Yoeli Childs

International Notes: James, Childs, Lemon, Giedraitis

Mike James, who finished last season with the Nets, is reportedly in “advanced talks” with AS Monaco, according to Dario Skerletic of Sportando. The 31-year-old point guard had been under contract with CSKA Moscow, but that deal was terminated this week, making him a free agent.

James joined Brooklyn in April on a pair of 10-day deals and eventually signed for the remainder of the season. He appeared in 13 games and averaged 7.7 points and 4.1 assists per night. He also spent time with the Suns and Pelicans during the 2017/18 season.

There’s more international news to pass along:

  • Yoeli Childs, who played for the Lakers during Summer League, has reached a one-year deal with MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg in Germany, Skerletic states in a separate piece. A 6’8″ forward out of BYU, Childs attended training camp with the Wizards last season and played for the Erie BayHawks in the G League.
  • Walt Lemon Jr., who had brief NBA stints with the Pelicans and Bulls, has signed with Ezzahra Sports in Tunisia, Skerletic adds in another story. Lemon played for Hapoel Tel Aviv last season.
  • Lithuanian swingman Rokas Giedraitis said he had an opportunity to come to the NBA this season, but opted to stay with Baskonia in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague, writes Johnny Askounis of EuroHoops. The 29-year-old discussed his decision during the team’s media day on Saturday. “During the summer, I was able to think about my situation, what I wanted,” he said. “I had a couple of NBA offers, but I talked with my family and we decided to stay here.”

Wizards Notes: G League, Bell, Beal, Center

Having agreed to share some of the Erie BayHawks’ operating costs with the Pelicans this season, the Wizards will also get the opportunity to embed one of their coaches with the G League squad, according to Fred Katz of The Athletic, who tweets that player development assistant Mike Williams will be part of Erie’s staff.

Additionally, four preseason Exhibit 10 contract recipients who would have become the Wizards’ affiliate players if the Capital City Go-Go had been part of the revamped G League season will now join the BayHawks instead. As Ava Wallace of The Washington Post tweets, those four players are Jordan Bell, Yoeli Childs, Caleb Homesley, and Marlon Taylor.

Here’s more on the Wizards:

  • Michael Pina of Sports Illustrated makes a case for why the Wizards should seriously consider trading Bradley Beal sooner rather than later. Pina wrote his column before James Harden was moved, but that deal should only make Beal a more attractive trade target for the teams that missed out on Harden.
  • Could the Wizards turn to free agency in an effort to fortify their center position following Thomas Bryant‘s season-ending ACL tear? Frank Urbina of HoopsHype identifies six available players the team should consider if it wants to sign a big man.
  • The Wizards’ 3-8 record puts them near the very bottom of the NBA standings, but the unusual nature of this season makes it too early to rush to judgement, argues Ben Golliver of The Washington Post.
  • In case you missed it, five Wizards players have reportedly tested positive for COVID-19, potentially jeopardizing the team’s Sunday and Monday games against Cleveland. The Wizards have already had two games (Wednesday’s and Friday’s) postponed this week due to the coronavirus.

Wizards Waive Taylor, Childs, Homesley

The Wizards have waived three training camp players on Exhibit 10 contracts. Guards Marlon Taylor and Caleb Homesley and forward Yoeli Childs have all been released, according to Fred Katz of The Athletic (Twitter links).

In his two seasons for LSU, Taylor played in 56 games (27 starts), averaging 6.4 PPG and 4.1 RPG in 23.3 MPG.

Homesley spent five seasons (including a redshirt sophomore year) at Liberty University, where he averaged 10.8 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 2.1 APG, 0.9 SPG, and 0.5 BPG in 143 games (88 starts).

Childs started in 111 of his 119 games played over four seasons at BYU, averaging 17.1 PPG, 8.8 RPG, 1.9 APG, 1.3 BPG, and 0.9 SPG.

All three players could still suit up for the Wizards’ G League affiliate club, the Capital City Go-Go, this season.

Katz notes that the Wizards’ head count after these moves is 14 guaranteed deals, plus two-way guards Garrison Mathews and Cassius Winston, as well as center Anzejs Pasecniks, who is signed to a partially guaranteed $1.52MM contract for the 2020/21 season.

Wizards To Sign Yoeli Childs

BYU power forward Yoeli Childs will sign with the Wizards, tweets Jake Hatch of Zone Sports Net. Tony Jones of The Athletic confirms the report (Twitter link).

Childs had offers from more than five NBA teams, according to Hatch.

Childs turned in a stellar season for the Cougars as a senior, averaging 22.2 points and 9.0 rebounds and being nominated for the Karl Malone Award, which honors the top power forward in college basketball.

Pacific Notes: Childs, Crowder, Heckmann, Wiseman

The Lakers and Clippers have interviewed power forward prospect Yoeli Childs, Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN tweets. The 6-8 BYU big man averaged 22.2 PPG and 9.0 RPG and made 48.9% of his 3-point attempts. Childs is ranked No. 91 on the latest ESPN big board but he could move into second-round consideration. The Clippers have the No. 57 pick while the Lakers would have to trade into the second round.

We have more from the Pacific Division:

  • Heat forward Jae Crowder is the most realistic free agent wing option for the Clippers, who could use another 3-and-D player, Jovan Buha of The Athletic opines. If the Clippers strike out on Crowder, there’s a dropoff among wings they could pursue with their mid-level exception. That second-tier group includes the likes of Wesley Matthews, Derrick Jones and Kent Bazemore, among others.
  • Suns co-owner Richard “Dick” Heckmann died Saturday in Rancho Mirage, Calif., Jeremy Cluff of the Arizona Republic reports. “Dick’s philanthropic spirit coupled with his sharp business acumen was what separated him from the pack,” Suns managing partner Robert Sarver said in a statement. Heckmann, 76, was suffering from a variety of ailments.
  • A majority of mock drafts have center James Wiseman going to the Warriors with the No. 2 pick, the team’s website notes. Guard Anthony Edwards and forward Deni Avdija are the other strong possibilities, with only two of 24 mock drafts believing guard LaMelo Ball will be Golden State’s selection.

Knicks Notes: Childs, Toppin, Hayes, Draft Preparation

The Knicks recently interviewed BYU’s Yoeli Childs and could have interest in the power forward/center as a second-round pick, sources tell Ian Begley of SNY.tv. New York has talked to several prospects in that range, Begley adds, but Childs should be considered part of the group receiving consideration for the team’s selection at No. 38.

Childs has been reportedly been impressive during interviews with teams that own picks in upper half of the second round. He averaged 22.2 points and 9.0 rebounds for the Cougars during his senior season and was a finalist for the Karl Malone Award, which recognizes the best power forward in college basketball. Childs is also a threat from beyond the arc, hitting 48.9% of his 3-point attempts last season.

There’s more from New York City:

  • Alex Smith of SNY.tv examines the pros and cons for the Knicks of selecting Dayton forward Obi Toppin if he falls to the eighth slot. Toppin was the NCAA’s best player last season, averaging 20.5 points and 7.5 rebounds per game and winning the Naismith Trophy. He’s athletic at 6’9″, loves to drive to the basket and as a Brooklyn native, he would be a fan favorite at Madison Square Garden. However, he doesn’t fill the team’s top priority, which is finding a point guard, and there might not be a clear position for him in the NBA.
  • French point guard Killian Hayes goes to the Knicks in the latest mock draft from Brian Lewis of The New York Post. A report earlier this week listed Hayes as the second point guard on New York’s draft board, behind only LaMelo Ball. Lewis has Ball going to Minnesota with the No. 1 pick.
  • With three selections, the Knicks face difficult choices about which players to see in person, writes Steve Popper of Newsday. The Timberwolves and Warriors have indicated that their picks might be available in trade, so New York needs to be well versed in all the top prospects in case the club gets an opportunity to move up. But there are also plenty of players to study for choices at No. 27 and 38. Without a traditional draft combine this year, the league is allowing teams to watch players in person from October 16 to November 16.

LaMelo Ball Headlines List Of Draft Combine Participants

Potential No. 1 overall pick LaMelo Ball will be among the prospects participating in the revamped virtual draft combine this week, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. Ball is scheduled to take part in team interviews and a media session this week, but may not participate in any other portion, Jeremy Woo of SI.com cautions (via Twitter).

While Ball’s participation might be limited, many of this year’s other top prospects aren’t taking part in the event at all. As Woo points out (via Twitter), Anthony Edwards, James Wiseman, Obi Toppin, Onyeka Okongwu, Cole Anthony, Aaron Nesmith, Devin Vassell, and Saddiq Bey are among the players who don’t appear on the list of participants sent out by the NBA.

The list of top prospects besides Ball who will be participating in the event includes Precious Achiuwa, Deni Avdija, Tyrese Haliburton, RJ Hampton, Killian Hayes, Theo Maledon, and Isaac Okoro, among others.

Here’s the full list of combine participants, via Charania:

  1. Precious Achiuwa, F, Memphis
  2. Ty-Shon Alexander, G, Creighton
  3. Deni Avdija, F, Maccabi Tel Aviv (Israel)
  4. Udoka Azubuike, C, Kansas
  5. LaMelo Ball, G, Illawarra Hawks (Australia)
  6. Desmond Bane, G, TCU
  7. Tyler Bey, F, Colorado
  8. Vernon Carey Jr., C, Duke
  9. Yoeli Childs, F, BYU
  10. Mamadi Diakite, F, Virginia
  11. Devon Dotson, G, Kansas
  12. Paul Eboua, F, VL Pesaro (Italy)
  13. CJ Elleby, F, Washington State
  14. Malachi Flynn, G, San Diego State
  15. Trent Forrest, G, Florida State
  16. Josh Green, G/F, Arizona
  17. Ashton Hagans, G, Kentucky
  18. Tyrese Haliburton, G, Iowa State
  19. Josh Hall, F, Moravian Prep
  20. RJ Hampton, G, New Zealand Breakers (New Zealand)
  21. Jalen Harris, G, Nevada
  22. Killian Hayes, G, Ratiopharm Ulm (Germany)
  23. Markus Howard, G, Marquette
  24. Elijah Hughes, G/F, Syracuse
  25. Isaiah Joe, G, Arkansas
  26. Mason Jones, G, Arkansas
  27. Tre Jones, G, Duke
  28. Nathan Knight, F/C, William & Mary
  29. Kira Lewis, G, Alabama
  30. Theo Maledon, G, ASVEL (France)
  31. Karim Mane, G, Vanier College (Canada)
  32. Nico Mannion, G, Arizona
  33. Naji Marshall, F, Xavier
  34. Kenyon Martin Jr., F, IMG Academy
  35. Skylar Mays, G, LSU
  36. Jaden McDaniels, F, Washington
  37. Sam Merrill, G, Utah State
  38. Zeke Nnaji, F, Arizona
  39. Jordan Nwora, F, Louisville
  40. Isaac Okoro, F, Auburn
  41. Daniel Oturu, C, Minnesota
  42. Reggie Perry, F, Mississippi State
  43. Myles Powell, G, Seton Hall
  44. Payton Pritchard, G, Oregon
  45. Immanuel Quickley, G, Kentucky
  46. Jahmi’us Ramsey, G, Texas Tech
  47. Paul Reed, F, DePaul
  48. Nick Richards, F/C, Kentucky
  49. Grant Riller, G, Charleston
  50. Jay Scrubb, G, John A. Logan College
  51. Jalen Smith, F, Maryland
  52. Cassius Stanley, G, Duke
  53. Lamar Stevens, F, Penn State
  54. Isaiah Stewart, F/C, Washington
  55. Tyrell Terry, G, Stanford
  56. Xavier Tillman, F/C, Michigan State
  57. Kaleb Wesson, F/C, Ohio State
  58. Kahlil Whitney, F, Kentucky
  59. Cassius Winston, G, Michigan State
  60. Robert Woodard II, F, Mississippi State

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the NBA is unable to hold its typical in-person draft combine this year, but the league has put together an alternative combine that will feature interviews through videoconferencing as well as the making of “pro day” videos, which will include strength and agility testing, anthropometric measurements, and shooting drills. Participants will also undergo medical testing and exams.

For more details on this year’s combine, be sure to check out our full story on the changes.

Latest On Potential 2020 NBA Draft Combine

The NBA has begun sending emails to select players telling them they’ve been selected to attend this year’s draft combine, reports Jonathan Givony of ESPN (Twitter link).

However, that message comes with a caveat, per Givony — the league says no decisions have been made yet about when or where the combine will take place, what form it will take, or even if it will occur at all. As Givony adds (via Twitter), the NBA is asking prospects to fill out a pre-combine questionnaire by this Friday and has promised more details as they become available.

The 2020 draft combine was scheduled to take place in May in Chicago, but has been delayed indefinitely due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Word broke last week that the NBA had sent a memo to teams informing them of the 105 prospects who received the most votes to be invited to a combine, if one takes place. Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog.com has a list of those 105 players right here. The expectation is that about 60 or 70 of those players would ultimately attend a combine, either virtually or in-person.

Reports are surfacing identifying some of the players who have received combine invitations. Most of those names are unsurprising and overlap with the players on ESPN’s top-100 list, but that’s not the case for all of them.

For example, Josh Newman of The Salt Lake Tribune reports that BYU forward Yoeli Childs has been invited, while Zagoria says (via Twitter) that Gonzaga guard Joel Ayayi and Illinois center Kofi Cockburn are among the invitees. None of those players show up on ESPN’s top-100 big board.

Pacific Notes: Durant, Kings, Lakers, Franklin

The notion that the Warriors are a better team without Kevin Durant is silly and shouldn’t be taken seriously, Sam Amick writes for The Athletic.

Durant has missed Golden State’s last four games — all of which were wins — leading some to question how much better he truly makes the team. His absence has allowed Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and most notably Draymond Green to operate more with their surrounding cast, playing more up-tempo without their most talented player.

“We’re confident we can win (every time out), but we would much rather have (Durant) playing,” Curry said after Game 2, according to Amick. “So we’re going to hold the fort down till he gets back and go win another championship with our full squad. You know, him and DeMarcus (Cousins, who could return from his quad injury in this series), as well. We understand how great of players they are and how they raise our ceiling even higher.”

Multiple Warriors players have labeled Durant as the best talent on the team this season. The all-out recruitment of Durant, led by Green and others in 2016, kicked off because the team wanted another go-to scorer and all-around superstar on the wing.

Before suffering his strained calf against the Rockets, Durant was averaging a scorching 34.2 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game in the playoffs. He shot 51% from the field and 42% from deep during those 11 contests.

There’s more today from the Pacific Division:

Draft Notes: Reid, Waters, Childs, Porter

There’s “no chance” Naz Reid returns to LSU, as the prospect tells Jeff Goodman of Stadium Sports (Twitter link). Reid’s teammate Tremont Waters will also remain in the draft. Waters and Reid are the 47th and 48th prospect, according to ESPN.

  • BYU’s Yoeli Childs will remain in the draft, per Goodman (Twitter link). Childs is not listed in ESPN’s top 100.
  • Jontay Porter will not return to Missouri instead electing to remain in the draft, Goodman tweets. Porter is still recovering from a knee injury.
  • Arizona State’s Luguentz Dort tells Goodman (Twitter link) that he is “100 percent” staying in the NBA Draft. Dort is No. 27 on ESPN’s draft board.