Onyeka Okongwu

Andre Drummond Cavaliers
Getty Images

Cavaliers, Andre Drummond reportedly have interest in extension

Leave a comment

For next season, Andre Drummond wants to get paid. He has said he plans to pick up his $28.8 million option and stay with the Cavaliers, which was the only smart move on his part.

Beyond that, the two sides may try to work something out this offseason.

There is mutual interest in an extension, but it’s too preliminary to have serious talks, notes Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

At this point, sources say, both sides have shown interest in an extension. But there’s so much to figure out before late October, when Drummond could technically sign a new deal.

Two key questions come up when thinking about this kind of extension.

First, what are the Cavaliers’ long-term plans at center? Very little of their rebuild is set (Darius Garland may be able to take a couple steps forward and be part of that, Colin Sexton could as well, but both have a long way to go), so it is possible in this draft the Cavaliers pick up a more modern five (James Wiseman and Onyeka Okongwu are the top centers on the board). If not, Drummond could be a stop-gap for a few years while the Cavaliers figure out their direction and get the right players.

Second, and more importantly, at what price would Drummond sign an extension? Drummond puts up numbers — 17.7 points and 15.2 rebounds a game last season — and he remains the best rebounder in the game today (he had the highest total rebounding percentage in the league last year). He’s going to expect near max money. However, he’s a traditional center who does not space the floor on offense, nor can he step out well on defense, and the value of that kind of player is shrinking in the NBA now. How much would te Cavaliers pay, and at what price is he still a valuable trade chip with other teams?

None of that can be answered right now, heading into an offseason — and a couple of years — of turbulent finances around the league.

But the Cavaliers and Drummond are both interested in finding a deal. That’s a start.

Here are all 205 players who declared for the 2020 NBA Draft

NBA draft entrants: Georgia guard Anthony Edwards and Auburn forward Isaac Okoro
AP Photo/Julie Bennett
Leave a comment

Cassius Winston was a senior at Michigan State. Udoka Azubuike was a senior at Kansas. Payton Pritchard was a senior at Kansas.

LaMelo Ball and R.J. Hampton – as old-enough American-born players who completed professional contracts outside the NBA – were automatically eligible.

Otherwise, practically every first-round prospect had to declare for the 2020 NBA Draft.

The NBA allows players to withdraw until 10 days before the draft (whenever that will be). The NCAA typically has an earlier withdrawal deadline for maintaining eligibility, though everything is in flux amid the coronavirus pandemic.

For now, here are all 205 early entrants (163 players from the American system and 42 international players):

Player Team Height Status
Precious Achiuwa Memphis 6-9 Freshman
Milan Acquaah California Baptist 6-3 Junior
Jordyn Adams Austin Peay 6-3 Freshman
Abdul Ado Mississippi State 6-11 Junior
Ty-Shon Alexander Creighton 6-4 Junior
Timmy Allen Utah 6-6 Sophomore
Derrick Alston Jr. Boise State 6-9 Junior
Cole Anthony North Carolina 6-3 Freshman
Joel Ayayi Gonzaga 6-5 Sophomore
Brendan Bailey Marquette 6-8 Sophomore
Saddiq Bey Villanova 6-8 Sophomore
Tyler Bey Colorado 6-7 Junior
Jermaine Bishop Norfolk State 6-1 Junior
Jomaru Brown Eastern Kentucky 6-2 Sophomore
Marcus Burk IUPUI 6-3 Junior
Dachon Burke Jr. Nebraska 6-4 Junior
Jordan Burns Colgate 6-0 Junior
Jared Butler Baylor 6-3 Sophomore
Manny Camper Siena 6-7 Junior
Vernon Carey Jr. Duke 6-10 Freshman
Marcus Carr Minnesota 6-2 Sophomore
Tamenang Choh Brown 6-5 Junior
Kofi Cockburn Illinois 7-0 Freshman
David Collins South Florida 6-3 Junior
Zach Cooks NJIT 5-9 Junior
Jalen Crutcher Dayton 6-1 Junior
Ryan Daly St. Joseph’s 6-5 Junior
Nate Darling Delaware 6-5 Junior
Darius Days LSU 6-6 Sophomore
Dexter Dennis Wichita State 6-5 Sophomore
Lamine Diane CSUN 6-7 Sophomore
Ayo Dosunmu Illinois 6-5 Sophomore
Devon Dotson Kansas 6-2 Sophomore
Nojel Eastern Purdue 6-7 Junior
Anthony Edwards Georgia 6-5 Freshman
CJ Elleby Washington State 6-6 Sophomore
Mason Faulkner Western Carolina 6-1 Junior
LJ Figueroa St. John’s 6-6 Junior
Malik Fitts St. Mary’s 6-8 Junior
Malachi Flynn San Diego State 6-1 Junior
Blake Francis Richmond 6-0 Junior
Hasahn French St. Louis 6-7 Junior
DJ Funderburk NC State 6-10 Junior
Both Gach Utah 6-6 Sophomore
Alonzo Gaffney Ohio State 6-9 Freshman
Luka Garza Iowa 6-11 Junior
Jacob Gilyard Richmond 5-9 Junior
Grant Golden Richmond 6-10 Junior
Jordan Goodwin St. Louis 6-3 Junior
Tony Goodwin II Redemption Academy (MA) 6-6 Post-Graduate
Jayvon Graves Buffalo 6-3 Junior
AJ Green Northern Iowa 6-4 Sophomore
Darin Green Jr. UCF 6-4 Freshman
Josh Green Arizona 6-6 Freshman
Ashton Hagans Kentucky 6-3 Sophomore
Tyrese Haliburton Iowa State 6-5 Sophomore
Josh Hall Moravian Prep (NC) 6-8 Post-Graduate
Rayshaun Hammonds Georgia 6-9 Junior
Jalen Harris Nevada 6-5 Junior
Niven Hart Fresno State 6-5 Freshman
Aaron Henry Michigan State 6-6 Sophomore
Jalen Hill UCLA 6-10 Sophomore
Nate Hinton Houston 6-5 Sophomore
Jay Huff Virginia 7-1 Junior
Elijah Hughes Syracuse 6-6 Junior
Feron Hunt SMU 6-8 Sophomore
Chance Hunter Long BeachState 6-6 Sophomore
DeJon Jarreau Houston 6-5 Junior
Damien Jefferson Creighton 6-5 Junior
Isaiah Joe Arkansas 6-5 Sophomore
Dakari Johnson Cape Fear CC (NC) 6-0 Freshman
Jalen Johnson Louisiana 6-7 Junior
Andre Jones Nicholls State 6-4 Junior
C.J. Jones MTSU 6-5 Junior
Herbert Jones Alabama 6-7 Junior
Mason Jones Arkansas 6-5 Junior
Tre Jones Duke 6-3 Sophomore
Corey Kispert Gonzaga 6-7 Junior
Kameron Langley NC A&T 6-2 Junior
AJ Lawson South Carolina 6-6 Sophomore
Saben Lee Vanderbilt 6-2 Junior
Kira Lewis Jr. Alabama 6-3 Sophomore
Matt Lewis James Madison 6-5 Junior
Isaiah Livers Michigan 6-7 Junior
Denzel Mahoney Creighton 6-5 Junior
Makur Maker Pacific Academy (CA) 7-0 Post-Graduate
Sandro Mamukelashvili Seton Hall 6-11 Junior
Tre Mann Florida 6-4 Freshman
Nico Mannion Arizona 6-3 Freshman
Naji Marshall Xavier 6-7 Junior
Kenyon Martin Jr. IMG Academy (FL) 6-7 Post-Graduate
Remy Martin Arizona State 6-0 Junior
Tyrese Maxey Kentucky 6-3 Freshman
Mac McClung Georgetown 6-2 Sophomore
Jaden McDaniels Washington 6-9 Freshman
Isiaha Mike SMU 6-8 Junior
Isaiah Miller UNCG 6-0 Junior
Matt Mitchell San Diego State 6-6 Junior
EJ Montgomery Kentucky 6-10 Sophomore
Andrew Nembhard Florida 6-5 Sophomore
Aaron Nesmith Vanderbilt 6-6 Sophomore
Zeke Nnaji Arizona 6-11 Freshman
Obadiah Noel Massachusetts-Lowell 6-4 Junior
Jordan Nwora Louisville 6-7 Junior
Onyeka Okongwu USC 6-9 Freshman
Isaac Okoro Auburn 6-6 Freshman
Elijah Olaniyi Stony Brook 6-5 Junior
Daniel Oturu Minnesota 6-10 Sophomore
Reggie Perry Mississippi State 6-10 Sophomore
Filip Petrusev Gonzaga 6-11 Sophomore
John Petty Jr. Alabama 6-5 Junior
Nate Pierre-Louis Temple 6-4 Junior
Xavier Pinson Missouri 6-2 Sophomore
Yves Pons Tennessee 6-6 Junior
Immanuel Quickley Kentucky 6-3 Sophomore
Darius Quisenberry Youngstown State 6-1 Sophomore
Jahmi’us Ramsey Texas Tech 6-4 Freshman
Paul Reed Jr. DePaul 6-9 Junior
Nick Richards Kentucky 6-11 Junior
Colbey Ross Pepperdine 6-1 Junior
Fatts Russell Rhode Island 5-10 Junior
Joe Saterfield Ranger CC (TX) 6-4 Freshman
Jayden Scrubb John A. Logan College (IL) 6-6 Sophomore
Aamir Simms Clemson 6-9 Junior
Ja’Vonte Smart LSU 6-4 Sophomore
Chris Smith UCLA 6-9 Junior
Collin Smith UCF 6-11 Junior
Jalen Smith Maryland 6-10 Sophomore
Justin Smith Indiana 6-7 Junior
Mitchell Smith Missouri 6-10 Junior
Stef Smith Vermont 6-1 Junior
Ben Stanley Hampton 6-6 Sophomore
Cassius Stanley Duke 6-6 Freshman
Isaiah Stewart Washington 6-9 Freshman
Parker Stewart UT-Martin 6-5 Sophomore
Terry Taylor Austin Peay 6-5 Junior
MaCio Teague Baylor 6-3 Junior
Tyrell Terry Stanford 6-1 Freshman
Justin Thomas Morehead State 5-11 Junior
Ethan Thompson Oregon State 6-5 Junior
Xavier Tillman Sr. Michigan State 6-8 Junior
Jeremiah Tilmon Missouri 6-10 Junior
Obi Toppin Dayton 6-9 Sophomore
Jordan Tucker Butler 6-7 Junior
Devin Vassell Florida State 6-6 Sophomore
Alonzo Verge Jr. Arizona State 6-3 Junior
Chris Vogt Cincinnati 7-1 Junior
CJ Walker Ohio State 6-1 Junior
Trendon Watford LSU 6-9 Freshman
Ibi Watson Dayton 6-5 Junior
Nick Weatherspoon Mississippi State 6-2 Junior
Kaleb Wesson Ohio State 6-9 Junior
Jarrod West Marshall 5-11 Junior
Romello White Arizona State 6-8 Junior
Kahlil Whitney Kentucky 6-6 Freshman
DeAndre Williams Evansville 6-9 Sophomore
Emmitt Williams LSU 6-6 Sophomore
Keith Williams Cincinnati 6-5 Junior
Patrick Williams Florida State 6-8 Freshman
James Wiseman Memphis 7-1 Freshman
Robert Woodard II Mississippi State 6-7 Sophomore
McKinley Wright IV Colorado 6-0 Junior
Omer Yurtseven Georgetown 7-0 Junior
Berke Atar MZT Skopje (Macedonia) 6-11 1999 DOB
Deni Avdija Maccabi Tel Aviv (Israel) 6-8 2001 DOB
Brancou Badio Barcelona (Spain) 6-3 1999 DOB
Darko Bajo Split (Croatia) 6-10 1999 DOB
Philippe Bayehe Roseto (Italy) 6-9 1999 DOB
Marek Blazevic Rytas (Lithuania) 6-10 2001 DOB
Adrian Bogucki Radom (Poland) 7-1 1999 DOB
Leandro Bolmaro Barcelona (Spain) 6-6 2000 DOB
Vinicius Da Silva Prat (Spain) 7-0 2001 DOB
Henri Drell Pesaro (Italy) 6-9 2000 DOB
Imru Duke Zentro Basket (Spain) 6-8 1999 DOB
Michele Ebeling Kleb Ferrara (Italy) 6-9 1999 DOB
Paul Eboua Pesaro (Italy) 6-8 2000 DOB
Osas Ehigiator Fuenlabrada (Spain) 6-10 1999 DOB
Joel Ekamba Limoges (France) 6-5 2001 DOB
Selim Fofana Neuchatel (Switzerland) 6-3 1999 DOB
Miguel Gonzalez Baskonia (Spain) 6-7 1999 DOB
Killian Hayes Ratiopharm Ulm (Germany) 6-5 2001 DOB
Sehmus Hazer Bandirma (Turkey) 6-3 1999 DOB
Rokas Jokubaitis Zalgiris (Lithuania) 6-4 2000 DOB
Georgios Kalaitzakis Nevezis (Lithuania) 6-8 1999 DOB
Vit Krejci Zaragoza (Spain) 6-8 2000 DOB
Arturs Kurucs VEF Riga (Latvia) 6-3 2000 DOB
Dut Mabor Roseto (Italy) 7-1 2001 DOB
Yam Madar Hapoel Tel Aviv (Israel) 6-2 2000 DOB
Theo Maledon ASVEL (France) 6-4 2001 DOB
Karim Mane Vanier (Canada) 6-5 2000 DOB
Sergi Martinez Barcelona (Spain) 6-8 1999 DOB
Nikola Miskovic Mega Bemax (Serbia) 6-10 1999 DOB
Aristide Mouaha Roseto (Italy) 6-3 2000 DOB
Caio Pacheco Bahia Basket (Argentina) 6-3 1999 DOB
Joel Parra Joventut (Spain) 6-8 2000 DOB
Aleksej Pokusevski Olympiacos (Greece) 7-0 2001 DOB
Sander Raieste Kalev/Cramo (Estonia) 6-9 1999 DOB
Nikolaos Rogkavopoulos AEK (Greece) 6-8 2001 DOB
Yigitcan Saybir Anadolu Efes (Turkey) 6-7 1999 DOB
Njegos Sikiras Fuenlabrada (Spain) 6-9 1999 DOB
Marko Simonovic Mega Bemax (Serbia) 6-11 1999 DOB
Mouhamed Thiam Nanterre (France) 6-9 2001 DOB
Uros Trifunovic Partizan (Serbia) 6-7 2000 DOB
Arnas Velicka Prienai (Lithuania) 6-4 1999 DOB
Andrii Voinalovych Khimik (Ukraine) 6-10 1999 DOB

Tulane guard Teshaun Hightower, who announced he was declaring for the draft and was since charged with murder, was not included.

Memphis’ Precious Achiuwa, a potential lottery pick, declares for NBA draft

Getty Images
Leave a comment

In what is considered a down draft, smart teams selecting in the double digits will be looking for one of two kinds of players. One is very raw players with impressive athleticism and a lot of potential who could develop into quality players and maybe stars down the line—the swing-for-the-fences pick.

Or, teams will take guys who can fill a role in the modern NBA and contribute fairly quickly in that spot.

Memphis’ Precious Achiuwa could be that latter kind of player, with some upside, and he announced he is entering the NBA draft.

View this post on Instagram

Next step in my Journey #Godspeed

A post shared by Precious Achiuwa (@precious) on

Achiuwa is considered a bubble lottery pick, he’s 6’9″ but with a 7’2″ wingspan and good defensive instincts.

NBC Sports’ college ball guru Rob Dauster discussed the potential for Achiuwa on a recent PBT Podcast. He said the key is less physical and more mental.

“I think he’s going to buy into this idea that he is a five,” Dauster said. “If he does, if he fully buys in, he is a guy who can do all of those things: He averaged 16 points, 11 boards and a couple blocks [Ed. note: 15.8/10.8/1.9], he’s switchable, he’s 6’9”, he’s explosive…

“The thing with his is Precious Achiuwa is going to be 21 before he plays an NBA game. People talk about Cole Anthony being old, Precious Achiuwa is eight months older than him. (Achiuwa) is two months younger than Kaleb Wesson (of Ohio State) and Wesson is a junior in college. If you’re drafting him, you have to know he is more or less a finished product. Right now he can go out there and contribute. I don’t think he has the same kind of ceiling Bam Adebayo does, or that Onyeka Okongwu does, he’s not as explosive, he’s not as strong, but he’s able to play with the ball on the perimeter a little bit and he shot 33 percent from three.

“I think he’s a guy who does have a role in the NBA as long as he buys into the idea ‘I’m a five.'”

I envision an energy big off the bench in more of a Montrezl Harrell role (although reaching the standards of Harrell would be difficult, Achiuwa is not quite as athletic). There are a lot of teams who could use a guy like that, especially if he can be consistent enough from three to stretch the floor.

Achiuwa told ESPN he is getting an agent and staying in the draft. Which in his case seems a smart move.

While the NBA draft is still scheduled for June 25, nobody around the league expects it to take place around that day. The draft process is in flux and most around the league expect it to be pushed back until August or later, after whatever portion of this season is played (if it is played).

USC big man Onyeka Okongwu declares for the NBA draft

Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Onyeka Okongwu started turning heads early during USC’s season.

It was easy to project his athletic finishing and rim protection into the role of a four or small-ball five in the NBA. He shot up NBA team draft boards.

Now he has made the expected official and has declared for the 2020 NBA Draft.

Okongwu is projected as a top 10, maybe top-five pick in the upcoming draft, which makes his leap to the next level the right move for him.

Okongwu averaged 16.2 points and 8.6 rebounds a game at USC, with a very efficient 61.6 shooting percentage and a 31.1 PER. Watch video of him and you see an incredible leaper, a guy who can face up with a fantastic first step, and a guy with good shot-blocking instincts.

The challenges are that at 6’9″ he is not going to be able to play center all the time at the NBA level, and he does not have great shooting range (he only took four threes all season at USC). Think a Montrezl Harrel/Bam Adebayo style of game, which is impressive but can have its limits (and not that he will be as good as them, that is a high bar).

In a down draft, he could be a guy a team falls in love with — plus he has a high floor — and that gets him taken inside the first five.

That love may primarily be based on film; this year’s draft process has been thrown into chaos by the coronavirus and NBA hiatus. There likely is no combine, no face-to-face interviews — hello Skype — and no workouts with teams. Plus, nobody knows when the draft itself will take place (the league has to figure out what’s up with the rest of the season and playoffs before getting into the draft and free agency timelines).

But for a likely lock top 10 guy like Okongwu, it makes sense to come out now.

Warriors approach NBA draft looking for players who can play right away

Joe Robbins/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Few teams have been in this position before: A potential title contender when fully healthy, the Warriors had a “gap year” due to injuries that led them to the worst record in the NBA when games were suspended. The San Antonio Spurs had a season like that (plus they tanked), which helped them land Tim Duncan. However, scouts don’t see a Tim Duncan — or any other kind of superstar — in this draft, sources I spoke to project a down draft closer to 2013.

That leaves the Warriors searching for a player who can help them more now. That’s what Larry Harris, Golden State’s director of player personnel, told Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area.

“Yes, we’ll try to find someone who can come in play right away,” Harris said. “But we also know that when you’re picking this high, a lot of guys are 18, 19, 20 years old. To expect them to come in and be contributors right away, we’re not so naïve to think it won’t take time.

“But we feel there are some players in this draft, up high, that have the ability to come in and play some minutes. We don’t necessarily need a position. We just need a player, anywhere from one to five.”

At the top of that list might be Auburn’s Isaac Okoro, a 6’6″ wing with the potential to be an elite defender, plus he improved on the offense where he’s versatile and scored 12.9 points a game, but his three-point shot needs work. Also of interest could be Obi Toppin out of Dayton, an athletic 6’9″ forward who can finish in transition and has a versatile offensive game. Onyeka Okongwu, the center out of USC, also has the kind of versatility of game that could fit with Warriors and bulk up the front line.

The Warriors envision a team next season that will have a core of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson in the backcourt, Andrew Wiggins on the wing, and Draymond Green — a lot of different players can plug into that group and work around them. Including some rookies.

The biggest challenge for the Warriors and everyone else is nobody knows when the draft will be, and what the pre-draft process will look like. Will there be a draft combine or the chance to bring in guys for workouts, or will it be Skype interviews and a lot of watching of tape?

Like everything with the NBA right now, the draft is up in the air, but the Warriors know they will have a high pick, and know what they are looking for.