Adam Zagoria: Shaedon Sharpe, Chet Holmgren, Jabari Smith and Ochai Agbaji will no longer do media interviews today at the Combine. So if you’re waiting to hear from them, it’s not happening today.
Jonathan Wasserman: Peyton Watson, Jaden Hardy, JD Davison, Max Christie NOT expected to scrimmage. Had seemingly more to gain than lose here. Maybe promises have been made but highly unlikely this early. There will be teams are who totally turned off by these decisions to not compete. Always are.
Yannick Nzosa was not featured in the list of 76 players expected to attend the 2022 Microsoft Surface NBA Draft Combine, released on Wednesday. Nzosa, 18, was not given permission by Unicaja to make the trip to Chicago earlier this week, ahead of the NBA Draft Combine, per Diario Sur.
Jeremy Woo: At first glance at the combine list, one notable omission: Michigan’s Caleb Houstan, who as I understand it turned down an invitation. Naturally, that has fueled some speculation around the NBA that he may have a guarantee somewhere in the draft. (I am not reporting that he does)
Darren Wolfson: Former Breck HS stud and Mountain West Player of Year David Roddy has had workouts with the #Nuggets and #Rockets so far, will participate in the Draft Combine next week. He’s maintaining college eligibility, has until June 1 to make decision.
Jon Chepkevich: NC State’s Dereon Seabron has received an NBA Combine invite, I’m told. The ACC’s MIP is among this draft’s best rim-attackers. Relentless slasher who gets downhill + puts constant pressure on opposing defenses. The 2022 NBA Draft Combine takes place May 16-22 in Chicago.
Jon Chepkevich: Toledo’s Ryan Rollins has received an NBA Combine invite, I’m told. Talented sophomore who averaged 18.9 PTS, 6.0 REB, 3.6 AST, 1.7 STL this season. Sharply rising sleeper prospect, younger than many one-and-dones.
Zach Braziller: Former St. John's star Julian Champagnie has received an invite to the NBA Combine, per a source. He also has workouts set up for May 11 and 12 with the Celtics and his hometown Nets. #sjubb
Hyland doesn’t lack confidence – on or off the court. For example, he started some of his meetings at the NBA Draft Combine by rapping for the decision-makers in attendance. “I rapped for some of the teams; I have some songs that I’ve made and I did a little snippet of those for them, and they loved it!” Hyland told BasketballNews.com in July. “Just right off the bat, from the rip, I was rapping. I ain’t shy. They just loved me, honestly.”
Junior Robinson might be the only player in the history of college basketball to actively reduce his height in college, only to get taller as a pro. But the notion of players and coaches fudging their proportions is nothing new. Indeed, the basic assumption is that everyone is lying. This is college basketball, after all. Everyone’s looking for any tiny edge. Why would this be any different? So when I explain this idea to some coaches — that I researched the last 11 seasons of NBA Draft Combine height measurements, compared that to the prospects’ college figures and put it all in one big spreadsheet to see where the data would take us — they chuckled knowingly. “This is a great idea,” one coach said, “if you want to see how full of shit coaches really are.”
“It’s not always the kid,” Xavier coach Travis Steele said. “You’ll get a mentor or a parent in there saying, ‘Our Jimmy Joe is 6-foot-5!’ And you’re like, no, he’s 6-foot-3.’ We’ll get hit by parents who are sure their kid is taller than that. And it’s like, no, he’s really not.” There are other gambits, too. “You get kids who are 17 and they’re 6-foot-3, and they say, ‘Oh, (the doctor says) I’m going to be 6-foot-6,'” Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said. “You know, ‘My growth plates are wide open.’ When I first got into coaching 30 years ago, I believed those kids. None of them — OK, very rarely — do you get a David Robinson. It just doesn’t happen.”
Fred Hoiberg might have some, well, let’s call them unresolved issues with NBA Draft Combine measurements. “I got kind of screwed with mine,” he says. Here’s the story: At the 1995 combine, Hoiberg and his fellow hopefuls were separated into groups, rotating among four stations. One was for measurements. At Hoiberg’s station, there was a cord under the carpet. He noticed it and stood on it. “It was definitely to inflate my height,” he said, laughing. “I thought it was smart.” And it totally worked: Hoiberg measured 6 feet 5 3/4 without shoes. “I’m absolutely not that size,” he said. “This was a wise business decision.”
Darren Wolfson: Minneapolis native Jericho Sims had a great showing at the Combine. Next up: his agency’s pro day Monday and a workout with the Chicago #Bulls midweek. pic.twitter.com/GCnyB8TMhq
Sam Vecenie: NBA Draft Combine performances from players who played 5 on 5 and helped themselves in the eyes of teams (in no order): Quentin Grimes Joe Wieskamp Bones Hyland Jericho Sims Josh Christopher Neemias Queta AJ Lawson
Tabbed for this role by Kiki VanDeWeghe, the NBA’s executive vice president of basketball operations, Boylen began preparation several weeks ago. He’s a veteran of running clinics, having done so in the past for the league in various Basketball Without Borders trips and the like. Boylen’s preparation culminated with training camp-like meetings on Sunday and Monday with the coaching staff, which includes former NBA and WNBA players in the league’s coaches development program plus current G League coaches. Former Bulls Donyell Marshall and Chris Duhon are among that group, as is former Bulls assistant coach Karen Stack Umlauf.
Keon Johnson knew what the NBA Draft combine record for max vertical leap was before he broke it this week, but even he didn't expect to jump as high as he did. On Wednesday, Johnson jumped 48 inches in the air to break a 20-year-old record set by Kenny Gregory, who jumped 45 1/2 inches in 2001. Johnson also recorded a 41 1/2-inch standing vertical, which is also a combine record and 4 1/2 inches higher than anyone else in this year's class. "It was great. It was a goal of mine going into it. For me to break the record and add a little bit more to it, I feel like it's a great way for me to leave my mark on the draft combine," Johnson said.
So, what's it like to break a record? Not surprisingly, Johnson heard from a lot of people about it. "My phone blew up, for sure. But I really haven't seen [a change in pre-draft interest]. Teams are talking about it, but it's just something that I set a goal for myself and I exceeded that goal. I'm more happy that I've done that for myself, to see the improvement I've been making," Johnson said.
Chris Grenham: VCU's Bones Hyland is showing out in the first NBA Draft Combine scrimmage of the day, which is a continuation of the last month. He's had a tremendous pre-draft process so far. Was told Hyland was the best player on the floor at his workout with the Celtics last week.
Jeremy Woo: Word going around here at the combine is that North Carolina’s Day’Ron Sharpe has withdrawn from the event. Sharpe pulled out of team interviews, per sources, and did not take measurements.
Joe Mussatto: ORU's Max Abmas was the shortest player measured at the NBA combine: 5-10.5 without shoes. Also the lightest at 161.8 pounds.
South Carolina guard AJ Lawson has reportedly been invited to participate in the NBA draft combine after a strong showing in the G League Elite Camp, according to Jonathan Givony of ESPN. Lawson was among 40 prospects to attend the G League Elite Camp over the weekend in Chicago, Illinois. He averaged 12.5 points and eight rebounds on 42.1% shooting from the field, including 36.3% from 3-point range, in two scrimmage games.
Baylor guard, and NCAA champion, Matthew Mayer announced on Monday that he will withdraw his name from the NBA draft and return to school for his senior season. The news was first reported by Jonathan Givony of ESPN.
Jeremy Woo: I’m told Louisville guard Carlik Jones has received an invite to the NBA combine, following two strong showings at G League Elite Camp.
Jeremy Woo: Some draft news: I'm told LSU's Cameron Thomas and Kentucky's Isaiah Jackson, both projected first-rounders, have withdrawn from the NBA combine as of this morning.
The Draft Combine this week will have different rules for those who have and have not been vaccinated. Team officials must be vaccinated to be in on in-person interviews with draft prospects and to be on the floor at Wintrust Arena for the event itself; they won’t need to be masked. Those who aren’t vaccinated will have to sit in on interviews remotely and have to watch the combine from another location.
Unvaccinated players will be under a more rigid schedule this week. They’ll have to endure an extra PCR test each day. And unlike vaccinated players, they’ll have to enter a seven-day quarantine if they are ruled to be a close contact of an infected individual. Vaccinated players who return a positive or inconclusive test could be cleared to fully participate in the combine again in fewer than 24 hours; unvaccinated players may have to wait up to 48 hours — vital time when trying to make an impression on NBA decision-makers. Unvaccinated players also will have to wear face masks at all times other than when they’re on the court, in their hotel rooms, or eating and drinking.
Shams Charania: 2021 NBA Draft Combine (June 21-27) participants revealed: pic.twitter.com/lG1mG0gPyW
Jonathan Wasserman: Mac McClung invited to G League Elite camp. Will try to play his way into combine.
Adam Zagoria: Former @GatorsMBK wing Scottie Lewis has been invited to the NBA Combine pic.twitter.com/Gu0gNohOpc
Darren Wolfson: Ex-Cristo Rey HS stud & Mpls native Jericho Sims works out tomorrow for GSW, Kings next week, then will play in front of scouts at the Combine. He signed w/ Nate Daniels of @OneLegacySports, who is certified by NCAA. So he maintains college eligibility.
Adam Zagoria: 6-foot-11 Makur Maker of Howard University was invited to the Draft Combine, per source
Adam Zagoria: Sources: The big agencies are expected to hold pro days for their clients in Chicago after the NBA Combine June 21-27. Per an NBA memo via @Adrian Wojnarowski The NBA is forbidding teams from attending agent pro days — unless the pro days are conducted as part of Combine.
Adrian Wojnarowski: The NBA is forbidding team executives from attending agent pro days to evaluate prospective draftees -- unless the pro days are conducted as part of the Chicago pre-draft combine in June, per memo shared with teams today.
Shams Charania: NBA sent its teams the guidelines and health-safety protocols for predraft process ahead of July 29 Draft amid ongoing pandemic. Two notable rules: - Teams are not allowed to attend Agency Pro Days or workout organized by player/rep - Prospects limited to two visits per team
Shams Charania: Sources: 2021 NBA Draft Combine is scheduled to take place in person June 21-27 in Chicago at Wintrust Arena and Marriott Marquis, consisting of team interview sessions, five-on-five games, shooting drills, measurements, strength/agility testing, halfcourt drills and medicals.
Shams Charania: There was no in person 2020 Draft Combine due to coronavirus pandemic, but it is back on schedule this year. Ten team personnel members per organization are able to attend on-court portion — consistent with 2019 Combine — and six total for in-person interviews with prospects.
Subject to evolving public health conditions, Microsoft Surface NBA Draft Combine 2021 is scheduled to take place Monday, June 21 through Sunday, June 27. ESPN networks plan to televise the NBA Draft Combine, with coverage featuring five-on-five games and strength and agility testing.
Shams Charania: The 2021 NBA Draft will be on July 29, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. NBA Draft Lottery will be on June 22. Draft Combine scheduled for June 21-27.
Bryan Kalbrosky: Leaders for max vertical 2020 NBA Draft Combine: Cassius Stanley: 44" Tyler Bey: 43.5" Jalen Harris: 42.5" Udoka Azubuike: 41" Lamar Stevens: 41" Devon Dotson: 40.5" Josh Green: 39.5" Grant Riller: 39.5" Kahlil Whitney: 39" Yoeli Childs: 38.5 KJ Martin: 38.5" Robert Woodard: 38"
Bryan Kalbrosky: NBA Combine measurements for Devon Dotson, per source: Height (w/ shoes): 6’1.75″ Wingspan: 6’3″ Weight: 185.2 lbs Body Fat: 4.6% Standing vertical: 31.5" Max vertical: 40.5" Lane agility: 10.44s 3/4 sprint: 3.02s
Bryan Kalbrosky: NBA Combine measurements that teams are receiving for Grant Riller, per source: Standing vertical: 32.5" Max vertical: 39.5" Lane agility: 11.17s Lane shuttle: 2.45s 3/4 sprint: 3.07 Results have been very wonky this year but FWIW, this shuttle time would be the fastest ever.
Matt Babcock: Naji Marshall NBA Draft Combine measurements and testing: 6’7” w/ shoes 7’0.75” wingspan 233.5 lbs 10.5” hands 28.5” no-step vertical 35.0” max vertical 3.37 seconds 3/4 court sprint 11.77 lane agility 2.90 shuttle
Bryan Kalbrosky: Combine results for Duke's Cassius Stanley, per source: Height (w/ shoes): 6'6.5" Weight: 201.6 pounds Wingspan: 6'7" Standing vertical: 34.5" Max vertical: 44.0" Lane agility: 11.4s Shuttle: 2.43s 3/4 sprint: 3.09s
One Cavaliers executive was “pleasantly surprised” by the combine turnout. Initially, there was concern about whether any of the top guys would be made available. LaMelo Ball is participating along with Isaac Okoro and Deni Avdija while Onyeka Okongwu, Devin Vassell, James Wiseman, Anthony Edwards and Toppin are among the names opting to skip this part of the process.
Jeremy Woo: I’m told LaMelo Ball is currently scheduled for team interviews and a media session via the combine this week. Unclear if he’ll take part in any other portion (logic suggests no). With Edwards, Wiseman and other skipping out, Ball is the highest-profile prospect participating.
The NBA announced today that NBA Draft Combine 2020 has been reformatted to be conducted both in NBA team markets and virtually, taking place in phases beginning Sept. 28 and continuing through early to mid-November. The reimagined Combine will continue to provide NBA teams with player evaluation opportunities during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“NBA Draft Combine is an essential part of the pre-draft evaluation process,” said Byron Spruell, President, NBA League Operations. “While the circumstances surrounding this Combine are unique, we’re excited to creatively deliver a valuable experience for our teams, who have remained flexible through the process, and for prospective draftees who are just beginning their NBA journeys.” NBA Draft Combine 2020 will give players the opportunity to participate in league and team interviews, both conducted via videoconference from Sept. 28 through Oct. 16. Players will also take part in an individual on-court program consisting of strength and agility testing, anthropometric measurements, shooting drills and a “Pro Day” video, all conducted in October at the NBA team facility nearest to a player’s home or interim residence. Medical testing and examinations will be performed by NBA-affiliated physicians in the same market.
Matt Babcock: Expect the agents for the top players to keep their clients out of the combine(s). They will pick and choose which teams get medical info and physical measurements.
Marc J. Spears: NBA teams are permitted to accept (and request) medical information of draft-eligible players. While medical will be a part of the combine, this would apply to players who don't attend the combine or supplementary information on players who attend the combined, a source said.
More than six months have passed since Louisville played its last game of the 2019-20 season and Jordan Nwora competed in the final outing of his three-year college career. Since then he has prepped for the NBA draft, which was slated for Oct. 16 and now may be moved to Nov. 18. Neither Nwora nor his agent, Priority Sports President Mark Bartelstein, know the date or format of the Draft Combine, although Nwora has an invite.
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.
The NBA is progressing on plans for a virtual draft combine to be held at regional sites throughout month of September, sources tell ESPN. Formal plans could be completed and shared with teams in the next week, sources said.
In what's likely to become one of the most wide open draft processes in years, prospective players would attend selected regional team facilities throughout the country, sources said. The plan would include team doctors administering physicals at local hospitals and league officials to recording body measurables and putting players through physical testing at team facilities, sources said. The NBA still hasn't made a final determination on the location or format for the October 16 draft event, sources said.
Former Syracuse basketball star Elijah Hughes has received an invitation to participate in the NBA Combine.
Hard at work in Santa Barbara preparing for this year’s NBA Draft, ex-Gophers star Daniel Oturu has spent the month of July honing his skills and building up his body for the next level. Oturu hasn't started the process of talking with NBA teams. But the 6-foot-10 Woodbury product learned recently he would be invited to the NBA Draft Combine when it takes place this summer.
Oturu and ex-Duke point guard and Apple Valley product Tre Jones received emails from the NBA in the last week informing them they were selected to the combine, sources told the Star Tribune. The NBA told invitees the combine's date, location and format were not known at this time.
Rick Bonnell: You are going to hear a lot in the next few days about NBA draft prospects receiving Combine invitations. Important context: The NBA has not yet rescheduled the Combine, and is still wrestling with how or if one can be held. Very much TBD.
Bryan Kalbrosky: Baylor's Jared Butler has received an invite to the '20 NBA Draft Combine, per source. @J_Hooper11 currently has until Aug. 3 to decide if he will remain in this class or potentially return for another season in the NCAA. Full interview: bit.ly/333awil (via @HoopsHypea)
Bryan Kalbrosky: Illinois star Ayo Dosunmu has received an invitation to the 2020 NBA Draft Combine, per source. Awesome timing, as I published my interview with @AyoDos_11 on @HoopsHype earlier today. Full interview: bit.ly/2Ddd5Dh
Bryan Kalbrosky: BYU's Yoeli Childs has officially received an invitation to the 2020 NBA Draft Combine, per source. Childs became the first player in BYU history to score 2,000 points and record 1,000 rebounds. My full interview with @yochilds22 on @HoopsHype: bit.ly/3bIDxjW #NBA
Bryan Kalbrosky: Penn State's Lamar Stevens has received an invite to the 2020 NBA Draft Combine. @LamarStevens11: "I would definitely stand out in the vertical and speed tests. I tested last summer and I had a 42-inch vertical." Full interview on @HoopsHype: bit.ly/2y53hsW #NBA
Bryan Kalbrosky: Charleston's Grant Riller has officially received an invitation to the 2020 NBA Combine. Here is what Riller told @HoopsHype: "I want people to know that I’m ready." My full interview with the @CofCBasketball star: bit.ly/3cuihzn #NBA
The list of potential combine participants was created based on votes from NBA teams. If the list is cut to 70, that would also be determined by a vote from front offices. Here is the list of 105 players, obtained by USA TODAY Sports Media Group’s Bryan Kalbrosky. Note that there are 104 players listed; Maker Makur was not included, as he committed to Howard in early July.
As the NBA continues to ramp up its restart inside the bubble on the campus of the Walt Disney World Resort, the league continues to move toward the resumption of its offseason. The memo informed teams of the 105 players that received the most votes to be included in the league's annual combine -- a number that will eventually be whittled down to the 70 players who will take part in it. The combine, which typically takes place in Chicago in mid-May in concert with the draft lottery, still hasn't been officially re-scheduled, but the league said in the memo that it is still evaluating potential dates and formats to hold the event.
Speaking of the combine, league sources have characterized the possibilities for the combine as fluid. The feeling is that the league does want to have some sort of in-person combine. Particularly, the league itself and team personnel want access to players’ medical information. That has always been the most important part of the combine, but it’s heightened even more this year because teams are unlikely to have players into their own facilities. In a memo the league released in early April, NBA team personnel may not conduct or attend any workout of any draft-eligible player in any location until further notice.
Per league sources, there’s an ongoing push within the NBA to hold some iteration of the draft combine, which would take place after the Aug. 25 lottery, most likely some time in September. The event is held annually in Chicago, a convenient central location for teams and players, and could still take place there, pending shifting health and safety circumstances amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Nothing has been set in stone yet, with the league’s primary focus having centered on the initial return to play. Given how complicated it’s been for the NBA to set up and negotiate the logistics for the Orlando site, it’s kind of hard to see the combine taking place within that bubble. That situation is still evolving. But there are some feasible pathways to safely conducting a limited version of the combine, while minimizing close-quarters contact and still benefitting all parties.
The prevailing thought I’ve heard from teams in recent weeks is that the on-court portion, which typically includes individual drills and five-on-five play, seems likely (and, frankly, logically) to be limited, if it exists at all. The primary objective of a centralized combine would be to conduct player medicals and measurements, providing all 30 teams a common data set.
It seems feasible that the league could safely allow players to participate in athletic testing and shooting drills, as well. All of the above could take place digitally in a relatively short time span. Teams can benefit from the information without needing to physically attend. And for what it’s worth, several executives I’ve spoken with see minimal value in having prospects play five-on-five after a six-month hiatus from competitive play.
Jeremy Woo: As I understand it, there’s a level of hope that the NBA will still be able to hold the draft combine. Would take place at some point after the Aug. 25 lottery, may not happen until September. Conducting player medicals and measurements would (predictably) be the key components.
The road to being an NBA standout has been far from easy for Covington, as he recently discussed on an episode of Next Level Leaders with Dr. Joseph Walker, III. “There were so many people that told me I couldn’t do this that it made me want to do it even more because I wanted to prove them wrong,” said Covington. “I didn’t get invited [to the NBA Draft Combine] at first. I found out through Twitter that I had gotten invited because some people had dropped out. I ended up going to the combine and that’s where I started to turn heads. I put my name right back out there.”
While the league also indefinitely postponed the combine, it is still moving forward with the hopes of holding it at some point later this year, sources said. Last week, it sent a memo to teams asking them to vote for up to 70 players from a provided list of potential invites to the combine, just as they have in the past. In the memo, which was seen by ESPN, the league said that once it does decide on a scheduled format, player will then be invited to participate.
Several executives believed a virtual combine of some sort -- where coaches, scouts and executives watched players work out from afar, rather than in person like in the past -- would be the most likely way the event could be held this year. "I think, like everything they'll severely restrict who can be there, and they can maybe stream it," said an Eastern Conference executive. "But I do think it'll happen."
With the NBA increasingly optimistic about a return to play this summer, the NBA Draft Combine could potentially take place in Las Vegas or Orlando, sources said. Chicago is also an option, sources said. The NBA on May 1 announced the postponement of NBA Draft Lottery 2020 and NBA Draft Combine 2020, both of which were scheduled to take place in Chicago. “If there is a combine it will probably be in Chicago or Las Vegas or Orlando if that is where they are going to have the teams play if there is a season,” one NBA executive said.
Sam Vecenie: Got told similar stuff about this today, particularly about evaluating different options for what the Combine could look like this year. Seems like the league does want to try and have some version of one.
Brad Turner: NBA just announced it has postponed 2020 NBA draft lottery and NBA combined due to coronavirus. Both were scheduled to be held in Chicago later this month.
Marc Berman: The NBA announces no combine, which we knew, and postponement of Draft Lottery. Both in Chicago. Draft still on June 25th for now. NBA "continues to closely monitor the coronavirus pandemic and consult with infectious disease specialists, public health experts and government"
Shams Charania: The NBA has indefinitely postponed its NBA Draft Lottery and Draft Combine in May in Chicago due to coronavirus pandemic, sources tell @The Athletic @Stadium.
Steve Kyler: Based on what I have heard from teams -- they can conduct virtual meetings with draft prospects, which could include filmed virtual workout sessions or tape. There is also a belief that some kind of Combine event could take place but designed to be one-at-a-time type evaluations
August 18, 2022 | 8:28 am EDT Update
After being traded by the Portland Trail Blazers to the Clippers last February, Powell proceeded to play three games before sustaining a left foot fracture. His recovery took weeks, which only allowed him to suit up in the team’s last four games including the Play-In tournament. The veteran admitted that it was a tough experience of not being able to have an on-court familiarization with his team in the previous campaign. “It’s kind of a tough hill to climb on, only playing for three games and then coming back for the playoffs, it’s tough,” Powell said, via David Yapkowitz of 213 Hoops. “I really didn’t get a full chance to show what I bring to the table, just a little bit of a spark there.”
Former Boston Celtics player Enes Kanter Freedom explained why the NBA is “really mad” as its hypocritical business ties to communist China are exposed Wednesday on “The Ingraham Angle.” KANTER FREEDOM: Everything the NBA does is either for money or a publicity stunt. It’s been like that for years, so I’m not really surprised. They could care less about the players, about the coaching staff and the fans as long as the league image is profitable.
Enes Kanter Freedom: And finally, they are really mad because someone finally from the inside who played 11 years in this league — [is] going out there and exposing them one by one. And that is unacceptable… What is unacceptable is how they can bow down to the biggest dictatorship out there in the world. So that hurt my heart. I was like, “You know what? Enough is enough. Someone has to call out this hypocrisy.” And I did it.
Vanessa Bryant’s ongoing civil trial against Los Angeles County has gotten so gory and gruesome at times that Bryant felt compelled to stay out of the courtroom during testimony three times in the first three days, including one time after she got up and left the room in distress. In one exchange, a witness described “pieces of flesh hanging from trees.”
“Didn’t it open (the victim’s) brain cavity?” the attorney asked. “Yes,” said the witness. “The cavity was opened, and the cavity that contains the brain was exposed.” “And the brain tissue was vacated, correct?” the attorney asked. “Missing?” “Correct,” the witness replied in front of a federal jury of five men and four women.
August 18, 2022 | 2:54 am EDT Update
The Lakers remain active in trade talks and would part with their 2027 and 2029 first-round picks in the right deal, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said in an appearance on Sports Center (video link). Those picks “have a lot of value in the marketplace” if they’re unprotected, Wojnarowski states. He adds that L.A. would be willing to give them up in a trade for Kyrie Irving, but the Nets haven’t been interested.
Those around the team were confident that James signing an extension was likely, considering how much he’s enjoyed playing for the Lakers and living in Los Angeles. The primary complication in James’ decision was that he has been privately adamant that the Lakers still need to improve the current roster and trade for superstar point guard Kyrie Irving, league sources have told The Athletic.