Damn, that is nasty.
Sekou Doumbouya – who’ll remain 18 until Dec. 23 – could become the fourth.
French forward Sekou Doumbouya has submitted paperwork to the league office to make himself eligible for the 2019 NBA draft, his agent, Bouna Ndiaye of Comsport, told ESPN.
Doumbouya projects as a potential lottery pick.
The 6-foot-9 power forward is extremely physically developed for his age. He’s strong and mobile, and he can elevate.
But he’s still early in his skill development. His shot, handle and feel all need work.
Doumbouya has plenty of tools. His rebounding is already impressive. The rest? It’ll be a project.
That sparked questions: Was the first report wrong? Did New Orleans and Los Angeles begin talking that day?
Maybe we missed an important distinction.
The first report said then-Pelicans general manager Dell Demps hadn’t returned Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka’s calls. The second report said Demps spoke with Lakers president Magic Johnson.
Pelinka was mostly cut out of trade talks between L.A. and New Orleans, with the Pelicans preferring to deal directly with Johnson, multiple league sources told ESPN.
Since Johnson stunningly resigned, Pelinka has assumed control in Los Angeles. The Lakers surely still want to trade for Davis.
Will having Pelinka running the front office impair their ability to do so?
We don’t know why the Pelicans rebuffed Pelinka. Different theories bring varying levels of present concern.
Maybe the Pelicans just didn’t want to waste their time with someone who’s not in charge. That’s often an issue when lower-level executives contact other teams. If that’s the case, Pelinka assuming the top job in basketball operations would solve the problem.
Maybe Demps was still bitter with Pelinka over Pelinka’s time as an agent. In 2012, New Orleans restricted free agent Eric Gordon – represented by Pelinka – signed an offer sheet with the Suns. Gordon lobbied hard to leave New Orleans, even saying his heart was in Phoenix. Though New Orleans matched, the saga caused animosity. But the Pelicans fired Demps and hired David Griffin, who’ll now oversee Davis. If this was a personal issue between Pelinka and Demps, that’s now irrelevant.
Maybe Pelinka is just that off-putting. I definitely don’t buy everything people say about him. Being a good agent often means ruffling feathers, and it’s easy for people he countered in negotiations to gossip about him now. But maybe there’s some truth to Pelinka being difficult to work with. If so, that’d come up again – not just with the Pelicans, but every team.
The Hornets nearly paired Walker with a former All-Star, though. Shortly before the trade deadline, they reportedly nearly dealt for Marc Gasol. But talks stalled, and the Grizzlies instead sent Gasol to the Raptors.
Unsurprisingly, that didn’t go over well with Walker, who was trying to lead a playoff push before entering free agency this summer.
I got the sense in talking to people, that trade deadline really deflated him. When they were pretty close on a Marc Gasol deal, and it fell apart. It didn’t happen. He goes to Toronto. And he looks around and goes, “Come on, what are we trying to do here?”
Which is important!
The Hornets shouldn’t have relinquished too high of a pick for a 34-year-old center just for a likely first-round loss.
Making the playoffs matters. Keeping Walker happy matters. But so does keeping draft picks to build the team going forward. Without knowing the exact line of the protection being haggled, I can’t say whether Charlotte erred by not making the trade. But there’s plenty of room to make passing the right call.
Shortly after the deadline, a rumor emerged Walker would likely leave the Hornets in free agency. This probably explains why.
But a lot has and will happen before Walker makes that call. Charlotte still made a strong late playoff push, though fell short. Walker could make an All-NBA team, which would make him eligible for a super-max contract.
I wouldn’t be surprised if he re-signs. I wouldn’t be surprised if he leaves, either.
What’s clear: He wants to win right now. Though it certainly won’t be the only factor, the Hornets’ stagnancy looks like a real negative when Walker ultimately decides.
Simmons responded: “It’s coming from Jared Dudley. C’mon.”
In the 76ers’ Game 3 win over the Nets last night, Simmons did what he frequently does – create high-efficiency transition and semi-transition opportunities for himself and teammates. He was also good in the halfcourt, though one game doesn’t establish Simmons in that facet.
“I don’t really have energy for it,” Simmons said. “It’s done. People are going to say what they want to say. Just gotta play.”
As I wrote earlier, this beef will be only as big as Simmons makes it. Dudley’s scouting report was largely accurate. He didn’t really say anything inflammatory, except to people in Philadelphia looking for a slight.
Apparently, after one dismissive comment and one excellent game, that’s no longer Simmons.