One name brought up often in recent days has been Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan, who could become available should the Raptors look to make wholesale changes following a third straight loss to LeBron James and the Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Wiggins’ Canadian roots could make him an attractive option for the Raptors and good reason to hope that they could get the best out of him while playing in his backyard. In some ways, DeRozan could provide a good blueprint for Wiggins to follow. DeRozan didn’t become a real star in the league until his fifth year and has proven to be effective even though he isn’t a knockdown three-point shooter. But his game is also similar to Butler’s, so it is hard to see how a swap like that would give the Wolves what they are looking for in terms of a different look aside their leader.
June 17, 2018 | 8:05 pm EDT Update
Mike Fisher: BREAKING: source tells me top #NBADraft prospect Jaren Jackson Jr. is working out w #Mavs today.
ESPN analyst Fran Fraschilla compared Ayton with Hall of Famers Hakeem Olajuwon, Patrick Ewing and David Robinson. UA coach Sean Miller doesn’t understand why there’s a debate about the No. 1 pick, saying: “I look at the NBA as trying to figure out who they’re going to pick from No. 2 to 60. I think the No. 1 pick’s in. … There’s nobody like Deandre. Nobody.” Colorado coach Tad Boyle told NBA.com: “He’s a monster. I played (at Kansas) in the ’80s, and he’s the best player since Hakeem Olajuwon. He’s that kind of talent.”
Romar laughs when asked about Ayton’s personality. “Oh my goodness,” he said. “He’s a comedian. When he’s away from the court, just hanging around, oh my goodness, he’ll have you laughing.” But that desire to have a good time, Romar said, shouldn’t be misconstrued as Ayton not taking his craft seriously. It’s almost as if Ayton has, well, split personalities. Romar described his on-court persona as “fiery,” “emotional” and “so competitive.”
Jordan Schultz: Keep a close eye on 20-year-old French PG Elie Okobo. Several decision makers have told me he is very high on their boards, while highlighting his dynamic scoring ability/P-R playmaking. Okobo could be another gem in France’s long list of quality players.
Nick DePaula: Rising 1st round Draft prospect Zhaire Smith has agreed to a multi-year footwear & apparel deal with PUMA. The explosive wing measured a 41.5” vertical at the Combine, and ESPN’s @Jonathan Givony says Smith “could be the best athlete in the draft.”
June 17, 2018 | 6:44 pm EDT Update
The Heat also could sign a minimum-type power rotation player, perhaps two, if Miami doesn’t resign Luke Babbitt or Udonis Haslem to the minimum. Power rotation players who could command mid-level type money include center Greg Monroe (has some support inside the Heat; averaged 10.2 points and 4.3 rebounds in 26 games for Boston after a Suns buyout).