HoopsHype Draft rumors

November 26, 2014 Updates

Emmanuel Mudiay would've topped this list a week ago. Through his first nine games in China, he's averaging 18.9 PPG, 6.6 RPG and 6.3 APG and shooting 49 percent from field. However, an ankle injury suffered late last week has him out a minimum of two weeks. The long-term prognosis is good, a source close to Mudiay told me. It isn't a serious injury. But his people are going to play it safe. ESPN.com

His stock is too high right now. Most scouts I've spoken with have him either No. 2 or No. 3 on their boards. Mudiay does have things to work on. After a hot shooting start, he's down to shooting 32 percent from 3 and he's averaging 3.1 turnovers per game. But overall, he's impressed everyone. A number of scouts are heading over to China in a couple of weeks to get an up-close look. We should know even more then. ESPN.com

November 24, 2014 Updates

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski had just finished praising his potential one-and-done players Jahlil Okafor, Justise Winslow and Tyus Jones when he climbed down off the podium at Barclays Center and told me tanking for star players like them is “stupid.” “It’s stupid to have it because one, you don’t know if you are going to get somebody and it’s a disservice to your fans,” Coach K told me after his No.-4 ranked Duke team beat Stanford, 70-59, to win the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic. Some 50 NBA personnel, including Boston Celtics President Danny Ainge and Phoenix Suns GM Ryan McDonough, were in attendance. ZagsBlog.com

Sixers fans are quick to point out that Philly has already drafted two big men in the last two drafts in Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid. But several NBA sources said Philly could easily trade one of their current bigs if they opt to draft Okafor at No. 1 (assuming they get the No. 1 pick). “They will probably trade one of the bigs they currently have instead of Okafor,” one NBA source said. ZagsBlog.com

November 23, 2014 Updates

Bryant will make $25 million at 37 years old while Nick Young, Julius Randle and Ryan Kelly take up another $10 million. Various player options (Ed Davis) and team options (Jordan Clarkson, Robert Sacre) could add another $3 million, though Davis could opt out and drive that number even higher. Leave room for an estimated $5 million for their likely two first-round draft picks. It's easy to see the Lakers allocating $43 million toward only nine players amid a conservatively estimated salary cap of $66 million for 2015-16. Throw in troublesome mandatory things called "cap holds" and the Lakers have only $21.5 million to spend next summer on free agents. Los Angeles Times

November 22, 2014 Updates

According to a tweet from Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN New York, the Brooklyn Nets have had preliminary talks with the Sixers about a trade involving Andrei Kirilenko and Sergey Karasev. The tweet also states that the Sixers would likely waive Kirilenko if such a deal were completed. The Sixers would likely require a future draft pick in addition to acquiring the Nets' pair of Russian-born players. It's unclear what the Sixers would send the Nets in return. CSNPhilly.com

Andrei Kirilenko will be without the Nets for the team’s two-game road trip, and most likely forever. Though the team cited “personal reasons” for Kirilenko’s absence, a team source confirmed to The Brooklyn Game that Kirilenko’s lack of minutes and boot from the rotation played a factor in him leaving the team indefinitely. When asked if Kirilenko had played his last game for the Nets, one high-ranking Nets source said, “If I were a betting man, I’d say probably.” The Brooklyn Game

November 21, 2014 Updates

Emmanuel Mudiay denied reports he might leave China before their season ends in order to boost his NBA stock. “This is all rumors, it’s completely false,” Mudiay told reporters in China, according to this report which was translated. “The media are the ones that like to come out with these things, but it’s not the reality.” ZagsBlog.com

Asked if he would play the full season, the 6-foot-5 Mudiay said: ” I will, without question. Right now I’m playing in Guangdong, and will definitely be with the team until the end, through the end of the season.” ZagsBlog.com

Aldridge said he doesn't think about the Bulls trading him on draft day as much as he did early in his career. "I think early in my career I might have used it for motivation," he said. "But now I'm too old to be still holding that grudge." He added that draft day motivation stayed with him until about "three or four years" ago. "For a while that was my favorite team to play against," he said "Just to show them that they missed out. Just to show them that I'm better than they thought I was going to be. Now I'm over that. I have other goals to worry about." Oregonian

November 20, 2014 Updates

Alex Kennedy: Shane Battier said Jahlil Okafor reminds him of Tim Duncan. Back in high school, @BigJah15 told me he studies Duncan and Hakeem Olajuwon. Twitter @AlexKennedyNBA

November 19, 2014 Updates

But in terms of their games and skillsets, Okafor is increasingly drawing comparisons to the future Hall of Famer with five NBA rings. “Yes,” one veteran NBA scout in attendance said of the Duncan/Okafor comparison. “He has an old-school game. He really knows how to play around the basket. Sets his man up leaning one way, then goes the other.” “Okafor’s got some pretty good size and he doesn’t know how big he is yet,” ESPN college basketball analyst Shane Battier, a two-time NBA champion, told SNY.tv. “But he’s got tremendous skill…He does a great job of passing out of the post, which is a lost art. He reminds me of Tim Duncan, who I think is the best post passer in the NBA right now.” ZagsBlog.com

November 18, 2014 Updates

“I like the way he plays,” Walker, the Charlotte Bobcats point guard out of New York City, told SNY.tv. “So far he gets great position on the offensive end. He has great pace, nice touch, nice hands. I think he will be good. Of course, he has to get a lot stronger and adjust to the NBA game.” NCAA Basketball: Champions Classic-Michigan State vs DukeAsked if he sees Okafor as the potential No. 1 pick, Walker said, “Yeah, I can see that. I still think he has some developing to do but he’s young. I think he has a lot of potential.” ZagsBlog.com

But in terms of their games and skillsets, Okafor is increasingly drawing comparisons to the future Hall of Famer with five NBA rings. “Yes,” one veteran NBA scout in attendance said of the Duncan/Okafor comparison. “He has an old-school game. He really knows how to play around the basket. Sets his man up leaning one way, then goes the other.” ZagsBlog.com

“Okafor’s got some pretty good size and he doesn’t know how big he is yet. But he’s got tremendous skill… He does a great job of passing out of the post, which is a lost art. He reminds me of Tim Duncan, who I think is the best post passer in the NBA right now,” ESPN college basketball analyst Shane Battier, a two-time NBA champion, told SNY.tv. ZagsBlog.com

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