HoopsHype Draft rumors


May 26, 2015 Updates

The Indiana Pacers will bring unsigned draft acquisition Stanko Barac to Indianapolis for mini-camp workouts in June, league sources told RealGM. Barac, a 7-foot-2 center out of Croatia, turned his attention this year toward making the leap into the NBA. He signed a deal with Cedevita in the Euroleague midway through the season, gradually improving his play. RealGM

May 25, 2015 Updates

On Tuesday, Pat Connaughton, a 6-4, 215-pound four-year starter from Notre Dame, will have a much more discerning and stoic crowd to impress as he participates in the Indiana Pacers' second pre-draft workout. Don't expect Larry Bird to tweet "#WhiteMenCANJump," but surely the Pacers' decision makers know what took so many other NBA executives so long to figure out: Connaughton, still not projected to be selected on June 25, is one of the best pure athletes available in the 2015 draft. "When I look around the league, and I've spent some time in the NBA, I find it really hard to believe there's not a spot for a guy that makes so many winning plays, that is so tough, such a team player," said Michael Crotty, Connaughton's former Middlesex (Mass.) Magic AAU coach who had also worked as the Boston Celtics' director of player development for three seasons. He's mature, his body is ready and every step of the way he keeps surprising people and surprising people. Hopefully real soon, it won't be a surprise just how good of a player this guy is and that he really belongs in the NBA." Indianapolis Star

Thomas did not name specific players on his wish list during an interview with the Globe, but he said a rim-protecting big man would be at the top of it. “A defensive-minded player,” he said. “It’d be nice to get one of those in the draft. A lot of the big men out there could definitely help us out. But I know Danny is always up to something.” Boston Globe

Christmas, the former Syracuse University center, played so well at the NBA's pre-draft combine in Chicago last week that the number of teams wanting to bring him in for private workouts prior is too great. There's just not enough time before the NBA draft on June 25 to work them all in. "He has requests for about 23 workouts,'' Steve Pina of ASM Sports said Wednesday. "He's not going to be able to do all of them. We're going to have to cancel five or six.'' The Post-Standard

Pina said he had tentatively scheduled about nine workouts for Christmas before the NBA combine. Since the combine, Pina has set up 11 more with the requests still coming in. The Post-Standard

May 24, 2015 Updates

The process should end with Hanlan’s name being called on June 25. He has been projected as a second-round pick in most prognostications, but that could change in the next month. “Everybody dreams of draft night, everybody dreams of getting drafted, I’m just focused on enjoying the moment,” said Hanlan. “That day is definitely going to be exciting, a bunch of emotions. There’s a lot of work leading up to that day so I am looking forward to that process.” Boston Globe

One of the more impressive players at the Draft Combine was Syracuse big man Rakeem Christmas, who dominated the five-on-five scrimmages and probably played himself into a high-second-round pick after an uneven career with the Orange. Christmas averaged 17.5 points for Syracuse and proved to be a major post presence. Perhaps one of the main reasons why Christmas is not projected as a top-20 pick is he turns 24 on Dec. 1, making him one of the older players in the draft Boston Globe

The Celtics gambled on freshman James Young in last year’s draft and he spent most of his rookie season in the NBADL, contributing little to the Celtics’ playoff run. The ABC television analyst duo of Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy, both former head coaches, tackled the question of drafting for the present or for the future. “I think one thing you have to have is great and realistic ownership, outstanding management, and outstanding scouting departments because there’s coaches in this league, you don’t get to see as many of these guys live or, you know, you’re worried about the team that you’re coaching,” Jackson said. “So you’ve got to trust the scouting department and trust people. Different teams have the luxury of where they can wait on guys, and there are teams obviously in this lottery this year that need immediate help. So it’s important to understand that you’re not going to turn a franchise around with a lottery pick, whether it be a No. 1, a No. 7, what have you, immediately. Boston Globe

“When I took the job, I said we were coming here to build a championship team, and what we’re going to do is we want home run hitters and not singles and doubles [hitters],” Saunders said. “What I meant by that is you have to have potentially All-Star, All-Pro players. I see a lot of guys in this draft who can be that. “Because of the youth of our team and having two 19-year-olds from last year, we’re not going to mortgage our future to facilitate that development. Right now Wiggins is that development. LaVine is that development. [Shabazz] Muhammad and Gorgui Dieng, too, so I would never say never but I don’t see us trading [the No. 1 pick] because all these guys we’re going to have an opportunity to look at, three or four of these guys are going to be All-Star, All-Pro-type players. Those are guys you don’t want to give up on.” Boston Globe

Center Frank Kaminsky is eyeing a new position when he transitions to the NBA from Wisconsin. “[I’m] turning myself into a four,” Kaminsky said at a Santa Barbara workout on Thursday for approximately 150 NBA executives, hosted by his agent Bill Duffy. “In college, I played the five for so long. I know I can play the four. I just have to pick up the nuances,” he continued. “The NBA values big guys that can stretch the floor.” Basketball Insiders

One of the teams that could be in the mix for Hunter’s services are the Boston Celtics. The franchise holds the No. 16, 28, 33 and 45 overall picks in the draft and could potentially snag the guard with one of their earlier selections. Hunter is intrigued by the Celtics’ young core and impressed with head coach Brad Stevens. “I love Boston,” Hunter said. “I love what Brad’s doing. He’s a young coach and I grew up watching him. I talked to him yesterday and I’m going to have a workout with them. I’m not sure [when] yet. But I like where they’re moving. They have young talent and know how to play. Kind of like a young [San Antonio] Spurs team in the making.” Basketball Insiders

Though the Sixers had interviewed a bunch of players at the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago and brought more than a dozen in for workouts prior to last Tuesday night’s draft lottery, there’s a lot of work to do over the next month. Don’t be surprised if Hinkie and the Sixers exceed last year’s total of working out a reported 75 players in Philadelphia. “We’ve done a ton,” Hinkie said after the draft lottery in New York. “We’ve really tried to do our work early in ways that might be unusual for the Sixers in the past. That’s important to me. We really turned up the heat in a big way. It doesn’t stop. I’m not wired well to say that’s enough.” The Intelligencer

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