V.J. King

Knicks Agree To Sign Kris Wilkes, Amir Hinton, V.J. King

The Knicks will sign UCLA forward Kris Wilkes to a two-way contract, league sources tell Tim Bontemps of ESPN.com (Twitter link). The deal can become official after the new league year begins.

Wilkes, who was the 23rd-best prospect to go undrafted on Thursday night, per ESPN’s big board, averaged 17.4 PPG, 4.8 RPG, and 1.7 APG in 33 games during his sophomore season with the Bruins. He has a wingspan of nearly 7’0″ and has potential as a slasher and multi-postional defender, according to ESPN’s scouting report.

Kadeem Allen‘s two-way deal with the Knicks runs for another season, while Isaiah Hicks‘ is expiring, so it appears likely that Wilkes will replace Hicks, though it’s possible the team will turn over both two-way spots.

Meanwhile, the Knicks have also agreed to free agent deals with two more undrafted rookies. Sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter links) that Louisville wing V.J. King and Shaw point guard Amir Hinton will sign with the team.

King didn’t play much of a role during his final year at Louisville, averaging just 3.9 PPG and 3.0 RPG in 13.7 minutes per contest, but NBA teams are still intrigued by his potential. As for Hinton, he led all Division II players in 2018/19 with 29.4 points per game and earned CIAA Player of the Year honors. He had hoped to become the first D-II since 2005 to be drafted.

Hinton will get an Exhibit 10 deal from the Knicks, according to Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic, who adds (via Twitter) that the Pistons showed a lot of interest in the Division II star. Specific details on King’s agreement aren’t known.

Could The Wizards Be The “Right Situation” For Keldon Johnson?

The Wizards hold the No. 9 overall pick in next week’s draft, though they haven’t had many of the elite prospects in Washington for workouts. Keldon Johnson broke that trend, participating in drills at the team’s practice facility on Thursday. The former Kentucky Wildcat described the experience as “amazing” when speaking with Hoops Rumors and other media in attendance.

“I feel I really got to compete today. Got in a great workout. Great staff. I feel everyone was involved in it. … I just had an amazing time,” Johnson said.

Opinions on where Johnson will be drafted range from late-lottery pick to the early 20s. The 6’6″ wing is no. 19 on ESPN’s latest top 100 and Jonathan Givony has Utah selecting him with the No. 23 overall selection in his latest mock draft.

Johnson doesn’t worry about where he’s projected to go. He takes the same approach to invites regardless of what pick the team possesses.

“I don’t really look at it,” he said. “I just go into the workout open-minded. Whatever workouts I have, I go in there and kill [the workout] and go at whoever’s in front of me.”

Iowa State’s Cameron Lard was the only prospect to participate in on-court activities with Johnson. Many pre-draft workouts have upwards of six prospects. Others are merely individual workouts. The two-man workout calls for more one-on-one drills and showcases a different skill set.

Johnson, who scored 13.5 points per game at Kentucky last season, feels his ballhandling is an area of his game that’s underrated. The Virginia-native feels he can better showcase that ability at the next level and added that the tempo of the NBA suits his game. “It’s a lot of up-and-down. … I think I’ll transition well,” the 19-year-old said.

Johnson simply wants to go to the “right situation.” When asked to clarify, the prospect emphasized a place where he can learn. “Just come in, play, learn. Just listen to my coaches,” he said.

John Calipari‘s former recruit previously worked out for a bevy of teams, including the Celtics — owners of three picks in the top 22. He’ll head to Minnesota next, which will likely be his last workout before the NBA draft.

The draft process continues for Washington today. The Wizards will bring in six prospects, as the team relays on its website. Corey Davis (Houston), Jessie Govan (Georgetown), Jaylen Hands (UCLA), Lyle Hexom (Peru State), Jonathan Kasibabu (Fairfield) and V.J. King (Louisville) will participate in drills while Sekou Doumbouya (France) will simply meet with the team.

Atlantic Draft Workouts: Sixers, Knicks, Nets

The Sixers will bring some potential late-first round prospects on Saturday, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Tennessee power forward Grant Williams, ranked No. 30 overall by ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, and Villanova power forward Eric Paschall (No. 31) will visit, as well as Oregon forward Louis King (No. 51). They’ll be joined by Justin Robinson (Virginia Tech), V.J. King (Louisville) and Phil Booth (Villanova). The Sixers have the No. 24 pick in the first round and three early second-rounders (Nos. 33, 34 and 42).

We have more draft news regarding Atlantic Division teams:

  • The Sixers also worked out six prospects on Friday, Pompey tweets. That group included big man Christ Koumadje (Florida State) and Josh Sharma (Stanford) and guards Adam Mokoka (Serbian League), Zach Norvell Jr. (Gonzaga), Justin Simon (St. John’s) and Bryce Brown (Auburn).
  • Wofford 3-point specialist Fletcher Magee worked out for the Knicks on Friday, Adam Zagoria of the New York Times tweets. Louisville’s V.J. King also visited, Ian Begley of SNY TV tweets. St. John’s Justin Simon will also work out for the Knicks next Friday, Zagoria reports in another tweet.
  • Auburn’s Bryce Brown worked out for the Nets on Thursday, Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington tweets.

Draft Decisions: Konate, King, Enoch, Queta, More

We rounded up a series of draft decisions by early entrants this morning, but with the NCAA’s withdrawal deadline (May 29) looming, we’ve already got many more decisions to pass along.

Here’s the latest:

  • West Virginia forward Sagaba Konate plans to remain in the 2019 NBA draft and will forgo his final year of college eligibility, he tells Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports (Twitter link).
  • Louisville junior forward V.J. King is also keeping his name in the draft, he announced today (via Twitter). However, the Cardinals will get another key player back, as Steven Enoch‘s father told 93.9 The Ville that his son is “looking forward to next season” in Louisville (Twitter link).
  • Utah State center Neemias Queta announced today (via a Twitter video) that he’ll return to school for his sophomore season.
  • Three Xavier prospects who tested the draft waters as early entrants – Paul Scruggs, Tyrique Jones, and Naji Marshall – are headed back to the Musketeers, according to Rothstein (Twitter link).
  • Texas A&M guard Savion Flagg tells Jeff Goodman of Stadium (Twitter link) that he’ll remove his name from the draft and rejoin the Aggies for his junior season.
  • Providence junior guard Alpha Diallo is also expected to withdraw from the draft and go back to school, agent Javon Phillips tells Goodman (Twitter link).
  • Dayton forward Obi Toppin announced in an Instagram post that he’ll pull out of the draft and head back to school for his sophomore year.
  • Keith Braxton, a junior guard out of St. Francis (PA), has elected to withdraw from the draft after testing the waters, tweets Rothstein.

Draft Workouts: Pistons, Sixers, Wolves, Kings

Centers Bruno Fernando (Maryland) and Daniel Gafford (Arkansas) were among the prospects the Pistons brought in on Tuesday, Rod Beard of the Detroit News tweets. Fernando is ranked the fifth-best center prospect by ESPN’s Jonathan Givony and No. 34 overall. Gafford is right behind him among centers and No. 38 overall. Detroit currently holds the No. 15 and No. 45 picks. Shooting guards Fletcher Magee (Wofford), SG Jaylin Walker (Kent State) and Ky Bowman (Boston College) and wing Cody Martin (Nevada) also visited the Pistons’ practice facility on Tuesday.

We have more draft workout info:

Jaxson Hayes Declares For 2019 NBA Draft

Texas freshman forward/center Jaxson Hayes has entered the 2019 NBA draft and is hiring an agent, the school announced on Thursday morning in a press release.

While Hayes could technically withdraw from the draft by May 29 even after signing with an agent, he appears ready to go pro. The Big 12 Freshman of the Year currently projects as a lottery pick, with ESPN’s Jonathan Givony ranking him as 2019’s No. 9 prospect.

In his first – and likely only – season as a Longhorn, Hayes averaged 10.0 PPG, 5.0 RPG, and an impressive 2.2 BPG in 32 games (23.3 MPG). He wasn’t a huge factor for Texas’ offense, but didn’t miss often when he did shoot, recording a .728 FG%.

In his scouting report on Hayes, Givony notes that the big man is still “fairly raw in a lot of areas” and isn’t a great defensive rebounder. However, Givony adds that Hayes has major upside and an “excellent physical profile.” Because the youngster began playing basketball late, his trajectory gives him plenty of potential for long-term growth, Givony writes.

Hayes joins an ever-growing list of early entrants for the 2019 NBA draft. Here are a few more prospects who have recently declared for the draft: