Spurs Rumors

Haynes’ Latest: Harris, Beasley, KCP, Ingram, George

The Pistons, Spurs, and Pelicans are among the teams expected to have interest in Tobias Harris this offseason, according to Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report (video link), who confirms that the Jazz and Mavericks are in that group as well, as previously reported. While Harris, an unrestricted free agent, isn’t expected to return to Philadelphia, he’ll draw “ample interest” from other suitors, says Haynes.

Detroit, San Antonio, and Utah are all in position to open up cap room this summer, whereas New Orleans and Dallas project to at least flirt with the luxury tax line. If the Pelicans or Mavs pursue Harris, it would likely have to be via sign-and-trade, Haynes notes.

Here are a few more items of interest from Haynes:

  • Malik Beasley has almost certainly played his last game with the Bucks, according to Haynes (video link). Milwaukee doesn’t have the ability to offer Beasley more than 20% above his minimum salary, whereas the veteran swingman will likely be seeking a deal in the mid-level range after ranking among the NBA’s top three-point shooters in 2023/24 — he made 41.3% of 6.9 attempts per game.
  • If Kentavious Caldwell-Pope doesn’t agree to a new deal with the Nuggets during the exclusive negotiating period, he won’t pick up his $15.4MM player option for 2024/25 at the June 29 deadline, per Haynes (video link). That doesn’t mean Caldwell-Pope will definitely leave Denver, since he and the team could still come to terms after that, but he would at least test the market in that scenario.
  • Haynes says he “definitely” thinks Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram will be traded this summer, though he’s still working to confirm the likeliest landing spots for the former All-Star (video link).
  • Five months after they extended Kawhi Leonard, the Clippers still don’t have a deal in place with their other star forward, but they’re “not panicking” as Paul George nears potential free agency, according to Haynes, who says signing the nine-time All-Star to a new contract continues to be L.A.’s number one offseason priority (video link). Haynes adds that he believes the Magic have shown some interest in George, which has been previously reported.

Draft Workouts: Spurs, Suns, Pacers, Blazers, Lakers, Wolves, Thomas

The Spurs, who are widely expected to draft at least one guard next Wednesday, recently worked out both Stephon Castle of UConn and Devin Carter of Providence, according to Kelly Iko of The Athletic.

As we relayed on Wednesday, recent mock drafts from ESPN and Bleacher Report both have San Antonio drafting Castle at No. 4, and the team is said to be high on Carter as well. Iko confirms as much, writing that the Spurs have “strong interest” in Carter, Castle, and Kentucky’s Reed Sheppard, with Carter’s private workout “resonating” among the team’s decision-makers.

Here’s more pre-draft workout news from around the NBA:

Rockets Rumors: Clingan, Sheppard, No. 3 Pick, Smart, More

The Rockets have UConn center Donovan Clingan and Kentucky guard Reed Sheppard at the top of their board heading into next week’s draft, league sources tell Kelly Iko of The Athletic. Houston controls the No. 3 overall pick.

According to Iko, Clingan seems to have the edge over Sheppard, but it’s not a sure thing the 7’2″ big man will be available with the third pick. ESPN recently reported that while Zaccharie Risacher remains the favorite to go No. 1 to the Hawks, Atlanta is also high on Clingan, who may be Risacher’s top competition. Ken Seguira of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has also heard the Hawks are high on Clingan.

The Rockets already have Alperen Sengun at center and he shares an agent with Clingan, Iko writes. Those factors — plus the trade deadline addition of Steven Adams — would seemingly work against Houston selecting Clingan, and the team has been unable to get him in for a private workout to this point. Sheppard, meanwhile, will visit the Rockets this week, sources tell Iko.

Bleacher Report’s Jonathan Wasserman recently suggested Houston might not have much leverage if they decide to trade the No. 3 selection due to a perception that there’s a minimal difference in value between that pick and those later in the lottery. However, Iko has heard differently, writing that there’s “rapidly growing interest” from rival teams in Clingan and Sheppard. Those teams may also be motivated to move up ahead of the Spurs, who control the Nos. 4 and 8 picks.

While several teams have shown interest in the third pick, team and league sources tell Iko the Hornets, Grizzlies and Trail Blazers have been “the most vocal” in their pursuit of the selection, with Memphis and Charlotte particularly “aggressive.”

Iko hears all three clubs are fans of both Clingan and Sheppard. The Hornets control the 6th and 42nd overall picks; the Grizzlies control Nos. 9, 39 and 57; and the Blazers control Nos. 7, 14, 34 and 40.

Here are some more Rockets rumors, all from Iko:

  • In an ideal situation, Houston would prefer to use the No. 3 pick as part of a package to acquire a star player like Donovan Mitchell, but there hasn’t been much league-wide “activity or movement” when it comes to stars this offseason, according to Iko. The Pelicans are rumored to have floated a proposal of Brandon Ingram for Sengun, but Houston has “no interest” in that deal, team sources tell Iko. Iko also hears New Orleans discussed Ingram with the Sixers.
  • If the Rockets can’t land a star and still decide to move the third pick, Iko wonders if a Grizzlies offer centered around Marcus Smart and the ninth pick could make sense for both sides. According to Iko’s sources, GM Rafael Stone and head coach Ime Udoka are fans of Smart, who played under Udoka in Boston. In a move-back scenario, Houston might be interested in selecting Tennesee forward Dalton Knecht, says Iko.
  • Houston also controls a second-round pick (No. 44) in the upcoming draft. San Francisco’s Jonathan Mogbo, Minnesota’s Cam Christie, Illinois’ Terrence Shannon, Colorado’s KJ Simpson, UCLA’s Adem Bona and Marquette’s Oso Ighodaro are among the prospects who have been discussed at that spot, though Iko acknowledges some of those players might get drafted before then. Clemson forward/center PJ Hall, Texas forward Dylan Disu, St. John’s guard Daniss Jenkins and Washington State forward Jaylen Wells are among the players who will work out for Houston this week, Iko reports.
  • For free agency, Iko hears the Rockets have placed a high priority on adding shooting, but the team is only interested in two-way contributors — Alec Burks, Gary Harris, Talen Horton-Tucker and Saddiq Bey are names to watch. Bey, however, will be a restricted free agent if he’s given a qualifying offer, which complicates matters (he’s also recovering from a torn ACL). A source close to Eric Gordon tells Iko that the veteran guard is “50-50” on exercising his player option to remain with the Suns, but the longtime former Rocket is also open to a reunion with Houston. The Rockets will have the non-taxpayer mid-level exception to dangle in free agency, Iko notes.

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.

Draft Notes: Green Room, Mock Drafts, Samuel

Four more players have received green room invites for the 2024 NBA draft. Dayton’s DaRon Holmes II, Indiana’s Kel’el Ware, Colorado’s Tristan Da Silva and Pittsburgh’s Carlton Carrington have all accepted invitations to attend the draft in person, according to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony (all Twitter links here).

Holmes, the A-10 Player of the Year, averaged 20.4 points, 8.5 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 2.1 blocks per game last season while shooting 54.4% from the field and 38.6% from three. He’s listed at No. 39 on ESPN’s big board and is the lowest-ranked prospect on that list to be invited.

Ware (No. 24 on ESPN’s list) averaged 15.9 points and 9.9 rebounds this season in 30 games with Indiana after transferring from Oregon. Da Silva (No. 17 on ESPN) is a toolsy forward who spent all four seasons of his college career at Colorado. He averaged 16.0 PPG this season while making 39.5% of his 4.8 three-point attempts per game. Carrington (No. 19) made the ACC’s All-Freshman Team this season after averaging 13.8 PPG and 4.1 APG, establishing himself as a premier pull-up mid-range shooter.

Holmes, Ware, Da Silva and Carrington join France’s Zaccharie Risacher, Alex Sarr and Tidjane Salaun, Serbia’s Nikola Topic, UConn’s Donovan Clingan and Stephon Castle, Kentucky’s Reed Sheppard and Rob Dillingham, Duke’s Jared McCain and Kyle Filipowski, Colorado’s Cody Williams, Tennessee’s Dalton Knecht, Providence’s Devin Carter, Baylor’s Yves Missi and Ja’Kobe Walter, Kansas’s Johnny Furphy, Miami’s Kyshawn George, USC’s Isaiah Collier and the G League Ignite’s Matas Buzelis and Ron Holland as the 24 players who accepted invitations to the green room. Purdue’s Zach Edey also received an invite, which he declined.

We have more draft-related notes:

  • There’s plenty of room for change in the next week leading up to the draft, but for now James L. Edwards of The Athletic sees Sarr as the best prospect in this class and believes he’s the player the Hawks should take at No. 1 if they don’t trade down. In a new mock draft that also involves Kelly Iko and Josh Robbins, The Athletic has Risacher going second to the Wizards and Castle going third to the Rockets. Carter going No. 8 to the Spurs and Holland falling to No. 11 to Chicago are among some of the more intriguing picks in the mock.
  • The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor doesn’t view Sarr or Risacher as the best players in this class, according to his latest big board, but still has Atlanta selecting Risacher in his latest mock. O’Connor lists Castle, Clingan and Buzelis as the best three players in the class, in that order. He has Holland as the 13th-best player and Bobi Klintman as the No. 18 prospect in the class. Terrence Shannon Jr., Nikola Djurisic and Trentyn Flowers are other prospects O’Connor has first-round grades on, deviating from the consensus. As for his mock, O’Connor has Sarr going second to Washington, Sheppard going third to Houston and Buzelis going fourth to San Antonio.
  • Former Florida and Seton Hall forward Tyrese Samuel has worked out for the Knicks, Spurs, Nets, Heat, Jazz, Bulls, Pelicans, Cavaliers, Raptors, Suns, Lakers and Pistons, NJ.com’s Adam Zagoria tweets. The 6-10 Samuel averaged 13.9 points, 7.4 rebounds, 1.1 steals and 1.1 blocks last season for Florida.

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.

Draft Rumors: Hawks, Risacher, Sarr, Knecht, C. Williams, Dillingham, More

The Hawks don’t appear to have made any final decisions yet, but intel from teams around the league suggests forward Zaccharie Risacher still looks like the favorite to be the No. 1 overall pick, Jonathan Givony writes in ESPN’s latest mock draft (Insider link). Risacher is working out for Atlanta on Wednesday.

While Alexandre Sarr is widely considered to be another contender for that No. 1 pick, Givony says the Hawks have been unable to get the French big man in for a workout so far, and suggests that UConn center Donovan Clingan might be Risacher’s top competition for the top spot in the draft. Clingan impressed Atlanta during his workout with his passing ability and his performance in film study and interviews, according to Givony.

The Hawks have brought in several lottery prospects for workouts, including Reed Sheppard, Matas Buzelis, Cody Williams, and Ron Holland, Givony notes, which suggests they’re preparing for potential trade-down scenarios as well. One possibility that has been “widely discussed” by rival teams, per Givony, is a deal with the Spurs that would see the Hawks move down to No. 4 and get back one of their draft assets controlled by San Antonio, such as Atlanta’s 2025 first-rounder. A move along those lines would put the Hawks in a better position to rebuild, as Givony observes.

If Atlanta doesn’t select Sarr with the No. 1 pick, teams and agents believe he’ll come off the board at No. 2 to the Wizards, per Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report. Both Wasserman and ESPN have Sarr second overall in their latest mock drafts.

Here are several more draft-related tidbits from ESPN and Bleacher Report:

  • Dalton Knecht‘s draft range seems increasingly small, according to Givony, who says that every team between No. 4 and No. 9 (with the exception of the Pistons at No. 5) has shown interest in the Tennessee forward.
  • Rival teams are predicting that Colorado’s Cody Williams will be picked higher than expected, possibly by the Spurs or Pistons, says Wasserman, who has Williams at No. 7 in his mock. Givony adds that Williams has worked out or will work out for nearly every team in the top 10 (except for the Rockets) and that teams with lower picks haven’t been able to bring him in, signaling that his camp is confident about his draft range.
  • Kentucky’s Rob Dillingham hasn’t been able to work out for teams for most of the pre-draft process due to an ankle injury, prompting speculation that he could slide on draft night, according to both ESPN’s Jeremy Woo and Wasserman. ESPN has Dillingham coming off the board at No. 8 to the Spurs, but Wassmeran’s sources believe San Antonio is an unlikely landing spot based on what the team is signaling to agents. Wasserman has the former Wildcats guard at No. 11 in his mock.
  • Ja’Kobe Walter, one of the first 12 players who received a green room invite, worked out for teams like the Pistons, Hornets, Spurs, Jazz, and Kings, per Givony, which bodes well for his odds of being a lottery pick.
  • French forward Tidjane Salaun worked out for the Thunder, Kings, and Trail Blazers, then sprained his ankle at a workout with the Spurs this past weekend, Givony reports. Salaun had also lined up workouts with the Pistons and Hornets, but his ankle injury might prevent those sessions from happening.
  • Serbian point guard Nikola Topic has had a handful of meetings scheduled with lottery teams, including the Trail Blazers, Spurs, Grizzlies, and Jazz, Givony writes. However, Givony cautions that a team interested in picking Topic will have to prepare for the possibility of a redshirt rookie year due to the guard’s partially torn ACL.
  • Teams were “buzzing” about Indiana center Kel’el Ware after a strong shooting display at his pro day, according to Wasserman, who says the big man is receiving consideration as high as the late lottery. Givony agrees that Ware seems to be building momentum in the pre-draft process, but notes that he hasn’t received a green room invite yet — that could change later this week when the final invites are sent out. According to Givony, Ware has worked out for over a dozen teams, ranging from late-lottery clubs to those near the end of the first round. The Bucks are one of those teams, and ESPN’s mock has Ware going to Milwaukee at No. 23.

Could Cody Williams Be Their Pick?

  • Colorado shooting guard Cody Williams could be a dark-horse candidate for the Spurs with the No. 4 pick, according to LJ Ellis of SpursTalk.com. Williams has a chance to develop into a multi-purpose wing with size, which would make him an intriguing choice as the Spurs build around star big man Victor Wembanyama.

Scotto’s Latest: J. Smith, Toppin, Weaver, Hartenstein, Huerter, O’Neale, More

Early indications suggest that Pacers power forward Jalen Smith will decline his $5.4MM player option for next season and become an unrestricted free agent, Michael Scotto of HoopsHype reports in his latest aggregate mock draft. Sources tell Scotto that a final decision hasn’t been made, but Smith appears to be leaning toward testing the free agency waters. He has a June 29 deadline to opt in for 2024/25.

Smith, 24, appeared in 61 games this season and posted a career high in scoring at 9.9 PPG, along with 5.5 rebounds and 1.0 assist in 17.2 minutes per night. He was selected 10th overall by Phoenix in the 2020 draft and was acquired by Indiana at the 2022 trade deadline.

Scotto notes that rival teams are watching to see whether the Pacers will re-sign restricted free agent Obi Toppin. If the fourth-year power forward reaches a new deal, there’s a belief that Indiana might be willing to trade Jarace Walker, who was a lottery pick last June.

Scotto shares more inside information in his aggregate draft:

  • Washington is believed to be a potential destination for former Pistons general manager Troy Weaver, who recently parted ways with the team, Scotto writes, noting that Weaver was once part of Oklahoma City’s front office along with Wizards executives Michael Winger and Will Dawkins.
  • Scotto talked with some NBA executives who believe the Magic should be considered a threat to sign Knicks center Isaiah Hartenstein. Orlando could have close to $50MM in cap space to work with.
  • Executives also expect the Kings to explore deals involving Kevin Huerter and Harrison Barnes, Scotto adds.
  • The Raptors plan to work out an extension with Scottie Barnes this summer, sources tell Scotto. The versatile swingman made his first All-Star appearance this year.
  • Scotto echoes other reports in stating that Royce O’Neale is likely to reach a new contract with the Suns. The 31-year-old forward, who was acquired from Brooklyn at the trade deadline, is expected to receive about $10MM per year, according to Scotto.
  • Vice president of basketball operations Brent Barry isn’t expected to return to the Spurs next season, sources tell Scotto. The longtime NBA player has been an executive with San Antonio since 2018.
  • Assistant coach Jason Love will likely leave the Sixers and join Doc Rivers’ staff with the Bucks, Scotto states. Love previously worked for Rivers in Philadelphia.
  • The Hornets are assembling a staff of assistants for new head coach Charles Lee. Scotto hears it will include Lamar SkeeterJosh LongstaffChris JentRyan FrazierZach PetersonMatt Hill and Blaine Mueller.

Southwest Notes: Doncic, Mavs, Spurs, Rockets, Pelicans

Luka Doncic has averaged nearly 30 points per night in the first three games of the NBA Finals, but the Mavericks were outscored by 10 points when he was on the floor in Game 1; he committed eight turnovers and missed four free throws in Game 2; and he made just 11-of-27 shots in Game 3 before fouling out of a three-point game with over four minutes still on the clock. He has also been repeatedly targeted on defense over the course of the series.

While head coach Jason Kidd isn’t throwing in the towel on this series with his team facing a 3-0 deficit, he noted on Thursday that no matter what happens the rest of the way, he expects his star player to learn from the challenges he has faced this spring and use those experiences as a springboard to get even better in future seasons.

“The history is there for us to learn from, when you look at great players and the struggles,” Kidd told reporters (story via Dan Devine of Yahoo Sports). “You look at (Michael Jordan) and the struggles that he had against Detroit. You look at some of Magic Johnson’s struggles. You look at LeBron (James‘) first time around (against the Spurs in the 2007 Finals). It’s there to learn from. But the great ones, they use that going into the next season, or the next couple of seasons, to try to get back there. Because now they understand experience is a big thing.”

Here’ more from around the Southwest:

  • Kidd isn’t planning to make any changes to the Mavericks‘ starting lineup in Game 4, he said on Thursday, as Joe Vardon of The Athletic relays.
  • Which prospects in this year’s draft would fit best next to Victor Wembanyama for the Spurs? Jonathan Givony of ESPN (Insider link) considers that question, offering up some suggestions for San Antonio at No. 4, No. 8, No. 35, and No. 48. Kentucky guards Reed Sheppard and Rob Dillingham are Givony’s top suggestions for the fourth overall pick, while Nikola Topic and Dalton Knecht lead his list at eighth overall. Terrence Shannon, Adem Bona, Cam Spencer, and Jaylen Wells are among the players Givony likes as second-round targets.
  • The Spurs appear to be eyeing more experienced backcourt prospects with their second-round picks, according to Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio Express-News (subscription required), who takes a closer look at Boogie Ellis‘ recent visit to San Antonio and notes that Houston’s Jamal Shead also recently worked out for the club.
  • Shead visited Houston on Friday, confirms Kelly Iko of The Athletic, tweeting that Tyler Thomas (Hofstra), Isaiah Stevens (Colorado State), and N’Faly Dante (Oregon) were among the other prospects working out for the Rockets. The club controls the No. 44 overall pick in addition to No. 3.
  • An evaluation of Smoothie King Center’s infrastructure is nearing completion, according to Christian Clark of NOLA.com, who says the results of that assessment will help determine whether the Pelicans renovate their current arena or need to build a new one.