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Report: R.J. Barrett declines workout with Grizzlies, excited about Knicks, who could trade down or out

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The Grizzlies reportedly intend to draft Ja Morant with the No. 2 pick.

R.J. Barrett apparently doesn’t want to change their mind – even with the Knicks, who hold the No. 3 pick, potentially fast-tracking around Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and/or Anthony Davis.

Jonathan Givony of ESPN:

The Grizzlies’ ownership group is still telling people around the league the team is locked in on Morant, but the front office has requested to have Barrett in for a private workout — something he has declined but might revisit over the next three weeks, sources told ESPN.

Barrett is scheduled to work out for New York on June 10. As I reported from the combine: Although sources say Barrett would be excited about landing in New York, the Knicks planned to do their due diligence by making calls on trade options and evaluating other prospects in the top 10.

New York has explored the possibility of trading back in the lottery, sources told ESPN, perhaps to acquire pieces that better complement potential high-volume All-Star free agents (such as Kevin Durant or Kyrie Irving). Trading the No. 3 pick for the Atlanta Hawks’ two first-rounders (Nos. 8 and 10) is under consideration by the Knicks, one source said.

Teams should always research their decisions as thoroughly as possible.

Morant looks like the second-best prospect in this draft (behind only Zion Williamson). But Memphis should thoroughly explore Barrett and other prospects before finalizing that decision.

Likewise, Barrett looks like the third-best prospect. But he’s hardly a lock to flourish in the NBA. His shooting, defense and selfishness are real questions. It’s worth considering trade down for multiple prospects, even if each is individually less likely to succeed.

Of course, if New York lands veterans like Durant, Irving and Davis, that changes everything. The team will prioritize winning immediately, and a rookie wouldn’t fit well – especially a high-usage one like Barrett. Unfortunately for the Knicks, they won’t know on Durant and Irving until after the draft (though there could be backchannel talks beforehand). Trading for Davis would probably require sending the No. 3 pick to the Pelicans.

If that appears like a possibility, Barrett could always change his mind and work out for the Grizzlies.

But, as the consensus third-best prospect in this draft, it seems likely he’ll go No. 3. The big question: To which team?

WNBA suspends Riquna Williams 10 games for domestic violence

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NEW YORK (AP) The WNBA has suspended Los Angeles Sparks guard Riquna Williams 10 games for a domestic violence incident.

The WNBA handed down the suspension Tuesday. Williams was arrested on April 29 and charged with two felony counts, one involving the assault of an individual with whom she was in a relationship and the other involving a threat to another person with a firearm. Her criminal case is ongoing.

The league conducted its own investigation and consulted with a panel of experts in the field of domestic violence. Among other factors, the WNBA said it took into account the nature and seriousness of the allegations, including the involvement of a gun.

The WNBA also will require Williams to participate in counseling.

Williams’ suspension will begin with Thursday’s game against the Dallas Wings.

Report: Bulls signing Luke Kornet for guaranteed $4.5M over two years

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Just three 7-footers have averaged 3.5 3-pointers per game and made 35% of them each of the last two seasons:

The Bulls will now have most of them.

Markkanen is Chicago’s top young player. Kornet will join him with the Bulls next season.

Shams Charania of The Athletic:

I’m a little surprised Kornet got more than his minimum ($3,383,360 over two years). But it’s worth taking a flier on him.

In addition to his outside shooting, Kornet has shown good timing as a shot-blocker in two seasons with the Knicks. The 24-year-old must get stronger and improve as a rebounder to play major minutes.

But the Bulls won’t have to press him into action. They also have Thaddeus Young, Markkanen, Wendell Carter Jr., Daniel Gafford and Cristiano Felicio as bigs.

Pistons claim Christian Wood off waivers

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The Bucks waived Christian Wood late last season to ensure avoiding the luxury tax. The Pelicans claimed him. Wood had played well in limited minutes with the 76ers, Hornets and Bucks and in the NBA’s minor league since going undrafted in 2015.

New Orleans gave him his biggest opportunity yet. In 24 minutes per game over eight games, he averaged 17 points and eight rebounds.

But the Pelicans filled their roster for next season and waived Wood.

Detroit will take advantage.

Pistons release:

The Detroit Pistons announced today that the team has claimed forward/center Christian Wood off waivers.

Wood’s $1,645,357 minimum salary is unguaranteed until the regular season. So, Detroit could still waive him before the season. But it seems he’ll at least go to training camp and get a shot at a regular-season roster spot.

The Pelicans also could’ve kept him through the preseason then waived him before the regular season. They seemingly did him a favor of allowing him to get somewhere he has a realistic chance of sticking.

Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond will start in the frontcourt for the Pistons. Markieff Morris and Thon Maker appear to be first in line is backups.

But don’t be surprised if Wood earns playing time. At minimum, the 23-year-old should provide nice depth at both power forward and center.

The Pistons have also now acquired four members of last year’s Bucks – Tony Snell, Thon Maker, Tim Frazier and now Wood.

Knicks: Reggie Bullock has spine injury

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Reggie Bullock had his agreed-upon salary cut by more than half with the Knicks. He’ll reportedly miss at least a month of the regular season.

All because of a mysterious health issue.

The Knicks have finally disclosed what’s happening.

Knicks release:

Reggie Bullock underwent successful surgery today at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York for a cervical disc herniation. The team will plan to provide an update on his rehab and progress around the start of training camp.

Bullock is a good shooter from the wing. New York could use him. Many teams could use him.

But Bullock must get healthy first.

At this point, we probably shouldn’t expect much from him any time soon. The best indication: how eagerly his agent praised the Knicks for their handling of this situation. Again, Bullock settled for less than half his initially agreed-upon salary.