James Blackmon Jr.

Sixers Waive Kris Humphries, Two Others

OCTOBER 14: The Sixers have officially waived Humphries, Okafor, and Blackmon, the team announced today in a press release.

OCTOBER 13: The Sixers have released a pair of veteran big men hoping to extend their NBA careers, as well as an undrafted rookie. Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes that the team has informed Kris Humphries, Emeka Okafor and James Blackmon that they will not remain with the club.

Humphries, a 32-year-old veteran of 11 NBA seasons, last played for the Hawks in 2016/17 and could still plausibly end up on yet another NBA roster before the season is through.

Okafor, a distant cousin of Philadelphia backup center Jahlil Okafor, was hoping to return to the court for the first time since 2012/13 at 35 years of age.

While the veterans will likely seek NBA opportunities elsewhere, Blackmon could end up with the team’s G League squad as an affiliate player. The guard strung together three impressive seasons at Indiana before declaring for the draft as an early entrant.

Sixers Sign James Blackmon Jr.

AUGUST 30: More than two months after the Sixers’ agreement with Blackmon was reported, the Sixers have confirmed the deal in a press release, announcing that the undrafted rookie will come to camp with the team.

As Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer notes (via Twitter), Blackmon has a partial guarantee, but is a good bet to start the season in the G League as an affiliate player with the Delaware 87ers.

JUNE 22: Indiana guard James Blackmon Jr. has agreed to an undrafted free agent contract with the Sixers, tweets Shams Charania of The Vertical.

Blackmon put up 17.0 points and 4.8 rebounds during his junior year with the Hoosiers. He has a reputation as an excellent shooter, but at 6’3″ he may be undersized to play his natural position of shooting guard in the NBA.

Blackmon was ranked 84th in the nation on Chad Ford’s list of the top 100 prospects and 83rd by Draft Express.

Draft Notes: Josh Jackson, Fultz, Smith Jr., Heat

Kansas forward Josh Jackson paid a visit to Kings today, but didn’t go through a workout, tweets Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee. Jackson is expected to be one of the first players selected next week and probably won’t be around for Sacramento’s pick at No. 5. There have been rumors that the Kings would like to move up, but a report today said they aren’t willing to give the Sixers the fifth and 10th picks to get No. 3.

There’s more from a full day of draft workouts:

Draft Notes: Monk, Kennard, Green Room Invitations

The Knicksworkout with Kentucky’s Malik Monk this week will be private, according to Ian Begley of ESPN.com. Projected as a high to mid-lottery pick, Monk has already worked out for the Suns, who own the fourth selection, and Magic, who have No. 6. New York’s front office is giving serious consideration to Monk at No. 8, along with French point guard Frank Ntilikina and North Carolina State point guard Dennis Smith, Begley notes. Smith had a session scheduled with the Knicks this week, but wound up having dinner with team president Phil Jackson and didn’t participate in a workout.

There’s more draft news as June 22nd approaches:

  • Shooting specialist Luke Kennard of Duke also has a private workout scheduled for the Knicks, Begley adds in the same piece. Kennard may have pushed himself into the top 12 with his performance in pre-draft workouts, including CAA’s event last weekend in Los Angeles, according to Begley, who adds that the Knicks would like to trade for another first-rounder and may be targeting Kennard if that happens. New York has discussed a deal with the Trail Blazers, who hold picks 15, 20 and 26. The Pistons have expressed a willingness to swap the 12th selection for veteran help, and Begley believes the Knicks have reached out to them.
  • Kennard is part of a high-profile group to work out for the Pistons today, tweets Keith Langlois of MLive. He is joined by Duke’s Harry Giles, Wake Forest’s John Collins and Kentucky’s Isaac Humphries. Teams are permitted to bring in up to six players at a time, but Detroit is having difficulty getting players to visit because it doesn’t own a second-round pick (Twitter link). Kennard told reporters he has upcoming sessions with the Magic, Knicks, Mavericks and Hornets, who all pick before the Pistons. (Twitter link).
  • Ntilikina, Collins and Jarrett Allen of Texas have been added to the list of green room invites for draft night, according to Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress. That brings the total to 13, with more invitations to be extended Monday.
  • Creighton’s Justin Patton held his first pre-draft workout this week for the Trail Blazers, tweets Joe Freeman of The Oregonian. He also plans to visit the Nuggets, Pistons, Hornets, Heat and maybe the Thunder.
  • Wisconsin’s Bronson Koenig will work out for the Clippers Monday, Begley posts on ESPN Now. He has a session later in the week with the Rockets.
  • Georgetown’s L.J. Peak had a workout with the Sixers this week, tweets Jessica Camerato of CSNPhilly. He has future sessions set up with the Hawks, Nets, Knicks, Celtics, Spurs, Wizards and Suns.
  • Vanderbilt’s Luke Kornet worked out for the Knicks this week, relays Marc Berman of The New York Post. He also had workouts for the Kings, Celtics, Suns and Jazz.
  • Indiana’s James Blackmon Jr. has worked out for the Pistons, Kings, Wizards, Magic and Rockets, with more on the schedule, tweets Alex Kennedy of Hoops Hype.

Pistons Notes: Downtown Move, Kennard, FA Workouts

The Detroit City Council voted on Tuesday in favor of several key agreements related to the Pistons’ move downtown, as Christine Ferretti and Jennifer Chambers of The Detroit News report. However, while Tuesday’s votes finalized approvals for the Pistons’ new practice facility and headquarters, there are more roadblocks that will need to be cleared before the club’s move to the Little Caesars arena is fully approved.

On June 20, the Detroit city council is scheduled to vote on the issuance of $34.5MM in proposed taxpayer-funded DDA bonds. Shortly after Tuesday’s city council session took place though, a federal judge granted a June 19 lawsuit that seeks to halt that June 20 vote, per Louis Aguilar of The Detroit News. As Aguilar explains, that lawsuit seeks to allow Detroit and Wayne County residents to vote on whether taxpayer money should be put toward the new arena and team facilities.

As the Pistons wait for resolution to the legal battle over their potential new arena, here are a few more items related to the team:

Wizards Notes: Free Agency, Workouts, Beal, Brooks

As John Wall has suggested, fortifying the bench will be a priority for the Wizards this offseason, so J. Michael of CSNMidAtlantic.com has examined the upcoming free agent market in an effort to identify some potential fits for Washington. Assuming they remain over the cap, which is a near certainty, the Wizards will have the mid-level, bi-annual, and minimum salary exceptions available to sign players, giving them a little flexibility.

In three separate pieces, Michael lists some potential point guard backups for Wall, a few possible backups for Beal at the two, and several veteran forwards who could be targets. While some of the players on Michael’s lists, such as J.J. Redick and Patty Mills, may end up being out of Washington’s price range, there are a handful of intriguing names noted, including Darren Collison, Kyle Korver, and Patrick Patterson.

Here’s more on the Wizards:

  • The Wizards are bringing in six prospects for a pre-draft workout on Tuesday, the team announced in a press release. Jamel Artis (Pittsburgh), James Blackmon Jr. (Indiana), Daniel Dixon (William & Mary), D.J. Fenner (Nevada), Monte Morris (Iowa State), and Melo Trimble (Maryland) will get a closer look from the club.
  • When the Wizards signed Bradley Beal to a maximum-salary, five-year contract last summer, there was skepticism among NBA observers that it was the right call. However, as Chase Hughes of CSNMidAtlantic.com writes, Beal showed in the first year of the deal that he’s capable of living up to it and making good on Washington’s $127MM+ investment.
  • New head coach Scott Brooks turned out to be another solid investment for the Wizards, Hughes details in a separate piece for CSNMidAtlantic.com. “I think as a team we respect him,” Beal said of Brooks. “On the outside of coaching, he’s a really down-to-earth guy. He has a relationship with everyone on the team. I think everybody loves that. He holds everybody accountable. Me, I loved him. He granted everybody confidence and freedom on both ends of the floor, especially offense.”

Draft Notes: Blackmon, Ford, Fox, Colette

Indiana guard James Blackmon has decided to remain in the draft, Jon Rothstein of FanRagSports.com reports. Blackmon confirmed on his Twitter feed that he will sign with an agent. Blackmon, who averaged 17.3 PPG and shot 42.3% on 3-point attempts, is essentially betting on himself and could wind up overseas if not in the D-League. He is not ranked among the Top 100 by DraftExpress or ESPN Insider Chad Ford. Blackmon joins two other Hoosiers who have declared for the draft — forward OG Anunoby, a potential lottery pick, and center Thomas Bryant. Indiana junior guard Robert Johnson will decide this week whether to remain in the draft, Rothstein adds.

In other draft-related nuggets:

  • Washington guard Markelle Fultz remains atop Ford’s latest Big Board with UCLA’s Lonzo Ball holding the second spot. Gonzaga center Zach Collins moved from No. 11 to No. 9 and Duke guard Luke Kennard advanced from No. 17 to No. 15. Previously unranked Louisville guard Donovan Mitchell, who recently hired an agent, moved into the first round at No. 22.
  • Kentucky’s De’Aaron Fox believes he’s the top defensive guard in the draft, as he told ESPN’s Chris B. Haynes in a Q&A session. “For me, it’s not about offensive scoring, I want to shut the other guy down,” Fox boasted to Haynes. Fox is considered a sure-fire Top 10 pick, ranked No. 5 by both DraftExpress and Ford.
  • A handful of NBA scouts and executives polled by Gery Woelfel of WoelfelsPressBox.com believe there are nine impact players in the draft. That front-office group named 21 potential lottery picks and generally view this draft as much deeper in quality than the 2016 version.
  • Utah forward David Collette is expected to return to school, Rothstein tweets. The junior forward averaged 13.6 PPG and 5.1 RPG last season. Collette, a Utah State transfer, did not make the Top 100 lists.

Draft Notes: Robinson, Blackmon, Clark, Sina

With the NCAA tournament over and the deadline for early-entry candidates inching closer, we can expect to hear word of more underclassmen declaring their intent to test the draft waters in the coming weeks. A year ago, 162 players initially entered the draft before more than half of them withdrew their names. This year, we’re almost halfway to 162, with plenty more to come.

With all sorts of freshmen, sophomores, and juniors putting their names into the draft pool, we don’t want to let any slip through the cracks, so here’s the latest round-up of early entrant news, including a couple reports from last week:

  • Florida forward Devin Robinson has opted to enter the draft without hiring an agent, giving him the option of returning to the Gators for his senior year, according to Pat Dooley of The Gainesville Sun. Robinson, the 38th-ranked prospect on DraftExpress’ big board, is leaning toward going pro, but will make his decision after getting feedback in the coming weeks, says Dooley.
  • Indiana junior guard James Blackmon Jr., who ranks 15th among Big Ten prospects according to DraftExpress, will test the draft waters. As Gregg Doyel of The Indianapolis Star reports, Blackmon has decided to enter the draft but won’t hire an agent. That will give him the option to withdraw his name, as he did a year ago after testing the waters.
  • UMass junior swingman Donte Clark has declared for the draft, but will also put off hiring an agent in order to retain his NCAA eligibility for now, writes Matt Vautour of The Daily Hampshire Gazette. As Clark explains, he’ll make his draft decision first, then will decide whether to return to UMass for one more year or transfer to another program.
  • Jaren Sina, a junior guard at George Washington, has decided to turn pro and will be represented by agent Misko Raznatovic, a source tells Sportando. Sina isn’t considered a top prospect by draft experts, but given his choice of agents, he likely intends to play international ball.

Draft Decisions: Lee, Briscoe, Dorsey, Blackmon

Kentucky forward Marcus Lee won’t be eligible for the 2016 NBA draft, with the school announcing today in a press release that he’ll remove his name from consideration. While Lee isn’t headed to the NBA, he’s also not returning to Kentucky, as head coach John Calipari confirmed that the senior-to-be will transfer to a school “out west” to be closer to his family.

“We talked it through together and discussed the team next season, which he said had no bearing on his decision,” Calipari said. “I also told him he was a semester away from graduating. With that said, he was still adamant that, after the combine experience, a year off and regrouping would be the best thing. As always I support my players and their decisions.”

Lee isn’t the only player to make a decision this morning. Here are a few more updates on underclassmen in advance of today’s deadline to retain NCAA eligibility:

  • Lee may not be returning to the Wildcats, but Isaiah Briscoe will be. As the 6’3″ guard explains to Evan Daniels of Scout.com, he is withdrawing his name from draft consideration and returning to Kentucky for his sophomore season, since he thinks it’s the right call for his long-term future.
  • Tyler Dorsey has joined teammate Dillon Brooks in making the decision to return to Oregon for the 2016/17 season, sources tell Jon Rothstein of CBSSports.com (Twitter link). Dorsey, who will be a sophomore, worked out for Utah and Denver while he was testing the draft waters.
  • Indiana’s James Blackmon Jr. has decided to return to school for his junior year, a source tells Jeff Rabjohns of Peegs.com. The decision has since been confirmed by Indiana. Blackmon will be looking to rebound from an ACL injury after undergoing surgery in January.
  • Blackmon’s teammate, Troy Williams, won’t be joining him in Indiana next season — Williams had decided to stay in the draft, a source tells Gregg Doyel of The Indianapolis Star (Twitter link). Rothstein confirms (via Twitter) that Williams is forgoing his remaining college eligibility and signing with agent Stephen Pina of ASM Sports.

First-Round Prospect Jonathan Jeanne Out Of Draft

French big man Jonathan Jeanne decided against entering this year’s draft, agent Jeremy Medjana told Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress (Twitter link). The 18-year-old had a strong chance to become a first-round pick in June, coming in at No. 23 in Givony’s rankings and No. 25 with Chad Ford of ESPN.com. Jeanne’s stock only figures to improve with an extra year overseas, as Givony lists him 16th in his 2017 mock draft, though he wouldn’t become automatically eligible until 2019.

Sunday was the last day for early entrants to formally declare for this year’s draft, but the NBA has yet to announce the official early-entrants list, so news on some decisions is still trickling in. The absence of Jeanne means this year’s draft will be without one of its tallest would-be eligible prospects, as Ford lists him at 7’4″ while Givony has him at 7’2″ with a 7’7″ wingspan. He has 3-point shooting, ball-handling and passing skills, Ford writes, but he’s raw, shows immaturity at times and is a long way off from helping an NBA team, as Givony wrote for The Vertical in February. He played just six minutes at the pro level for Le Mans Sarthe Basket of France this season.

News about the draft entry decisions of another handful of other prospects has emerged since Sunday’s deadline, as we detail:

  • Indiana sophomore shooting guard James Blackmon Jr. has entered the draft, the school announced. He hasn’t hired an agent, the school adds, so he can return to college ball if he pulls out of the draft by May 25th. Blackmon is Ford’s 77th-ranked prospect but falls outside Givony‘s top 100.
  • Bakari Copeland, a junior forward from Maryland-Eastern Shore, is believed to have entered the draft as well, tweets Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com. He’s outside the Ford and Givony rankings.
  • Emmanuel Malou, a junior college power forward who’s committed to Iowa State, has entered the draft but hasn’t hired an agent, sources tell The Vertical’s Shams Charania (Twitter link). He also falls outside the Ford and Givony rankings.
  • Italian shooting guard Diego Flaccadori has entered the draft, according to Eurohoops.net. The 20-year-old is the fourth-best overseas prospect among those born in 1996, according to Givony, though neither Givony nor Ford has him within the top 100 prospects overall.
  • Spanish small forward Santiago Yusta is draft-bound, the Romaior Sports agency announced (on Twitter). The 18-year-old isn’t in Ford’s rankings and is outside of Givony’s top 100, though Givony deems him the 32nd-best overseas prospect among those born in 1997.