Draft Rumors

Andrew Harrison heard his name called on NBA draft night. Brother Aaron Harrison, of course did not. The Kentucky basketball products are nonetheless now back in the same boat, set to fight for roster spots during NBA summer league play given Andrew’s draft choice at No. 44 overall — in the second round — doesn’t guarantee a contract. This time last year, he was projected as a first-rounder. “To be honest, all that really doesn’t matter,” Andrew Harrison said Monday while introduced as a Memphis Grizzlies guard. “I’m here now. I’m just happy to be here. You can’t really go back on the past. I’m just happy that I made the decision I made. I enjoyed college for two years, and now I’m just trying to make the team.”
Carmelo Anthony reached out to Kristaps Porzingis, the New York Knicks’ first-round draft pick, on Saturday after reports surfaced that the Knicks star was unhappy with the organization’s decision to select the 19-year-old Latvian. “Carmelo reached out to Kris after all of that. It was beautiful that a player of that profile can do something like that. It’s great,” Porzingis’ older brother, Janis, said Monday during an appearance on ESPN 98.7 FM’s “The Hahn and Humpty Show.”
On Monday morning, Sixers head coach Brett Brown spoke with Malik Rose and Jared Greenberg of SiriusXM NBA Radio about the talented young big man, among other topics. “To think that in three drafts you got Nerlens [Noel], and Joel [Embiid], and Jah (Jahlil Okafor), it’s quite an amazing accomplishment when you look at the quality of those bigs,” he said. “We always went into [the draft] saying, ‘Whoever the best player is, that’s who you want.’ You really can’t get tricked on trying to draft for position, I feel. And if Nerlens hadn’t gotten injured, they say [he goes] #1, if Joel hadn’t gotten injured, they say #1, and Jahlil, all year, was #1, so the [outlook] of the 2015-16 season is quite positive.”
Sources repeatedly have told The Post that Shea and former Knicks scout Scott McGuire tried to steer Tapscott away from Weis. Shea admits he was against drafting Ron Artest because of hometown distractions, but won’t confirm his feelings on drafting Weis. “I’m always going to be associated with Frederic and I’m never going to say publicly what happened,’’ Shea said. “We made a team decision. We were seven people and we all voted and I’m not telling who voted for whom. Scott had an opinion. Kenny Williamson, may he rest in peace, had an opinion. Ed had an opinion and you’re not going to get that from me. What happened later to him in summer league had much more an effect on Frederic than who decided to draft him.’’
White, however, may begin his professional basketball career elsewhere. The 6-foot-8 Ohio native is a “draft-and-stash” candidate, meaning he could sign with a team in a league overseas while Washington holds his rights should he return to attempt to make the Wizards’ roster in the future. A decision has not yet been made. “Aaron will play Summer League with the Wizards and then we will evaluate if it is best to go overseas or not this season,” White’s agent, Chris Emens, wrote in an e-mail. “Aaron is open to doing whatever the Wizards think is best for his development.”
The Sacramento Kings introduced Kentucky’s Willie Cauley-Stein, their first-round draft choice, to the local media on Saturday. He was on a day-long, meet-and-greet Sacramento tour. “He’s somebody who can really help us improve our team,” said Kings executive Vlade Divac at the news conference introducing his new player. He said Cauley-Stein brings skills to help the team on both offense and defense. “He’s fast. I wouldn’t like to play against him,” said Divac, who was pretty quick for big man himself when he was in the NBA with the Kings, Los Angeles Lakers and Charlotte Hornets.
On Thursday, Christian Wood became one of the most worst stories of the NBA Draft: He went undrafted, despite thinking he would hear his name called, resulting in disappointment captured in a heartbreaking photo. But on Twitter on Saturday, Wood delivered some good news: His dream of going to the league is still alive with a spot on the Rockets’ summer league team. Christian Wood: Excited to be apart of @HoustonRockets cant wait to start summer league and begin to work and grind thanks @dmorey #RedNation #JustWait
One day after he ignored the seemingly-endless threats from the DeMarcus Cousins’ camp and drafted a big man in Kentucky’s Willie Cauley-Stein with the sixth pick who should fit quite nicely alongside his disgruntled big man if he suits up for the Kings next season, Divac made it clear that he’s not about to be bullied in his new role. “I just was tired last week, or days, of these rumors, and putting a lot of stuff on our back, making this even harder than it is,” Divac said in an interview with Sacramento radio station KHTK 1140 Friday morning. “I try to be who I am, and try to do my job best I can and try to do the best I can for the franchise. I’m not going to let somebody change my mind because they’re putting (threats in) the paper or putting the pressure on me. I’ll do the best I can to improve this team.”
Willie Cauley-Stein received a hero’s welcome from his newest fans upon arriving in Sacramento for the first time since being selected by the Kings in Thursday’s NBA Draft. The 21-year-old, seven-foot center, selected sixth overall out of Kentucky, was overwhelmed by over 100 Kings fans, who showed up to greet Cauley-Stein at Sacramento International Airport late Friday night. “I was not expecting this, this was amazing,” Cauley-Stein told News10. “[Kings fans] are as passionate as I’ve heard, so I’m hyped. I’m excited about it”
Last year when we spoke, we touched a little bit upon the one-and-done rule. You said that you’d like to see the age requirement moved to 20. Have you guys discussed that anymore this year? Or is it more of a CBA / NBA Player’s Association thing? Silver: It’s something that we continue to discuss in the league office with our teams and the larger basketball community. That includes youth basketball and the NCAA. We have not had any direct conversations with the Player’s Association on the issue. As you know, we cannot unilaterally change the age, that is something that can only be done through collective bargaining. But we’ve made it clear that when we ultimately do return to bargaining, that’s something that we would like to discuss with the players. It’s my view that it would be in the best interest of the league and the Player’s Association to raise the minimum age to 20. But I understand it’s a controversial issue.
The Celtics made a strong final push to multiple teams in spots 4-9 on draft day. It culminated with an all-in effort in attempt to get Charlotte to deliver the No. 9 pick with Boston lusting for Duke forward Justise Winslow (the same player it coveted while trying to shuffle higher). According to sources, the Celtics’ final offer to the Hornets was a package featuring as many as six draft picks, including four potential first-round selections (a combination of picks from this draft and in the future). But the Hornets could not be swayed and turned down multiple offers to select Wisconsin center Frank Kaminsky.
Last night the Philadelphia 76ers traded away the 35th pick in the draft, their first of five selections in the second round, to the New York Knicks. The Knicks used the pick to select Spanish big man Guillermo Hernangomez. In exchange, the Sixers got two future second-round picks in return. A league source has informed PhillyMag that the picks the Sixers will receive are the Knicks own second round picks in 2020 and 2021.
Most Lakers media members were not immediately aware of his tweet, and Nance Jr. was not asked about it. But the tweet then became viral and the Lakers soon caught wind of it. Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said he and team spokesman John Black addressed Nance Jr. about his tweet, which has since been deleted. “I’m not in a position to really share information,” Kupchak said after the NBA Draft on Thursday. “But it is something that they will have to discuss amongst the two of them. It’s my understanding that it’s something that happened a few years ago. And in today’s world, things don’t go away, which doesn’t make it any less offensive.”
By the time the 16th pick arrived, Terry Rozier was the top-ranked player left on the Celtics board. According to an involved source, the front office still debated about whether to choose him, with one argument being that adding another guard would overcrowd the backcourt. There was talk about choosing a versatile wing like Justin Anderson, who wasn’t far behind Rozier on Boston’s draft board. Ultimately, the Celtics decided on Rozier, whose top-shelf speed and tenacious defense sang to president of basketball operations Danny Ainge. Anderson might have been a better fit, but Rozier has more of a chance to become special. He should give Boston another fearless penetrator, which the team badly needs.