NBA Rumor: Draft Workouts

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Ok, some real draft scuttle: the Bulls continue to stump the remainder of the NBA with their intentions at No. 4. Although Deni Avdija is a common match with Chicago, there are a number of conflicting rumors circulating around the league, the latest (and most fascinating) item being that the Bulls are interested in Patrick Williams. Per sources, Williams has worked out for Chicago. Beyond that, it’s still unclear what the actual interest level level is there. At this point, it’s worth naming every other player linked to Chicago, which includes Obi Toppin, Tyrese Haliburton, Killian Hayes and, in the event he’s on the board, LaMelo Ball.

An alarming workout video recently surfaced online of Vassell heaving long jumpers with what appeared to be an awkwardly new shooting motion. Teams actually quizzed him about the video. “I’ve seen the video,’’ Vassell said. “I haven’t changed my jump shot. I feel there’s no reason to change my jump shot. It was end of the workout, and we were shooting it a lot deeper from the regular NBA 3-point line. It was the angle she took it. I caught the ball a lot further than I normally do. “But I’ve never attempted to change my jump shot and won’t change it because I’ve had a lot of success with the jump shot I have right now.’’

Middleton, a two-time All-Star, and the 21-year-old Nesmith not only hail from Charleston, S.C., but also attended the same high school, Porter-Gaud. Some scouts tag Nesmith as the top 3-point shooter in the draft, but his standing isn’t as a high lottery pick. He was injured in his sophomore season, suffering a stress fracture in his right foot that limited him to 14 games. “We compare him to Khris Middleton,’’ Stackhouse told The Post in an email Sunday. “He’s perfect for the wing spot. He has the size. He has the strength and in addition to being a shooter, he is dedicated to the defensive side as well.”

Though Heat officials have not been flying all over the country to use their 10 maximum permitted pre-draft visits, they have shown interest in working out several prospects beyond Arizona center Zeke Nnaji, who auditioned for them Oct. 25. Among others with whom they’ve broached a potential workout: Kentucky combo guard Immanuel Quickley and Texas Tech shooting guard Jahmi’us Ramsey. Both are skilled shooters and both already have done Zoom sessions with the Heat. Quickley, in fact, has interviewed twice with Miami, according to a source.

LaMelo Ball, Tyrese Haliburton, and Killian Hayes have generated the most buzz among point guards. But Kira Lewis Jr. has seemingly entered the conversation as a potential riser and option for lottery teams. After a workout with the Orlando Magic last Thursday, sources tell Bleacher Report that Lewis worked out for the New York Knicks, Detroit Pistons and Chicago Bulls this week. “Lewis has great speed, creates for himself and others and should thrive in today’s game,” one scout told B/R. “He’s still young [he turned 19 in April] after two years in college. He has upside.”

With the 2020 NBA Draft less than a month away, the Warriors are still in their information-gathering phase. While it is not clear whether they are considering taking Avdija at pick No. 2 or to trade down to take him later, the meeting itself reveals something. If the Warriors were dead set on trading the No. 2 pick for veteran help, they would not schlep out all the way to Atlanta, where Avdija is based right now. The option of getting and developing a young player is clearly on the table.

The same goes for Ball, who played a dozen games this winter in Australia’s National Basketball League before a foot injury prompted him to return to the United States. His statistics were impressive—17.0 points, 7.4 rebounds and 6.8 assists in 31.2 minutes per game—but again, NBA executives say they’d feel more comfortable selecting him if they could study him in person when he talks about the anticipated involvement of his father, LaVar Ball, who became persona non grata with the Lakers after they drafted one of his other sons, Lonzo, three years ago.
2 years ago via ESPN

The New Orleans Pelicans exercised its team option on Head Coach Alvin Gentry’s contract for the After Garland pulled out of the NBA draft combine in Chicago last month and sat out his agency’s (Klutch Sports) pro day in Los Angeles, draft pundits wondered whether he had received a promise from a lottery team. Garland and his agent, Rich Paul, lifted the smoke screen this week, however, as the guard granted private workouts to both the Los Angeles Lakers and Cleveland Cavaliers in L.A., sources told ESPN.
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