T.J. Price

Atlantic Notes: Nets, Blatt, Lalanne, Celtics

The Nets will swap picks with the Hawks in the upcoming draft as a result of the Joe Johnson trade, meaning they’ll be selecting at 29th. Still, Brooklyn director of player personnel Gregg Polinsky doesn’t sound like he’s too worried about picking so low, as Roderick Boone of Newsday passes along, since Polinsky believes GM Billy King’s creativity will help the Nets land a difference maker late in the first.

More from the Atlantic:

  • Had it not been for the Knicks’ decision to hire Phil Jackson as president of basketball operations, David Blatt might have spent his first year as an NBA head coach in New York instead of Cleveland. Marc Berman of the New York Post has the details on Knicks GM Steve Mills’ close relationship with Blatt and what it might have meant to the team if Jackson wasn’t calling the shots in New York.
  • UMass big man Cady Lalanne admits that while he’d love to be selected by any team in the upcoming draft, the Celtics are one of his preferred destinations, as Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com observes. Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress lists Lalanne as the 65th best prospect in the draft, while Chad Ford of ESPN ranks him a bit lower at 87th.
  • Lalanne worked out for the Celtics yesterday, along with Alpha Kaba, Larry Nance, T.J. Price, Kevin Capers, and Maxie Esho, as Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com notes on Twitter. Meanwhile, Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald passes along that the team wanted to work out Corey Walden but couldn’t because he tweaked a hamstring. In addition to two first-round picks, Boston has two second-round selections, which is where they’d likely be considering drafting any of the aforementioned players.
  • Eric Koreen of the National Post speculates that because the Raptors don’t possess any glaring team needs, they could make another off-the-wall selection with their first-round pick this season, much like they did last year when they selected Bruno Caboclo.

Western Notes: Pondexter, Draft, Jazz

The Jazz aren’t expecting to nab a franchise saving player in this year’s NBA draft, Jody Genessy of The Deseret News notes (Twitter links). “I don’t see a lot of so-called NBA superstars, if any,” said Utah’s VP of player personnel Walt Perrin. “But that’s not to say somebody may not jump forward and become the next Stephen Curry or somebody like that.” While the exact draft order won’t be known until May 19th when the lottery order is determined, the Jazz are sitting at No. 11 in Hoops Rumors’ reverse standings, and the franchise possesses a 0.8% chance at snagging the top overall pick in June’s big event.

Here’s more from the NBA’s Western Conference:

  • Pelicans forward Quincy Pondexter has undergone successful surgery to repair damage to his left knee, the team announced. No timetable was provided for when the 27-year-old can return to basketball activities. Pondexter was acquired by New Orleans in January as part of a three team trade with the Celtics and Grizzlies.
  • The Jazz have workouts scheduled on Thursday for Virginia forward Darion Atkins, Murray State guard T.J. Sapp, Bowling Green forward Richaun Holmes, Ohio State guard Shannon Scott, Western Kentucky guard T.J. Price, and Wisconsin guard Traevon Jackson, the team announced via Twitter.
  • Utah’s GM Dennis Lindsey sees value in these pre-draft workouts despite the majority of the players likely being ticketed to play in the NBA D-League or overseas next season, Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune writes. The Jazz are looking for diamonds in the rough similar to Bryce Cotton, who turned a 10-day contract into a multiyear arrangement with his play this past season, Jones notes.