Trevor Lacey

Eastern Notes: Pierce, Gibson, Draft

The Wizards want Paul Pierce to return for the 2015/16 season, but could face competition from the Clippers if the veteran returns for his 18th season. Jorge Castillo of The Washington Post examines what Washington could do to replace the 37-year-old if he does not re-sign with the franchise. The team’s free agent options include Mike Dunleavy, Mirza Teletovic, and Tayshaun Prince, Castillo opines. The Wizards could also look to fill the void with their first round pick, and potential draftees include Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Sam Dekker, and Justin Anderson, Castillo notes.

Here’s the latest out of the Eastern Conference:

  • The Nets have pre-draft workouts scheduled Monday for Olivier Hanlan (Boston College), Andrew Harrison (Kentucky), Sam Thompson (Ohio State), Pat Connaughton (Notre Dame), Branden Dawson (Michigan State), and Cliff Alexander (Kansas), the team announced.
  • Working out for the Pistons today were Treveon Graham (VCU), Hanlan, Trevor Lacey (NC State), Kelly Oubre (Kansas), Karrington Ward (Eastern Michigan), and Dez Wells (Maryland), the team announced (on Twitter).
  • Bulls forward Taj Gibson underwent an arthroscopic surgery on his left ankle on Tuesday, the team announced. The estimated recovery time before the forward can return to action is approximately four months, which could cost Gibson the bulk of the preseason.
  • The Hawks reached a summer league commitment with former Iowa State guard DeAndre Kane, and the team plans to discuss a free agent deal with the 26-year-old, Shams Charania of RealGM tweets. Kane spent last season with the Antwerp Giants of Belgium.
  • Atlanta brought in Penn State guard D.J. Newbill for a workout today Michael Scotto of RealGM relays (Twitter link).

Western Notes: Lakers, Duncan, Ginobili, Wolves

Mitch Kupchak admits that finding someone who can make an immediate impact as Kobe Bryant nears retirement factors into his approach to the offseason, as the Lakers GM tells Chris Mannix of SI.com. Climbing merely to mediocrity would be a dangerous proposition, Kupchak cautions.

“To some degree,” Kupchak said. “We feel we want to make significant progress from this year to next year. And if we can do that and not mortgage the future — in other words, with a player who is in free agency that’s a veteran — then yeah. It’s a factor because we do want and we need in this city to show progress. And we’ve not made the playoffs for two years running, I suppose you can do it a third year, but our fans are impatient, and they’re used to a good product, and that’s not what we want to do. And we know Kobe is not as happy when the town around him is not enough to win. But, we’ve got to be careful that we don’t do something that puts us in the middle of the pack for the next six or seven years. Because all that does is get you the eighth seed in the playoffs and a draft pick that’s not very good.”

There’s more on the Lakers amid the latest from the Western Conference:

  • Tony Parker is optimistic that both Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili will return to the Spurs for next season, though he admits that his hope that they indeed come back may cloud his ability to accurately predict what they’ll do, as Parker tells Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News. Regardless, Duncan said to Scott Soshnick of Bloomberg.com that the loss of more than $20MM that he alleges that a former financial adviser swindled him out of won’t play a role in his decision whether to return.
  • Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor dismissed any lingering doubt Wednesday, declaring that president of basketball operations Flip Saunders will continue as coach of the team for next season, as Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities relays (on Twitter).
  • The Pelicans would like to add former Nuggets interim coach Melvin Hunt as an assistant coach, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.com (Twitter link).
  • The Lakers have interest in trading the No. 27 pick to clear the salary that goes with it, and talk has also centered on the team packaging the pick with other assets in an offer for another pick higher in the order, as Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders writes within his mock draft.
  • Notre Dame swingman Pat Connaughton, N.C. State shooting guard Trevor Lacey, Iowa State shooting guard Bryce Dejean-Jones, Tennessee Tech center Charles Jackson and UC Santa Barbara center Alan Williams were among those who worked out for the Wolves this week, Wolfson reports (Twitter link).

And-Ones: Borrego, Draft, Crawford

Walter Pitchford, a center from Nebraska, and Gardner-Webb combo forward Jerome Hill are the two U.S. players who withdrew from the draft in advance of Monday’s deadline to do so, the league announced. The deadline to withdraw while still maintaining college eligibility was more than two months ago, so neither is able to return to NCAA ball. Neither had much chance to be drafted this year, so the outcome of their respective decisions Monday, at least as far as next season is concerned, is likely the same, with either the D-League or overseas play probably in the future for them. Still, both will have the chance to go through the draft process again next year, when they’ll be automatically draft-eligible.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Also withdrawing from the draft were Spanish small forward Alberto Abalde and Oriol Pauli, Ukrainian centers Vladislav Korenyuk and Sergiy Zagreba, Lebanese point guard Wael Arakji, Greek shooting guard Eleftherios Bochoridis, Georgian forward Beka Burjanadze, Senegalese center Moussa Diagne, Croatian shooting guard Ognjen Dobric, Spanish shooting guard Marc Garcia, Spanish forward Juan Alberto Hernangomez, Slovenian point guard Aleksej Nikolic and Kazakhstani power forward Alexandr Zhigulin, the league announced in the same press release. Several other overseas prospects also withdrew, according to Monday reports that the league confirmed.
  • Former University of Washington center Robert Upshaw has been cleared to resume workouts after his heart issue scare, Reid Forgrave of FOXSports.com relays (Twitter link). Upshaw has already worked out for the Mavericks, and will show his wares for the Rockets on Wednesday, Forgrave adds.
  • Clippers guard Jamal Crawford has hired Wasserman Media Group to represent him, Brad Turner of The Los Angeles Times reports (Twitter link). Crawford was previously with Andy Miller of ASM Sports.
  • Former Magic interim coach James Borrego is finalizing a deal with the Spurs to join coach Gregg Popovich‘s staff as an assistant, Shams Charania of RealGM reports (via Twitter).
  • The Hornets held workouts today for Treveon Graham (VCU), Alan Williams (Santa Barbara), Trevor Lacey (NC State), Sir’Dominic Pointer (St. John’s), Shannon Scott (Ohio State), and Seth Tuttle (Northern Iowa), the team announced (Twitter links).

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Central Notes: Ilyasova, Cavs, Bucks

The Pistons got the better end of today’s trade with the Bucks that netted Detroit Ersan Ilyasova, Daniel Leroux of RealGM writes in his breakdown of the deal. While the trade was essentially a salary dump for Milwaukee, the Pistons taking a flyer on Ilyasova without giving up any significant assets was a better outcome than most of their realistic free agent options in July, Leroux opines. In addition to creating some cap flexibility, the Bucks also cleared some minutes for the team’s bevy of young frontcourt players, the RealGM scribe notes.

Here’s the latest from the Central Division:

  • The Cavaliers are conducting a group workout today involving Pittsburgh shooting guard Cameron Wright, league sources tell Michael Scotto of SheridanHoops (Twitter links). Also participating in the workout are Utah’s Delon Wright, Kentucky’s Andrew Harrison, and North Carolina State’s Trevor Lacey, Scotto adds.
  • Dealing away Ilyasova will also have an impact on who the Bucks look to select with the No. 17 overall pick in the NBA Draft, Gery Woelfel of The Racine Journal Times relays (Twitter link). The franchise could potentially nab Wisconsin’s Sam Dekker or UCLA’s Kevon Looney with that pick, Woelfel adds.
  • The Pistons interviewed LSU big man Jordan Mickey via Skype, but there are currently no plans for an individual workout because of scheduling issues, Vincent Ellis of The Detroit Free Press relays (on Twitter).

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Northwest Notes: Aldridge, Jazz, Nuggets

Earlier today, a report surfaced indicating that Blazers star LaMarcus Aldridge had put his Portland area home up for sale.  Apparently, that is not the case.  Yes, the house is up for sale, but the 29-year-old free agent isn’t the owner.  It turns out that the West Linn, Oregon home is actually owned by former Blazers guard Damon Stoudamire and Aldridge was simply renting it, as John Canzano of The Oregonian writes.  Stoudamire later confirmed as much on Twitter [sic]:

eating lunch and my house in West Linn comes across the screen. Don’t know if LA is leaving PO but, thx for the pub! #4sale,” Stoudamire wrote.

While Blazers fans calm down a bit, let’s take a look at more news out of the Northwest Division..

  • The Jazz have a greater chance at bringing over Tibor Pleiss next year than Ante Tomic, ESPN700’s Andy Larsen tweets.  However, it’s also possible that both players make the jump or that neither player does.  Larsen notes that what Utah does with both players is very much dependent on who they draft (link).  There won’t be much room for both players if they draft a big man at No. 12 later this month.
  • The Jazz formally announced on Twitter that they will work out six prospects on Friday.  That group includes SMU center Yanick Moreira, UNC Asheville center Jaleel Roberts, Kentucky guard Aaron Harrison, Maryland guard/forward Dez Wells, N.C. State guard Trevor Lacey, and St. John’s guard Phil Greene.  Hoops Rumors spoke with Greene and his former coach Steve Lavin recently about the guard’s NBA prospects.  Greene is represented by veteran NBA agent Keith Kreiter.
  • In a press release, the Nuggets announced that they will audition seven players on Friday.  The morning group will feature forward Darion Atkins (Virginia), guard Devin Booker (Kentucky), forward Sam Dekker (Wisconsin), guard Jerian Grant (Notre Dame),  guard Pierria Henry (Charlotte), and guard/forward SirDominic Pointer (St. John’s).
  • The Blazers‘ second pre-draft workout includes Henry, George de Paula, Chris Walker, Joshua Smith, and Seth Tuttle, according to Joe Freeman of The Oregonian (on Twitter).  As previously reported, Jarell Martin will also be a participant.

Southwest Notes: Pelicans, Mavs, Grizzlies

The Pelicans and Celtics assistant coach Darren Erman have an agreement in principle for Erman to join Alvin Gentry‘s coaching staff in New Orleans, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. Marc Stein of ESPN.com reported overnight that the Pelicans were aggressively pursuing Erman, a detail-oriented defensive whiz who complements Gentry’s offensive acumen. The Raptors also recently made a run at Erman, sources told Wojnarowski. New Orleans is poised to hire Thunder assistant coach Robert Pack for Gentry’s staff, too, as Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times hears (Twitter link). However, Wojnarowski, whose story appeared later, writes that the Pelicans and Pack are in talks but makes no mention of a deal. Regardless, new Thunder head coach Billy Donovan is unlikely to keep Pack on his staff, Wojnarowski adds. Here’s more from around the Southwest Division:

  • San Diego State small forward Dwayne Polee worked out for the Mavericks late last month, as he tells Zach Links of Hoops Rumors (Twitter link). Michigan State’s Travis Trice, Stanford’s Chasson Randle, Dayton’s Jordan Sibert and Harvard point guard Wesley Saunders showed off for Dallas today, tweets Michael Scotto of SheridanHoops.
  • Big men highlight the Grizzlies workout scheduled for Wednesday, with Kentucky center Dakari Johnson and French center Mouhammadou Jaiteh on the docket, writes Ronald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal in a subscription-only piece. Centers Youssou Ndoye from St. Bonaventure and Charles Jackson from Tennessee Tech, Connecticut point guard Ryan Boatright and Boise State shooting guard Derrick Marks are the others in the workout, as Tillery details.
  • Florida’s Michael Frazier is auditioning for the Spurs today, Scotto reports, and the team will also get a look at North Carolina’s J.P. Tokoto, according to Pincus (Twitter links).
  • Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders adds the Rockets to the list of teams working out N.C. State shooting guard Trevor Lacey (Twitter link).

And-Ones: Booker, Clippers, Sanders

Kentucky shooting guard Devin Booker will work out for the Thunder on Tuesday, Darnell Mayberry of the Oklahoman tweets. Oklahoma City owns the No. 14 overall pick. The Suns, who have the No. 13 pick, brought in Booker for a workout on Monday. according to a tweet from Michael Scotto of SheridanHoops.com. Dez WellsJosh Richardson, Derek Cooke, Vince Hunter and Jarvis Summers also participated in Phoenix’s workout, according to Scotto.

In other news around the league:

  • The Clippers, who don’t have a pick in the draft, nonetheless brought in several prospects for workouts on Monday, including Chris WalkerDwayne PoleeRalston TurnerKeifer SykesShannon Scott and Richaun Holmes, Dan Woike of the Orange County Register reports.
  • Trevor Lacey, Dakari Johnson, Rayvonte Rice, Corey Hawkins, Kenneth Smith and Alpha Kaba worked out for the Lakers on Monday, according to the Lakers’ Twitter feed.
  • Jerian Grant and Delon Wright participated in the Wizards’ first pre-draft workout, Jorge Castillo of The Washington Post reports.
  • Larry Sanders has no regrets walking away from the Bucks and the NBA, he tells Gus Turner of Complex.com in a lengthy feature article. Sanders left approximately $27MM but has found peace and happiness outside of basketball, Turner adds. “I couldn’t function outside of the gym and my studio,” he told Turner. “I couldn’t be around my family; I couldn’t be around anybody else. I was creating from a place of anxiety and fear, suffering. I wasn’t creating from a place of joy or happiness or freedom. Everything I did was pure avoidance.”
  • Alvin Gentry’s four-year deal to coach the Pelicans is worth a total of $13.75MM, and that includes a team option of $4MM for the final season, according to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports.

Eastern Notes: Heat, Hezonja, Celtics

With the Heat‘s need to add an outside shooter in this year’s NBA Draft, Kentucky shooting guard Devin Booker certainly fits the bill, and could be available when the team selects at No. 10 overall, Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel writes. Team president Pat Riley is also looking to emulate the versatility of the Warriors’ backcourt, Winderman adds. “If you watch Golden State,” Riley said, “they don’t have a plethora of 3-point shooters beyond Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry, they’re everything. They’re the most complete backcourt in the league. Not only are they the ballhandlers, catch-and-shoot players, the playmakers, but they’re both the main long-distance weapon for that team.

Here’s more from the Eastern Conference:

  • Croatian swingman Mario Hezonja could fit the bill as the outside threat that the Pistons need, Brendan Savage of MLive.com writes. “He’s got a little swagger to him,” a Southeastern Division executive said of Hezonja. “I think those Euro kids have to have some of that coming over here. He’s awfully gifted. He can guard okay, and he’s a capable shooter and a good passer. He checks off a lot of boxes that you’re looking for in a wing. He allows how he’s playing on the offensive end to determine how much effort he’s going to give you defensively. But he’s big. Agile for his size. He has a little nastiness to him that will serve him well if he decides to compete at the defensive end.
  • Their wealth of picks in the 2015 draft is making it easy for the Celtics to secure players for individual workouts, A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com writes. “These guys [draft prospects] can’t work out for all 30 teams,Austin Ainge, Boston’s director of player personnel, told Blakely. “So agents try to limit it to your range. So that’s probably the biggest advantage in our wide net is we have a pick for every range, almost. We’re able to get more guys in which is even more important than what we’re trying to get.
  • The Sixers held workouts today for Trevor Lacey, Wesley Saunders, Rakeem Christmas, David Laury, and Travis Trice, Jake Fischer of LibertyBallers.com tweets.

Trevor Lacey To Enter Draft

N.C. State junior shooting guard Trevor Lacey has decided to enter this year’s draft, as he confirms to Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com (Twitter link). His chances of getting drafted seem slim, as he’s just No. 96 on the list of prospects that Chad Ford of ESPN.com compiles, while Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress doesn’t have him within his top 100, ranking Lacey as only the 75th-best college junior.

Lacey put up 15.7 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.5 assists in 35.9 minutes per game during his lone season with the Wolfpack after transferring from Alabama and sitting out a year. He nailed 39.2% of his three-point shots, so he showed proficiency in a number of areas. Still, at 6’3″, he doesn’t have ideal size for a shooting guard, and he’s a tweener, as Ford writes in his profile. At 23, his age works against him, too, since NBA teams usually prefer younger prospects with upside.

He helped the Wolfpack to a Sweet 16 appearance in the NCAA Tournament this year, scoring 18 points in a loss to Louisville. If Lacey defies the odds and makes an NBA regular season roster, he’ll join Lorenzo Brown and T.J. Warren as NBA perimeter players that N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried has produced in his four seasons at the school. It wouldn’t be surprising to see several teams bring Lacey in for workouts prior to the draft, in spite of his position on draft boards, and even if he isn’t drafted, he figures to have a chance to earn a training camp invitation with a strong summer league performance.