Stephen Thompson

Northwest Notes: Donovan, Blazers, Jazz, Franklin

Billy Donovan‘s contract runs out after next season but he’s not sweating over his tenuous status with the Thunder, Erik Horne of The Oklahoman writes. Donovan has no real desire to return to the college ranks and will likely retire or become an NBA assistant if he loses his job with Oklahoma City, Horne continues. It’s possible the Thunder will give Donovan an extension during the season but he’s not lobbying for any assurances, Horne adds. The Thunder have lost three assistants — Mark Bryant, Darko Rajakovic and Bob Beyer — due to the lack of job security in OKC.

We have more from around the Northwest Division:

  • The Trail Blazers took a look at six guard and wing prospects in their latest pre-draft workout on Monday, according to a team press release. Boston College’s Ky Bowman, Brewster Academy’s Jalen Lecque, Clemson’s Shelton Mitchell, Nebraska’s James Palmer Jr., Oregon State’s Stephen Thompson and Belmont’s Dylan Windler were the participants. Lecque is ranked No. 48 overall by ESPN’s Jonathan Givony.
  • The Jazz, who hold the No. 23 overall pick in the first round, have a better idea of which players will be available at that spot, Eric Woodyard of The Deseret News reports.  “I think we do have a better idea of 5-10 guys, I don’t have an exact number right now, but I think we’ve narrowed it down,” VP of player personnel Walt Perrin said. “We were in the theater the other day looking at players and talking about whether or not they should still be in the 23, as we call it, bucket. So, it’s again, 12 days and we’ll know better in another week, but I think the process is starting to narrow itself.”
  • Former NBA guard Jamaal Franklin participated in a free agent mini-camp with the Trail Blazers, according to Sportando’s Nicola Lupo. Franklin averaging 32.3 points, 9.9 rebounds, eight assists, and 2.4 steals this past season with the Sichuan Blue Whales in China. He last played in the league during the 2014-15 season with Denver. Franklin also recently participated in a Kings mini-camp.

Draft Notes: Smith Jr., Kapita, Motley

Dennis Smith Jr. is drawing interest from several lottery teams, Adam Zagoria of Zagsblog reports. The Knicks, Sixers, Wolves, and Kings have all reached out to the point guard to set up a workout. Smith is projected to be one of the top point guards taken on June 22 with Draft Express’ Jonathan Givony ranking him as the fourth-best player at the position and seventh-best player overall.

Here’s more on the upcoming draft:

Draft Notes: Johnson, King, Thompson, Pasecniks

Junior guard Robert Johnson will withdraw from the draft and return to Indiana, according to Jon Rothstein of Fanrag Sports. Players who entered the draft but did not hire an agent have until May 24th to pull out and remain in school. Johnson averaged 12.8 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game with the Hoosiers this season. He was not listed among the top 100 prospects by DraftExpress and would have been a long shot to be taken this year.

There’s more draft news on lottery day:

  • Colorado’s George King will also return to school next season, Rothstein reports. He averaged 11.1 points and 6.8 rebounds as a junior. Stephen Thompson Jr. is heading back to Oregon State, Rothstein adds. The sophomore guard put up 16.3 points and 3.0 assists this season. Both were outside the DraftExpress top 100.
  • Anzejs Pasecniks could be the next young Latvian star in New York, writes Brian Lewis of the New York Post. The Nets reportedly have interest in the 21-year-old, who was considered to be a similar prospect to Kristaps Porzingis when they were growing up. At 7’2″, Pasecniks would fill a need at backup center for Brooklyn, which holds the 22nd and 27th picks in next month’s draft. “I don’t want to say he’s Porzingis, but he’s a reasonable facsimile,” said international draft expert Fran Fraschilla of ESPN. “I don’t want to give the impression he’s unathletic, because he’s not. He gives you length, he gives you shooting, he can protect the rim a little bit.”
  • The Bucks will work out six players today, according to a tweet from the team. Scheduled to participate are Kentucky’s Hamidou Diallo, Georgetown’s L.J. Peak, SMU’s Sterling Brown, Wisconsin’s Nigel Hayes, Utah State’s Jalen Moore and Louisville’s Deng Adel.
  • North Carolina center Tony Bradley will participate in a workout with the Knicks on Wednesday, tweets Ian Begley of
  • The Lakers have four players coming in for a workout on Thursday, tweets Baxter Holmes of Participants will be Xavier’s Trevon Bluiett, UCLA’s Isaac Hamilton, Michigan’s Zak Irvin and Miami’s Davon Reed.
  • The Ringer has issued a draft guide ranking the top 60 players available. Markelle Fultz is the site’s top pick, followed by Josh Jackson, Lonzo Ball and Malik Monk as a surprise in the No. 4 slot. Seven guards are likely to be taken in the lottery, writes Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer in a separate piece.

Draft Updates: Eubanks, Trimble, Simmons

Oregon State center Drew Eubanks has decided to enter his name into the 2017 draft pool, according to Shams Charania of The Vertical. A sophomore who is ranked 90th on Jonathan Givony’s big board at DraftExpress, Eubanks is keeping his options open by not hiring an agent, so it’s possible he’ll return to school for his junior year. He’ll have until May 24 to weigh his options and decide whether or not to withdraw.

Meanwhile, Eubanks’ teammate, sophomore shooting guard Stephen Thompson, will also test the draft waters, per Jeff Goodman of (Twitter link). Thompson ranks 75th on DraftExpress’ list of top sophomores, 54 spots behind Eubanks, so it would be a surprise if he doesn’t eventually withdraw his name and return to Oregon State for the 2017/18 season.

Here are a few more draft decisions worth noting:

  • Maryland junior point guard Melo Trimble has decided to enter the draft and will forgo his remaining NCAA eligibility by hiring an agent, per Jeff Ermann of Trimble tested the waters a year ago, but has decided to go pro this year. He’s ranked 92nd on the DraftExpress big board.
  • Ohio guard Jaaron Simmons announced this week that he intends to enter the 2017 draft, according to a press release from the school. The 22-year-old point guard won’t hire an agent, giving him a chance to withdraw later and return to Ohio for his senior year.
  • Providence forward Rodney Bullock will declare for the draft without hiring an agent, Goodman reports (via Twitter). Bullock, a junior, averaged 15.7 PPG and 6.4 RPG in 33 games this past season.
  • LIU Brooklyn freshman Jashaun Agosto announced on Twitter that he’s declaring for the 2017 draft. The 5’11” guard isn’t expected to be drafted.