Robert Franks

Draft Notes: Wolves, Kings, Pistons

We’re continuing to pass along workout schedules for NBA teams in advance of the 2019 NBA Draft on June 20. See below for some additional workout notes from Minneapolis, Sacramento, and Detroit.

Eastern Draft Notes: Hawks, Barrett, Knicks, Pistons

With six of the top 44 picks in the 2019 NBA draft, the Hawks have been understandably busy when it comes to bringing in prospects for pre-draft workouts. While Atlanta is unlikely to keep all six of its selections, the club is doing its due diligence on players who might be available at each spot — or as undrafted free agents.

On Sunday, the Hawks worked out Darius Bazley (Princeton HS), Robert Franks (Washington State), Matur Maker (Zlatorog Lasko), William McDowell-White (Baunach), Miye Oni (Yale), and Trayvon Reed (Texas Southern), according to the team.

The Hawks conducted another workout on Monday, bringing in Jordan Bone (Tennessee), Brian Bowen (Sydney), Dewan Hernandez (Miami), Jordan Poole (Michigan), Justin Robinson (Virginia Tech), and Dean Wade (Kansas State) in for a look.

On Tuesday, the Hawks will host yet another workout, with Charlie Brown Jr. (St. Joe’s), Zylan Cheatham (Arizona State), Keldon Johnson (Kentucky), Nassir Little (UNC), KZ Okpala (Stanford), and Kevin Porter Jr. (USC) set to participate.

Here are a few more updates on pre-draft workouts from around the Eastern Conference:

Jazz Notes: Workouts, Reed, G League, Free Agency

The Jazz will hold two workout sessions for draft prospects on Saturday, Eric Walden of the Salt Lake Tribune tweets. The first group will include guards Frankie Ferrari (San Francisco), Makai Mason (Baylor), wings Rayjon Tucker (Arkansas Little-Rock) and Vic Law (Northwestern) and big men Darel Poirier (France) and Kenny Wooten (Oregon).

The afternoon session will include guards Jeremiah Martin (Memphis) and Jordan Bone (Tennessee), wings Charlie Brown (St. Joseph) and Paul Eboua (Cameroon) and big men Luka Samanic (Croatia) and Daniel Gafford (Arkansas).

Utah possesses the No. 23 and 53 picks in this year’s draft.

We have more on the Jazz:

  • Center Willie Reed, who played for the team’s G League franchise in Salt Lake City last season, was among 30 free agent invitees to participate in the team’s annual mini-camp this week, Eric Woodyard of the Deseret News reports. Reed averaged 20.1 PPG and 11.2 RPG before suffering a season-ending shoulder injury in January. Reed, 29, has played for four other franchises and appeared in 152 NBA games.
  • Farmington City is lobbying the Jazz to relocate its G League team to Station Park once the Stars’ lease with Salt Lake Community College expires, Patrick Carr of the Standard-Examiner reports. The construction of a 5,000-seat, multi-use arena is part of the pitch, Carr adds.
  • Darren Collison, Patrick Beverley, Danny Green, Jeremy Lamb and Reggie Bullock are some of the middle-tier free agents the Jazz might pursue, Walden writes.
  • The Jazz brought in six guard/wing prospects on Tuesday, the team’s PR department tweets. That group included Terence Davis (Ole Miss), Aubrey Dawkins (UCF), Robert Franks (Washington State), Ahmed Hill (Virginia Tech), Eric Paschall (Villanova) and Jordan Varnado (Troy).

Hornets Notes: Zeller, Kemba, Draft Workouts

Hornets center Cody Zeller had some fun with Kemba Walker‘s impending free agency by jokingly setting up a lemonade stand to raise the necessary $221MM for his teammate’s new super-max contract, as Roderick Boone of The Athletic details in an entertaining story. While Zeller’s fundraising efforts were obviously in jest, he recognizes the importance of Kemba’s upcoming decision, acknowledging that it’s a “pretty serious situation” for the franchise.

“I mean, our careers and a lot of the organization, to be honest with you, depends on what Kemba decides this summer, whether he stays or goes,” Zeller said. “I think it really depends on his choice. But our team and our future can go two very different ways depending on what he decides. So I was kind of trying to make light of a serious situation.

“I think he likes Charlotte,” Zeller said of his All-Star teammate. “I think he’s a good fit here. But the reality of it is we haven’t been able to make deep runs in the playoffs. So hopefully that will still come in the future. But at the end of the day, Kemba has to do what’s best for him. And I’m going to support him, whatever decision he makes.”

Here’s more on the Hornets:

Draft Workouts: Clarke, Caroline, Franks, Murphy, Bolden

Potential lottery pick Brandon Clarke of Gonzaga worked out for the Heat on Monday, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports. The 6’8” forward is ranked No. 13 overall by ESPN’s Jonathan Givony. the same draft spot that Miami possesses. Team president Pat Riley and the Heat’s brass recently attended Priority Sports’ Chicago workout, in which Clarke participated. Cal State Fullerton guard Kyle Allman Jr. will also work out for the team this week, Jackson adds.

We have more draft workouts:

  • Nevada forward Jordan Caroline will work out for the Cavaliers on Tuesday, Jordan Schultz of ESPN tweets.
  • Washington State forward Robert Franks, ranked No. 94 by Givony, worked out for the Celtics, Bryan Kalbrosky of HoopsHype tweets.
  • Minnesota forward Jordan Murphy will visit the Nets and Spurs, Darren Wolfson of KSTP tweets.
  • Duke center Marques Bolden will work out for the Knicks on Friday, Ian Begley of SNY TV tweets. He also has workouts scheduled with the Lakers, Spurs, Hornets, Cavs and Celtics.
  • Ole Miss guard Terence Davis will visit for the Jazz on Tuesday, Tony Jones of The Athletic tweets. Davis has been asked to second workouts with the Celtics and Warriors, Jones adds.

Pacific Notes: Lakers, Kings, Clippers

Another unflattering story on the state of the Lakers was published on Tuesday, with the latest report from ESPN portraying the inner workings of one of the NBA’s marquee franchises in a particularly negative light. Despite the revelations included in that story, commissioner Adam Silver remains said in an appearance on ESPN’s Get Up on Wednesday morning that he still has “tremendous” confidence in the Lakers’ leaders to turn things around.

“I know [Lakers owner] Jeanie [Buss] knows how to manage a team,” Silver said, per Malika Andrews of ESPN.com. “Sure, when things start to go wrong, a lot of fingers get pointed. But they’ll figure it out.”

Silver’s name actually came up in ESPN’s report on the Lakers, with sources detailing an anecdote about LeBron James‘ agent Rich Paul approaching the commissioner at a lunch and complaining about then-coach Luke Walton. During today’s appearance on Get Up, Silver confirmed that interaction took place.

“He was in the same restaurant,” Silver said of Paul. “There were two people sitting there. He sat down for a second, and I think he said something along the lines that ‘Luke Walton is not the right guy to coach LeBron.’ My reaction was to shrug my shoulders and maybe say, ‘Well, who do you think is the right guy to coach?’ And he mentioned a name and that was that.

“I think he just wanted to say it out loud,” Silver added. “I don’t think he had any expectation that I would repeat that to anyone.”

Here’s more from around the Pacific:

  • The Kings are hosting their fifth pre-draft workout at their practice facility on Wednesday, the team announced in a press release. Sacramento listed Anthony Cowan (Maryland), Barry Brown (Kansas State), Alpha Diallo (Providence), Amir Coffey (Minnesota), Robert Franks (Washington State), and Dedric Lawson (Kansas) as the participants, though Cowan and Diallo are both expected to pull out of the draft before tonight’s NCAA withdrawal deadline.
  • While the Clippers always expected to make a play for a top free agent or two this summer, the team didn’t expect to already have two long-term building blocks in its backcourt by this point, writes Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times. As Greif outlines, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Landry Shamet both look like keepers for the franchise.
  • The legal battle over the Clippers‘ efforts to build a new arena in Inglewood continues, per Nathan Fenno of The Los Angeles Times. According to Fenno, the L.A. County’s district attorney’s office found that the Inglewood City Council violated state law by approving an agreement with a Clippers-controlled company allowing it to explore building an arena in the city, but the D.A. didn’t take any action because the time limit to “remedy the violation” had passed.

NBA Announces 80 Players For G League Elite Camp

The NBA has announced in a press release that 80 players are set to participate in its G League Elite Camp next week in Chicago from May 12-14. The event will include 40 prospects who are eligible for this year’s draft, as well as 40 standout prospects from the 2018/19 G League season.

Heading into this spring, the NBA revamped its G League Elite Camp, which in past years has simply showcased some of the NBAGL’s top performers.  That aspect of the event will still exist, but G League players will only participate in the first two days of the event.

The second half of the event will feature 40 draft-eligible prospects who aren’t among the 60 prospects invited to the actual draft combine. The list of participants was determined by an NBA team vote, and those prospects will work out and scrimmage during the final two days of the event — there will be no overlap with the G League portion of the event.

As this week’s announcement confirms, a select number of draft-eligible prospects participating l in the G League Elite Camp will also be invited to attend the combine itself, which takes place from May 15-19 in Chicago.

Here are the list of draft-eligible prospects who are expected to participate in the 2019 G League Elite Mini Camp, per the NBA:

  1. Tyus Battle (Syracuse)
  2. Bennie Boatwright (USC)
  3. Phil Booth (Villanova)
  4. Oshae Brissett (Syracuse)
  5. Bryce Brown (Auburn)
  6. Zylan Cheatham (Arizona State)
  7. Chris Clemons (Campbell)
  8. Amir Coffey (Minnesota)
  9. Tyler Cook (Iowa)
  10. Jarron Cumberland (Cincinnati)
  11. Aubrey Dawkins (Central Florida)
  12. Javin DeLaurier (Duke)
  13. Mamadi Diakite (Virginia)
  14. CJ Elleby (Washington State)
  15. Tacko Fall (UCF)
  16. Robert Franks (Washington State)
  17. Jared Harper (Auburn)
  18. Ethan Happ (Wisconsin)
  19. Dewan Hernandez (Miami)
  20. Amir Hinton (Shaw (NC))
  21. DaQuan Jeffries (Tulsa)
  22. Sagaba Konate (West Virginia)
  23. Matur Maker (Mississauga Prep (Canada))
  24. Terance Mann (Florida State)
  25. Caleb Martin (Nevada)
  26. Cody Martin (Nevada)
  27. Luke Maye (North Carolina)
  28. Trey Mourning (Georgetown)
  29. Andrew Nembhard (Florida)
  30. James Palmer Jr. (Nebraska)
  31. Josh Perkins (Gonzaga)
  32. Reggie Perry (Mississippi State)
  33. Jalen Pickett (Siena)
  34. Myles Powell (Seton Hall)
  35. Justin Robinson (Virginia Tech)
  36. Marial Shayok (Iowa State)
  37. Max Strus (DePaul)
  38. Lindell Wigginton (Iowa State)
  39. Kenny Wooten (Oregon)
  40. Justin Wright-Foreman (Hofstra)

Here are the 40 G League players set to participate in the G League Elite Camp:

  1. Josh Adams (Raptors 905)
  2. Jaylen Barford (Greensboro Swarm)
  3. Amida Brimah (Austin Spurs)
  4. Jared Brownridge (Delaware Blue Coats)
  5. Antonius Cleveland (Santa Cruz Warriors)
  6. Charles Cooke (Sioux Falls Skyforce)
  7. Cody Demps (Stockton Kings)
  8. Aaron Epps (Northern Arizona Suns)
  9. Abdul Gaddy (Oklahoma City Blue)
  10. John Gillon (Greensboro Swarm)
  11. Kaiser Gates (Windy City Bulls)
  12. Isaac Haas (Salt Lake City Stars)
  13. Johnny Hamilton (Grand Rapids Drive)
  14. Dusty Hannahs (Memphis Hustle)
  15. Zak Irvin (Westchester Knicks)
  16. Peter Jok (Northern Arizona Suns)
  17. Matt Jones (Stockton Kings)
  18. Marcus Lee (Sioux Falls Skyforce)
  19. Zach Lofton (Grand Rapids Drive)
  20. Tahjere McCall (Long Island Nets)
  21. Brandon McCoy (Wisconsin Herd)
  22. MiKyle McIntosh (Raptors 905)
  23. Jordan McLaughlin (Long Island Nets)
  24. Jaylen Morris (Erie BayHawks)
  25. Mychal Mulder (Windy City Bulls)
  26. Malik Newman (Canton Charge)
  27. Retin Obasohan (Northern Arizona Suns)
  28. Chinanu Onuaku (Greensboro Swarm)
  29. Norvel Pelle (Delaware Blue Coats)
  30. Darel Poirier (Capital City Go-Go)
  31. Billy Preston (Texas Legends)
  32. Desi Rodriguez (Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario)
  33. Kenneth Smith (Grand Rapids Drive)
  34. Richard Solomon (Oklahoma City Blue)
  35. Emanuel Terry (Sioux Falls Skyforce)
  36. Juan Toscano-Anderson (Santa Cruz Warriors)
  37. Dakarai Tucker (Rio Grande Valley Vipers)
  38. Andrew White III (Maine Red Claws)
  39. Thomas Wimbush (Long Island Nets)
  40. Todd Withers (Grand Rapids Drive)

Draft Decisions: Happ, Matthews, Gabriel, Riley

Draft decisions have been rolling in all day as we move closer to the 11:59pm Eastern deadline. While some prominent names such as Jontay Porter, PJ Washington, Brian Bowen, Tyus Battle and Lindell Wigginton have announced their choices, we’re still waiting to hear from prospects such as Kentucky’s Jarred Vanderbilt, Nevada’s Caleb Martin and Cody Martin and a few others.

Here are some of the players who reached decisions today:

  • Wisconsin’s Ethan Happ will return to the Badgers for his senior season, tweets Gery Woelfel of Woelfel’s Press Box. He averaged 17.9 points and 8.0 rebounds this season and was a first team All-Big 10 selection for the second straight year.
  • Charles Matthews will return to Michigan for his senior season, according to Tom Wywrot of MGoBlue.com. Matthews averaged 13.0 points per night in helping the Wolverines reach the national title game. “I learned a lot throughout this process, but my main focus will now be completing my education at Michigan and leading my teammates to more success next season,” he said.
  • Kentucky’s Wenyen Gabriel plans to sign with an agent and remain in the draft, relays Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports (Twitter link). He appeared in 38 games as a freshman, averaging 4.6 points and 4.8 rebounds.
  • Cody Riley will play another season at UCLA, Rothstein adds (Twitter link). Riley was held out the entire year after being involved in an alleged shoplifting incident in China.
  • Iowa’s Tyler Cook will also leave the draft, according to Rothstein (Twitter link). He averaged 15.3 points and 6.8 rebounds as a sophomore.
  • Noah Dickerson will return to Washington for another season, tweets ESPN’s Jeff Goodman. Dickerson earned first team All-Pac 12 honors as a junior, averaging 15.5 points and 8.4 rebounds per game.
  • Wyoming’s Justin James has withdrawn from the draft, according to a story on GoWyo.com. The 6’7″ guard averaged 18.9 points and 6.0 rebounds as a junior. “I received some very promising feedback from around the NBA,” James said. “I will continue to grow my game here in Laramie and put myself in position to live my dream and play at the next level following one more season playing for the Cowboys.”
  • Robert Franks will play his senior season at Washington State, tweets the school’s basketball program. Franks posted a 17.4/6.6/1.9 line this year.

Draft Notes: Combine, Franks, Gates, Vick, Wiggins

Earlier today, we passed along the list of the 69 players expected to attend this month’s NBA draft combine in Chicago, as reported by Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports. In his latest Insider-only piece for ESPN.com, Jonathan Givony takes a closer look at that list, noting that it’s often predictive of which players will be drafted in June.

As Givony notes, Kansas’ Udoka Azubuike, Georgia’s Yante Maten, UCLA’s Jaylen Hands, and Maryland’s Bruno Fernando all received invites to the combine despite not being on ESPN’s list of this year’s top 100 prospects. That’s an indication that NBA teams are more bullish on those players than Givony, who says they’ll be added to his top 100 in the next update.

Meanwhile, Florida’s Jalen Hudson, St. John’s Shamorie Ponds, and Purdue’s Carsen Edwards are among the underclassmen in Givony’s top 100 who weren’t invited to the combine. Those players, along with a few other top-100 prospects, haven’t hired agents and can still withdraw their names from this year’s pool — not receiving an invite to the combine probably means they’re more likely to return to school.

Let’s round up a few more draft-related notes…

  • Following up on his analysis of the combine invitee list, Givony notes in a tweet that Robert Franks (Washington State), Kaiser Gates (Xavier), and Lagerald Vick (Kansas) are among the early entrants who have now hired agents and won’t be returning to school.
  • One intriguing combine invitee is Mitchell Robinson, who didn’t play college ball after being named a McDonald’s All-American. According to Liz Mullen of SportsBusiness Journal (Twitter link), Robinson has signed with veteran NBA agent Raymond Brothers, who says his new client is “easily a top-three talent.”
  • Junior forward Demajeo Wiggins, who averaged a double-double in 2017/18 (13.7 PPG, 10.1 RPG), will be returning to Bowling Green for his senior season, he tells ESPN’s Jeff Goodman (Twitter link). Wiggins had been testing the draft waters without an agent.
  • Pre-draft team workouts are underway, with the Lakers bringing in six prospects for a look on Thursday. According to Mike Bresnahan of Spectrum SportsNet (Twitter link), Sedrick Barefield (Utah), Hayden Dalton (Wyoming), Marcus Foster (Creighton), Deng Adel (Louisville), Anas Mahmoud (Louisville), and Ethan Happ (Wisconsin) earned a look from the Lakers.

Draft Updates: Milton, McCoy, Roach, Ball, More

SMU guard Shake Milton has decided to test the 2018 NBA draft waters, a source tells Patrick Engel of Pony Stampede. A junior, Milton would have the opportunity to return to school for his senior year if he enters the draft without hiring an agent.

Milton, who is currently ranked 34th on Jonathan Givony’s big board at ESPN.com, is coming off a strong season at SMU, averaging 18.0 PPG, 4.7 RPG, and 4.4 APG with a shooting line of .449/.434/.847. In Givony’s most recent mock draft, he has Milton coming off the board at No. 36 to the Mavericks.

Here are more of the latest draft updates from around the basketball world:

  • UNLV center Brandon McCoy, who averaged 16.9 PPG and 10.3 RPG as a freshman and ranks 58th on ESPN’s big board, announced he’ll forgo his remaining years of NCAA eligibility to enter the draft, according to the school. “This is probably one of the toughest decisions I have ever made,” McCoy said in a statement. “I will always be a Rebel, but when weighing all the factors, with the support of my family I have decided it is in my best interest to forgo my collegiate eligibility and pursue my lifelong dream of playing in the NBA.”
  • The 65th-ranked prospect on ESPN’s top 100, Texas junior guard Kerwin Roach II will test the draft waters without hiring an agent, the school announced in a press release. “We want to see where I may stand in this year’s draft, but we’re also keeping all options open,” Roach said. “We want to get the most accurate feedback directly from the NBA, so we can make the best decision for my future.”
  • Marshall junior guard Jon Elmore and Eastern Michigan junior forward Elijah Minnie are each expected to declare for the 2018 draft without hiring an agent, reports Jeff Goodman of ESPN (Twitter links).
  • Washington State’s basketball program announced on Monday that junior forward Robert Franks is declaring for the NBA draft without hiring an agent. An earlier report from Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports suggested that Franks would hire an agent rather than simply testing the waters, but that hasn’t happened yet.
  • Lonzo Ball‘s younger brother LiAngelo Ball has declared for the 2018 NBA draft after spending the last few months playing for Lithuanian team Vytautas Prienu, agent Harrison Gaines tells Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports. The former UCLA swingman isn’t expected to be drafted.