Scottie Barnes

Scottie Barnes Goes To Raptors With Fourth Pick

The draft’s first surprise came at No. 4 as the Raptors selected Florida State forward Scottie Barnes.

Gonzaga’s Jalen Suggs had been expected be the fourth pick, but Toronto opted to go with Barnes, a game-changing defensive player who made a late charge up draft boards.

Barnes only started seven games during his lone year with the Seminoles, but he made enough of an impact to earn ACC Freshman of the Year honors. He averaged 10.3 points, 4.0 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.5 steals in 24 games.

The selection of Barnes rather than Suggs may indicate that the Raptors will make a spirited effort to keep point guard Kyle Lowry, who will become a free agent next week. Suggs had been seen as a natural replacement for Lowry.

Eastern Draft Notes: Nets, Cavs, Heat, Raptors, Pacers

The Nets own a first-rounder at No. 27 and three second-rounders, so expect them to be very active this evening, Brian Lewis of the New York Post writes. Multiple teams are interested in guard Landry Shamet and the Nets would love to dump DeAndre Jordan‘s salary. Some of those picks could be dealt in one or more deals involving those players. General manager Sean Marks has developed a reputation of making deals on draft night, Lewis notes.

We have more draft-related news involving Eastern Conference teams:

  • The Cavaliers continue to field calls with the No. 3 pick, but they’ll keep it unless they get an overwhelming offer, according to Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. If they hold onto it, the Cavs will take USC big man Evan Mobley, assuming Cade Cunningham and Jalen Green are off the board. Cleveland also believes it can put together a package for another lottery pick in the top 10 by dangling some combination of Collin Sexton, Larry Nance Jr. and its 2022 first-rounder.
  • The Heat do not own a draft pick but that could change, according to Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald writes. Miami could not only make a trade, it could also buy a pick with the $5.6MM it has at its disposal for 2020/21 transactions before the NBA calendar flips on Monday.
  • There’s growing speculation among lottery teams picking after the Raptors at No. 4 that they’ll pull a surprise and take Florida State forward Scottie Barnes, Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report tweets.  However, Jonathan Givony of ESPN claims in his latest mock draft that the league overwhelmingly expects them to select Gonzaga point guard Jalen Suggs, so the Raptors could be playing mind games with their competitors.
  • The Pacers brought in Alex Antetokounmpo (Murcia CB in Spain) and Jaquori McLaughlin (UC Santa Barbara) for workouts on Tuesday, according to a team press release.

O’Connor’s Latest: Pistons, OKC, Grizzlies, Wagner, Pacers, More

The Pistons continued to receive inquiries about what it would take to trade the No. 1 pick, with the draft now just hours away, writes Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer. Although there has been increasing speculation about the possibility of Detroit trading down or even using the top pick to select Jalen Green, executives around the NBA still think the club will end up drafting Cade Cunningham, says O’Connor.

Here’s more from O’Connor on Thursday’s draft:

  • The Thunder have talked to all five teams drafting ahead of them about the possibility of moving up, per O’Connor. Rival executives aren’t sure exactly which prospect(s) Oklahoma City is targeting, but the club is thought to be high on Cunningham, Evan Mobley, and Scottie Barnes.
  • The Grizzlies, who agreed to acquire the No. 10 pick from New Orleans, are interested in another move up to the 6-8 range, according to O’Connor, who says Memphis has pursued last-minute meetings with prospects like Jonathan Kuminga, Alperen Sengun, and Davion Mitchell.
  • Franz Wagner claims he has grown two inches since college, to 6’11”, and multiple league sources believe that’s true, though there has been no update on his official measurement, O’Connor reports.
  • According to O’Connor, the Pacers are “juggling” trade talks involving the No. 13 pick, Myles Turner, and T.J. Warren in separate scenarios. Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report (Twitter link) hears that Indiana is fielding a lot of calls for the No. 13 selection, including from the Hawks. Atlanta has also been in touch with the Hornets about the No. 11 pick, says O’Connor.
  • O’Connor confirms a couple items that were previously speculated, writing that the Knicks are involved in trade discussions for Magic swingman Terrence Ross and reporting that the Hawks have offered the No. 20 pick and Cam Reddish to teams drafting in the late lottery.

O’Connor’s Latest: Nuggets, Grizzlies, Warriors, Kings, Hornets

Within his latest mock draft, Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer confirms a few items we’ve heard elsewhere in recent days. According to O’Connor, Jalen Green‘s workout with the Pistons last week was “outstanding,” the Jazz are willing to attach the No. 30 pick to Derrick Favors in a potential trade, and league sources widely expect Scottie Barnes to be the Magic‘s pick at No. 5.

O’Connor also reiterates that the Rockets continue to explore moving up to No. 1 and says the Thunder have made efforts to trade up, with Green, Cade Cunningham, and Evan Mobley among their presumed targets.

Here are a few more notes of interest from O’Connor’s latest article:

  • League sources tell O’Connor that the Nuggets are trying to move up from No. 26 into the top 20, dangling young bench players or future draft assets in those talks.
  • Although O’Connor confirms that the Grizzlies are interested in Josh Giddey after trading up to No. 10, he says Memphis could try to move up even further, with an eye on Jonathan Kuminga or James Bouknight.
  • Giddey, Kuminga, and Bouknight could also be in the mix for the Warriors at No. 7, according to O’Connor, who says Giddey is thought to be one of Golden State’s “main targets.” O’Connor adds that Keon Johnson‘s ceiling may be the Warriors’ pick at No. 7.
  • The Kings continue to be active in shopping the No. 9 pick, Buddy Hield, and Marvin Bagley III in separate trade scenarios, per O’Connor.
  • League sources continue to connect the Hornets, who will be seeking a center this summer, to Myles Turner, Richaun Holmes, and Nerlens Noel, according to O’Connor.

Draft Rumors: Spurs, Pacers, Knicks, Nets, Duarte, Warriors, More

Reports in recent weeks identified the Nos. 9 and 10 picks in the draft as two of the most available lottery picks. New Orleans agreed on Monday to move the 10th pick to Memphis, while the Kings‘ pick at No. 9 continues to be viewed as available, writes Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report.

In addition to Sacramento’s pick, the Spurs‘ (No. 12) and Pacers‘ (No. 13) selections are among the lottery choices that could be had, according to Fischer, who suggests that both teams are viewed as candidates to move back into the mid-teens or early 20s if the price is right.

As for which teams picking later in the first round might be looking to move up, Fischer says the Knicks (Nos. 19 and 21), Rockets (Nos. 23 and 24), and Nets (No. 27) fit that bill. Brooklyn has been willing to discuss shooting guard Landry Shamet in trade talks, Fischer adds.

Here are a few more draft-related rumors and notes:

  • Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report is the latest reporter to indicate that Chris Duarte is unlikely to fall past the No. 15 pick on Thursday. The Lakers are among the teams that have shown interest in Duarte and have looked into possibly moving up in the draft, Wasserman notes.
  • James Bouknight, Duarte, Trey Murphy, and Jonathan Kuminga are among the prospects the Warriors are eyeing, says Wasserman. While Kuminga isn’t necessarily NBA-ready, there’s support for him within Golden State’s front office from those who consider his upside too significant to pass up, Wasserman adds.
  • The Warriors turned down a Knicks offer of the Nos. 19 and 21 picks for the No. 14 selection, per Wasserman.
  • Some teams outside the top 10 believe Michigan forward Franz Wagner has assurances he’ll be selected in the top 10, according to Wasserman. The Kings at No. 9 are considered a strong candidate for Wagner if they keep their pick.
  • Both Wasserman and Matt Babcock of BasketballNews.com continue to suggest the Raptors aren’t a lock to draft Jalen Suggs at No. 4, since the team has done “extensive homework” on Scottie Barnes.
  • Alabama’s Joshua Primo and Illinois’ Ayo Dosunmu are two of the prospects Wasserman has heard linked to the Nuggets at No. 26.
  • Alperen Sengun has a good chance of being a lottery pick, according to Babcock, who says the Turkish big man could be picked as high as No. 8 by the Magic.

Draft Rumors: Thunder, Pistons, Rockets, Pelicans, Raptors, More

Armed with the Nos. 6, 16, and 18 picks in the first round of this year’s draft and a huge stash of future first-rounders, the Thunder are expected to start “knocking on the door” to try to move into the top three of the 2021 draft, Adrian Wojnarowski said on Sunday’s Woj & Lowe special on ESPN (video link).

In his latest mock draft, ESPN’s Jonathan Givony (Insider link) confirms that the Thunder have been actively exploring the idea of trading up, with Cade Cunningham and Evan Mobley among the prospects they’re said to be high on.

It would take a substantial package for the Thunder to move up into the top three from No. 6, and it remains to be seen whether they’re be willing to eat into their stockpile of draft assets to make such a move, especially if there’s a player they like outside of the top five. James Bouknight could be that player, according to Givony, who says Oklahoma City has “long been high” on the UConn guard, having inquired last year about the possibility of him entering the 2020 draft.

Here are several more draft-related rumors from ESPN’s reporters:

  • It’d be extremely surprising if the Pistons do anything with the No. 1 pick other than select Cade Cunningham, says Givony. Wojnarowski says that decision isn’t finalized yet, but the Pistons are “getting there” on Cunningham, and Woj expects the Oklahoma State guard to be the pick.
  • Jalen Green is increasingly likely to be the No. 2 pick, according to Givony, who writes that the Rockets have been “stonewalled” in their attempts to host Evan Mobley and Jalen Suggs for workouts.
  • The Kings‘ (No. 9) and Pelicans‘ (No. 10) picks continue to be among the most available lottery selections, per Givony. New Orleans is attaching Eric Bledsoe to the No. 10 pick in most trade discussions involving that selection, says Wojnarowski (video link). Givony adds that Franz Wagner has gained traction as a possible target for Sacramento if the club stays in the lottery, despite his “mysterious” pre-draft process — Wagner skipped the combine and hasn’t worked out for many teams.
  • While the Raptors are still widely expected to draft Jalen Suggs, they’ve taken long looks at other top-10 prospects, including Jonathan Kuminga, Scottie Barnes, James Bouknight, and Franz Wagner, says Givony. Wojnarowski and ESPN’s Zach Lowe (video link) expect Toronto to have several more conversations about either moving up or down from No. 4, but also view Suggs as the club’s likeliest choice.
  • The Cavaliers continue to be active in trade talks and are rumored to be discussing the possibility of acquiring a second top-10 pick, according to Givony. Wojnarowski (video link) is skeptical that Cleveland is looking to add more draft assets though, suggesting he doesn’t “see a scenario” in which the club trades Collin Sexton or Darius Garland to get even younger.
  • People around the league have “locked into the idea” that Scottie Barnes is the favorite to be picked at No. 5 by the Magic, reports Givony.

Draft Notes: Giddey, I. Jackson, Jokubaitis, Barnes, Kuminga

Due in large part to his obligations with the Australian national team, Josh Giddey hasn’t worked out for any NBA clubs leading up to the draft, tweets James Ham of NBC Sports California. Giddey has been limited to interviews during the pre-draft process. The 6’8″ guard is still viewed as a potential lottery pick, however, ranking 11th on ESPN’s big board.

Here are a few more draft-related notes:

  • Kentucky center Isaiah Jackson told reporters today that he has worked out for the Hawks, Nets, Kings, Thunder, Rockets, and Spurs, according to Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic (Twitter link). He also confirmed that he auditioned for New York, Indiana, and Charlotte, as was previously reported.
  • Rokas Jokubaitis, one of eight international early entrants who kept his name in the 2021 NBA draft, signed a four-year contract with Barcelona this week, as Alessandro Maggi of Sportando relays. As a BasketNews.com report explains, an NBA team could still draft Jokubaitis and bring him stateside immediately, but would have to pay a $750K buyout to his old team, Zalgiris Kaunas. If he remains in Europe, Barcelona would pay Zalgiris Kaunas a more modest buyout.
  • Sam Vecenie of The Athletic takes a look at each team’s biggest need, then considers which prospects each club should target with its first draft pick to address that need.
  • Several coaches and executives at various levels (NBA, G League, and college) shared their thoughts on a handful of draft prospects with David Aldridge of The Athletic. Among the topics Aldridge explored: The Scottie Barnes vs. Jonathan Kuminga debate — the two forwards are the best bets to be drafted fifth and sixth overall in some order, and both have fans among NBA executives.

Atlantic Notes: Barnes, Raptors Picks, Mann, Jackson, MacLeay

Projected lottery pick Scottie Barnes worked out for the Raptors on Tuesday, Jonathan Givony and Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports. Toronto holds the No. 4 pick and Florida State’s Barnes is the top-rated small forward on ESPN’s Best Available list, though he’s ranked No. 6 overall.

We have more from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Raptors have back-to-back second-round picks at No. 46 and No. 47 and Blake Murphy of The Athletic takes a look at a dozen prospects the front office might consider at those spots. Georgia Tech’s Moses Wright and Michigan’s Isaiah Livers are among the players profiled.
  • Tre Mann, Charles Bassey, Ayo Dosunmu and Isaiah Jackson worked out for the Knicks on Tuesday, Ian Begley of SNY.TV reports. New York has picks at No. 19, 21 and 32. Kentucky forward Jackson (No. 19 on ESPN’s list) and Florida guard Mann (No. 22) are the highest-rated prospects among that group.
  • The Celtics have hired DJ MacLeay away from the Sixers as a player enhancement coach, Clevis Murray reports (via Twitter). He’s been Philadelphia’s video coordinator the last three seasons.

Draft Rumors: Warriors, Kings, Pacers, Cavs, Raptors, Magic, OKC

The Warriors, Kings, and Pacers are among the late-lottery teams that are exploring trade scenarios involving their first-round picks, according to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer.

As O’Connor writes, the Warriors remain “highly active” in trade talks involving the No. 7 pick — Golden State also holds the No. 14 selection and would presumably be open to moving it as well. As for the Kings, they’ve shopped the No. 9 overall pick for players capable of helping them right away, sources tell The Ringer.

O’Connor describes the Pacers as “incredibly active” in trade discussions, having talked about scenarios that would move them into the top 10 or out of the draft entirely. Currently, Indiana holds the No. 13 pick.

Here are a few more draft-related rumors from O’Connor latest mock:

  • The Cavaliers have received “significant” trade interest in the No. 3 overall pick, according to O’Connor, who says the Raptors (No. 4) and Magic (No. 5) are among the clubs that have made offers to move up. Evan Mobley is considered the favorite to be the third player off the board, though it’s not entirely clear that he’s the player that Toronto, Orlando, and other interested teams are targeting.
  • If the Raptors remain at No. 4, they’re not a lock to select Jalen Suggs, says O’Connor. Executives around the NBA tell The Ringer that Toronto’s interest in forward Scottie Barnes is legitimate.
  • O’Connor’s newest mock draft has the Thunder selecting Jonathan Kuminga at No. 6, and may execs have the young forward penciled in at that slot. However, league sources tell O’Connor that Oklahoma City is high on both Barnes and James Bouknight, so there’s a chance Kuminga could slip further.

Draft Notes: Garza, Cooper, Pacers, Mock Drafts

The Sixers, who are in the market for a reserve center, worked out a pair of big men today, according to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Iowa’s Luka Garza, the two-time national player of the year, was in Philadelphia, along with Utah State’s Neemias Queta.

Garza, who is projected to be taken anywhere from the end of the first round to the middle of the second round, has dropped weight since the college season ended in an effort to become more mobile on defense. Queta was named Player of the Year in the Mountain West Conference and was a finalist for Naismith Defensive Player of the Year honors.

With Dwight Howard entering free agency, Pompey notes that the Sixers don’t have a reliable backup to Joel Embiid. Philadelphia holds the 28th and 50th selections in next week’s draft.

There’s more draft news to pass along: