There were no real last minute surprises when the NBA released its list of the 49 underclassmen from colleges who made themselves eligible for the NBA draft (17 international players also declared, we’ll look at them later). We know the big names coming out because they are ready — hello Anthony Davis — but the list also has guys coming out because their college situation wasn’t working out so they decided to try and make the leap.
The draft is June 28 and technically these people have until June 18 to pull out, per NBA rules. However, the NCAA’s deadline to take yourself out of the draft has already passed, so all the college players are in.
Here is the list, in alphabetical order.
Erik Austin (Jackson Community College, Mississippi); Harrison Barnes (North Carolina); Will Barton (Memphis); Bradley Beal (Florida); J’Covan Brown (Texas); Dominic Cheek (Villanova); Jared Cunningham (Oregon State); Anthony Davis (Kentucky); Andre Drummond (Connecticut); Dominique Ferguson (Florida International); Justin Hamilton (LSU); Moe Harkless (St. John’s); John Henson (North Carolina); John Jenkins (Vanderbilt); Perry Jones III (Baylor); Terrence Jones (Kentucky); Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (Kentucky); Doron Lamb (Kentucky); Jeremy Lamb (Connecticut); Meyers Leonard (Illinois); Damian Lillard (Weber State); Kendall Marshall (North Carolina); Fab Melo (Syracuse); Khris Middleton (Texas A&M); Quincy Miller (Baylor); Tony Mitchell (Alabama); Arnett Moultrie (Mississippi State); Reeves Nelson (UCLA); Austin Rivers (Duke); Peter Roberson (Grambling State); Quincy Roberts (Grambling State); Thomas Robinson (Kansas); Terrence Ross (Washington); Avery Scharer (Shoreline Community College, Washington); Renardo Sidney (Mississippi State); Jonathon Simmons (Houston); Terrell Stoglin (Maryland); Gerardo Suero (Albany); Jared Sullinger (Ohio State); Raymond Taylor (Florida); Marquis Teague (Kentucky); Joston Thomas (Hawaii); Hollis Thompson (Georgetown); Richard Townsend-Gant (Vancouver Island University); Dion Waiters (Syracuse); Maalik Wayns (Villanova); Royce White (Iowa State); D’Angelo Williams (Notre Dame de Namur, California); Tony Wroten (Washington).
The Rockets bench made a big production when an intentionally fouled Andre Roberson kept missing free throws in the Thunder’s Game 4 loss to the Rockets yesterday.
Russell Westbrook stuck up for his teammate.
Royce Young of ESPN:
I didn’t see it. I didn’t see it at all. Probably the guys that don’t play, probably over there the ones laughing, if I had to guess.
Good guess. It appears Montrezl Harrell and Bobby Brown – whose only playing time this series came late in Houston’s blowout Game 1 win – led the jeers.
But the most important thing for the Thunder is Roberson making his free throws. They need him on the court to defend James Harden, which exposes him to hacking. If Westbrook deflecting attention onto the Rockets’ benchwarmers helps Roberson at the line, great. But if not, the Rockets will keep having reasons to laugh.
Paul George-to-the-Lakers rumors have swirled for a while.
New Lakers president Magic Johnson will only fuel them.
Asked how he’d interact with the Pacers star to avoid tampering if they ran into each other, Johnson said on Jimmy Kimmel Live:
We’re going to say hi, because we know each other. You just can’t say, “Hey, I want you to come to the Lakers,” even though I’m going to be wink-winking like [blinks repeatedly]. You know what that means, right?
In explaining how he’d avoid tampering, Johnson probably tampered. Accidental tampering appears to be his specialty.
The Collective Bargaining Agreement says team employees can’t permissibly “induce, persuade, or attempt to entice, induce or persuade, any Player who is under contract to, or whose exclusive negotiating rights are held by, any other Member of the Association to enter into negotiations for or relating to his services or negotiate or contract for such services.” But the league arbitrarily enforces tampering, so who knows whether he’ll be punished?
Johnson almost certainly could have gotten away with the hypothetical conversation he laid out. But going on television and describing it — even as fantasy, even not directly to George — could constitute tampering in itself,
If Johnson helps attract George to Los Angeles, it’d well be worth it. At least he’s trying something.
There have been bigger injuries in the Clippers-Jazz first-round series: Blake Griffin‘s toe, Rudy Gobert‘s knee and Gordon Hayward‘s stomach.
But Clippers guard Austin Rivers has yet to play due to a strained hamstring.
It sounds as if that will change tomorrow.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:
This is neither as big a deal as the Clippers will make it out to be nor as meaningless as Rivers’ many detractors will claim.
The 6-foot-4 Rivers will provide an important defensive upgrade on the perimeter. The Clippers haven’t successfully hidden Jamal Crawford and Raymond Felton, allowing Utah too many quality looks. Here how the Jazz have shot when defended by each, per NBA.com:
- Crawford: 18-of-36 (50%), including 7-of-17 on 3-pointers (41%)
- Felton: 13-of-24 (54%), including 5-of-8 on 3-pointers (63%)
Rivers needn’t be great to help behind Chris Paul and J.J. Redick.
Russell Westbrook might not want to talk about his supporting cast distinctively, but it’s a real issue for the Thunder, who trail the Rockets 3-1 in their first-round series.
Even Andre Roberson, who has impressively defended James Harden, brings a glaring weakness: free throws. Roberson is 2-for-17 from the line in the playoffs, including 2-for-12 in Game 4 yesterday. Houston even repeatedly intentionally fouled him late.
It was agonizing for all but the most partisan Rockets supporters – though even Houston’s bench, while at least implicitly mocking Roberson, appeared put off that he missed yet again.