Jason Jones: Bogdan Bodgdanovic when asked if he feels ready to play: “I feel like 10 days ago I (was) ready to play. But I’m still waiting for a green light. So we’ll see if it’s going to be the next game, I’m not sure.” Could be Friday or Saturday, too.
April 18, 2021 | 6:54 pm EDT Update
The New Orleans Pelicans are finalizing a multiyear deal with Brazilian guard Didi Louzada, league sources told ESPN on Sunday. … Louzada has since been stashed with the Sydney Kings in Australia’s NBL as part of the league’s Next Stars program.
Since Louzada is a draft pick of the Pelicans, his tax hit for this year would count as zero years of service, which is important for a team trying to stay under the luxury tax this season. … Louzada played two seasons with the Kings, averaging 8.7 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game over the course of his 2021 NBL campaign, shooting 38.9 percent from the field and 26.4 percent from the 3-point line. In one of Louzada’s recent games, he scored 28 points against the South East Melbourne Phoenix, shooting 6-of-7 from downtown. Over his two years in Sydney, Louzada added nearly 40 pounds to his frame and was widely regarded as one of the NBL’s most reliable perimeter defenders.
Q) Sexton, Garland, and Okoro were all top 10 picks. Which player of the three would you want to build around/with long-term and why? A) Former agent Matt Babcock: “I like all three, although they are very different. However, if I had to choose, I’d take Collin Sexton. I love his toughness, competitiveness, and his ability to put the ball in the hole. I remember watching him at Alabama a few years ago. During warmups his intensity could be felt throughout the whole arena. Although I had some concerns with his game, I remember thinking, “there’s no way this kid doesn’t figure it out on some level or another.” The level of focus and determination that he possessed at that stage in his career convinced me that he would be able to find success. In that particular evaluation, I was right.”
Q) What are your thoughts on Isaac Okoro as we near the finish of his rookie season? A) Matt Babcock: “I think I had a good grip on Okoro going into last year’s draft. He’s a big-time athlete and defender. His offensive game is somewhat simple, but he has a good feel for how to play. His outside shooting, although not broken, is definitely his swing skill. All in all, I think long term we’ll look back and consider Okoro to be a good draft pick. Also, let’s not forget he’s only 20 years old.”
Q) The Cavs appear likely to land another top 5 pick in this summer’s draft. If you’re Cleveland, which prospects fit best with their current roster? A) Matt Babcock: “Our big board at basketballnews.com has our top 5 players being Cade Cunningham, Evan Mobley, Jalen Suggs, Jalen Green, and Jonathan Kuminga. Jalen Suggs is probably the only player that I see as a guy that wouldn’t be a great fit, as he’s an on ball, true point guard. The other players would all fit in my mind. However, Cade Cunningham and Evan Mobley would absolutely be at the top of my wish list if I were the Cavs.”
April 18, 2021 | 6:45 pm EDT Update
Brady Hawk: Goran Dragic on Bam Adebayo, “He’s our leader and he demonstrated that today. Without Jimmy, he took the pressure on his shoulder with that last shot, and he made it.” “He’s awesome.” @5ReasonsSports