Marcus Thornton (Georgia)

Pacific Notes: Stephenson, Kings, Towns

The Clippers‘ newly acquired swingman Lance Stephenson is well aware of his negative locker room reputation around the league, and he intends to change that perception this season, Arash Markazi of writes. “I’m going to work hard this season to get those rumors out,” Stephenson said. “That’s not the issue. I’m very good in the locker room. You can ask all the players that I’ve played with. You can ask the coaches. I’m very good in the locker room. When I’m on the court I got that type of energy where it looks like I’m yelling at somebody. But when I talk to my teammates it amps them and makes them work harder. I want to take that [negative] title off my name because that’s not me. I’m a good locker room guy.” Stephenson also indicated that he would be fine with coming off the bench, something that coach/executive Doc Rivers has suggested would be the case.

Here’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • The Kings will host workouts on Monday for Askia Booker (Colorado), Frank Kaminsky (Wisconsin), T.J. McConnell (Arizona), and Brad Wadlow (St. Mary’s), the team announced. On Tuesday, the team will bring in Mike Caffey (Long Beach State), Sam Dekker (Wisconsin), Duje Dukan (Wisconsin), Rondae-Hollis Jefferson (Arizona), and Juwan Staten (West Virginia). Finally, Wednesday will see Willie Cauley-Stein (Kentucky) and Cameron Payne (Murray State) displaying their wares for Sacramento.
  • The Lakers have been unsuccessful thus far in getting Kentucky big man Karl-Anthony Towns in for a workout, and the team is doubtful that will change prior to the draft, Mark Medina of The Los Angeles Daily News tweets. This resistance from Towns to meet with the Lakers could be due to a draft promise from the Timberwolves, though that is merely my speculation.
  • The Lakers brought in Michael Frazier (Florida) as part of a group workout held today, Michael Scotto of SheridanHoops relays (Twitter link). Also part of today’s workout were Terry Rozier (Louisville), Andrew Harrison (Kentucky), Marcus Thornton (Georgia), Larry Nance Jr. (Wyoming), and Sir’Dominic Pointer (St. John’s), Eric Pincus of The Los Angeles Times notes.

Pacific Notes: D’Alessandro, Draft, Clippers

Clippers coach/executive Doc Rivers denies that there is any rift between teammates Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason, Arash Markazi of relays. “I can put this to rest: They get along great,” Rivers told Fred Roggin of The Beast 980. “Clearly, like everybody, they don’t get along all the time, and they don’t get along with me all the time, either, by the way. I don’t see that as an issue. I think all three, and I’m including Blake [Griffin] in this as well, understand how important the other guy is to them. Meaning, they all three need each other to win, and I think all three get that and all three know that and all three want to do it together. To me, that’s the most important thing.”

Here’s the latest out of the NBA’s Pacific Division:

  • The Clippers held workouts today for Phil Greene, Rayvonte Rice, Cady Lalanne, Maurice Walker, Bryce Dejean-Jones, and Matt Carlino, Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops reports (Twitter link).
  • Kings GM Pete D’Alessandro is a “significant candidate” for the now vacant athletic director post at St. John’s University, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports (Twitter link). D’Alessandro lost a significant amount of his authority when the team hired new president of basketball and franchise operations, Vlade Divac.
  • The Suns worked out Quinn Cook, Marcus Thornton (Georgia), D.J. Newbill, Tyler Haws, Matt Stainbrook, and Aaron Thomas, Scotto tweets.
  • When speaking about potential 2015 draftees Aaron Harrison and Kevin Pangos, both of whom recently worked out for the team, Suns coach Jeff Hornacek noted that both players may not get selected this June, but could have a shot at making an NBA roster because of the changes in how guards are used today, Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic writes. “There are probably more guys that are the combo guards because they’re not really true point guards,” Hornacek said. “They’re all scoring guys. They all come up with the scoring mentality. You try to find those guys that can do both those things. But especially in today’s game, the point guard, he may be a scorer but he’s still got to lead the team. He’s still got to have that ability to direct guys and not be afraid.

Atlantic Notes: Mudiay, Bass, Daniels

With the Knicks owning the No. 4 overall pick this June, numerous mock drafts have the franchise slated to select Emmanuel Mudiay at that slot. Even though New York appears intent on continuing to implement the triangle offense, Mudiay’s presence could make the team run more pick-and-roll plays, which is something the young guard excels at,’s Fran Fraschilla opines. “You know that the organization is married to the triangle, but we also know that when the clock went low in Chicago and Los Angeles they gave the ball to Michael [Jordan] and Kobe Bryant and got out of the way. So if there are ways to use Mudiay in isolation and pick-and-roll, it would be to his benefit because it’s one of his strengths,” Fraschilla said. “It would have to be some adjustment on the part of the coaching staff to put him in more pick-and-roll.

Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Unrestricted free agent Brandon Bass said he is open to returning to the Celtics, but wants to go to a team that will make him feel wanted, A. Sherrod Blakely of tweets.
  • Raptors 2014 second-rounder DeAndre Daniels has been working out in Toronto and could be in the mix for one of the final roster spots next season, Josh Lewenberg of notes (via Twitter). Daniels spent this past season playing in Australia.
  • The Sixers have a workout scheduled for Thursday with former La Salle forward Jerrell Wright, Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer reports (Twitter link).
  • Teams have begun to inquire about the availability of Nets big man Mason Plumlee, Marc Stein of tweets. Brooklyn GM Billy King had said earlier this month that the team looked into the idea of trading every player on the roster at some point this past season, including Plumlee.
  • The Celtics held workouts today for David Kravish, Bobby Portis, Jordan Mickey, Marcus Thornton, Rakeem Christmas, and Shannon Scott, Chris Forsberg of relays (Twitter link).

Atlantic Notes: Russell, Sixers, Nets

D’Angelo Russell could wind up as a top-two pick if the Knicks or Sixers are that position after the results of the draft lottery on Tuesday, according to Ken Berger of While it’s widely assumed that Karl-Anthony Towns and Jahlil Okafor will go 1-2 in the draft, there was some speculation by rival executives at the draft combine that Philadelphia or New York may opt instead to transform to its backcourt with the Ohio State guard, Berger reports.

In other news around the Atlantic Division:

  • Michael Qualls (Arkansas), Keifer Sykes (Wisconsin-Green Bay), Ryan Boatright (Connecticut) and Terry Rozier (Louisville) are scheduled to work out with the Sixers on Tuesday, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Philadelphia brought in Julian Washburn (Texas-El Paso), Seth Tuttle (Northern Iowa), Terran Petteway (Nebraska), Marcus Thornton (Georgia), Stanton Kidd (Colorado State), Juwan Staten (West Virginia) and Shannon Scott (Ohio State) for workouts on Monday, Pompey adds.
  • Mike Conley and Kevin Love, if he does not opt out this summer, are potential free agent targets for the Nets in 2016, according to The Nets will undergo many changes this offseason as they try to get under the luxury tax but they need to remain a playoff-caliber team to attract future free agents, the story adds.
  • A shakeup of Dwane Casey’s staff is underway as the Raptors parted with assistants Bill Bayno and Tom Sterner today, sources told Berger (Twitter links).