Jherrod Stiggers

And-Ones: Okafor, Mickey, Stiggers, Lottery

The Lakers will work out Jahlil Okafor on Tuesday, the team announced (Twitter link), in what will be the first predraft workout that the center from Duke will have with an NBA team. Okafor recently dismissed rumors that he preferred to play for the Lakers, who draft No. 2 overall, instead of the Timberwolves, who have the top pick, but it seems he’s no certainty for either the first or second picks, so Tuesday’s audition carries no small consequence. Okafor won’t have to travel far, as he’s been working out independently in Southern California of late, as he tells Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders. Eddie Scarito of Hoops Rumors recently broke down the big man’s game as part of our Prospect Profile Series. Here’s more from around the NBA:

  • The Pacers, Hawks and Thunder will work out LSU power forward Jordan Mickey, as he told reporters, including Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link).
  • University of Houston guard Jherrod Stiggers will work out this week for the Hawks and Nets, his agent tells Shlomo Sprung of SheridanHoops (Twitter link). Dan Curtin is the representative for Stiggers, according to Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress.
  • Serbian point guard Nikola Radicevic will have predraft workouts with the Wizards and Thunder, reports David Pick of Eurobasket.com (on Twitter).
  • Commissioner Adam Silver made it clear last week that while he supports lottery reform, he’d like to wait to see the league’s economics after the salary cap jumps next summer before making a renewed push for change, as RealGM transcribes.

Eastern Notes: Crowder, Hezonja, Pacers

Celtics forward Jae Crowder is making “great strides” recovering from his left knee sprain injury suffered last month and has begun to do some workout-related activities, A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com writes. Crowder can become a restricted free agent this summer if Boston tenders him a qualifying offer worth $1,181,34. The team has already indicated that it plans to re-sign Crowder, who is the only player remaining on Boston’s roster from the Rajon Rondo trade.

Here’s more from the Eastern Conference:

  • Croatian swingman Mario Hezonja would be a fit for the Pistons with the No. 8 pick, but the same fiery attitude that fuels his play won’t fly in Detroit if it manifests in on-court tongue-lashings of teammates, as it has in past, writes Terry Foster of The Detroit News.
  • The Pacers have workouts scheduled on Thursday for Andrew Harrison, Terran Petteway, Terry Rozier, J.P. Tokoto, Rashad Vaughn, and Dez Wells, the team announced.
  • The Lakers have the potential to throw a wrench in the Sixers‘ draft plans if Los Angeles opts to select D’Angelo Russell instead of a big man with the No. 2 overall pick, as is widely expected, John Gonzalez of CSNPhilly.com writes. Sixers GM Sam Hinkie isn’t concerned, noting how in flux the NBA Draft rumors can be, Gonzalez adds. “Let’s see how things go,” Hinkie said. “Not only us, but I suspect the Lakers and the Timberwolves and the Knicks, they will do what we all do — spend a lot of time trying to analyze the players that are likely to be available to them. That time may yield different results than what the prognosticators are saying so far.
  • The Sixers held workouts today for Amere May Jr., Jherrod Stiggers, Kyle Anderson and Alpha Kaba, Jake Fischer of LibertyBallers.com tweets.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Southwest Notes: Mavs, Rockets, Stiggers

The Mavericks will likely have a large roster turnover this offseason, Dwain Price of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. Starters Tyson Chandler and Rajon Rondo and reserves Amar’e Stoudemire, Richard Jefferson, J.J. Barea, Charlie Villanueva and Greg Smith will be unrestricted free agents this summer, while Monta Ellis, Al-Farouq Aminu and Raymond Felton have player options on their contracts. President of basketball operations Donnie Nelson said head coach Rick Carlisle will have to put the pieces together in training camp, Price continues. “It puts our head coach in a difficult position, because when you’re shuffling in new pieces it’s just more challenging,” Nelson said to the team’s beat writers. “It’s not the preferred way of doing business, but in this age of free agency you have to have talent to win in this league.” Carlisle has already declared that Rondo, who had a tumultuous season with the club after being traded from the Celtics in December, will not be back. Chandler did not tip his hand concerning his future plans and that means the Mavs would likely pursue other top free agent centers on the market, including DeAndre Jordan, Marc Gasol, Robin Lopez and Omer Asik, Price asserts. LaMarcus Aldridge is another prominent free agent on the team’s radar screen, according to Price, but the team might have to convince Dirk Nowitzki to come off the bench to make that happen. Aminu, coming off strong playoff performances with Chandler Parsons injured, will opt out and seek a significant raise from the approximate $1.1MM he was due next season, Price adds.

In other news around the Southwest Division:

  • It’s possible that Rockets draft-and-stash prospect Sergio Llull would consent to become a backup in the NBA, but it’s not likely, as David Pick of Basketball Insiders writes in a chat with readers. GM Daryl Morey earlier this spring denied a report that the team was planning a three-year offer to Llull worth a total of $17MM or more.
  • Jherrod Stiggers will be among the draft prospects working out for the Rockets on Tuesday, Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders tweets. Stiggers, a junior guard from the University of Houston, averaged 14.2 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.5 assists in his final college season. Stiggers has a long way to go to become a serious draft candidate. He is not listed among Chad Ford’s ESPN Insider Top 100 Big Board or DraftExpress’ Jonathan Givony’s Top 100 prospects.

Draft Notes: Jones, Turner, Winslow

South Korean prospect Jong-Hyun Lee intends to enter the 2015 NBA draft, David Pick of Eurobasket.com reports (Twitter links). The 6’9″ forward led the 2014 World Cup in blocks per game with 2.6, and he also added 6.8 points and 3.4 rebounds on 54.5% shooting. The 21-year-old isn’t currently projected to be selected in June’s draft, and he is the No. 47 ranked international prospect according to Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress.

Here’s the latest NBA draft news:

  • Duke point guard Tyus Jones is expected to ink a deal with agent Rob Pelinka of the Landmark Sports Agency, Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities tweets. Jones is the No. 20 overall prospect according to DraftExpress and comes in at No. 22 on Chad Ford of ESPN.com‘s (Insider subscription required) rankings.
  • Myles Turner has hired agent Andy Miller of ASM Sports to represent him, Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders reports (Twitter link). ESPN.com slots the center as the No. 9 prospect and DraftExpress ranks him 11th. You can check out my full prospect profile for Turner here.
  • Projected lottery pick Justise Winslow has decided on agent Joe Branch of Roc Nation Sports, the agency announced via Twitter (hat tip to Liz Mullen of the Sports Business Journal). DraftExpress rates the forward as the No. 5 overall prospect and ESPN.com slots him at No. 6.
  • Hazan Sports Management has signed on to represent University of Houston guard Jherrod Stiggers and Michigan State guard Russell Byrd, Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops tweets. Neither player is currently projected to be taken in June’s draft.

Jherrod Stiggers To Turn Pro

University of Houston junior guard Jherrod Stiggers will forgo his senior season and turn pro, reports Mark Berman of Fox 26 Houston, making him eligible for the NBA draft. However, it’s highly unlikely that he’ll be drafted, as Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress has him unranked as a prospect, while Chad Ford of ESPN.com doesn’t have a draft profile page for him. Stiggers was nonetheless the leading scorer the Cougars, who compete in the American Athletic Conference.

Stiggers put up 14.2 points on 12.4 shots in 35.6 minutes per game this season, and he nailed 34.3% of his three-point shots. The Cougars, under former NBA assistant Kelvin Sampson, finished 13-19 this season.

The 6’4″, 22-year-old Stiggers has already hired an agent, according to Berman, so he can’t withdraw his name and play in the NCAA again even if he has a change of heart. He seems destined to land in the D-League or on an overseas team, though it wouldn’t be surprising if he drew at least some predraft workouts from NBA teams and played in the summer league.