Chris Grenham: Top JUCO recruit Jay Scrubb made a great impression on the Celtics during their virtual pre-draft meeting, per source. Scrubb was committed to Louisville before opting to stay in the draft this spring. Solid 3-and-D potential with great athleticism. Really intriguing prospect.
Adrian Wojnarowski: The NBA tentatively expects to allow teams to begin conducting in-person interviews with 2020 draft prospects starting in mid-October, sources tell ESPN. For now, there are still no in-person workouts with prospects allowed by teams.
In the meantime, the 6-foot-7, 225-pound All-American selection has spoken via Zoom or phone to reps from 27 of the 30 NBA teams. Bartelstein remains in daily contact with the franchises about his client. Nwora figures it’s wise during the COVID-19 pandemic to “be ready for the moment” due to roving dates, so he has immersed himself in preparations.
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, NBA teams are not allowed to meet face-to-face with draft prospects. The Warriors -- who are guaranteed to land a top-five pick -- also can't bring any of the top players to Chase Center for private workouts. Fortunately for members of Golden State's front office, they can take advantage of modern technology. "We can do RingCentral video interviews with players. That's been great actually. That has been really great," Warriors executive VP of basketball operations Kirk Lacob, said Tuesday morning on 95.7 The Game. "We've gone through -- on man -- over 100 players, maybe, at this point. We've just never had the opportunity to do that. This has been totally different, but not necessarily bad."
Manny Camper forgoes NBA draft, returning to Siena. He had until Monday to remove his name from draft consideration and retain his NCAA eligibility. Camper, a 6-7 guard/forward, pointed out he still spoke with representatives from the Memphis Grizzlies, New Orleans Pelicans, Milwaukee Bucks and Denver Nuggets.
The Knicks are among the teams who have conducted a video interview with prospect Killian Hayes, according to his agent, Yann Balikouzou. Balikouzou said on the Envergure podcast last month that Hayes had talked to dozens of teams. Some of those teams did not have a lottery pick, which is an indication that teams are at least considering trading up in the draft for a player like Hayes.
While Hayes interviewed with the Knicks, Balikouzou said his client hasn’t spoken to every lottery team. Balikouzou said Hayes would likely speak with Minnesota and Golden State but didn’t plan to do an interview with Cleveland. “It’s not a secret, they probably won’t draft a guard,” Balikouzou, of ISE, said in the interview, which was conducted in French and translated. “….The chances they’d draft a guard are really thin.”
Darren Wolfson: Ex-South Dakota big Tyler Hagedorn is another in a lengthy list of draft prospects to have already interviewed w/ the #Timberwolves. Was one of the best players in the Summit League. Bigs w/ his stroke can always find a job somewhere. Led nation in 3-pt %.
Darren Wolfson: Former Hopkins HS & Arizona star Zeke Nnaji had a recent interview w/ the #Rockets, a team currently w/o a 2020 pick. Next up for Nnaji: the Golden St. #Warriors next week. He’s been training hard at @impactbball in Vegas, able to pick the brains of NBA vets A. Johnson & C. Wood.
Frank Martin stands with A.J. Lawson in staying in the NBA Draft at this point in time. “There’s no need to rush. He’s had probably six or seven interviews with NBA teams, which is what they’re all doing right now,” Martin said. “As long as NBA teams are offering interviews, I don’t see any reason why he should try to make a decision sooner than he has to. If no NBA team was asking to meet with him, I would think he’d make a decision by now.”
Sestina said right now his focus was on playing in the NBA. “I’m really waiting it out,” Sestina said. “I’ve had a couple of good offers to play overseas, but the opportunity to get my foot in the door with an NBA team — or on a two-way contract with a G-League team — is more appealing to me. If you get even a two-way contract, you’re right there on the fringes of the NBA.” Sestina said he had a “bunch of good interviews” with NBA teams virtually in May.
Kispert has been interviewed by roughly 15 teams. “You can only tell so much about a potential player through a Zoom interview,” he said. “In my case, it would be a really good thing to get in front of the right people and show them what I have face to face.”
Adam Zagoria: Former Louisville F @JordanNwora has done Zoom calls with about 20 NBA teams, including the Knicks and Nets, per source. The former @NYRhoops F averaged 18.0 ppg and 7.7 rpg last season and is a projected 2nd-round pick. The Knicks have two 2nd-round picks in the Draft. pic.twitter.com/ISeBHH7dWt
The new reality we are all living has made the draft process considerably different than in past years. Since face-to-face meetings can’t happen right now, Tillman has been meeting with NBA teams through Zoom meetings. “I’ve had two so far with Utah and Detroit. It’s all about these Zoom interviews and how well you perform in those. Answering the questions honestly is the biggest key for those teams because they know everything about you,” Tillman said. Being born and raised in Michigan, Tillman says the Pistons are a team that is on his list.
Where things are moving more quickly, John Petty said in a telephone interview, are in his contacts with other teams. “I’ve done 12 Zoom interviews already,” Petty said. “I don’t want to say any specific teams but I’ve gotten some great feedback. They have been impressed. We’ve talked about my elbow (a hyperextending which knocked him out of two games late late season.) It has perfectly healed, no problem. My process now is to keep working out, be patient, talk to scouts and hopefully get a great answer from them (about a potential draft position.) If that happens, I’m probably going to stay in. ... I will have a decision but I’m going to be patient.”
Darren Wolfson: Former @DLSislanders star Tyrell Terry is expected to connect virtually with the #Timberwolves/#Twolves before the week is over. He’s already chatted with a handful of teams. Intriguing draft prospect. Kicked butt at Stanford his freshman year.
The Washington Wizards have been gathering as much information as possible by interacting with prospects on video conference calls. They recently spoke with Immanuel Quickley of Kentucky and have plans this week to interview Jalen Smith of Maryland, NBC Sports Washington has learned. Both players are projected first round picks. The Wizards also interviewed Arizona big man Zeke Nnaji, who is expected to fall in the late second round or go undrafted.
With in-person visits sidelined because of the COVID-19 pandemic, teams can hold only video chats with prospects. Hazan said McClung had met with 11 teams as of Tuesday, with more scheduled. According to a source, those teams include the Rockets, the Bulls and the Nets. At least one team mentioned to McClung the potential of signing a two-way contract should he go undrafted. Such deals allow teams to freely use players in the NBA and G League.
November 30, 2020 | 12:16 pm EST Update
Duane Rankin: OFFICIAL: #Suns signed free agents guards E’Twaun Moore, Langston Galloway and center Damian Jones as well as free agent forward Johnathan Motley, the team announced today. Motley averaged 24 points last season in G League. Has played 46 games with Dallas and L.A. Clippers. pic.twitter.com/zwgITkS3CP
What are your expectations for this shortened 2020-21 season? Stephen Curry: Knowing what the top of the West looks like … with obviously L.A. winning the championship and reloading … you look at the Clippers, you look at Denver, Houston, Portland, Utah, Dallas, Phoenix, Sacramento, there’s so many talented teams that are looking to take that next step. We’ve been there before, so we know what it takes, and we’re going to rely on that for sure. But we’ve got that nice, perfect balance of experience and youth. And when it comes to a playoff matchup, when we’re in there and we’re locked in, we know we’re tough to beat. Come playoff time, whenever that is, we know we’ll be there, we know we’ll be a force to be reckoned with on that front.
GQ: Financially, how dire would the consequences have been if the season had to be canceled? Adam Silver: I mean, I wouldn’t use the word dire, only because I tend to look at our business over a longer-term horizon. Even though we had an opportunity, of course, to restart the season, the financial implications are still pretty traumatic. The players will still take a significant pay cut, and most of our teams will also lose significant amounts of money—not just from their NBA team but [also from their] arenas and all of those nights that have remained dark. Again, I’m trying to take a longer-term perspective and with a recognition that this too shall pass, whether it takes another six months for a vaccine to be widely distributed or it takes another year to get back up and running. Meanwhile, we’re watching what’s happening around the world. For example, we have Game 4 of the Finals taking place on Tuesday night in Orlando. So on Wednesday morning in Shanghai, in fact, there is a viewing party at an arena where they’re going to have 5,000 fans, and they’re comfortable doing that. They have protocols for doing that.
Adam Silver: I only say that because long before there was even a movement called Black Lives Matter, there was the NBA. There was Bill Russell, there was Oscar Robertson and Wayne Embry and Lenny Wilkens and all these great Black leaders within the league. Part of what I’m focusing on is finding our own voice for next season and putting us in a leadership position on these issues, and—maybe I’m naive to say this—putting us in a role to unify people as well. Now, some people might suggest that the words Black Lives Matter are causing massive amounts of people to tune out the NBA. There’s absolutely no data to support that. And in fact, as I said, there’s no doubt there are some people—and whether or not they were truly our fans to begin with is unclear—who have become further engaged with the league because they believe in our players and they believe in the positions they’ve taken, even if they don’t agree with everything they say. They respect their right to speak out on issues that are important to them.
How would you respond to those who struggle to reconcile these established values that the NBA represents and the business relationship that the league has with China? Adam Silver: I think they’re very different. I don’t think it should be a surprise to people that in a league that is 80 percent Black, that issues of social justice are the issues that they choose to speak out on. To me, that’s the essence of what free speech is. Free speech is your decision as to what to speak out on and where to focus your attention. And through the relationships that we have in China—directly with the hundreds of millions of people in China that follow NBA basketball—we are an exporter of American values. And again, I’m not naive. I don’t mean to suggest that therefore their system of government will change because people watch NBA basketball. But I think through those relationships come commonality of interest and ultimately empathy and a better understanding of each other. I don’t know how else to say it, but I think it’s a net positive, because the alternative is disengagement.
Adam Silver: But I guess that people could say, “Well, it’s inconsistent with our values.” And I’d say, “Do you make decisions based on one issue?” I still believe that by engaging with people in China, by exporting what is a piece of Americana through the NBA, that we are supporting our fundamental values and that the alternative of not doing it would not improve things. Now, I think there’s been a misinterpretation around the Daryl Morey tweet, and it confuses me in terms of people’s reactions.* Our response was “No, we support freedom of expression.” That is a bedrock American principle, and that if they choose to not air our games as a result of that tweet, we accept the consequences. Hopefully, the Chinese will see that. And it’s no surprise: We have a different system, and that’s what we believe in. It’s two governments having disagreements.
Where does the relationship between the NBA and the Chinese government stand now? Adam Silver: We don’t have a direct relationship with the government. Our games continue to be distributed on what is a private streaming service there called Tencent. But I think that taking our games [temporarily] off China Central Television has sent a very clear signal to Chinese citizens from the Chinese government that we are being disfavored at this time. And we are continuing to do what we do. And certainly, for Chinese citizens who watch our games, whatever messages are on our floor, whatever messages are on our jerseys, are seen by them. And certainly our players who choose to speak out on the issues important to them, whatever those issues are, will be heard around the world.