Ron Holland

Central Notes: Beauchamp, Pistons, Burleson, Holland, Bulls

Former first-round pick MarJon Beauchamp has appeared in 100 games across his first two seasons with the Bucks, but he has yet to establish himself as an indispensable part of the rotation, having averaged a modest 13.1 minutes per night since entering the NBA. Beauchamp will be suiting up for Milwaukee’s Summer League team for a third consecutive year and wants to show in Las Vegas that he’s capable of taking on a larger role this fall, as Eric Nehm of The Athletic details.

“I asked (Bucks head coach Doc Rivers) and he said he wanted me to play two games, and it’s up to me after that,” Beauchamp told Nehm. “But really, I just want to do whatever’s going to help me get on the court next year. So, I’m sacrificing, and I feel like I just need to go out there and be me, of course, and just show that I can guard and make open shots and just be able to play.”

While Beauchamp’s two years of NBA experience will give him a leg up on most of the other players in Vegas, the Bucks don’t just want him just looking to rack up big scoring numbers, Nehm writes. The club’s summer league coach, Pete Dominguez, said the 23-year-old wing has been asked to focus on making the right plays when he gets the basketball.

“Doc has been consistent with him,” Dominguez said. “Quick decisions. Don’t hold it. Shoot it, drive it, pass it. Quick decisions. That’s what we’ve been drilling with him all summer long. I think that’s what he’s getting ready to really showcase in Las Vegas.”

Here’s more from around the Central:

  • The Pistons are hiring Kevin Burleson as an assistant coach under J.B. Bickerstaff, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link). Burleson, who has also served as an assistant in Memphis and Minnesota, has been the head coach of the Rio Grande Valley Vipers (Houston’s G League affiliate) for the past two seasons. He was previously part of Bickerstaff’s coaching staff for one season in Memphis (2018/19).
  • Following his first Summer League practice in Las Vegas, No. 5 overall pick Ron Holland spoke to James L. Edwards III of The Athletic about his first few weeks as a member of the Pistons, expressing his appreciation that the team drafted him without having hosted him for a pre-draft workout. “I did nine or 10 workouts and they weren’t one of them,” Holland said. “In talking to (the Pistons) and talking to my agent, I learned that they watched a lot of film and did a lot of background research on me. For them to still do all that, and not be able to get me for a workout, it does mean a lot. It shows that they have a lot of confidence in me and believe in my passion for the game. They see me as someone who can come here and help turn the program around, and that’s a huge blessing to me.”
  • The Bulls have officially announced that Wes Unseld Jr. and Dan Craig are joining Billy Donovan‘s coaching staff, as was reported earlier in the offseason. The team’s announcement also included confirmation that assistant coach John Bryant has been promoted to the front of the bench, Henry Domercant is transitioning from his role as head coach of the Windy City Bulls to become a second-row assistant in Chicago, and Billy Donovan III is the new head coach in Windy City.

Pistons Sign Ron Holland To Rookie Contract

The Pistons have signed No. 5 overall pick Ron Holland to his rookie scale contract, according to the NBA’s official transaction log.

[RELATED: 2024 NBA Draft Pick Signings]

Holland had an up-and-down season for the G League Ignite in 2023/24, filling up the stat sheets with 19.5 points, 6.7 rebounds, 3.1 assists, and 2.4 steals per game in 29 outings, but struggling with both his outside shot (.237 3PT%) and turnovers (3.2 per game) for the last-place team.

Viewed last fall as a potential contender for the No. 1 overall pick, Holland saw his stock dip a little and was considered a candidate to fall out of the top 10 on draft night. However, the Pistons – who were linked more frequently to his Ignite teammate Matas Buzelis in the weeks leading up to the draft – made Holland their first pick in the Trajan Langdon era.

If, as expected, he received the maximum rookie contract for the No. 5 pick, Holland will make approximately $8.25MM as a rookie and about $37.46MM across four years, assuming his third- and fourth-year team options are eventually exercised.

The Pistons also officially signed undrafted rookie Daniss Jenkins to a two-way contract, per the NBA’s transaction log. Jenkins’ agreement with Detroit was reported last Wednesday, shortly after the second round of the draft concluded.

Eastern Notes: Holland, Pistons, Clowney, Whitehead, Raptors

The first draft selection of the Trajan Langdon era is a heat check, Detroit Free Press’s Omari Sankofa II writes. Taking Ron Holland at No. 5 overall came as something of a surprise to many, especially because the Pistons didn’t hold a pre-draft interview or workout with the G League Ignite alum.

He’s got one of the biggest upsides in the draft,” Langdon said. “Everybody knows the shooting is an issue, but for a lot of the players that have high upside in this draft, shooting was an issue. We hired Fred Vinson for a reason, so we can take chances like this on young players when shooting is the piece. 

If his shot hits, he’s going to be a really, really good player. The kid works, the kid competes, he has a great size for his position. I just think everything that we looked at across the board, he just checked a lot of boxes except for shooting. It’s really hard to find a player that age, compete level, to have the productivity in the G League he had at 18 years old.

The reason Holland didn’t end up visiting the Pistons, Sankofa notes, could have been that several agents didn’t want to bring their players to Detroit for workouts. That may not have been the case with Holland specifically; but in any case, the Pistons did their homework on the talented forward, which included speaking with teammates like former NBA and Ignite veteran John Jenkins.

He did say, ‘Look, I understand what my role is. I understand who I am as a player. I want to come to whatever team that drafts me and I want to help them win,’ ” Landgon said. “The people that he compared himself to — Jaden McDaniels, Jaylen Brown, Mikal Bridges — those guys came in as defenders first and then they figured out their offensive games. He knows who he is, which I think is huge to have that kind of awareness at 18, 19 years old. We’re incredibly excited about having him.

We have more from around the Eastern Conference:

Draft Notes: Clingan, Edey, Top Tiers, Sleepers, Positional Breakdown, Bannan

The NBA has gone away from traditional big men like UConn’s Donovan Clingan and Purdue’s Zach Edey. Yet Clingan is expected to be a top-five pick and Edey could sneak into the lottery. They matched up in the national championship game and Purdue coach Matt Painter was impressed by Clingan’s ability as a help defender.

“The No. 1 thing for us wasn’t Clingan’s defense on Zach, it was Clingan’s defense in help,” Painter told ESPN’s Jeremy Woo. “We thought he was a really good post defender, but also thought Zach would have that advantage. I thought Zach had more success in that game, but where Clingan does his work and where he’s special is on the weak side coming over, helping out on drives, having that timing and the discipline to stay down. To be the second jumper, block or change shots.”

Painter believes Edey will silence the critics who don’t feel his game translates to the NBA level.

“A lot of people will say, professionally, no, you can’t do more than what you’ve done [in college]. I think that’s a fair statement most of the time,” Painter said. “But for Zach, he still was going into his sixth, seventh year of basketball … he did improve and make big strides into this last year, and he’s just going to keep doing that. I don’t think he’s going to stop. He’s kind of defied the odds already, and I think he’s going to keep defying the odds.”

Woo also spoke with UConn coach Dan Hurley to get his thoughts on what Clingan and Edey bring to the table.

We have more draft-related tidbits:

  • Clingan, Kentucky guard Reed Sheppard, UConn swingman Stephon Castle and G League Ignite forward Ron Holland rank as tier-one prospects, otherwise labeled “best bets in a bad class,” according to The Athletic’s John Hollinger. Overall, Hollinger ranks 75 prospects via a 15-tier system, with the last tier being two-way contract candidates.
  • ESPN’s Jonathan Givony offers up his top sleeper prospects at each position. Among that group are UCLA center Adem Bona and Arizona power forward Keshad Johnson.
  • Another veteran NBA reporter, The Athletic’s David Aldridge, solicits opinions from coaches,  executives and scouts to evaluate the guard, forward and big men prospects expected to come off the board.
  • Australian forward Josh Bannan, who played three seasons at Montana before joining the Brisbane Bullets this past season, has worked out for approximately 10 NBA teams, ESPN’s Olgun Uluc tweets. The Suns, Magic, Lakers, Clippers and Warriors are among the teams who brought him in for a workout.

Draft Notes: Rockets, Wizards, Suns, France, Big Boards

The Rockets may be more interested in moving their pick than keeping it, Yahoo Sports’ Jake Fischer reports. Offers for the selection are expected to be entertained until Houston is on the clock at No. 3 in Wednesday’s draft. If Houston does stand pat at No. 3, Reed Sheppard appears to be the heavy favorite for that spot. The Trail Blazers are among the teams that have called the Rockets about moving up to No. 3 in the draft.

According to Fischer, the Wizards have the league convinced they’re honing in on Perth’s Alexandre Sarr. As reported, Sarr hasn’t conducted a private workout for the Hawks, holders of the No. 1 selection, and Fischer reports Sarr’s preferred destination is, in fact, Washington. Beyond their plans at No. 2, the Wizards are a “prime candidate” to move up from No. 26 and have also been seeking a third first-round pick, Says Fischer.

Further down the draft, the Suns are a strong candidate to trade down from No. 22. The goal for the Suns, Fischer writes, would be to accumulate future second-round picks to restock their draft capital for trade flexibility. Additionally, the idea of adding inexpensive rookie contracts onto an expensive roster appeals to Phoenix.

We have more from around the draft:

  • A flood of talent is following 2023 No. 1 overall pick Victor Wembanyama from France, Yahoo Sports’ Krysten Peek writes. His former teammate Bilal Coulibaly was selected No. 7 overall in last year’s draft and another ex-teammate, Armel Traore, could be in play in the second round of this year’s draft. Additionally, Zaccharie Risacher and Sarr are seen as the favorites for the top two draft selections in this class, while Tidjane Salaun, Melvin Ajinca and Pacome Dadiet are all likely to be selected this year too. Down the line, Nolan Traore and Nathan Soliman are picking up steam in future draft classes.
  • Risacher, Sarr and UConn’s Donovan Clingan, in that order, round out ESPN’s top three players on Jonathan Givony’s final big board update before the draft. Givony and Jeremy Woo provide their picks for the top 100 players in the class, with Sheppard, G League Ignite’s Matas Buzelis, UConn’s Stephon Castle, Tennessee’s Dalton Knecht, Kentucky’s Rob Dillingham, Salaun, and Serbia’s Nikola Topic filling in the rest of their top 10 (in that order).
  • Risacher is lower on Sam Vecenie’s draft board at The Athletic, with the French wing coming in at No. 5. Salaun, Buzelis, Dillingham and Topic all sit outside the top 10 of Vecenie’s annual draft guide, while he ranks Colorado’s Cody Williams (No. 6), Providence’s Devin Carter (No. 7), Pitt’s Carlton Carrington (No. 8) and Ron Holland of the G League Ignite (No. 10) among the top 10. I highly recommend both Givony’s and Vecenie’s draft guides if you have a subscription to either platform, as this is some of the top draft content to come out annually.
  • Clingan is the name most linked to the Hawks over the past week, Vecenie writes in a recent mock draft. While Atlanta has openly stated it is content with standing pat at No. 1, Vecenie hears there’s an impression the club is open to making a move if the right deal presents itself. However, Atlanta hasn’t finalized its decision yet and even if it wanted to trade down to select him later, Chicago and Memphis have expressed interest in taking Clingan themselves if they can trade up. Vecenie indeed has Washington landing Sarr and Houston getting Sheppard, but has Risacher falling to San Antonio at No. 4, Buzelis going No. 5 to Detroit and Castle landing in Charlotte at No. 6.

Bulls Have Discussed LaVine With Kings, Jazz, Magic, Sixers

The Bulls have been active in trade discussions heading into the 2024 NBA draft and free agency, reports K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago. In addition to exploring moving up and down from the 11th pick, Chicago has also discussed players already on the roster as well.

Sources tell Johnson that head of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas has “floated as many as 15” trade proposals involving Zach LaVine. The Kings, Jazz, Magic and Sixers are among the teams Chicago has called about LaVine, according to Johnson.

As Johnson observes, the Bulls will almost certainly need to trim salary to avoid the luxury tax in 2024/25 if they intend to re-sign DeMar DeRozan and Patrick Williams. DeRozan, who is extension-eligible through June 30, will be an unrestricted free agent, while Williams is restricted.

Johnson reported earlier this month that Chicago’s asking price for LaVine has significantly dropped compared to last year, when they were seeking real assets in return for the 29-year-old. It seems the Bulls are now more focused on finding a way to shed LaVine’s pricey salary — he’s owed $138MM over the next three seasons, including a $49MM player option in 2026/27.

A two-time All-Star, LaVine was limited to just 25 games this past season due to a nagging foot injury, which eventually required season-ending surgery.

To this point, the Bulls have been focused on offering DeRozan short-term deals, Johnson writes. While there’s been “widespread speculation” that the Thunder, Pistons and Hornets may put out offer sheets for Williams, Johnson hears the Bulls are comfortable with their position since they have the right to match any contract the former No. 4 overall pick might receive.

Johnson also mentions Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso as names to watch on the trade market. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski just reported that Caruso is being sent to Oklahoma City for Josh Giddey.

As for the lottery pick, Johnson cites Providence’s Devin Carter, Kentucky’s Rob Dillingham, G League Ignite’s Ron Holland and Duke’s Kyle Filipowski as potential targets, though the Bulls have gotten a close look at a “wide range of prospects.”

Draft Rumors: Hawks, Risacher, Sarr, Knecht, C. Williams, Dillingham, More

The Hawks don’t appear to have made any final decisions yet, but intel from teams around the league suggests forward Zaccharie Risacher still looks like the favorite to be the No. 1 overall pick, Jonathan Givony writes in ESPN’s latest mock draft (Insider link). Risacher is working out for Atlanta on Wednesday.

While Alexandre Sarr is widely considered to be another contender for that No. 1 pick, Givony says the Hawks have been unable to get the French big man in for a workout so far, and suggests that UConn center Donovan Clingan might be Risacher’s top competition for the top spot in the draft. Clingan impressed Atlanta during his workout with his passing ability and his performance in film study and interviews, according to Givony.

The Hawks have brought in several lottery prospects for workouts, including Reed Sheppard, Matas Buzelis, Cody Williams, and Ron Holland, Givony notes, which suggests they’re preparing for potential trade-down scenarios as well. One possibility that has been “widely discussed” by rival teams, per Givony, is a deal with the Spurs that would see the Hawks move down to No. 4 and get back one of their draft assets controlled by San Antonio, such as Atlanta’s 2025 first-rounder. A move along those lines would put the Hawks in a better position to rebuild, as Givony observes.

If Atlanta doesn’t select Sarr with the No. 1 pick, teams and agents believe he’ll come off the board at No. 2 to the Wizards, per Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report. Both Wasserman and ESPN have Sarr second overall in their latest mock drafts.

Here are several more draft-related tidbits from ESPN and Bleacher Report:

  • Dalton Knecht‘s draft range seems increasingly small, according to Givony, who says that every team between No. 4 and No. 9 (with the exception of the Pistons at No. 5) has shown interest in the Tennessee forward.
  • Rival teams are predicting that Colorado’s Cody Williams will be picked higher than expected, possibly by the Spurs or Pistons, says Wasserman, who has Williams at No. 7 in his mock. Givony adds that Williams has worked out or will work out for nearly every team in the top 10 (except for the Rockets) and that teams with lower picks haven’t been able to bring him in, signaling that his camp is confident about his draft range.
  • Kentucky’s Rob Dillingham hasn’t been able to work out for teams for most of the pre-draft process due to an ankle injury, prompting speculation that he could slide on draft night, according to both ESPN’s Jeremy Woo and Wasserman. ESPN has Dillingham coming off the board at No. 8 to the Spurs, but Wassmeran’s sources believe San Antonio is an unlikely landing spot based on what the team is signaling to agents. Wasserman has the former Wildcats guard at No. 11 in his mock.
  • Ja’Kobe Walter, one of the first 12 players who received a green room invite, worked out for teams like the Pistons, Hornets, Spurs, Jazz, and Kings, per Givony, which bodes well for his odds of being a lottery pick.
  • French forward Tidjane Salaun worked out for the Thunder, Kings, and Trail Blazers, then sprained his ankle at a workout with the Spurs this past weekend, Givony reports. Salaun had also lined up workouts with the Pistons and Hornets, but his ankle injury might prevent those sessions from happening.
  • Serbian point guard Nikola Topic has had a handful of meetings scheduled with lottery teams, including the Trail Blazers, Spurs, Grizzlies, and Jazz, Givony writes. However, Givony cautions that a team interested in picking Topic will have to prepare for the possibility of a redshirt rookie year due to the guard’s partially torn ACL.
  • Teams were “buzzing” about Indiana center Kel’el Ware after a strong shooting display at his pro day, according to Wasserman, who says the big man is receiving consideration as high as the late lottery. Givony agrees that Ware seems to be building momentum in the pre-draft process, but notes that he hasn’t received a green room invite yet — that could change later this week when the final invites are sent out. According to Givony, Ware has worked out for over a dozen teams, ranging from late-lottery clubs to those near the end of the first round. The Bucks are one of those teams, and ESPN’s mock has Ware going to Milwaukee at No. 23.

Central Notes: Bulls Workout, Pistons, Vinson, Djurisic

The Bulls held a pre-draft workout on Monday that included Ron Holland, Terrence Shannon Jr, Ryan Dunn, Kyle Filipowski, Adem Bona and Justin Moore, Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic tweets.

The Bulls hold the No. 11 pick in the first round with Holland ranking as a potential selection with that lottery pick, Mayberry notes. Holland, who played for the G League Ignite, is rated No. 11 on ESPN’s Best Available list.

Shannon, a high-scoring guard out of Illinois, was recently found not guilty on felony charges of first-degree rape and sexual aggravated battery in Kansas. He’s moved up to No. 26 on ESPN’s list and could continue to climb, making him another possible option for the Bulls.

We have more from the Central Division:

  • Could the No. 5 overall pick help the Pistons acquire Kyle Kuzma, Jerami Grant or a future first-rounder? Omari Sankofa II of the Detroit Free Press explores three potential trade scenarios that could produce one of those outcomes.
  • The addition of Fred Vinson, a renowned shooting coach, to the Pistons’ staff could signal what new president of basketball operations Trajan Langdon plans to do this summer, according to James Edwards III of The Athletic. It’s logical that Vinson was brought in to help the young core with its shooting, rather than moving some of those players for veteran help. Edwards believes Detroit will use its ample cap space to bring in a few proven players via free agency to raise the team’s floor, while allowing young players like Ausar Thompson, Jaden Ivey, Jalen Duren and its lottery pick to be rotation pieces.
  • Shooting guard Nikola Djurisic worked out for the Pacers on Tuesday but that wasn’t the first time he visited their practice facility, Zion Brown of the Indianapolis Star notes. Djurisic also worked out for Indiana last year before withdrawing from the draft. He’s currently ranked No. 48 by ESPN and could be a consideration with one of the Pacers’ three second-round picks. “Last year, I wasn’t mature,” Djurisic said. “This year, I’m still a kid in my head. I think I grew as a person and as a basketball player.”

Northwest Notes: Jazz, Sexton, Clarkson, Wolves, Nuggets

The Jazz are “casting a wide net” as they decide what to do with their three selections in this year’s draft, writes Tony Jones of The Athletic. Sources tell Jones that Purdue center Zach Edey, French forward Tidjane Salaun, Marquette guard Tyler Kolek and Virginia guard Ryan Dunn are among the players Utah has hosted in the past week.

Jones is especially intrigued by Dunn, who he says could be the best perimeter defender in the draft. However, the 6’8″ guard doesn’t have a developed offensive game and he might not fall into the team’s current draft range — No. 10 seems too high to take him, and he could be off the board when the Jazz pick again at No. 29 and 32.

Utah’s most pressing need is a small forward who can contribute on both ends of the court, according to Jones, who examines the potential fit of Tennessee’s Dalton Knecht, Colorado’s Cody Williams, G League Ignite’s Ron Holland and Salaun. He also looks at Providence’s Devin Carter if the Jazz opt for a guard.

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • Executives from rival teams believe the Jazz could explore trade opportunities this summer involving Collin Sexton and Jordan Clarkson, according to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. Sexton has two years remaining on his contract at $18.4MM and $19.2MM, while Clarkson will make $14MM next season and $14.3MM in 2025/26.
  • The Mavericks’ struggles against Boston in the NBA Finals are an indication that the Timberwolves still aren’t at the level of title contenders, according to Michael Rand of The Star Tribune, who notes that Dallas handled Minnesota pretty convincingly in the conference finals, including a Game 5 rout to close out the series. Rand believes the Wolves should follow the Celtics’ path for improvement and be willing to gamble on a major trade or two.
  • Talk of a Nuggets dynasty has faded with this year’s second-round exit, and Troy Renck of The Denver Post believes the focus should turn to winning the next title. He accuses the organization of taking a “macro view” by trying to win multiple championships rather than doing what is necessary to get the next one. Renck contends that approach led to personnel decisions that created a thin bench and left the team unable to close out Game 7 against Minnesota.

Risacher, Sarr, Clingan, Nine Others Receive Green Room Invitations

Zaccharie Risacher and Alexandre Sarr, the projected top two picks in the draft, were among 12 players who received green room invites on Tuesday, Jonathan Givony of ESPN reports.

Donovan Clingan and Stephon Castle of national champion UConn were also extended green room invitations along with Reed Sheppard, Matas Buzelis, Dalton Knecht, Tidjane Salaun, Ron Holland, Cody Williams, Devin Carter and Ja’Kobe Walter.

All of those players are projected lottery picks, according to ESPN’s latest mock draft. The only omissions were Kentucky’s Rob Dillingham and Serbian point guard Nikola Topic.

Dillingham still hasn’t completed all the qualifications to be eligible for the draft. He didn’t undergo athletic testing and shooting drills at the draft combine in Chicago last month due to an ankle injury. He hasn’t been able to attend private workouts with NBA teams for the same reasons but he plans to fulfill those requirements at the Lakers’ practice facility on Friday.

Topic’s status as a lottery pick is in jeopardy due to a partially torn ACL. Topic has until June 16 to decide whether or not he wants to keep his name in the draft pool. Topic will be evaluated in the coming days by NBA team doctors to determine his recovery process.

Both Willingham and Topic could still wind up in the green room, as another 11-12 invites are expected to be sent out starting next week, Givony adds.

The fact that the draft is now a two-day event beginning on June 26 could lead to additional scrutiny over the final players invited to the green room. The league doesn’t want players to be forced to wait around an extra day to hear their names called.