Storyline: Draft Early Entries

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3 weeks ago via ESPN

Potential early-entry candidates for the 2020 NBA draft will have until Aug. 17 to declare that they are entering the draft, according to a memo obtained by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on Saturday. The new deadline is pending the NBA finalizing an agreement with the players’ union on system rule changes in the collective bargaining agreement related to the resumption of the 2019-20 season. The NBA’s early-entry deadline had been April 26, in anticipation of a June 25 draft, but according to the CBA, players have the ability to make themselves draft eligible by petioning the league in writing “at least sixty (60) days prior.” Pending approval from the National Basketball Players Association, that would shift the early-entry deadline to Aug. 17 given the draft has been postponed to Oct. 16.

Frank Martin stands with A.J. Lawson in staying in the NBA Draft at this point in time. “There’s no need to rush. He’s had probably six or seven interviews with NBA teams, which is what they’re all doing right now,” Martin said. “As long as NBA teams are offering interviews, I don’t see any reason why he should try to make a decision sooner than he has to. If no NBA team was asking to meet with him, I would think he’d make a decision by now.”

SMU forward Feron Hunt will return to the men’s basketball program for his junior season in 2020-2021, he told The Dallas Morning News on Monday afternoon. Hunt had returned to campus and had taken a COVID-19 test earlier on Monday. “Just the uncertainty, how things would be played out,” Hunt said when asked why he made this decision. “There’s a lot of things going on in the world right now, just pretty much mainly the uncertainty. We’re not able to get in front of teams and stuff. And I felt like that’s where I’d be better. Just to show more of my game instead of going off my college film. “… [Teams] said they want me to get a little stronger, work on my jump shooting. I got great feedback.”

The “unknowns” for current NBA prospects could result in another year of college basketball for Iowa star Luka Garza, the projected preseason national player of the year in 2020-21. Garza, who has entered the 2020 NBA draft while retaining his eligibility, told ESPN he’ll make his decision about returning to school or turning pro based on the conversations and interviews he’ll have with NBA executives in the coming weeks and months. He said the inability to meet with the NBA’s power brokers for workouts — if the current situation persists — will play a role in his decision. “I think it all depends on what teams are telling me in these interviews and what they’re seeing on film,” said Garza, the Wooden Award runner-up after averaging 23.9 points and 9.8 rebounds per game last season. “I’m not leaving for an unknown or an uncertain.

Garza, who has entered the 2020 NBA draft while retaining his eligibility, told ESPN he’ll make his decision about returning to school or turning pro based on the conversations and interviews he’ll have with NBA executives in the coming weeks and months. He said the inability to meet with the NBA’s power brokers for workouts — if the current situation persists — will play a role in his decision. “I think it all depends on what teams are telling me in these interviews and what they’re seeing on film,” said Garza, the Wooden Award runner-up after averaging 23.9 points and 9.8 rebounds per game last season. “I’m not leaving for an unknown or an uncertain.

“It’s the million dollar question,” said Corey Kispert, when asked what would keep him in the draft and what would bring him back to GU. “I need to hear something from a team that has all the package to have me let go of my senior year, and that’s worth a lot. From the people here, the program, the atmosphere, the games we’re playing, it’s worth a lot. Knowing that I can be secure in whatever an NBA team offers me is basically what you have to weigh. At the end of day if I don’t get that, that’s perfectly fine with me. I’d be thrilled to come back for my senior year.”

Jordan Allen announced earlier this week on social media that he’s bypassing his senior season at Lynn University to declare for the NBA Draft. The 6-foot-4, 195-pound guard spent last winter at the NCAA Division II Florida school after playing his first two seasons at Division I Rider. Allen is serious about the move, too. The 22-year-old has signed with an agent and has been working out with other prospects in Houston so there’s no going back to school.

The new reality we are all living has made the draft process considerably different than in past years. Since face-to-face meetings can’t happen right now, Tillman has been meeting with NBA teams through Zoom meetings. “I’ve had two so far with Utah and Detroit. It’s all about these Zoom interviews and how well you perform in those. Answering the questions honestly is the biggest key for those teams because they know everything about you,” Tillman said. Being born and raised in Michigan, Tillman says the Pistons are a team that is on his list.

The NBA is his future, and he took a step toward that dream by declaring as an early entrant for this year’s draft last month. “Definitely the outlook would be me leaning toward going pro because that’s what I’m working toward,” Ayo Dosunmu said. “That’s my goal at the end of the day, to play in the NBA and work as hard as I can to be picked as high as possible. Of course, I didn’t sign with an agent because there’s so many uncertainties, but if everything goes the right way and everything gets back on track, of course I’ll be staying in the draft and working out to be the best player I can be.”

The lottery and combine — both originally scheduled for this month — have been postponed. That’s left the door at least cracked open for Dosunmu to return to Illinois for a third season. “There’s always a possibility,” he said. “That’s why I haven’t signed with an agent yet. There’s so much uncertainty I don’t know and we don’t know. It would be foolish for me to say I’m signing with an agent without knowing what could happen tomorrow or what could happen next week.”

Where things are moving more quickly, John Petty said in a telephone interview, are in his contacts with other teams. “I’ve done 12 Zoom interviews already,” Petty said. “I don’t want to say any specific teams but I’ve gotten some great feedback. They have been impressed. We’ve talked about my elbow (a hyperextending which knocked him out of two games late late season.) It has perfectly healed, no problem. My process now is to keep working out, be patient, talk to scouts and hopefully get a great answer from them (about a potential draft position.) If that happens, I’m probably going to stay in. … I will have a decision but I’m going to be patient.”
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July 12, 2020 | 8:31 pm EDT Update
With limited apparel flexibility, face masks will also serve as one of the few opportunities for self-expression en route to games. Some players planned ahead, creating customized masks with social justice messages, personal brand logos or hometown area codes. The league has already provided all players and team personnel with face coverings as part of their arrival package in Orlando. A batch of ten co-designed NBA x Stance masks with different prints, logo executions and graphics were waiting for players in their hotel rooms. When arriving for games, players will have the option to wear the league-provided masks, their team-issued face coverings or a face covering of their own choosing.
July 12, 2020 | 8:27 pm EDT Update
July 12, 2020 | 8:16 pm EDT Update

July 12, 2020 | 7:23 pm EDT Update
Orlando Magic second-year center Mo Bamba was on a mission during the NBA coronavirus shutdown. He came into the league as a slender 7-footer with athleticism that enabled him to block shots and pop out on the perimeter for occasional 3-point attempts. Bamba, however, wanted to add more to his game, so he focused on adding weight to his 230-pound frame. He figured adding bulk and muscle to his already athletic body would give him even more of an advantage in the paint going up against bigger NBA players.
“My mentality the whole entire time we were quarantined was to gain an inch every day and it really took, literally, every day going through it to get to where I am,” Bamba said Sunday. “It took changing my diet, it took intense workouts and it took leaning on the Magic’s strength and conditioning staff to provide a plan for me.” Bamba said a personal chef, a strict diet of five to six meals a day and constant workouts with weights were the key to his three-month transformation.
“Initially the goal was to get to 240 and that happened really quick with the change of diet,” Bamba said. “Then I started to approach the 250 mark and I was like, ‘All right, this is around the weight that I feel comfortable at,’ and once I got a little bit past 250, I was like, ‘OK, this is where I’m gonna try to cap it.’ “I feel really good right now jumping-wise … I just feel really good, man.”
July 12, 2020 | 6:59 pm EDT Update
July 12, 2020 | 6:27 pm EDT Update
Darren Wolfson: The #Timberwolves had a good group in for workouts last week, more guys coming in this week. It’s an important summer from a developmental perspective for so many. By the way, the wrap on Russell’s right ankle is normal post-workout taping. Nothing to worry about.

July 12, 2020 | 4:42 pm EDT Update
Fred Katz: Disney logistics since we’re all learning: The NBA gives 3-hr practice windows to each team since they’re sharing facilities. If a team wants to have a day off, that might be reflected in their schedule but it’s not like the NBA knows when it tells them the time they have the gym . These are boring logistics. But that’s why the language was misleading with the Wizards technically “canceling” a practice they were never scheduled to have. They’ll be back on the court tomorrow
Storyline: Orlando Bubble