The exodus of Big Ten players to the pros continues.
This won’t make as much impact as Noah Vonleh, who will be a lottery pick, but add another draftable player to the pool.
Jeff Goodman of ESPN:
Ohio State junior forward LaQuinton Ross will declare for the NBA Draft, sources told ESPN.
Here’s a quick comparison:
- Player A: 15.2 points on 45 percent shooting and 35 percent 3-point shooting, 5.9 rebounds, 0.8 assists, 0.7 steals and 0.6 blocks in 29.0 minutes per game
- Player B: 19.8 points on 45 percent shooting and 34 percent 3-point shooting, 5.9 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 0.5 steals and 0.3 blocks in 35.4 minutes per game
Pretty similar, right?
Player A is Ross, and player B is Deshaun Thomas. Both wings filled similar roles as Ohio State’s leading scorer who doesn’t do much else, Ross this season and Thomas last. And both turned pro after their junior years.
Thomas was drafted No. 58 by the Spurs (despite not giving them his phone number), and he’s spending this season playing in France.
Ross has a wide draft range. Strong workouts could propel him into the late first round, and poor workouts could leave him undrafted. His low steal and block rates raise questions about his athleticism, and the skill to score on college players at age 21 in itself is not a guarantee of NBA success. Thomas’ fate is probably a good baseline for Ross.
Unless Ross signs with an agent or does something else that makes him ineligible to the NCAA, he can return to Ohio State before April 16. However, had he not declared in the first place, he could have declared any time through April 27. Because the NCAA and NBA have different draft entry deadlines, players have more time to declare initially than to return to school after declaring.
So, either Ross needlessly limited his own flexibility, or he’s really serious about turning pro.
NEW YORK (AP) James Harden had 22 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists in his 12th triple-double of the season and the Houston Rockets easily ended their first losing streak of the season by beating the Brooklyn Nets 137-112 on Sunday night.
Held to 105 points in losses to Minnesota and Memphis, the Rockets bounced back with 104 after three quarters and handed the Nets their 10th straight loss.
Eric Gordon led the Rockets with 24 points and Trevor Ariza added 23. Houston made 21 3-pointers and had five players with at least 16 points.
Houston shot just 40.8 percent during its two losses, well below its 46.8 season average, while being held nearly 10 points below its season scoring average. But the Rockets had no trouble bouncing back against the Nets, who allow an NBA-worst 114.3 per game.
Joel Embiid has fans all around the NBA. Some even came out to see him during the Philadelphia 76ers game against the Washington Wizards on Saturday despite the Cameroonian big man sitting out due to restrictions on playing in back-to-back games.
#BusTheProcess was the hashtag used to get 350 Sixers fans to the game in D.C. thanks to Embiid, coach Brett Brown, and the podcast The Rights to Ricky Sanchez.
Via Twitter and ESPN:
Fun stuff for some dedicated fans, even if they didn’t get to see Embiid play.
Unfortunately for the #BusTheProcess folks, the 76ers wound up losing to the Wizards, 109-93.
Michael Carter-Williams is still shaking the dust off after being inserted into the starting lineup, I guess. At least, that’s about what you can say when you pass the ball off your starting center’s face.
But there’s good news! The Chicago Bulls scored on this play.
Let’s take a look at the whole thing, shall we?
I think the more important question is whether Carter-Williams received a secondary or primary assists on the NBA.com tracking site.
ATLANTA (AP) Kent Bazemore scored 24 points, Mike Dunleavy added 20 and the Atlanta Hawks beat the Milwaukee Bucks 111-98 on Sunday.
Giannis Antetokounmpo finished with 33 points and was a tough matchup in the paint for Milwaukee, which dropped 2 1/2 games behind the fourth-place Hawks in the Eastern Conference.
Atlanta has won eight of nine. The Bucks have dropped three of five.
Dunleavy, in his second game since arriving in a trade last week with Cleveland, had his first 20-point performance since a first-round playoff game for Chicago on April 30, 2015.
Antetokounmpo has scored at least 30 points in eight games in a breakout season.