NBA news and notes from Monday leading up to Thursday night’s NBA Draft:
First, be sure to check out the post from this morning detailing Bucks co-owner Marc Lasry’s social media takeover. Lasry talked draft, new arena plans, additional ownership partners and much more.
- Dario Saric signed a three-year deal with a Turkish professional team. He’ll still be selected in the 2014 draft – probably somewhere around the late-lottery – but won’t play in the NBA for at least another two years. It doesn’t sound like the move will affect his draft stock, but it’s certainly a disappointment that the best international prospect, outside of Dante Exum, won’t make an impact for a few more seasons.
- Speaking of Exum, he reportedly had a stellar workout with the Sixers over the weekend, and his intelligence has impressed teams.
Given this news and the injury to Joel Embiid, it would be a surprise if Exum fell out of the top three.
- From Sunday: Baylor big man Isaiah Austin’s basketball career is over after being diagnosed with Marfan Syndrome, a genetic mutation affecting connective tissues. The 7-1 Austin was a projected second-round pick.
- The Cavs are apparently leaning toward Jabari Parker with the No. 1 overall pick
HOWEVER, in his latest mock draft, released Monday morning, Chad Ford reports there’s some belief that Parker may have “tanked” his workout with the Cavs in order to better his chances of landing in Milwaukee. You read that correctly.
- In the same mock draft, Ford notes that Cleveland has received a number of trade offers for the first pick. Utah, Philadelphia and Orlando have reportedly expressed interest:
- The official NBA draft invitees:
North Carolina State guard/forward T.J. Warren is also on this list.
- Per Sporting News’ Sean Deveaney, the Bulls are interested in moving into the late-lottery:
So, Doug McDermott appears to be the Bulls’ target, should they find a deal enabling them to move up.
Chicago has also engaged in talks with Orlando aimed at acquiring Arron Afflalo, who is coming off of the best statistical season of his career. The 28-year-old averaged 18.2 points, 3.6 rebounds and 3.4 points while shooting 46 percent from the field and 43 percent from three. Afflalo has two years remaining on his current deal, which includes an early termination option after the 2014-15 season. The belief is that Orlando would rather deal him now, while his value is high, rather than negotiate an extension.