Storyline: Draft Early Entries

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Lottery pick candidate Cole Anthony delaying draft decision

After finishing his first season as a Tar Heel, Cole Anthony is understandably being asked about his future. In a personal statement, Anthony took to Instagram to give fans an answer. “A lot of people have been asking me if I am going to declare for the NBA Draft. Anyone who knows me understands that playing in the NBA has been a lifelong dream of mine, but given the pain that America and the world are experiencing at this time, I am going to refrain from making any announcements around that topic.”

Minnesota sophomore Daniel Oturu is declaring for the NBA Draft with the intentions of staying in it, he tells 247Sports. “I decided to enter this year’s 2020 NBA Draft basically because I felt like this is the right time for me especially with how my season went,” Oturu explained. “Basically I felt like this is the best option to go for it.” “I’m putting all my eggs in the basket for sure,” the 6-foot-10, 240-pound post prospect added.

It is too early to tell if Cartier Diarra will return to Kansas State for his final season of college basketball, but one thing appears certain about his future: He will declare for the NBA Draft as an early entrant and test the pro waters this spring. “Yeah, I would anticipate that,” K-State coach Bruce Weber said in a phone interview. “I think, like Xavier (Sneed) did, he will put his name in. You have got to go through the process. I talked to him the other day. Like a lot of kids, that is something he definitely wants to look at.”

After his sophomore season at Iowa State, Tyrese Haliburton is now projected to be a lottery pick in the NBA Draft. This, even after his season ended with a broken wrist before Coronavirus concerns even entered the picture. “You know I put in a lot of work to get here,” Haliburton said. “It doesn’t necessarily come to a big surprise to me because of all the work I have put in throughout my life and this is what I have wanted to do my whole life.” But will he go pro? “I mean it is still a conversation with my family,” Haliburton.

“We put in for the advisory committee,” Krzyzewski said. “You can send it in, and we will do that for a number of our guys so they can get a look. Obviously, Tre Jones we know is going to go, whenever he announces. The guys we get good feedback from are: Vernon Carey should get good feedback, hopefully Cassius Stanley, but we will see. I think you have to wait and see. Also, for those guys or any guy that is going to test, unless you’re a potential lottery pick or know that they were going to be in the first round, you have to wait a little bit, or you don’t have to but some kids will wait and just to see what the landscape will be in the NBA.”

For his basketball future, Xavier Tillman admits he’s not sure what his next move is going to be. While he’d love to come back for his senior season at MSU, he says leaving early for the NBA is still an option. If his time at Michigan State is over, he knows his college career wouldn’t end of a high note. However, he says that does not affect his final decision. “It doesn’t play a factor in it, I would say for me personally because I feel like I played well enough this year to see if I could test the waters to see if I could make it,” Tillman said.

But Banks chose not to give himself the chance, and he explained the story on Tuesday, as the team prepared for its trip to Spain for four exhibition games. When Banks’ submitted the paperwork, he neglected to put an electronic signature on the draft document. When the NBA reached out to Tech to point out the missing signature, the deadline to enter had passed, but Banks said that the league told him that it would make an exception for him.Banks said no thanks. Having already been unsure about whether he wanted to declare for the draft, he said the omission was a sign.“I was like, alright, I don’t need to dabble in this,” Banks said
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April 2, 2020 | 9:36 pm EDT Update
For the time being, and likely for weeks or months to come, basketball is no longer the team’s primary public concern. “We’re trying to get ahead of the game as best we can,” Tellem said. “As part of that, it’s changing our whole public face. Usually we’re talking about upcoming games, the draft, free agency, all those things in our advertising and content online and obviously we’re now changing that content.”
The league has not made public any plans for the remainder of the season or playoffs, which were supposed to start April 18. Per a contract agreement with the league, players received paychecks April 1 despite the suspended season, but the NBA has yet to reach a long-term agreement, ESPN reported. “There will be a time, when we flatten the curve and we’re on the significant down side of the curve, that professional sports and all sports will play an important role in the healing of this country,” Tellem said.
April 2, 2020 | 8:15 pm EDT Update
P.J. Tucker will release a new limited-edition collection of clothing items next week to help promote awareness of coronavirus safety measures and raise funds for the Houston Food Bank and local businesses and vendors. Tucker announced that he and The Better Generation will make items available for a preorder through the weekend or while supplies last. The items will include long and short sleeve shirts, shorts and a baseball cap and feature COVID-19 awareness graphics.
“We all came together and said we wanted to do something positive,” Tucker said. “With so much negativity and so much stuff going on right now in the world, we wanted to do something to give back and help out. We’re doing three different shirts, three different shorts and a hat. There is a social distancing logo and messaging on the back with the logo for the store.”
April 2, 2020 | 5:36 pm EDT Update
Porter, who spent one season at Missouri, said he’s got a private gym that he can access whenever he wants. “I’ve literally been in the gym just as much as I was in Denver, which has been really good,” Porter said on Altitude’s digital show. “I feel like I haven’t really lost a lot. And it’s been good for my ankle, too, because you know my ankle was still kind of sore.”
In his downtime, he said he’s been preparing for the NBA 2K tournament that will air Friday night on ESPN. Porter, a No. 12 seed, drew No. 5 seed Devin Booker of the Phoenix Suns. Booker’s a notorious gamer, but Porter liked his chances. “I’m just naturally good at 2K,” he said. “It’s kind of weird. 2K, if you’re good at actual basketball, like it translates.”
The Atlanta Hawks, through the Hawks Foundation and State Farm, are funding the preparation of 4,000 meals weekly to be delivered to the more than 1,000 frontline healthcare workers treating COVID-19 patients at Emory Healthcare through a four-week pilot that is part of the newly-formed Atlanta Healthcare Heroes inaugural program. The meals are provided in partnership with two local Atlanta restaurants, which are now able to re-employ “hundreds” of workers who were recently laid off or furloughed due to the financial effects of the crisis, according to Hawks CEO Steve Koonin.
April 2, 2020 | 5:11 pm EDT Update
Although it launched last October, the Utah Jazz is using their Utah Jazz Podcast Network as an outlet for players to broaden their off-the-court reach and skills. “Our players have obviously been focused on keeping themselves healthy and making sure that their family and those close to them are healthy,” Bart Sharp, the Jazz’s senior vice president of marketing, said. “But they’ve also expressed a desire to try and provide some sense of normalcy and entertainment to our fan base during this time and wanted to find ways in which they can help people during this unique period.”
Already, some of the Jazz’s most well-known players are lending a hand to help produce content for the team. Utah rolled out its first player-specific podcast series, Ingles Insight, centered around Jazz shooting guard Joe Ingles, on March 21. The fifth-year player out of Adelaide, South Australia, is accompanied on Ingles Insight by his wife, Renae Ingles. The inaugural episode had more than 11,000 downloads in the first week, over 200 five-star reviews, and was the second-most popular basketball podcast in the United States on Apple Music, Sharp said.
Another new video podcast series hosted by Utah power forward Georges Niang, Drive and Dish, launched its first episode on Tuesday, March 31. Filmed out of Niang’s home and recorded through Zoom, Drive And Dish is described by Sharp as an “interview-style” podcast. The first episode saw Niang talk with teammate Jordan Clarkson about what is going on right now in a basketball-less world: what Clarkson is doing during the quarantine, his various tattoos, his distinct fashion taste, and other topics. After the debut of Drive And Dish, Sharp and the Jazz are preparing for another podcast series starring both Niang and Donovan Mitchell.
April 2, 2020 | 4:36 pm EDT Update
Doc Rivers wasn’t immediately impressed with Williams when the Clippers acquired him from the Houston Rockets. On Thursday’s episode of The Bob Ryan and Jeff Goodman Podcast, Rivers spoke about his first impressions of Williams. “When we traded for Lou, I was not having Lou,” Rivers said. “I saw a guy that kept getting traded. And I appreciated his offense, but not nearly, never thought it was this good… When he finally showed up three days before training camp, I was not having him. I was like, ‘We’re not gonna work’, you know?”
“I brought him up in the office and I told him my feelings,” Rivers said. “I said, ‘Lou, you’re one of these guys that wanna do whatever you wanna do, and you don’t want to buy-in. We asked everybody to come in. Everyone did except for you… I don’t know how this is gonna work.’ And he said, ‘I’ve been traded five years in a row. Why would I buy-in to you?’, and I didn’t have an answer.”
So with 19.5 seconds remaining in overtime and the Hawks trailing by seven to the New York Knicks, head coach Lloyd Pierce checked Carter into the game and the emotions began to hit him as the home crowd chanted. “I kind of made eye contact with coach (Pierce) and he’s like, ‘Yeah, yeah,'” Carter said on the latest episode of “Winging it with Vince Carter and Annie Finberg.” “Right then, it’s like a chill just hit me.”
April 2, 2020 | 4:30 pm EDT Update

Knicks front office staying put

For now, Leon Rose is proceeding as status quo with an inherited front office in following an unofficial NBA hiring/firing stoppage with the world stopped cold. According to sources, Rose is actively holding scouting meetings with his staff via conference call/video regarding the draft. “I don’t see any teams hiring or firing during this,” one NBA source said. “That’s the sense.”
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Pelicans shooting guard JJ Redick and his wife, Chelsea, are spearheading a campaign that will provide millions of meals throughout south Louisiana while it battles the coronavirus. On Thursday, the Redicks, the Pelicans and the Lineage Logistics, a food transportation and distribution company, announced donations to Second Harvest Food Bank. Together, they aim to provide 1.8 million meals in 23 parishes.
April 2, 2020 | 4:21 pm EDT Update
Karl has not coached in the NBA since leaving the Kings. Cousins has suffered a number of serious injuries. And so, on April Fools’ Day, Karl decided to joke about a potential reunion, saying that both were headed back to the Kings.