Nov 19, 2014 1:43 PM EST
Jahlil Okafor is No. 1 on the big boards of Chad Ford and Jonathan Givony and figures to remain there throughout the season.
Okafor is one of the best low post scorer prospects in many years.
"I was sitting with a number of GMs and scouts last night during the Duke-Michigan State game," wrote Ford. "They love him. He's big and physical, however he was quick feet and a soft touch around the basket. He's a legit, old school big man who is just so poised right now. Emmanuel Mudiay and possibly Karl Towns and Kristaps Porzingis will make a run, but it's Okafor's to lose. Of the 30 guys I spoke with last night and polled, all of them had Okafor atop their board."
Nov 19, 2014 11:35 AM EST
Cliff Alexander's lack of length was problematic in Kansas' 72-40 loss to Kentucky on Tuesday.
Alexander had just eight points and eight rebounds as he struggled against the length of Willie Cauley-Stein, Dakari Johnson, Karl-Anthony Towns and Trey Lyles.
According to Bill Self, Alexander must learn to put himself in better position to score before he receives the ball.
“He’s not tall enough, and it was very evident tonight, to score over that length,” Self said.
Nov 12, 2014 3:29 PM EST
Kristaps Porzingis is considered by Chad Ford as having the best shot of trumping Jahlil Okafor, Emmanuel Mudiay and Karl Towns to go No. 1 in the 2015 NBA Draft.
Porzingis is playing in Spain for Sevilla and is averaging 8.8 points and 4.4 rebounds in 21.8 minutes per game.
Porzingis is a 6'11 big out of Lavia that won't turn 20 until April.
"A number of international scouts I know swear he's the best prospect in the draft," writes Ford. "Let's see what he does in Spain this year. Those aren't huge numbers, but given the quality of the league and his age, it's not shabby either."
Nov 12, 2014 10:03 AM EST
The incoming freshman class has several talented players, but at least one NBA scout believes it is not terribly strong.
"It's a weak freshman class in terms of skill and basketball talent," the NBA scout told Yahoo Sports. "They don't have the ability to make other players better. It's all about them. They're ball dominant."
Jahlil Okafor, Karl Towns, Myles Turner, Kelly Oubre and Stanley Johnson are considered the strongest NBA prospects.
"(Okafor) has a body ready for the NBA, nimble feet and good hands. He needs to improve on his conditioning and not playing down to the competition."
Nov 05, 2014 12:32 PM EST
Mike Krzyzewski does not expect Jahlil Okafor to stay at Duke beyond his freshman season.
"We'll have him this year and he'll be one of the top picks," said Krzyzewski.
Okafor is currently projected as the top overall pick by DraftExpress.
Oct 22, 2014 11:05 AM EDT
Thirteen teams voted against changes to the NBA draft lottery system, voting down the measure during Wednesday's Board of Governors meeting.
The Philadelphia 76ers and Oklahoma City were the two teams that led the charge against the system.
The Chicago Bulls and Washington Wizards were two of the bigger market teams that voted against the reform, while the Sacramento Kings voted for it.
The Phoenix Suns, New Orleans Pelicans, Detroit Pistons, Miami Heat, Milwaukee Bucks, San Antonio Spurs, Utah Jazz, Atlanta Hawks and Charlotte Hornets also voted against it.
"Several teams started to wonder about unintended consequences and voted no to be able to do further study," said one owner.
Oct 21, 2014 2:59 PM EDT
The Oklahoma City Thunder have joined the Philadelphia 76ers in opposing the NBA's proposed changes to the draft lottery system, according to a report from Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski.
Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated reports that the Milwaukee Bucks will also oppose the proposal.
Sam Presti has attempted to warn other small-market executives that changing the system is a risky proposition for their franchises.
Uner the proposed new system, the worst four teams have a 12 percent chance at the first pick, No. 5 has an 11.5 percent chance, No. 6, 10 percent, and on down.
The changes have been triggered by a response to the 76ers' pursuit of high draft picks in successive seasons.
Presti's belief is that the changes would give big market teams another advantage.
"Everyone is too focused on Philly, on one team in one situation," said one sympathetic GM. "The only chance for a lot of teams to ever get a transformational player is through the draft, and eventually we are all going to be in the lottery, in that spot. The teams that'll drop from two to eight, or three to nine – that's just going to take the air out of those fan bases and franchises. They'll get little, if any chance, to improve.
"We are going to see more big-market teams who just missed the playoffs jump up and get a great young player at the top of the draft. And people are going to go "What the [expletive] just happened?"
The 76ers and Thunder need six more teams to join them in opposing the rule change before Wednesday's vote.
As one Western Conference GM said, "Then there will be no going back. I hope we know what we're doing with this one."
Oct 03, 2014 3:30 PM EDT
The NBA has sent a memo indicating that the 30 teams could vote on a lottery reform measure at the Board of Governors meeting later this month.
The tweaks will include the four worst teams having an equal 12 percent chance to win the No. 1 overall pick and the worst team could fall no lower than No. 7.
The four lottery teams with the best records would have, in order, a 0.5 percent, 1 percent, 1.5 percent and 2.5 percent chance at the No. 1 pick, while also having an improved chance of moving into the top-6.
A vote for approving this proposal is expected.
Sep 09, 2014 10:30 AM EDT
John Calipari is finalizing plans to host an unprecedented two-day campus scouting combine at Kentucky for NBA executives to evaluate his roster of potential prospects.
Calipari has invited officials of the 30 NBA teams to send personnel to Lexington, Ky., on Oct. 11-12 to watch his players do everything from run full-court five-on-five and NBA-style pick-and-roll sets to individual skill work.
The event will also allow Calipari to impress top high school recruits on campus visits.
After the combine, Calipari plans to shut out NBA executives and scouts from his practices for several weeks – perhaps even months – into the season, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
NBA personnel aren't allowed to interact with college undergraduates, but Calipari can simply shape his workouts to be conducive to the NBA's needs.
As one executive laughed, "We're just there as B-roll for his recruiting videos."
Jul 30, 2014 10:15 AM EDT
The Philadelphia 76ers will fight changes to the draft lottery system that the NBA is pushing to implement in time for next season.
Though there are several facets and the proposals haven't been finalized, essentially the goal of commissioner Adam Silver is to balance out the lottery odds so the worst team or teams wouldn't have the highest chances of landing the top pick, sources said.
The 76ers are in a multiseason rebuilding project that is depending on a high pick next season.
The 76ers, however, may have a struggle to gain support from Silver or fellow teams on holding off the changes.
NBA Draft Archives
Josh Huestis will receive approximately $25,000 instead of $750,000.
Emmanuel Mudiay has agreed upon a $1.2 million deal with Guangdong.
Players who sign their rookie contracts cannot be traded for 30 days thereafter.
The proposal is essentially an attempt to squeeze the lottery odds at either extreme toward a more balanced system in which all 14 teams have a relatively similar chance at the no. 1 pick.
The NBA is "very interested" in moving the draft after July 1 and packaging it with a season-ending awards show, possibly on consecutive nights.
The NBA Lottery also drew a similarly high rating, which is believed to be helped by a good draft class and the presence of the Lakers.
The Hornets have traded the draft rights to Dwight Powell and Brendan Haywood to the Cavaliers.
The Celtics already have a point guard in Rajon Rondo, but Marcus Smart feels he can play alongside Rondo and also learn from him.
It was no secret that Bucks and Jabari Parker shared mutual interest and the relationship became official on Thursday when the club drafted him with the No. 2 pick.
Noah Vonleh has been working on extending his range as an adjustment to the NBA and he believes he fits in very well with Charlotte’s current roster.
Dante Exum touts his experience in Australia's two-point guard system in going to the Jazz.
Aaron Gordon felt that he worked out well for teams selecting four-to-eight, the range he felt he’d be selected.
Andrew Wiggins was the first overall pick of the 2014 NBA Draft.
Jun 26, 2014 | Chad Ford/ESPN
The 76ers are widely believed to want to draft Andrew Wiggins.
With concerns about his health, Joel Embiid is expected to fall out of the top two slots of the NBA Draft.
Jun 26, 2014 | Marc Stein/ESPN
The Raptors are believed to be interested in Tyler Ennis.
In this NBA Draft preview episode, host Daniel Leroux talks about Thursday's draft with RealGM's Jonathan Tjarks and Andrew Perna.
Noah Vonleh said multiple times Wednesday that he likes to be compared to Chris Bosh and that his outside shot has been a point of emphasis since the season ended.
Shabazz Napier was a fixture on the Dean’s List during his time in college, majoring in sociology.
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