A defensive stalwart in college, Little was widely considered the steal of the draft when the Blazers took him at No. 25. Still, his shot needs work and it could be a while before he sees real NBA minutes on a team full of veterans. “He’s a hard worker, a smart kid,” Blazers coach Terry Stotts said. “He’s going to have a long career, but his job, just like a lot of rookies, especially late first-round picks, is to come in, learn how to be a pro, learn how to work and be ready when the opportunities come.”’
For years, members of the Ball family have privately said LaMelo is the best brother among Lonzo and LiAngelo Ball. What does Lonzo believe? “’Melo has a chance to be a better player than me, for sure,” Ball told The Athletic. “I feel at the same age, he’s better than me. In real time, I don’t think he’s better than me.”
Krzyzewski warned that the NBA’s potential changes could alter the landscape for college basketball. He said if the NBA allows players to enter the draft straight out of high school that the G-League’s product will improve. The NBA could add more rounds to its draft. NBA owners, he said, would want to protect more than just two players on their G-League affiliate’s roster.
“As a collegiate community, if we think the NBA is going to stand still and the G-League will continue being what it is,’’ Krzyzewski said. “It’s advanced. If and when high school players are brought in right away, the G-League has to improve. They’re going to invest in it.’’
When the halfcourt shot went in and a Monday unlike any the Memphis basketball scene had experienced ended, R.J. Hampton grabbed the $200 sitting on the Memphis Grizzlies practice floor and let everyone know. The rest of his New Zealand Breakers teammates. His coaches. Owner Matt Walsh, who made the bet. And, of course, close to 100 NBA general managers, executives and scouts who were there to evaluate Hampton in a practice setting that felt at times like a fish bowl.