Vince Williams

Central Notes: Allen, Pacers Draft, Sharpe, Bucks Draft

Bucks wing Grayson Allen underwent a surgical procedure on his left ring finger, according to The Associated Press.

“A lot of times, guys do maintenance-type stuff, routine stuff in the offseason to kind of get ready,” general manager Jon Horst said. “It was good for him to kind of approach it in the offseason. It’ll be fine. There’s no kind of lasting effects.”

Allen, whose two-year, $18.7MM extension kicks in next season, averaged 11.1 PPG and 3.4 RPG in 27.3 MPG during the regular season.

We have more from the Central Division:

  • The Pacers will work out six more draft prospects on Monday, according to the team’s website writer Wheat Hotchkiss. As previously reported, that group includes projected lottery pick Shaedon Sharpe (Kentucky). The other prospects who will visit include Jake LaRavia (Wake Forest), Alfonso Plummer (Illinois), Jermaine Samuels (Villanova), Aaron Thompson (Butler), and Vince Williams Jr. (VCU).
  • Speaking of Sharpe, he held a Zoom press conference on Friday and said he’d fit well with the Pacers if they use their lottery pick (No. 6 overall) on him. “I feel like I could really play with those guys just because they have good guys that can really handle the ball, play defense, switch on defense,” Sharpe said to The Indianapolis Star’s James Boyd and other media members. “I feel like I can score and really impact the game.” Sharpe is certainly not lacking in confidence. “I see myself being one of the greatest players to ever play the game of basketball,” he said.
  • The Bucks hold the No. 24 pick and could be in the market for a wing player. The Athletic’s Eric Nehm takes a look at nine prospects who could potentially be available at that spot, including LaRavia, MarJon Beauchamp and Patrick Baldwin Jr.

Draft Workout Notes: Kings, Wizards, Wolves, Jazz, More

The Kings hosted several prospects for pre-draft workouts on Tuesday and Wednesday, the team announced (Twitter links).

The Tuesday group featured Trey McGowens, Ziga Samar, Ron Harper Jr., Brady Manek and Dallas Walton. Wednesday’s group was Jacob Gilyard, Fatts Russell, Yoan Makoundou, Karlo Matkovic, Yannick Nzosa and Kai Sotto.

The Kings control the fourth, 37th and 49th picks in the 2022 draft, and a handful of those players could be targets with one of those second-round picks. Nzosa, Samar, Harper and Matkovic are ranked between 53rd and 58th on ESPN’s big board.

Here are more workout-related notes from around the NBA:

Southeast Notes: Ellis, Bamba, Hornets, Hawks

Alabama guard Keon Ellis worked out for the Heat on Monday, according to Jake Weingarten of StockRisers.com (Twitter link). It was previously reported that Ellis is working out for Florida’s other pro club, the Magic, today.

The 6’6″ shooting guard played his first two seasons of college ball at Florida SouthWestern, from 2018–20, before transferring to Alabama. During his second season with the Crimson Tide in 2021/22, Ellis was named to the SEC All-Defensive Team. In 33 games, he averaged 12.1 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 1.9 SPG and 1.8 APG with a shooting line of .439/.366/.881.

Ellis is ranked as the No. 66 prospect on ESPN’s big board. The Heat only possess the No. 27 pick this year. Miami lost its 2022 second-round draft pick for a free agency tampering violation. Of course, it’s worth noting that the Heat have had plenty of luck in recent years when it comes to developing undrafted free agent rookies, should Ellis become available that way.

There’s more out of the Southeast Division:

  • Magic center Mohamed Bamba is a restricted free agent this summer and could be the odd man out in the frontcourt. Orlando is set to add another big man prospect with the top pick in the 2022 draft this summer to complement forward Franz Wagner and big man Wendell Carter Jr., who was extended last summer. With that in mind, Ethan Fuller of Basketball News considers potential landing spots for Bamba. During a breakout fourth NBA season, the 24-year-old showed off his abilities as a high-level finisher and elite rim protector. Fuller considers clubs like the Nets, Heat and Mavericks as possible destinations. Should Bamba remain in Orlando, Fuller projects him to move to the bench to accommodate whichever player the Magic decide to draft.
  • Hornets ownership agreed to extend its lease for the team’s Charlotte home arena, Spectrum Center, through 2045, according to a team press release“Hornets Sports & Entertainment truly values the public-private partnership that we share with the City of Charlotte, including our agreement to manage Spectrum Center, which is a city-owned building,” the statement read in part. “We look forward to continuing to serve as stewards of Spectrum Center to make it the premier destination for sports and entertainment in the Carolinas.”
  • The Hawks are looking at five prospects tomorrow, tweets Chris Kirschner of The Athletic. Atlanta will work out Houston big man Josh Carlton, Providence forward Justin Minaya, St. John’s wing Julian Champagnie, VCU forward Vince Williams Jr., and Fresno State forward Orlando Robinson. The Hawks have the No. 16 and No. 44 picks in the 2022 draft at their disposal.

Eastern Notes: Celtics, Bulls, Gobert, Cavaliers, Hornets

The Celtics struggled in Game 4 of the NBA Finals largely due to their stagnant offense, Jay King of The Athletic writes. Boston lost the game 107-97, shooting 40% from the floor with 15 turnovers. While Boston is an all-time great defensive team, it certainly shouldn’t be viewed in the same light offensively.

“We just have to stay organized,” star forward Jaylen Brown said. “That’s on our veteran players to get us organized in those moments. At times, we get unorganized and kind of get on top of each other. The spacing kind of closes down. That’s where some of those turnovers come from. We have to do a better job.”

Boston’s offense improved this season when the team — particularly Marcus Smart and Jayson Tatum — committed to passing more. Tatum has continued that adjustment into the postseason, raising his assists per game from 4.4 to 6.2, while Smart has kept his average at a respectable 5.9.

The Celtics’ chances of winning the Finals may hinge on their ability to play in transition, keep the ball moving, and receive better play from Tatum. The 24-year-old finished with 23 points, 11 rebounds and six assists in Game 4, but he shot just 8-of-23 (35%) from the floor and recorded six turnovers on the night.

There’s more from Boston today:

  • Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times explores the Bulls‘ rumored interest in Jazz center Rudy Gobert. Chicago could make roster upgrades after losing in five games to Milwaukee during the first round, and Gobert may become available in trade talks. The Bulls ranked 23rd in defensive rating this season, although the team dealt with numerous injuries throughout the year.
  • In her latest mailbag, Kelsey Russo of The Athletic examines the chances of a Ricky Rubio reunion and considers other potential Cavaliers free agent targets. Rubio was highly effective before suffering a torn ACL, helping keep the Cavs in the playoff mix in the Eastern Conference.
  • The Hornets will work out six draft-eligible players on Saturday, the team announced on social media (Twitter link). Chattanooga’s Silvio De Sousa, Florida’s Anthony Duruji, the G League Ignite’s Jaden Hardy, Seton Hall’s Ike Obiagu, Notre Dame’s Blake Wesley and VCU’s Vince Williams will all work out for the club.

44 Prospects Announced For 2022 NBA G League Elite Camp

The NBA G League has formally announced its field of 44 draft prospects for the 2022 NBA G League Elite Camp.

The event, which will take place May 16 and 17 in Chicago, “gives draft prospects an opportunity to display their skills in front of NBA and NBA G League scouts, coaches and front-office executives over the course of the camp by playing in five-on-five games and participating in strength and agility drills.”

The top performers from the camp will be invited to the NBA Draft Combine, which will take place from May 18-22 in Chicago. Some NBA players who have participated in past G League Elite Camps include Pelicans guard Jose Alvarado, Pacers forward Oshae Brissett, Clippers wing Terance Mann, and Heat wing Max Strus.

Here’s the list of 44 draft-eligible attendees:

The list of attendees features 13 players on ESPN’s big board, notes Jonathan Givony of ESPN (via Twitter), so some players have a chance to be drafted.

The top-ranked prospect at the camp is Scheierman (No. 69), who averaged 16.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.3 steals on .508/.469/.802 shooting this season for South Dakota State (35 games, 33.3 minutes per contest).

Draft Notes: Latest Mock, Senior Eligibility, Timme, Rollins, Williams, St. Hilaire, Sasser

Gonzaga freshman big man Chet Holmgren goes No. 1 to Houston in Jonathan Givony’s latest mock draft on ESPN. Givony projects Orlando taking Auburn freshman Jabari Smith with the second pick and Detroit selecting Duke’s Paolo Banchero in the No. 3 slot. Purdue guard Jaden Ivey and Iowa forward Keegan Murray round out the top five in the post-NCAA Tournament mock.

We have more draft-related notes:

  • As it did last year, the NBA will require fourth-year college seniors to declare themselves eligible for the draft, Givony confirms (via Twitter). Players can withdraw by June 1 in order to retain their NCAA eligibility.
  • Gonzaga junior forward Drew Timme has declared for the draft, he announced on Twitter. Timme, who is ranked No. 57 overall on ESPN’s Best Available rankings, averaged 18.4 PPG, 6.8 RPG and 2.8 APG this season for the Bulldogs. His announcement doesn’t say anything about maintaining his college eligibility, so it sounds like he’s prepared to go pro.
  • Toledo sophomore Ryan Rollins is entering the draft and will hire an agent, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets. A shooting guard, Rollins is ranked No. 70 on ESPN’s Best Available list. He averaged 18.9 PPG, 6.0 RPG and 3.6 APG this season.
  • VCU forward Vince Williams has declared for the draft, CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein tweets. Williams is ranked No. 92 on ESPN’s prospects list. He averaged 14.1 PPG, 6.0 RPG and 3.0 APG as a senior.
  • New Orleans guard Derek St. Hilaire has declared for the draft and will forgo his final year of eligibility, he revealed in a tweet. He averaged 20.1 PPG in his senior year.
  • Houston guard Marcus Sasser will test the draft waters but won’t hire an agent, Mark Berman of Fox 26 tweets. The junior averaged 17.7 PPG in 12 games for the Cougars before a toe injury sidelined him.