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May 21, 2015 Updates

Some scouts claim Duke point guard Tyus Jones’ stock has taken a hit and that, instead of being a mid-first rounder, he could now wind up late in the first round. Racine Journal-Times

The Lakers will look at dynamic Ohio State point guard D'Angelo Russell but preliminary indications are they want to go big, The Times has learned. In fact, General Manager Mitch Kupchak is fond of saying that a good big man is often more valuable than a good little man. The similarities between Okafor and Towns end after their height and age — they're each 6 feet 11 and the 19-year-olds declared for the June 25 NBA draft after their freshman seasons. Los Angeles Times

The great unknown is that Jackson has never been responsible for making a first-round pick in his career, much less a pick as high as four. The consensus among executives, scouts and agents is that Jackson will actively look to deal the fourth pick for a proven veteran. That is not necessarily a bad thing, but it shows that Jackson, who will turn 70 in September, is looking for a quick fix and doesn’t have the appetite for rebuilding. New York Daily News

“Teams are ripe for movement and are open to it,’’ one pro personnel director said. The thinking is the Knicks could add a veteran rotation player and perhaps still get Cauley-Stein, Winslow, Frank Kaminsky or Stanley Johnson. Since the Knicks don’t have a pick next year, they also have interest in acquiring a 2016 first-rounder to move back as that would not cut into their 2015 cap space. “They’re going to be really bad next year so might as well,’’ one Western Conference executive said. “They will do their due diligence,’’ another NBA executive said. “There’s going to be talks. It’s all about how much they are asking for.’’ New York Post

The Western Conference executive said: “I don’t think there’s going to be a tremendous push to jump up to four and get Mudiay or Winslow. Winslow is a nice player. He’s not a game-changer.’’ Perhaps the Kings, who have the sixth pick, would have parted with stud center/troublemaker DeMarcus Cousins for the No. 1 or 2 pick in going after Karl-Anthony Towns or Jahlil Okafor but not to move up only two spots. According to several scouts interviewed Wednesday, Mudiay, who played in China, has a lot going for him — his 6-foot-5 size, athleticism and passing ability. But all were concerned about his perimeter shot and whether he’ll be an elite defender. Winslow at least has that proven defensive zeal and Carmelo Anthony has taken a liking to him. Anthony has also warned a rookie point guard has a steep “learning curve.’’ New York Post

As I reported from the summer league in July, the league introduced an odds-reform proposal that would have made Cleveland-style leaps more likely by cutting the chances for the worst teams. The proposal was an anti-tanking measure clearly aimed at the Sixers, and it didn’t get the required supermajority in an October vote. Kiki Vandeweghe, the league’s senior vice-president of basketball operations and last night’s drawing room MC, told me the discussion has been tabled for now. “I don’t see anything happening in the immediate future,” Vandeweghe said. “We will continue to study it.” Grantland

May 20, 2015 Updates

With the Lakers winning the second overall pick in the 2015 NBA draft, Jordan Hill's time with the team could be nearing an end. The team has an option on Hill's contract next year with the decision due before July. The Lakers can either pay him $9 million for the 2015-16 season, or render him an unrestricted free agent. The top two prospects in the draft, Duke's Jahlil Okafor and Kentucky's Karl-Anthony Towns, both play the same position as Hill. Los Angeles Times

Hennigan echoed those thoughts and heaped praise for the past success onto Lloyd, the Magic’s Director of Scouting. In addition to working through the process of hiring a new coach, Hennigan and his staff will soon start bringing potential draft targets into the Magic’s headquarters at the Amway Center for interviews and workouts. Hennigan feels with the addition of a full-time coach, another top-five pick and the solid talent base already in place, there is plenty to be excited about in the seasons ahead. ``This (time) is very big because it’s our job to make sure that we know these players inside and out, and we’ll used the next five or six weeks to button up any holes in our research that we might have,’’ Hennigan said. ``We’ve got a lot of guys coming back. We’ve got to find a coach and the fifth pick will certainly add to our talent base. It’s up to us to make sure that the pieces fit and continue to push forward.’’ NBA.com

Though they didn’t quite win the lottery on Tuesday, the Lakers were the big victor once the ping-pong balls were processed. Not only did the Lakers avoid the disaster that would have followed if they’d fallen to No. 6, but by landing at No. 2, Los Angeles also is that much more attractive as a potential free-agent destination this summer. That’s according to player representatives who will have major free agents on the market this summer. Sporting News

Nets Daily: Doesn't like Mudiay, sees red flags on maturity. Says Knicks have 4th pick in 3 player draft. Big setback. Twitter @NetsDaily

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