Zach Edey

Northwest Notes: Cancar, Clingan, Edey, Caruso, Jazz Draft, Nuggets Draft

It appears Vlatko Cancar won’t be testing free agency. The Nuggets and Cancar are negotiating a new contract, The Athletic’s Tony Jones tweets. The Nuggets are declining the $2,346,606 option on Cancar’s current contract due to luxury tax concerns. But if Cancar re-signs with Denver on a minimum-salary deal, he would project to make $2,432,511 in ’24/25, while the Nuggets would carry a cap hit of $2,093,637.

We have more from the Northwest Division:

  • The Trail Blazers have worked out Donovan Clingan and Zach Edey and seem to be leaning toward drafting a center, The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor reports. The Trail Blazers own the No. 7 and 14 picks. Clingan is expected to be off the board by the No. 7 pick but the Blazers are high enough on Edey that they may grab him with the first of those picks. If they wind up with a center on draft day, they could look to move Deandre Ayton and/or Robert Williams, O’Connor adds.
  • While the Thunder have ample cap space this summer, they are hard-capped at the first tax apron due to the Alex Caruso trade, Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report tweets. That’s because they took on a higher salary than they’re sending out (Josh Giddey).
  • The Jazz hold the No. 10, 29 and 32 picks in the draft. How valuable are those latter two picks and should they try to deal them? Kevin Reynolds of the Salt Lake Tribune explores that topic.
  • Due to a lack of contracts they could package with their first-round pick at No. 28 to obtain another impact player, the Nuggets are likely to retain the pick and seek out another late-round gem, Bennett Durando of the Denver Post writes.

Kings Rumors: No. 13 Pick, Caruso, Fox, Siakam, Kuzma, LaVine

The Kings‘ No. 13 overall pick is “very available” in trade talks, according to Anthony Slater and Sam Amick of The Athletic, who report that Sacramento included that lottery selection in an offer for Alex Caruso before the Bulls decided to send the veteran guard to Oklahoma City instead.

As Slater and Amick detail, the Kings have brought in several late-lottery prospects for pre-draft workouts, including Purdue center Zach Edey. Former Duke standout Jared McCain also recently visited Sacramento for a workout, reports Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee. However, there’s “more of an appetite” within the organization to add a veteran who could help the team win right away instead of a rookie, according to The Athletic’s report.

The ideal outcome for Sacramento, Slater and Amick write, would be acquiring a “mid-prime” player who can grow with the core of De’Aaron Fox, Domantas Sabonis, Keegan Murray, and Malik Monk. The Kings believe they have a three-to-six year window to contend with those players and would be willing to attach extra draft assets to this year’s No. 13 pick for the right trade target.

Here’s more on the Kings from The Athletic:

  • Fox will be extension-eligible starting in July, but he has decided he won’t sign a new contract this offseason, sources tell Slater and Amick. The star guard has two guaranteed years left on his current deal, so there’s no urgency to get anything done yet. Fox wants to see how the roster takes shape and could also still qualify for a super-max extension if he makes an All-NBA team in 2024/25.
  • The Kings came close to acquiring Pascal Siakam from Toronto before he was sent to Indiana, having backed off in large part because they weren’t confident about their chances of re-signing him. League sources tell The Athletic that there’s some level of regret within the organization about not pulling the trigger and trying to convince the star forward to sign long-term.
  • Ever since nearly trading for Kyle Kuzma in 2021, Kings general manager Monte McNair has maintained some level of interest in the Wizards forward, who is expected to be on Sacramento’s radar again this summer. League sources also confirm to Slater and Amick that Bulls guard Zach LaVine is a possible target for the Kings, though they’d likely have to be incentivized to take on his maximum-salary contract, which still has three years remaining.
  • After coming off the bench for the past two seasons, Monk has expressed a desire to start, but he agreed to re-sign with the Kings without having received any assurances about his role going forward, per Slater and Amick.

International Notes: Giannis, Team Canada, Hezonja, Clarkson, Vildoza, Ataman, Team China

Giannis Antetokounmpo is looking forward to participating in Greece’s training camp, though he’s still dealing with the injury that short-circuited the Bucks’ playoff run. Milwaukee’s superstar will look to help Greece advance out of the FIBA Olympic qualifying tournament in Piraeus early next month.

“I have not practiced yet, but I feel better. I cannot wait to join the training camp,” he told Johnny Askounis of Eurohoops.net and other reporters.

Antetokounmpo suffered a calf strain late in the NBA regular season. The announcement that he would play for Greece was made at the beginning of this month.

We have more international basketball news:

  • Canada’s preliminary Olympic roster is loaded with NBA players and there will be tough decisions ahead to pare it to 12 players, Josh Lewenberg of TSN notes. Kings forward Trey Lyles, former NBA bigs Khem Birch and Mfiondu Kabengele and two-time National Player of the Year Zach Edey are some of the players who, on paper, will be fighting for the last two spots on the roster, writes Lewenberg.
  • Former NBA forward Mario Hezonja announced on social media that he’s re-signing with Real Madrid, Sportando relays. “Real Madrid believed in me when many didn’t, cared for me and my family since the first day I arrived and made us feel at home. My only intention was to stay so I am happy to communicate to you that I will continue my journey at MY HOME, MY REAL MADRID for a long time!” he wrote. There had been speculation he might look at NBA opportunities.
  • Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson was not on the Philippines’ 12-man roster for the FIBA Olympic qualifier. Coach Tim Cone opted for continuity, according to executive director Erika Dy. Cone decided to go with the same group that participated in an Asia Cup qualifier over the winter. “Premise of coach Tim, we have the same roster every time. The shorter training periods will accumulate, and the players will build chemistry,” Dy said, per BasketNews.
  • Virtus Bologna is reportedly interested in former NBA guard Luca Vildoza, who is leaving Greece’s Panathinaikos, according to another Sportando report. Vildoza had a seven-game stint with the Bucks in 2021/22.
  • After leading Panathinaikos to a Euroleague title, Ergin Ataman is eager to get a shot at coaching in the NBA. But he told the Spanish outlet AS that he only wants to make the jump if he’s offered a head coaching job. “Before it was my dream, now it’s not, but if you want a star coach from Europe, here I am. Why would I be afraid of training NBA stars?” he said, per Eurohoops.net.
  • The Chinese national team will participate in the California Classic in Sacramento next month, Jason Anderson of the Sacramento Bee reports. They’ll be grouped against Summer League teams from the Kings, Hornets, and Spurs. Squads from the Warriors, Lakers and Heat will play against each other in San Francisco.

Gilgeous-Alexander, Murray Headline Canada’s Preliminary Olympic Roster

Canada Basketball has formally announced its preliminary roster for the upcoming 2024 Olympics in Paris. The 20-man group will have to be trimmed to 12 players for Paris.

Here are the 20 players vying for spots on Team Canada’s Olympic roster, which will be coached by new Nets head coach Jordi Fernandez:

All 12 players who helped Canada clinch an Olympic berth and claim a bronze medal at the 2023 World Cup are included in the preliminary roster, along with several notable newcomers, including Murray, Wiggins, Lyles, and Nembhard.

Trail Blazers guard Shaedon Sharpe and Pacers guard Bennedict Mathurin, whose seasons ended earlier due to injuries, will also attend training camp with Team Canada, but won’t be in the mix for roster spots this summer, according to today’s announcement.

Even without Sharpe or Mathurin in the mix, the Canadians can put together a formidable NBA-heavy squad that should be in contention for a medal in Paris. Gilgeous-Alexander, Barrett, Brooks, Dort, Powell, Olynyk, and Alexander-Walker were the top seven players on last year’s squad and look like relatively safe bets to represent Canada again. If Murray, Wiggins, Lyles, and Nembhard were to join them, that would leave just one open spot for the remaining nine invitees.

One notable omission from the 20-man preliminary roster is veteran guard Cory Joseph, who spoke to Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca earlier this week to express his disappointment about being left off the list. Joseph was unable to compete for a spot on the World Cup team last year due to a back injury, but was among the 14 players who made a commitment in 2022 to be part of Canada’s “summer core” for the current Olympic cycle.

“I took the honor of playing for your country very seriously and did it many times over the years,” Joseph told Grange. “This is not me complaining, I’m not a complainer. But there were times when I put FIBA basketball and playing for my country over my NBA situation at the time, whether I was in a contract year and I had no contract at the time and I went to go play for my country, whether I had little bumps and tweaks, I was there. Whether guys came or not, I always thought we still had a chance. For me it’s a little disheartening to be like, ‘Wow, I wasn’t even given an opportunity to compete for whatever position?’

“… I had planned to go to camp, and when you’re talking about the (last three or four spots) on the roster, there’s a pool of talented guys you could put on the roster, (but) I don’t see, in that situation, where I wouldn’t at least be invited to camp to be one of those guys (to compete for a spot), so that’s where my disappointment is with the organization. … I don’t want to take away from the fact that Canada Basketball is in a great place. This is not that. I love all those guys. I want them to do well. Quote that. I just think I should have been invited to camp at the very least, 100 per cent.”

Team Canada will hold its training camp in Toronto from June 28 to July 7 before heading to Las Vegas for an exhibition game vs. Team USA on July 10. The Canadians will also play exhibition matches with France on July 19 and the winner of the Puerto Rico Olympic qualifying tournament on July 21.

Canada will be in Group A at the Olympics, along with Australia. The group will be filled out by the winners of the qualifying tournaments in Spain and Greece.

Western Draft Rumors: Rockets, Sheppard, Spurs, Castle, Nuggets, More

Both Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report and Jonathan Givony and Jeremy Woo of ESPN.com (Insider link) have Reed Sheppard going to the Rockets at No. 3 in their most recent mock drafts. According to ESPN’s duo, Houston has shown “serious interest” in the former Kentucky guard, with both the front office and team ownership intrigued by his potential fit as a shooter and play-maker in the team’s rotation.

While that pick continues to be viewed as one that could get traded, the minimal perceived difference between No. 3 and picks latter in the lottery will make it difficult for the Rockets to get good value for it, Wasserman writes. But if a team does move up to No. 3 to nab a different player – perhaps Donovan Clingan – Sheppard shouldn’t fall much further than that, says Woo. The Spurs, who hold the No. 4 pick, are also believed to have interest in the former Wildcat, as are the Hornets at No. 6.

Here are some more draft notes and rumors from around the Western Conference:

  • According to Givony, Zaccharie Risacher and Sheppard looked like the Spurs‘ top two targets, but if they’re both picked in the top three, San Antonio may target a pair of guards at No. 4 and No. 8. Both ESPN and Bleacher Report have UConn’s Stephon Castle going to the Spurs fourth overall.
  • Sources tell Wasserman that the Spurs are also high on Providence guard Devin Carter, who has recently worked out for the Kings and Bulls. According to Woo, Carter has been one of the “hottest names on the workout circuit” and some teams now think he’ll be drafted in the top 10. Every team in the 8-to-11 range looks like a potential landing spot and there has been chatter suggesting a non-lottery team may try to trade up to land him, Woo adds.
  • Most teams are operating under the assumption that DaRon Holmes II has received a draft promise from the Nuggets, according to Givony, who says “several smoking guns” have pointed to Denver since the Dayton forward/center canceled multiple workouts and that it’s similar to what happened with Jalen Pickett a year ago. The Nuggets hold the No. 28 pick, though they might try to move back a few spots to draft Holmes for cap/tax reasons, Givony writes.
  • The Kings have explored trade options with the No. 13 pick in the draft, according to Woo. Sacramento’s 2025 first-rounder is owed to Atlanta, so while the Kings could agreed to a deal involving No. 13 on draft night, they’d have to select a player before officially moving it.
  • The Jazz, Trail Blazers, and Kings are among the teams that Purdue center Zach Edey has worked out for recently, and a visit to the Lakers may still be coming before draft night, says Givony.

Begley’s Latest: Lakers, Pistons, Carrington, Scheierman

Look for the Lakers to target at least one big man this offseason. They’re mulling their options to give Anthony Davis more opportunities to play his natural power forward position, according to SNY TV’s Ian Begley.

The Lakers have the No. 17 pick in the draft and could grab a center at that spot. Purdue’s Zach Edey, Baylor’s Yves Missi and Indiana’s Kel’el Ware are considered the top center options after UConn’s Donovan Clingan, who is expected to go in the top five. The Lakers could also look to free agent centers to fill that need. A list of all free agent centers can be found here.

Here’s more from Begley:

  • The Pistons, who are expected to have approximately $60MM in cap space, have made it known to teams looking to dump salaries they’re open for business. They would look to get draft capital and/or young talent in those deals. The punitive tax aprons confronting some organizations could lead to numerous trades on that scale this offseason.
  • The Magic are intrigued by Pittsburgh point guard Carlton Carrington. He’s rated No. 19 on ESPN’s Best Available list and Orlando holds the No. 18 pick. Carrington worked out for Orlando last week and has improved his stock during the pre-draft process, so it’s possible the Magic may have to move up to take him.
  • The Knicks haven’t announced who’ve they’ve worked out during the pre-draft process but Creighton wing Baylor Scheierman recently visited as part of a group workout. Scheierman (No.  27 on ESPN’s list) is considered a late first-round prospect and the Knicks have back-to-back picks at Nos. 24 and 25.

Western Notes: Kings Workout, Jazz Workout, Kolek, Suns’ Targets

The Kings hosted a pre-draft workout on Monday that included two of the top center prospects, two-time National Player of the Year Zach Edey (Purdue) and Kel’el Ware (Indiana), Sean Cunningham of FOX 40 Sacramento tweets. Both are projected to be taken in the first round. Jamison Battle (Ohio St.), Boogie Ellis (USC), Rayj Dennis (Baylor) and Jonathan Mogbo (USF) were the other visitors.

We have more from the Western Conference:

  • The Jazz held a pre-draft workout on Monday that included Melvin Ajinca (France), Ulrich Chomche (Cameroon), Tyler Kolek (Marquette), Ajay Mitchell (UCSB) and Tyler Wahl (Wisconsin), Darren Wolfson tweets. Kolek, a point guard, is considered a first-round pick. All the other prospects except for Wahl are ranked among the Top 50 on ESPN’s Best Available list.
  • Speaking of Kolek, the Suns are expected to target the Marquette floor leader, according to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. Phoenix currently owns the No. 22 pick. The Suns are searching for a traditional point guard.
  • The Suns will only be able to make veteran’s minimum offers to free agents due to their salary cap restraints. Gerald Bourguet of GoPHNX.com looks at 20 free agent wing options, breaking them down by realistic targets and others that may be out of their price range.

Northwest Notes: Jazz, Sexton, Clarkson, Wolves, Nuggets

The Jazz are “casting a wide net” as they decide what to do with their three selections in this year’s draft, writes Tony Jones of The Athletic. Sources tell Jones that Purdue center Zach Edey, French forward Tidjane Salaun, Marquette guard Tyler Kolek and Virginia guard Ryan Dunn are among the players Utah has hosted in the past week.

Jones is especially intrigued by Dunn, who he says could be the best perimeter defender in the draft. However, the 6’8″ guard doesn’t have a developed offensive game and he might not fall into the team’s current draft range — No. 10 seems too high to take him, and he could be off the board when the Jazz pick again at No. 29 and 32.

Utah’s most pressing need is a small forward who can contribute on both ends of the court, according to Jones, who examines the potential fit of Tennessee’s Dalton Knecht, Colorado’s Cody Williams, G League Ignite’s Ron Holland and Salaun. He also looks at Providence’s Devin Carter if the Jazz opt for a guard.

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • Executives from rival teams believe the Jazz could explore trade opportunities this summer involving Collin Sexton and Jordan Clarkson, according to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. Sexton has two years remaining on his contract at $18.4MM and $19.2MM, while Clarkson will make $14MM next season and $14.3MM in 2025/26.
  • The Mavericks’ struggles against Boston in the NBA Finals are an indication that the Timberwolves still aren’t at the level of title contenders, according to Michael Rand of The Star Tribune, who notes that Dallas handled Minnesota pretty convincingly in the conference finals, including a Game 5 rout to close out the series. Rand believes the Wolves should follow the Celtics’ path for improvement and be willing to gamble on a major trade or two.
  • Talk of a Nuggets dynasty has faded with this year’s second-round exit, and Troy Renck of The Denver Post believes the focus should turn to winning the next title. He accuses the organization of taking a “macro view” by trying to win multiple championships rather than doing what is necessary to get the next one. Renck contends that approach led to personnel decisions that created a thin bench and left the team unable to close out Game 7 against Minnesota.

Several More Players Invited To Green Room For 2024 Draft

Eight additional players have received green room invites for this month’s 2024 draft.

Sources have informed Jonathan Givony of ESPN (via these various and sundry Twitter links here) that Kentucky point guard Rob Dillingham, EuroLeague point guard Nikola Topic, Duke guard Jared McCain and power forward Kyle Filipowski, Miami swingman Kyshawn George, USC point guard Isaiah Collier, Kansas wing Johnny Furphy, and Baylor center Yves Missi have all been invited to attend the draft in person.

Givony notes that Dillingham, a 6’3″ All-SEC Second Teamer in 2023/24 as a freshman, earned the invitation after he wrapped up his NBA Combine prerequisites on Friday morning, at the Lakers’ El Segundo practice facility.

Among the latest invitees, Dillingham is the highest-ranked player on ESPN’s big board, where he comes in at No. 7 overall. Missi is the lowest-ranked prospect of the eight, as he’s ranked at No. 23.

All-American Purdue center Zach Edey also received an invite, Givony tweets, though he is opting to watch the draft at Purdue instead, with his family, coaches, and Boilermakers teammates in attendance.

This group is joining the 12 other likely first round draft picks whose green room invitations were previously reported.

Heat Notes: Edey, Markkanen, Jovic, Offseason

Zach Edey could be an option with the 15th pick if the Heat are looking to add size in the draft, writes Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. The Purdue center, who had a workout in Miami earlier this month, stands 7’4″ and weighs nearly 300 pounds. He would ensure that the Heat aren’t physically overmatched in the middle whenever Bam Adebayo is resting.

“Every team needs someone to hold down the paint,” Edey said. “You need someone to grab the rebound. You need somebody to block shots. You need someone to finish lobs. You need someone to do all those things. Like not everything has to be with me having the ball in my hands in a post-up. I think I can do a lot of things. Obviously at Purdue, we used a lot of post-ups. But if you really watch the games there’s a lot of ball screens and that’s what they run in the NBA, ball screens, seals, re-posts.”

The two-time Player of the Year in the NCAA hears that his potential draft spot is “between 10 and 25.” Several teams in Miami’s range could be in the market for size, so it’s not certain that Edey will still be on the board at No. 15. He said at the draft combine that he hopes to prove to teams that he’s capable of doing more in the NBA than just clogging the paint.

“Obviously I need to show people I can shoot the way I believe I can,” Edey said. “But I think for the most part I know what I’m good at. Like if teams have tons of film on me, obviously I think I’m quicker than teams think I am, I think I can shoot better than teams think I can. I have to show that. I’ve been in college for four years. They’ve got a lot of film on me. They kind of know what I can do.”

There’s more from Miami:

  • The Heat could have interest in trading for Lauri Markkanen, but getting Jimmy Butler in return is unlikely to appeal to the Jazz, Winderman states in a mailbag column. At 34, Butler doesn’t fit Utah’s timeline, Winderman notes, and his injury history and desire for an extension make him especially risky. A deal involving Tyler Herro and other pieces could be more realistic, but Winderman describes the Jazz as “lukewarm” to that possibility.
  • Nikola Jovic will be reevaluated in two weeks after suffering a minor left ankle sprain, sources tell Winderman (Twitter link). The Heat forward is still expected to be able to play for Serbia in the Olympics.
  • Responding to questions from readers, Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald examines Butler’s future, negotiations with the Heat’s soon-to-be free agents and potential moves for the summer.