Trae Young

Mavs Acquire No. 3 Pick, Draft Luka Doncic

The Mavericks and Hawks agreed to a trade involving the No. 3 pick that allowed Dallas to draft Luka Doncic.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports (via Twitter) that the Hawks will acquire a future first-round pick in the trade, while Atlanta took Trae Young at No. 5. No veteran players are involved in the deal, Woj adds (via Twitter).

Previous versions of the trade had Kent Bazemore going to Dallas and Wesley Matthews to Atlanta, but the Hawks were reluctant to add Matthews to a young, rebuilding team. They opted for a simple swap of picks, with some light protections on the future first-rounder. Atlanta had been hoping to free up some cap room by finding a taker for Bazemore, who is owed more than $18MM next season and has a player option worth nearly $19.3MM in 2019/20.

The teams were close to a trade around 5:00pm ET, tweets ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, but fell apart until the Mavs agree to include the future pick. The pick is scheduled to transfer next season, tweets Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports and will be top-five protected (Twitter link).

A source from the Mavericks, who described the protections as minimal to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon, said, “We hope it conveys next year.” (Twitter link).

Arthur Hill contributed to this post.

Draft Rumors: Hawks, Bazemore, Porter, Suns

With Deandre Ayton and Marvin Bagley III viewed as near-locks to be the first two players off the board in the 2018 NBA draft, the No. 3 pick is worth keeping a close eye on. Zach Klein of WSB in Atlanta hears (via Twitter) that the Hawks trading back to No. 5 is a viable possibility. In that scenario, the Mavericks would select Luka Doncic and Atlanta would grab Trae Young.

Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer follows up on Klein’s report, tweeting that the Hawks and Magic – who hold the No. 6 pick – have also been connected, according to a source. In either trade scenario, Kent Bazemore may be involved in a deal, per Klein and O’Connor.

As we wait to see what happens with the No. 3 pick, here are a few more draft-related rumors and notes:

  • In the latest version of his mock draft at ESPN.com, Jonathan Givony reports that there’s a chance Michael Porter Jr. will slip out of the top 10 due to concerns about his back and hip. Givony has Porter coming off the board at No. 12 to the Clippers.
  • The Suns continue to gauge the market as they explore a possible move up from No. 16, but it will be “extremely hard” to make a deal, tweets John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7, adding that most teams in the top 10 are reluctant to trade. If Phoenix stays at No. 16, keep an eye on Maryland’s Kevin Huerter as a possible “sleeper” pick, Gambadoro adds (via Twitter).
  • As ESPN’s Bobby Marks details (via Twitter), the Hawks, Bulls, Mavericks, and Sixers are ineligible to acquire any cash in trades tonight, while the Cavaliers and Heat can’t send out any cash. Although those teams have reached their 2017/18 limits, they could always reach a tentative trade agreement and finalize it in July, after those traded-cash restrictions reset.

Draft Rumors: Top 6, Bulls, Kings, Sixers, Suns

The Mavericks, Bulls, Cavaliers, and Clippers are among the teams still exploring the possibility of moving up in the draft lottery, league sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). Wojnarowski adds that the Sixers‘ pick (No. 10) is in play for teams targeting Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.

Wojnarowski currently believes that Deandre Ayton (Suns), Marvin Bagley III (Kings), Luka Doncic (Hawks), Jaren Jackson Jr., Mohamed Bamba (Mavericks), and Trae Young (Magic) are the most likely selections (Twitter link). Interestingly, the Grizzlies are the only team Wojnarowski doesn’t mention in his rundown, suggesting the No. 4 pick is still the most likely selection at the top to be traded.

If the top six plays out like that and Chicago doesn’t trade up, the Bulls would likely opt for Wendell Carter Jr. over Michael Porter Jr., tweets K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune.

Here are several more rumors worth passing along as draft night nears…

  • Kings beat reporter James Ham of NBC Sports Bay Area (Twitter link) is also getting the vibe out of Sacramento that Marvin Bagley III is the club’s likely choice at No. 2.
  • Sam Amick of USA Today (Twitter link) is hearing some buzz linking Zhaire Smith to the Sixers at No. 10.
  • Although the Heat are exploring opportunities to trade into the first round of tonight’s draft, it’s hard to imagine the club completing a deal for a first-round pick unless it can shed a veteran salary, tweets Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald.
  • The Suns, who hold Miami’s pick at No. 16, are eyeing Donte DiVincenzo, Zhaire Smith, Jalen Brunson, Aaron Holiday, Lonnie Walker, Troy Brown, Elie Okobo, and Landry Shamet at that spot, per John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 (Twitter link).
  • NBA teams have been impressed with Michael Porter Jr. in interviews, but the club that picks him will have to be “ultra-cautious” with his health, according to Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today, who suggests (via Twitter) that sitting Porter for a good chunk of 2018/19 is a real possibility.

Suns Could Add Another Lottery Pick

The Suns could move some of their assets to gain another lottery pick, Scott Bordow of the Arizona Republic tweets.

Phoenix is expected to select Arizona center Deandre Ayton with the top pick. They also own the No. 16 pick, courtesy of the Goran Dragic deal with the Heat, as well as two second-rounders – Nos. 31 and 59. They are interested in forward Michael Porter Jr. and one of the top three college guards – Trae Young, Collin Sexton and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander – if they can make a deal, Bordow adds.

Porter Jr. could team up with Ayton and give the Suns a formidable frontcourt duo for the next few seasons. They are also in need of a point guard, with Elfrid Payton headed to restricted free agency if they extend a qualifying offer of $4.75MM by the June 29th deadline.

Givony’s Latest: Kings, Doncic, Porter, Gilgeous-Alexander

ESPN draft expert Jonathan Givony posted his latest mock on Thursday morning, along with the updated information regarding what teams are planning to do. Here’s some of the most noteworthy nuggets he passed along:

  • The Kings will target Duke forward Marvin Bagley III if they keep the No. 2 overall pick but they have their eyes on Missouri forward Michael Porter Jr. if they trade down in the lottery.
  • Hawks ownership has pushed for Euroleague guard Luka Doncic with the No. 3 pick because of star power. The compromise between the front office and ownership could be trading down and then selecting Oklahoma point guard Trae Young.
  • Porter is favored by Mavericks owner Mark Cuban at No. 5 but they’re also considering Texas center Mohamed Bamba and Duke center Wendell Carter Jr.
  • Kentucky guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander appears to be on the rise and Givony has him going at No. 6 to the Magic.
  • If the Clippers don’t trade their picks at No. 12 and No. 13, they’ll draft one of the top three college point guards – Gilgeous-Alexander, Alabama’s Collin Sexton or Young – if any are still on the board.
  • Boston College guard Jerome Robinson, Maryland forward Kevin Huerter and Texas A&M big man Robert Williams are under consideration with the Clippers’ second first-rounder.

Draft Rumors: Grizzlies, Bamba, Kings, Huerter

One draft-related storyline worth watching on Thursday will be whether top prospects’ apparent efforts to steer themselves to – or away from – certain teams will pay off.

Appearing on 92.9FM in Memphis today, ESPN’s Jonathan Givony suggested that Mohamed Bamba has declined to work out for the Grizzlies, refusing to share his medicals with the team and saying openly that he’d rather not land in Memphis (Twitter link via John Martin). The Grizzlies are the only team in the top half of the lottery with a standout veteran center already on the roster, so it makes some sense that Bamba would prefer to end up elsewhere.

Meanwhile, Givony said during an appearance on Zach Lowe’s ESPN podcast that multiple top prospects may be trying to avoid the Kings (link via Dan Feldman of NBC Sports). According to Givony, Bamba, Jaren Jackson Jr., and Luka Doncic haven’t provided medical information to Sacramento. However, Marvin Bagley III – who wants to be picked as high as possible – seems to have no reservations about landing with the Kings, which may be one reason why the Bagley-to-Sacramento rumors are picking up steam this week.

Here are several more draft-related rumors:

  • Givony’s latest mock draft at ESPN.com includes some interesting changes, particularly in the back half of the lottery, where Trae Young falls all the way to the Clippers at No. 12. Givony also notes that there “seems to be a significant market” for Kevin Knox in the 7-11 range.
  • Jeremy Woo of SI.com has a new mock draft of his own up today, and it’s filled with intriguing tidbits. Among them: Maryland’s Kevin Huerter shut down his workouts weeks ago, and league sources tell Woo that the Lakers are the team that gave him a promise at No. 25. Whether or not that’s true, Woo doesn’t think Huerter will be available that late in the first round.
  • After winning an ACB championship today with Real Madrid, Luka Doncic‘s season is over, freeing him up to attend the NBA draft this Thursday. Doncic will be present in the Green Room for the event, tweets Givony.
  • Armed with four second-round picks in this year’s draft, the Sixers figure to trade at least one or two of those selections. If they do, they’d prefer future second-rounders in return rather than cash, writes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer.
  • Appearing on ESPN Radio this week, Michael Porter Jr. said that he’s “feeling great” and that concerns about his health have been overblown. ESPN.com has the story and the quotes from the Missouri forward.

Draft Workouts: T. Young, Cavs, Blazers, Warriors

Potential top-10 pick Trae Young conducted a “secret” workout for the Cavaliers on Saturday, reports Jonathan Givony of ESPN.com (via Twitter). Givony, echoing what Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com wrote earlier today, suggests that Michael Porter Jr. may be Cleveland’s top target at No. 8.

However, if Porter is no longer available, the Cavaliers’ decision could come down to Young vs. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, according to Givony, who notes that he has the team taking Gilgeous-Alexander in his latest mock draft.

Here are a few more updates on pre-draft workouts from around the NBA:

Hawks’ Schroder, Bazemore On Trade Block?

1:47pm: In addition to having made Schroder available, the Hawks have also been motivated to move Kent Bazemore – their other highest-paid player – since last summer, sources tell Jake Fischer of SI.com (Twitter link). Fischer adds that Atlanta is currently viewed as the most active team on the “explorative” draft trade market.

11:56am: The Hawks have made Dennis Schroder available in trades, league sources tell Jeremy Woo of SI.com. However, according to Woo, the point guard has been difficult to move due to concerns about his attitude, along with the $46.5MM remaining on his contract.

Schroder had already been considered a trade candidate due to comments he made earlier in the offseason. As we detailed last month, the 24-year-old expressed a desire to compete for a title and a dissatisfaction with the Hawks’ performance in the 2017/18 season. While reports at the time indicated that Schroder hadn’t formally asked for a trade, he didn’t sound like a player excited about the prospect about going through a rebuild in Atlanta.

Schroder averaged a career-best 19.4 PPG last season to go along with 6.2 APG and 3.1 RPG. Typically, when a player entering his mid-20s is producing at that level and is under team control for three more years at a relatively affordable rate ($15.5MM annually), he’s a building block for a rebuilding franchise, rather than a trade chip. However, the Hawks’ current management group didn’t draft or extend Schroder and may not be attached to him. Additionally, the point guard’s hints that he wants out of Atlanta don’t bode well for a long-term union.

Complicating matters further is Schroder’s pending legal case. He was arrested on a misdemeanor battery charge last September, with Georgia officials recommending in March that he be prosecuted for felony aggravated battery. Schroder figures to face discipline from his team and/or the league when that case is resolved.

The Hawks’ ability to find a taker for Schroder could have an impact on their draft plans this week. As Woo writes in his mock draft, the team is believed to be high on Trae Young. Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders corroborates this account, writing that more and more league sources believe Young is the Hawks’ top target. If Atlanta uses the No. 3 pick on Young, or trades down to select him, it would negatively affect the club’s leverage in trade talks involving Schroder.

Draft Rumors: Nuggets, Trades, Cavs, Wizards

The Kings (No. 2), Hawks (No. 3), and Grizzlies (No. 4) all consider to explore the possibility of trading down in the draft, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said on Monday night on the network’s Mock Draft Special (Twitter link via Sagar Trika). According to Wojnarowski, the Clippers are one team looking to move up and so are the Nuggets, who would love to get into the top five or six (Twitter link via Trika).

Although we hear whispers about possible trades in the lottery every year, Chris Mannix of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link) gets the sense that this year could be a little different. According to Mannix, there’s a “growing sense” among many team executives that there could be some major deals completed early in the draft.

Here are several more draft-related rumors worth relaying, with 2018’s big night just two days away:

  • Wojnarowski passed along a few more draft tidbits during ESPN’s Mock Draft Special, per Trika (all Twitter links). According to Woj, the Magic are high on both Trae Young and Collin Sexton, there’s strong mutual interest between Mikal Bridges and the Sixers, and the Warriors will be looking to buy a second-round pick in the 30s.
  • Multiple sources, including NBA execs, agents, and scouts, believe that the Cavaliers will select Michael Porter Jr. if he’s on the board at No. 8, writes Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com. However, the odds of Porter still being available at that point seem to be dwindling.
  • The Wizards are letting teams know that they’re open to trading down from No. 15 if a team is willing to take on one of Washington’s expiring contracts, a league source tells Ben Standig of The Sports Capitol. Marcin Gortat ($13.57MM) and Jason Smith ($5.45MM) look like a couple of the club’s prime trade candidates.
  • Jake Fischer and Jeremy Woo of SI.com spoke to 10 anonymous scouts around the NBA to get their thoughts on Luka Doncic, Trae Young, the Cavaliers‘ pick, and several more draft-related topics.

Atlantic Notes: Sixers, Bolden, Knicks, Mozgov

The Sixers don’t have room on their roster to accommodate all six picks that they own, so expect a trade or two by draft night, writes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Philadelphia heads into Thursday’s draft with the 10th and 26th selections in the first round, plus Nos. 38, 39, 56 and 60 in the second round.

One option is trying to package both picks along with a player to move into the top five, Pompey notes. Another is a smaller deal to inch up a couple of spots and increase the odds of landing Villanova’s Mikal Bridges. The Sixers could also swing for the fences on Kawhi Leonard, offering the Spurs the 10th pick, Markelle Fultz and either Dario Saric or Robert Covington.

Pompey cites a comment made by former Cavaliers GM David Griffin this week that the Sixers have their eyes on someone projected to be among the first five selections, adding that Luka Doncic or Michael Porter Jr. would be a good fit in Philadelphia.
There’s more from the Atlantic Division:
  • Philadelphia needs to make room on its roster for Jonah Bolden, a 2017 second-rounder who is expected to come to the NBA next season, Pompey adds in the same story. A 6’10” stretch four, Bolden played for Maccabi Tel Aviv this year in the Israel Premier League.
  • Mikal Bridges and Kentucky’s Kevin Knox would both be good fits for the Knicks, ESPN college basketball analyst Seth Greenburg tells Al Iannazzone of Newsday. Even though Kristaps Porzingis is expected to be sidelined until at least December with a torn ACL, Greenburg believes the priority should be to find a player who complements him. “You’re not winning today,” Greenberg said, “so I think you’ve got to approach it like, ‘Who will play best with Porzingis?’ You’ve got to give Porzingis something to get excited about. Who’s going to fit with him? I think Knox and Bridges can both.” He adds that the Knicks should avoid drafting another point guard, even if Trae Young or Collin Sexton is available at No. 9.
  • The agent for Timofey Mozgov has talked to the Nets about his client’s lack of playing time, but hasn’t demanded a trade or discussed a buyout, relays Brian Lewis of The New York Post. With two years and $33.7 million remaining on his contract, Mozgov is virtually untradeable, and Lewis points out that the Nets are unlikely to go through with another buyout while they’re still paying Deron Williams. “I don’t know any reason why I first lost my place in the starting five and then not playing even a minute,” Mozgov said. “But it’s the head coach’s decision and he is responsible for result. I tried to speak to [Kenny] Atkinson, but he was not able to give me an answer.”