Isaiah Armwood

Southeast Notes: LeBron, Wizards, Hornets

The Heat granted agent Rich Paul and LeBron James‘ friend and adviser Maverick Carter unprecedented access to the team in the past year, prompting consternation from many within the organization, as Mike Wise of The Washington Post details. We’ll soon find out whether it was worth it for Miami, now that James has decided to opt out of his contract and hit free agency. Here’s more from around the Southeast Division:

  • Wizards “draft and stash” prospect Tomas Satoransky wants the team to sign him before he competes in summer league this year, and he’s also pushing for a larger amount than the team is willing to give, as J. Michael of hears. The former 32nd overall pick isn’t bound by the rookie scale, so it would likely take a portion of the mid-level, which Michael says Washington doesn’t want to give up, to give him more than the minimum salary. Ultimately, the Wizards are willing to stand firm and have no intention of trading Satoransky’s rights, according to Michael.
  • Hornets coach Steve Clifford has indicated a preference for adding size and experience rather than more young perimeter players, as Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer examines.
  • Michael Scotto of SheridanHoops adds Gary Harris and Scottie Wilbekin to the list of draft prospects working out for the Magic (Twitter link).
  • Wizards are auditioning Jahii Carson, Dwight Powell, Roscoe Smith, Sean Kilpatrick, Chaz Williams, Richard Solomon, Isaiah Armwood, Maurice Creek, Halil Kanacevic, Devin Oliver and Talib Zanna, the team announced. They’re also giving LaQuinton Ross his second workout, having also taken a look at him two weeks ago.
  • The Hawks are giving thought to clearing cap space and making a run at Carmelo Anthony, as we passed along earlier.

Draft Notes: Embiid, Silins, Pelicans

Brad Stevens tells Chris Forsberg of that the Celtics haven’t yet established a draft board. “I have not sat down with our front office all in one room and talked about a draft board,” Stevens said. “We’ll sit down now, after probably next week’s workouts, and talk more as we continue to get closer to the draft. But clearly with two picks in the top 20, we’ve got a lot of evaluating to do.” Here a rundown of today’s draft notes:

  • T.J. Warren, Scottie Wilbekin, Roscoe Smith, Davion Berry, and Isaiah Armwood will work out for the Nuggets, reports Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post (Twitter links).
  • A league source confirmed to John Reid of The Times-Picayune that the Pelicans are in discussions with several teams looking to trade their first round pick (Twitter link). The Pelicans are reportedly taking an aggressive approach to trading into the first round.
  • Magic executives are high enough on Marcus Smart‘s intangibles to consider selecting him with the fourth pick in the draft, reports Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel. Robbins adds that had Smart declared for last year’s draft, Orlando might have selected him at No. 2.
  • Bob Finnan of The News-Herald urges his readers to monitor whether Joel Embiid schedules work outs for the Bucks or Sixers between now and the draft. If Embiid shuts out those teams, Finnan believes it would indicate a promise from the Cavs to take him at No. 1. Such a development would be significant, considering Embiid is already scheduled to work out for Milwaukee.
  • Adi Joseph of USA Today takes a look at the draft needs for the Hornets and Mavs.

Earlier updates:

  • While the Cavs had some concerns when evaluating Joel Embiid‘s back, Terry Pluto of The Plain Dealer says there were no “red flags,” and that Cleveland was blown away by his workout. The belief that Embiid’s physical went well is mounting, after a report to the contrary initially surfaced.
  • Ojars Silins has decided to keep his name in the NBA draft pool, reports Jānis Freimanis of (translation via Emiliano Carchia of Sportando). Silins will take the Grizzlies up on their workout invitation, and will also work out for the Spurs and Pistons over the next couple weeks.
  • The Pelicans are aggressively trying to trade into the first round in hopes of selecting a young small forward or center, tweets Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports.
  • Sean Deveney of The Sporting News is hearing rumors that a team has promised to take Elfrid Payton in the teens of the first round (H/T Basketball Insiders).
  • T.J. Warren‘s stock is rising into the mid-first-round, sources tell Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link).
  • Kennedy tweets that league executives are “fascinated” by Walter Tavares. The 7’3″ center is projected as an early second round pick by both Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress and ESPN Insider Chad Ford.
  • Eliot Shorr-Parks of speculates that the conflicting reports out of Cleveland regarding Embiid’s health could be a smoke screen aimed at convincing the Sixers they need to trade up to the No. 1 spot in order to get Andrew Wiggins.