Murphy Holloway

Odds & Ends: Spurs, Nets, Pekovic, Muhammad

The Spurs blew out the Heat tonight, behind 51 combined points from Danny Green and Gary Neal. Though Green and Neal are American-born success stories, many of the Spurs' accomplishments have been built around players from overseas, as Seth Wickersham of ESPN The Magazine examines.  Foreign players are "fundamentally harder working than most American kids," Gregg Popovich says. GM R.C. Buford is similarly high on imports, as no team in the league has more players from outside the U.S. than the Spurs do. We'll see if San Antonio's global approach sparks copycats in the years to come, but in the meantime, here's the night's news from the Association:

  • The Nets, reportedly deciding between Brian Shaw and Jason Kidd for their next coach, want to make their choice by the end of the week, writes Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News. The Nets can give Shaw, also in the hunt for the Clippers job, the more lucrative offer, Bondy adds, speculating that Shaw's interview may be little more than a courtesy, given how high Brooklyn is on Kidd.
  • Timberwolves president Flip Saunders had to cut short his meeting with Nikola Pekovic in Italy this past weekend, but the team still "badly" wants to re-sign their restricted free agent center, tweets Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities. 
  • Shabazz Muhammad will work out for the Blazers, The Oregonian's Mike Tokito notes via Twitter.
  • Peyton Siva highlights a group of second-round hopefuls set to work out Thursday for the Grizzlies, reports Chris Vernon of  92.9 FM ESPN in Memphis (Twitter link). Julian Gamble, Jason Jones, Murphy Holloway, Jordan Aboudou and Romero Osby will also participate.

Draft Updates: Tuesday's Chad Ford has released version 4.0 of his 2013 mock draft (Insider-only link), and as usual, the piece is chock-full of rumors and rumblings he's heard from GMs, scouts, and other league sources. Let's dive in and round up some of the highlights from Ford's latest….

  • Nerlens Noel remains the default pick at No. 1, but the Cavaliers still haven't made a decision. Otto Porter and Alex Len would be the best bets to supplant Noel.
  • The Magic's decision at No. 2 is still extremely wide open, with nine players still under consideration, according to Ford.
  • If Porter and Anthony Bennett are still on the board at No. 3 for Washington, it will be a tough decision, since the Wizards' front office is split over which player it likes better.
  • The Pelicans will consider point guards with the sixth overall pick, but the team hasn't given up on Austin Rivers as its point guard of the future, so it may go in a different direction.
  • Ford is "hearing with increasing frequency" that the Pistons could target a point guard with the No. 8 pick.
  • Dario Saric appears to be a lottery pick, with Ford identifying the Blazers at 10 and the Sixers at 11 as real possibilities for the Croatian prospect, who is a "hot name" right now.
  • Shane Larkin's workout in Milwaukee was a "wow" for the Bucks, according to Ford, who has the point guard going at No. 15 to Milwaukee.

In addition to Ford's latest mock, there are plenty of other draft updates to pass along this afternoon. Here are a few of them:

  • Speaking to Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times, Dennis Schroeder and his agent downplayed reports that he has received a first-round guarantee from an unknown team, perhaps the Celtics. "I don’t know where that came from," agent Alex Saratsis said. "I don’t know anything about that."
  • The Knicks' workout on Wednesday will feature the following prospects, according to Al Iannazzone of Newsday (via Twitter): Isaiah Canaan, Brandon Triche, Deshaun Thomas, Murphy Holloway, A.J. Matthews, and Norvel Pelle.
  • The Pistons will bring in Ray McCallum for a workout, tweets Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press.
  • After recently working out for the Jazz, Cody Zeller will work out for the Suns next, tweets Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio. Amico adds in another tweet that Mark Lyons, who averaged 24.3 PPG in three NCAA tournament contests in March, is working out for the Nuggets.
  • Ricky Ledo has already worked out for six teams, including the Nuggets, Bulls, Rockets, and Spurs (link via
  • Ledo will work out for his seventh team on Wednesday, when the Grizzlies hold a session that will also include Jud Dillard, Carrick Felix, Solomon Hill, Angelo Sharpless, and Tony Snell, according to a team release.