NBA Draft Notebook”
News and Notes Around the NBA-heading into Thursday nights draft:
..The Lakers are being mentioned in at least 4-different deals hours before the draft begins.
Connecting the dots, Kyrie Irving may be trying to force a trade from Brooklyn to the Lakers, but at what price? A Russell Westbrook swap for Irving makes sense for LA, but not if it also includes a future #1 draft pick because the Lakers don’t have picks to deal immediately. Irving wants a (4Y-190M) contract extension to approve a trade. But he is 30-years old, with a history of being a big scorer, but a big problem player too. Why would LA want to inherit all that? Irving, who has had injuries, took time away from the team for personal issues, and is still unvaccinated. He’s already been moved in trades three times. Ridding LA of Westbrook solves some problems, but at what price, and does that create future problems?
..The Lakers are being mentioned again about a deal with Houston for unhappy guard John Wall, who sat out last year. He picked up the Rockets option for (47M) for next year, and the Rockets promised to try and trade him. A Westbrook for Wall deal makes sense as a salary swap, but LA can’t put future draft picks in that deal.
..The third trade rumor involves Indiana, trying to move guard Melvin Brogdan in what could be a bigger deal. The rumor has Westbrook and fellow guard Talen Horton-Tucker and a pick for the Pacers guard and maybe a future draft pick. The Lakers instead want G-Buddy Hield, whom they failed to get from Sacramento at last year’s trading deadline. Stay tuned, there might be something here.
..A Wednesday evening rumor also surfaced that could involve a 3-team deal to help with salary cap issues. It involves Brooklyn and the Charlotte Hornets. Irving would wind up in Los Angeles, Westbrooke goes to Charlotte. And Brooklyn would get Gordon Hayward, Terry Rozier and a draft pick from the Hornets. . Not sure what a young Charlotte team would want with an aging self-centered Westbrook.
..Orlando..Oklahoma City…Houston draft 1-2-3. We know who the top 3-picks will be, but we don’t know what players go where. After that, look for deals.
..Sacramento wants to trade out of the 4th spot…Portland wants to move the 7th pick…Cleveland is shopping the 14th choice. Teams with multiple picks later in the opening round might be creating packages to move up to those slots.
..Orlando picks 1-32-35
..Oklahoma City chooses 2-12-30-34
..Houston picks 3-17-26
..Sacramento has choices 4-32-49
..Charlotte goes 13-15-45
..San Antonio selects 20-25-38
SCOUTING REPORTS: Top picks and what they say.
..Jabari Smith-Auburn..Best upside in draft-best blend of skills
..Chet Holmgren-Gonzaga..Will change the game..Can shoot-pass-handle ball
..Paolo Banchero-Duke..Not a franchise guy-rebounding concern
..Johnny Davis-Wisconsin..Ready to play now-will fit everywhere
..Ochai Agbaji-Kansas..Stone cold shooter-question ball handling
..Jaden Ivey-Purdue..Explosive-plays downhill-so athletic
..Walker Kessler-Auburn..Big time rim defender..can shoot 3’s
..Johnny Jurzang-UCLA..Not an NBA player-goes to Europe
..Isaiah Mobley-USC..Can pass-shoot but not athletic enough
..Orlando Robinson-Fresno..Has skill-but slow twitch guy-late pick at best
..David Roddy-Colorado State..Should be NFL player..slow player..where play?