Rashad Madden

Western Notes: Lawson, Jazz, Gordon

If new Nuggets coach Michael Malone is to succeed in Denver, the team will need to part ways with point guard Ty Lawson, Mark Kiszla of The Denver Post writes.My question to all these guys is going to be: How serious are you about winning? Do you like to win? Or do you hate to lose?” Malone said during his introductory press conference. Lawson doesn’t quite fit the mold of a player who’s truly serious about winning, Kiszla opines, and Malone won’t abide having to coax effort out of his players, which is an issue with the talented point guard. The Mavs are reportedly interested in Lawson, though he’s not at the top of the franchise’s priorities this offseason.

Here’s more from the Western Conference:

  • DeMarcus Cousins, one of Malone’s former players with the Kings, is thrilled that his former coach was hired by the Nuggets, Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee relays in a series of tweets. “I was extremely happy. I think he’s one of the better coaches in the league. He’s a great man,” Cousins said. “I learned a lot from him, and I’m just happy he’s getting an opportunity to do what he loves. Like I said, you can’t keep a good man down.
  • The Jazz have workouts scheduled Friday for Janis Berzins (Latvia), Sam Dekker (Wisconsin), Terrence Drisdom (Cal Poly Pomona), Skyler Halford (BYU), Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (Arizona), and Rashad Madden (Arkansas), the team announced (on Twitter).
  • There was no way that Pelicans guard Eric Gordon would have landed a deal that would pay him more than the value of his $15,514,031 player option for 2015/16, so opting in was his only rational choice, Jimmy Smith of The Times Picayune opines.
  • Thunder coach Billy Donovan thinks that Kentucky forward Trey Lyles‘ versatility will pose a major matchup problem for defenders when he arrives in the NBA next season, Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman writes. Lyles is a possibility for Oklahoma City, who own the No. 14 overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft.

Eastern Notes: Knicks, Wizards, Johnson

The Knicks‘ hope that either Duke big man Jahlil Okafor or Ohio State playmaker D’Angelo Russell will still be on the board when the team picks at No. 4 isn’t likely to pan out, Marc Berman of The New York Post writes. According to a league source, the Sixers, who pick third, still have a firm top three of Karl-Anthony Towns, Russell, and Okafor, and Philly won’t let any of that trio slip past them, Berman notes. There is also little chance of New York gambling on Latvian forward Kristaps Porzingis, who dazzled scouts during his Friday showcase, the Post scribe adds. “The body’s a long way off so he’s couple of years away from impact,’’ one NBA scout said of Porzingis. “He’s going to look great in a workout but he’s a young European who hasn’t played much. Too much risk at [No.] 4 for the Knicks.’’

Here’s more out of the NBA’s Eastern Conference:

  • The Pistons have workouts scheduled today for Sam Dekker (Wisconsin), Le’Bryan Nash (Oklahoma State), Dustin Hogue (Iowa State), and LaDontae Henton (Providence), the team announced (on Twitter).
  • Working out for the Wizards on Monday will be Tyler Harvey (Eastern Washington), Rashad Madden (Arkansas), Jarell Martin (LSU), Bobby Portis (Arkansas), Jordan Sibert (Dayton), and Keifer Sykes (Wisconsin-Green Bay), the team announced.
  • The Knicks‘ scheduled workout for Arizona forward Stanley Johnson, who I recently profiled, was moved from Friday to today, Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com writes. New York has also been trying to bring in Murray State point guard Cameron Payne, who is suddenly a hot commodity, for a showcase, but the two sides have been unable to agree on a date, Begley adds.

Atlantic Notes: Russell, Celtics, Draft

Illness prompted D’Angelo Russell to cancel a workout with the Sixers planned for this weekend, a source close to the combo guard told Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer, who heard from another source who wouldn’t rule the notion of the workout taking place sometime later. Still, Tim Bontemps of the New York Post (Twitter links) speculates that Russell may have received a promise from the Lakers, a prospect that could have a trickle-down effect that would make Jahlil Okafor available to the Knicks at pick No. 4. That seems far-fetched, particularly since the Lakers have reportedly zeroed in on Okafor for the second pick. Still, plenty is unknown with less than two weeks to go before the draft.

Here’s the latest from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Celtics are having trouble attracting players with lottery aspirations to work out with them in spite of “better than average” odds that Boston trades up from the 16th overall pick, writes Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald. Wisconsin small forward Sam Dekker pulled out of a workout with the C’s last week.
  • Working out for the Raptors this Saturday will be Delon Wright (Utah), Jabril Trawick (Georgetown), Kevon Looney (UCLA), Michale Kyser (Louisiana Tech), Cliff Alexander (Kansas), and Montrezl Harrell (Louisville), the team announced.
  • The Nets have four upcoming workouts scheduled, the team has announced. Monday’s group will be Ryan Boatright (UConn), T.J. McConnell (Arizona), D.J. Newbill (Penn State), Sir’Dominic Pointer (St. John’s), Larry Nance Jr. (Wyoming), and Brandon Ashley (Arizona).
  • Working out for Brooklyn on Tuesday will be Marcus Thornton (William and Mary), Will Cummings (Temple), Tyler Haws (BYU), Julian Washburn (UTEP), Jordan Mickey (LSU), and Yanick Moreira (SMU).
  • Displaying their wares on Wednesday for the Nets will be Mike Caffey (Long Beach State), Ray Parks Jr. (Melrose H.S.), Dez Wells (Maryland), Norman Powell (UCLA), Le’Bryan Nash (Oklahoma State), and Vince Hunter (UTEP).
  • The final batch of players working out for the Nets, which will take place on Thursday, are Travis Trice (Michigan State), Rashad Madden (Arkansas), Michael Qualls (Arizona), Trawick, Richaun Holmes (Bowling Green), and Josh Smith (Georgetown).

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.