Robert Woodard

Kings Sign Robert Woodard II To Four-Year Deal

1:00pm: Woodard’s first NBA deal will be a four-year contract with a $1.5MM guaranteed salary in year one, reports ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Twitter links). It’ll feature a $3.3MM overall guaranteed, according to Marks. That sounds like two guaranteed seasons with a small partial guarantee in year three.


12:48pm: The Kings have made it official with one of their second-round picks, announcing that they’ve signed former Mississippi State forward Robert Woodard II to his first NBA contract.

After playing a modest role off the bench as a freshman in 2018/19, Woodard moved into Mississippi State’s starting lineup last season and took an impressive step forward as a sophomore, averaging 11.4 PPG, 6.5 RPG, and 1.1 SPG. In 31 games (33.1 MPG), he posted an impressive .495 FG% and .429 3PT%.

Woodard, who declared for the draft as an early entrant, was selected with the 40th overall pick last month and was sent from Memphis to Sacramento as part of a draft-night trade.

Terms of Woodard’s deal aren’t yet known, but the players picked at No. 39 (Elijah Hughes) and No. 41 (Tre Jones) each got fully guaranteed salaries for the next two seasons, so I’d be surprised if Woodard doesn’t get a similar commitment from the Kings.

Assuming his 2020/21 salary is guaranteed, Woodard will be the 13th player on the roster with a full guarantee for the coming season. That would leave just two spots on the 15-man regular season roster for some combination of Frank Kaminsky, Glenn Robinson III, Chimezie Metu, and No. 43 overall pick Jahmi’us Ramsey. Sacramento does still have a two-way contract slot still open too, so I’d guess the team will try to sign Ramsey to a two-way deal.

Grizzlies, Kings Swap Second-Round Picks

NOVEMBER 19: The Kings officially announced their trade with the Grizzlies, acquiring the rights to Woodard (No. 40) and a 2022 second-round pick in exchange for the rights to Tillman (No. 35).


NOVEMBER 18: The Grizzlies are trading the 40th pick in tonight’s draft and a future second-rounder to the Kings for the 35th selection, tweets Chris Herrington of The Daily Memphian. The future second will be the lesser of the Pistons’ or Bulls’ picks in 2022 (Twitter link).

Memphis used that pick to draft Michigan State center Xavier Tillman. The 6’8″ junior averaged 13.7 points and 10.3 rebounds in 31 games for the Spartans last season.

With the 40th pick, Sacramento selected Mississippi State forward Robert Woodard. The 6’7″ sophonmore averaged 11.4 points and 6.5 rebounds in 31 games.

Western Notes: Nesmith, McMillan, Rockets, Diaz

Small forward isn’t a position of need for the Nuggets but if they go in that direction with their draft pick, Vanderbilt’s Aaron Nesmith or Mississippi State’s Robert Woodard could make sense, Mike Singer of the Denver Post writes. Denver holds the No. 22 pick. Nesmith would have to slip for the Nuggets to snare him at that spot — he’s currently rated at No. 13 overall on ESPN’s best available list, while Woodard is ranked No. 26. Nesmith’s perimeter shooting could compel Denver to attempt to move up in the first round, Singer adds.

We have more from the Western Conference:

  • Jamelle McMillan will not return on the Pelicans’ coaching staff with Stan Van Gundy in charge, Christian Clark and Scott Kushner of the New Orleans Times Picayune report. McMillan has been in the New Orleans organization for eight seasons, though he also had a stint with the Suns. He’s the son of former Pacers coach Nate McMillan, who is reportedly joining the Hawks’ staff.
  • New Rockets GM Rafael Stone hints that he’ll be in the market for a traditional center, ESPN’s Tim MacMahon notes. Stone said he wants a roster with “more optionality” next season, presumably meaning Houston doesn’t want to play small ball on a regular basis. “We’re definitely not going into this offseason saying, ‘We don’t want anyone over 6-7,'” Stone said.
  • With the Clippers preparing to move to a new arena in 2024, the organization has announced several hires who will help with the transition, according to a team press release. Most notably, Alex Diaz has been named Chief Operating Officer. He will primarily oversee the operations planning of Inglewood Basketball & Entertainment Center and provide operational council for the Clippers, Honey Training Center and the LA Forum, which was acquired earlier this year by team owner Steve Ballmer.

Draft Notes: Okongwu, Stewart, Woodard, Bane

He’s unlikely to be the first center taken in next month’s draft, but USC’s Onyeka Okongwu believes he can become the best big man in the 2020 class, writes Mike Schmitz of ESPN. Most mock drafts have former Memphis center James Wiseman going in the top three with Okongwu slotted a few picks later. The former Trojan has confidence in what he can offer an NBA team.

“I feel like I’m higher than all of them,” Okongwu said. “I just do all the little things well. I just play basketball. I know how to win. … I just want to be impactful and have an essential role in helping a team win.”

Okongwu was USC’s best player in his lone season at the school, averaging 16.2 points and 8.6 rebounds in 28 games. He also had a true shooting percentage over 65% and ranked 10th in the NCAA in player efficiency. His defensive versatility, particularly his ability to disrupt the pick-and-roll, should translate well to the next level.

“It’s natural,” Okongwu said. “My AAU coach used to tell me, ‘You can have a bad day on offense but never a bad day on defense.’ When he told me that, it always stuck with me the rest of my life and now it shows.”

There’s more draft news to pass along:

  • Washington’s Isaiah Stewart considers himself “the biggest sleeper in the draft,” according to Bryan Kalbrosky of HoopsHype. Stewart has slid in draft projections since the start of last season and is now considered a late first-rounder. He believes the disrupted pre-draft process, including the lack of a traditional draft combine, cost him an opportunity to show teams what he can do. “People forgot who I am,” Stewart said. “I’m not sure if it’s because we had a losing season or not. But these guys that they have in the draft over me are guys I’ve been beating my whole life.”
  • In a separate story, Mississippi State’s Robert Woodard tells Kalbrosky he’s been getting feedback from NBA teams that puts him in a range between the 25th and 40th pick. “A lot of teams are pretty interested in my game,” Woodard said. “It’s just a matter of being able to prove myself, whether it be through the virtual combine or otherwise. … I want to prove myself and establish who I am for the teams because a lot of teams are very interested in me, but they just don’t know my full potential yet.”
  • TCU’s Desmond Bane will have met with all 30 NBA teams by the end of the month and is making an impression with his character and work ethic, notes CJ Moore of The Athletic. The 22-year-old is among the oldest players in the draft and brings a cerebral approach to the game.

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.

Southeast Notes: Bamba, Okeke, Fultz, Hield, Howard

Magic center Mohamed Bamba, who missed the first-round series against Milwaukee, has not experienced any serious health issues after leaving the Orlando campus during the seeding round, Roy Parry of the Orlando Sentinel reports. Bamba departed in mid-August for a comprehensive post-coronavirus evaluation after he struggled from the the virus he contracted in June.

“The doctors have ruled out anything serious but it will take some time to clear his system. That’ll probably be measured in months, not weeks,” Magic president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman said.

We have more from the Southeast Division:

  • Weltman said rookie forward Chuma Okeke is in the “late stage of his rehab and development” and the Magic expect him to contribute next season, according to Josh Robbins of The Athletic. Orlando drafted Okeke with the 16th overall pick last year even though he was recovering from a torn ACL suffered during the NCAA Tournament.
  • Coach Steve Clifford expressed satisfaction with Markelle Fultz‘s development this season, Robbins relays in the same story. “He’s obviously a very talented guy. … I’m beyond ecstatic with the way that he played,” Clifford said. Fultz averaged 12.1 PPG and 5.1 APG during the regular season.
  • Buddy Hield and Spencer Dinwiddie are among the trade candidates that the Hawks might pursue to pair with Trae Young, Chris Kirschner of The Athletic opines. Kirschner and Peachtree Hoops’ Andrew Kelly take an in-depth look at what type of trades Atlanta might explore this offseason using the team’s cap room.
  • The Wizards have recently interviewed draft prospects Markus Howard of Marquette and Robert Woodard of Mississippi State, Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington reports. They are potential targets with the Wizards’ second-rounder at No. 37 overall.

Mississippi State’s Robert Woodard II Entering Draft

Mississippi State forward Robert Woodard II has elected to enter the 2020 NBA draft, informing Jonathan Givony of ESPN of his decision. His plan is to go pro and forgo his final two years of college eligibility, though he’s keeping his options open for now.

“I am going in to the draft with the intention of not going back to school,” Woodard told ESPN. “I am maintaining my eligibility because of the uncertainty about the dates and what workouts will look like, but I don’t look it at is as testing the waters. I am all-in with this thing.”

[RELATED: 2020 NBA Draft Early Entrants List]

After playing a modest role off the bench as a freshman, Woodard moved into the starting lineup and took an impressive step forward in his sophomore season, averaging 11.4 PPG, 6.5 RPG, and 1.1 SPG. In 31 games (33.1 MPG), he posted an impressive .495 FG% and .429 3PT%.

According to Givony, Woodard’s 7’1″ wingspan, “chiseled” frame, defensive versatility, and improving outside shot could make him an ideal combo forward at the NBA level. The youngster ranks 24th overall on ESPN’s big board, meaning he projects as a likely first-round pick.