Juwan Howard Jr.

New York Notes: Robinson, Lin, Nets, Noah

Despite some speculation that he may be a first-rounder, the Knicks were able to nab Mitchell Robinson with the 36th overall pick in last month’s draft. That was never a lock though, and a source tells Marc Berman of The New York Post that the Knicks mulled the possibility of trading up a few spots in the draft to make sure they’d be able to grab the young center.

Robinson, who signed his first NBA contract on Sunday, looked good in Summer League play later in the day, putting up 12 points and 11 rebounds with a pair of blocks against Utah. As Berman writes in a separate article for The Post, the rookie big man still wants to get in better shape, but is optimistic that he’ll be able to make an impact for the Knicks.

“I feel I really can play in the NBA,” Robinson said. “Nowadays you got the 7-footer who can jump out of the gym. I’m one of them. It will work out great for me.”

Here’s more from out of New York on the Knicks and Nets:

  • Brian Lewis of The New York Post checks in on Jeremy Lin‘s recovery from a torn patellar tendon. While the Nets point guard hasn’t played five-on-five ball yet, he anticipates being ready to go for training camp.
  • In another story for The Post, Lewis explores what’s next for the Nets now that Dwight Howard‘s buyout has been finalized. That agreement opened up more cap room, but GM Sean Marks doesn’t sound like he’s in a hurry to spend it. “I wouldn’t rule anything out. I’d just say we’re constantly weighing our options,” Marks said. “We’re going to be strategic and see how [free agency] comes. The longer the process is drawn out and going into July, there will probably be better deals out there.”
  • Joakim Noah‘s future with the Knicks remains a question mark, but the big man sounds enthusiastic about the idea of staying in New York and playing for new head coach David Fizdale, as he told TMZ this weekend.
  • Marc Berman of The New York Post takes a closer look at Juwan Howard Jr., who is playing for the Knicks in Summer League and hopes to get an invite to join the Westchester Knicks, New York’s G League affiliate. Fizdale, of course, has a good relationship with Howard’s father from their days in Miami.

Southeast Notes: Winslow, Durant, Hornets

Heat swingman Justise Winslow just completed his rookie campaign and hopes to develop into a player who the franchise can build around, of The Miami Herald relays. “Yeah, definitely. Growing up, that was something I always wanted,” Winslow responded when asked if he wants to be the face of the franchise. “And being part of an organization that over the past 10, 13 years has sort of been built around one guy, it’s just something to look forward to. I know there’s a lot of work to be done. I’m not sure what team it will be with, hopefully with Miami, but eventually I would want to be a franchise guy, a leader on a team and the guy that the organization kind of builds around.

Here’s the latest from the Southeast Division:

  • The Heat held a free agent mini-camp this week and attendees included Rodney McGruder, Quinton Upshur, Brandan Kearney, Juwan Howard Jr., Jabril Trawick, Okaro White, Xavier Gibson, Kevin Tumba, Kenny Gabriel and Norvel Pelle, Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald notes.
  • While the notion is certainly a long-shot, Mike Bianchi of The Orlando Sentinel makes the case for why Kevin Durant should sign with the Magic if he departs Oklahoma City as a free agent this offseason. The scribe cites the lack of media pressure, the presence of GM Rob Hennigan, who Durant is familiar with from their time together with the Thunder, new coach Frank Vogel and the team’s wealth of cap space as reasons the Slim Reaper should give serious consideration to joining Orlando.
  • The Hornets have workouts set for Thursday with Isaiah Cousins (Oklahoma), Anthony Gill (Virginia), A.J. Hammons (Purdue), Codi Miller-McIntyre (Wake Forest), Chinanu Onuaku (Louisville) and Kyle Wiltjer (Gonzaga), the team announced.

Central Notes: Pistons, Howard Jr., Middleton

Team President Stan Van Gundy believes the team’s hiring of Arn Tellem will help the franchise attract free agents, but that’s not the only reason that the former agent was added to the payroll, Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press writes.

“It’s certainly an advantage that some of his guys probably have a high level of trust in him and great loyalty to him. I don’t think there’s any question about that. I think that could be some help, but I think that’s different from thinking Arn’s going to go out and use that relationship and be manipulative. I don’t see that,” Van Gundy said.

Here’s more from the Central Division:

  • Juwan Howard Jr. worked out for the Pistons on Saturday, according to Terry Foster of The Detroit News. Although Howard Jr. is not expected to be drafted, Foster speculates that Detroit could sign him as an undrafted free agent. The scribe also suggests the Heat could bring him aboard because they employ his father.
  • Khris Middleton would like to re-sign with Milwaukee this offseason, Gene Sapakoff of The Post and Courier writes. “We have a lot of great pieces with the Bucks,” Middleton said. “If we can stay together, we can do something special.” It was reported that Middleton could command an annual salary in the range of $13MM to $15MM.
  • Devin Booker is definitely on the Bucks‘ radar, Gery Woelfel of the Journal Times writes. Booker met with the team during the pre-draft camp in Chicago. Eddie Scarito of Hoops Rumors has the guard going to the Hornets with the No. 9 pick in his latest Mock Draft.

Eastern Notes: Hawks, Wade, Woods

With the sale of the Hawks nearly completed, the situation regarding embattled GM Danny Ferry is still waiting a definitive resolution, Jeff Schultz of The Atlanta Journal Constitution writes. Schultz predicts the most likely outcome is that Ferry simply resigns and Atlanta gives coach Mike Budenholzer a new contract and more autonomy, and places assistant GM Wes Wilcox in charge of the basketball operations department, at least for the 2015/16 campaign.

Here’s the latest from the Eastern Conference:

  • The Cavaliers announced that point guard Kyrie Irving suffered a fractured left kneecap during the first game of the NBA Finals, and he will require surgery to repair the damage that will keep him out of action for a minimum of three to four months.
  • In his weekly mailbag, a reader asked Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel if he felt that the Heat‘s personnel mistakes have fueled Dwyane Wade‘s concern moving forward. Winderman believes that Wade has lost a good amount of trust in the front office and if the team was winning now, salary might not be such a sticking point for him. The question is whether the Heat are “all in” for 2015/16 and, at present, Winderman isn’t sure that’s the case.
  • The Magic have expressed interest in Butler big man Kameron Woods, who is not projected to be picked in the upcoming NBA Draft, David Woods of The Indianapolis Star writes. The team interviewed Woods last week, and could be looking to sign the forward as a free agent after the draft, the Indy Star scribe adds.
  • The Pistons are holding workouts today for Bobby Portis (Arkansas), Kevon Looney (UCLA), Sir’Dominic Pointer (St. John’s), D.J. Newbill (Penn State), Will Cummings (Temple), and Juwan Howard Jr. (Detroit), Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops tweets.

Zach Links contributed to this post.