That swish from the left corner was Huerter’s first of 15 straight made three-pointers in an individual drill. Los Angeles Lakers Coach Luke Walton, Starbucks coffee in hand, stopped mid-stride to watch Huerter move around the arc. Peja Stojakovic, one of the best shooters in NBA history and now the director of player personnel for the Sacramento Kings, paused a conversation to do the same. A Western Conference scout tracked Huerter’s shots on a chart, and when it was only makes and no misses he picked up his pencil and mouthed a single word: Wow.
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The Cavaliers interviewed 20 players at the NBA Draft Combine this week in Chicago, a team source said, including most of the consensus lottery picks who attended the event. The Cavs, who have the No. 8 pick in the June draft, sat with marquee players including Trae Young of Oklahoma, Mo Bamba of Texas, and Mikal Bridges of Villanova, according to sources and media reports.
Isaiah Thomas: Oh yeah. That combine shit doesn’t mean anything!!! I remember preparing myself and killing every drill & being at the top in every category. Still picked last! Don’t get discouraged. They can’t HIDE out forever. At some point the “top” guys gotta compete
“They obviously had a really good year this year, surprised a lot of people,” Young said of the Sixers. “Really didn’t surprise me just because I know how talented Ben [Simmons] and Joel [Embiid] are. So they are looking for a playmaker all-around. I know they are interested in me. But you never know how things will fall.”
Bryan Kalbrosky: Lonnie Walker has already met with five teams with a Top 10 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, source tells me. The list includes Knicks, Magic, Bulls and Sixers. Clippers have also expressed interest. Draft stock definitely rising.
This week at the combine, teams are allowed to interview up to 20 prospects. The Heat used up all 20 of those interviews, and six of the players confirmed to the Palm Beach Post they met with the Heat this week: Miami guard Bruce Brown, West Virginia guard Jevon Carter, Texas-Arlington forward Kevin Hervey, Maryland guard Kevin Huerter, Nevada forward Cody Martin and Southern Cal forward Chimezie Metu
Ian Begley: Regarding the NBA Draft Combine, several teams have been surprised that Arizona big man Dusan Ristic and Rhode Island guard EC Matthews weren’t among the group of players to get an invite.
By far, the big hit of the predraft combine was the interview setup for the Pistons, who turned to virtual reality to challenge the potential draftees with 12 game-type decision questions. Players were required to don VR goggles, which transported them to the team’s practice facility and presented them with plays unfolding around them. Using a remote control, the players would answer the questions.
On the flip side, the Trail Blazers had a much more stripped-down session, featuring only a psychiatrist who handed players a written set of questions, then read back the answers. No coaches or front-office personnel required.
Keith Pompey: #Oklahoma PG Trae Young thinks he’s the best overall player in this draft. He interviewed with the #Sixers here at the #NBACombine.
Josh Robbins: Oklahoma point guard Trae Young said he interviewed with the Magic this week at the NBA Draft Combine.
Jason Quick: Miami shooting guard Lonnie Walker interviewed with Blazers’ psychologist, but he will not workout in Portland according to agent Happy Walters because at No. 24 the Blazers are selecting too low for Walker’s expected draft position.
Jonathan Wasserman: Lakers GM Rob Pelinka watching Donte DiVincezo and De’Anthony Melton shooting jumpers. Both could be options for LA at 25. pic.twitter.com/lYseUvd2xI
KC Johnson: Wendell Carter Jr. on Bagley’s eligibility: “My role changed a little bit. But I do whatever I have to do to win.” And on NBA: “For the most part, I think college does put a limitation on a lot of players. The NBA, I think that’s more my realm where I can show what I can do.”
The Suns met with 6-foot-11 Duke forward Marvin Bagley III in Chicago, and McDonough also mentioned several other top contenders
Bruno Fernando is one of three Maryland players participating in the combine this week — along with guard Kevin Huerter and forward Justin Jackson — and he and Huerter have yet to sign agents. That means they have until May 30 to decide whether they will return to Maryland or forego the rest of their college eligibility and enter the draft. A few people with knowledge of Fernando’s situation believe he is closer to declaring for the draft than he is to returning for a sophomore season in College Park. His highest mock-draft projections are as a late first-round pick; some predict he won’t be selected at all.
It has been primarily held in Chicago, although at various venues, with an occasional pit-stop in Orlando. While Chicago seems like the ideal geographic location for all 30 NBA teams as none of them have to travel overly far, the future of the camp in the Windy City is murky. There are whispers the camp could be moved to the East Coast and specifically to Baltimore, which is the headquarters for Under Armour, the major sponsor of the NBA pre-draft camp.
On Wednesday, Boise State wing and projected first-round pick Chandler Hutchison surprisingly pulled out of the draft combine behind the first reported draft promise to surface, according to Jonathan Givony of Draft Express/ESPN:
Keith Langlois: Add Penn State’s Tony Carr to list of players who’ve interviewed with the Pistons. Lots of point guards on their list, it appears.
Harrison Wind: Michigan State forward Miles Bridges says he met with the Nuggets at the draft combine today. He says he also met with CHI, SAC, IND, CLE, SAS, CHA, PHI, NYK and LAC. Bridges is a versatile combo forward who’s projected to go in the late-lottery
Tania Ganguli: Donte DiVincenzo said he interviewed with the Lakers.
Jason Quick: Players who today confirmed they have met, or plan to meet with Blazers at NBA Combine: Donte DeVincenzo, PG/SG, Villanova Khyri Thomas, PG/SG, Creighton Jerome Robinson, PG/SG, Boston College Shake Milton, PG/SG, SMU Bruce Brown, SG, Miami Jacob Evans, SF, Cincinnati
Porter Jr., like most projected lottery picks, did not participate in the five-on-five scrimmages here during the first day of action at the combine, which ends Friday. Jontay Porter, who has declared for the draft but has not signed with an agent — which leaves open the possibility of a return to MU — surprisingly opted not to participate in the scrimmages either. “We were advised not to have him do five-on-five,” Porter Sr. told The Star.
Jontay Porter must decide whether to stay in the NBA Draft or return to school by May 30. The father said he would not need a first-round guarantee from an individual NBA franchise in order to feel comfortable with Jontay going pro, but he would like “the majority of the feedback to be like: Oh yeah, he’s definitely first-round material.”
Chris Iseman: Alabama PG Collin Sexton says he has met with the Knicks.
Mark Strotman: Michigan State SF Miles Bridges says he met with the Bulls. Mentions liking Fred Hoiberg and respecting the tradition of the organization.
Jon Nyatawa: Khyri Thomas said he’s met with about 10 teams already. More interviews to come tomorrow too. Mentioned the Jazz, Suns, Bulls, Lakers, Celtics, Hawks & Wizards
Keith Langlois: West Virginia senior PG Jevon Carter said he’s already interviewed with the Pistons
John Denton: .@DukeMBB G Grayson Allen on comparisons to former @OrlandoMagic G JJ Redick, a mentor of his: “I don’t think JJ jumped 40 inches.” Allen hails from Jacksonville and attended Magic preseason games there.
Peter Socotch: Cincinnati shooting guard Jacob Evans and Boston College shooting guard Jerome Robinson say they will meet with the Blazers tomorrow. #ripcity
J. Michael: The #Pacers have met with Kris Wilkes (UCLA) #NBACombine
“I see myself as a first-round talent. If the teams don’t think so, I’ll go back to school, I’ll kill it and there won’t be (any) option about it next year,” said Kris Wilkes, 2017 IndyStar Mr. Basketball from North Central High School.
Donovan Mitchell: For all the guys in the combine… just remember you may jump the highest run the fastest or score the most… but you can mess everything up with how you behave off the floor! Eyes everywhere 💯 my little PSA for the day 🙏🏾
Interesting: @BobbyMarks42 says on ESPN2 that Michael Porter Jr. won’t go through his physical at the NBA combine, which means it’ll be up to agent Mark Bartelstein to distribute info.
J. Michael Falgoust: Jalen Brunson now will NOT be talking today #NBACombine
DiVincenzo, a 6-foot-5 guard, plans to participate in the NBA draft combine’s five-on-five games on Thursday and Friday. He hasn’t made a final decision on staying in the June NBA draft, but tells ESPN that he expects to leave Villanova should he emerge before the May 30 deadline with the belief that he has firmed a spot in the late first-round.
Scott Agness: Purdue’s Carsen Edwards and Isaac Haas are scheduled to go through interviews at the #NBADraftCombine this week in Chicago.
Shams Charania: Sources: Along with Mitchell Robinson, Boise State’s Chandler Hutchison has withdrawn from the NBA draft combine this week in Chicago.
Kentucky forward Jarred Vanderbilt will not attend the NBA draft combine, he tweeted on Tuesday. “I’ve decided not to attend the NBA combine,” Vanderbilt wrote. “I’m still weighing my options and working my way through the decision process. Appreciate the continued support!”
Gery Woelfel: Texas A&M center-power forward Robert Williams, whom the Bucks have interest in, has opted not to attend this week’s NBA Combine in Chicago. Williams is projected a mid-first rounder; the Bucks pick 17.
Shams Charania: Late addition to the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago, league sources say: North Carolina’s Theo Pinson. The 6-foot-6 guard has ability to play and defend multiple positions and had standout career at UNC that included 2017 NCAA title.
Shams Charania: Late addition to the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago, league sources say: North Carolina’s Theo Pinson. The 6-foot-6 guard has ability to play and defend multiple positions and had standout career at UNC that included 2017 NCAA title.
Shams Charania: Sources: Another late addition to NBA Draft Combine this week: Louisville’s Ray Spalding.
Former Michigan big man Moritz Wagner went through the NBA combine last year and that has given him an added level of comfort as he approaches this year’s combine, which begins Wednesday in Chicago.
Unlike last year, though, Wagner will not participate in 5-on-5 games, he told The Detroit News on Sunday as he returned to Detroit from Los Angeles. He will leave for Chicago on Monday. “I won’t play 5-on-5,” Wagner said. “I am very excited (for the combine). It’s good that it’s the second time. I’m used to it a little bit more.”
Adrian Wojnarowski, Bobby Marks, Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz will appear on ESPN’s NBA Draft Combine broadcast later this month, replacing Fran Fraschilla, Jeff Goodman, Jay Williams, and Tom Penn, sources tell Awful Announcing. Jay Bilas will also feature prominently on the broadcast, while Maria Taylor will host.
The National Basketball Association announced today that 69 players are expected to attend the 2018 NBA Draft Combine powered by Under Armour. The NBA Draft Combine is the first step in the Draft process for NBA hopefuls and features five-on-five games as well as strength and agility drills at Chicago’s Quest Multisport on Thursday, May 17 and Friday, May 18 with ESPN 2 providing coverage both days from 3-7 p.m. ET.
Jeff Bower will continue to operate as the GM, league sources said. He is expected to lead Detroit’s contingent at the draft combine in Chicago next week and oversee the team’s individual draft workouts and draft planning. The rest of the front-office staff is expected to continue, too — until further notice. Most of Detroit’s front-office contracts expire this summer.
“The word is he (Ethan Happ) is going back to school and only using this to get an evaluation of his game from us,’’ a veteran NBA college scout said explaining why Happ wasn’t chosen to partake in the NBA Combine, which is May 16-20. “And another reason he wasn’t chosen is that we’ve all seen him play a lot at Wisconsin. We know his game; we know what he’s about. A bunch of guys going to Chicago, we don’t know nearly as much about.’’
The list of attendees to the 2018 NBA draft combine in Chicago is out, and it doesn’t include LiAngelo Ball—and not by accident, either. According to a person close to Gelo, the former Prienu Vytautas star was not invited to the annual scouting event, which runs May 16-20 in the Windy City. The person requested anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the information.
Bruce Pascoe: Arizona’s Allonzo Trier has signed with agent James Dunleavy. He’ll participate in the NBA Combine later this month along with Rawle Alkins.
Oklahoma guard Trae Young, Alabama guard Collin Sexton, Duke forward Marvin Bagley III, Texas center Mohamed Bamba and Missouri forward Michael Porter Jr. headline the complete 2018 NBA draft combine list that was sent to all 30 teams and was obtained Friday by Yahoo Sports.
Arizona forward DeAndre Ayton, Real Madrid forward Luka Doncic. Texas A&M center Robert Williams and Dzanan Musa of Croatian club Cedevita are the top prospects who are skipping the combine. Doncic is currently playing in the Euroleague playoffs.
Hamidou Diallo has decided not to participate in the NBA Combine, a decision that surprised and left open the possibility of second guessing.
Michael Scotto: Former Arizona guard Rawle Alkins has signed with agents Dan Frank and Jarinn Akana. Alkins received an invite to the NBA Draft Combine, as @Adam Zagoria reported. He is expected to participate in all portions of the combine.
Former UNLV center Brandon McCoy has been invited to the NBA draft combine on May 16-20 in Chicago. His agent, David Mulugheta, confirmed the invitation.
Auburn center Austin Wiley has been invited to the NBA Draft Combine. Wiley is one of four Auburn players to declare for this year’s NBA Draft. Mustapha Heron, Jared Harper and Bryce Brown all also declared for the draft, though only Heron intends to sign with an agent.
Bryan Kalbrosky: Missouri State’s Alize Johnson will participate in the NBA Draft Combine, per source. He is a 6-foot-9 forward who averaged 15.0 points and 11.6 rebounds with 1.2 three-pointers per game last year.
Hamidou Diallo has been invited to participate in the NBA Combine next month. And his high school coach said he could see a lot of familiar faces there. Tom Espinosa, who coached Diallo at Putnam Science Academy in Queens, N.Y., said his former player told an assistant coach about the invitation to the NBA Combine. “He said all the Kentucky guys were invited,” Espinosa said, “and all the Duke guys, too.” Four other UK players have entered their names in the June 21 NBA Draft: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Wenyen Gabriel, Jarred Vanderbilt and PJ Washington.
Wichita State’s Landry Shamet has received a full invitation to attend the NBA Draft Combine, he confirmed to the Eagle on Monday.
West Virginia sophomore Sagaba Konate has been invited to the NBA draft combine, a team source told 247Sports Monday. The 6-foot-8 forward from Mali will participate in the premier pre-draft showcase that’s held May 16-20 in Chicago.
Syracuse guard Tyus Battle has received an invite to the NBA Draft Combine, his father tells CuseNation.com. Battle has declared for the NBA Draft but has not hired an agent. He has until May 30th to withdraw if he wishes to return to Syracuse.
Kentucky’s leading scorer last season, Kevin Knox, has been invited to participate in the NBA Combine next month, the player’s father said Sunday. Earlier this month, UK Coach John Calipari had said that getting an invitation to the Combine sent a message about credibility as an NBA Draft prospect. Various mock drafts project Knox as a late lottery selection.
Five Kansas basketball players — Udoka Azubuike, Devonté Graham, Svi Mykhailiuk, Malik Newman and Billy Preston — have been invited to the NBA Combine, set for May 16-20 in Chicago, KU announced on its basketball Twitter account on Saturday night. A sixth Jayhawk, Lagerald Vick, is listed as an alternate. Azubuike, a sophomore, is the only one of the six players with a chance to return to KU for the 2018-19 season. He has not signed with an agent, thus has until May 30 to withdraw his name from the draft if he wishes to return to college.
Matt Tait: #KUbball alums Devonte’ Graham & Malik Newman have received invitations to the NBA Combine, May 16-20 in Chicago. Still awaiting word on Svi, Vick, Azubuike & Preston…
Sam Vecenie: NBA Draft Combine invites went out last night. One guy on the borderline who got in, per source: Kenrich Williams from TCU. He’ll be one of the five Portsmouth guys.
Adam Zagoria: Arizona’s @Rawle Alkins has been invited to the NBA Draft Combine.
Brian Bowen, the former Louisville signee who is one of the players at the center of the FBI investigation into college basketball, has been invited to the NBA combine. Jason Setchen, the attorney representing Bowen as he deals with the NCAA fallout of the investigation, said Bowen received the invitation Friday. The 6’7″ wing from La Lumiere High in La Porte, Ind., is currently enrolled at South Carolina. He has declared for the NBA draft, but he hasn’t hired an agent and hasn’t decided whether he’ll stay in the draft. “He’s excited he was selected,” Setchen said of the combine, which takes place in Chicago from May 16–20. “He’s appreciative of the opportunity to show what he can do.”
Since announcing on May 3 that he was hiring an agent and would not be returning to the Runnin’ Utes, Kyle Kuzma has received his degree from the U., thrown out the first pitch at a Utes baseball game (very low and outside), turned in one of the better performances of any prospect at the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago, and has worked out for five NBA teams in advance of the draft.
Adam Zagoria: In addition to working out for Milwaukee, Chicago & Nets, UK G @Diallo1Hamidou worked out for Boston before the Combine, per league source.
In past years, the Kings have had trouble getting consideration from elite prospects, let alone an interview with a top tier player. That all seems to be changing. Not only did Markelle Fultz, the player most believe will go with the top overall pick, sit down with the Kings brass, Sacramento got the first crack at an interview with the guard from Washington. Perry, the team’s new executive vice president of basketball operations has ties to the Fultz camp, which is usually the way this all works.
Whether Jok did enough to impress the pro personnel at the camp and improve his stock for the June draft isn’t known. What also isn’t known, at least to many NBA officials who attended the camp, is that Jok participated under some extenuating circumstances. After arriving in Chicago on Monday, he immediately hit the books and studied for four exams in anthropology, sports business, human development and Swahili. He took two tests on Tuesday, one on Wednesday and the final one on Thursday. It meant he was up early morning and going to bed late at night.
HoopsHype asked a dozen NBA players – from rookies to veterans – about the most bizarre exchanges they had with a team at the combine or during one of their draft visits. The following are all real questions asked by teams: If you were the size of a pencil and stuck in a blender, how would you get out? Several players said they were asked this question. Apparently, this is a question that Google and other Silicon Valley companies have used during interviews, and at least one NBA team has started asking it as well. The idea is to get an understanding of the player’s thinking, creativity, problem-solving, etcetera.
What’s your favorite strain of weed? Four separate players say they were asked some variation of this question. Three were asked to specifically name their favorite strain, while another was just asked what kind of pot they liked. One player said he was asked, “Do you prefer to smoke with a bong or a joint?” The team is obviously trying to get the player to admit he smokes weed.
What drink do you order when you’re in the club? Much like the weed question, they’re trying to see if a player is into drinking and clubbing. (Keep in mind that many of these prospects aren’t 21 years old, so that’s another reason teams will ask this.)
Kennedy Meeks measured 6-10 1/4 with shoes with a wingspan of 7-1. He met only with the San Antonio Spurs at the combine, but expects to have some workouts coming up. “I didn’t have an agent until I got here, so it was kind of a late process,” he said of signing with agent Charles Briscoe.
Fran Fraschilla: Heard he was a great guy, but nobody impressed me more at the @NBADraft Combine than Kentucky’s De’Aaron Fox. His charisma was off charts.
Michael Scotto: Several executives said Rawle Alkins played well at the NBA Draft Combine. He’s working on his dribble and 3PT shot.
Gonzaga center Zach Collins met with 13 teams at the NBA Combine, but it was his first meeting – with the Trail Blazers – that left an impression. “It was kind of funny because Portland actually just sent out their team psychologist, and no one else from the staff was there,’’ Collins said. “The lady gave me a computer and I took a personality test, kind of, and she just analyzed who I was as a person, and that was it.’’
“I’m just a regular guy who has an absolute obsession with the game of basketball, and a passion to play,’’ Collins said. “I’m not going to be satisfied once I get to the league. I want to be an All-Star. I want to win championships.’’
Thornwell met with at least 14 teams this past week, including San Antonio, Orlando, Miami, Brooklyn, Denver, Golden State, Milwaukee, Detroit, Portland, Atlanta and Dallas. He knew of at least one private workout scheduled with the Trail Blazers.
Baylor big man Jonathan Motley was star struck when the Miami Heat contingent walked into the room for his interview this week at the NBA Draft Combine. “I just was really honored that I felt important enough to have Pat Riley and (Erik) Spoelstra in the room,” said the 6-foot-10 Motley, who expects to set up a private workout in Miami.
The Heat – and the rest of the league – wrapped up their interviews Friday as the combine winds down. In all, Miami met with 20 players including Florida small forward Devin Robinson on Friday and two players whose seasons were cut short because of ACL tears – small forward OG Anunoby of Indiana and power forward Chris Boucher of Oregon.
Nick Friedell: Interesting note: DeAaron Fox said spoke to the Bulls’ front office during his time at the Combine.
Marc Berman: D’Aaron Fox said “cool” meeting Phil. “He was more like staring at me, trying to feel me out.” He didn’t mention triangle.
Al Iannazzone: De’Aaron Fox on triangle: “I don’t know too much about the triangle. Everyone says it’s hard to learn.” But he said he’d learn it quickly.
Tania Ganguli: De’Aaron Fox on why one needs good PG in Pacific div: “You’re playing against Chris Paul 4 times, Steph Curry 4, D’Angelo Russell 4 times.”
Tania Ganguli: De’Aaron Fox said the Lakers probably had the fewest people in the room during their meeting. Said he would love to have Magic as a mentor.
Jessica Camerato: Fox met with the Sixers today, said he could see himself fitting in with Simmons and Embiid on the court.
Adam Zagoria: De’Aaron Fox says he’d love to play with Kristaps Porzingis with the #Knicks and would embrace the pressure of NYC
Jason Quick: First team Gonzaga big man Zach Collins met with at NBA Combine: Portland. Said they gave him a computer and had him take personality test
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November 15, 2018 | 8:58 pm EST Update
Fizdale procured a motivational tool – an actual tool – by bringing an ax into the locker room, having the players sign it and hoping that it will hold them together in hard times. But it seems more likely right now that a player will either chop down a locker room in frustration or someone will lose a finger.
“My thing to these guys is what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to chop down a big tree,” Fizdale said. “If you’re paying attention to if the tree is falling, you’re never going to get that tree down. We signed a covenant as a group, every guy. I said, ‘Hey, let’s make a commitment that no matter what happens that we stick together and we keep chopping this tree together.’ So the ax is just a symbol of us chopping this tree. Every day putting in the work with the right attitude. The right respect for what we’re trying to accomplish. And not let things linger, but keeping our eyes on the task of getting better.”
Tom Orsborn: #Spurs come into tonight’s game ranked 20th in the NBA in points per game at 107.7. Since scoring 110 in a 7-point loss to Orlando on Nov. 4, they haven’t reached 100. They’re averaging 94.8 points in that 4-game span.
Andrew Greif: Avery Bradley is further along in his injury rehab than Luc Mbah a Moute, Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. Bradley “looked good” in practice and worked out today as well but won’t play tonight.
Tim MacMahon: Isaiah Hartenstein has some potential as a developmental prospect, but he isn’t ready for significant minutes on a team with title aspirations. Source says Rockets hope Nenê (calf) is ready within next 10 days or so.