We are just one week away from the NBA draft, and that means there are more rumors and reports than James Harden has beard combs.
Here are some highlights of the buzz on Thursday:
• The Bobcats are still looking to move the No. 2 overall pick, but they don’t want to go farther down the ladder than about No. 6 and they want quality prospect back with it, reports ProBasketballDraft (not affiliated with this site). That’s not really new so much as a confirmation of what we have already heard. I also bet it doesn’t happen.
• Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has worked out for the Bobcats, Wizards and Cavaliers and that’s going to be it. He is almost certainly going between 2 and 4 and he knows it. Actually, almost certainly 2 or 4 — the Wizards just traded for Trevor Ariza they don’t need another three fighting for minutes out there. Then again, they are the Wizards. If he did fall to 5 the Kings would grab him in a heartbeat.
• Just a hunch, Bradley Beal will be a Wizard. And Thomas Robinson will be a Bobcat.
• Fab Melo reportedly impressed when he worked out for the Pacers. Be careful with these kinds of rumors — according to agents there has never been a bad workout — but this seems to have legs.
• Don’t be shocked if you start to hear Tyreke Evans trade rumors around the draft, reports ProBasketballDraft.
• Would the Kings risk paring Andre Drummond with DeMarcus Cousins up front?
• Damian Lillard is only doing solo workouts, reports Chad Ford at ESPN. Interesting strategy.
• Michigan State’s Draymond Green is a guy that teams later in the first round really seem to like.
DALLAS (AP) The Dallas Mavericks have signed rookie forward Ben Bentil to a 10-day contract to fill one of the two spots from a roster shake-up that came at the trading deadline.
The addition of Bentil on Sunday puts the Ghana native in position to make his NBA debut. The former Providence player was drafted in the second round by Boston but was waived during the preseason.
Bentil has played in the NBA Development League and in China since the Celtics let him go. He played 13 games in two stints with Fort Wayne in the D-League, interrupted by an 11-game stint with Xinjiang in China.
The Mavericks had two roster spots after sending Andrew Bogut and Justin Anderson to Philadelphia in a deal for Nerlens Noel and waiving guard Deron Williams.
Giannis Antetokounmpo and Marquese Chriss got into a bit of a scuffle on Sunday, with the Milwaukee Bucks star earning a technical foul for his role in the hubbub.
It happened midway through the first quarter in Milwaukee after Antetokounmpo blocked Chriss on defense, then charged down the floor on the fastbreak.
Antetokounmpo drew the foul on Chriss, who was bumping with the Milwaukee wing with his arms up and his elbow parallel to the floor.
Chriss’ right elbow was above Antetokounmpo’s head, and there appeared to be incidental contact between the two players.
That, and a bump on the floor from Chriss’ leg sent Antetokounmpo off as the two ended up against the stanchion with Antetokounmpo pushing at Chriss.
After review, Chriss was assessed the foul and Antetokounmpo was given a technical.
Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert has been fined $25,000 for making contact with an official during the third quarter of Friday’s game between the Jazz and the Milwaukee Bucks.
The incident occured with 5:19 left in the third after a drive to the bucket by Giannis Antetokounmpo. The Bucks star was driving past Jazz wing Joe Johnson, who fouled Antetokounmpo as he went up with a shot over Gobert in the paint.
A foul was whistled on Johnson, but it appeared that Gobert thought the call was initially on him despite his up-and-down contest.
That sent Gobert flying after the official, where he made slight contact, earning him an immediate technical foul.
Video of the incident was released by the NBA and can be viewed here.
Vlade Divac has started the clock on his own success or failure as an NBA GM with the Sacramento Kings. Speaking with the Sacramento Bee this week in a long Q & A, Divac said that if the DeMarcus Cousins trade hasn’t put the Kings in a better position in two years he will step down.
The trade that sent Cousins and teammate Omri Casspi to the New Orleans Pelicans returned Buddy Hield, a first round pick with protections, Tyreke Evans, Langston Galloway, and a second round pick.
Via the Sacramento Bee:
Q: Well, the pressure is on you now. It’s pretty clear that Divac, not Ranadive, is making the personnel decisions. Some people still can’t believe Ranadive actually stepped aside and allowed you to trade his favorite player.
A: That’s my job, and I take responsibility. And I totally understand why some fans would be upset. They supported DeMarcus, and I like DeMarcus a lot. But I believe we are going to be in a better position in two years. I want to hear again from these same people in two years. If I’m right, great. If I’m wrong, I’ll step down. But if I go down, I’m going down my way.
Divac also mentioned that he approached Cousins’ management team about anger therapy, and again harped on the move as being the right thing for the “culture” he wants to build in Sacramento.
The clock is ticking.