Rokas Jokubaitis: There are many bad examples, like Kevin Pangos, who dominated in the EuroLeague. It's the NBA where even the best European players don't fit in. Two years or so will pass, and I'll talk to my agent about going to the NBA. But before that, I'll have to feel 100 percent confident that at least I'll have a chance to fight for the minutes. For example, I come to the US, and they say that you will play in the G League, and sometimes you will be with the main team. Then it's better to improve in the EuroLeague.
There are players who openly say that they are EuroLeague athletes and don't see themselves in the NBA. How do you rate the playstyle across the Atlantic and your options there? Rokas Jokubaitis: Now it's hard to imagine me there. But I didn't imagine myself in Barcelona before the season or in Zalgiris a couple of years ago. I don't always dream too much, I look at it from a realistic point of view. At the moment, I can't imagine myself in the NBA because there's another world out there, but I'd really like to try to establish myself in there. https://basketnews.com/news-167545-rokas-jokubaitis-shares-his-nba-plans-invaluable-saras-and-calathes-lessons.html
While Jokubaitis’ star in Europe has been shining brighter and brighter (and right now it will be a shocker if he doesn’t win EuroLeague’s actual Rising Star award), the New York Knicks have been paying attention. And he has been watching them back as well. “Sometimes my Summer League coaches text me to see how I’m doing,” Jokubaitis said. “They reach out to my agent and my agents in the USA. I think few staff members from the Knicks are coming in February [to watch me]. I’ll be in better touch with them.” “[I’m watching their games] whenever I have a chance. The schedule doesn’t allow it all the time. I follow them and I know what’s happening. I keep in contact with a few players, rookies that I’ve played with in Summer League. I know what’s happening on the team.”
As Jonathan Givony of ESPN tweeted and multiple sources confirm, Rokas Jokubaitis will not withdraw his name from the NBA draft. As Givony explained: “Jokubaitis is available to come to the NBA immediately, paying a buyout to Zalgiris, but if a team elects to stash him, he will play for his old coach Sarunas Jasikevicius in Barcelona next season”.
Donatas Urbonas: LKL Rising Star trophy winner Rokas Jokubaitis is among the players who declared for the NBA draft, sources confirmed. NBA Draft predictions for Rokas Jokubaitis: ESPN: 43rd, The Athletic: 34th, The Ringer: 30th
August 14, 2022 | 9:22 pm EDT Update
Any team looking to acquire Micic would have to give Oklahoma City some draft compensation—preferably a first-rounder, though it’s possible the price could have been brought down. “I think that was where it was a little too much for teams,” one Western Conference executive said. “No one wanted to give up a pick plus everything else it would take. The guy can play, I think he’d be good in the NBA. But no one wanted to give up picks and money for him.”
First, there was Micic himself. To ditch Efes and head to the NBA, Micic wanted a few things—a salary in the $6-7 million per year range, a starting spot (or, at least, starter-type minutes), and a role with a contending team. That eliminated a chunk of NBA interest off the bat.
“I knew what the move was,” Hyland told The Denver Post last week via Zoom. “They were already contacting me before and letting me know what was happening. After the moves even happened, the coaches called me, players called me, like, ‘Time to just go out there and be Bizzy. It’s a big opportunity for you.’ And they tell me every day, like, ‘You’re going to have a big role, big opportunity, a lot more minutes, just to just go out there and be yourself.’”
If he’s going to become a staple of Denver’s crunch-time rotation, simultaneously earning trust from coach Michael Malone, Hyland knows he needs to become a more consistent two-way player. “I think it’s moreso the defensive part, but I know I can guard,” he said. “I wasn’t the player this year who got picked on. When I put my mind to it, I know I can guard. … That’s just something I gotta do and be willing to do every possession.”
August 14, 2022 | 7:33 pm EDT Update
August 14, 2022 | 5:21 pm EDT Update
Michael Singer: After getting bypassed for a Christmas game last season, the #Nuggets are slated to host the Suns on Christmas this year according to the initial draft of the schedule, a league source told @denverpost.