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March 1, 2015 Updates

Knicks president Phil Jackson continued to scout top college prospects in person on Saturday. He was shown by television cameras in the stands at the Kentucky-Arkansas game. The Knicks are on pace to get a high pick in June’s NBA draft. Kentucky’s Karl-Anthony Towns is projected as a top pick. Many draft experts put fellow Kentucky big man Willie Cauley-Stein in the same echelon. Jackson likely had his eyes on those two. Earlier this week, the Knicks president attended Ohio State’s game against Nebraska and he commented on Ohio State guard D’Angelo Russell. The NBA will likely fine Jackson for his comments. According to a source, several teams complained about the comment. It is against league rules for personnel to comment on players who haven’t declared for the NBA draft. ... The Knicks beat the Raptors on Saturday to win back-to-back games for the first time in a month. Hardaway Jr. led the team with 22 points. ESPN.com

Desperate times call for desperate measures. The Guangdong Southern Tigers are down two games to the Beijing Ducks in a best-of-five semi-finals series. So in this must-win game three, they are making a change to bring back 19-year-old Emmanuel Mudiay. Mudiay played the first 10 games with Guangdong before going down with a knee injury, keeping him out for the remainder of the season. Former Detroit Pistons guard Will Bynum came in as his replacement and led the Southern Tigers to a perfect season not losing one-game with him at point-guard. Guangdong will drop American forward Jeff Adrien going with an all-American backcourt, Mudiay and Bynum. In his short CBA career, Mudiay averaged 17 points per game and six assists. Bynum was an instant success for Guangdong, he’s averaging 23 points and seven assists per contest. Basketball Buddha

On Feb. 19, Hinkie made three deals that produced point guard Isaiah Canaan, big man JaVale McGee, a pair of protected first-round selections and a second-rounder. Reigning NBA Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams and rookie K.J. McDaniels went to the Bucks and Rockets, respectively. MCW's departure meant Hollis Thompson is the only Sixer left who played during the first half of the 2013-14 season. He has accumulated 17 second-round picks over the next six drafts and as many as five first-rounders in the next two. All of these moves, while designed to land a star or (ideally) stars, are delaying the rebuilding process. The Intelligencer

February 27, 2015 Updates
February 26, 2015 Updates

"We had no idea we were going to take him in the first round," McHale, vice president of basketball operations for the Minnesota Timberwolves, says. "I didn't even want to go see him. I thought it was a waste of time. Then we went, and Flip Saunders [then Minnesota's general manager] and I were in the car afterward, and we just looked at each other. I said, 'Wow, we're going to pick a high school kid in the first round.' It was that obvious. "This was our first draft. Flip and I were both new. Our owner was also new. How do you tell him that the first thing he's going to do is sign this high school kid? I think we figured if it went bad, we'd just say, 'Hey, it was our first draft. We didn't know what we were doing.'" Sports Illustrated

To say the Lakers could maybe use a player like Towns is to say they've had a good big man or two in their past. They currently own the NBA's fourth-worst record and are on pace to keep the top-five protected pick they owe Philadelphia via Phoenix, though nothing is set in stone until the May 19 lottery. While teammate Willie Cauley-Stein gets all the national highlight attention for his dramatic array of dunks, Towns is more apt to score on an eight-foot hook shot. With either hand. Or a mid-range jumper. Or set up a teammate with a sharp pass from the post. He doesn't project to make the immediate pro splash of Okafor but he'll eventually make someone happy. "He's the one to take for three years from now," said an NBA front-office official who requested anonymity. Los Angeles Times

Arturas Gudaitis is prepared to test his chances at this year’s NBA Draft with several NBA scouts keeping an eye on his situation. Basketball agent Tadas Bulotas told to TV channel Sport 1 that Gudaitis is seen by NBA teams. “NBA scouts are watching and asking us as well as Zalgiris [about him]”, said Bulotas. TalkBasket

February 25, 2015 Updates
February 24, 2015 Updates

This made me think about the other day when LeBron posted an impressive highlight video of his young 10-year-old son, Bronny, playing basketball at a tournament. The video has gone viral. Based on all the news last week about rivals.com ranking sixth grade football players, I was curious to know if LeBron’s son has already received any college attention. Shortly before the Cavs were about to take the floor and start practice, I decided to ask LeBron if his son has been drawing any college interest. LeBron said, “Yeah, he’s already got some offers from colleges, it’s pretty crazy. It should be a violation, you shouldn’t be recruiting 10-year-old kids.” CBS New York

February 23, 2015 Updates

Kentucky big man Willie Cauley-Stein has recently added a mid-range jumper to his offensive arsenal, and that hasn’t escaped NBA scouts. One veteran scout told SNY.tv that the 7-foot junior could go as high as No. 2 in the NBA Draft if he can consistently make that shot. “He’s always been a Top 10 player in the draft based on his ability to be a rim protector and rebounder, but if he can consistently show he can knock down an open 12-15 foot jump shot he can put himself in the discussion as a No. 2 pick.” Asked if Cauley-Stein has shown that ability to consistently make it, the scout said, “I have not seen it consistently in games but he has the ability to do it from watching him earlier in the year.” ZagsBlog.com

February 22, 2015 Updates
February 21, 2015 Updates

McHale said McDaniels, 22, obviously needs seasoning. "As with most young guys he is not a finished product," McHale said. "He is a guy we will see what he does and see what he needs to work on and will develop a program for him, and we will try to see if we can make him the best basketball player he can be." Also in Dallas, former Sixers coach and current SMU coach Larry Brown indicated that the Sixers have taken a strong liking to Emmanuel Mudiay. The 6-foot-5 point guard, 18, had committed to SMU before deciding to play in China. Philadelphia Inquirer

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