Maxie Esho

Eastern Notes: Williams, Knicks, Celtics

There have been reports that the Knicks intend to trade down in the NBA Draft if Karl-Anthony Towns, Jahlil Okafor, and D’Angelo Russell are off the board when New York is set to pick at No. 4 overall. As for what team president Phil Jackson is seeking in return for the fourth pick, in his weekly chat Chad Ford of (Insider subscription required) relays that the Knicks want a young veteran player and a pick in the 8 to 14 range. One player who New York has been linked to in that draft range is fast-rising playmaker Cameron Payne of Murray State, who would fill a glaring need for the franchise at the point guard spot.

Here’s the latest out of the Eastern Conference:

  • Reigning Sixth Man of the Year Lou Williams is expected to receive strong interest from teams that include the Kings, Lakers, Knicks, and Nets, providing a clear competition for the Raptors to retain his services, Shams Charania of RealGM writes. Williams is expected to seek a three-year deal in the range of $27MM or four years for $35MM, Charania adds.
  • The Celtics held workouts today for Kevon Looney (UCLA), Brandon Ashley (Arizona), JayVaughn Pinkston (Villanova), and Maurice NDour (Ohio), Chris Forsberg of relays (Twitter link).
  • The Wizards will hold workouts on Thursday for Justin Anderson (Virginia), Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (Arizona), Jordan Mickey (LSU), Aaron White (Iowa), Derek Cooke Jr. (Wyoming), and Maxie Esho (UMass), Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders tweets.
  • Working out for the Cavaliers today were Josh Richardson (Tennessee) and Olivier Hanlan (Boston College), Michael Scotto of SheridanHoops notes (on Twitter).
  • The Hornets are hoping that newly acquired Spencer Hawes can help replace the outside shooting the team lost when Josh McRoberts signed with the Heat last offseason, Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer writes. “In the offseason you try to make your team fit better together, and I think that’s what this trade does. Our defense is more than good enough to win and our offense isn’t,” Clifford said. “If you look more specifically into the numbers [the flaw] is our [long] range shooting. What Spencer will do is improve our range shooting and he’s also a very good passer.

Atlantic Notes: Nets, Blatt, Lalanne, Celtics

The Nets will swap picks with the Hawks in the upcoming draft as a result of the Joe Johnson trade, meaning they’ll be selecting at 29th. Still, Brooklyn director of player personnel Gregg Polinsky doesn’t sound like he’s too worried about picking so low, as Roderick Boone of Newsday passes along, since Polinsky believes GM Billy King’s creativity will help the Nets land a difference maker late in the first.

More from the Atlantic:

  • Had it not been for the Knicks’ decision to hire Phil Jackson as president of basketball operations, David Blatt might have spent his first year as an NBA head coach in New York instead of Cleveland. Marc Berman of the New York Post has the details on Knicks GM Steve Mills’ close relationship with Blatt and what it might have meant to the team if Jackson wasn’t calling the shots in New York.
  • UMass big man Cady Lalanne admits that while he’d love to be selected by any team in the upcoming draft, the Celtics are one of his preferred destinations, as Sherrod Blakely of observes. Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress lists Lalanne as the 65th best prospect in the draft, while Chad Ford of ESPN ranks him a bit lower at 87th.
  • Lalanne worked out for the Celtics yesterday, along with Alpha Kaba, Larry Nance, T.J. Price, Kevin Capers, and Maxie Esho, as Chris Forsberg of notes on Twitter. Meanwhile, Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald passes along that the team wanted to work out Corey Walden but couldn’t because he tweaked a hamstring. In addition to two first-round picks, Boston has two second-round selections, which is where they’d likely be considering drafting any of the aforementioned players.
  • Eric Koreen of the National Post speculates that because the Raptors don’t possess any glaring team needs, they could make another off-the-wall selection with their first-round pick this season, much like they did last year when they selected Bruno Caboclo.

Eastern Notes: Curry, Celtics, Perkins

The Hornets announced today that former player and current broadcaster Dell Curry has expanded his role with the organization, becoming a team Ambassador and Special Projects Advisor. Curry will serve as an ambassador for the team at events related to both basketball and business operations, such as community programs, charity outings, speaking engagements and fundraising galas. “We are pleased that Dell has agreed to expand his role with our organization,” said Hornets Sports & Entertainment President & COO Fred Whitfield.  “Dell’s name is synonymous with the words ‘Charlotte Hornets.’  Our fans know him well from both his history as a player and his six seasons as our TV analyst.  We are excited that he will be strengthening his relationship with our franchise.

Here’s the latest out of the Eastern Conference:

  • The Celtics held workouts today for David Kravish (California), Cliff Alexander (Kansas), Chasson Randle (Stanford), George Lucas (Brazil), Maxie Esho (UMass), and Satnam Singh (IMG Academy), Chris Forsberg of relays (via Twitter).
  • Kendrick Perkins had a choice to sign with either the Clippers or the Cavaliers after parting ways with the Jazz at midseason via a buyout arrangement, and the big man is thrilled that he ultimately decided on Cleveland, Chris Haynes of The Northeast Ohio Media writes. “Just to come and have a chance to win a title is beautiful,” Perkins told Haynes. “Anytime you have that chance to make it to The Finals, you’re definitely a championship-type team. … We’re proving it every night.
  • The Nets have three sets of workouts scheduled for next week, the team announced. The group on Monday will consist of Terry Rozier (Louisville), Kevin Pangos (Gonzaga), Treveon Graham (VCU), Aaron Thomas (FSU), Mike Myers (MD-Eastern Shore), and Kendall Gray (Delaware State). Tuesday’s crop will consist of Phil Greene (St. John’s), Darrick Marks (Boise State), Darrun Hilliard (Villanova), Greg Whittington (Georgetown), Aaron White (Iowa), and David Laury (Iona). And on Wednesday the team will work out Jarvis Summers (Mississippi), Quinn Cook (Duke), Jesse Morgan (Temple), J.P. Tokoto (North Carolina), Jonathan Holmes (Texas), and JayVaughn Pinkston (Villanova).