Shizz Alston Jr.

Central Draft Notes: Pacers, Cavs, Bucks, Pistons

Holding the 18th and 50th overall picks in the 2019 NBA draft, the Pacers should have a wide variety of options available to them in both the first and second rounds, so they’re doing plenty of homework in the weeks leading up to the draft.

On Wednesday, the Pacers held a pre-draft workout that featured Shizz Alston Jr. (Temple), Ky Bowman (Boston College), Tacko Fall (UCF), Mfiondu Kabengele (Florida State), Juwan Morgan (Indiana), and Elijah Thomas (Clemson), according to the team. Fall’s ability to participate in that session was limited after he rolled an ankle, as we noted yesterday.

Today, the Pacers are working out six more prospects, announcing that Luguentz Dort (Arizona State), Kyle Guy (Virginia), Amir Hinton (Shaw), Talen Horton-Tucker (Iowa State), Cody Martin (Nevada), and Josh Reaves (Penn State) are in town.

The Pacers will audition six more prospects on Friday, per the club’s latest press release. Ignas Brazdeikis (Michigan), Jon Elmore (Marshall), Aric Holman (Mississippi State), Luke Maye (UNC), Miye Oni (Yale), and Admiral Schofield (Tennessee) will attend that session.

Here are more updates on pre-draft workouts from around the Central:

Sixers Notes: Marjanovic, Butler, Harris, Workouts

Boban Marjanovic only spent a half season with the Sixers, but it was enough to make him want to stay. In an interview with the Serbian website Zurnal (translated by Stefan Djordjevic of EuroHoops), Marjanovic said his preference in free agency is to remain in Philadelphia.

“ I don’t know what will happen. … I should, almost 90 percent, stay in Philadelphia but that’s not known yet, just speculation,” he said. “It was nice for me there, so why not.”

The Sixers became Marjanovic’s fourth team in four NBA seasons when the Clippers traded him there in February. He averaged career highs of 8.2 points and 5.1 rebounds in 22 games after the deal.

“The team is great, the players are talented,” Marjanovic added. “I think we had a chance to be the team playing the Finals this year but we had that bad luck of conceding the last-second basket. The city lives for basketball and sports in general. They have hockey, baseball, football, they follow everything, everything is organized until the very end and everybody knows who and what you are. Wherever you appear, everybody recognizes you because they follow all of it. A very nice experience.”

There’s more news from Philadelphia:

Southeast Notes: Wizards Workouts, Hornets, Hawks Offseason

The Wizards brought in three guards and three forwards during a pre-draft workout on Monday, according to the team’s website. They took a look at backcourt candidates Shannon Bogues (Stephen F. Austin), Shizz Alston Jr. (Temple) and Jamall Gregory (Jacksonville State) and forwards Trey Mourning (Georgetown), Ed Polite Jr. (Radford) and Trey Porter (Nevada).

The Wizards will be looking at six more prospects on Tuesday, including four guards — Matt Morgan (Cornell), Marcquise Reed (Clemson), Garrison Mathews (Lipscomb) and B.J. Stith (Old Dominion), according to another website post. They’ll also work out big men James Thompson IV (Eastern Michigan) and Raasean Davis (N.C. Central).

We have more Southeast Division news:

  • The Wizards have a workout scheduled with USC shooting guard Kevin Porter Jr., Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington tweets. They’ll also bring in forward Jordan Caroline (Nevada) in the near future, Jordan Schultz of ESPN tweets. Porter ranks No. 20 overall on ESPN’s Jonathan Givony’s draft board.
  • Arkansas big man Daniel Gafford heads the list of six prospects the Hornets will bring in on Tuesday, according to a team press release. Gafford sits at No. 41 on Givony’s board. They’ll also take a look at guards Ky Bowman (Boston College), Amir Coffey (Minnesota), Miye Oni (Yale)  and forwards Cody Martin (Nevada) and Chris Silva (South Carolina).
  • Should the Hawks dive into free agency? Should they deal their two lottery picks to move up in the draft? These are some of the questions that ESPN’s Bobby Marks tackles in Atlanta’s offseason preview.

Wizards Notes: Beal, Wall, White, Draft

Retaining Bradley Beal in his prime, rather than trading him for assets, might be the best course of action for the Wizards, Ben Standig of NBC Sports Washington argues. Beal could be the ideal role model to establish a new identity and culture for the franchise, Standig continues. Beal could be the main locker room leader next season with John Wall recovering from his Achilles injury and he’d embrace that role, Standig notes. Giving Beal that power might deepen his connection to the franchise’s long-term success, Standig adds.

We have more on the Wizards:

  • With Wall’s super-max extension kicking in, owner Ted Leonsis wants his star point guard to take all the time necessary to make sure he’s fully ready when he starts playing again, as Leonsis expressed in an NBC Sports podcast and relayed by Chase Hughes“John understands his commitment will show from this rehab,” Leonsis said. “If it takes the whole season, we don’t care. We are not putting pressure on you on a time. Make sure that you are rehabilitating in the right way so that when you do come back, you don’t have that little voice in your head [saying], ‘Did I do everything the right way to be able to come back and be a great, great player?'”
  • North Carolina shooting guard Coby White and Kentucky small forward Keldon Johnson are among the prospects the Wizards are bringing in for workouts, Hughes reports in post written by NBC Sports Washington’s Josh Luckenbaugh. White is currently ranked No. 8 overall by ESPN’s Jonathan Givony and the Wizards have the ninth pick. Johnson is ranked at No. 19. The Wizards will also soon bring in Georgetown’s Trey Mourning, Duke’s Marques Bolden and Temple’s Shizz Alston Jr.
  • Unless the franchise promotes interim president Tommy Sheppard and ends its long search for a new front office leader to replace Ernie Grunfeld, it’s unknown who will determine Washington’s draft decisions this month, Hughes writes in a separate story.

Draft Notes: Hornets, Sibande, Cook, Harris

Maryland sophomore forward Bruno Fernando headed a group of six players the Hornets worked out on Sunday. He’s currently listed No. 33 overall on ESPN’s Jonathan Givony list of Top 100 prospects. The other five players who came in, according to a team press release, included guards Shizz Alston Jr. (Temple), Justin Simon (St. John’s) and Keyshawn Woods (Ohio State), forward Lamar Stevens (Penn State) and center Raasean Davis (North Carolina Central).

We have more on the draft:

  • Davis and Nevada forward Trey Porter will work out for the Wizards, Nicola Lupo of Sportando tweets.
  • Miami (Ohio)’s Nike Sibande will return to school, Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports tweets. Sibande averaged 16.1 PPG and 5.1 RPG for the RedHawks last season.
  • Iowa big man Tyler Cook will remain in the draft, Jeff Goodman at WatchStadium.com tweets. Cook averaged 14.5 PPG and 7.6 RPG in his junior year.
  • North Carolina A&T shooting guard Terry Harris worked out for the Clippers last week, Chris Broussard of Fox Sports tweets. He’s the younger brother of Tobias Harris.