Tacko Fall

Atlantic Notes: Cordinier, Fall, Guy, Norvell

Shooting guard Isaia Cordinier is hopeful of landing a two-way contract with the Nets, according to a NetsDaily.com report.  Cordinier anticipates playing with Brooklyn’s summer league team. The 6’5” Cordinier was taken in the second round by the Hawks last June and shipped to the Nets in the Jeremy Lin trade. Cordinier played in the French league this season after missing the 2017/18 season due to surgery on both knees to treat tendinitis.

We have more from around the Atlantic Division:

  • Central Florida center Tacko Fall’s workout with the Knicks, which was scheduled for Monday, was postponed due to travel issues, Ian Begley of SNY-TV tweets. Fall is expected to reschedule his visit. The 7’7” Fall made a strong impression at the G League Elite Camp and Draft Combine.
  • Virginia guard Kyle Guy will be among the prospects the Raptors will evaluate on Tuesday, Blake Murphy of The Athletic tweets. The Raptors will also work out three other guards, including Canadian Andrew Nembhard, Matt Morgan (Cornell) and John Konchar (Purdue Fort Wayne). Centers Dewan Hernandez (Miami-Fla.), and Zach Hankins (Xavier) are the other prospects working out.
  • The Celtics worked out Gonzaga shooting guard Zach Norvell Jr. on Monday, A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston tweets. Norvell is ranked No. 16 among shooting guard prospects by ESPN’s Jonathan Givony. Penn State’s Josh Reaves, ranked No. 20 on the shooting guard list by Givony, was also in for a visit, according to Bryan Kalbrosky of Celtics Wire.

Draft Notes: Combine, Langford, Horton-Tucker, Acquaah

The competition to be the No. 4 pick remains unsettled after this week’s draft combine, according to Scott Gleeson of USA Today. Texas Tech’s Jarrett Culver, Duke’s Cam Reddish and North Carolina’s Coby White all improved their standing through measurements and drills, Gleeson states, but Vanderbilt’s Darius Garland and Virginia’s De’Andre Hunter may have helped themselves just as much by skipping the combine.

Duke’s Zion Williamson, Murray State’s Ja Morant and Duke’s R.J. Barrett are believed to have the top three spots locked up, leaving a difficult decision at the fourth pick for the Lakers or whomever they deal the selection to.

Gleeson identifies several players who stock either rose or fell at the combine. Among the winners are UCF’s Tacko Fall, Gonzaga’s Brandon Clarke, Tennessee’s Jordan Bone, North Carolina’s Nassir Little, Croatian Luka Samanic and Virginia’s Kyle Guy. Gleeson’s list of players who failed to help themselves includes Oregon’s Bol Bol, Kentucky’s Tyler Herro, former Syracuse signee Darius Bazley and St. John’s guard Shamorie Ponds.

There’s more draft news to pass along:

  • Jeremy Woo of Sports Illustrated also chimes in with a list of draft risers and fallers based on their performance at the combine. He believes Georgia’s Nicolas Claxton improved his chances of being selected in the first round with an impressive defensive performance, while LSU guard Tremont Waters helped ease worries about his size and Miami’s Dewan Hernandez showed off his athleticism after sitting out the season because of connections to the FBI investigation.
  • Indiana’s Romeo Langford says he has fully recovered from the back problems that bothered him in college, tweets Scott Agness of The Athletic. Langford met with 13 teams at the combine, including the Pacers, Celtics (Twitter link) and Pistons (Twitter link).
  • Iowa State’s Talen Horton-Tucker is committed to staying in the draft as he hopes to become the Cyclones’ first player taken in the first round since 2012, relays Travis Hines of The Ames Tribune. A top 50 recruit coming out of high school, Horton-Tucker has already interviewed with 14 teams.
  • Milan Acquaah of Cal Baptist has taken his name out of the draft, tweets Jeff Goodman of Stadium.

And-Ones: Combine, Coach Challenges, World Cup

Eleven prospects who participated in this week’s G League Elite Camp in Chicago have been invited to stick around to attend the actual draft combine, which will begin today and run through this Sunday.

According to a tweet from the NBA G League, those 11 players are as follows: Oshae Brissett (Syracuse), Tyler Cook (Iowa), Terence Davis (Ole Miss), Tacko Fall (UCF), Jared Harper (Auburn), Dewan Hernandez (Miami), DaQuan Jeffries (Tulsa), Terance Mann (Florida State), Cody Martin (Nevada), Reggie Perry (Mississippi State), and Marial Shayok (Iowa State).

A total of 40 draft-eligible prospects who weren’t initially invited to the draft combine worked out in front of NBA teams at the G League Elite Camp. Teams were then polled on which prospects they’d most like to get a longer look at for this week’s combine. The group of 11 prospects who were chosen will join the 65 players who were initially announced as combine participants last week.

Here’s more from around the basketball world:

  • Multiple sources tell ESPN’s Zach Lowe that the “liveliest” topic of discussion at Tuesday’s GM meetings involved the possibility of instituting a system for coaches’ replay challenges, which exist in many other major sports. According to Lowe, not everyone agreed on what should be reviewable, with some GMs arguing that coaches should be able to challenge foul calls, while others disagreed. There was also discussion about whether a challenge should cost a team a timeout, regardless of whether a call is reversed or upheld.
  • Sixers All-Star Ben Simmons announced this week that he intends to play for Australia in the 2019 FIBA World Cup (link via ESPN.com). He’ll be joined on the Australian squad by Jazz sharpshooter Joe Ingles, tweets Tony Jones of The Athletic. However, Roy Ward of The Age Sport (Twitter link) hears that Ingles’ teammate Dante Exum is unlikely to participate in the event due to his knee injury.
  • The NBA and the National Basketball Coaches Association are creating a program intended to better identify and illuminate potential coaches among groups that are underrepresented, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. “We are not talking about a quota system,” Mavericks coach and NBCA president Rick Carlisle told ESPN. “Rival leagues have proven that mandates and demands for diverse hiring practices do not work. Our goal is an absolute equal opportunity for all our members to develop their skills on a level playing field.”

NBA Announces 80 Players For G League Elite Camp

The NBA has announced in a press release that 80 players are set to participate in its G League Elite Camp next week in Chicago from May 12-14. The event will include 40 prospects who are eligible for this year’s draft, as well as 40 standout prospects from the 2018/19 G League season.

Heading into this spring, the NBA revamped its G League Elite Camp, which in past years has simply showcased some of the NBAGL’s top performers.  That aspect of the event will still exist, but G League players will only participate in the first two days of the event.

The second half of the event will feature 40 draft-eligible prospects who aren’t among the 60 prospects invited to the actual draft combine. The list of participants was determined by an NBA team vote, and those prospects will work out and scrimmage during the final two days of the event — there will be no overlap with the G League portion of the event.

As this week’s announcement confirms, a select number of draft-eligible prospects participating l in the G League Elite Camp will also be invited to attend the combine itself, which takes place from May 15-19 in Chicago.

Here are the list of draft-eligible prospects who are expected to participate in the 2019 G League Elite Mini Camp, per the NBA:

  1. Tyus Battle (Syracuse)
  2. Bennie Boatwright (USC)
  3. Phil Booth (Villanova)
  4. Oshae Brissett (Syracuse)
  5. Bryce Brown (Auburn)
  6. Zylan Cheatham (Arizona State)
  7. Chris Clemons (Campbell)
  8. Amir Coffey (Minnesota)
  9. Tyler Cook (Iowa)
  10. Jarron Cumberland (Cincinnati)
  11. Aubrey Dawkins (Central Florida)
  12. Javin DeLaurier (Duke)
  13. Mamadi Diakite (Virginia)
  14. CJ Elleby (Washington State)
  15. Tacko Fall (UCF)
  16. Robert Franks (Washington State)
  17. Jared Harper (Auburn)
  18. Ethan Happ (Wisconsin)
  19. Dewan Hernandez (Miami)
  20. Amir Hinton (Shaw (NC))
  21. DaQuan Jeffries (Tulsa)
  22. Sagaba Konate (West Virginia)
  23. Matur Maker (Mississauga Prep (Canada))
  24. Terance Mann (Florida State)
  25. Caleb Martin (Nevada)
  26. Cody Martin (Nevada)
  27. Luke Maye (North Carolina)
  28. Trey Mourning (Georgetown)
  29. Andrew Nembhard (Florida)
  30. James Palmer Jr. (Nebraska)
  31. Josh Perkins (Gonzaga)
  32. Reggie Perry (Mississippi State)
  33. Jalen Pickett (Siena)
  34. Myles Powell (Seton Hall)
  35. Justin Robinson (Virginia Tech)
  36. Marial Shayok (Iowa State)
  37. Max Strus (DePaul)
  38. Lindell Wigginton (Iowa State)
  39. Kenny Wooten (Oregon)
  40. Justin Wright-Foreman (Hofstra)

Here are the 40 G League players set to participate in the G League Elite Camp:

  1. Josh Adams (Raptors 905)
  2. Jaylen Barford (Greensboro Swarm)
  3. Amida Brimah (Austin Spurs)
  4. Jared Brownridge (Delaware Blue Coats)
  5. Antonius Cleveland (Santa Cruz Warriors)
  6. Charles Cooke (Sioux Falls Skyforce)
  7. Cody Demps (Stockton Kings)
  8. Aaron Epps (Northern Arizona Suns)
  9. Abdul Gaddy (Oklahoma City Blue)
  10. John Gillon (Greensboro Swarm)
  11. Kaiser Gates (Windy City Bulls)
  12. Isaac Haas (Salt Lake City Stars)
  13. Johnny Hamilton (Grand Rapids Drive)
  14. Dusty Hannahs (Memphis Hustle)
  15. Zak Irvin (Westchester Knicks)
  16. Peter Jok (Northern Arizona Suns)
  17. Matt Jones (Stockton Kings)
  18. Marcus Lee (Sioux Falls Skyforce)
  19. Zach Lofton (Grand Rapids Drive)
  20. Tahjere McCall (Long Island Nets)
  21. Brandon McCoy (Wisconsin Herd)
  22. MiKyle McIntosh (Raptors 905)
  23. Jordan McLaughlin (Long Island Nets)
  24. Jaylen Morris (Erie BayHawks)
  25. Mychal Mulder (Windy City Bulls)
  26. Malik Newman (Canton Charge)
  27. Retin Obasohan (Northern Arizona Suns)
  28. Chinanu Onuaku (Greensboro Swarm)
  29. Norvel Pelle (Delaware Blue Coats)
  30. Darel Poirier (Capital City Go-Go)
  31. Billy Preston (Texas Legends)
  32. Desi Rodriguez (Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario)
  33. Kenneth Smith (Grand Rapids Drive)
  34. Richard Solomon (Oklahoma City Blue)
  35. Emanuel Terry (Sioux Falls Skyforce)
  36. Juan Toscano-Anderson (Santa Cruz Warriors)
  37. Dakarai Tucker (Rio Grande Valley Vipers)
  38. Andrew White III (Maine Red Claws)
  39. Thomas Wimbush (Long Island Nets)
  40. Todd Withers (Grand Rapids Drive)

NBA Scouts Discuss NCAA Tournament Prospects

Central Florida’s Tacko Fall stepped into the national spotlight with Sunday’s game against Duke, but he may not have improved his draft status, relays Sam Amick of The Athletic. Amick talked to three unidentified NBA scouts about their impressions after the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament and found opinions have changed on a lot of players, but not necessarily on Fall.

“I don’t think (it helped his cause), on the whole,” one scout said of the 7’6″ center, who had 15 points, six rebounds and three blocks against the Blue Devils before fouling out. “I think most scouts, most teams, are going to evaluate him based on (what came before). … Now if you liked Tacko Fall before the game against Duke, then you’ll probably like him a little bit more maybe. And if you didn’t, then I don’t think it’s going to sway you one way or another. He’s so unique that I think he’ll get a chance in some capacity. I don’t know if he gets drafted in the second round, or whatever it is, but I do think he gets a chance.”

The scouts’ consensus is that Murray State point guard Ja Morant has helped himself with his March performances and would likely be the second player taken if the draft were today. He held up well against larger schools and has been consistently good from game to game.

Duke’s Cam Reddish may have fallen the most, not only because of his March Madness games, but his output throughout the year. Once projected as a possible No. 3 pick, Reddish may be slipping out of the top five. “Even when Zion (Williamson) was out, he had opportunities where he could really take a step forward and take advantage of the opportunity,” one scout said. “And he did on a couple of games, but it wasn’t as consistent as you’d like him to be. He’s a tough one, man.”

Here are a few more takes from the scouts on prominent players:

  • Duke forward R.J. Barrett “Yeah, I do think Barrett has the third spot. … I do think Barrett, the fact that he competes (is good). He’s got a little more, to me, obvious flaws in terms of shot selection. Obviously he has some tendencies, in terms of being all left and dominant where he’s going to have to get the right hand at the next level to be as good as he can be. The one thing about Barrett is that he competes and he gets after it and he wants to win, but there are moments when he falls asleep.”
  • Oregon forward Kenny Wooten — People know about (Wooten), but this is the time where owners start watching and other people — even GMs who don’t get a chance (to see them) — they start seeing these guys and (the prospects) start to jump off the page because they have a good game or they play well.”
  • North Carolina forward Nassir Little“There are still question marks with his game, but it was the Washington game where he made a three and he was efficient, right? And he was efficient for multiple games. He didn’t have any assists or anything like that, but there are some signs there where if you want to find a reason to like Nas. I think you can go look at those two games and say, ‘Oh, ok.’ This guy is doing well.”
  • Michigan guard Jordan Poole“He’s a good player, man. He knows how to play. He’s skilled. I think (an NBA team) could work on his efficiency. If he continues to play well, I think he could help himself throughout the rest of the tournament as well and be one of those guys who’s a late riser.”

Texas Notes: Ntilikina, Mudiay, Paul, Rockets

Several Mavericks executives have traveled to Europe over the past month to watch French point guard Frank Ntilikina, relays Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News. At 6’5″, Ntilikina is among the bigger point guards in the draft, and he possesses athleticism and skill to go with his size. Dallas is believed to be targeting point guards after waiving Deron Williams in February so he could sign with a contender. The Mavericks hold the No. 9 pick, and Sefko expects Ntilikina to be among the players considered, along with North Carolina State’s Dennis Smith Jr., Arizona’s Lauri Markkanen and Gonzaga’s Zach Collins.

There’s more news today out of Texas:

  • The Mavericks have a better shot at solving their point guard problems through the draft than by trading for someone like Emmanuel Mudiay, writes Matt Mosley of The Dallas Morning News. The seventh pick in the 2015 draft, Mudiay was a heralded prospect but has experienced shooting problems through his first two NBA seasons. He is a 37% shooter from the field and was stuck behind Jameer Nelson in the Nuggets’ rotation. Mosley says Ntilikina or Markkanen would be a better gamble with the No. 9 pick.
  • Signing Chris Paul may not get the Spurs any closer to challenging the Warriors for Western Conference supremacy, argues Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News. Adding the All-Star point guard would requiring sacrificing someone like LaMarcus Aldridge, Pau Gasol or Danny Green in a trade, and it would destroy the salary flexibility the team has set up for next summer.
  • North Carolina center Kennedy Meeks was the biggest name to attend a pre-draft workout for the Rockets this week, relays Tom Miller of The Grand Forks Herald. Also at the session were Quinton Hooker of North Dakota, Paris Lee of Illinois State, JaJuan Johnson of Marquette, Kavin Gilder-Tilbury of Texas State and Tacko Fall of Central Florida, who decided to withdraw from the draft and return to school. “My agent hadn’t said anything about the Rockets’ interest,” Hooker said. “I was anticipating at least one [NBA tryout]. But for the last month, I’ve just been waiting. It was definitely a humbling experience to get that first one and show my talents.” The Rockets own picks 43 and 45 in next month’s draft.

Draft Update: Wilson, Wagner, Williams, Yurtseven

Michigan’s D.J. Wilson has decided to remain in the draft, tweets Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress. The 6’10 sophomore is projected as a possible late first-rounder, with Givony putting him 29th in his top 100 list. Sources told Rod Beard of The Detroit News that Wilson has received a guarantee from the Jazz, who own the 24th and 30th picks (Twitter link). Wilson averaged 11.0 points and 5.3 rebounds for the Wolverines this season.

There are more draft decisions to report as tonight’s deadline for collegians to withdraws gets closer:

  • Wilson’s teammate, Moritz Wagner, will spend another season at Michigan, according to Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports (Twitter link). The 6’11” sophomore out of Germany was reluctant to make the move to the NBA until he was sure he is ready, relays Brendan F. Quinn of MLive (Twitter link). “I would’ve hated myself if I’d found myself in the D-League next year,” Wagner said. “I would rather play in college.”
  • Johnathan Williams is headed back to national runner-up Gonzaga (via Rothstein). The 6’9″ forward averaged 10.2 points per game as a junior and was a long shot to be drafted.
  • Omer Yurtseven will withdraw from the draft and spend another season at North Carolina State, tweets Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com. The 7-footer out of Uzbekistan was a part-time player with the Wolfpack as a freshman, averaging 5.9 points and 4.4 rebounds per night.
  • Justin Jackson has decided to spend another year at Maryland (via Goodman). DraftExpress projects the 6’8″ freshman to be a first-round pick in 2018.
  • Tacko Fall will be back at Central Florida next season (via Rothstein). The 7’6″ native of Senegal averaged 10.9 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game as a freshman with the Golden Knights.
  • MiKyle McIntosh has pulled out of the draft and plans to transfer from Illinois State, tweets Evan Daniels of Fox Sports 1. The Canadian forward averaged 12.7 points per game this season and will be eligible immediately at his next school.
  • Chris Clemons will return to Campbell next season (via Rothstein). The sophomore point guard would have been an extreme long shot to be drafted.

Draft Notes: Bradley, Swanigan, Deadline Decisions

North Carolina center Tony Bradley will hire an agent and remain in the NBA draft, tweets Shams Charania of The Vertical. After helping the Tar Heels capture the national championship, Bradley faces conflicting opinions about his draft status, with DraftExpress placing him 41st on its list of top 100 prospects but ESPN’s Chad Ford projecting him as a first-rounder at No. 22. The 6’10” freshman averaged 6.9 points and 5.1 rebounds during his lone season at North Carolina.

Bradley is among several dominoes that will fall as the deadline for withdrawing from the draft looms tonight. Here’s a roundup of some other prospects:

Here are several players have made a final decision to forgo the draft and head back to school:

Chris Crouse contributed to this post.

Draft Notes: Fall, Jones, Haas

Tacko Fall had a workout with the Magic today. He will work out for the Jazz and he may schedule one with the Rockets as well, according to Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel (Twitter links). The University of Central Florida center has previously worked out for the Celtics.

Fall is testing the draft waters but has until May 24 to make a final decision. The 7’6″ big man is the 92nd best prospect in the upcoming draft, according to Jonathan Givony of Draft Express.

Here’s more on upcoming draft:

  • Andrew Jones is leaning toward staying at Texas for another season, sources tell Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Givony has Jones as his 54th best prospect.
  • Isaac Haas will return to Purdue for his senior season, the university announced on its website“After going through the NBA evaluations and workouts with multiple teams, I have had many long discussions with my family and the Purdue coaching staff. We came to the decision that it’s best that I come back to Purdue and help bring Purdue to a better place than last year for my senior year,” Haas said.
  • BYU’s Eric Mika will sign an agent and remain in the draft, according to the school’s Twitter feed. Givony has Mika as 79th best prospect in the field.

Draft Workouts: Nets, Smith Jr., Magic, Bucks, Celtics

The Nets will be the only non-playoff team without a close eye on Tuesday night’s lottery results, since the Celtics have swap rights to their first-round pick. But after that swap is made, the Nets will hold the rights to the first-round picks for the two teams in action on Monday night, the Celtics and the Wizards. And Brooklyn is busy exploring its options for those two late first-round selections, along with its second-round pick.

According to Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog.com, the Nets will bring in Rawle Alkins, Melo Trimble, Kobi Simmons, Davon Reed, Amida Brimah, and Omer Yurtseven for a group workout on Tuesday. On Thursday, Brooklyn will take a closer look at Josh Hart and Tyler Dorsey. Meanwhile, Purdue’s Caleb Swanigan is also expected to be a part of that Thursday workout, per Nathan Baird of The Journal & Courier (Twitter link).

As Brooklyn does its homework on the non-lottery prospects in this year’s draft class, let’s check out a few more workout-related updates, including an additional note on Swanigan: