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More on No. 1 pick

Opponents are shooting just 31.7 percent in the paint when Holmgren is on the floor. That outstanding figure ranks Holmgren in the 99th percentile, via CBB Analytics. Holmgren plays an instrumental role in Gonzaga’s defensive identity and among all prospects in this draft class, he has a strong case for the mostlikely to earn All-Defense consideration in the NBA.
Not only have the majority of his long-distance shots come from the fast-paced offense but, according to Hoop Math, the big man is shooting an absurd 47.3 percent on three-pointers in transition. He is constantly a threat to knock down the trailer three-pointer when in transition, which makes him an excellent floor spacer. Another aspect of his offensive style that should intrigue scouts is that he actually has a fairly low usage rate. The offense does not have to revolve around Holmgren for him to make a difference and help the team win.
Basketball insider Jeff Goodman talked to an NBA GM over the weekend and took in some interesting chatter about Gonzaga big man Chet Holmgren’s draft status. Goodman said the anonymous GM told him that he would take Purdue’s Jaden Ivey over Holmgren in the top three due to concerns regarding his body translating to NBA level strength. Auburn’s Jabari Smith, Duke’s Paolo Banchero, and Chet have been considered locks by most experts to go in the top three all season. But Ivey’s great play and Holmgren’s unorthodox body structure are starting to shake things up as we get closer to the draft.
In an Insider-only story for ESPN, Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz explore why Gonzaga big man Chet Holmgren is such a polarizing player for NBA scouts. As ESPN’s duo explains, Holmgren is a one-of-a-kind prospect who can’t be easily compared to current or former NBA players, making it more difficult to evaluate both his potential upside and his potential risk.
Chet Holmgren has heard the chant a few times this season from opposing fans: “Over-rated!” The lanky 7-foot freshman always has an answer, usually in the form of a thunderous dunk, 3-pointer or swatted shot into the stands. “You hear it, but at the same time you’re pretty locked in,” Holmgren said after finishing with 21 points, 15 rebounds and six blocked shots in a recent win over San Francisco.
A highly touted prospect when he arrived in Spokane, Washington, Holmgren didn’t dominate as expected early in his freshman season. Wanting to fit into Gonzaga’s team-oriented game, he often deferred to teammates, occasionally at the expense of passing up a good shot. As the season has progressed, so has Holmgren’s assertiveness. He’s dominated at times, showing off the rare skill set that has him projected to be among the top three picks in the next NBA draft, possibly No. 1. “He is just very, very skilled,” San Diego coach Sam Scholl said. “He has a tremendous feel. He is physical. He is not afraid to bang.”
Based on what I’ve gleaned over the past couple months from conversations with a wide range of NBA executives and scouts, this is currently a two-player race for the No. 1 spot, with Auburn’s Jabari Smith and Duke’s Paolo Banchero having separated from the pack. I ranked Smith as the draft’s top prospect after seeing him play live for the first time last month. Based on what we’ve seen to this point, I’d venture further and give Smith the edge as the slight favorite.
Duke big man Paolo Banchero and Gonzaga center Chet Holmgren received the majority of hype as potential no. 1 picks in the 2022 draft entering the college season. But Auburn freshman forward Jabari Smith Jr. has entered the conversation, and even surpassed them in the eyes of many scouts and executives around the league.
Two weeks after announcing his presence to the college basketball world with an impressive performance against Kentucky at Madison Square Garden, Duke freshman Paolo Banchero helped solidify his status as the presumed No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft with another breakout performance against No. 1-ranked Gonzaga in Las Vegas. “He will be No. 1 [because of] his size, strength and ability to score at all 3 levels,” one of the 60 NBA GMs and scouts said after Banchero’s performance Friday night in No. 5 Duke’s 84-81 win over the Bulldogs.
Two Duke basketball players face charges in Orange County following a driving while impaired arrest early Sunday morning. According to court records, Michael Savarino, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski’s grandson, was arrested for DWI while star freshman Paolo Banchero is charged with aiding and abetting DWI. The N.C. Highway Patrol made the arrest in Orange County at 1:10 a.m. Sunday.
N.C. Highway Patrol spokesman Sgt. Christopher Knox told the News & Observer that Savarino was stopped for a stop sign violation while driving on Brushy Creek Road outside Hillsborough. The officer observed signs of impairment and Savarino was taken into custody. A breathalyzer test showed a blood alcohol content of .08. A copy of the arrest report and corresponding citations, obtained from Orange County District Court, confirmed Knox’s statement, and showed the responding officer administered two breathalyzer tests to Savarino, who was driving a white 2017 Jeep SUV registered to Banchero.
Before long, Jalen Green was the highlight of the G-League—the fastest player on the court, a multi-level scorer and apt defender, all the while delivering the same highlight reel, high-flying displays that made him famous on the internet. He’d write down goals on yellow sticky notes on his door and cross them off when he accomplished them. Before leaving that Walnut Creek apartment and relocating to LA, the only one left read, “Be the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft.” “Number one pick,” he tells me, “that would be a dream come true. I ain't going to lie. That happens, I'm going to have a breakdown,” he laughs. And, naturally, he has preference in mind. “I want to live in Detroit.”
There’s rarely quiet around Jalen now: the buzz of a nearby phone, the clicking of cameras, the throngs of fans can be incessant. The unhinged Instagram comments on casual pictures with friends from people he doesn’t know, the constant judgements on his behavior, the cold shoulder when he comes back home to Fresno. "Fresno's like a small city, so it’s real small minded. It’s like a crab bucket,” Jalen admits, dropping his head back underneath his hoodie. “You've got a bucket full of crabs. They all pull on you when you try to get out. You can fall into crime there, all that type of stuff. If you don't have the right home, right surroundings, right people around you, that shit can lead you down the wrong path.”
“Number one pick,” he tells me, “that would be a dream come true. I ain't going to lie. That happens, I'm going to have a breakdown,” he laughs. And, naturally, he has preference in mind. “I want to live in Detroit.” He feels that spot is important to his journey, a reward for his endurance. When I ask him as dinner ends what he wants out of his career, he offers a singular ambition. “I want my respect,” Jalen tells me. “As a person and a basketball player. What comes with this is that people don’t know what you’ve got to sacrifice and go through. Especially when you’re in a small city and basketball takes you down this road and everyone’s still in that small city. It’s personal. A lot of people talk about you on the side. It can get back to your family and everything. And they don’t know what you’ve been through, by yourself, while you’re on that journey.”
A commitment by the Detroit Pistons to select Cade Cunningham first overall "could be imminent," sources tell Jonathan Givony of ESPN. Both the front office and ownership are on the same page on Cunningham.
There’s a lot of group think at the top of this draft. Across the 14 different big boards I included, all but two had Cade Cunningham as the top prospect. Similarly, Evan Mobley, Jalen Green, and Jalen Suggs are ranked in the top four in some order in the vast majority of big boards. I kind of expected there to be more diversity for the simple reason that there’s not really any penalty on the media side for being wrong about draft prospects — draft heads are still going to click and read draft content.
The Pistons, their general manager said Tuesday afternoon, remain open to all possibilities a little more than 48 hours ahead of Thursday night’s NBA draft – with all eyes on the Pistons with the No. 1 pick. “I said it from the onset: We’re going to have a process and we’re going to turn over every stone,” Troy Weaver said. “That’s what we’re doing. Everybody’s made the pick but us. But we’re going to continue to do our work, turn over every stone and land where we’re going to land. We’re confident in our work and we’re enjoying the process.”
Rival front offices continue to wonder: Are the Detroit Pistons legitimately cooling on Cade Cunningham as the No. 1 overall selection … or simply trying to encourage stronger 11th-hour trade offers for the top pick? One league source insists that one of the factors keeping the Pistons from committing fully to the selection of Cunningham is Jalen Green’s recent stellar workout that apparently made the strongest of impressions.
It would be a surprise if the Pistons don’t keep this pick and draft Cunningham, but league sources say that Jalen Green had an outstanding workout with Detroit last week. The front office will mull trading down if teams keep making offers, but teams will have to pay a significant price to move up. Unless things quickly change in the next 48 hours, expect Cunningham to bring his versatile talents to the Motor City.
Cade Cunningham has been the public favorite to go No. 1 to the Detroit Pistons since the lottery. While Detroit is surely doing its due diligence, is there any reason to doubt that Cunningham will be the first name we hear on Thursday night? Matt Babcock: I expect Cade Cunningham to be the top overall pick in this draft, selected by the Detroit Pistons. However, I’ve been told that the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder have been knocking the Pistons’ door down. Rumor has it that the Thunder offered the No. 6 pick and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander in exchange for No. 1 -- the Pistons declined. If the Pistons receive an offer better than that one, they may need to seriously consider it.
Stadium Bets: The Rockets are pursuing the No. 1 overall pick from the Pistons, according to our #NBA Insider @ShamsCharania . Check out Draft Decisions, presented by @FDSportsbook .

https://twitter.com/StadiumBets/status/1419000761967685634
James Edwards III: Asked Cade Cunningham what he learned about the Pistons during his visit: "The organization has a lot of great people within it. Starts with the owners. Troy Weaver is a great GM. I learned a lot on my visit. If they take me, I'll be happy to be there."
James Edwards III: Cunningham: "I wanted to meet with the team that had the No. 1 pick because I feel I'm the No. 1 pick. If the Rockets get the No. 1 pick, I'd meet with them if there is enough time."
Cunningham, the longtime front runner for the top overall selection, is not planning on conducting any additional visits, sources said, and would be extremely pleased to land in Detroit. Green, the No. 2 prospect in the ESPN 100, is currently only planning on conducting one additional workout, at the training facility of the Houston Rockets, owners of the No. 2 pick.

https://twitter.com/NicolasHenkel/status/1417265024125517824
The Rockets are very interested in Oklahoma State forward Cade Cunningham and could make a move to acquire him in the 2021 NBA draft, per Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer. Houston currently owns the No. 2 pick, with Cunningham seen as the frontrunner to go at No. 1 overall.
However, reports have indicated that the Rockets have some interest in trading up with Detroit to acquire that pick. Other sources have said that Detroit isn’t a lock to pick Cunningham at the top, anyway, with G League Ignite guard Jalen Green also among the options. Here’s what O’Connor said Monday on The Bill Simmons Podcast: "I’m hearing the same thing as you. That the Rockets love Cade, that they would want to try and get him — whether it’s trading up, or hoping that Detroit passes on him at No. 1."
EuroHoops Scouting: FIBA U19 WC All Tournament Team: Nikola Jovic (Serbia), Chet Holmgren (USA), Zach Edey (Canada), Victor Wembanyama (France), Jaden Ivey (United States). Tournament MVP: Chet Holmgren (USA).
Eurohopes: USA beats France (83-81) and wins the #FIBAU19 with a game to remember by Flag of France Victor Wembanyama ('04): 22 PTS, 8 REB and 8 BLKS. Flag of United States Jaden Ivey ('02) and Kenny Lofton Jr (‘02) combined for 32 PTS while Chet Holmgren (‘02) had 10 PTS and 5 AST in 23 MIN.
According to league sources, it’s believed the Rockets have been fixated on Cunningham but don’t believe in offering up to Detroit what it would take to move into the top spot. That leaves them just deciding to pick the next best player at No. 2, right? Not necessarily. Houston could look to trade out of No. 2 in exchange for a more definite young star, i.e. someone already in the league.
The Pistons will take Cade Cunningham at No. 1 … right? Detroit’s brain trust said all the right things after winning the NBA Draft Lottery — that it wasn’t wedded to the do-everything Cunningham, the brilliant Oklahoma State playmaker, that the Pistons would give strong consideration to Gonzaga’s Jalen Suggs or G-Leaguer Jalen Green with the top selection. They’ll no doubt do their due diligence on everyone else, including USC big Evan Mobley. But you can’t overthink No. 1. There’s no one making a true compelling argument against the obvious choice of Cunningham, a 6-foot-8 guard with a 7-1 wingspan, amazing passing ability and poise.
Eastern Conference executive 1: All worthy candidates to at least consider, but Cade is hard to pass on. Eastern Conference executive 2: Now, maybe (GM Troy Weaver) sees something in Mobley that nobody else sees. And that could be him. Troy knows how to pick ’em. So maybe he sees something in Evan that he doesn’t quite see in Cade — long term, for their team. The other part about Evan is Wasserman. Arn (Tellem, the former mega-agent, who is now the Pistons’ vice chairman) created Wasserman, so there could be a connection there.
A few weeks ago, the Cleveland Cavaliers celebrated a victorious lottery night, claiming the third pick in this ballyhooed 2021 NBA Draft. But the Cavs could be looking to move up even further -- if the price is right.
A report from ESPN on Wednesday tabbed Cleveland, Houston, New Orleans and Oklahoma City as teams making “overtures” to evaluate what it would cost to trade for No. 1. Even though this is considered “smokescreen season” around the NBA, sources tell cleveland.com the Cavs are “definitely looking into it.”
So, what would it cost for the Cavs to move up two spots? “Go back and look at the Tatum-Fultz deal,” an NBA executive said. “I think it would cost more than that this year.” “It would be similar to what Boston and Philly did a few years ago,” another exec explained. “Probably No. 3 and an unprotected future first, maybe even one of the young guys (Collin Sexton, Darius Garland or Isaac Okoro) drafted recently.”
Brandon Rahbar: Per @Jonathan Givony, OKC is one of a few teams to engage Detroit about trading for the #1 pick. Not likely OKC gives what it takes to get Cade, but it shows the Thunder are looking at ways to move up. If OKC trades up, Cavs at 3 for Mobley or Raps at 4 for Suggs seem more likely.
But would the Pistons really pass on Cunningham if the draft were tonight? I still think the answer is no. I would put Cunningham as the overwhelming favorite to end up in Detroit at that spot still, which, by the way, I've been told he would be very excited about. The recent buzz about other options can be chalked up to a second-year GM doing his homework and trying to make sure he leaves no stone unturned with what might end up being the most valuable pick he ever has in his career.
There is noise about the Detroit Pistons considering multiple prospects. But they'll wind up taking the player every scout expected to go No. 1 all season. Sources say certain Pistons staff members were initially informed that Cade Cunningham would be the pick. Aside from most agreeing he's the top prospect, his fit and archetype are ideal for the Pistons, who could use a high-level creator to initiate offense.
Teams including Cleveland, Houston, New Orleans and Oklahoma City are among those making overtures to evaluate what it would take to move up to the No. 1 slot, sources say, but those talks are at an early stage, and any trade is unlikely to be consummated until much closer to the draft, if at all. From all accounts, Detroit is comfortable standing pat at No. 1 and taking Cunningham but will be active in exploring the possibility of trading down and obtaining additional assets, with Mobley a potential target if something gets done.
The Pistons are also high on USC big man Evan Mobley and G League Ignite guard Jalen Green, with Mobley being a close second to Cunningham, per sources. Other reports suggest that Green is a bigger threat than Mobley to supplant Cunningham as the pick. All three players have the tools to emerge as stars. There’s a clear favorite, but Mobley and Green also possess obvious star power. The Pistons are doing their due diligence.
After the lottery, I got texts from multiple sources that said the Pistons are also thought to be fans of Jalen Green. So look, I’m mocking Cunningham here. Pistons fans who want Cunningham shouldn’t have a meltdown based off this. But this isn’t like 2019 when Zion Williamson was a done deal and everyone in the basketball industry knew it. Cunningham is considered the likely choice here. He’s the overwhelming favorite. But everyone seems to be acting like this is unequivocally a done deal, and I’m not totally convinced of that as of right now, an hour after the lottery.
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.

https://twitter.com/excelsm/status/1380916172309344256
Cade Cunningham announced Thursday that he will enter the NBA draft after a dynamic freshman season for Oklahoma State that saw him named a first-team AP All-American. "I see them as more human now than I used to," Cunningham said. "I've been looking at those guys since I was a sophomore in high school. Those are the guys I've got to try to outwork right now."
Cunningham knows the work is just beginning. The Texas native has already been thinking of ways to improve before the July 29 draft. "Throughout the season, I was just adding things on in my head," he said. "We don't have as much time to just get in the gym and work. I definitely want to get my fluidity and my movement better, whether that's yoga and things like that. Just getting my range of motion and things a lot better. I still want to focus on tightening my handle, shooting the ball better, just getting more consistent at a lot of the things that I do now."
In the last 10 years, only two No. 1 picks had even reached the Final Four, with Kentucky’s Anthony Davis in 2012 being the only one to win an N.C.A.A. title. “Cade expects to be the No. 1 pick,” Cowboys Coach Mike Boynton said before the tournament. “He’s not going to talk about it but he believes he’s the best guy.”
Kevin O'Connor: Cade Cunningham is the real deal. pic.twitter.com/oR7koKCBHr

http://twitter.com/KevinOConnorNBA/status/1337880697864916993
And yet Fraschilla wasn’t sure he saw the No. 1 pick in the draft. That’s how spectacular the 2021 NBA Draft is shaping up and Knicks fans should pay attention. Knicks executives changed plans, showed patience and ultimately punted on 2020 free agency, putting them in No. 1 lottery seed contention. “You know how much I love the draft,’’ Fraschilla told The Post via phone after calling the game. “All these guys do the mock drafts. Honestly, they really don’t know what they’re doing. If you’re an NBA GM, this is going to be a very deep draft at the top. Seven-to-10 kids I believe, late in the college basketball season, we’ll be discussing as who will the league taken as the No. 1 pick.”
“2021 is loaded,’’ said VandeGarde. “Loaded.” VandeGarde said Cunningham, Green, Kuminga and Mobley would’ve certainly been the No. 1 pick in last week’s 2020 NBA Draft if high schoolers were eligible. “Could (Cade) be the No. 1 pick?,’’ Fraschilla, the former St. John’s and Manhattan coach, said. “Absolutely. He’s going to be a very good pro. Does he do things beyond his years? Absolutely. What he’ll be is a potential triple-double guy in the NBA in a 48-minute game. But I don’t want to say after seeing after one college game, ‘yeah, it’s over. He’s No. 1.'”
Storyline: No. 1 pick
More HoopsHype Rumors
August 11, 2022 | 2:12 am EDT Update

Robert Williams not available in potential trade involving Kevin Durant

There’s good reason for pessimism, Durant’s ultimatum to Nets owner Joe Tsai did not light a fire under trade talks. If anything, it made it far less likely a deal gets done in the short term. — why would Boston improve its offer now? It robbed the Nets of leverage. For example, Brooklyn was trying to get Boston to put Smart in the trade, but why would they even consider it now? That said, even without Smart (or Robert Williams III, sources told NBC Sports he is not available), a Celtics offer with Jaylen Brown may be the best one the Nets will see.
Ric Bucher: I’ve been assured that this is correct in spite of another report that says it never happened. And that’s as far as I’ll go with that, too. I’m not going to punch down. Ben Simmons was in a group chat with some of the other teams players. And on it, they asked Ben if he was playing in game four. And not only did he not answer, he dropped out of the chat. Now, as I said, there’s another reporter out there who suggested the event never happened. I’m well aware that that reporter has, let’s say he has vested interests in painting things a certain way. And again, I will leave it at that his comments prompted me to go back and double check with my source. And that source insists that it did indeed happen, and explain why someone might report it another way. So I’m sticking with it.
Patrick Beverley is not one to whine about getting moved from one team to another. The Utah Jazz guard recently addressed claims from fans about how the Minnesota Timberwolves “did him wrong when in fact that sentiment goes completely against how he views and interprets his offseason fate. Here’s Patrick Beverley going full Jay-Z, referencing the GOAT’s “I’m not a businessman, I’m a business, man” bar in explaining why he is thankful to the Timberwolves franchise.
Still, Caleb Canales’ decision to leave the NBA and coach in Mexico is not without risk. Broadening his experience on an international stage could help him get back to the league and to the job of his dreams, but his leap of faith could also be ignored. Despite a growing stable of foreign-born superstars and the NBA’s expansion to new markets overseas, the league has been slow to embrace coaches with international experience. European champions like David Blatt and Igor Kokoskov came and went last decade, as did successful foreign-born assistants like Etore Messina. “The coaching side, you always have to be ready to adapt and adjust,” Canales says.
While skepticism may remain in some NBA circles regarding the value of international coaching experience, there’s no doubt the league is putting effort in to diversify its coaching ranks overall. As of the 2022 offseason, half the league is led by Black head coaches. Nash and Kerr were born outside the U.S., and Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra is Filipino-American. Canales credits the work of David Fogel, executive director of the National Basketball Coaches Association, and Karen Marrero, its director of communications, for things improving over the last few seasons. “They’ve been so creative, and they’ve been so willing to help us, as coaches,” he stresses, highlighting the coaching profiles as well as a newly deployed coaches database the NBCA has set up to assist teams in finding and hiring talent outside the same small coaching pool.