Tyler Bey

Northwest Notes: Millsap, Schroder, Nuggets, Ingles

Nuggets forward Paul Millsap is optimistic about his squad’s title odds, per The Athletic’s Nick Kosmider. The 35-year-old veteran has hardly rested on his laurels during the two-month pandemic-mandated league shutdown. Millsap revealed in a team Instagram interview recently that he has focused his workouts around a plyometrics-strengthening program, working toward getting stronger and quicker than he was in March.

Millsap, a two-time All-Star with the Hawks, is earning $30.35MM in the final year of his contract with Denver. The 43-22 Nuggets, led by All-Star center Nikola Jokic and promising young point guard Jamal Murray, are the No. 3 seed in the West. Millsap thinks that the team’s familiarity will give them an edge in a season with so many changing faces among the league’s elite teams. “I think we have an advantage,” Millsap said. “We’ve been together probably longer than any team out there.”

There’s more out of the Northwest:

  • On July 1, Thunder guard Dennis Schroder will become the majority owner of his German hometown team, Löwen Braunschweig in the Basketball Bundesliga League, per Nick Crain of Forbes. Schroder’s first pro experience was with Löwen Braunschweig’s farm team in 2010. After three seasons in the BBL, Schroder took the leap to the NBA, where he’s currently in the third year of a four-season, $62MM contract extension he signed with the Hawks before being traded to Oklahoma City in 2018/19.
  • Colorado University forward Tyler Bey could be an enticing fit for the Nuggets in the 2020 draft given his defensive skill set and rebounding skills. Bey’s raw offensive game and lack of a clear position at the level give The Denver Post’s Mike Singer pause about the fit. Elsewhere in his mailbag, Singer addresses other pressing Nuggets questions, including the Denver futures of post players Jerami Grant, Mason Plumlee, and Millsap.
  • Following up on March comments that suggested Jazz forward Joe Ingles might avoid a return to league play this season due to safety concerns, Ingles clarified his stance on the matter in a recent tweet“When it’s safe to go back and play, I will not let my teammates down!” he said, in part.

Draft Notes: Bey, Hall, Mamukelashvili, Jones

Colorado’s Tyler Bey has signed with an agent and will remain in the draft, Jeff Goodman of Stadium tweets. Bey declared for the draft in late March. The 6’7” Bey is a potential first-round pick. He’s currently ranked No. 35 overall by ESPN and No. 8 among power forward prospects. He posted 13.8 PPG and 9.0 RPG with 1.5 SPG and 1.2 BPG in 31 games (29.0 MPG) in 2019/20.

We have more draft-related news:

  • Josh Hall will bypass college and remain in the draft, according to Evan Daniels of 247Sports. The 6’9” Hall had signed to play with North Carolina State next season but has hired an agent and will pursue pro opportunities. He’s eligible for this year’s draft because he graduated for high school last year, did a post-graduate season year and is 19 years old.
  • Seton Hall junior forward Sandro Mamukelashvili has a dozen video interviews lined up with NBA teams but could still return for his senior season, Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog.com reports. He declared for the draft in March without hiring an agent. Mamukelashvili averaged 11.9 PPG and 6.0 RPG this season but missed seven weeks due to a fractured wrist.
  • Mason Jones declared on a Twitter post he’s not returning to Arkansas, Goodman relays in another tweet. The junior guard averaged 22.0 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 3.4 APG, and 1.6 SPG in his final year with the Razorbacks. The 6’5” Jones is ranked No. 77 overall and No. 14 among shooting guards by ESPN.

Kira Lewis, Tyler Bey Among Prospects Testing Draft Waters

Alabama guards Kira Lewis and John Petty will enter the 2020 NBA draft and will go through the pre-draft process before deciding whether to keep their names in this year’s pool, coach Nate Oats said today, per Charlie Potter of 247Sports (Twitter link).

“We’re planning on possibly not having either of them back,” Oats said of Lewis and Petty.

Lewis, a sophomore point guard who ranks 25th overall on ESPN’s big board, averaged a team-high 18.5 PPG to go along with 5.2 APG, 4.8 RPG, and 1.8 SPG in 31 games (37.6 MPG) in 2019/20.

Petty, the Crimson Tide’s starting shooting guard, recorded 14.6 PPG and 6.6 RPG with an impressive .440 3PT% in 29 games (33.5 MPG) as a junior. He ranks 56th on ESPN’s top-100 list.

Meanwhile, a pair of Colorado juniors will also test the draft waters, according to head coach Tad Boyle, who says that Tyler Bey and McKinley Wright will go through the process, per Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports (Twitter link). A report earlier this month indicated Bey and Wright were expected to enter their names in the 2020 draft.

Bey, the No. 36 prospect on ESPN’s big board, posted 13.8 PPG and 9.0 RPG with 1.5 SPG and 1.2 BPG in 31 games (29.0 MPG) in 2019/20. The forward also showed a slightly increased willingness to let it fly from beyond the arc, making 13-of-31 (41.9%) of his three-point attempts.

As for Wright, he was the Buffaloes’ leading scorer with 14.4 PPG, 5.7 RPG, and 5.0 APG. However, the junior guard doesn’t show up on ESPN’s list of 2020’s top 100 prospects.

While all four Alabama and Colorado underclassmen will go through the pre-draft process, it’s not clear yet what that process will actually entail, with the combine and individual workouts in jeopardy and this year’s draft calendar up in the air.