Every NBA draftee is trained to spew the “I’m just happy to get a chance to play in the NBA” cliché, but we all know young men have things they want. Good team, warm weather, killer nightlife might be the top three draft wishes.
None of those is Minnesota. Yet Kansas’s Cole Aldrich wants to be drafted there. Seriously. He’s from there and actually wants to go back he told KFAN in Minneapolis.
“It’d be exciting. Just being around the family and friends that I have back home and kinda being around the few guys that I know on the team. A Minnesota team that has struggled over the past few years and their fans need the best for them. Whatever that is. Whether it’s me or whoever it is, I just ask for that person to try their hardest and give that program what the fans need.”
Aldrich is not going to Minny — they are already loaded with bigs (Al Jefferson, Kevin Love) and need to get more athletic on the wings, not bigger and slower inside. Plus, Minnesota can’t draft any lower than five under the NBA rules, and that is too early to take Aldrich (expected to go in the six to 12 range).
But Minnesota, know you are wanted. That is something.
Mario Hezonja, the No. 5 pick in this year’s draft, has never lacked for confidence. The Croatian guard made his pro debut in the Magic’s preseason game against the Hornets on Saturday and did this:
Between Hezonja, Elfrid Payton, Victor Oladipo and Aaron Gordon, the Magic have a nucleus of young players that has the potential to be a lot of fun. Even if they’re still a few years away from contending, they’re definitely going to be a League Pass favorite this year.
Preseason is only just getting underway and there’s already a potentially serious injury to report. In the game between the Hornets and Magic on Saturday night, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was taken to the locker room after suffering a right shoulder injury. The Hornets announced that he was then taken to an Orlando-area hospital for follow-up x-rays:
A few hours after the game, the Hornets announced that Kidd-Gilchrist has a dislocated shoulder:
Depending on the severity of the injury, he could miss a few weeks or a few months. Hopefully, it’s the shorter end of that timeline. We should know more on Sunday.