Przemek Karnowski

Hornets Notes: Point Guards, Howard, Karnowski

The Hornets are expected to target point guards through free agency, Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer writes, especially after the franchise elected to part ways with Ramon Sessions earlier today.

Backup point guard has to be No. 1 priority,” general manager Rich Cho said. “Ideally, someone who can play with and without Kemba Walker, who plays both ends of the floor.

Worth noting is that Charlotte’s 2016/17 third-string point guard, Brian Roberts, is also a free agent this summer and may not return. That could mean that the Hornets’ front office will turn their attention to the prominent names available on the market.

All of Darren Collison, Patty Mills and Shaun Livingston will be free agents but Bonnell wonders if they may be too pricey for what the Hornets currently have available. If that’s the case, cheaper options like Michael Carter-Williams and Shelvin Mack could be in play.

Traditionally, head coach Steve Clifford likes to retain three point guards and three centers on the roster, Bonnell notes, so it’s almost inevitable that the team will add somebody. The question is, with limited cap flexibility thanks to a busy 2016 offseason, who that may be.

There’s more from the Hornets:

  • After starting his career as a mainstay with the Magic, Dwight Howard has bounced around from franchise to franchise. Dating back to his final year in Orlando, Howard has played for four teams in six seasons. The big man tells Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer that he’ll “hopefully” end his career in North Carolina.
  • Don’t rule out Dwight Howard as an offensive option in the pick-and-roll. “Go back to my time in Orlando. We used a lot of of pick and rolls,” the big man said, addressing critics in an interview with Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer. “It’s not that I don’t want to set screens. People just used that to have something negative to say.”
  • Consider undrafted big man Przemek Karnowski a dark horse candidate to land a two-way contract, Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer writes in a mailbag with readers.

Draft Notes: Josh Jackson, Fultz, Smith Jr., Heat

Kansas forward Josh Jackson paid a visit to Kings today, but didn’t go through a workout, tweets Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee. Jackson is expected to be one of the first players selected next week and probably won’t be around for Sacramento’s pick at No. 5. There have been rumors that the Kings would like to move up, but a report today said they aren’t willing to give the Sixers the fifth and 10th picks to get No. 3.

There’s more from a full day of draft workouts:

Eastern Draft Notes: Knicks, Smith, Hornets, Bulls

Former North Carolina State point guard Dennis Smith Jr. is in town to work out for the Knicks, according to Adam Zagoria of (Twitter link). Marc Berman of The New York Post tweets that the workout will take place tomorrow.

Smith, who was previously said to have a tentative session lined up with New York, has frequently been mentioned as a potential target for the club at No. 8. By that point, top point guards like Markelle Fultz, Lonzo Ball, and De’Aaron Fox will almost certainly be off the board, but Smith may still be available, and the Knicks are in the market for a point guard of the future.

Here are a few more draft-related notes from around the Eastern Conference:

Draft Updates: Tuesday Night

Underclassmen who submitted their names for draft consideration have until tomorrow —  May 25th — to decide whether or not to remain in the draft. If those players don’t withdraw from consideration by Wednesday’s deadline, they’ll forgo their remaining NCAA eligibility and will be available to NBA teams in June. Here’s the latest news and notes regarding the 2016 NBA Draft:

  • Seton Hall sophomore guard Isaiah Whitehead intends to remain in the draft and will sign with agents Andy Miller and Stephen Pina of ASM Sports, Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops tweets. Whitehead is a projected second round pick, with Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress slotting him as the No. 59 overall player.
  • Villanova junior swingman Josh Hart is withdrawing from the draft and will return to school for his senior season, Evan Daniels of tweets.
  • Northwestern State junior point guard Zeke Woodley intends to withdraw from the draft and return to school for his senior campaign, Jeff Goodman of relays (on Twitter).
  • Freshman center Moustapha Diagne is withdrawing from the draft and will attend junior college next season with an eye on making the jump to division one the following year, Goodman tweets.
  • Gonzaga junior center Przemek Karnowski is withdrawing from the draft and returning to school for his senior season, Jon Rothstein of relays (Twitter link).
  • Center Amida Brimah and guard Rodney Purvis have withdrawn from the 2016 NBA Draft and are returning to UConn for their senior seasons, Adam Zagoria of relays.
  • San Diego State sophomore small forward Malik Pope is withdrawing from the draft and will return to school for his junior season, the player announced on his Twitter feed.
  • Thon Maker is being viewed as a potential first-rounder after his excellent showing in front of NBA personnel in New York City, Zagoria tweets. The 19-year-old is currently slotted No. 40 overall by Givony.
  • Washington State’s Josh Hawkinson, Conor Clifford and Ike Iroegbu are withdrawing from the draft and will return to school for the 2016/17 season, Goodman tweets.