HoopsHype Draft rumors


February 10, 2015 Updates

Popovich was asked pregame by Mark Montieth of Pacers.com if a rumor he had heard was true, that he had to be talked into drafting Tim Duncan ahead of former Pacer Scot Pollard. (Full disclosure: Pollard, who has done some television and radio work for team broadcasts this season was right there, not five feet from this conversation.) The Spurs held the first pick in the 1997 NBA Draft and taking Tim Duncan out of Wake Forest shaped the future of the Spurs organization. From David Robinson to Tim Duncan. But it didn’t come without a fight, Popovich explained. “You know, you say that sarcastically but it’s a true story,” he said. “It’s a true story. I loved the way Scot played. Timmy was really smooth and all that and so I wondered, ‘Is that going to translate. Is he going to be tough. Is he going to do what he did … he’s long and he’s lengthy and he’s thin. Scot Pollard was out there kicking you-know-what and taking names. “It was actually a conversation. Now, I have to also say that that notion didn’t last real long. Vigilant Sports

Whether Russell ends up as the No. 2 pick or not, he’s certainly in the mix in the top five, where the Knicks will likely end up picking. “He is going to be a Top-5 pick,” one veteran NBA scout told SNY.tv. “I still think today that [Karl-Anthony] Towns, [Kristaps] Porzingis and [Emmanuel] Mudiay are ahead of him in most NBA personnel Mock Drafts. He has risen higher than any player since the start of the college season. “He’s a very skilled player who can play both the 1 and the 2. He and Mudiay are the two best perimeter players in this year’s draft.” The Knicks Blog

February 8, 2015 Updates

Dean Smith has died at 83, the University of North Carolina has announced. “Coach Dean Smith passed away peacefully the evening of February 7 at his home in Chapel Hill, and surrounded by his wife and five children,” said his family in a statement. “We are grateful for all the thoughts and prayers, and appreciate the continued respect for our privacy as arrangements are made available to the public. Thank you.” The Big Lead

February 7, 2015 Updates

Jerry West enjoyed playing at Madison Square Garden so much during his collegiate career at West Virginia that he hoped the Knicks would pick him in the 1960 NBA draft. "I thought I was going to be drafted by the Knicks," the Lakers Hall of Famer said this past week. "I wanted very much to play in New York." Newsday

The Nuggets are holding firm to seeking a first-round pick from teams wanting to trade for shooting guard Arron Afflalo, according to NBA sources. There have been no takers, although interest remains high for Afflalo’s services. Teams don’t want to relinquish a first rounder for a player that might walk on them at the end of the season. Afflalo has a player option for the final year of his contract. It is a snag that prevented Afflalo from being dealt to Charlotte, sources said. The Hornets had been interested in acquiring Afflalo to add firepower to a team that ranks 27th in the NBA in scoring, at just over 94 points per game. The trade deadline is Feb. 19. Denver Post

February 6, 2015 Updates

Hezonja has shined all season and in particular lately, capitalizing upon the increased minutes, due to the injuries to Navarro and Oleson. In his games played since December, the Croatian Golden Boy has increased his averages (6 ppg in ACB, 10 ppg in Euroleague) playing more than 20 minutes per game. He really raised some eyebrows with his February 1st performance against Manresa in which he hit 8-for-8 from 3 point, finishing with 24 pts and 6 assists. This two month stint has significantly boosted his stock, and he has really enhanced his chances of being a top 10 pick. Consistency is the one obstacle, especially for a team competing for the maximum European goal, but he has earned the chance to show all of his potential. NBADraft.net

February 5, 2015 Updates

Q: If the Sixers get the top pick does it make sense for them to trade down, get a guy like Russell and another top 10 pick? Chad Ford: They are one of a handful of teams that doesn't really need Okafor. They drafted Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid the last two drafts and both of them are centers. I still hear that Okafor would be the guy, in part, because the Sixers aren't sold either Noel or Embiid are going to be elite players. So, I still think, as of February 5th, they'd take Okafor. But a lot can change over the next few months and, on paper, Russell is the best fit given the Sixers current personnel. They could use a terrific shooter in the backcourt and a MCW/Russell backcourt could be awesome. ESPN.com

While landing a star player seems to be a priority for Denver, that’s obviously easier said than done. If they can’t bring in a top-notch player that they can build around, league sources say Denver seems willing to trade off some of their veteran pieces for first-round picks. This lines up with their decision to trade Timofey Mozgov to the Cavaliers in a deal that landed them two first-rounders. Basketball Insiders

February 4, 2015 Updates

Chris Dempsey: On the Joffrey Lauvergne front: The #Nuggets should have him in the fold at some point next week, according to an NBA source. And there are a bevy of other hurdles to get over in getting Lauvergne to the #Nuggets. But it's going to happen. Twitter @dempseypost

Stanko Barac's suddent interest in moving to the NBA is kind of a head-scratcher considering the 7-foot-2 Croatian has been dealing with injuries and was a free agent till January 6, when he signed with Cedevita Zagreb. Barac, whose draft rights belong to the Indiana Pacers, has a contract till the end of the season that doesn't include an NBA out, Cedevita sports director Matej Mamic told HoopsHype. HoopsHype

The Lakers (13-35) will have as many as four picks in the 2015 NBA draft, although technically they could end up without a single selection in an extremely unlikely worst-case scenario. As part of the Steve Nash trade, the Lakers owe their own first-round pick to the Phoenix Suns. If the pick lands in the top five of the draft, the Lakers will keep it -- sending instead their 2016 first-rounder to Phoenix (with top-three protection). Los Angeles Times

The Denver Nuggets are progressing on a deal to sign 2013 second-round draft pick Joffrey Lauvergne and bring him to the NBA soon, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Lauvergne, a 6-foot-11 Frenchman, cut ties with Khimki of Moscow on Tuesday, freeing him to sign a deal with Denver and join them this season. Yahoo! Sports

February 3, 2015 Updates
February 2, 2015 Updates

The Brooklyn Nets continue to explore the possibility of trading center Brook Lopez but to date have resisted a serious push from the Denver Nuggets, according to league sources. Sources told ESPN.com that the Nuggets have offered big men JaVale McGee and J.J. Hickson, as well as one of the two draft picks Denver recently acquired in a trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers for center Timofey Mozgov, in exchange for the Lopez. ESPN.com

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