Serge Ibaka intends to re-sign with the Raptors as an unrestricted free agent this offseason.
"I'm going to stay, bro." Ibaka said when asked about his impending free agency. "This place is beautiful... It's a beautiful city, beautiful people here and then we have one of the best teams. Why leave?" These are Ibaka's intentions at the moment, and Toronto should have the money available to re-sign him, but a lot could change between now and free agency. The two sides may disagree on the numbers, or the Raptors could choose to go in a different direction, but as of right now Ibaka's preference would be to remain in Toronto.
The NBA will pay players their full paychecks on April 15.
The NBA and NBPA have been negotiating a withholding of a percentage of the player's salaries for all the missed games, and while that won't be an issue for this cycle, guys could still be losing a decent chunk of cash in May. As a side note, while the unexpected drop-off in games is likely to affect BRI for the 2020-21 season, the NBA would reportedly prefer to keep the projected salary cap of $115 million for next year as close to that number as possible.
The NBA will be hosting a virtual H.O.R.S.E competition on April 12 that will feature former and current players in addition to a few WNBA superstars.
The competition will take place on each player's home gym, and the contestants must describe each shot attempt before making them. Mike Conley, Trae Young, Zach LaVine and Chris Paul will represent the current players, Paul Pierce and Chauncey Billups will rep the "legends" and Tamika Catchings and Allie Quigley are the participants from the WNBA. No dunking will be allowed in the competition.
Robert Woodard II has declared for the 2020 NBA Draft.
"I am going in to the draft with the intention of not going back to school," Woodard told ESPN. "I am maintaining my eligibility because of the uncertainty about the dates and what workouts will look like, but I don't look it at is as testing the waters. I am all in with this thing." Woodard wasn't all that involved in the offense at Mississippi State, but he made the most of his opportunities and shot the lights out from beyond the arc, draining 42.9% of his 3-point attempts. He has the potential to develop into a solid 3-and-D player and is projected to go in the first-round on draft day.
The Bulls are finalizing a deal to hire Nuggets GM Arturas Karnisovas as their new Executive VP of Basketball Operations.
The NBA season is on hold but the behind-the-scenes movement is obviously still going strong. Karnisovas helped turn the Nuggets into a legitimate playoff threat, holding a 43-22 record this season, and his team-building record is assuredly part of the appeal. We still don't know if the 2019-20 season will resume, or when the NBA Draft might take place, so Karnisovas may need a while to put his imprints on the Bulls roster.
Stanford freshman guard Tyrell Terry has declared for the NBA Draft according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
He doesn't have a great physical profile as a 6'1, 160-pound guard, but Terry is widely regarded as one of the best shooters in the class -- he ranked in the 99th percentile for catch-and-shoot and hit just under 41% from beyond the arc. He averaged 14.6 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.4 steals and 2.0 triples and could sneak into the first round conversation.
Jazz GM Justin Zanik had a video interview for Chicago's open VP of Basketball Operations position on Monday.
The Bulls have formally begun their search for their next VP of Basketball Operations, and Denver's GM Arturas Karnisovas will interview with the club later this week. There were rumors of Miami's VP of Basketball Operations and Assistant GM Adam Simon interviewing for the position, but he'll reportedly be staying put. Chicago is very early in the search process, so don't expect them to come to a decision soon.
NBA teams will be allowed to hold virtual meetings with NBA prospects ahead of the 2020 Draft, but they will not be allowed to host in-person workouts or request/watch live video.
The NCAA season was shortened and teams won't be able to see these kids in person, so teams will be working with a small sample size when evaluating talent ahead of the 2020 Draft. It seems unlikely we'll get a Summer League this year, which will make it that much more difficult to analyze the incoming class for fantasy hoops.
Utah sophomore SG Both Gach is expected to enter his name into the NBA Draft, according to Evan Daniels of 247Sports.
This may be more about Gach looking for feedback from NBA decision makers regarding what he'll need to do in order to be an effective pro than anything. He'll do what needs to be done in order to retain his college eligibility, which is a wise move since he's considered to be a long shot to hear his name called come late June. Gach started 25 of the 27 games in which he appeared this season, posting averages of 10.7 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 0.7 steals and 1.1 3-pointers per contest. While Gach got off to a hot start in non-conference play he was inconsistent against Pac-12 competition, and ultimately finished the season with shooting percentages of 39.7% from the field, 25.0% from three and 77.5% from the foul line.
Florida shooting guard Scottie Lewis announced Monday that he will return to school for his sophomore season.
Lewis entered college as one of the top incoming freshmen in the country, and it was expected that after one season in Gainesville he would be a lottery pick this summer. But the 6-foot-5, 185-pound guard struggled, finishing the year with averages of 8.5 points, 3.6 rebounds, 0.8 assists, 1.2 steals, 1.2 blocks and 0.7 3-pointers per game. To Lewis' credit he gave an honest assessment of himself in announcing his decision to return to school, foregoing the opportunity to even test the waters to instead focus on preparing for next season.
Denver general manager Arturas Karnisovas emerging as a focus of the Chicago Bulls search for a new top basketball executive.
According to K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago, there are plans for the Bulls and Karnisovas to talk again. Karnisovas is a huge reason why the Nuggets have built such a deep roster and gets some credit for the selection of Nikola Jokic before his promotion. The Bulls have some interesting choices on candidates so far, but Karnisovas would be an excellent hire.
The NBA and ESPN plan to televise a HORSE competition is nearing completion and among those expected to participate include Chris Paul, Trae Young and Zach LaVine, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.com.
Woj adds that WNBA players and NBA alumni will be part of the competition. Young has made 11-of-24 shots from beyond 35 feet this season while Zach LaVine is 0-of-2 and Chris Paul is 1-of-13, and Young's range should give him an edge in long-range shots. Of course, LaVine's athleticism will give him an advantage on shots near the basket.
Nate Darling has decided to enter his name into the 2020 NBA Draft.
Darling will not be hiring an agent, however, so he'll be allowed to return to Delaware for his senior season if he doesn't receive much interest from NBA clubs. He's coming off a year in which he produced averages of 21.0 points, 3.9 boards, 2.8 assists and 3.3 triples per contest on 44.6% shooting from the field and 85.4% from the stripe.
Wes Wilcox interviewed to be Chicago's next VP of Basketball Operations on Wednesday.
Wilcox helped build up the Hawks as a contending team during his time in Atlanta's front office, and he's currently serving as an analyst with NBA TV. The Bulls also interviewed former 76ers President (and burner-gate alum) Bryan Colangelo and Denver GM Arturas Karnisovas in recent days, with Karnisovas reportedly making the strongest impression thus far. Chicago is still in the early stages of this process, but they'll likely want someone in place by the time the 2020 NBA Draft rolls around.
Jeremiah Robinson-Earl has declared for the 2020 NBA Draft.
Robinson-Earl was named Big East Freshmen of the Year after posting averages of 10.5 points, 9.4 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.1 steals per game on 45.4% shooting from the field and 81.4% from the line in his first year at Villanova and he's currently projected to go in the second-round on draft day.
Kofi Cockburn has decided to enter the 2020 NBA Draft.
Cockburn won Big Ten Freshmen of the Year during his 2019-20 campaign with Illinois, contributing averages of 13.3 points, 8.8 rebounds and 1.4 swats per game on 53.4% shooting from the field and 67.7% from the stripe, although he's not currently ranked on ESPN's top-100 list, so there's a chance he won't hear his name called on draft day.
C.J. Jones has declared for the 2020 NBA Draft.
Jones led the Blue Raiders in scoring his senior year with averages of 16.2 points, 2.6 triples, 1.1 assists and 1.7 turnovers per game on 42.9% shooting from the field and 87% from the stripe. He is not a lock to be selected on draft day.
The Warriors will reportedly "take a hard look" at Deni Avdija on draft day.
The Dubs are projected to have a top-5 pick on draft day, and according to sources of Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle, they may have Avdija as high as No. 2 overall on their draft board just behind Anthony Edwards. Avdija played professionally in Israel last year, and he's a 6'9" forward with playmaking skills like a guard. For what it's worth, Letourneau is reporting that Golden State is not all that interested in James Wiseman or LeMelo Ball, who are both projected to be high lottery picks on draft day.
Al Horford and C.J. McCollum have joined the ranks of NBA players donating to coronavirus relief efforts.
Horford is giving money to fight the pandemic in his native Dominican Republic, and McCollum is supporting organizations in both Oregon and Ohio. Kevin Love, Zion Williamson and Giannis Antetokounmpo are among those to support arena workers affected by the outbreak, and some NBA players are also donating in a different way. Marcus Smart is one of multiple players who have recovered from COVID-19 and will donate their blood for experimental treatments.
The Warriors would "likely" draft Anthony Edwards if they get the No. 1 pick in the draft, according to beat writer Connor Letourneau.
This report is based on conversations with "multiple league sources," but it's still just well-informed speculation. Golden State might not get the top pick anyway, despite having the league's worst record. Letourneau adds that the Warriors "aren't believed to be high on ... center James Wiseman and point guard LaMelo Ball." We're still not even sure when the 2020 draft will occur, of course, and anything can happen between now and draft day.
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