Various Draft tidbits/links from across the web (long)
Former Maryland guard Greivis Vasquez has been invited to attend the NBA draft at Madison Square Garden in New York. His agent, Herb Rudoy, said today that Vasquez won't be sitting with John Wall, Evan Turner and the other projected lottery picks. Those guys are draft royalty. They sit at tables in the equivalent of an orchestra pit before the stands begin. Unless he changes his mind about attending, Vasquez will sit with the second wave of players in the first few rows of stands.
Sources close to the Bulls' draft process say they are very high on VCU's Larry Sanders, Georgia Tech's Gani Lawal and Iowa State's Craig Brackins.
Sunday: Workouts in Memphis expected to include Ole Miss guard Terrico White, a former Craigmont star, plus Kentucky forward Patrick Patterson and West Virginia forward Devin Ebanks.
There are indications that the Griz have joined a long line of teams trying to convince the New Orleans Hornets to part with one of their point guards: Chris Paul or Darren Collison.
Toronto worked out forward Patrick Patterson and point guard Eric Bledsoe, both from a Kentucky outfit Bledsoe called “pretty much an NBA team,” swingman Paul George of Fresno State and smooth Kansas shooting guard Xavier Henry.
Raptors director of player personnel Jim Kelly said the team will take the best player available, regardless of position.
“The number is probably down to about six or seven players, I can’t really say that we’ve pared down what position because I don’t think we’ll take a player by position,” Kelly said.
“You have to have a list, because the draft doesn’t revolve on us.”
Kelly said potential trades could affect the team’s thinking at 13 and also said the team has a separate group of players it likes and would consider should it add a second pick later on in the draft.
Lance Stephenson, the all-time leading scorer in New York state prep history, will work out with the Knicks Saturday morning at the team's facility in Greenburgh, N.Y. to end a whirlwind week that included stops in Toronto and Chicago.
At a recent workout with the New York Knicks, Denis Clemente played so well that Mike D'Antoni left his comfortable seat in the bleachers to have a private conversation with the former Kansas State point guard.
With the 2010 NBA Draft coming up next week, Clemente was thrilled to hear from another interested coach. He's talked to a handful of them lately, and their feedback has led him to believe he will be selected somewhere in the second round.
Here are the players scheduled for (the Wizards) Monday's workout: Solomon Alabi, Devan Downey, A.J. Ogilvy, Magnum Rolle, and Samardo Samuels
The Milwaukee Bucks say they have not promised anyone that they’ll choose them in the first round of next Thursday’s NBA Draft. Scouting director Billy McKinney said the team wanted to make that clear, after a Memphis newspaper said forward Larry Sanders of Virginia Commonwealth “might have a promise” from Milwaukee that he’ll taken with the 15th pick. Meanwhile, the Bucks continue to audition prospects for next week. Yesterday, they took a look at small forwards Quincy Pondexter of Washington, Damion James of Texas.
The Hornets had Cole Aldrich, Damion James, Patrick Patterson, Tasmin Mitchell, Craig Brackins, and Jason Love in for a workout.
Armon Johnson, who was in New Jersey on Wednesday for a pre-draft workout with the New Jersey Nets, is a possibility for the Nets in the June 24 draft with the 27th or 31st pick in the draft.
"He has a great body," Nets assistant coach Tom Barrise told the New York Post. "NBA body. Long arms. He probably can play two positions in our league. He's probably more of a slasher at the two (shooting guard) and would have to grow into the point guard state."
Barrise said Johnson is "in the 25-35 range" in the draft. The 31st pick, which the Nets own, is the first pick of the second round.
Tyler Smith said he has workouts with the Dallas Mavericks, Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks coming up next week.
Guilford College basketball standout Tyler Sanborn is scheduled to participate in workouts with the NBA’s Charlotte Bobcats today along with Marcus Ginyard of North Carolina and Chas McFarland of Wake Forest. Sanborn also had workouts with the Los Angeles Lakers and Memphis Grizzlies in advance of the June 24 draft. The 6-foot-10, 260-pound center won the 2010 Division III Player of the Year honors from three different organizations after averaging 19.8 points, 14.1 points and 2.0 blocks in 33 games.
Larry Brown didn't specify which of the 15 free agents caught his eye, but he said three or four of the veterans here this week could end up in Bobcats training camp.
Today, the Suns worked out Ryan Thompson, Tyren Johnson, Jerome Jordan, Anthony Mason Jr., Hamady Ndiaye, and Art Parakhouski.
Why, then, did Jones join nine others — including Fresno State swingman Paul George and Alabama-Birmingham swingman Elijah Millsap — in working out this morning for the Jazz?
"I heard a rumor they might be getting around a 20-some pick," Jones said.
So are the Jazz really looking to deal?
"We, as a staff, try to be prepared for everything," Jazz player personnel vice president Walt Perrin said when asked about Jones' comment.
"If come draft day somebody says 'We'll give you another pick' or you can buy another pick or you can trade for another pick, move down or whatever," Perrin added, "we have to be prepared for that."
Salt Lake Tribune
Fresno State guard Paul George will headline a group of 10 players who will work out Saturday for the Jazz. Some projections have the 6-foot-9 George -- who averaged 16.8 points and shot 35.3 percent from three-point range -- as a lottery pick.
The Jazz also will host Paul Millsap's younger brother Elijah, a 6-foot-6 guard from Alabama-Birmingham. Elijah Millsap averaged 16.1 points and 9.5 rebounds and was selected first-team all-Conference USA last season.
South Florida guard Dominique Jones, a projected late first-round pick, also will work out Saturday. Jones totaled 46 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists in a Jan. 23 game at Providence.
Also working out will be Western Kentucky forward Jeremy Evans, Iowa State forward Marquis Gilstrap, Notre Dame guard Tory Jackson, Michigan State forward Raymar Morgan, Tennessee forward J.P. Prince, Utah State guard Jared Quayle and French forward Ludovic Vaty.
The Jazz worked out Davis with Utah forward Kim Tillie. It was the third workout for Tillie, who also has auditioned for Chicago and Milwaukee. Tillie is committed to play in France this season but hopes to go to summer league with an NBA team.
"It's given me lots of hopes for making it to the next level," said Tillie, who is planning to sign with the French team ASVEL Villeurbanne. "Maybe not this year, maybe next year or in two years, I think I can get there."
The Sacramento Kings brought in six more prospects for a pre-draft workout at their practice facility Friday.
University of Oklahoma's Tiny Gallon, University of Connecticut's Stanley Robinson, Arizona's Nic Wise, Baylor's Tweety Carter, Boise State's Ike Okoye, and St. Mary's Omar Samhan were all in attendance to show the Kings' coaches and scouts what they could bring to the team.
On Sunday, Kevin Seraphin will arrive in Milwaukee and then meet with Bucks officials the following day. The 6-foot-11, 278-pound Seraphin is one of the biggest players in this year’s draft class and he’s one of the most intriguing.
"He’s a beast," said Bouna Ndiaye, Seraphin’s agent.
Because he was playing overseas, Seraphin was unable to attend the recent pre-draft camp in Chicago. He did, however, plan to work out for a select number of teams before the June 24th draft. But those plans went to smithereens when he recently tore a medial collateral ligament.
While Seraphin won’t be working out for the Bucks, two other big men are expected to go through a battery of drills Monday at the Cousins Center.
They are Hassan Whiteside of Marshall and Ryan Richards, a native of London who played in Switzerland last season.
The Bucks have already worked out several shooting guard prospects, including James Anderson of Oklahoma State, Jordan Crawford of Xavier and Dominique Jones of South Florida.
Connecticut forward Stanley Robinson has worked out for nearly a dozen teams, but said his workout in Milwaukee stood out for one specific reason: the Cousins Center.
"I was walking in here and I just went, ‘Wow,’" Robinson said. "This is unbelievable. What a beautiful workout facility. Everything about this place is nice."
Former Wisconsin forward Greg Stiemsma will play for the Minnesota Timberwolves in the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas. Stiemsma’s former teammate Wisconsin, swingman Joe Krabbenhoft, will play Portland’s summer league team. ... Wisconsin guard Jason Bohannon, who recently worked out for the Bucks, has drawn interest from teams in Germany and Greece.
On Wednesday, after working out with the Indiana Pacers for a second time, Warren said: "I don't know about leading yet, because obviously I was 13-18 at Oklahoma (last season), but I can be a great follower. Put me in the right situation, you know like (Boston's Rajon) Rondo, he went to the right situation ... now look at him now. He's an All-Star."
Capel is hoping all this upheaval somehow might benefit Warren.
"Sometimes this can be a blessing in disguise," Capel said. "Maybe if he's not drafted as early as he anticipated before the season, he could end up on a team with some really good guys, a place where he can learn how to be a pro.”
League sources indicate the Bulls are gauging the value of Kirk Hinrich and Luol Deng in an attempt to create more cap space.
Forman told the team's Web site his staff will have worked out approximately 35-40 players when the sessions end on Monday. In a departure, the Bulls have closed pre-draft workouts to the media.
Forman told the team's Web site that if the Bulls keep their pick, he has targeted "four or five" players to select at 17. The Bulls own no second-round picks.
Often criticized for being a ball-stopper and for his penchant for taking on defenses by himself, Stephenson spent five weeks at the Impact Basketball Academy in Las Vegas dropping weight and working on his shooting and passing skills.
He said he lost 16 pounds and is down to 220.
As for his game, he said he was "working on my spot shooting, coming off the picks shooting and my ball-handling."
"He's great at what he does, breaking people down," said Andrew Moore of the Impact Academy. "But he's extended his range. He's better shooting off the dribble.
"Shooting off the dribble was something they [NBA scouts] weren't sure he could do but they're pleasantly surprised. He can pull up off the dribble, elevate, bounce and that's something he can do well."
I'm SUPER happy for Denis Clemente. That guy was amazing for us the last 2 years. Hard to replace alot of what he brought to the table.
NY Daily News-
"The Big East is like the mini-NBA," Lance Stephenson said. "It was a blessing."
At 220 pounds, Stephenson has shed 16 pounds in the last two months. While in Vegas he was introduced to a new diet, completed bicycle sprints and impressed with his level of competitiveness in three-on-three drills. Teams have questioned whether he will be able to keep the weight off.
"As a point guard, he drew our eyes," said one scout from an Eastern Conference team. "We liked him a lot better than on the wing."
He has already visited with Memphis, Houston, Minnesota, Chicago, Toronto, Indiana and San Antonio.
"If they called my name I would be so happy," Stephenson said of the Knicks. "We're all anxious and nervous."
"We have him as a probable second-round pick," said Jazz player personnel vice president Walt Perrin, who watched Elijah Millsap and nine others work out Saturday in Utah.
He's been to Minnesota, Chicago, Detroit, Oklahoma City, Charlotte and parts in-between. He may still head to Indiana and/or Milwaukee for additional auditions.
The nose for the ball was honed in those games when Elijah and Paul joined older brother John (who played last season in Mexico) and younger brother Abraham (an ex-Brighton High player) in realizing that sometimes the best way to get a touch was to grab it for one's self.
With the NBA draft looming next week, Chris Kramer has worked out for four NBA teams so far: the Pacers, Bulls, Hawks and Magic. He'll travel to Portland Sunday to work out for the Trailblazers.
Kramer says he doesn't expect to be drafted, but isn't ruling it out either. If he does go undrafted, Kramer would like to get on a summer league team for a team and try to work his way onto a roster. If that doesn't work out, it's possible Kramer will travel overseas to play professionally.
Evansville Courier & Press-
Jamar Smith was invited and participated at the Portsmouth Invitational for college seniors and, earlier this month, worked out for the Charlotte Bobcats and for a number of teams at a group workout held by the New Jersey Nets.
On Saturday he worked out for his home state Chicago Bulls — a personal favorite growing up.
Craig Brackins has zigzagged across the country, twice going head-to-head against Marquis Gilstrap at NBA practice facilities in Milwaukee and Detroit.
But who got the better of whom?
“It was a tie in Milwaukee,” Brackins said. “But I think I got him in Detroit. I had a good workout in Detroit.”
Friday he was in New Orleans. From there, he had workouts scheduled with Atlanta, Portland and Denver before getting Tuesday off.
Wednesday, the day before the NBA draft, New Jersey will bring Brackins in. When it’s all over, Brackins will have worked out for more than half the league.
New 76ers coach Doug Collins got what he wanted. Collins said he likes when NBA prospects produce pre-draft workouts that make a team reconsider its draft plans. Syracuse forward Wesley Johnson did just that Saturday at the Sixers' pre-draft workout at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.
"You like someone and you want someone [else] to come in and make you think. That's what you love to do as a coach," said Collins, whose squad holds the No. 2 overall pick in Thursday's NBA draft.
"Watching Wesley work out was like, 'Wow, that was impressive,' " Collins added. "This young kid, he's got it: Charismatic, he can play, respectful, he's older. I mean, impressive."
2theadvocate.com "Hornets not working out many prospects"
The first workout (for the Hornets) involved six wing players: Gordon Hayward, a 6-6 guard/forward from Butler; Xavier Henry, a 6-6 guard/forward from Kansas; Aubrey Coleman, a 6-4 guard from Houston; James Anderson, a 6-6 guard from Oklahoma State; Dominique Jones, a 6-4 guard from South Florida; and Dwight Lewis, a 6-4 guard from USC who is a native of New Orleans and played at Rummel High School.
Among the players to work out for the Celtics was James Anderson, a 6-foot-6 swingman from Oklahoma State.
Trade Rumblings: As previously mentioned, the New York Knicks are among the teams looking to move into the first round. Sources say that the Knicks are targeting Oklahoma City's twenty-sixth pick and discussions could be heating up.
The Indiana Pacers brought back big men Ekpe Udoh and Daniel Orton for second workouts on Friday, but the pick remains available and is being actively shopped.
The Toronto Raptors remain interested in acquiring an additional first round pick. Toronto should be able to grab Avery Bradley at thirteen but they would love to fill another hole later in the first round.
While there has been a lot talk about movement into the late first round, don't be surprised if teams pick up additional second round picks to select the players that fall. Teams may not want to use a first round pick on a player like Devin Ebanks or Armon Johnson but because of their potential, they could be very attractive low risk, high reward picks in the second round. With how deep this draft is, a stud available in the early second round could motivate some teams to move around.
Stock Watch: Greivis Vazquez's stock skyrocketed in the past week after an excellent workout with the Memphis Grizzlies. In fact, he jumped nearly twenty spots in some mock drafts to climb into the first round. Not bad considering last week we were wondering which second round team gave him the best chance to succeed.
In that same Memphis workout, Jordan Crawford may have elevated himself into the first round for good after sitting on the bubble for several weeks. Crawford has continued to improve in each and every workout after struggling a bit early on.
Larry Sanders seems to have solidified his spot in the teens. If the Milwaukee Bucks don't select him at fifteen, his floor is likely the Chicago Bulls at seventeen.
Darington Hobson continues to impress and has interest from several teams at the end of the first round, including the New Jersey Nets, Orlando Magic, and Washington Wizards. If the New York Knicks are able to acquire a pick in that range, they're another team that could look to add his services.
DeMarcus Cousins continues to slip as it appears the Sacramento Kings will select Greg Monroe fifth overall. Cousins could land in Golden State but if not, he won't slip past the Detroit Pistons at seven.
Xavier Henry hasn't done anything to hurt his stock but when he wasn't among the first ten green room invitees, some wondered if maybe he would be the player slipping on draft night. Don't read into it too much, there are still many teams who praise Henry and he shouldn't fall out of the lottery.