Basketball Wiretap

Isaiah Thomas Talks To Markelle Fultz About Playing Together With Celtics

May 19, 2017 1:02 AM

Isaiah Thomas has reached out to Markelle Fultz about the possibility of sharing a backcourt with the Boston Celtics.

Fultz is expected to be the Celtics' pick at No. 1 if they don't trade it for an established star.

"He's excited," Thomas said. "I mean, he obviously doesn't know where he's going, but ... he's excited about the opportunity."

Thomas said Fultz inquired about the culture of the Celtics organization, to which Thomas has offered insight into how things work.

"He asks questions; I answer them," Thomas said. "He's a good friend of mine. If it happens, we'll figure out how to play together. If not, we'll go from there."

Both Thomas and Fultz attended the University of Washington.

While Fultz will likely be the top pick of the 2017 draft, Thomas was the last pick in 2011.

Chris Forsberg/ESPN

Tags: Isaiah Thomas, Markelle Fultz, Boston Celtics, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor, NBA NBA Draft, NBA Draft General

Lonzo Ball May Only Work Out For Lakers

May 17, 2017 3:13 AM

Lonzo Ball may decide to work out for only the Los Angeles Lakers during the lead up to the draft.

"We will make that decision closer to June," the source said.

The source added that it's been "clear from the start our desired destination is Los Angeles."

The Lakers own the No. 2 overall pick with the Boston Celtics winning the first overall selection. The Celtics are expected to select Markelle Fultz if they keep the pick.

The Philadelphia 76ers select third overall, which is considered the lowest spot Ball would be drafted.

The Lakers also have interest in Fultz, De'Aaron Fox, Josh Jackson and Jayson Tatum.

"The harder call may be the first one," he said. "Sometimes having the second pick is better than the first. We're sitting in a fantastic position.

"I think there are four, five guys that are well suited to be [drafted] at the top."

Ramona Shelburne/ESPN

Tags: Lonzo Ball, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor, NBA NBA Draft, NBA Draft General

Mavs Have Scouted Frank Ntilkina More Than Any Other Team

May 16, 2017 9:35 PM

The Dallas Mavericks will pick No. 9 in this year's draft, which could put them in position to select Frank Ntilkina.

Dallas has scouted Ntilkina more than any other team in the league.

The Mavericks have a long-term need at point guard.

Chad Ford/ESPN

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Dallas Mavericks, NBA, NBA NBA Draft, NBA Draft General

Markelle Fultz Considered 'Clear Choice' For Celtics If They Keep No. 1

May 16, 2017 9:31 PM

The Boston Celtics won the lottery and made their potential trade offers more valuable since they control the draft.

The Celtics had interest in trading for either Paul George or Jimmy Butler at the deadline and can revisit those discussions in June.

"Fultz is the clear choice" for the Celtics if they decide to keep the pick, according to Chad Ford. 

The Celtics will also own the Brooklyn Nets' unprotected first rounder in 2018.

Chad Ford/ESPN

Tags: Markelle Fultz, Boston Celtics, NBA, NBA Trade Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor, NBA NBA Draft, NBA Draft General

Celtics Win 2017 Lottery, Lakers Pick 2nd, 76ers Get 3rd

May 16, 2017 8:53 PM

The Boston Celtics have won the 2017 NBA Draft Lottery due to their 2013 trade owning the rights to the Brooklyn Nets' pick.

With the Los Angeles Lakers staying in the top-3, they will keep their pick this season, lose their first round pick to Philadelphia in 2018, and no longer need to send a first round pick to the Orlando Magic.

The Philadelphia 76ers moved from No. 5 to No. 3 due to a pick swap with the Sacramento Kings made by Sam Hinkie during the 2015 offseason.

1. Boston Celtics (via Brooklyn Nets)
2. Los Angeles Lakers
3. Philadelphia 76ers (via Sacramento Kings pick swap)
4. Phoenix Suns
5. Sacramento Kings (via Philadelphia 76ers pick swap)
6. Orlando Magic
7. Minnesota Timberwolves
8. New York Knicks
9. Dallas Mavericks
10. Sacramento Kings (via New Orleans Pelicans)
11. Charlotte Hornets
12. Detroit Pistons
13. Denver Nuggets
14. Miami Heat

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: NBA, NBA NBA Draft, NBA Draft General

Markelle Fultz, CAA Clients Won't Avoid Kings

May 16, 2017 2:49 AM

Markelle Fultz would have no issues playing for the Sacramento Kings should they move up in the draft in position to select him. A report from ESPN suggested the dysfunction of the Kings is causing agents to avoid sending their players for workouts and interviews with the franchise.

The Kings could only move as high as No. 2 due to a pick swap with the Philadelphia 76ers.

The Kings met with Fultz at the draft combine in Chicago.

“I think Sacramento is a good place to grow,” said a source inside Fultz's camp.

“We have as a company (CAA), four or five guys that are going in the top 20,” agent Aaron Mintz told NBC Sports California. “They will all be going to Sacramento and we are very hopeful that the Kings will take one if not two of them.”

CAA represents Frank Ntilikina, John Collins, Donovan Mitchell and Luke Kennard, as well as plenty of others in this year’s draft.

“When you have good people who work hard and are passionate and honest, good things usually happen,” Mintz said of the Kings.

James Ham/CSN Bay Area

Tags: Sacramento Kings, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor, NBA NBA Draft, NBA Draft General

Wiggins, Embiid, Booker Headline Lottery Participants

May 15, 2017 1:19 PM

The NBA has announced the team representatives for the 2017 NBA Draft Lottery.

On-State Participants

Boston Wyc Grousbeck, Owner

Rich Cho, Executive Vice President & General Manager

Michael Finley, Asst VP of Basketball Operations

Gary Harris, Player

Jeff Bower, General Manager

L.A. Lakers
Magic Johnson, President of Basketball Operations

Alonzo Mourning, Vice President, Player Programs

Andrew Wiggins, Player

New Orleans
Alvin Gentry, Head Coach

New York
Walt Frazier, Broadcaster

Frank Vogel, Head Coach

Joel Embiid, Player

Phoenix - Devin Booker, Player

Dave Joerger, Head Coach

Lottery Room Participants

Boston Steve Pagliuca, Limited Partner

Chan Buchanan, Assistant General Manager

Keith Grant, Assistant General Manager
Tim Connelly, General Manager, Executive VP of Basketball Operations

Cletus Lewis Jr., Sr. Director of Public Relations

L.A. Lakers
Rob Pelinka, General Manager, Basketball Operations

Andy Elisburg, Senior Vice President Basketball Operations/General Manager

Brad Ruiter, VP Communications

New Orleans
Matthew Ryan, Director of Basketball Communications

New York
Jamie Mathews, Vice President of Basketball Operations

Pat Williams, Senior Vice President

Art Wrubel, Owner

Phoenix - Julie Fie, Vice President, Basketball Communications

Anthony McClish, Senior Manager, Basketball Operations & Asst General Manager, Reno Bighorns 

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: NBA, NBA NBA Draft, NBA Draft General

Draft Prospects Could Avoid Boston Workouts Due To Playing Time Concerns

May 15, 2017 1:50 AM

Several agents are considering holding their draft prospects out of workouts with the Boston Celtics.

With a deep roster at every position, agents are concerned their clients would have to spend the first few seasons of their career coming off the bench. Most agents and players seek opportunities where they can immediately lead a franchise. 

Jaylen Brown was picked third overall and had an inconsistent role with the Celtics as a rookie.

The Celtics will have no worse than the fourth overall pick in the June draft.

"I have deep respect for the Celtics," one agent said. "They may have the best GM and head coach in the league. But I'd have to understand what the plan would be for my client before I let them come. They are loaded at every position. There's a real danger that they take a player and either he plays a limited role of the bench, or he becomes an asset to be traded to a situation that we're uncomfortable with. It's tough."

Chad Ford/ESPN

Tags: Boston Celtics, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor, NBA NBA Draft, NBA Draft General, NBA Draft Workouts

Agents Continue To Push Draft Prospects Away From Kings

May 15, 2017 1:44 AM

The Sacramento Kings have recently struggled to have players work out for them during the draft process.

Due to the Kings' dysfunction, the thought has been players would be better off dropping in the draft to avoid what has been a difficult situation for young players.

The Kings hired Scott Perry this offseason in hopes of improving their relationship with agents and other front offices, but multiple agents told ESPN that they will continue to help their clients avoid Sacramento.

"It would be malpractice to let my clients play for them," one longtime agent said. "I've had clients there. It's still the most dysfunctional front office in the league, by a mile. How can you trust those guys with one of your players? It's going to take a long time to build that trust."

The Kings may be unable to host a player for a workout that goes in the top-20.

Chad Ford/ESPN

Tags: Sacramento Kings, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor, NBA NBA Draft, NBA Draft General, NBA Draft Workouts

LaVar Ball Not Impacting Lakers, Suns' Draft Evaluation Of Lonzo Ball

May 14, 2017 4:09 AM

Magic Johnson said there is no impact on the public personality of LaVar Ball on whether the Los Angeles Lakers target Lonzo Ball.

"No effect at all," Johnson told ESPN at the NBA combine. "I think what you're drafting is the son and not the father. I think that you also are gauging and evaluating his son on his ability and what he can do not only on the basketball court but also what he can do for your team. How he can enhance and make your team better."

The Lakers need to be in the top-3 to keep their pick.

Lonzo Ball is projected by most NBA executives to be selected in the top three of the June 22 draft.

"If we're fortunate to keep our pick, wherever that is, then you take a look at him," Johnson said. "Just like any team who would be drafting in the top four or five would take a look at him and the other players who are there."

Ryan McDonough agreed with Johnson on LaVar Ball not having an impact.

"Not really, no," McDonough said. "We evaluate the player, first and foremost. Every player comes from a different family situation. It seems like LaVar has been extremely involved in Lonzo's career, and obviously he's a polarizing guy, but on the court, in terms of development, it seems like it's helped Lonzo.

"As we try to weigh in all the factors, certainly having a parent who's very involved and cares a lot, we don't view that as a bad thing. It's a little bit different than certain situations, but it's certainly that we would not disqualify Lonzo for [his father], or really factor heavily in our decision."

Jeff Goodman/ESPN

Tags: Lonzo Ball, Los Angeles Lakers, Phoenix Suns, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor, NBA NBA Draft, NBA Draft General

Harry Giles Could Go In 5-10 Range If Cleared During Medicals
At least one GM believes Harry Giles is the best talent in the draft if he didn't have injury issues.

Chad Ford/ESPN

Some Teams Now Ranking De'Aaron Fox Ahead Of Lonzo Ball
The majority of teams still prefer Markelle Fultz over Lonzo Ball for the No. 1 pick and Ball may end up dropping further than No. 2.

Chad Ford/ESPN

GM: Jordan Bell Will Earn His Way Onto NBA Roster
Jordan Bell of Oregon had an impressive performance in the first day of the pre-draft camp.

Chad Ford/ESPN

Frank Jackson To Remain In Draft
Frank Jackson spent one season at Duke.

Adrian Wojnarowski/The Vertical

Markelle Fultz Interviewing With Celtics, Lakers, 76ers, Kings, Knicks
Markelle Fultz is one of the only top projected picks to attend the pre-draft combine in Chicago.

Jeff Goodman/ESPN

Knicks Targeting Frank Ntilikina, De'Aaron Fox, Malik Monk
The Knicks have a long-term need at point guard with Derrick Rose entering free agency.

Ian Begley/ESPN

Mark Cuban To Represent Mavericks At Lottery
The Mavericks were last in the lottery in 2013 but not since 2000 before that.

Dwain Price/Star-Telegram

Joel Embiid To Represent 76ers At Lottery
The 76ers could end up with a scenario where they drafted first overall and fourth overall.

Keith Pompey/Philadelphia Inquirer

Frank Vogel To Represent Magic At Lottery
The Magic are currently without a general manager following the dismissal of Rob Hennigan.

Chris Haynes/ESPN

Lakers 'Enamored' By Lonzo Ball
Lonzo Ball has star potential, wants to play for the Lakers and grew up in the Los Angeles area.

Chad Ford/ESPN

Seven Projected Top-10 Picks To Skip Draft Combine
Lonzo Ball, Josh Jackson, Jayson Tatum, Lauri Markkanen, Jonathan Isaac, Dennis Smith and Malik Monk are skipping the 2017 NBA Draft Combine.

Shams Charania/The Vertical

Luka Doncic Named Euroleague MVP For 2nd Straight Game
Luka Doncic has won the honor four times this season.

RealGM Staff Report

Lonzo Ball Prefers Lakers But Prepared To Play For Anyone
Lonzo Ball grew up studying Magic Johnson and would love to play for him with the Lakers.

Shams Charania/The Vertical

NBA Announces 182 Early Entry Candidates For 2017 Draft
Players who have applied for early entry have the right to withdraw their names from consideration for the Draft by notifying the NBA of their decision in writing no later than June 12.

RealGM Staff Report

Magic Johnson To Represent Lakers At Lottery
While Magic Johnson will handle the televised portion of the event, Rob Pelinka will represent the team in the back where the lottery combinations will actually be drawn.

RealGM Staff Report

Bam Adebayo To Sign With Agent, Stay In Draft
Bam Adebayo is projected to be selected in the first round.

Jon Rothstein/CBS Sports

Frank Jackson Declares For Draft, Won't Hire Agent
Enough NBA teams expressed interest for Frank Jackson to enter the draft process.

Tony Jones/Salt Lake Tribune