Scottie Lewis

Hornets Sign Scottie Lewis, Arnoldas Kulboka

The Hornets have signed Scottie Lewis and Arnoldas Kulboka to two-way deals, per a team press release.

Lewis is a 6’5″ defensive specialist out of the University of Florida whom the Hornets selected 56th in this year’s draft. As a sophomore, Lewis averaged 7.9 PPG, 1.5 SPG and 1.0 BPG but failed to take much of a step forward as an offensive prospect. He is considered one of the better defensive and athletic players in this year’s draft.

Kulboka was the 55th pick in the 2018 draft and has been a draft-and-stash prospect since then. The 6’10” forward averaged 9.2 PPG and 4 RPG while shooting 42.5% from three on 4.6 attempts a night for Bilboa Basket, and has played for the Hornets during the past two Summer Leagues (2018/19 and 2019/20).

Lewis and Kulboka will supplant Nate Darling and Grant Riller as Charlotte’s two-way players.

Western Notes: Culver, Mann, Grizzlies, Pelicans, Nuggets

It’s possible that Timberwolves third-year wing Jarrett Culver could be available this offseason for a second-round pick, according to a tweet from Darren Wolfson of SKOR North.

Not only has Culver had trouble carving out a role for himself with the Timberwolves, but between last year’s No. 1 pick Anthony Edwards and Malik Beasley, who was signed to a four-year deal last summer, there’s little room on the wing for the 22-year-old to get developmental reps.

The Wolves are only two years removed from trading Dario Saric and the No. 11 pick to Phoenix in order draft Culver with the sixth overall pick, so the idea that they may be willing to settle for a second-round pick is discouraging. But it doesn’t take long for a prospect’s value to decline if he isn’t taking positive strides forward — even if he was a lottery pick.

We have more news from around the Western Conference:

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

Kings Notes: Holmes, Trade Ambitions, Workouts

Richaun Holmes had a breakout season with the Kings this year, averaging career-highs in points, rebounds, assists and blocks and emerging as one of the better defensive centers in the league. But the 27-year-old is entering unrestricted free agency, and as Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee writes, it may be difficult for the Kings to retain him without freeing up cap space via a trade of Harrison Barnes or Buddy Hield.

Anderson takes a look at some of the options GM Monte McNair could choose from to address the massive hole Holmes’ departure would leave, both in the draft – where the Kings have the ninth overall pick – and in free agency, where cheap but productive veterans such as Nerlens Noel, Daniel Theis, and others could come into play.

Jason Jones of The Athletic has similar concerns, and details why the Kings may want to look at centers Alperen Sengun and Kai Jones in this year’s draft.

We have more from out of Sacramento:

  • The Kings have been reported to be one of the more aggressive suitors for Blazers star Damian Lillard, but even if a deal between the Kings and Blazers doesn’t materialize, McNair may look to get involved from a different angle, Anderson writes. The Kings have also been linked to Sixers point guard Ben Simmons, and are generally expected to be aggressive pursuing upgrades this summer. If they don’t believe they’re in a position to land Lillard, they could try to facilitate a deal with the Blazers and Sixers, Anderson writes, in order to land Simmons in a blockbuster three-team trade.
  • The Kings worked out Isaiah Todd and Jaden Springer on Sunday, tweets James Ham of NBC Sports Bay Area. While neither are expected to be in play for the ninth pick, Todd could be available at No. 39 and Springer could be a trade-up candidate. Todd, a gifted shot-creator at 6’10”, could hold interest as a home-run swing in the second round if he’s still on the board.
  • The Kings are also working out potential undrafted free agent targets. Scottie Lewis, a defensive specialist out of Florida and Jose Alvarado, the 2020/21 ACC DPoY worked out on Monday, according to Jason Jones of The Athletic, and Jason Anderson reports that the Kings will work out sharpshooter Marcus Burk on Wednesday.

Raptors Notes: Ujiri, Nurse, Second-Round Picks

There are positive signs that Raptors president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri plans to sign an extension, Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca reports. He’s conducting business as usual, focusing on the draft and free agency. A player agent told Grange “he’s coming back” and another source at the recent combine said Ujiri was acting as if he’s “on a mission to win another title.”

Ujiri is technically a free agent this summer and there are still some concerns another franchise, such as the Clippers, could swoop in at the last minute and try to woo him away. But for now a return to the Raptors is expected.

We have more on the Raptors:

  • Coach Nick Nurse’s former agent has filed a civil lawsuit against him, claiming breach of contract, according to Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today. Warren LeGarie is seeking financial relief, claiming he had a contract with Nurse through the 2023/24 season. Nurse, who is now represented by Andy Miller, agreed to a contract extension in September. According to the suit, Nurse’s salary for this season was readjusted to the $6-8MM range and the four-year extension was worth $32MM. LeGarie is seeking a commission for the portion of the contract he claims he negotiated.
  • The team owns the No. 46 and 47 overall picks in this month’s draft and Blake Murphy of The Athletic examines six wing players it could take with those second-round selections. The group includes Michigan State’s Aaron Henry and Florida’s Scottie Lewis.
  • In case you missed it, Murphy examined the logistics this week of a potential trade with the Warriors involving Pascal Siakam.

Central Notes: Tucker, Bucks, Pacers, Workouts, Pistons

P.J. Tucker is used to being a part of contending teams, but this season took a detour before he landed in Milwaukee, notes Eric Nehm of The Athletic. Tucker had to endure a lot of losing in Houston after the Rockets dealt James Harden in mid-January. He was stuck in a rebuilding situation until the Bucks traded for him in March.

“I thought about the stuff I was doing with Houston this year, this season has just been a long year for me,” Tucker said. “To go from being a top team in the West to falling apart instantly and being the last one left (in Houston) and everything I went through with that, the transition, it was just a lot this season.”

Tucker has enjoyed his time with the Bucks and is looking forward to competing for his first NBA championship, but isn’t sure whether his time in Milwaukee will extend beyond this season, as Nehm writes.

“I’m really excited to be able to pick where I want to go,” Tucker said. “The (contract) extension thing was for a different period of time. We didn’t even talk about that when I came to Milwaukee. There was no extension. I just wanted to come play and get a chance to do what I do and that was it. I just wanted to have a chance.”

Here’s more from around the Central:

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

Full List Of 2021 NBA Draft Combine Participants

The NBA has revealed via press release its list of 69 players who have been invited to next week’s draft combine in Chicago and who are expected to attend. The combine will take place from June 21-17.

While several of the prominent names at the top of the draft will opt to skip the event – most notably, presumed number one pick Cade Cunningham and Gonzaga’s Jalen Suggs – there are several high-profile prospects set to attend. Evan Mobley, widely considered a likely choice for the No. 2 pick as well as potential top-five picks Jonathan Kuminga and Jalen Green headline the class of participants this year, along with potential lottery picks Moses Moody, Corey Kispert and Scottie Barnes.

According to the press release, players will conduct interviews with NBA teams, participate in five-on-five games, and go through shooting, strength and agility drills throughout the week-long event. It’s likely that the more high-profile names will focus more on the interviews than the drills.

The press release also confirms that a select number of standout players from the G League Elite Camp will be invited to participate in the Combine as well.

Here’s the full list of 69 names announced by the NBA today, in alphabetical order:

  1. Max Abmas, G, Oral Roberts (sophomore)
  2. Ochai Agbaji, G, Kansas (junior)
  3. Marcus Bagley, F, Arizona State (freshman)
  4. Scottie Barnes, F, Florida State (freshman)
  5. Charles Bassey, C, Western Kentucky (junior)
  6. Brandon Boston Jr., G/F, Kentucky (freshman)
  7. James Bouknight, G, UConn (sophomore)
  8. Greg Brown, F, Texas (freshman)
  9. Jared Butler, G, Baylor (junior)
  10. Julian Champagnie, G/F, St. John’s (sophomore)
  11. Justin Champagnie, G/F, Pittsburgh (sophomore)
  12. Josh Christopher, G, Arizona State (freshman)
  13. Sharife Cooper, G, Auburn (freshman)
  14. Ayo Dosunmu, G, Illinois (junior)
  15. David Duke, G, Providence (junior)
  16. Kessler Edwards, F, Pepperdine (junior)
  17. Luka Garza, C, Iowa (senior)
  18. RaiQuan Gray, F, Florida State (junior)
  19. Jalen Green, G, G League Ignite (auto-eligible)
  20. Quentin Grimes, G, Houston (junior)
  21. Sam Hauser, F, Virginia (senior)
  22. Aaron Henry, G/F, Michigan State (junior)
  23. Ariel Hukporti, C, Lithuania (born 2002)
  24. Matthew Hurt, F, Duke (sophomore)
  25. Nah’Shon Hyland, G, VCU (sophomore)
  26. Isaiah Jackson, F, Kentucky (freshman)
  27. David Johnson, G, Louisville (sophomore)
  28. Jalen Johnson, F, Duke (freshman)
  29. Keon Johnson, G, Tennessee (freshman)
  30. Herb Jones, F, Alabama (senior)
  31. Kai Jones, F, Texas (sophomore)
  32. Johnny Juzang, G/F, UCLA (sophomore)
  33. Corey Kispert, F, Gonzaga (senior)
  34. Jonathan Kuminga, F, G League Ignite (auto-eligible)
  35. Scottie Lewis, G, Florida (sophomore)
  36. Isaiah Livers, F, Michigan (senior)
  37. Makur Maker, C, Howard (freshman)
  38. Sandro Mamukelashvili, F/C, Seton Hall (senior)
  39. Tre Mann, G, Florida (sophomore)
  40. Matthew Mayer, G/F, Baylor (junior)
  41. Miles McBride, G, West Virginia (sophomore)
  42. Davion Mitchell, G, Baylor (junior)
  43. Evan Mobley, F/C, USC (freshman)
  44. Isaiah Mobley, F, USC (sophomore)
  45. Moses Moody, G, Arkansas (freshman)
  46. Trey Murphy III, G, Virginia (junior)
  47. Daishen Nix, G, G League Ignite (auto-eligible)
  48. John Petty Jr., G, Alabama (senior)
  49. Yves Pons, G/F, Tennessee (senior)
  50. Jason Preston, G, Ohio (junior)
  51. Joshua Primo, G, Alabama (freshman)
  52. Roko Prkacin, F, Croatia (born 2002)
  53. Neemias Queta, C, Utah State (junior)
  54. Austin Reaves, G, Oklahoma (senior)
  55. Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, F, Villanova (sophomore)
  56. Terrence Shannon Jr., G/F, Texas Tech (sophomore)
  57. Day’Ron Sharpe, F/C, North Carolina (freshman)
  58. Jericho Sims, F/C, Texas (senior)
  59. Jaden Springer, G, Tennessee (freshman)
  60. DJ Steward, G, Duke (freshman)
  61. Cameron Thomas, G, LSU (freshman)
  62. JT Thor, F, Auburn (freshman)
  63. Isaiah Todd, F, G League Ignite (auto-eligible)
  64. Trendon Watford, F, LSU (sophomore)
  65. Joe Wieskamp, G/F, Iowa (junior)
  66. Ziaire Williams, F, Stanford (freshman)
  67. McKinley Wright IV, G, Colorado (senior)
  68. Moses Wright, F, Georgia Tech (senior)
  69. Marcus Zegarowski, G, Creighton (junior)

Marcus Bagley Among Prospects Entering 2021 Draft

Arizona State forward Marcus Bagley has decided to declare for the 2021 NBA draft while maintaining his college eligibility, he tells ESPN’s Jonathan Givony.

Bagley, the younger brother of Kings big man Marvin Bagley III, currently ranks 27th overall on ESPN’s big board of 2021 prospects. He missed a portion of his freshman season due to COVID-related interruptions and ankle and calf injuries, but showed enough in 12 games to make him a potential first-round pick.

The 19-year-old averaged 10.8 PPG and 6.2 RPG while shooting 34.7% from beyond the arc in 29.2 minutes per contest during his first – and possibly only – college season.

Bagley is one of many early entrants who has declared for the draft in recent days. Here are some others:

Expected to go pro:

Testing the draft waters:

Draft Decisions: S. Lewis, Armstrong, Camper, Santos-Silva, More

Florida freshman shooting guard Scottie Lewis had been considered a strong candidate to be drafted this spring, ranking 38th overall on ESPN’s big board. However, Lewis has opted not to declare for the draft, as he confirms to Jeff Goodman of Stadium.

“I was so stuck on going to the NBA when I got home, but then I thought long and hard about it and with all the uncertainty about the draft process, and if there will even be a combine and team workouts, I felt like it was the right move to go back to school,” Lewis told Stadium.

As Goodman details, Lewis got feedback from the NBA’s advisory committee, and while he was confident he’d be selected if he entered, he received a wide range of opinions on when exactly he might come off the board. With few opportunities during this year’s pre-draft process to boost his stock, Lewis has opted to play at least one more college season in the hopes of showing individual improvement and enjoying more team success.

“There’s so much more I think I can show, that we can show as a team,” Lewis said. “I want to leave a legacy at Florida. … I’m an optimistic person and no matter where I get drafted, I’m going to work my butt off. But with all this uncertainty, it was best for me to play it safe and put myself in a better position a year from now.”

Although Lewis isn’t entering his name in the 2020 NBA draft pool, several NCAA underclassmen are doing so. In addition to Kentucky guards Tyrese Maxey and Ashton Hagans, whose decisions we covered earlier today, here are some of the recent prospects who will at least test the draft waters: