“He may be right,” Calipari said of Durant’s comments about bypassing the NBA draft combine. “For the guys, if you think there’s anything here that would hurt you, don’t come. If there’s anything here that would help you, come. If you have to play to help yourself, come. If it doesn’t help you playing then don’t play.
John Calipari: "This is for these kids. My job is to protect my guys. The job of these NBA teams is to get as much information as they can to make a great pick, so they would like to see every one of them play five-on-five, do all of ... it’s not the way it is for these kids."
College basketball's National Player of the Year Frank Mason III is at the NBA combine this week. During a 5-on-5 drill, he caught up with ESPN's Jeff Goodman to speak about the combine experience. Goodman asked Mason what was the weirdest question he got during the interview process, and things turned dark rather quickly. He was asked to choose how he'd like to die.
Mason said: "I said in my sleep because I wouldn't want to suffer from any pain or anything. So I'd just rather be sleeping around my son and my family."
Michael Scotto: Hamidou Diallo (Kentucky) says he's met with 10 teams, including the Brooklyn Nets. Diallo has NOT met with the New York Knicks as of now.
Sean Deveney: Hamidou Diallo on his 44.5 inch vertical: "I didn't know it was that high until someone told me"
Rod Beard: Wake Forest big man John Collins and Louisville guard Donovan Mitchell said they are schedule to meet with the #Pistons.
Josh Robbins: FSU guard Dwayne Bacon said Portland, Indiana, OKC and New Orleans are among the 9 teams that have interviewed him. He has 3 more tomorrow.
Manny Navarro: #Gators forward Devin Robinson (6-7) said he has a meeting with #Heat scheduled for tomorrow morning
Nick Friedell: UCLA's TJ Leaf says he has not met with the Bulls yet, but expects to during his time in Chicago.
Rod Beard: NBA announces that #Kentucky's De'Aaron Fox will not be available to the media today. Most teams wouldn't be able to draft him anyway.
Brian Seltzer: Cal's Ivan Rabb said that in meeting with Sixers, it stood out to him that team showed him clips, positive and negative, from career. pic.twitter.com/ua9K88HL5b
Vincent Ellis: Justin Jackson says he thinks he's meeting with #Pistons tomorrow. Sweet shooter from UNC.
Nick Friedell: Creighton's Justin Patton said he was surprised by how much the Bulls knew about him during his meeting with the team.
Rod Beard: #Michigan's Moritz Wagner said he's worked out for Utah and OKC and met with #Pistons, #TWolves and #Blazers. #NBAdraftcombine
Adam Zagoria: Steve Mills and Allan Houston part of the Knicks crew here at the Combine pic.twitter.com/f0SRNMVtV7
Tania Ganguli: Luke Walton, Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka arrived a bit ago to the gym for the combine. Former Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak is also here.
Chris Vivlamore: Hawks assistant GM Jeff Peterson and assistant coaches Charles Lee and Ben Sullivan at NBA Draft Combine as shown on ESPN.
Keith Pompey: The #Sixers did not interview #Kentucky PG De'Aaron Fox this morning. They will do so tomorrow morning. pic.twitter.com/btDKpnbwjw
Markelle Fultz’s time at the NBA Draft Combine will be brief, and it will not include an interview with the Orlando Magic, sources told the Orlando Sentinel.
Tony Jones: Former Utes star Kyle Kuzma interviewed with The Sixers and Memphis Grizzlies tonight, league sources tell The Salt Lake Tribune
Tony Jones: Former Lone Peak star Frank Jackson will meet with 12 teams at the Draft combine, including the Utah Jazz, league sources tell The Tribune
Kevin Durant, who 10 years ago failed to bench-press 185 pounds even once but still was drafted No. 2 overall by the Seattle SuperSonics, isn't discouraged by this recent trend. In fact, with the benefit of hindsight, Durant said he wished it had started before he embarked on his professional career. "Stay your ass home, work out and get better on your own time," Durant suggested of potential top prospects.
"I remember it like it was yesterday," Durant said, as he readjusted his body to get comfortable in his seat. "All the strength coaches were laughing at me and s---. They were giggling with each other that I couldn't lift 185 pounds, and I was like, 'All right, keep laughing. Keep laughing.' It was a funny thing, because I was the only one that couldn't lift it and I was struggling to lift it. I was embarrassed at that point, but I'm like, 'Give me a basketball, please. Give me a ball.' "
Mark Medina: Luke Walton will be with the Lakers' front office this week in Chicago for the NBA combine. Part of the Lakers' synergy/collaboration
Adam Zagoria: LSU's Antonio Blakeney and Louisville's Mangok Mathiang are confirmed for the @ProBBallCombine, per source.
On May 11-12, 67 NBA hopefuls will pour into a gym in Chicago to be measured, tested, interviewed, and do what they can to impress the NBA scouts and GMs in attendance. Markelle Fultz, the likely No. 1 pick, will be there. The point guard almost certainly will not get on the court, but he will get measured and interviewed.
Other expected guys to go in the Top 5 are not showing up — Lonzo Ball of UCLA, Josh Jackson of Kansas, and Jayson Tatum of Duke all declined their invitations.
Stefan Bondy: Markelle Fultz and De'Aaron Fox among 67 players announced as attending NBA combine. No Lonzo Ball.
Jeff Goodman: Some of the top players not going to the draft combine. De'Aaron Fox expected to attend, source told ESPN.
Jeff Goodman: Valparaiso's Alec Peters has been invited to the NBA combine. Won't participate due to recovering from injury.
Jeff Goodman: As of now, Markelle Fultz plans on attending the draft combine in Chicago, source told ESPN. Likely just do a couple interviews if he goes.
Five Kentucky basketball players were invited to the NBA combine, according to reports. De'Aaron Fox, Bam Adebayo, Isaiah Briscoe, Malik Monk and Hamidou Diallo were invited to the NBA Draft combine that will take place in Chicago on May 9-14.
Louisville's Donovan Mitchell received an invitation to the NBA draft combine, set for May 9-14 in Chicago. His teammate and roommate, Deng Adel, is on the list of alternates who could be invited if another player pulls out of the scouting event.
According to sources, Ball won't attend, and he may be joined by Fultz and others expected to be selected high in the lottery.
Monte Morris will participate in the NBA’s draft combine next month in Chicago. Teammate Deonte Burton won’t.
Jeff Goodman: Been told that UNC will also have Isaiah Hicks at the NBA combine. He was also invited.
Jeff Goodman: Markelle Fultz, Lonzo Ball, Josh Jackson, Jayson Tatum all invited to the combine. Question is whether their agents let them attend.
Shams Charania: Sources: Possible top pick Lonzo Ball formally informed NBA today he will skip the Draft Combine. Several top prospects expected to do same.
Jeff Goodman: Again, been told Indiana big man Thomas Bryant received an invite to the NBA combine. So did ex-Gonzaga guard Nigel Williams-Goss.
Jeff Goodman: Couple guys I am told are on the “alternate list” for the NBA Draft combine include Michigan’s Derrick Walton and Louisville’s Deng Adel.
Jeff Goodman: Add former Creighton big man Justin Patton to those I have confirmed that has been invited to the NBA Draft Combine.
Jeff Goodman: Kansas’ trio of Josh Jackson, Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk and Frank Mason have all been invited to the NBA combine.
Jeff Goodman: Colorado’s Derrick White has received an invite to the NBA combine. One of the coolest stories in college hoops this past year.
South Carolina’s Sindarius Thornwell is one step closer to fulfilling his NBA dream. Thornwell on Friday night reported via social media an invite to this year’s NBA Draft Combine, held May 9-14 in Chicago. The NBA Draft in June 22.
RealGM: League Office Reviewing Draft Combine Measurements: http://basketball.realgm.com/wiretap/241983/League-Office-Reviewing-Draft-Combine-Measurements
We've reached the point where everyone -- players, agents, GMs, scouts, league officials -- is dissatisfied with the draft combine. Expect the combine itself, and the medical testing that happens there, to be a thorny little slice of collective bargaining talks.
Perhaps just as important as his athletic testing, Maker came off well in interviews, giving the impression that his journey through life has provided him a unique world view. Like Diallo, whoever selects Maker is likely going to have to wait a considerable amount of time until he pays dividends, but for a player who has spent so much time out of the conventional radar, being able to remind executives what makes him so intriguing certainly helped his stock.
Maryland sophomore guard Melo Trimble met with the Sixers and will work out with them on May 25 as he contemplates his decision to stay in the draft. During his team interview, he emphasized how he feels he could impact a turnaround. “When I got there, we went to the tournament, which hadn’t been done in a while,” Trimble said. “I feel like wherever I go, I bring a winning culture.”
A common trend at the draft combine was projected top picks foregoing media availability. Providence point guard Kris Dunn was one of the few anticipated top selections to meet with reporters. He explained his reason for participating, and it didn’t have to do with promoting himself. “I’ve been talking to you guys because I have no problem talking to the media,” said Dunn, who interviewed with the Sixers. “Whatever questions you guys have, I’m going to try to answer to the best of my ability. But the reason I am here in Chicago at the combine is to support my guys.” Players Dunn works out with were at the combine, as was college teammate Ben Bentil.
There are a couple of prospects who entered the combine on the bubble but are likely to stay in the draft. Kansas center Cheick Diallo, who played sparingly during his freshman season, flourished during five-on-five play and is expected to hire an agent. Maryland guard Melo Trimble, who struggled toward the end of last season, could also be eligible for the draft. The best player at the combine has been Saint Joseph’s swingman DeAndre Bembry, who already has hired an agent after leaving the Hawks following his junior season. Bembry was considered a likely early second-rounder before the combine but has impressed scouts with his versatility. Oakland guard Kay Felder, who has interviewed with the Celtics, measured as the shortest player at the combine, at 5-8¼ without shoes.
Pistons general manager Jeff Bower, without addressing Maker specifically, said the team might be more willing to take a boom-or-bust chance with a high-ceiling prospect because of improved roster stability after a 44-win season. "I think we could," Bower said. "I think the strength of the draft is such that picking at 18, you're going to look for some ways to make a difference and that's one avenue that we've looked at."
Stephen Zimmerman, the 7-foot center who played one year at UNLV, was another player the Pistons interviewed. Stan Van Gundy, Detroit's president of basketball operations and head coach, may have his eye on a floor-stretching center and noted late last season that about 40 percent of NBA teams have one. "It was real cool to have him (Van Gundy) in there," during the interview, Zimmerman said, "and they gave me a lot of good feedback on stuff that I need to work on. I think I did well in that interview." The Las Vegas native averaged 10.5 points and 8.7 rebounds in his only college season.
Jim Eichenhofer: FYI on combine interviews with teams: NBA has final determination on which players a team interviews. Teams only submit list of preferences
Aran Smith: Ben Bentil one of the winners of the NBA Draft Combine according to scouts. Considered likely in 25-35 range now.
A number of GMs told me that Diallo -- more than any other prospect -- moved the needle significantly Thursday. Another strong day on Friday and Diallo may move from bubble first-rounder to a late lottery or mid-first-round pick. Diallo has been testing the draft waters, preserving his college eligibility. Most teams assumed he'd return to Kansas for his sophomore season. While most agree he might be better off long-term returning to Kansas, he looks like a lock for the first round if he can continue to play well.
June 5, 2023 | 9:05 pm EDT Update
Brandon Ingram and Jaren Jackson Jr. commit to play for Team USA for FIBA 2023 World Cup
Adrian Wojnarowski: ESPN Sources: Two Western Conference All-Star forwards — New Orleans’ Brandon Ingram and Memphis’ Jaren Jackson Jr., — are committed to play for Team USA’s FIBA World Cup team this summer in the Philippines. USA Basketball plans to finalize a 12-man roster later this month.
Indeed, on the day Dallas acquired Irving, a high-ranking member of the organization told The Dallas Morning News that along with envisioning him as a strong fit alongside Doncic, the Mavericks admired Irving’s proven track record of attracting star teammates, Exhibit A being his wooing of Kevin Durant from Golden State to Brooklyn.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on LeBron James: 'Doesn't have to prove anything'
At the unveiling of a Koreatown mural commissioned by the Lakers, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar said LeBron James should be the only one in control of his future after hinting at retirement following the Lakers’ elimination from the playoffs. “At the end of the year, after all that, LeBron and most of the guys looked like they’d been through two seasons, you know? But they still gave it an awesome effort,” Abdul-Jabbar said Monday. “I think it’s up to him. Certainly doesn’t have to prove anything. And it’s just what he wants to do at this point.”
Trayce Jackson-Davis explained his potential role in the NBA. I think, overall, I’ve got to be a basketball player. At the end of the day, whether I play the small-ball five or whether I play the four, (I just want) to guard positions out on the floor and do my job on offense, whatever the coach wants me to do. That is a big thing for me, being a basketball player, and showing my IQ, athletic ability and everything that comes with it.
The Athletic: Jaren Jackson Jr. was asked if he thought Dillon Brooks calling LeBron James “old” backfired in the Grizzlies-Lakers series. “It helped L.A. get around something and get some energy… but he is old. He kicked our ass and he’s old.” 🎥 @PodcastPShow
Clutch Points: “You’re always gonna make mistakes growing up… And [Ja] is the most popular player at this age probably ever… No matter what I stand by my brother.” Jaren Jackson Jr. speaks on the Ja Morant situation 🗣 (via @PodcastPShow) pic.twitter.com/H3WYtDoZ8E
June 5, 2023 | 7:45 pm EDT Update
Cason Wallace no longer included in Hawks pre-draft workout on Tuesday
Lauren L. Williams: The Hawks announced an update to Tuesday’s pre-Draft workout. Cason Wallace will no longer participate. pic.twitter.com/sfM1BGTg8g
Even though Smith’s role in Denver is minimal, he has earned respect in the locker room. Coach Michael Malone said Smith, Green, Jordan and Caldwell-Pope have impacted the team’s culture. When Smith arrived, he immediately wanted to help Nikola Jokic be an even better playmaker. But as he watched Jokic make unreal passes and find teammates on the weak side, he realized there wasn’t much that needed to be said.