Report: Jahlil Okafor’s camp didn’t want 76ers to draft him

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There was a rumor D'Angelo Russell didn’t want the 76ers to draft him.

He might not have been the only prospect attempting to avoid Philadelphia.

Jahlil Okafor, whom the 76ers picked No. 3, also might fit the bill.

Keith Pompey of The Inquirer:

Sources say that Okafor’s camp wasn’t in favor of him playing for the Sixers during the draft process.

According to multiple sources, Hinkie wasn’t permitted to interview Kristaps Porzingis during his predraft workout in Las Vegas in June.

Not being able to interview Porzingis, whom the Knicks selected No. 4, certainly made it more difficult for Philadelphia to draft him. Porzingis has acclimated more quickly to the NBA than nearly anyone projected, but we didn’t know at the time he would. Any business would certainly want to speak first-hand with a potential employee who’d be relocating from another continent. That brings a major adjustment.

Plus, Porzingis was more of a dark horse to crack the top range of draft prospects with Karl-Anthony Towns, Russell and Okafor. At No. 3, Okafor was a safe pick. Frequently, a player who doesn’t want to be drafted by a certain team gets over it once it happens. What other choice does he have?

But Okafor’s off-court issues since being drafted will only compound the 76ers’ problem. To some, Okafor has showed the toxicity of Philadelphia – and confirmed any desire to keep Okafor from it.

How many future draft prospects and their agents will try to avoid Philly?

76ers general manager Sam Hinkie’s poor relationship with agents makes his job more difficult. See Okafor and Porzingis. This is one of the reasons hiring Jerry Colangelo was a good idea.

There are plenty of “what ifs?” here. Would Okafor have gotten into trouble if another team drafted him? Would the 76ers have drafted Porzingis if they spoke to him?

But reality is clear: Okafor is in Philadelphia, and Porzingis is in New York.

And the 76ers need to do a better job of developing the interpersonal connections necessary to draft the right players and develop them.

Nets’ Jeremy Lin: ‘We’re making the playoffs. I don’t care what anybody else says’

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The Nets went 20-62 then traded their best player (Brook Lopez) for a worse player (D'Angelo Russell). Brooklyn’s biggest free-agent signing this summer (Otto Porter) plays for the Wizards. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Caris LeVert are nice developmental pieces but hardly seem on the verge of breakthroughs.

Still, Nets guard Jeremy Lin expects big things next season.

He set expectations in an Instagram Live video (hat tip: AJ Neuharth-Keusch of USA Today):

We’re making the playoffs. I don’t care what anybody else says.

The Nets are on the right track given their asset constraints. Though worse than Lopez now, Russell – eight years younger and on a low-paying rookie-scale deal – is more valuable. Brooklyn made the favorable swap by absorbing Timofey Mozgov‘s awful contract, a wise use of assets considering the difficulty of attracting free agents. An aggressive offer sheet for Porter was a reasonable swing in that situation, as well.

But that’s all helpful in the long run. In the short term, the Nets are almost certainly stuck as lousy. Maybe they can sneak into the playoffs in a weak Eastern Conference, but even that is a huge longshot.

Not that Lin cares what I say.

Check out Top 10 blocks from Summer League (VIDEO)

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When you think of Summer League basketball, sharp defensive rotations is not the first thing that comes to mind. Defense, in general, tends to be an after thought.

But there were some great blocks.

Here are the top 10 blocks from the Las Vegas Summer League. Enjoy the flashes of defense from Vegas.

 

Memphis Grizzlies sign former Oregon forward Dillon Brooks

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) The Memphis Grizzlies have signed former Oregon forward Dillon Brooks, a second-round pick in last month’s NBA draft.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

Brooks was selected by the Houston Rockets with the 45th overall pick. The Grizzlies acquired him in exchange for a future second-round pick.

Brooks, 21, averaged 16.1 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.7 assists as a junior at Oregon last season. He was named the Pac-12 player of the year and helped Oregon earn its first Final Four berth since 1939.

 

Report: Even after Kyrie Irving requests trade, Carmelo Anthony still focused on Rockets, not Cavaliers

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Carmelo Anthony was reportedly willing to waive his no-trade clause for the Rockets or Cavaliers. Cleveland never seemed overly interested, but Houston was. Anthony became set on the Rockets, even reportedly expecting a trade to Houston.

Then, Kyrie Irving requested a trade from the Cavs.

That has thrown everything for a loop. Maybe Cleveland is more keen on trading for Anthony now? The Knicks are reportedly interested in trading Anthony and draft picks for Irving.

But any deal still depends on Anthony’s approval, and it’s now unclear he’d still grant that for the Cavaliers.

Frank Isola of the New York Daily News:

However, a source close to Anthony said late Friday that the All Star forward is focused on getting a deal done with Houston.

Consider this another indication LeBron James will leave Cleveland next summer. Of course, Anthony might have other reasons for preferring Houston. But when reading tea leaves on LeBron’s future, this is a clue.

I doubt LeBron has completely decided his plan, and he hasn’t even necessarily shared his thinking with Anthony, a close friend. Remember, LeBron edited his coming-home essay while on a flight with an unknowing Dwyane Wade, another close friend. But it was one thing for LeBron to strand Wade in Miami, a desirable city where Wade was happy even before LeBron arrived. It’d be something else entirely for LeBron to ditch Anthony in Cleveland. If LeBron is considering leaving, maybe he’d tell Anthony to stay clear.

Anthony could also be operating without hearing directly from LeBron. But if LeBron’s friend believes LeBron might leave, that’d still say something (though obviously not as much).

Back to the possibility that Anthony prefers the Rockets for other reasons. What happens if New York and Cleveland agree to a trade? Does Anthony still hold out for his top choice? Or does he relent and accept what was once his second choice? For now, it seems as if he’s still angling for Houston and will cross other bridges if he reaches them.