Donnie Nelson: “When you’re in the position that we’re in, there’s all kinds of different possibilities. You’re looking what’s in the best interest of your franchise, short-term and also long-term. To get the right veteran type of player at a position that will give us solid minutes, obviously you have to look at those things. Dirk gets into his twilight years, you’re always looking for an injection of youth and athleticism and energy and toughness,” Nelson said You’re always looking to add, you never want to subtract but unfortunately in this league there aren’t many fools and you got to give to get.
April 24, 2017 | 10:31 am EDT Update
A Pacific Division executive echoed that sentiment, though others wonder if the deeper NBA 3-pointer will cause Jackson problems, at least initially. “There’s a lot less of a concern now than there was in the early part of the season, maybe the middle of the season,” the executive said. “He shot 40 percent the last month, month and a half of the year (Jackson shot 48.1 percent, 25 of 52, behind the arc the last seven weeks of the season). He’s been the best player in his class. He has that kind of pedigree. If he can consistently shoot from NBA range, he does so many other things well he’s going to be a good NBA player.”
“I freaking love him,” said an executive of a team that should be fairly high in the Lottery. “This guy’s getting better as he goes, so I can’t see how he can’t be Iguodala — a guy who can defend and pass, and who’s becoming a better shooter. I know the Kansas people, and in terms of work and all that stuff … they were absolutely in love with him as a kid — not a little bit, a lot. He has Wiggins’ athleticism with character off the chain.”
“We probably have Tatum a little ahead,” a Pacific Division executive said. “He’s got prototypical size, length and strength. For a 19-year-old, he’s got an unbelievably good body. He looks like an NBA vet. He scores the ball so easily. He’s the best shooter of the three. He does need to get better defensively. He’s able to do both of those things, score from all ranges. The question is, can he combine all of that, be a three-level scorer (three-pointer, midrange and in the post)? From what I’ve seen he has a chance to do all three, even though he hasn’t done it consistently.”
“Physically, he’s got the strength and the power to play the four,” one Eastern Conference executive said. “There will be some matchups where he just doesn’t have the height, but he’s going to have enough versatility that (against) most backup fours, he’s going to be able to match up against them. The league is spacing and shooting; there’s not many power fours anymore. (But) I can’t see OG turning into Kawhi, personally. Kawhi was such a great rebounder in college, and that’s not what OG does.”
Hamidou Diallo: That plan hasn’t changed and that’s what why I am declaring for the NBA Draft. I do not plan on hiring an agent at this time. I want to see where my game is and explore my options. I just want to keep all doors open, and I want to thank Coach Cal, the coaching staff and my teammates for allowing me to pursue my dreams. My game has grown so much in the four months I’ve been at UK. I don’t know what the next few weeks are going to have in store for me, but I do know I’m going to work as hard as I ever have and keep an open mind. At the end of the day, this is a learning process for me and I appreciate the Big Blue Nation for being both understanding and supportive of my decision. I can’t thank you enough for making me a part of the family from day one.