Trentyn Flowers

Southeast Notes: Heat, Coulibaly, Flowers, Anthony

No matter when the NBA Finals wrap up, the Heat figure to be one of the league’s most active teams on the following day, writes Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. A change in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement gives teams a window to negotiate with their upcoming free agents from the end of the Finals until the league-wide start of free agency on June 30.

For Miami that means a chance to work out new deals with Haywood Highsmith, Patty Mills and Delon Wright before they reach the free agent market. The Heat can also negotiate with two-way players Jamal Cain, Cole Swider and Alondes Williams, who will become restricted free agents if they receive qualifying offers by June 29.

In addition, they can hold talks with Caleb Martin ($7.1MM), Kevin Love ($4MM), Josh Richardson ($3.1MM) and Thomas Bryant ($2.8MM), who all hold player options for next season. As Chiang points out, that gives the Heat an opportunity to get some clarity about what their 2024/25 roster might look like before heading into free agency.

Miami is also permitted to begin negotiating an extension with Bam Adebayo, who will become eligible to sign the deal when the leaguewide moratorium ends on July 6. The Heat can pay Adebayo $165MM over three years with a starting salary of $51.2MM for 2026/27, but Chiang states that he might want to wait for a more lucrative deal next summer.

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • Bilal Coulibaly is hoping to win a spot on the French Olympic team and compete for a gold medal in Paris, per Chase Hughes of Monumental Sports Network. The Wizards forward was one of 19 players to make France’s preliminary roster, which will eventually be trimmed to 12. Whether he’s in the Olympics or not, Washington has offseason plans for Coulibaly. “He’s got the mindset that this is a massive summer for him,” general manager Will Dawkins said. “Whether he’s playing with us or playing with France, we’ll be involved. We’ll be around and we’ll have a program in place.”
  • The Hornets could have interest in Trentyn Flowers, who raised his stock with an impressive athletic showing at the draft combine, according to Roderick Boone of The Charlotte Observer. Boone notes that Flowers, who played this season with Adelaide in Australia, has at least 13 pre-draft workouts scheduled. Charlotte holds picks No. 6 and 42, and Boone says there’s still not a clear range of where Flowers might be taken.
  • Cole Anthony was disappointed in his performance after signing an extension with the Magic last summer, relays Jason Beede of The Orlando Sentinel. In his fourth NBA season, Anthony posted career lows with 11.6 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game. “I’m going to work on everything (this summer),” he said. “The biggest thing for me I’m going to work on is just try to take care of my mental health. Whether it’s talking about it, whatever it is, just try to do all I can to have as little distractions on the court next year.”

New York Notes: Nets, Tsai, Brunson, Knicks, Randle

The Nets have formally announced Jordi Fernandez‘s coaching staff for the 2024/25 season, officially confirming (via Twitter) that previously reported names like Steve Hetzel, Juwan Howard, and Jay Hernandez will be among the assistants flanking the first-time head coach.

Hernandez is a carryover from last season’s staff, as are Adam Caporn, Ryan Forehan-Kelly, Corey Vinson, and Travis Bader. Besides Hetzel and Howard, the newcomers include Deividas Dulkys and Connor Griffin, whose hirings were also previously reported.

Here’s more on the NBA’s two New York-based teams, starting with Brooklyn:

  • The Nets don’t publicly share the names of the prospects they’re working out during the pre-draft process, but as NetsDaily relays, a few names are being reported. For instance, Rick Pitino tweeted earlier this month that St. John’s guard Daniss Jenkins “killed” his workout with Brooklyn, while Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer reported on Thursday (via Twitter) that the Nets are among the teams that have worked out Adelaide 36ers wing Trentyn Flowers, who has also gotten a look from the Wizards, Bucks, Kings, Rockets, and Spurs, and has workouts on tap with the Lakers, Suns, Hornets, Jazz, Bulls, and Celtics.
  • While New York City has a history of bombastic sports team owners, Joe Tsai of the Nets has made it clear he doesn’t intend to be one of them, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. “My first principle is don’t treat yourself too seriously. Don’t become the face of the franchise, because it’s not about you,” Tsai said recently. “Fans don’t care about you: They care about the players. They care about the star players. … You work for the fans. So you have to come in with that mindset, especially when you own a major sports team in a major city. It’s an institution. It’s not about you. It’s something that’s much much bigger than you and I feel like I’m a custodian of the team.”
  • Stefan Bondy of The New York Post (subscription required) takes a closer look at Jalen Brunson‘s contract situation, writing that while the Knicks’ point guard may ultimately be willing to sign an extension this offseason, he’d likely be in better position to maximize his long-term earnings if he waits until 2025.
  • Fred Katz and Seth Partnow of The Athletic recently discussed the Knicks‘ offseason. According to Partnow, various analytics models had Isaiah Hartenstein‘s 2023/24 season valued in the range of $28-35MM. The 26-year-old center made $9.25MM this season and will be an unrestricted free agent this summer. New York only holds his Early Bird rights, which means it will be somewhat limited (four years, $72.5MM) in what it can offer him. A recent report said people around the league think Hartenstein could receive $20-25MM annually on his next deal, and potentially losing him would certainly dampen Partnow’s view of the Knicks. Katz and Partnow also discuss the pros and cons of Julius Randle and ways in which the Knicks can improve next season, among other topics.
  • Speaking of Randle, the injured All-Star forward said he’s recovering well from shoulder surgery, though he still isn’t doing on-court work yet, per Bondy of The New York Post. One of New York’s main offseason questions is what to do with Randle, who is eligible for a lucrative extension this summer. For his part, the 29-year-old said he wants to stay long-term. “Yeah, I’ve always said from the very beginning I would love to be here in New York and I would love to continue to add on to what the guys did in the playoffs,” said Randle, who can also become a free agent in 2025. “I feel like that was my personal — biggest personal goal, or I’d say team goal in a sense, was when I got here is to be able to build and compete and to be at the point where we’re at now, where it’s an actual possibility (to win a championship). So really, that’s what my focus is, doing whatever I can to make sure I get healthy and get back and make sure I’m ready whenever we start playing again and contribute to winning. That’s really all my focus is and that stuff always in my career has taken care of itself.”

Rory Maher contributed to this post.

NBA Announces 78 Invitees For 2024 Draft Combine

The NBA announced today (via Twitter) that 78 prospects have been invited to attend this year’s draft combine, which will take place in Chicago from May 12-19.

In addition to those 78 players, a handful of standout players from the G League Elite Camp, which is also held in Chicago just before the combine begins, are expected to receive invites to stick around for the main event.

Not all of the prospects invited to the combine will end up remaining in the 2024 draft pool, since some are early entrants who are testing the waters while retaining their NCAA eligibility. College players must withdraw from the draft by the end of the day on May 29 if they wish to preserve that eligibility, while non-college players face a decision deadline of June 16. The feedback they receive from NBA teams at the combine may be a deciding factor for players who are on the fence.

Here’s the list of players who have been invited to the 2024 draft combine:

(Note: For players in international leagues, the country listed is where they had been playing, not necessarily where they’re from.)

  1. Michael Ajayi, F, Pepperdine (junior)
  2. Melvin Ajinca, G/F, France (born 2004)
  3. Trey Alexander, G, Creighton (junior)
  4. Izan Almansa, F, G League Ignite (born 2005)
  5. Reece Beekman, G, Virginia (senior)
  6. Adem Bona, F/C, UCLA (sophomore)
  7. Trevon Brazile, F, Arkansas (sophomore)
  8. Jalen Bridges, F, Baylor (senior)
  9. Matas Buzelis, F, G League Ignite (born 2004)
  10. Carlton Carrington, G, Pitt (freshman)
  11. Devin Carter, G, Providence (junior)
  12. Stephon Castle, G, UConn (freshman)
  13. Ulrich Chomche, C, NBA Academy Africa (born 2005)
  14. Cam Christie, G, Minnesota (freshman)
  15. Nique Clifford, G, Colorado State (senior)
  16. Donovan Clingan, C, UConn (sophomore)
  17. Isaiah Collier, G, USC (freshman)
  18. Tristan Da Silva, F, Colorado (senior)
  19. Pacome Dadiet, G/F, Germany (born 2005)
  20. N’Faly Dante, C, Oregon (super-senior)
  21. Rob Dillingham, G, Kentucky (freshman)
  22. Nikola Djurisic, G/F, Serbia (born 2004)
  23. Ryan Dunn, F, Virginia (sophomore)
  24. Zach Edey, C, Purdue (senior)
  25. Justin Edwards, G/F, Kentucky (freshman)
  26. Kyle Filipowski, F/C, Duke (sophomore)
  27. Trentyn Flowers, G/F, Australia (born 2005)
  28. Johnny Furphy, G/F, Kansas (freshman)
  29. Kyshawn George, G/F, Miami (FL) (freshman)
  30. Tyon Grant-Foster, G, Grand Canyon (senior)
  31. PJ Hall, C, Clemson (senior)
  32. Coleman Hawkins, F, Illinois (senior)
  33. Ron Holland, F, G League Ignite (born 2005)
  34. DaRon Holmes II, F, Dayton (junior)
  35. Ariel Hukporti, C, Germany (born 2002)
  36. Oso Ighodaro, F, Marquette (senior)
  37. Harrison Ingram, F, UNC (junior)
  38. Bronny James, G, USC (freshman)
  39. A.J. Johnson, G, Australia (born 2004)
  40. Keshad Johnson, F, Arizona (super-senior)
  41. David Jones, F, Memphis (senior)
  42. Dillon Jones, F, Weber State (senior)
  43. Ryan Kalkbrenner, C, Creighton (senior)
    • Note: Kalkbrenner indicated this week that he intends to return to school, so it’s unclear if he’ll continue to go through the pre-draft process.
  44. Alex Karaban, F, UConn (sophomore)
  45. Bobi Klintman, F, Australia (born 2003)
  46. Dalton Knecht, G, Tennessee (super-senior)
  47. Tyler Kolek, G, Marquette (senior)
  48. Pelle Larsson, G, Arizona (senior)
  49. Jared McCain, G, Duke (freshman)
  50. Kevin McCullar, G, Kansas (super-senior)
  51. Yves Missi, C, Baylor (freshman)
  52. Ajay Mitchell, G, UC Santa Barbara (junior)
  53. Jonathan Mogbo, F/C, San Francisco (senior)
  54. Tristen Newton, G, UConn (super-senior)
  55. Juan Nunez, G, Germany (born 2004)
  56. Quinten Post, F/C, Boston College (super-senior)
  57. Antonio Reeves, G, Kentucky (super-senior)
  58. Zaccharie Risacher, F, France (born 2005)
  59. Jaxson Robinson, G/F, BYU (senior)
  60. Tidjane Salaun, F, France (born 2005)
  61. Hunter Sallis, G, Wake Forest (junior)
  62. Payton Sandfort, G/F, Iowa (junior)
  63. Alexandre Sarr, F/C, Australia (born 2005)
  64. Baylor Scheierman, G/F, Creighton (super-senior)
  65. Mark Sears, G, Alabama (senior)
  66. Terrence Shannon, G, Illinois (super-senior)
  67. Jamal Shead, G, Houston (senior)
  68. Reed Sheppard, G, Kentucky (freshman)
  69. KJ Simpson, G, Colorado (junior)
  70. Tyler Smith, F, G League Ignite (born 2004)
  71. Cam Spencer, G, UConn (super-senior)
  72. Nikola Topic, G, Serbia (born 2005)
  73. JT Toppin, F, New Mexico (freshman)
  74. Jaylon Tyson, G, California (junior)
  75. Ja’Kobe Walter, G, Baylor (freshman)
  76. Kel’el Ware, C, Indiana (sophomore)
  77. Jamir Watkins, G/F, Florida State (junior)
  78. Cody Williams, F, Colorado (freshman)

It’s worth noting that the NBA and the NBPA agreed to a few combine-related changes in their latest Collective Bargaining Agreement. Here are a few of those changes:

  • A player who is invited to the draft combine and declines to attend without an excused absence will be ineligible to be drafted. He would become eligible the following year by attending the combine. There will be exceptions made for a player whose FIBA season is ongoing, who is injured, or who is dealing with a family matter (such as a tragedy or the birth of a child).
  • Players who attend the draft combine will be required to undergo physical exams, share medical history, participate in strength, agility, and performance testing, take part in shooting drills, receive anthropometric measurements, and conduct interviews with teams and the media. Scrimmages won’t be mandatory.
  • Medical results from the combine will be distributed to select teams based on where the player is projected to be drafted. Only teams drafting in the top 10 would get access to medical info for the projected No. 1 pick; teams in the top 15 would receive medical info for players in the 2-6 range, while teams in the top 25 would get access to info for the players in the 7-10 range.

Regarding that last point, Jonathan Givony of ESPN (Twitter link) has the details on the top 10 played out this year, noting that the composite ranking was generated based on a combination of publicly available rankings and feedback from a panel of experts, as well as a retained-scouting service.

Sarr is considered the No. 1 overall prospect, per Givony, so only teams drafting in the top 10 will get access to his medicals. Buzelis, Castle, Clingan, Risacher, and Topic are in the 2-6 range, while Dillingham, Holland, Knecht, and Sheppard round out the top 10.

Chomche, Dadiet, Flowers, Onyenso Among Draft’s Latest Early Entrants

Ulrich Chomche, an 18-year-old Cameroon center at the NBA Africa Academy, is entering the 2024 NBA draft, his agents at Klutch Sports tell Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link).

While Chomche is ranked 39th overall on ESPN’s list of this year’s top 100 prospects, that’s not necessarily the consensus. Sam Vecenie of The Athletic (Twitter link) says he didn’t get the impression at last week’s Hoop Summit that Chomche was “anywhere near ready” to enter for the NBA and says that many NBA evaluators had a similar take. Vecenie adds that the big man is No. 86 on his own big board.

The No. 40 prospect on ESPN’s board, French wing Pacome Dadiet, has also declared for the draft, agent Yann Balikouzou tells Jonathan Givony of ESPN (Twitter link). The 18-year-old made 36% of his three-pointers while playing for Ratiopharm Ulm in Germany’s top basketball league this past season, Givony notes.

Another draft prospect who spent the season overseas has announced his intentions to enter the 2024 draft, according to the Adelaide 36ers of Australia’s National Basketball League, who say (via Twitter) that 6’9″ wing Trentyn Flowers is declaring.

Flowers is an American prospect who spent his first professional season in Australia as part of the NBL’s Next Stars program. He’s the No. 77 prospect on ESPN’s board.

Here are several more draft-related notes:

  • Kentucky sophomore center Ugonna Onyenso, an elite shot blocker who swatted 2.8 shots in just 18.8 minutes per game this season, will enter the draft and forgo his remaining NCAA eligibility, Givony reports at ESPN. Onyenso, the No. 47 prospect on ESPN’s board, averaged just 3.6 points per contest but told Givony he wants to show teams during the pre-draft process that he can shoot the ball and isn’t “just a defensive player.”
  • Texas sophomore forward Dillon Mitchell is entering both the NCAA portal and the NBA draft, reports Jeff Goodman of The Field of 68 (Twitter link). The No. 71 prospect on ESPN’s top-100 list, Mitchell averaged 9.6 points and 7.5 rebounds in 29.0 minutes per game in 34 contests for the Longhorns in 2023/24.
  • Grand Canyon senior guard Tyon Grant-Foster, the WAC Player of the Year in 2023/24, is entering the draft rather than using his final year of NCAA eligibility, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic. Grant-Foster, who has now undergone multiple heart surgeries, made his return to the court this season after collapsing at halftime of a game at the start of the 2021/22 season.
  • The Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, a pre-draft event showcasing draft-eligible seniors, has announced its rosters for 2024 (Twitter links). This year’s PIT will tip off later this week and will run from April 17-20.
  • Michigan State senior guard A.J. Hoggard, who is taking part in the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, is testing the draft waters while retaining his college eligibility (Twitter link via Kyle Austin of Hoggard is the very last prospect to crack ESPN’s big board, coming in at No. 100.
  • Senior guard Jordan Ivy-Curry (Twitter link via Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports) and Wake Forest senior forward Andrew Carr (Twitter link) are also testing the draft waters. If he returns to school, Ivy-Curry is transferring from UTSA to Virginia Tech.

And-Ones: Rivers, Myers, ESPN, Flowers, Tillman

ESPN has officially hired former Sixers head coach Doc Rivers to join its top broadcast team, the network announced in a press release written by Ronce Rajan. Rivers, who signed a multiyear contract to be an analyst, will work alongside fellow analyst Doris Burke and play-by-play announcer Mike Breen.

ESPN decided to shake up its top broadcasting group after releasing former analysts Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy.

In addition to Rivers, ESPN has also signed longtime Warriors executive Bob Myers, who left his post a couple months ago. Myers will serve as analyst on NBA countdown and will also call games during the season, per Rajan.

The signings of Rivers and Myers were previously reported by The New York Post.

ESPN also announced a new secondary broadcast team comprised of play-by-play voice Ryan Ruocco alongside analysts — and former NBA players — JJ Redick and Richard Jefferson. Jefferson received a multiyear extension, Rajan adds.

Here’s more from around the basketball world:

  • Forward Trentyn Flowers, who had committed to Louisville, has decided against playing for the Cardinals and will instead head overseas in an effort to make the NBA. Flowers announced on Twitter that he’ll be joining the NBL’s Next Stars program and will play for the Adelaide 36ers. The NBL features nine Australian teams and one based in New Zealand. As Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report tweets, Flowers is one of a handful of potential 2024 first-round picks who have decided to play in the NBL.
  • Greece’s AEK Athens has officially signed big man Justin Tillman, according to Tillman never actually got in an NBA game, but he signed a 10-day hardship deal with the Hawks a couple years ago and has been a highly productive player in the G League. The former VCU star has had several other international stops during the course of his professional career.
  • In case you missed it, we passed along several World Cup notes this morning.