Nathan Boothe

Workouts Update: Suns, Hornets, Kings, Grizzlies

Two prominent power forward prospects had individual workouts with the Suns this weekend, writes Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic. Croatian star Dragan Bender and Washington freshman Marquese Chriss both were in Phoenix for unannounced sessions that may influence the Suns’ thinking with the No. 4 pick. Coro adds that Bender worked out for Minnesota, which holds the fifth selection, on Thursday and will visit Boston, which has the No. 3 choice, early this week.

In addition, Phoenix held a workout Saturday for three players who may be options with the 13th pick: Michigan State power forward Deyonta Davis and shooting guard Denzel Valentine, along with small forward Timothe Luwawu of France. Also at the session were Louisville center Chinanu Onuaku and Arizona State center Eric Jabobsen.

There’s more workout news as draft day draws closer:

  • The Hornets, who have the 22nd pick, will welcome six players for a workout today, the team tweeted. The session will feature Virginia shooting guard Malcolm Brogdon, High Point combo forward John Brown, South Carolina small forward Michael Carrera, North Carolina power forward Joel James, UNLV shooting guard Patrick McCaw and Virginia center Mike Tobey.
  • The Kings are also planning to bring in six players today for a workout, the organization announced. Participants will be Arkansas-Little Rock point guard Josh Hagins, Arizona point guard Gabe York, Kansas small forward Brannen Greene, Oakland shooting guard Max Hooper, UC Santa Barbara combo guard Mike Bryson and Utah small forward Jordan Loveridge. The Kings hold pick No. 8.
  • The Grizzlies have a workout scheduled this afternoon with Texas A&M combo guard Alex Caruso, Oregon small forward Elgin Cook, Kansas center Cheick Diallo, Memphis power forward Shaq Goodwin, Baylor small forward Taurean Prince and LSU combo guard Tim Quarterman. Memphis has the 17th pick.
  • The Raptors, who own picks No. 9 and 27, will hold a workout today for Syracuse shooting guard Malachi Richardson, tweets Adam Zagoria of
  • The Bulls held a workout Friday, tweets Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops. Attending were Maryland center Diamond Stone, UNLV center Stephen Zimmerman, Toledo power forward/center Nathan Boothe and Northern Iowa point guard Wes Washpun. The Bulls have the 14th pick.

Eastern Notes: Smart, Teague, Draft

Hawks point guard Jeff Teague relayed today that he played the entire 2015/16 campaign with a torn patellar tendon in his knee and that he “could barely jump or stop,” Mike Mazzeo of writes. Teague won’t require surgery this offseason and is expected to be ready to go when training camp commences, Mazzeo adds. “He is kind of, for lack of a better word, managing his knee,” coach/executive Mike Budenholzer said. “I don’t know if it is knees and ankles. I would say it is hard to know what he shares and what he doesn’t. I think he was relatively healthy and he was good so many nights and he is such a good player. I do think he was managing it a little bit like a lot of NBA guys do.”

Teague, 27, appeared in 79 games in 2015/16, averaging 15.7 points and 5.9 assists and shooting 43.9% from the field and 40% from 3-point range. He has one year remaining on his current deal and is a potential trade candidate this offseason. Here’s more from the Eastern Conference:

  • The Celtics held two group workouts today, Chris Forsberg of tweets. The first group was comprised of Alex Caruso (Texas A&M), Juan Hernangomez (Spain), Damian Jones (Vanderbilt), Thon Maker (Australia), Georgios Papagiannis (Greece) and Rasheed Sulaimon (Maryland), Forsberg notes. The second group included Robert Carter (Maryland), Stefan Jankovic (Hawaii), Shawn Long (Louisiana-Lafayette), Mamadou Ndiaye (UC Irvine), Nik Slavica (Croatia) and Troy Williams (Indiana).
  • The Heat have granted the Grizzlies permission to interview assistant coach Keith Smart for a position on the staff of former Miami assistant David Fizdale, who was recently named Memphis’ head coach, Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel relays. Memphis was denied permission to interview Heat assistant coach Dan Craig, who is expected to take an elevated position on Erik Spoelstra‘s staff next season, Winderman adds.
  • The Hornets have workouts scheduled for Friday with Cat Barber (NC State), Nathan Boothe (Toledo), Jake Layman (Maryland), Isaiah Miles (St. Joe’s), Tyler Ulis (Kentucky) and Stephen Zimmerman (UNLV), Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders relays (on Twitter).

Southeast Notes: Dragic, Lee, Wizards

The Heat went to a small-ball approach this past season out of necessity to due injuries, but the experiment may continue in 2016/17 in order to better maximize the talents of Goran Dragic, Jason Lieser of The Palm Beach Post writes.

Here’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • The Wizards held workouts today for Dorian Finney-Smith (Florida), Tim Quarterman (LSU) and Mike Tobey (Virginia), J. Michael of relays.
  • Also working out for the Wizards today were Nathan Boothe (Toledo), David Walker (Northeastern) and Abdel Nader (Iowa State), Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops tweets.
  • Hornets swingman Courtney Lee, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, says he can see himself playing in the league for many years to come, Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders relays (via Twitter). “I think I can ride it out for another seven to eight years. You can play in the league a long time if you can put the ball in from [3],” Lee, 30, said.
  • With a number of young big men on the roster, the Hornets may be best served to allow Al Jefferson to depart as an unrestricted free agent this summer and concentrate on adding outside shooting instead, Keith P. Smith of RealGM opines in his offseason preview for Charlotte.

Eastern Rumors: Karasev, Maker, Raps, Pistons

In a conversation with the Russian newspaper Izvestia, Sergey Karasev‘s father Vasily Karasev – the coach of the year in the Russian league – was asked about his son’s future. According to Orazio Cauchi of Sportando, the elder Karsev replied that it’s too early to say where his son will land, but they intend to consider all options in both the NBA and Europe. He then added an interesting kicker: “One thing is for sure, Sergey won’t play for the Nets next season.”

As Nets Daily observes, Sergey Karasev previously contradicted comments from his father when Vasily suggested that his son wanted to be traded by the Nets. So the elder Karsev’s comments this time around don’t necessarily guarantee anything. But it certainly sounds as if the 22-year-old, who had his team option declined by Brooklyn, will thoroughly explore outside opportunities this summer, and there’s a good chance he’ll be wearing a different uniform in the fall.

Here’s more from around the Eastern Conference:

  • After working out for Utah, seven-foot prospect Thon Maker has workouts lined up with the Hawks (Friday), Pistons, and Pacers, a source tells Adam Zagoria of (Twitter link). Maker has received some first-round buzz following a recent audition in New York City.
  • Former Toledo power forward Nathan Boothe will work out for the Raptors next Tuesday, sources tell Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops (Twitter link). Boothe has had workouts with Brooklyn, Detroit, and Utah so far in the pre-draft process.
  • Bobby Marks of The Vertical previews the offseason for the Heat, who will need to find talent outside of the draft this year since they don’t have either of their two picks.
  • If the Pistons keep the 18th overall pick in this year’s draft, there’s a good chance they use it on a point guard, according to David Mayo of, who identifies a few possible targets at the position. However, as Keith Langlois of details, Detroit should have no shortage of options with the pick.

Northwest Notes: Olshey, Jazz, Hield

Trail Blazers GM Neil Olshey acknowledged that the organization has traditionally had difficulty landing upper-tier free agents, Jen Beyrle of The Oregonian relays. “It’s absolutely a hurdle. Whenever we get that first guy to come, it will be unprecedented when you look at the history,” said Olshey. “I think we’ve gotten good free agents. We’ve gotten guys but they’ve had the right sensibility and we knew that they would work in this market place and would fit with the team.” Olshey noted that last year’s free agent crop elected to join playoff teams, which hurt Portland’s recruiting efforts, but pointed to the team reaching the second round of the 2015/16 postseason as a boon heading into the offseason.

The executive isn’t letting frustrations of the past color his attitude this offseason, noting that the franchise will be extremely aggressive in the free agent market this summer, the team relayed (on Twitter). Here’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • The Jazz have a workout scheduled on Saturday for Ryan Arcidiacono (Villanova), Nathan Boothe (Toledo), Michael Carrera (South Carolina), Vince Edwards (Purdue), Retin Obasohan (Alabama) and Malik Pope (San Diego State), the team announced.
  • New Wolves coach/executive Tom Thibodeau has offered Travelle Gaines, who is Bulls swingman Jimmy Butler’s personal trainer, a post as the team’s strength and conditioning coach, Vincent Goodwill of CSNChicago tweets.
  • The Timberwolves hold the No. 5 overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft and Jim Souhan of The Star Tribune makes the case for the team to select former Oklahoma shooting guard Buddy Hield. The scribe opines that Hield is the best available combination of talent, maturity and polish available where the team’s pick falls.

Atlantic Notes: Atkinson, Olynyk, Draft

Nets team owner Mikhail Prokhorov indicated that he intends to exercise greater patience than in the past as the franchise attempts to rebuild itself under GM Sean Marks and coach Kenny Atkinson, Ohm Youngmisuk of relays. “We’re all on the same page,” Marks told the media during Atkinson’s introductory press conference on Monday. “In talking to Mr. Prokhorov — he sat in, and he was right there interviewing Kenny with me — he made it well clear that things were going to be done a little differently. He’s given us the reins to build this thing our way, and if it takes some time, it does. But we’ll be doing everything we can to turn this thing around quickly.

Atkinson acknowledged that Brooklyn’s high coaching turnover rate under Prokhorov gave him pause, but trust in Marks helped him overcome his initial reticence regarding the post, Youngmisuk notes. “I think it gives you pause because you look at the past,” Atkinson said on becoming the Nets’ sixth coach since 2012. “But that’s why you meet with ownership, and that’s why my relationship with Sean was important, because he had an intimate conversation, and when I came up here to interview with them, that was part of my question. I was more than satisfied with the answers. We’re going to build something sustainable. We’re going to build something for the long term, so that excited me and convinced me.

Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • If the Sixers snag to No. 1 overall pick as well as the No. 2 or No.4 overall one, look for the team to target a playmaker and an outside shooter, Chad Ford of tweets. The scribe mentions the combination of Ben Simmons and Jamal Murray or Brandon Ingram and Kris Dunn as potential pairings.
  • The Celtics announced via press release that center Kelly Olynyk underwent successful surgery to repair damage to his right shoulder. He will begin a rehabilitation program immediately, according to the team, but no timetable was given for Olynyk’s return to action. The 25-year-old still has one year and $3,094,013 remaining on his current contract.
  • The Nets worked out former Michigan State center Matt Costello today, Adam Zagoria of relays (via Twitter). Costello is a potential late second-rounder, with Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress ranking him as the No. 71 overall senior.
  • Former Toledo power forward Nathan Boothe has workouts scheduled this week with the Nets and the Pistons, Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops relays (via Twitter). Boothe is the No. 46 overall senior, per Givony’s rankings.