Tonye Jekiri

Southeast Notes: Brown, Magic, Allen, Meeks

At age 35, former Wizards draftee Kwame Brown hasn’t given up on his hope of a return to the NBA, relays Alex Kennedy of Hoops Hype. The first pick in the 2001 draft, Brown spent four seasons in Washington before embarking an a journeyman career that took him to the Lakers, Pistons, Bobcats, Warriors and Sixers. He hasn’t played pro basketball since the 2012/13 season, but will be part of the new BIG3 league, which he hopes leads to an NBA comeback. “I would definitely come in and do a workout for an NBA team so they can see I’m healthy,” Brown said. “That’s been the biggest thing for everybody: my health. I’ve had a couple of conversations with teams overseas, but everyone wants to see how I look in the BIG3 since I haven’t played in so long and they want to make sure I’m healthy.”

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • With four picks among the top 35, the Magic have the freedom to gamble in the draft, writes John Denton of Orlando came out of the lottery with the sixth overall pick, along with Nos. 25, 33 and 35. The Magic haven’t found much success with second-rounders in recent years, Denton notes, but new GM John Hammond has a very good track record in that area and coach Frank Vogel has helped turn late first-rounders into stars.
  • Texas center Jarrett Allen will be among the prospects in Atlanta Monday as the Hawks resume pre-draft workouts under new GM Travis Schlenk, according to Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal Constitution. Allen was the Longhorns’ top rebounder and shot blocker this season and led the Big 12 in field goal percentage at .567. The Hawks, who own the 19th pick, were among the teams that interviewed Allen at the draft combine.
  • North Carolina center Kennedy Meeks takes inspiration from Heat center Hassan Whiteside, writes Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. They both played for the same AAU organization, and like Meeks, Whiteside wasn’t a highly regarded prospect coming out of college. “He’s always been a big brother to me,” said Meeks, who held his pro day in front of several scouts this morning. “And I’ve seen him grow tremendously from not being in the NBA to making a lot of money. So I’m definitely proud of him.” Others involved in today’s session were Miami forward Kamari Murphy, former Miami center Tonye Jekiri, Florida Atlantic guard Adonis Filer and Florida guard Kasey Hill.

Western Notes: Welch, Davis, Ellis, Selden

Here’s the latest news and notes from the Western Conference:

  • Former Sacramento assistant coach John Welch and the Clippers are in the process of finalizing a deal that will see him join Doc Rivers‘ coaching staff, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reports (Twitter link).
  • The Kings held a pre-draft workout today for Zachary Auguste (Notre Dame), Egidijus Mockevicius (Evansville), Wade Baldwin (Vanderbilt), Antwan Scott (Colorado State), Eric McClellan (Gonzaga) and Fred VanVleet (Wichita State), the team announced.
  • Working out for the Kings on Thursday will be Elgin Cook (Oregon), Isaiah Taylor (Texas), Jarrod Uthoff (Iowa), Shaquille Harrison (Tulsa) and Derrick Jones (UNLV), Sean Cunningham of ABC 10 tweets.
  • The Jazz have a private workout scheduled on Thursday for former Michigan State power forward Deyonta Davis, the team announced. Davis is the No. 10 overall prospect according to Jonathan Givony of Draft Express.
  • The Clippers have workouts set for Thursday with Wayne Selden (Kansas), Isaiah Whitehead (Seton Hall), Brandon Austin (NW Florida State), Perry Ellis (Kansas), Kaleb Tarczewski and Tonye Jekiri (Miami), Dan Woike of The Orange County Register tweets.

Draft Rumors: Chriss, Kings, Trade Candidates

Former Washington power forward Marquese Chriss figures to be one of the first several players to come off the board three weeks from tonight – the latest mock draft at DraftExpress has him being picked third by Boston – but it sounds as if Chriss wouldn’t mind still being available at No. 8. As Sean Deveney of The Sporting News writes, Chriss grew up in the Sacramento area, and would love to play for the Kings, who hold the No. 8 pick and are “ready for any scenario” with that selection, per James Ham of CSN California.

“That would be everything,” Chriss said of the possibility of playing for the Kings. “It would be cool, my family could come to half the games. To be in an environment with a new arena, they’re rebuilding their program, that would be really cool.”

As we look forward to seeing where Chriss lands, let’s round up a few more draft rumors and updates, including a couple more from Deveney…

  • League sources tell Deveney that, while the 76ers and Lakers are expected to hang onto the top two picks in the draft, six other lottery teams may be looking to deal. The Timberwolves (No. 5), Raptors (No. 9), Bucks (No. 10), Magic (No. 11), Jazz (No. 12), and Suns (No. 13) are all believed to be open to trades involving their picks, per Deveney. Phoenix also holds the No. 4 overall selection, but likely wouldn’t want to move that one.
  • Texas A&M prospect Danuel House has a busy workout schedule, according to Deveney. House has worked out for the 76ers and Celtics, and will work out for the Knicks, Hawks, Lakers, Mavericks, and Timberwolves within the next couple weeks. The Suns and Pistons are also expected to be added to his list of visits, per Deveney, who says House looked good against Cal freshman Jaylen Brown at his workout with Boston.
  • Fran Fraschilla of ESPN (Twitter link) hears that the Raptors are “fans” of Isaiah Whitehead. Toronto holds the No. 27 pick, and while Fraschilla seems confident the Seton Hall guard will be a first-round pick, other draft experts aren’t so sure — Whitehead ranks 39th on Chad Ford’s big board at, and 57th on Jonathan Givony’s board.
  • According to the team’s official website, the Bucks had the following six prospects in for a pre-draft workout today: Michael Gbinije (Syracuse), Josh Adams (Wyoming), Isaiah Miles (St. Joe’s), Dorian Finney-Smith (Florida), Tonye Jekiri (Miami), and Mike Tobey (Virginia).
  • Chip Williams of Upside and Motor identifies five prospects who benefited from the draft’s new rules and deadlines for early entrants.

Draft Notes: Lee, Williams, Bluiett

Kentucky junior power forward Marcus Lee has cancelled at least three scheduled workouts with NBA teams, Adam Zagoria of notes. Lee told reporters that he was still weighing his options regarding the NBA Draft and wasn’t concerned about fighting for playing time on a stacked Wildcats squad next season if he does return to school, Zagoria adds. “I’m definitely weighing my options, it’s definitely a process,” Lee said. “Once I get back home I’ll be able to talk it through with my family and we’ll figure it out from there. We’ll kind of weigh the options and go from there knowing that there is a risk there in not knowing what might happen.” Lee is currently slotted as the No. 29 overall junior by Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress.

Here’s the latest 2016 NBA Draft news and notes:

  • Indiana junior small forward Troy Williams is still undecided on whether or not he will remain in this year’s NBA draft, Scott Agness of VigilantSports tweets. Williams, who is the No. 86 overall prospect according to Givony, has upcoming workouts with the Lakers, Clippers, and Pelicans, Agness notes.
  • Xavier sophomore swingman Trevon Bluiett will work out for the Lakers on Friday, Zagoria relays (via Twitter).
  • The Timberwolves have workouts scheduled on Wednesday for Bryn Forbes (Michigan State), Amida Brimah (UConn), Angel Rodriguez (Miami), Williams and Tonye Jekiri (Miami), Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops relays (Twitter link).
  • Working out for the Clippers on Wednesday will be Isaiah Taylor (Texas), Jaron Blossomgame (Clemson) and Robert Carter (Maryland), Dan Woike of The Orange County Register tweets.