Kerem Kanter

Draft Notes: Grizzlies, Magic, Nuggets, Gabriel

Teams near the top of the draft continue to explore trade options as Thursday approaches. The Grizzlies are one of those teams, as they continue to receive significant interest in scenarios that would see them send out Chandler Parsons along with the No. 4 pick, per Marc Stein of The New York Times (Twitter link). According to Stein, it seems clear that remaining in the lottery is crucial to the Grizzlies, who are believed to be taking more calls than they’re making.

Meanwhile, a couple spots down the draft order, the Magic are also having “exploratory” trade talks, president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman said on Monday.

“We’re having discussions above us and below us, but I wouldn’t comment more specifically than that,” Weltman said, according to Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel. “It’s our job to explore every possible option, get to know the draft as well as we possibly can. And, obviously, the draft isn’t just about the draft. It’s about other roster moves that you could potentially look at as well. So there’s not a team we don’t talk to. There’s not a stone we don’t turn over.”

As Robbins notes, Weltman made similar comments leading up to last year’s draft. In that case, the Magic kept their lottery pick, but traded a couple of their other selections later in the draft.

Here’s more on the 2018 NBA draft:

  • The Nuggets‘ Monday workout with potential first-round pick Mitchell Robinson was canceled, according to an announcement from the team. No reason for the cancellation was provided.
  • Kentucky’s Wenyen Gabriel is working out for the Cavaliers today, then the Hornets on Tuesday, tweets Adam Zagoria of Gabriel is a candidate to be drafted in the second round.
  • The Warriors continued to take a closer look at prospects on Monday, bringing in Jeffrey Carroll (Oklahoma State), Xavier Cooks (Winthrop), Ben Emelogu (SMU), Melvin Frazier (Tulane), Terry Larrier (UConn), and William Lee (UAB) for workouts (Twitter link via Mark Medina of The San Jose Mercury News).
  • Kerem Kanter, the younger brother of NBA veteran Enes Kanter, was in Oklahoma City on Monday to work out for the Thunder, writes Erik Horne of The Oklahoman. The younger Kanter brother isn’t considered likely to be drafted.
  • Loyola-Chicago guard Donte Ingram is scheduled to work out for the Knicks on Tuesday, sources tell Ian Begley of

Draft Workouts: Simons, Allen, Grizzlies, Knicks

IMG Academy guard Anfernee Simons, projected as a possible first-round pick, has a busy workout schedule leading up to the 2018 NBA draft. Having already auditioned for the Lakers, Trail Blazers, Suns, and Bulls, Simons will reportedly work out for the Magic as well, as we heard on Monday. During Simons’ Tuesday workout with the Lakers, he added several more teams to that list, confirming that he’ll also get a look from the Jazz, Knicks, Sixers, and Bucks, as Ohm Youngmisuk of relays.

That workout with the Jazz will happen on Thursday, league sources tell Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune (Twitter link).

While Simons has a wide range of potential landing spots, ESPN’s Jonathan Givony has the youngster coming off the board at No. 38 to the Sixers in his latest mock draft.

Here are a few more updates and notes on pre-draft prospect workouts:

Southeast Rumors: Thomas, Nored, Whiteside, Hawks

Free agent point guard Isaiah Thomas would be a good fit for the Heat but they probably don’t have the salary-cap space to sign him, Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel speculates. Thomas’ ability to score in bunches would boost a team prone to scoring droughts, Winderman continues. But it’s doubtful that a former All-Star coming off an injury-marred season would take a short-term deal, Winderman notes, as the Lakers guard is more likely to pursue what could be his last significant contract.

We have more from the Southeast Division:

  • The Hornets will hire Ronald Nored as an assistant coach on James Borrego‘s staff, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweets. Nored served as the Nets’ G-League head coach this past season.
  • Pat Riley‘s silence over the Hassan Whiteside situation in recent weeks suggests a trade is more likely than reconciliation, Winderman opines in another blog. Though Winderman believes Whiteside and coach Erik Spoelstra would like to find some middle ground, a separation appears to be in order despite the issue of Whiteside’s contract, which has two years and over $52MM remaining. Whiteside was disappointed with his reduced playing time.
  • The Hawks will bring in six prospects for a workout on Tuesday, according to a team press release. That group includes  Carsen Edwards (Purdue), Kyran Bowman (Boston College), Dorian Pickens (Stanford), Kerem Kanter (Xavier), Tremont Waters (LSU) and Kenrich Williams (TCU).

Draft Notes: Kanter, Bucks, Swanigan

Kerem Kanter has withdrawn from the draft, Jeff Goodman of tweets. Kanter, who is the younger brother of NBA player Enes Kanter, graduated from Green Bay and will play for Xavier this year.

Here’s more on the upcoming draft:

Draft Notes: Fultz, Ball, Hutchison, 2018

The Knicks currently have the sixth-best odds in the NBA draft lottery, which would give them a modest 6.3% chance to land the first overall pick. Despite those fairly long odds, potential No. 1 pick Markelle Fultz has considered the possibility of playing for New York, and was in attendance on Sunday at Madison Square Garden to take a first-hand look at the team and its triangle system.

As Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News details, Fultz said it would be “amazing” to be drafted by the Knicks, and didn’t express any reservations about the triangle.

I think I could play in any system,” Fultz said. “I’m very versatile, so it was cool to see that. It’s a lot of openings and stuff like that, so that’s why I came to see that in person.”

Let’s round up a few more draft-related items…

  • Former UCLA point guard Lonzo Ball is the biggest threat to Fultz for that No. 1 pick, but if he had to choose between being drafted first overall and being selected by the Lakers, Ball would opt for the Lakers, he recently told ESPN (video link). Ball also made the case for why clubs should draft him over Fultz, suggesting that he’s more capable of leading a team than the Washington point guard is.
  • Boise State’s Chandler Hutchison will enter his name in the 2017 NBA draft pool, but won’t hire an agent, according to an announcement from the school. “Our coaches have informed me that NBA teams are expressing interest, and I feel that I need to take advantage of the opportunity to be evaluated and find out where I truly stand,” Hutchison said in a statement. The junior shooting guard, who isn’t considered a top prospect by DraftExpress or ESPN, will have until May 24 to decide whether to withdraw his name and return to Boise State.
  • Much has been made of the strength of the 2017 draft class, but as Chad Ford of writes in an Insider-only piece, the 2018 class projects to have several elite prospects at the top too. However, it won’t be as deep as 2017’s class. “[The 2017] class was one of the most talented and deepest I’ve ever seen,” one NBA GM said. “[For 2018], I love three or four guys and that’s about it.” Michael Porter Jr. (Missouri), Luka Doncic (Real Madrid), and DeAndre Ayton (Arizona) are the three players at the top of Ford’s 2018 board.
  • Former Green Bay power forward Kerem Kanter, who was said to be testing the draft process before potentially graduating and transferring, has committed to Xavier, tweets Jeff Goodman of As such, the brother of Enes Kanter figures to postpone his pro career for another year.

And-Ones: Stackhouse, Porter Jr., EuroHoops

Sam Fortier of The Ringer detailed Jerry Stackhouse‘s decision to coach in the D-League as opposed to working as an NBA assistant coach. Stackhouse, coaching Raptors 905, often works in front of small crowds with little fanfare, but the two-time All-Star doesn’t mind.

“Until I got this job this year, I hardly even knew the D-League existed,” Stackhouse said. “I’m a pro. I’m an NBA guy, and I’m not wasting time, you know? I get it when people don’t understand the D-League. It’s part of it. But I’m here to tell ’em it’s a gem. A hidden gem.”

Stackhouse explained the frustration of watching Jason Kidd and Derek Fisher seamlessly transition from their playing career to a head coaching job. After a stint as a TV analyst covering the Pistons, Stackhouse pursued a coaching job with the 37-11 Raptors 905.

“Seeing [Fisher and Kidd] get those head-coaching jobs, I was like, I know I’m — you hate to say better — but I know I’m damn as good as those guys when it comes to coaching,” Stackhouse said. “I wouldn’t have been ready [to be a head coach] in 2012–13, but Jason Kidd came in and my mind was like, ‘I have more of a pulse of this team than he could ever have. They respect me.’ I look at all of the other relationships you have to have to make it work, and the people you need to know in organizations. … It’s hard to get that.”

More from around the game…

  • Green Bay’s Kerem Kanter will test the NBA draft process, Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports reports (Twitter link). Per Rothstein, Kerem (brother of Enes Kanter), will graduate and transfer if he doesn’t remain in the draft.
  • Michael Porter Jr., the nation’s top recruit, announced on Twitter that he has committed to Missouri (link). When speaking to Jeff Goodman of ESPN, Porter said “It wasn’t an easy decision at all, but I’m very comfortable with the program and Coach Martin. I trust my dad. I think we have a chance to do something special. … I’m excited beyond words.”
  • International basketball reporter David Pick was asked who the best player in Europe was (Twitter link). Pick replied “Milos [Teodosic] is a magician, but most Euroleague GMs love Nando De Colo. Sergio Llull is a stud, Keith Langford voted best US-born overseas.” De Colo, who has played with CSKA Moscow since 2014, appeared in 119 NBA games with the Spurs and Raptors between 2012-14. In a recent interview with, de Colo said returning to the NBA is “not a priority” at the moment.