More HoopsHype Rumors
May 20, 2022 | 11:52 am EDT Update
Oklahoma City is expected to land either Holmgren or Smith with the second overall pick. Either player would be a welcomed frontcourt addition to the team’s backcourt core of Josh Giddey and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. “As tough as he is mentally, he may not be able to withstand the physicality of the NBA game early on,” an NBA executive opined. “I’m not sure he’s going to fill out his frame well. He has skinny shoulders. I don’t think he’ll be as good as someone like Karl-Anthony Towns or Anthony Davis. Defensively, he can be better than KAT. I’d compare him to Kristaps Porzingis.”
“Paolo is probably at the top of that big three for me because he’s the most conservative pick, and he’s consistent,” one NBA executive told HoopsHype following the lottery. “I like him in playoff-type situations. He has the ability to make others around him better.” Two NBA executives compared Banchero’s upside to what Julius Randle was during his All-Star campaign last season. “Paolo gives you the most complete player coming in,” an NBA scout added.
Other executives are monitoring Oklahoma City, Charlotte, San Antonio, and Minnesota as potential traders. The Thunder has four picks in the top 34 and can consolidate some of those picks. The Hornets can afford to move one of their first-round picks (13 and 15). The Grizzlies have an established young core ready to take the next step with picks 22 and 29 to dangle as bait. The Spurs (picks 9, 20, 25 and 38) have a surplus of late first-rounders that should be available. The Timberwolves have the No. 19 pick and three picks in the 40-50 range to dangle. The consensus big three of this year’s draft class remains Jabari Smith, Chet Holmgren and Paolo Banchero, with Shaedon Sharpe rising into the top five in the latest aggregate mock draft.
“I’m a huge Mark Williams fan,” one NBAexecutive told HoopsHype following the lottery. “He’s not quite like Robert Williams. His switch defense isn’t great, but his rim protection, mid-range jump shot and rolling ability is a fit for today’s NBA as a modern big man. He can make a pass after catching it on the short roll as well.” “No doubt he’ll play in the league for a long time, but the question becomes whether you should use a lottery pick on a big man when the league is shrinking, and pick-and-roll defense is critical,” an NBA scout opined.
How did the job under Kidd with the Mavericks come about? Kristi Tollver: So, after the first year with the Wizards, the next offseason I was rehabbing my knee in Phoenix. I knew I wanted to get back into it. I didn’t like a season away [in the 2020 WNBA bubble] and that was also when COVID was at its peak. I wanted to go into coaching basketball, so I started to do some interviews with a handful of teams. And then, when I got on the phone with Jason, [Mavericks assistant general manager] Michael Finley and [Mavericks president] Nico [Harrison], everything happened really, really fast.