Retin Obasohan

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.

Pacific Notes: Walton, Rondo, Cousins, Clippers

Luke Walton has managed to stay focused on his duties as lead assistant with the Warriors, even as his head coaching job with the Lakers awaits, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. Walton had his first interview on April 18th — more than two months ago — when he had a phone conversation with Knicks president Phil Jackson. “Luke is a real loyal guy,” said fellow Golden State assistant Ron Adams. “And he’s real loyal to the Golden State Warriors — has been since he was named coach of the Lakers. It might be hard for people to understand that. I would say he’s atypical in that regard. A lot of people, if a team would’ve allowed what the Lakers allowed, I think [the person] would’ve been more fixated on that team than this team. That’s not Luke. That’s not what Luke has been.” Walton will coach his final game with the Warriors tonight, then will likely be introduced as the Lakers’ new coach later this week.

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Kings point guard Rajon Rondo pronounced himself fully healthy as he prepares for his second straight year of free agency, according to Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe. Rondo signed a one-year deal with Sacramento last summer, which gave him a first-hand view of the turmoil in the organization, especially between DeMarcus Cousins and former coach George Karl“Obviously it didn’t go the way we wanted it as an exit [missing the playoffs], but I was able to bounce back, I believe,” Rondo said. “I am very healthy. I’ve been working extremely hard on my body and my game. I’m 30 years old and I feel great.” Rondo’s numbers had declined since tearing his right anterior cruciate ligament in 2013, but he bounced back to average 11.9 points and 11.7 assists per game this season.
  • Cousins’ younger brother, Jaleel, worked out for the Kings on Saturday, according to James Jones of The Sacramento Bee. The 6-11, 250-pound center was a senior this season at South Florida.
  • Dee Brown and Pat Sullivan have emerged as assistant coaching candidates with the Clippers, tweets Marc Stein of ESPN.com. Kevin Eastman, a longtime assistant to Doc Rivers, announced his retirement earlier this week.
  • The Clippers will hold two workouts Monday, tweets Rowan Kavner of Clippers.com. The morning session will feature Alabama’s Retin Obasohan, Miami’s Sheldon McClellan, Kentucky’s Alex Poythress, Maryland’s Jake Layman, Villanova’s Daniel Ochefu and UNLV’s Stephen Zimmerman. Working out in the afternoon will be Tulsa’s James Woodard, West Virginia’s Jaysean Page, UNLV’s Patrick McCaw, Louisiana’s Alex Hamilton, SMU’s Markus Kennedy and Iowa’s Jared Uthoff.

Pacific Notes: Clarkson, Cousins, Luwawu

Lakers combo guard Jordan Clarkson, who is set to become a restricted free agent this summer, reiterated his desire to remain in Los Angeles for the long-term and expressed his excitement at the prospect of playing for new head coach Luke Walton, Shahan Ahmed of NBCLosAngeles.com relays. “With the Warriors, the biggest thing is ball movement,” Clarkson said. “Those guys are making the ball pop. Everyone is getting open shots, setting good screens. They set a lot of guard to guard screens, take advantage of switches. That style of play, I think it fits us well. We got a lot of guys that can put the ball on the floor and make plays for each other, and at the same time being able to play in a system where ball movement is the emphasis.

Here’s the latest out of the Pacific Division:

  • Kings center DeMarcus Cousins said that he is optimistic about the team’s direction under new coach Dave Joerger, adding that he is looking forward to less drama next season, Sean Cunningham of ABC 10 tweets.
  • The Clippers are parting ways with assistant coach for player development Dave Severns, Dan Woike of The Orange County Register relays (via Twitter).
  • French combo guard Timothe Luwawu has a workout scheduled with the Suns this weekend, international journalist David Pick tweets.
  • The Kings will hold a group workout on Friday and the attendees will include Ryan Anderson (Arizona), Robert Brown (UAB), Tyler Harris (Auburn), Stefan Jankovic (Hawaii), Retin Obasohan (Alabama) and Jamari Traylor (Kansas), the team announced.

Sixers Rumors: Saric, Draft, Dunn, Okafor

New 76ers general manager Bryan Colangelo has been managing expectations when it comes to the arrival of Dario Saric in Philadelphia, suggesting that there are plenty of hurdles to clear before the possibility of Saric becoming a Sixer in 2016/17 turns into a reality.

Still, even though it might make more financial sense for Saric to wait one more year, Derek Bodner of PhillyMag.com has talked to several people with knowledge of the forward’s situation who believe it’s very likely he joins the Sixers this year. According to Bodner (Twitter links), even though Philadelphia has been noncommittal about it, people close to the situation with Efes (Saric’s team in Turkey) believe the former No. 12 overall pick will make the leap to the NBA this summer.

Here’s more on the Sixers:

  • With Jaylen Brown having come in for a solo workout with the 76ers on Tuesday, Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer wonders if it’s a signal that the club is serious about acquiring a second top-10 pick in this year’s draft. Brown, of course, isn’t viewed as a real candidate for the No. 1 overall pick, but perhaps Philadelphia is just doing its due diligence.
  • The other players the Sixers worked out on Tuesday are potential second-round or undrafted players, as Pompey writes. Philadelphia doesn’t have a second-round pick this year, but the club will keep an eye on prospects that could be added to its D-League squad.
  • If the Sixers do acquire another top pick, one target could be Providence’s Kris Dunn. According to Jon Rothstein of CBSSports.com (Twitter link), Philadelphia “absoutely loves” Dunn.
  • The 76ers announced in a press release that they’re hosting another pre-draft workout today, with six prospects in attendance: Stephen Zimmerman (UNLV), Bryn Forbes (Michigan State), Grandy Glaze (Grand Canyon), Stefan Jankovic (Hawaii), Retin Obasohan (Alabama), and David Walker (Northeastern). With the exception of Zimmerman, who ranks 35th on DraftExpress.com’s big board, today’s workout group consists of players likely to go undrafted.
  • Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders spoke to Jahlil Okafor about his rookie season and about the trade rumors that have swirled around him all year.

Southwest Rumors: Howard, Rockets, Grizzlies

Dwight Howard‘s three seasons in Houston weren’t exactly an unequivocal success, and the veteran center didn’t mesh particularly well with Mike D’Antoni in Los Angeles during his brief stint with the Lakers. Still, appearing on SiriusXM Bleacher Report Radio, Rockets general manager Daryl Morey told Howard Beck and Noah Coslov that his team, and his team’s new head coach, would “welcome [Howard] back” (link via Tyler Conway of Bleacher Report). Even if the club is saying the right things about re-signing Howard, hiring D’Antoni seemed to signal that the Rockets are at least as willing to move on from the eight-time All-Star as they are to re-sign him.

Here’s more from out of the Southwest division:

  • In pre-draft workout news, Croatian power forward Marko Arapovic tweeted today that he had a workout with the Rockets, while Ronald Tillery of The Commerical Appeal writes that the Grizzlies‘ Monday workout group featured Ryan Anderson (Arizona), Demetrius Jackson (Notre Dame), Thon Maker (Athlete Institute Canada), Patrick McCaw (UNLV), Retin Obasohan (Alabama), and Tyler Ulis (Kentucky).
  • Spurs assistant James Borrego made a strong impression in multiple head coaching searches this year, and looks like a solid candidate to land a head coaching job in 2017, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical (via Twitter). Reports within the last couple months connected Borrego to the coaching searches in Houston, Memphis, Orlando, and Sacramento.
  • Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News identifies a few pending free agents who won’t command the max and who could be good fits for the Mavericks, including Kent Bazemore, Brandon Jennings, and Joakim Noah.
  • David Aldridge of NBA.com conducted a lengthy and interesting Q&A with new Grizzlies head coach David Fizdale.

Draft Notes: Ellenson, Yusta, Stone, Whitehead

Here’s the latest news and notes from around the league regarding the upcoming 2016 NBA Draft:

  • The Sixers are holding pre-draft workouts tomorrow for Isaia Cordinier (France), Alex Caruso (Texas A&M), Daniel Hamilton (Connecticut), Brandon Austin (Northwest Florida State), Rosco Allen (Stanford) and Alex Poythress (Kentucky), the team announced via press release.
  • Former BYU point guard Kyle Collinsworth worked out for the Nets today, Jarom Jordan of BYU SportsNation tweets.
  • The Hornets have workouts scheduled on Thursday for Montay Brandon (Florida State), Retin Obasohan (Alabama), Goodluck Okonoboh (UNLV), Tim Quarterman (LSU), Adam Smith (Georgia Tech) and Diamond Stone (Maryland), the team announced.
  • The Pacers will bring in Robert Carter (Maryland), Julian Jacobs (USC), Marcus Paige (North Carolina), Gary Payton II (Oregon State), Dyshawn Pierre (Dayton), and Isaiah Whitehead (Seton Hall) on Thursday for pre-draft workouts, the team announced.
  • Former Boise State small forward James Webb III worked out for the Wolves today, Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN tweets.
  • Spanish small forward Santiago Yusta has withdrawn from the 2016 NBA Draft, Encestando.com relays (translation by Emiliano Carchia of Sportando).
  • Former Marquette big man Henry Ellenson worked out for the Wolves on Tuesday and has workouts scheduled with the Lakers, Raptors and Suns next, Wolfson tweets.

Draft Workouts: Jazz, English, Pacers, Pistons

The Jazz, armed with four picks in this year’s draft, are doing plenty of due diligence in the weeks leading up to June 23rd, and will bring in six more prospects for workouts tomorrow. According to the team (via Twitter), the following players will participate in that workout: Bryn Forbes (Michigan State), Max Landis (IPFW), Trevor Cooney (Syracuse), Shawn Long (Louisiana-Lafayette), Kenny Gaines (Georgia), and Pascal Siakam (New Mexico State).

Utah is hardly the only NBA team bringing in prospects for pre-draft workouts, so let’s round up a few more updates from around the league…

  • Former Iona guard A.J. English has a pair of workouts for Eastern Conference teams lined up this week, according to Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv, who writes that English will get a look from the Wizards on Wednesday and the Knicks on Thursday.
  • Thon Maker‘s previously-reported workout with the Pacers will take place on Wednesday, and the seven-footer will be joined by five other players, according to Zagoria (Twitter link). Jake Layman (Maryland), Retin Obasohan (Alabama), Shavon Shields (Nebraska), Fred VanVleet (Wichita State), and Stephen Zimmerman (UNLV) will also participate in the workout.
  • Zagoria provides a couple more workout updates, tweeting that Manhattan’s Jermaine Lawrence will work out for the Warriors on June 6th, while his college teammate Shane Richards works out for the Nets on Wednesday.
  • Yogi Ferrell (Indiana), Ron Baker (Wichita State), Derrick Jones (UNLV), Thomas Walkup (Stephen F. Austin), and Marcus Paige (UNC) worked out for the Pistons on Tuesday, tweets Vincent Ellis of The Detroit Free Press. Ferrell’s participation had been previously reported. Meanwhile, per Ellis (Twitter link), Tobias Harris‘ brother Tyler Harris also was a part of Detroit’s workout — the younger Harris played college ball for N.C. State, Providence, and Auburn.

Suns Notes: Ellenson, Bogdanovic, Qi

Henry Ellenson is an option for the Suns at No.4 or No. 13 should he fall that far and Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic details how the 6’11” power forward turned himself into a perimeter threat. “I wasn’t always taller than [opponents]…I played point guard all the way up to eighth grade,” Ellenson said. Arthur Hill of Hoops Rumors profiled the big man prior to the draft lottery.

Here’s more out of Phoenix:

  • Phoenix continues to monitor Bogdan Bogdanovic with the hopes of him joining the team next season, Coro writes in a separate piece“Physically, he keeps getting stronger,” Suns Assistant GM Pat Connelly said of the 2014 first round pick. “His feel for the game keeps improving.”
  • The Suns worked out power forward Zhou Qi from China and former Arizona State center Eric Jacobsen over the weekend, Coro writes in a separate piece. Qi might be an ideal draft-and-stash candidate, Coro adds, but it’s undetermined whether Qi would be interested in such an arrangement.
  • The Suns will work out six more players today. Michael Bryson, Stacy Davis, Demetrius Jackson, Damion Lee, Abdel Nader and Retin Obasohan will all be in Phoenix, per the team’s Twitter feed.

Northwest Notes: Olshey, Jazz, Hield

Trail Blazers GM Neil Olshey acknowledged that the organization has traditionally had difficulty landing upper-tier free agents, Jen Beyrle of The Oregonian relays. “It’s absolutely a hurdle. Whenever we get that first guy to come, it will be unprecedented when you look at the history,” said Olshey. “I think we’ve gotten good free agents. We’ve gotten guys but they’ve had the right sensibility and we knew that they would work in this market place and would fit with the team.” Olshey noted that last year’s free agent crop elected to join playoff teams, which hurt Portland’s recruiting efforts, but pointed to the team reaching the second round of the 2015/16 postseason as a boon heading into the offseason.

The executive isn’t letting frustrations of the past color his attitude this offseason, noting that the franchise will be extremely aggressive in the free agent market this summer, the team relayed (on Twitter). Here’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • The Jazz have a workout scheduled on Saturday for Ryan Arcidiacono (Villanova), Nathan Boothe (Toledo), Michael Carrera (South Carolina), Vince Edwards (Purdue), Retin Obasohan (Alabama) and Malik Pope (San Diego State), the team announced.
  • New Wolves coach/executive Tom Thibodeau has offered Travelle Gaines, who is Bulls swingman Jimmy Butler’s personal trainer, a post as the team’s strength and conditioning coach, Vincent Goodwill of CSNChicago tweets.
  • The Timberwolves hold the No. 5 overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft and Jim Souhan of The Star Tribune makes the case for the team to select former Oklahoma shooting guard Buddy Hield. The scribe opines that Hield is the best available combination of talent, maturity and polish available where the team’s pick falls.
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