Basketball fans got a treat Thursday evening when the No. 1 junior in the country, Emoni Bates, squared off with the No. 1 senior in the country, Chet Holmgren. Bates is touted as the best high school prospect since LeBron James, but it was the lanky, 7-foot-1 Holmgren who was the star of the game. Holmgren’s Minnesota team, Team Sizzle, defeated Bates’ Ypsi Prep, 78-71, and both players finished with a double-double. Bates had a quiet 36 points (11-for-22 from the field) and 10 rebounds while Holmgren dominated both ends of the court with impressive blocks, long threes and powerful dunks in the lane, finishing with 31 points (13-for-18 from the field), 12 rebounds and six blocks.
June 24, 2021 | 9:18 pm EDT Update
Tim MacMahon: Sources: Mavs have offered Nike executive Nico Harrison a front office leadership position. Dallas wants him to work in tandem with Michael Finley. Harrison and Finley are both close with Jason Kidd, who is expected to be the Mavs’ next head coach.
According to league sources, the Cavaliers have begun to explore trade options involving leading scorer Collin Sexton. Sexton, 22, is extension-eligible this summer, averaged 24.3 points per game last season, and appears likely to seek a maximum contract. Also eligible for an extension is 23-year-old center Jarrett Allen, who is also expected to command a lucrative deal.
Based on some of the chatter I heard over the course of this season, there was enough love for Cade Cunningham atop the draft that he felt easy to pencil in, regardless of who won the lottery. That no longer appears to be the case. In addition to Cunningham, league sources expect USC’s Evan Mobley and G League Ignite’s Jalen Green to receive serious consideration from the Pistons’ front office, led by general manager Troy Weaver. The strong sense I’ve gotten is that Detroit will explore all its options before committing one way or another, and that the decision on who to take is far from a done deal.
Wrapping up with some minutiae: as it turns out, the Pistons and Cavaliers got lucky twice on lottery night. The way the lottery works is that the league draws combinations for the first four slots in order, with any team repeats being thrown out and re-drawn. According to a source with knowledge of the proceedings, the NBA had to draw six times for four slots, with the order being Detroit, then Houston, then Detroit again, then Cleveland, Cleveland again, and finally, Toronto. Conspiracy theorists, do your worst.
Chris Fedor: #Cavs will do their due diligence during this process. They’ve interviewed Corey Kispert, Keon Johnson, Ziaire Williams, Sharife Cooper (he’s not 6-3 like listed, a source said), Miles McBride & BJ Boston along w/ Scottie Barnes. Kai Jones & Jalen Johnson the notables Friday
Chris Grenham: Providence’s David Duke Jr. tells me he will begin his pre-draft workouts w/ teams after the combine. He has yet to interview with the Celtics, but he has thought about playing in Boston: “Being a hometown kid, I definitely had dreams of playing for the Celtics one day.”