Wes Washpun

Central Rumors: Cavaliers, Love, Bucks, Pistons

After winning a championship, the Cavaliers may not be as inclined to retool their roster as they otherwise might have been, but the team is still expected to listen to any trade inquiries it receives on Kevin Love, according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst. Appearing on Zach Lowe’s podcast (hat tip to RealGM.com), Windhorst identified the Celtics as the ideal trade partner for Love, suggesting that the Cavaliers “really like” Avery Bradley and could also ask for Marcus Smart and a draft pick (not the No. 3) if Boston shows interest in making a deal.

While we wait to see if those hypothetical trade talks come to fruition, let’s round up a few more items from out of the Central division…

  • While plenty of reports have suggested Thursday could be a busy trade night around the NBA, Bucks general manager John Hammond isn’t expecting much movement at the top of the board, telling reporters that “people feel good about this draft” (Twitter link).
  • Hammond spoke a little more about the Bucks‘ draft and trade options, telling reporters that Milwaukee is targeting three or four players with the No. 10 pick, and hasn’t ruled out a big man at that spot (Twitter links via Charles F. Gardner of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel). Hammond was also asked about rumors that the Celtics may be targeting Khris Middleton, and while he declined to comment on that report, he noted that many Bucks players have “great value around the league” (Twitter links via Gardner).
  • Wes Washpun (Northern Iowa), Fred VanVleet (Wichita State), Retin Obasohan (Alabama), Marcus Georges-Hunt (Georgia Tech), Cinmeon Bowers (Auburn), and Gracin Bakumanya (Democratic Republic of Congo) participated in a workout for the Bucks today, the team announced in a press release.
  • The Pistons are hosting Florida State’s Malik Beasley for a workout today, according to David Mayo of MLive.com (Twitter link). Beasley is ranked 17th on Chad Ford’s ESPN big board and 23rd at DraftExpress.com, so he’s a candidate to be on the board when Detroit picks 18th overall.
  • Rod Beard of The Detroit News doesn’t mention Beasley in his list of five potential targets for the Pistons at No. 18, instead naming Demetrius Jackson (Notre Dame), Denzel Valentine (Michigan State), and Ivica Zubac (Croatia), among others.

Workouts Update: Suns, Hornets, Kings, Grizzlies

Two prominent power forward prospects had individual workouts with the Suns this weekend, writes Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic. Croatian star Dragan Bender and Washington freshman Marquese Chriss both were in Phoenix for unannounced sessions that may influence the Suns’ thinking with the No. 4 pick. Coro adds that Bender worked out for Minnesota, which holds the fifth selection, on Thursday and will visit Boston, which has the No. 3 choice, early this week.

In addition, Phoenix held a workout Saturday for three players who may be options with the 13th pick: Michigan State power forward Deyonta Davis and shooting guard Denzel Valentine, along with small forward Timothe Luwawu of France. Also at the session were Louisville center Chinanu Onuaku and Arizona State center Eric Jabobsen.

There’s more workout news as draft day draws closer:

  • The Hornets, who have the 22nd pick, will welcome six players for a workout today, the team tweeted. The session will feature Virginia shooting guard Malcolm Brogdon, High Point combo forward John Brown, South Carolina small forward Michael Carrera, North Carolina power forward Joel James, UNLV shooting guard Patrick McCaw and Virginia center Mike Tobey.
  • The Kings are also planning to bring in six players today for a workout, the organization announced. Participants will be Arkansas-Little Rock point guard Josh Hagins, Arizona point guard Gabe York, Kansas small forward Brannen Greene, Oakland shooting guard Max Hooper, UC Santa Barbara combo guard Mike Bryson and Utah small forward Jordan Loveridge. The Kings hold pick No. 8.
  • The Grizzlies have a workout scheduled this afternoon with Texas A&M combo guard Alex Caruso, Oregon small forward Elgin Cook, Kansas center Cheick Diallo, Memphis power forward Shaq Goodwin, Baylor small forward Taurean Prince and LSU combo guard Tim Quarterman. Memphis has the 17th pick.
  • The Raptors, who own picks No. 9 and 27, will hold a workout today for Syracuse shooting guard Malachi Richardson, tweets Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv.
  • The Bulls held a workout Friday, tweets Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops. Attending were Maryland center Diamond Stone, UNLV center Stephen Zimmerman, Toledo power forward/center Nathan Boothe and Northern Iowa point guard Wes Washpun. The Bulls have the 14th pick.

Northwest Notes: Henderson, Jazz, Wolves

Earlier in his career, Gerald Henderson‘s top priority as a free agent might have been to find a team that would give him the opportunity to start. However, with his Trail Blazers contract set to expire, Henderson will prioritize contending teams this offseason, recognizing that being a starter isn’t as important to him as it once was.

“It’s great to start; starting the game is a special thing,” Henderson said, according to Cody Sharrett of Blazers.com. “To be a starter in the NBA is a cool thing, I’ve done it for a long time, but what’s really more important to me is playing significant minutes in times where a team needs you and more of your impact while you’re out on the floor – just being a part of what’s going on. You look at different teams, sometimes the best player comes off the bench, it all depends on what kind of team you have. I’d probably say three or four years ago, [starting] was much more important to me.”

Let’s check in on a few more items from out of the Northwest…

  • The Jazz are hosting six more players for pre-draft workouts today, the team announced (via Twitter). The list of participants: Josh Gray (LSU), Rosco Allen (Stanford), Tanner Plomb (West Point), Trey Lewis (Louisville), Brannen Greene (Kansas), and James Webb III (Boise State).
  • The Timberwolves worked out Kentucky’s Skal Labissiere individually on Tuesday, and also had Ryan Arcidiacono (Villanova), Tim Quarterman (LSU), Wes Washpun (Northern Iowa), Devin Thomas (Wake Forest), and Josh Scott (Colorado) in for a group workout, reports Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News (Twitter links). Damion Lee (Louisville) had also been scheduled to participate, but pulled out due to an injury.
  • The Trail Blazers are hosting multiple free agent mini-camps and are saying they may end up signing multiple participants from those camps, tweets Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders. Russ Smith and Erick Green were among the free agents in attendance at Portland’s first veteran mini-camp.
  • As Erik Horne of The Oklahoman details, Andre Roberson enjoyed a breakout season in 2015/16, and is becoming a reliable two-way wing just in time for the opening of his contract extension window. If the Thunder don’t sign Roberson to an extension this year, he’ll be eligible for restricted free agency next summer.

Draft Updates: Zizic, Zubac, Korkmaz, Washpun

The deadline for prospects to withdraw from the 2016 NBA draft is today at 4:00pm central time, which means this year’s draft class will get a little smaller by tonight. The majority of the NCAA underclassmen who have decided not to remain in the draft made their decisions final several weeks ago, since the NCAA’s cut-off for retaining eligibility came earlier. Today’s deadline will have an impact on plenty of international players, however, as they decide whether it makes more sense to keep their names in the draft this year or try their luck down the road.

Here are some of Monday’s latest NBA draft updates, including a handful of notes on those international prospects…

  • Croatian big men Ante Zizic and Ivica Zubac will both remain in this year’s draft, and both players project to be selected in the 15-25 range, according to ESPN’s Chad Ford (Twitter links). Ford also provides an update on Serbian wing Rade Zagorac, who will keep his name in the draft. According to Ford (Twitter link), Zagorac figures to be picked in the 25-40 range.
  • Ford adds (via Twitter) that French wing Timothe Luwawu will remain draft-eligible as well, though his value is a little harder to pin down — Ford suggests that Luwawu could come off the board in the back half of the first round or early in the second.
  • Eighteen-year-old Turkish shooting guard Furkan Korkmaz will remain in the draft, reports ESPN’s Fran Fraschilla (Twitter link). Korkmaz will likely be one of the first international prospects to come off the board, perhaps even in the lottery.
  • Former Northern Iowa guard Wes Washpun is set to work out for the Timberwolves, Bucks, and Bulls this week, league sources tell Michael Scott of Sheridan Hoops (Twitter link). Washpun didn’t earn a spot in Jonathan Givony’s or Chad Ford’s top 100 lists, so he projects as a potential undrafted free agent.
  • Ben Leibowitz of Graphiq (link via The San Jose Mercury News) takes an in-depth look at which NBA franchises have had the best and worst luck in the draft lottery since its introduction.

Southwest Notes: Rockets, Spurs, Joerger, Mavs

The Rockets‘ coaching search continues, and the team is focused on candidates that have former head coaching experience, or have significant experience as assistants, according to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle.

Feigen hears that while TNT analyst Kenny Smith impressed the Rockets in his interview, he’s not in the running for the position. Frank Vogel and Ettore Messina are believed to still be in the mix, with a source telling Feigen they’re “part of [the] process,” but there has been no confirmation that they’ve had formal interviews. Houston could conduct second interviews with candidates by the end of the week, says Feigen.

Meanwhile, Jeff Van Gundy has received interest from the Rockets as well, a source tells Feigen. Still, Houston has not yet met with JVG as the team takes its time to familiarize itself with other candidates.

Here’s more from across the Southwest:

  • LaMarcus Aldridge and David West, who could have played – and potentially been paid more – elsewhere this past season, said in the wake of San Antonio’s season-ending loss that they had no regrets about joining the Spurs, as Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News details. Aldridge remains under contract with the Spurs for several more years, while West will have to make a decision on his player option next month.
  • Former Grizzlies head coach Dave Joerger – who is now the coach in Sacramento – spoke to Ronald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal about the end of his tenure in Memphis, insisting that his relationship with team management was “excellent.” “I wanted to prove to them that I was the guy to go forward for many years. They didn’t feel so,” Joerger said. “But we move on with a lot of fond memories.”
  • The Grizzlies brought in Northern Iowa guard Wes Washpun to participate in a group workout on Monday, per Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops (Twitter link). Washpun previously worked out for the Jazz and Hawks.
  • Kevin Sherrington of The Dallas Morning News doesn’t expect the Mavericks to start the rebuilding process until after Dirk Nowitzki decides to retire, which may still be a couple years away.

Draft Updates: Ferrell, Ndiaye, Moore, Hawks

A major draft-related event takes place this week, as scouts, executives and these prospects will gather for the NBA combine in Chicago from Wednesday through Sunday. Teams will start working out players in earnest after that, though some auditions have already taken place. Here’s the latest on that front with the June 23rd draft little more than six weeks away:

  • The workouts that former Indiana University point guard Yogi Ferrell has with the Lakers and Clippers are slated for May 16th and 18th, respectively, tweets Jonathan Goodman of ESPN.com, advancing an earlier report from Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv. Ferrell will also work out for the Suns on the 20th, Jazz on the 22nd, Bulls on the 23rd, Hawks on the 25th, Mavericks on the 26th, Pistons on the 31st, Wizards on June 2nd, Nets on June 8th, and Knicks on June 10th, Goodman reveals. Ferrell is trying to work his way into the second round, with Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress ranking him No. 66 while Chad Ford of ESPN.com rates him only 99th.
  • Massive UC Irvine center Mamadou Ndiaye will work out for the Rockets and Lakers, Goodman tweets. Givony, who ranks him the 30th-best prospect among juniors, lists Ndiaye at 7’6″, while Goodman says he’s 7’5″. Ford, who also lists him at 7’6″, ranks him the 136th-best prospect overall.
  • Utah State small forward Jalen Moore will work out with the Grizzlies on May 16th, the Timberwolves on the 18th and the Nets on the 23rd, as he tells Goodman (Twitter link). Moore is Givony‘s 69th-best junior and Ford‘s 190th prospect overall.
  • The Hawks worked out Taurean Prince, Justin Jackson, Nigel Hayes, Pascal Siakam, Alex Hamilton and Wes Washpun on Saturday, a source told Jake Fischer of SI Now (Twitter link).