Olivier Hanlan

Eastern Notes: Pierce, Gibson, Draft

The Wizards want Paul Pierce to return for the 2015/16 season, but could face competition from the Clippers if the veteran returns for his 18th season. Jorge Castillo of The Washington Post examines what Washington could do to replace the 37-year-old if he does not re-sign with the franchise. The team’s free agent options include Mike Dunleavy, Mirza Teletovic, and Tayshaun Prince, Castillo opines. The Wizards could also look to fill the void with their first round pick, and potential draftees include Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Sam Dekker, and Justin Anderson, Castillo notes.

Here’s the latest out of the Eastern Conference:

  • The Nets have pre-draft workouts scheduled Monday for Olivier Hanlan (Boston College), Andrew Harrison (Kentucky), Sam Thompson (Ohio State), Pat Connaughton (Notre Dame), Branden Dawson (Michigan State), and Cliff Alexander (Kansas), the team announced.
  • Working out for the Pistons today were Treveon Graham (VCU), Hanlan, Trevor Lacey (NC State), Kelly Oubre (Kansas), Karrington Ward (Eastern Michigan), and Dez Wells (Maryland), the team announced (on Twitter).
  • Bulls forward Taj Gibson underwent an arthroscopic surgery on his left ankle on Tuesday, the team announced. The estimated recovery time before the forward can return to action is approximately four months, which could cost Gibson the bulk of the preseason.
  • The Hawks reached a summer league commitment with former Iowa State guard DeAndre Kane, and the team plans to discuss a free agent deal with the 26-year-old, Shams Charania of RealGM tweets. Kane spent last season with the Antwerp Giants of Belgium.
  • Atlanta brought in Penn State guard D.J. Newbill for a workout today Michael Scotto of RealGM relays (Twitter link).

Central Notes: Blatt, Bucks, Love

LeBron James‘ attitude and demeanor toward Cavaliers coach David Blatt during the NBA Finals was unbecoming and inappropriate, Marc Stein of ESPN.com writes. Stein references LeBron essentially calling his own timeouts and making substitutions, as well as eschewing Blatt for assistant coach Tyronn Lue. James also nixed a number of plays that Blatt had drawn up during timeouts, which only served to undermine the coach in the eyes of the rest of the team, Stein notes.

Here’s more out of the Central Division:

  • While some have speculated that Cavs owner Dan Gilbert might make a play for former Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, a number of Cleveland’s front office personnel insist that Gilbert is Blatt’s biggest supporter, Zach Lowe of Grantland tweets. GM David Griffin downplayed any issues between Blatt and James in today’s season-ending news conference, saying, “Sensationalism sells. LeBron said David’s a hell of a coach,” Sam Amico of FOX Sports.com relays (Twitter link).
  • Griffin said that he expects James and Kevin Love to both opt out of their deals this summer, but he anticipates that both will re-sign with the Cavs, Chris Haynes of The Northeast Ohio Media Group tweets. While this news isn’t a surprise as far as LeBron is concerned, it does run counter to what Love told Haynes back in January that he planned to do.
  • The Bucks held workouts today for Josh Gasser (Wisconsin), Keifer Sykes (Wisconsin-Green Bay), Olivier Hanlan (Boston College), Cady Lalanne (Massachusetts), Amere May (Delaware State), and TaShawn Thomas (Oklahoma), the team announced (via Twitter).
  • Cavs veteran forward Shawn Marion confirmed today that he is indeed retiring after 16 years in the league, Stein relays in a separate article. “I wanted to go out on my terms,” Marion said. “The biggest thing is having a son. I got attached to him. Seeing him periodically is hard. Watching him grow up on pictures and videos is hard.” The Matrix’s final career numbers through 1163 contests are 15.2 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 1.9 assists per game.
  • Bucks coach Jason Kidd is excited about the team’s possibilities for tweaking its roster this offseason, Genaro C. Armas of The Associated Press writes. “Yeah, I like what [GM John] Hammond has done, the position he has put us in pre-draft,” Kidd said. “We’ll see what happens,” Kidd continued. ”You’ve got a lot of different things, possibilities that you’re not landlocked to get better, and that means not moving a major piece.

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 ESPN.com (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 ESPNBoston.com 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.

Western Notes: Calathes, Jazz, McCullough

Grizzlies guard Nick Calathes has insisted that he prefers to remain in the NBA, but rumors continue to signal that his camp is soliciting his services overseas, as David Pick of Eurobasket.com hears that he’s seeking a $3.5MM annual salary from international clubs (Twitter link). Calathes can become a restricted free agent this summer if Memphis tenders him a qualifying offer worth $1,147,276.

Here’s more from the Western Conference:

  • The Jazz have two sets of workouts scheduled for tomorrow, the team announced (Twitter links). The first group consists of Jonathan Holmes (Texas), Gabriel Olaseni (Iowa), Charles Jackson (Tennessee Tech), Kenneth Smith (Louisiana Tech), J.J. O’Brien (San Diego State), and Marcus Thornton (William and Mary).
  • The second group working out for the Jazz on Saturday will be comprised of Jerian Grant (Notre Dame), Trey Lyles (Kentucky), Olivier Hanlan (Boston College), Mouhammadou Jaiteh (France), Cady Lalanne (UMass), and Myles Turner (Texas).
  • The Mavericks brought in Syracuse forward Chris McCullough for an interview on Thursday, Michael Scotto of SheridanHoops tweets.
  • The Thunder will bring in Tennessee swingman Josh Richardson on Saturday as part of a group workout, Scotto relays (Twitter link).

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Southwest Rumors: Hanlan, Grizzlies, Cook

The Rockets have worked out Boston College’s Olivier Hanlan, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders tweets. The 6’4” combo guard worked out for the Lakers on Monday and also worked out this month for the Timberwolves, Suns and Celtics. He is ranked No. 41 on ESPN Insider Chad Ford’s list of Top 100 prospects while DraftExpress’ Jonathan Givony currently pegs him at No. 53. Houston holds the No. 18 overall pick (from the Pelicans) in the first round and No. 32 (from the Knicks) early in the second, so Hanlan needed to make quite an impression for the Rockets to consider drafting him.

In other news around the Southwest Division:

  • Hanlan will also participate in the Grizzlies’ fourth pre-draft workout on Tuesday, according to Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal. He’ll be joined by Utah point guard Delon Wright, Syracuse power forward Rakeem Christmas, LSU forward Jarell Martin, Florida guard Michael Frazier and BYU guard Tyler Haws. The Grizzlies own the No. 25 overall pick in the first round and Wright (No 26 on Ford’s board, No. 28 on Givony’s board) and Martin (31, 27) are the highest-rated prospects. Wright has already worked out for the Trail Blazers, Pacers, Bulls, Wizards, Lakers and Suns while Haws has recently auditioned for the Jazz, Mavericks, Suns and Lakers, according to Brandon Judd of the Deseret News. Haws is also scheduled to work out for the Warriors and Nets, Judd adds.
  • Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv adds the Mavs to the list of teams working out Duke point guard Quinn Cook (Twitter link). Cook revealed several workout appointments and much more in a recent interview with Zach Links of Hoops Rumors.

Western Notes: Wolves, Lakers, Kings, Nuggets

Coach/executive Flip Saunders didn’t give too many hints about whom the Timberwolves are leaning toward drafting with the No. 1 overall pick, telling Chris Mannix of SI.com that they haven’t made up their minds yet. Saunders did insist that he’d draft for talent rather than positional fit and that he’s not worried that top prospects will try to dissuade the team from picking them so that the Lakers can snap them up with the second pick instead.

“I have had contact with most of the top players and all they talk about is wanting to be the No. 1 pick and basically explaining why they should,” Saunders said. “We have an enticing situation. The enticing situation that we have is that we have got some great youth, as I said with [Andrew] Wiggins, a potential top-five player in this league, we have a great point guard in [Ricky] Rubio, we’ll get him back healthy, we have got a great mentor and still a pretty good player in [Kevin] Garnett that we hope to sign in July. We have a lot of things moving in the right direction. We just opened up a $29MM practice facility. We have a $160MM renovation of our arena starting in about a year. We have a lot of positive things. When we get people here and they can see what we have going on a little bit, it will sell the situation even more.”

Notable among the core players that Saunders mentioned is Rubio, a rumored trade candidate, lending further credence to the notion that the point guard will stick in Minnesota this summer, an outcome Rubio has made clear that he’d prefer. There’s more from Saunders amid the latest from around the Western Conference:

  • Saunders confirmed that the Wolves expect to re-sign Garnett in free agency this summer and said that while he’s evaluating head coaching candidates, he has no intention of relinquishing his bench duties for now, as Mannix also relays.
  • The Lakers are working out UMass big man Cady LaLanne today, as league sources told Michael Scotto of SheridanHoops and as the Lakers confirmed (Twitter links). Boston College combo guard Olivier Hanlan, Kentucky shooting guard Aaron Harrison, Arizona small forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Texas combo forward Jonathan Holmes and LSU power forward Jordan Mickey are also showing off for the Lakers in the group audition, according to the team.
  • Willie Cauley-Stein and Cameron Payne will work out Thursday for the Kings, the team announced. Payne had been expected to work out with Sacramento, which at pick No. 6 appears to be his ceiling. The Kings, along with the Pacers, are reportedly the teams with the most interest in Cauley-Stein.
  • The Nuggets are expected to work out Justise Winslow on Wednesday, tweets Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post.

Northwest Notes: Singler, Jazz, Portis

Kyle Singler became a fan of new Thunder coach Billy Donovan after the two met face-to-face shortly after the team announced the coach’s hiring, Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com writes. “It was quick. It was engaging,” Singler said. “I didn’t really know too much about him so I was walking into it not really expecting much. I didn’t know what was going to be talked about. Really liked the things he had to say, liked his demeanor. He didn’t really get into much talking about [my role]. He just wanted to know what my opinions were with the team last year, what I thought would help the team out next season, stuff like that, style-wise.” The 27-year-old is set to become a restricted free agent this summer, provided OKC tenders him a qualifying offer worth $2,725,003.

Here’s the latest from the Northwest Division:

  • The Jazz have workouts scheduled Thursday for Pat Connaughton (Notre Dame), Malcolm Miller (Holy Cross), Bobby Portis (Arkansas), Kevon Looney (UCLA), and Deonta Stocks (West Georgia), the team announced (on Twitter).
  • Minnesota senior guard Andre Hollins will also work out for the Jazz on Thursday, Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN tweets.
  • The Trail Blazers have expressed interest in Portis, though the forward is expected to be off the board prior to the team selecting at pick No. 23, Jabari Young of CSNNW.com tweets.
  • Working out for the Timberwolves on Thursday will be J.P. Tokoto (North Carolina), Terry Rozier (Louisville), Norman Powell (UCLA), Olivier Hanlan (Boston College), Jabril Trawick (Georgetown), and Michael Frazier (Florida), Wolfson relays (Twitter link).

Eastern Notes: Bosh, Celtics, Hornets

The Heat had two players who are coming off of surgery resume basketball activities today, Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel writes. Forward Chris Bosh participated in court work for the first time since being sidelined since the All-Star break due to blood clots on his lung, working out today with members of the team’s coaching staff, Winderman notes. Also getting back on the court for Miami was guard Mario Chalmers, who underwent arthroscopic surgery on his knee just four days ago, the Sentinel scribe relays.

Here’s more from the East:

  • The Celtics held workouts today for Andrew Harrison (Kentucky), Olivier Hanlan (Boston College), Terry Rozier (Louisville), Josh Richardson (Tennessee), and Corey Walden (Eastern Kentucky), Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com relays (Twitter link).
  • Former Temple point guard Will Cummings will work out for the Sixers on Wednesday, Marc Narducci of The Philadelphia Inquirer writes. “It’s definitely been a great opportunity for me to get the chance to work out for these NBA teams,” Cummings said. The guard also has workouts scheduled with the Suns and Nets, Narducci adds.
  • The Hornets will hold workouts on Wednesday for Kendall Gray (Delaware State), D.J. Newbill (Penn State), James Sinclair (Western Carolina), J.J. O’Brien (San Diego State), Antonio Robinson (East Carolina), and Ralston Turner (North Carolina State), the team announced.
  • Working out for the Wizards today were Dallin Bachynski (Utah), Cummings, Amere May (Delaware State), Jaleel Roberts (UNC Asheville), Marcus Thornton (William and Mary), and D-Leaguer Jarvis Threatt, the team announced.

Suns Notes: Hornacek, Draft, Bledsoe

Jeff Hornacek indicated that if the timing was right, he would consider taking the coaching job at Iowa State, but he made it clear that he hopes to remain coach of the Suns for a long time, as he said on The Burns and Gambo show on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Thursday (transcription via Adam Green of ArizonaSports.com). Fred Hoiberg, currently the coach at the school, which he and Hornacek attended, has long been linked to the now-vacant Bulls job. Here’s more from the Valley of the Sun:

  • Today’s Suns predraft workout participants are Notre Dame’s Jerian Grant, North Carolina’s J.P. Tokoto, Bowling Green’s Richaun Holmes, Boston College’s Olivier Hanlan, Villanova’s Darrun Hilliard and Virginia’s Darion Atkins, sources tell Michael Scotto of SheridanHoops (Twitter link). Grant and Holmes shared more about themselves in recent conversations with Zach Links of Hoops Rumors.
  • The Suns have let go of assistant coach Kenny Gattison and are transitioning Nate Bjorkgren, the coach of their D-League affiliate, into a player development role, sources tell Shams Charania of RealGM (Twitter link).
  • Phoenix offered only four years and $29MM to Eric Bledsoe in the fall of 2013 when the sides were negotiating an extension shortly after the Suns acquired him from the Clippers, league sources told Chris Haynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group. Bledsoe, a Rich Paul client, wisely turned that down and garnered his five-year, $70MM deal this past fall.

And-Ones: Thomas, Pistons, Mudiay

Isaiah Thomas said he was asked by Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge to name free agents he’d like to play with, Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe reports. The exchange has made Thomas, who has been vocal about his desire for starting in the past, feel like he is part of the Celtics’ future, Himmelsbach adds. “Danny said if there’s any free agent out there I’m interested in, to let him know,” Thomas said. “That has me excited. For him to ask for my input means a lot, because it means I’m definitely, right now, a part of the future, and they also value your word and what you think about the game of basketball. It means a lot, and it’s a mutual respect we have. Now, hopefully, we can get a few guys.”

Thomas did not name any player specifically, but he said a big man is a top priority. “A defensive-minded player,” he told Himmelsbach. “It’d be nice to get one of those in the draft. A lot of the big men out there could definitely help us out. But I know Danny is always up to something.”

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Pistons head coach and president of basketball operations Stan Van Gundy said the team will hire a full-time shooting coach by July, David Mayo of MLive.com writes. The Pistons ranked 27th out of 30 teams last season in field-goal percentage (43.2%), and also ranked 29th in free-throw percentage at 70.3%, as Mayo points out.
  • The Jazz hosted Andrew HarrisonTerry Rozier, Vince Hunter, J.P. Tokoto, Treveon Graham and Aaron White in a pre-draft workout, and Walt Perrin, vice president of player personnel, said he wasn’t too surprised with the results, Melissa Yack writes in a piece for the Deseret News“I thought Terry played — I know Terry can shoot it, but I thought he shot it pretty well today,” Perrin said. “Other than that — Andrew maybe could have shot it a little better, but surprises no.”
  • Stanley Johnson believes he can be an impactful and versatile defender in the league, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders writes. “In today’s day and age, it’s about defensive versatility.  How many people you can guard and how well you can do it,” Johnson said. “I can guard fours.  I can guard Draymond Green.  I can guard Kawhi Leonard.  I can guard Mike Conley — I can stay with him at least,” he continued.  “You guard people in stints, I can definitely stint the minutes for sure.” In 38 games with Arizona, the small forward averaged 13.8 points and 6.5 rebounds per game, and played well defensively.
  • The top four teams in the draft — the Wolves, Lakers, Sixers and Knicks — reached out to Emmanuel Mudiay‘s agents, but the guard who played last season in the Chinese Basketball Association likely won’t work out for them until early June, tweets SNY.tv’s Adam Zagoria, who cites a source.
  • Boston College guard Olivier Hanlan worked out for the Spurs, and is hopeful he will be selected in the first round of the draft, Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe writes.