Yam Madar

Eastern Notes: Pacers, Knicks, Madar, Nets, Wizards

While it’s not out of the question that the Pacers will make a major trade this offseason, the team isn’t any rush to move Myles Turner or Malcolm Brogdon, the two names that pop up most frequently in Pacers-related trade rumors, writes J. Michael of The Indianapolis Star.

Of those two players, Turner is less likely to be dealt, according to Michael, who suggests that new head coach Rick Carlisle would like to try to figure out the best way to maximize the Turner/Domantas Sabonis duo. It’s possible Carlisle will split up the two Pacers bigs and have Turner come off the bench to start the season, Michael adds.

As for Brogdon, the Pacers have been trying to determine whether he’s the right long-term fit as the team’s point guard and leader, according to Michael. As Michael details, Indiana had some locker room issues in 2020/21 and president of basketball operations Kevin Pritchard suggested at the end of the season that the club lacked vocal leadership. The Pacers may expect more in that regard from Brogdon going forward.

Here’s more from around the East:

  • The Knicks, who remain on the lookout for another point guard, have some interest in Dennis Schröder, according to Marc Berman of The New York Post. Berman also says New York contacted Elfrid Payton at the start of free agency, though it’s unclear if the club views him as a viable fallback option.
  • Yam Madar, the 47th overall pick in the 2020 draft, hopes to play for the Celtics this season, he told reporters on Tuesday. As Jared Weiss of The Athletic tweets, Boston’s plan is to see how Madar’s Summer League stint goes and to evaluate its options from there.
  • Nets star Kevin Durant is thrilled that Blake Griffin is set to return to the team for another season, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. “To have Blake back, I’m so excited,” Durant said from Tokyo. “I mean, as soon as the season was over, I was telling him that we want him back and telling him that, you know, we should try to do it again. And I was glad to see it get done.” In a separate story, Lewis confirms that James Johnson‘s new deal with Brooklyn is worth the veteran’s minimum.
  • After recently announcing a new deal for NHL star Alex Ovechkin, the centerpiece of his other franchise, Wizards owner Ted Leonsis discussed the contrast between how things played out with Ovechkin and Russell Westbrook, per Emily Kaplan of ESPN. “We had a superstar player with the Wizards, he had an opportunity and wanted to be traded to the Lakers,” Leonsis said. “And I was dealing with that as we were announcing Alex. I couldn’t help but self-reflect on what a difference it is. Here’s a great player in Russell Westbrook, played in OKC, wanted to be traded, went to Houston, wanted to be traded, came to D.C., wanted to be traded and is now in L.A. He’s an unbelievably great person and an unbelievably great player. But that’s the difference between the NBA and the NHL, I suppose.”

Atlantic Notes: Celtics, Miles, Madar, Sixers, Raptors

The Celtics are set to hire former guard Aaron Miles to their coaching staff, according to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report (Twitter link).

Miles’ NBA career was brief – he appeared in just 19 games with Golden State back in 2005 – but he spent nearly a decade playing in international leagues before transitioning to coaching in 2015. He was the head coach of the Santa Cruz Warriors from 2017-19 and has spent the last two seasons as a player development coach in Golden State.

New Celtics head coach Ime Udoka is putting together an interesting group of assistants in Boston. His staff will also reportedly include former Spurs assistant Will Hardy and another former NBA guard, Damon Stoudamire.

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • Israeli guard Yam Madar, who will play for the Celtics‘ Summer League team after being selected in the second round of the 2020 draft, is determined to show Boston he deserves a spot on the club’s regular season roster, as he tells Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. Madar technically remains under contract with Hapoel Tel Aviv in Israel for another season, so he and the Celtics would have to work out a buyout if he’s going to come stateside for 2021/22.
  • Rich Hofmann and Derek Bodner of The Athletic take a closer look at the Sixers‘ roster, determining which players are likely to stay and which may be gone by opening night in the fall. Hofmann and Bodner believe the odds of a Ben Simmons offseason trade are higher than 50/50.
  • In another story for The Athletic, John Hollinger and Eric Koreen discuss the Raptors‘ offseason, exploring the team’s options with the No. 4 pick, whether it makes sense to trade Pascal Siakam, and what free agency will look like for Kyle Lowry and Gary Trent Jr. While Hollinger would have no issue with Toronto drafting Jalen Suggs at No. 4, he suggests the team should look hard at Scottie Barnes and Alperen Sengun and consider the possibility of trading down.

Yam Madar To Play On Celtics’ Summer League Team

Draft-and-stash prospect Yam Madar will play on the Celtics’ summer league team, Chris Grenham of Forbes Sports tweets.

The 20-year-old Israeli guard has been working out at the Players Association headquarters in Manhattan, Grenham adds.

The 6’3” Madar was selected by Boston with the No. 47 pick in the 2020 draft. He posted solid numbers for Hapoel Tel Aviv this past season, averaging 17.1 PPG, 5.2 APG, 3.0 RPG and 1.3 SPG in 33.2 MPG. He shot 46.9% from the field, made 40.9% of his 3-point tries, and drained 82.8% of his free throws.

If Madar performs well in summer league action and decides to make the jump to the NBA, he could figure into Boston’s backcourt mix. The Celtics dealt Kemba Walker to the Thunder last month, which could open up a spot depending on Boston’s offseason moves.

Marcus Smart, Payton PritchardJaylen Brown, Carsen EdwardsRomeo Langford and Tremont Waters (two-way FA) are the remaining backcourt options on the roster.

Draft Notes: International Prospects, Wolves, Suns, Lewis, Terry

The NBA’s deadline for early entrants to withdraw from this year’s draft has now passed, which means it should just be a matter of time before we get an updated official list from the league of the early entrants who have kept their names in this year’s pool.

In the meantime, updates on a handful of international prospects continue to trickle in. According to Nicola Lupo of Sportando, Estonian forward Henri Drell – who is currently playing for Pesaro in Italy – has withdrawn his name from the 2020 draft.

On the other hand, Isralie point guard Yam Madar, a member of Hapoel Tel Aviv, has elected to keep his name in the draft, per Barak Haklai of ynetsport (Twitter link). And after initially announcing that his client Marko Simonovic would be pulling out of the draft, agent Misko Raznatovic has clarified (via Twitter) that Simonovic will remain in the draft after all.

Here’s more on the 2020 NBA draft:

  • An NBA general manager who spoke to Jeff Goodman of Stadium (Twitter link) this morning said he doesn’t envy the Timberwolves and their efforts to maximize the value of the No. 1 pick. The teams at the top are desperate to try and trade down, but there just isn’t much value with the top few picks this year,” the GM said.
  • Within a piece on Kira Lewis Jr., Mike Mazzeo of Forbes says the Timberwolves and Suns are among the teams that have watched the Alabama guard work out in person. Lewis also worked out in person for Detroit, Chicago, New York, and Orlando, as previously reported.
  • Few prospects have increased their stock in recent months as substantially as Stanford’s Tyrell Terry, according to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, who notes within a profile of Terry that the 20-year-old has interviewed virtually with all 30 NBA teams.
  • In an Insider-only article, Kevin Pelton of ESPN uses advanced stats to break down this year’s prospects into tiers. Pelton has LaMelo Ball on his own in tier one, followed by Anthony Edwards and Tyrese Haliburton in tier two, with Deni Avdija, Onyeka Okongwu, and James Wiseman in tier three.

Draft Notes: Ball, Edwards, Madar, Hayes

ESPN’s Mike Schmitz examines the unusual path LaMelo Ball has taken to become a potential No. 1 pick in this year’s draft. Ball first gained notice when he skipped eighth grade so he could play a season in high school with his brothers Lonzo and LiAngelo. Since then, he has grown from 5’11” to 6’7″ and has taken a circuitous route through Lithuania, his father’s basketball league (JBA) and Illawarra in the NBL.

Several NBA general managers and executives told Schmitz they consider Ball to have the most star power in the draft and expect him to be selected in the top two or three. However, questions remain about the quality of competition he has faced and whether LaVar Ball will provide a distraction like he did when Lonzo was with the Lakers.

There’s more draft news ahead of tomorrow’s lottery:

  • This year’s draft class is among the most balanced in recent memory, and many teams would privately prefer to pick second or third to avoid the spotlight that comes with the top choice, according to Jeremy Woo of Sports Illustrated. He previews what’s at stake for all 14 teams involved in tomorrow’s drawing and cites the Warriors as the most intriguing. Woo suggests that if Golden State decides to keep its pick, it may prefer someone with more of a fully developed game, such as Obi Toppin or Tyrese Haliburton, rather than a talented project like Anthony Edwards, James Wiseman or Ball.
  • Edwards remains at the top of the latest mock draft from ESPN’s Jonathan Givony. He states that Edwards, Ball and Wiseman have become a consensus top three, but a shortage of information resulting from the postponement of the draft combine and a ban on in-person interviews continue to make this year’s draft unpredictable. Rounding out Givony’s top five, in order, are Wiseman, Ball, Israeli forward Deni Avdija, and USC big man Onyeka Okongwu.
  • Israeli point guard Yam Madar confirmed his signing with CAA Sports, tweets international basketball writer Donatas Urbonas. Sources tell Urbonas that the 19-year-old has received “strong interest” from NBA teams after a good performance in the Israeli League playoffs. Madar, who projects as a possible late second-round pick, is training in Las Vegas.
  • Shams Charania of The Athletic posted a video chat with French point guard Killian Hayes, a possible lottery selection.

Draft Notes: Madar, Montgomery, Hayes, Wiseman

Israeli point guard Yam Madar has decided to enter the 2020 NBA draft, agent Alex Saratsis tells Jonathan Givony of ESPN (Twitter link).

Madar, who plays for Hapoel Tel Aviv and ranks 74th on ESPN’s big board, is a candidate to be selected in the second round, as Givony notes. I imagine the 19-year-old’s odds of being drafted would increase if he’s willing to be a draft-and-stash prospect, developing his game for another year or two overseas while an NBA team holds his rights.

Here’s more on the 2020 draft:

  • Yet another Kentucky underclassman has entered the draft, with the Wildcats announcing today that sophomore forward EJ Montgomery is the latest to declare. Montgomery, who tested the draft waters a year ago, will go pro this time around after averaging 6.1 PPG, 5.4 RPG, and 1.1 BPG in a part-time role (24.1 MPG) for Kentucky. Five Wildcats are now part of our early entrants list, with Kahlil Whitney – who left the program in January – representing a sixth.
  • Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer makes a case for why he believes French guard Killian Hayes should be considered the No. 1 prospect in the 2020 draft class. Within the story, O’Connor suggests that NBA teams have wildly varying opinions on many of this year’s top prospects — for instance, some executives have center James Wiseman atop their boards, while others don’t have him in their top 10.
  • Israeli forward Deni Avdija is another wild card among this year’s lottery prospects. Marc Berman of The New York Post takes an in-depth look at Avdija, noting within the piece that the Raptors have scouted the youngster more than most teams. Toronto, of course, won’t be in position to draft Avdija in this year’s lottery.