NBA Rumor: Draft Interviews

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Darren Wolfson: It was not Obi Toppin, but that they will meet with Obi and they hope to meet with James Wiseman. But that one’s a slippery slope. They want to get some face time with Wiseman but the Wiseman camp is wondering ‘Okay, is James really a fit there in Minnesota? Can he coexist with Karl-Anthony Towns? Does that make sense?’ So that meeting may eventually take place presumably in Miami where James is training. But I know there’s been some hiccups in the wolves trying to line up some face time with James Wiseman but they are trying to use at least most if not all, of their 10 draft visits.

The Golden State Warriors, legitimate contenders for the NBA title next season, need players who are ready to contribute immediately. Michigan State’s Xavier Tillman was averaging 13.7 points, 10.3 rebounds, 2.1 blocks, 3.0 assists and 1.2 steals per game before the season abruptly ended in March. He had been among the most prolific pick-and-roll finishers in all of college basketball. His assist percentage (18.3%) ranked in the top 15 nationally among all players 6-foot-8 or taller.

Desmond Bane has become a Zoom expert. He said last week in an NBA Draft Combine call with reporters that he’d virtually interviewed with 26 teams. It came as no surprise that the Sixers were on that list for the 6-foot-6, 215-pound TCU product whose main selling point is that he can sink long-range jumpers and also do a little bit of everything else. “There’s been a lot of interest with Philly,” Bane said. “We feel good about where we’re at with Philly.”

Bane said his Sixers interview was led by Vince Rozman, the team’s vice president of scouting. He named the Sixers, Suns and Bucks as teams his agent, Seth Cohen of SAC Sports, thought had shown the most interest, in addition to two Bane couldn’t recall at the time. Phoenix’s only pick in the upcoming draft is No. 10, while Milwaukee’s only selection is No. 24. The Sixers own the 21st pick and four second-rounders, including No. 34 and No. 36. “Shooting is a necessity for them; they need a lot of shooting,” Bane said of the Sixers. “Obviously the attention that Ben Simmons and (Joel) Embiid demand is huge, so guys like me are very valuable that can play off the ball and make shots, have similar success to JJ Redick and Landry Shamet in previous years, running off screens. I feel like I can provide some of those same things.”

Hampton hasn’t interviewed with the Mavericks — at least not yet — as the coronavirus pandemic has disrupted the tradition draft evaluation process. But some experts predict the former five-star guard who spent last year playing professionally in New Zealand could be available at the Mavericks’ No. 18 overall pick in the first round. “Kind of the hometown team,” Hampton said Tuesday in a Zoom press conference during the NBA’s virtual draft combine. “I’ve definitely kept up with the Mavs since I was a baby.” So far, Hampton has virtually interviewed with the Thunder, Pistons, Suns, Trail Blazers, Knicks, Bulls, Wizards and Kings.
More HoopsHype Rumors
July 28, 2021 | 4:25 pm EDT Update
Ja Morant has started to tell his own story. Out now on Crackle, Morant is the subject of a six-part documentary titled Promiseland that dives into his rise from unknown at Murray State to No. 2 Draft pick to one of the NBA’s biggest young stars. “I just want to show my journey, go deeper into it, and show people things they don’t know about me,” Morant told Dime. “It comes from people that might want to tell someone else’s story and just add things in or just have some stuff that’s not true, so I thought if I’m telling my story and it’s coming from me, more people are going to believe it.”
The first episode opens with Morant detailing what his parents gave up for him in order to pursue his dream and what it was like for him growing up in Sumter, South Carolina. It also features a look at his childhood bedroom, where a quote attributed to LeBron James — “You can’t be afraid to fail, it’s the only way to succeed.” — has been displayed above his doorway.
Paul, a veteran guard with the Phoenix Suns, arguably carries the highest profile among the investors. The two parties crossed paths through MaxOne’s work with the Missouri-based Basketball Training Systems. The company manages the training curriculum for Paul’s CP3 Basketball Academy, where it implemented MaxOne’s platform. Executives at CP3 Basketball Academy were impressed with the MaxOne platform’s effectiveness. Not only does the CP3 Basketball Academy utilize MaxOne’s platform for in-house instruction, but Mejeur said that Paul is working on additional content that will be available to other users on the platform.