NBA Draft Roundup, May 15th
|by: Jonathan Givony - President
|May 15, 2009
|• NBA Combine Invite List Released
The NBA released the much-anticipated Combine Invite list today.
It reads as follow:
Jeff Adrien Connecticut
Rodrigue Beaubois Cholet (France)
DeJuan Blair Pittsburgh
Jon Brockman Washington
Derrick Brown Xavier
Chase Budinger Arizona
Nick Calathes Florida
DeMarre Carroll Missouri
Omri Casspi Maccabi Elite (Israel)
Dionte Christmas Temple
Earl Clark Louisville
Darren Collison UCLA
Dante Cunningham Villanova
Stephen Curry Davidson
Austin Daye Gonzaga
DeMar DeRozan USC
Toney Douglas Florida State
Wayne Ellington North Carolina
Tyreke Evans Memphis
Jonny Flynn Syracuse
Taj Gibson USC
Danny Green North Carolina
Blake Griffin Oklahoma
Tyler Hansbrough North Carolina
Luke Harangody Notre Dame
James Harden Arizona State
Gerald Henderson Duke
Josh Heytvelt Gonzaga
Jordan Hill Arizona
Jrue Holiday UCLA
Joe Ingles Melbourne South Dragons (Australia)
Damion James Texas
James Johnson Wake Forest
Gani Lawal Georgia Tech
Ty Lawson North Carolina
Eric Maynor VCU
Jack McClinton Miami
Jerel McNeal Marquette
Jodie Meeks Kentucky
Patrick Mills Saint Mary's
BJ Mullens Ohio State
Jeff Pendergraph Arizona State
AJ Price Connecticut
Tyler Smith Tennessee
DaJuan Summers Georgetown
Jermaine Taylor Central Florida
Jeff Teague Wake Forest
Hasheem Thabeet Connecticut
Marcus Thornton LSU
Greivis Vasquez Maryland
Terrence Williams Louisville
Sam Young Pittsburgh
Looking through the list, it appears that the NBA finally achieved their goal of securing virtually all of the prospects that appear likely to be drafted this coming June.
The exceptions appear to be mainly on the international side, where players such as Ricky Rubio, Brandon Jennings, Sergio Llull, Victor Claver, Jonas Jerebko, Patrick Beverley and others are not listed, likely due to the fact that their teams are all mostly still competing in the playoffs.
Rubio “possibly” could still attend according to his agent Dan Fegan. His 5th seeded DKV Joventut team is about to begin a three game quarterfinals playoff series with 4th seeded Real Madrid on the 16th, with the two other games coming on the 18th and 23rd. Should they fail to advance, Rubio may be able to make it in time for the Combine, which kicks off on the 27th.
Jennings’ situation appears more complicated, as his team is seeded 2nd in the Italian league playoffs, and saw their quarterfinal series with Angelico Biella postponed this past week due to a time-consuming and frivolous protest and subsequent appeal made by the team relegated to the 2nd division, Fortitudo Bologna. The most frustrating part for him is that he may not even dress for the series, as Rome could opt to register an additional big man in the last spot reserved for foreigners.
Some players, such as Jonas Jerebko, decided to pass on participating in the combine, as it doesn't make sense to come all the way over from Europe, and then return for Treviso just a few days later. This is one indication of how the Combine is viewed by agents and many teams as well—as something in between a nuisance and a waste of time.
As far as NCAA players are concerned, it may come as somewhat of a surprise to see only three players (Jermaine Taylor, Jon Brockman, DeMarre Carroll) from the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament invited to Chicago. Players like Alade Aminu, Micah Downs, Paul Delaney, Lee Cummard, Leo Lyons, Wesley Matthews and Ahmad Nivins may have reason to feel like they were snubbed.
With that said, there are a number of players who declined their Portsmouth invitations and weren’t invited either, such as Lester Hudson, Jeremy Pargo, Dominic James, Kevin Rogers, Curtis Jerrells, Robert Dozier, Goran Suton and Luke Nevill—which is unfortunate since they really did not give themselves any type of opportunity at all to be seen by NBA teams. Even more unfortunate are the underclassmen whom already decided to hire agents but were not invited: Dar Tucker, Eric Devendorf, Brandon Costner, Daniel Hackett and Paul Harris.
Six players who are not listed on our mock draft were invited to the NBA combine—Jeff Adrien, Jon Brockman, DeMarre Carroll, Dionte Christmas, Luke Harangody, and Joe Ingles. Maybe we need to give them another look?
We’re planning on being in Chicago to cover all the action.
• As ping pong balls bounce, fates of 14 teams hang in balance
Our second column on NBA.com (here’s the first) breaking down the nuances of the NBA Draft Lottery on Tuesday and discussing the implications for all 14 teams involved.
We’ll be in Secaucus for the first time ever to have a firsthand look at the proceedings.
• Curry Signs With Octagon
Davidson junior Stephen Curry officially put an end to his college career this week by hiring the services of Jeff Austin and Lance Young of Octagon, the agency told DraftExpress. Curry is currently working out in the Washington DC area preparing for his private workouts.
• Patty Mills to Treviso?
St. Mary’s junior Patrick Mills may be taking an interesting route to elevating his NBA draft stock in anticipation of the June 15th underclassmen withdrawal deadline. In all likelihood, it appears that Mills will be taking part in the Reebok Eurocamp in Treviso from June 6th-8th, where he’ll get a chance to test himself in a five on five setting against some other intriguing point guard prospects, such as Brandon Jennings and Rodrigue Beaubois. With the elimination of the competitive aspects of the NBA pre-draft camp in favor of drills and interviews, it appears that there is “no better place for Patty to improve his draft stock” according to one source familiar with his thinking.
This would be a major boost for the Eurocamp, as it would give GMs yet another reason (a potential first round pick) to make the weekend trek over to Italy. As it is, the camp is generating some major buzz, and the organizers are expecting a huge influx of high-level decision makers to evaluate the talent on hand.
One player that appears to be leaning towards not playing, though, is Omri Casspi. Sources close to the situation tell us that Casspi is probably leaning towards attending the NBA combine on May 27th and then working out for teams against as many top-rated NCAA small forward prospects as he can.
• Group Workouts Taking Shape, Dominating NBA Landscape
The hottest topic on the lips of virtually every person we speak to these days in the basketball industry revolves around the many group workouts that are planned for the next few weeks.
The three major ones for right now appear to be Golden State on the 1st-3rd of June, New Jersey on the 12th-14th of June, and Minnesota on the 2nd and 3rd of June.
We managed to acquire the highly tentative schedules for all three workouts. They read as follow:
Golden State Workout (24 invites planned)
Teams expected: GSW, DEN, LAC, OKC, PHX, UTA, IND, and more TBD
Minnesota Workout (42 invites planned)
Teams expected: HOU, MEM, UTA, IND, LAL, and more TBD
New Jersey (36 invites planned)
Teams expected: NJN, ATL, BOS, CLE, DEN, IND, MIA, MIL, NOH, NYK, OKC, PHL, POR, SAC, TOR, WAS
Contrary to years past, many teams will be relying very heavily on these group workouts as a means of shaping their opinions about this draft class. In the past, teams would prefer to bring players into their own facilities exclusively, which would mean that some players would end up conducting as many as 15-20 workouts by the time draft night rolled around, and many were exhausted by the time they hit the home stretch—their most important workouts.
This year, due to the increased emphasis on cutting costs, teams have instead decided to join forces and split the expenses evenly amongst themselves. Very few workouts have been conducted up until this point, and not as many as you might think are planned for the month of June. There are some teams that may not be conducting any private workouts whatsoever, relying strictly on the group workouts, the interviews and drills at the combine, and the knowledge they acquired (and are still acquiring) from watching players during the season or on film thanks to services like Synergy Sports Technology.
What that means is that the sheer quantity of workouts has been decreased dramatically, leaving many prospects and agents scratching their heads as they struggle to figure out ways in which they can increase their standing in this draft. Players who are considered second round prospects will be lucky to get more than a handful of workouts at best, and those who are on the bubble may not get even a single workout. There in turn may be a rash of disappointed players firing their agents once the dust settles, as many could struggle to live up to the slew of promises that were made in the recruitment process, as plenty of players see their unrealistic dreams dashed.
This shouldn’t come as that much of a surprise, as this was widely expected and discussed in depth for a while now. Still, the harsh reality is that many of the seniors who declined their invites to play in Portsmouth are now being left out in the cold, while the underclassmen looking to just “test the waters” and get a free evaluation from NBA teams before returning to school have been completely shut out.
That makes these group workouts all the more important. As one agent we spoke to this week put it: “if your player doesn’t get in to those…it’s going to be rough.”
You can view our team workout database by clicking here.
• Source: Floyd gave cash to Mayo handler
The O.J. Mayo scandal refuses to go away, as more allegations have surfaced from Charles Robinson and Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports alleging that USC head coach Tim Floyd provided direct payment to Mayo’s handler Rodney Guillory, a runner for Bill Duffy and Associates.
On Feb. 14, 2007, Johnson and Guillory packed up Guillory’s black Infiniti SUV and were preparing for the drive from Los Angeles to Las Vegas to attend the NBA All-Star weekend. Before they left, Guillory informed Johnson several times that he had to meet with Floyd so the coach could give him cash for the trip. Sometime between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., Guillory and Johnson headed toward Beverly Hills to meet with Floyd. During the drive, Johnson listened as Guillory and Floyd exchanged several cell phone calls as Floyd explained where the meeting would take place.
Upon arriving in Beverly Hills, Guillory pulled up to a stretch of cafes in the downtown shopping district, where Floyd was waiting on the sidewalk. Because there were no parking spaces, Guillory asked Johnson to circle the block in the SUV until Guillory was ready to be picked up. Johnson exited the passenger side of the vehicle, at which point Johnson saw Floyd and the two exchanged greetings. Johnson then got into the driver’s seat and proceeded to circle the block while Guillory and Floyd met.
After approximately 15 minutes, Johnson saw Guillory waiting on the curb in front of the stretch of cafes and pulled over to pick him up. Once Guillory was inside the vehicle, he produced a white envelope with cash inside. Guillory told Johnson that Floyd had given him “a grand,” and Johnson was able to view $100 bills inside the envelope. He said he believed there appeared to be “substantially” more than $1,000, although he did not count the bills.
Although this matter appears to have been largely swept underneath the rug by the NBA Players Association and the NCAA (not a surprise considering how little interest they would have in tarnishing their own image by admitting a scandal of this nature happened under their watch), the involvement of federal authorities such as the IRS, FBI and U.S. Attorney's office could make this much more damaging for the likes of BDA Sports and USC, as clearly there are federal laws that have been broken here, if the allegations are true—as discussed in a follow-up article by ESPN .
Wall, Teague and Meeks top list of game's biggest landscape-changers
Luke Winn of SI breaks down three of the major remaining storylines that will affect the way the 2009-2010 NCAA season shakes out, including updates on which way Jeff Teague and Jodie Meeks appear to be leaning in regards to the 2009 NBA draft.
Eight potential first-round picks have already kept their names out of the NBA draft, the latest being Kentucky's Patrick Patterson, and it's only May 12. Just two of Scout.com's top 20 recruits have yet to pick a school, and one of them, New Yorker Lance Stephenson, seems to be a player few teams actually want. The one coach who's been rumored for an NBA job, Louisville's Rick Pitino, has vowed he's staying put. Much of the college basketball landscape for 2009-10 has come into focus at a surprisingly early date.
The power to alter the upcoming season now lies largely in the hands of three players -- we'll call them the landscape-changers.
The part about John Wall is especially interesting.
• Coaches won't come within half-court heave of Stephenson
Gary Parrish of CBS Sportsline updates us on the wacky recruiting situation of Lance Stephenson.
Can you imagine?
A McDonald's All-American not worth the trouble?
In most cases, schools kill each other – and sometimes cheat like hell – to land a top 10 prospect, particularly one who remains available this late in the process. But the majority of college coaches are avoiding Stephenson like he's Swine Flu, mostly because they – according to sources speaking on the condition of anonymity – believe dealing with his father (Lance Stephenson Sr.) will create more headaches than wins, and/or that the NCAA might eventually question whether Stephenson's amateur status has been compromised. He has been a high-profile prospect since before high school, a notable talent on the summer circuit where agents and the runners who gather for them tend to invest in the futures of potential stars.
In other words, Lance Stephenson is like a supermodel with herpes.
(Yeah, I said it.)
He looks great from a distance, and you can't help but look. But you know that inviting him into your home could be regrettable, which is why many coaches have taken less-talented/safer players and left Stephenson for the desperate who believe the possible reward outweighs the possible risk. For their sake, I hope they're right. Because barring a change of plans, some school will accept a signed national letter of intent from Stephenson on May 20, at which point the circus will begin.
Sure, there's a chance it'll work out and be fine.
But the number of coaches practicing abstinence should tell you something.
For avid DraftExpress readers, this comes as anything but a surprise considering everything we’ve seen and written about Lance Stephenson over the past two years.
• Bryant, Brockman-- What’s the Difference?
Jon Brockman and his agent Greg Lawrence of Wasserman Media Group got a hearty chuckle this week when they opened up ESPN.com this week and saw the following:
“Jon Brockman, F/C, Washington
Brockman had a super-productive career at Washington as a tenacious rebounder and defender. However, he doesn't look anything like a prototypical NBA player -- he looks more like a lumberjack.
Brockman surprised a lot of scouts at the Portsmouth Invitational with his quickness and leaping ability, and it looks like he's even getting better in those areas. Abunassar has had him for months and has him shedding weight and improving his explosiveness.
Given his toughness and rebounding ability, he could be an interesting second-round sleeper. Could he be the next Chuck Hayes or Craig Smith?”
This was actually the second time Brockman’s name had come up on ESPN, as he was also reported to be involved in a workout with multiple NBA teams earlier that week. “The Clippers and Blazers were among several teams in Reseda, Calif., on Monday watching a workout with Nick Calathes, Jrue Holiday, Earl Clark and Jon Brockman,” ESPN reported in an article published Wednesday.
It appears that a misunderstanding occurred when trying to decipher between Washington’s 6-7 power forward Jon Brockman and Santa Clara 7-footer John Bryant, both west-coast white players known for their rebounding skills.
“Brockman has been in Seattle for the last two weeks finishing up school,” his agent Greg Lawrence told us. “When he was here in Santa Monica, he was training with Rob McClanaghan, not Joe Abunassar.”
NBA teams that saw those blurbs were apparently confused, since they had been told that Brockman will not be conducting any workouts until the NBA Combine in Chicago at the end of this month.
ESPN was contacted about the error, but as of the time of the publishing of this article, had not corrected it. We were asked to help clear up the confusion by pointing out that Brockman had been at Washington taking classes and working out with his former coaching staff.
Brockman addressed the matter this week in an interview, saying: "I've seen on the Internet that I supposedly have worked out for teams. I don't know who allegedly saw me but I hope I looked good. I hope my phantom workout impressed somebody!"
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