The Knicks discussed a trade package for Anthony Davis that included Frank Ntilikina, Dennis Smith, Thursday’s No. 3 overall pick and other draft compensation, but they never fully offered forward Kevin Knox and Mitchell Robinson, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports. The Pelicans weren’t particularly high on either Knox or Robinson anyway but the Knicks were reluctant to jeopardize their future flexibility because they weren’t convinced Davis would re-sign with them.
Contrary to other reports, the Celtics were open to discussing Jayson Tatum and the future first-rounder owed by the Grizzlies in a trade package for Davis but didn’t want to part with both of those assets, Charania continues. Boston’s unwillingness to give up multiple major assets tipped the scale in the Lakers’ favor. The Nets also made a bid, Charania adds, but the Pelicans weren’t enamored with their available assets, especially since the Nets couldn’t include restricted free agent D’Angelo Russell.
Here are more highlights from Charania:
- The Rockets were willing to get involved in three-team scenarios in Davis trade talks with Clint Capela being dangled.
- The Pelicans are monitoring the Wizards’ interest in trading All-Star guard Bradley Beal.
- The Celtics and impending free agent Kyrie Irving will meet soon, possibly before the draft, to discuss his future with the organization.
- The Grizzlies have ramped up trade talks involving point guard Mike Conley. The Jazz are the leading contenders for Conley’s services.
- The Suns have discussed moving the No. 6 pick, as well as forwards T.J. Warren and Josh Jackson, in separate trade packages.
Yale wing Miye Oni returned to the Bucks’ practice facility for a second workout on Saturday, ESPN’s Jordan Schultz tweets. Oni averaged 17.1 PPG, 6.3 RPG and 3.6 APG during his junior season. The 6’6” Oni is hoping to become the first Ivy Leaguer drafted since 1995, Schultz adds.
We have more draft info:
- Indiana freshman swingman Romeo Langford is meeting with the Heat this weekend, Schultz reports in another tweet. Miami possesses the No. 13 pick and Langford is ranked No. 14 overall by ESPN’s Jonathan Givony.
- International prospect Goga Bitadze is visiting the Celtics, Pistons and Hornets in the days leading up to Thursday’s draft. according to a tweet from Hawks website writer Kevin Chouinard. The 6’11” Bitadze, 19, led the EuroLeague and Adriatic League in blocks on both a per-game and per-minute basis. He is ranked No. 17 overall by Givony.
- The Wizards worked out Tennessee guard Jordan Bone on Saturday, according to a team press release. The point guard is No. 56 on Givony’s list.
- Forward Terry Harris worked out for the Knicks on Thursday, Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News tweets. He also visited the Nets this week and will work out for the Mavericks and Jazz, Bondy adds in another tweet. He played for North Carolina A&T in his senior year, averaging 8.1 PPG. He is the younger brother of Sixers free agent forward Tobias Harris.
The Nets are considered the favorites to land the Celtics’ point guard, though there’s no indication that other potential suitors have been ruled out, Begley continues.
The Nets can open up as much as $66MM of cap space to sign two major free agents if they renounce Russell’s rights. They can make him a restricted free agent by extending a $9.16MM qualifying offer but renouncing him would clear his $21MM cap hold.
The Pacers, who are shopping for a point guard, are keenly interested in Russell, Begley adds. The Magic, Timberwolves and Jazz are also expected to pursue him in free agency.
Begley’s story contradicts a previous report that suggested the Nets were willing to pair up Russell and Irving as their starting backcourt.
After a torrid second-half run to finish the 2017/18 season, the Jazz entered the 2018/19 campaign widely viewed as a probable top-four seed in the Western Conference. A brutal first-half schedule ultimately prevented Utah from reaching that goal, but the team finished strong again and reached the 50-win mark.
Unfortunately, for a second straight postseason, the Jazz found themselves matched up against their nemeses in Houston, and were unable to take more than a single game from the Rockets. The Jazz had a pretty quiet offseason a year ago, but in the wake of their early exit from the playoffs, they appear far less likely to run it back with the same roster again.
Here are five key questions facing the franchise this summer:
1. How drastically will the Jazz change their roster?
A year ago, the Jazz bet on continuity and the continued improvement of young players like Donovan Mitchell and Dante Exum. The team figures to take a different approach this time around, as newly-promoted president of basketball operations Dennis Lindsey indicated at season’s end.
“We want to move the group forward,” Lindsey told reporters after the Jazz were eliminated from the postseason. “And while we have a very good team, the results told us that we don’t have a great team.”
Lindsey’s comments suggest changes are on the way, but we know that the Jazz aren’t about to rebuild their roster from the ground up. Mitchell and Rudy Gobert are safe. Joe Ingles probably isn’t going anywhere either. However, there may not be many guarantees beyond that.
Derrick Favors has been in Utah since coming over from the Nets as the centerpiece of the Deron Williams trade in 2011, but his $17.6MM salary for next season is non-guaranteed, and he isn’t a lock to return.
The Jazz have been high on Exum since selecting him fifth overall in the 2014 draft, but after another injury-plagued season, it’s not clear how much longer the Australian point guard will be a fixture in Utah.
The Jazz’s core isn’t going anywhere, but there’s a possibility the pieces around them will look significantly different in 2019/20.
On Tuesday night, we relayed a pair of rumors from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who said on the network’s televised mock draft special that the Lakers, Mavericks, and Knicks are among the teams interested in pursuing point guard Kemba Walker, but also cautioned that the Lakers aren’t considered frontrunners for any top free agents.
During ESPN’s draft special, Wojnarowski offered up several more tidbits worth passing along, so we’ll round them up in the space below (all links via Sagar Trika unless otherwise indicated):
- Picking up his 2019/20 player option with the Warriors is probably a “last resort” for Kevin Durant, since he should still receive maximum-salary or near-max offers as a free agent, Wojnarowski said this morning on Get Up (video link via ESPN). We heard on Tuesday that Durant’s Achilles injury isn’t expected to deter suitors, even if it keeps him out for all of next season. Marc Berman of The New York Post confirmed today that the Knicks remain very interested in signing Durant.
- Wojnarowski identifies the Jazz, Pacers, and Celtics as potential suitors for trade candidate Mike Conley (Twitter link). Of course, Boston would only make sense as a trade partner for the Grizzlies if Kyrie Irving leaves.
- According to Wojnarowski, the Pacers are interested in bringing back Bojan Bogdanovic and would also like to re-sign Thaddeus Young, assuming the price is right (Twitter link).
- The Hawks are a team to watch on draft night and may be a candidate to move up to No. 5, in Wojnarowski’s view (Twitter links). Woj expects GM Travis Schlenk to be creative and would be surprised if Atlanta ends up using both the No. 8 and No. 10 overall picks.
- Even if the Suns and Bulls draft point guards with their first-round picks, they’d each likely try to sign a veteran in free agency, says Wojnarowski (Twitter link).
- The Thunder are in “absolute win-now mode,” and Wojnarowski believes they’ll be aggressive with the No. 21 pick in trade talks (Twitter link).
- The Jazz, who hold the No. 23 overall pick in the first round, have a better idea of which players will be available at that spot, Eric Woodyard of The Deseret News reports. “I think we do have a better idea of 5-10 guys, I don’t have an exact number right now, but I think we’ve narrowed it down,” VP of player personnel Walt Perrin said. “We were in the theater the other day looking at players and talking about whether or not they should still be in the 23, as we call it, bucket. So, it’s again, 12 days and we’ll know better in another week, but I think the process is starting to narrow itself.”
USA Basketball has officially announced the group of 20 players that will participate in training camp this summer in advance of the 2019 FIBA World Cup. The camp will take place from August 5-9, and will be used to select the 12-man roster for this year’s World Cup in China.
The 20-man training camp roster is as follows:
- Harrison Barnes (Kings)
- Bradley Beal (Wizards)
- Anthony Davis (Pelicans)
- Andre Drummond (Pistons)
- Eric Gordon (Rockets)
- James Harden (Rockets)
- Tobias Harris (Sixers / FA)
- Kyle Kuzma (Lakers)
- Damian Lillard (Trail Blazers)
- Brook Lopez (Bucks / FA)
- Kevin Love (Cavaliers)
- Kyle Lowry (Raptors)
- CJ McCollum (Trail Blazers)
- Khris Middleton (Bucks)
- Paul Millsap (Nuggets)
- Donovan Mitchell (Jazz)
- Jayson Tatum (Celtics)
- Myles Turner (Pacers)
- P.J. Tucker (Rockets)
- Kemba Walker (Hornets / FA)
“I am excited about getting to training camp in August and working with all of the players that have been selected to attend the USA National Team training camp in Las Vegas,” Team USA head coach Gregg Popovich said in a statement. “We’ve got an excellent cross-section of veteran USA Basketball and NBA players, as well as some exciting younger players who possess amazing versatility.
“I’m appreciative of commitment that our National Team players continue to make, and the eagerness of the new players to become involved,” Popovich continued. “Selecting a 12-man team will be extremely difficult.”
It will be an eventful summer for many of the players on the 20-man Team USA training camp roster. Besides Harris, Lopez, and Walker, who are all headed for unrestricted free agency and could be on new teams by August, players like Barnes, Middleton, and Millsap could reach the open market if their player or team options are declined. Others – including Davis, Gordon, Kuzma, Tatum, and Tucker – have been mentioned in trade rumors.
Kuzma and Mitchell are the only players on the roster who haven’t played internationally for Team USA in the past. Five player on the roster (Barnes, Davis, Harden, Love, and Lowry) have won gold medals for USA Basketball at the 2012 or 2016 Olympics, while two others (Drummond and Gordon) have taken home gold at previous World Cups.
Previous reports indicated that Zion Williamson, John Collins, and Marvin Bagley are expected to be among the players named to a 10-man select team that will scrimmage with Team USA’s 20-man roster at the training camp in August.
The Jazz will hold two workout sessions for draft prospects on Saturday, Eric Walden of the Salt Lake Tribune tweets. The first group will include guards Frankie Ferrari (San Francisco), Makai Mason (Baylor), wings Rayjon Tucker (Arkansas Little-Rock) and Vic Law (Northwestern) and big men Darel Poirier (France) and Kenny Wooten (Oregon).
The afternoon session will include guards Jeremiah Martin (Memphis) and Jordan Bone (Tennessee), wings Charlie Brown (St. Joseph) and Paul Eboua (Cameroon) and big men Luka Samanic (Croatia) and Daniel Gafford (Arkansas).
Utah possesses the No. 23 and 53 picks in this year’s draft.
We have more on the Jazz:
- Center Willie Reed, who played for the team’s G League franchise in Salt Lake City last season, was among 30 free agent invitees to participate in the team’s annual mini-camp this week, Eric Woodyard of the Deseret News reports. Reed averaged 20.1 PPG and 11.2 RPG before suffering a season-ending shoulder injury in January. Reed, 29, has played for four other franchises and appeared in 152 NBA games.
- Farmington City is lobbying the Jazz to relocate its G League team to Station Park once the Stars’ lease with Salt Lake Community College expires, Patrick Carr of the Standard-Examiner reports. The construction of a 5,000-seat, multi-use arena is part of the pitch, Carr adds.
- Darren Collison, Patrick Beverley, Danny Green, Jeremy Lamb and Reggie Bullock are some of the middle-tier free agents the Jazz might pursue, Walden writes.
- The Jazz brought in six guard/wing prospects on Tuesday, the team’s PR department tweets. That group included Terence Davis (Ole Miss), Aubrey Dawkins (UCF), Robert Franks (Washington State), Ahmed Hill (Virginia Tech), Eric Paschall (Villanova) and Jordan Varnado (Troy).