks this season, also received an invitation but has not confirmed that he will attend the camp (Twitter link).
  • The Spurs will hold a free agent camp Wednesday, Kennedy tweets, with Chris Copeland, Adonis Thomas, Victor Rudd, Scott Suggs, J.J. O’Brien and Darius Adams among those expected to attend.
  • The Timberwolves have had workouts for several veteran free agents, including Jimmer Fredette, Phil Pressey, Marquis Teague, Ryan Boatright, Mike James, Ra’shad James, Mark Lyons and Aaron Craft, tweets international journalist David Pick.

Atlantic Notes: Nets, Knicks, Adams

The upcoming draft pick swap between the Nets and Hawks from the Joe Johnson trade in 2012 is a reminder that the Nets didn’t give up a whole lot in exchange for the six-time All-Star, Robert Windrem of NetsDaily opines. As of now, as Windrem notes, that swap would be the 16th pick for the 29th pick. But if the Nets (35-41), who have won nine of their last 12, fade down the stretch, there’s a strong chance that pick for the Hawks would be higher.

In addition to a 2013 first round pick, the Hawks received Jordan Farmar, Jordan WilliamsJohan Petro, DeShawn Stevenson and Anthony Morrow. Atlanta will receive the Nets’ second round pick in 2017 to complete that trade. Johnson will make nearly $24.895MM next season, but his contract comes off the books after that.

Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Nets have expressed interest in point guard Darius Adams of the Euroleague, sources tell Shams Charania of RealGM (on Twitter). Adams, 25, is averaging 8.3 points per game in about 20 minutes per game for Saski Baskonia.
  • Many have been critical of the Knicks‘ triangle offense and have speculated that it could keep notable free agents from wanting to come to New York.  New Westchester Knicks head coach Craig Hodges doesn’t agree, however.  “The main thing is player spacing, ball movement, player movement and keep moving the basketball,’’ Hodges said, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post. “As a former player, I don’t see why free agents wouldn’t come, having a Carmelo [Anthony] to work with. It’s a matter of guys realizing what a system can do for your game.’’  Hodges spoke with Hoops Rumors late last year about a wide variety of topics after joining the Knicks’ D-League affiliate as an assistant coach.
  • Knicks coach Derek Fisher said you could tell just by watching both his team and the Sixers that neither have been tanking, Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com  tweets.

Zach Links contributed to this post.