“I knew I was drafting a player that had a chance to be exceptional in the NBA,” said Isiah Thomas, who plucked McGrady out of high school for the Toronto Raptors in 1997 before Kevin Garnett and Kobe Bryant had fully established themselves and made such a selection appear to be anything except risky. “I knew McGrady had the skill set to make the leap. Tracy really could do it all. He could pass, he could shoot, but he was a willing passer. He wasn’t a passer looking to fill the stat sheet, although he did fill the stat sheet with his play. He played the game in a very unselfish way.”
June 18, 2018 | 12:32 pm EDT Update
“Last summer, they could have acquired Paul George. ” said Adrian Wojnarowski on the Adam Schefter podcast. “I think Paul George wanted to know, ‘if LeBron commits to some years going forward, then I might be willing to commit.’ “When LeBron wasn’t willing to commit to an extension, that told me, they could have had Paul George without losing Kyrie. That’s a very different team: Kyrie Irving, Paul George and LeBron James. “When he wasn’t ready to do that then, Cleveland was worried and rightly so.”
Josh Lewenberg: Raptors GM Bobby Webster (from his @TSN1050Radio interview this morning) on RFA Fred VanVleet: “He’s a huge priority. I don’t want to get fined here, we’re a little limited in what we can say, but we love Freddy and he knows that. He is our highest priority.”
Multiple NBA teams are, as one source put it, “comfortable with the risks” involving drafting Missouri forward Michael Porter Jr. despite his injury history, which this week caused the on-again postponement of a workout today in Chicago. And yes, the Dallas Mavericks, I’m told, are among those “comfortable-with-the-risks” teams.
After last week’s workout, the Mavs came away thinking of Porter Jr. as a top-three talent and “extremely impressive.” There is a continuing idea that Porter Jr. — as a shooter and a scorer — can be Durant-like, or Dirk-like. And the Mavs crave that “transcendent” prospect. They are not alone, however. One source tells me the Chicago Bulls (at No. 7) would love to see Porter fall to them. And Sacramento (at 2) and Memphis (at 4) have him in play, too.
Porter was able to work out for teams on Friday after a hip injury scare, but the workout did not completely allay fears about Porter’s injury history. He had back surgery in November, and there is ample concern, according to front office sources, that Porter will be an injury question mark throughout his NBA career, at least in his early years.
Ayton declared himself the No. 1 pick after his workout with the Suns, and all indications are that Phoenix will choose him first. The Suns have looked at other candidates for this spot, and there is always a chance (however slim) that the top pick could be moved. Not likely, though. Ayton has a lot riding on going first because he has only worked out for the Suns, and a source noted that he will not work out for any other team before the draft.
June 18, 2018 | 10:47 am EDT Update
Timofey Mozgov: I’m very dissatisfied with my NBA season. It was a hard one and really bad. The breaking point came quite unexpectedly. The coach just said: “This is the situation we have”. There were no transitional periods, just like this: bang! I had a personal talk to the coach later, but it did not help. Probably the coach had some ideas about me, but he failed to get them through, at least I did not understand anything. The team meeting at the end of the season did not make things clear either. There haven’t been any talks about the next season, so we’ll wait and see.