76ers select Springer in first round of NBA Draft, grab two bigs in Round 2

Before the 2021 NBA Draft, it was rumored that the Philadelphia 76ers could move star guard Ben Simmons, but nothing ever materialized, and Simmons is still a Sixer for now. 

Philadelphia kept their draft picks and added guard Jaden Springer (No. 28) from the University of Tennessee, F/C Filip Petrušev (No. 50) of Serbia, and another big in Charles Bassey (No. 53) from Western Kentucky University.    

Springer, 18, led the Volunteers in scoring as a freshman at 12.5 points per game while also pacing the team in three-point percentage at 43%.

In 25 games during his lone collegiate season, the 6-4 guard was an SEC All-Freshman Team selection posted a team-best six games of at least 20 points per contest.

Interestingly enough, Springer’s father, Gary, was selected by the 76ers in the 1984 NBA Draft. In addition, he is the cousin of current NBA player DeAndre’ Bembry, 

Springer is a young player who can get to the basket. He is a decent shooter and defender. Springer is more of a combo-guard at this stage of his development. He might not give the Sixers much this season. However, he can be a decent prospect over time.

The 21-year-old Petrušev(6-11) was the 2019-20 West Coast Conference Player of the Year and spent two seasons playing collegiately at Gonzaga before heading overseas to play in Serbia’s Adriatic League for the 2020-21 season.

During his final year with the Bulldogs, he averaged 17.5 points and 7.9 rebounds while shooting .562 from the floor. This past season, he appeared in 21 games for KK Mega Basket, averaging 23.7 points, which was the highest average in the Adriatic League in 14 years, while also hauling in 7.6 rebounds per contest.

During his lone season competing professionally in his home country of Serbia, he shot .580 from the field and .419 from three-point range. 

Petrušev is not the most athletic player, but he has decent range on his shot. Many believe he has the potential to be a decent backup center on the NBA level.

Bassey, 20, played three collegiate seasons at Western Kentucky University, averaging a double-double with 15.9 points and 10.5 rebounds over 72 career games as a Hilltopper.

As a junior this past season, he tallied 18 double-doubles, the second-most in Division I. Following the 2020-21 season, the 6-11 center was named the Conference USA Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year.

Bassey can block shots(3.1 per game last season) and is a decent athlete who can score in the post. He could contribute defensively for Philadelphia this season.

Cavs’ Altman: ‘There’s some real game-changers at the top of this draft’

The Cleveland Cavaliers received the number three overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft as a result of the NBA Draft Lottery, which was conducted virtually on Tuesday night. 

The 2021 NBA Draft will be held on Thursday, July 29th.

The Cavaliers’ 2021 lottery pick will mark the 22nd lottery pick the Cavs have owned all-time and their first time selecting third overall since the current lottery format was introduced in 1985.

This is considered a deep draft, and Cleveland, if they keep the pick, has a chance to get an excellent player.

“There’s some real game-changers at the top of this draft,” Cavs GM Koby Altman said after the lottery. “But it also puts us in a position to capitalize on different opportunities throughout the landscape of the NBA with this position.”

Altman also expects to get some calls from other teams about the third pick.

“We know what pick we have,” Altman said. “We know what calls we will probably get on it. We’ll figure out what we can potentially do with it.”

Coming into the lottery, Cleveland, who was in the fifth-place position, had an 11.5% chance of getting the number one pick, so they should be happy with three. 

Now, what they do should be interesting. Oklahoma State’s Cade Cunningham is probably going number one to Detroit. You have the Rockets at two, and many mock drafts have them grabbing USC’s Evan Mobley, so that leaves G League Ignite’s Jalen Green, Gonzaga’s Jalen Suggs, or maybe even a trade. 

Cleveland has options. Do they continue to add young players, or do they try to trade for an established veteran? We’ll find out in a few weeks, but Altman’s phone will be getting many calls.

The full results of tonight’s Draft Lottery are as follows:

1. Detroit Pistons

2. Houston Rockets

3. Cleveland Cavaliers

4. Toronto Raptors

5. Orlando Magic

6. Oklahoma City Thunder

7. Golden State Warriors

8. Orlando Magic

9. Sacramento Kings

10. New Orleans Pelicans

11. Charlotte Hornets

12. San Antonio Spurs

13. Indiana Pacers

14. Golden State Warriors

Listen below as Altman reacts to getting the third pick in this year’s draft:

NBA Draft set for July 29

 The 2021 NBA Draft will take place on July 29, the league announced on Monday. 

ESPN and ABC will televise the first round, and the second round will air on ESPN. The location of the draft will be announced at a later date, according to the NBA.

The NBA also announced additional key dates related to the draft:

• NBA Draft Combine: Subject to evolving public health conditions, NBA Draft Combine 2021 is scheduled to take place Monday, June 21 through Sunday, June 27. ESPN networks plan to televise the NBA Draft Combine, with coverage featuring five-on-five games and strength and agility testing.

• NBA Draft Lottery: NBA Draft Lottery 2021 presented by will take place on Tuesday, June 22, airing on ESPN at 8:30 p.m. ET.

• NBA Early Entry Application and Withdrawal Deadlines: The deadline for an early entry player to apply for this year’s NBA Draft is Sunday, May 30 at 11:59 p.m. ET. The deadline for an early entry player to withdraw from the NBA Draft is Monday, July 19 at 5 p.m. ET.

Mfiondu Kabengele on Clippers: ‘There is team cohesion’

The L.A. Clippers acquired the draft rights to Florida State forward Mfiondu Kabengele (Fi), the 27th overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, from the Brooklyn Nets, in exchange for the draft rights to UCLA guard Jaylen Hands and the Philadelphia 76ers’ 2020 first-round pick. The Clippers selected Hands with the 56th overall pick in the draft.

“The Clippers are great, just similar to Florida State University. There is team cohesion and the togetherness. [They have] Lou Williams coming off the bench as [an elite leader], Montrezl Harrell as well. Shai being a rookie and getting big-time minutes in the playoffs. I just know that when it comes to developing talent and the coaching, I just know it’s the right spot.” said Kabengele.

Kabengele, 21, was named the ACC Sixth Man of the Year during the 2018-19 season where he averaged 13.2 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in 37 games for the Seminoles.  Throughout his two collegiate seasons at Florida State, he appeared in 71 games, averaging 10.3 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in 18.3 minutes.

The 6’10”, 250-pound forward shot 49.8 percent from the field and 37.4 percent from three-point range as a Seminole.  A native of Burlington, Ontario (Canada), Kabengele was named to the All-ACC Tournament team. Kabengele’s parents are from the Democratic Republic of Congo and moved to Canada after his uncle, Hall of Famer, Dikembe Mutombo was drafted.

Pels’ Griffin on Zion: ‘His desire to impact this community is matched only by his desire to contribute to winning at the highest level’

The New Orleans Pelicans selected forward Zion Williamson of Duke University with the first pick in the 2019 NBA Draft earlier this evening at the Barclays Center in New York.

“We are extremely pleased to welcome Zion and his family to New Orleans,” said Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations, David Griffin. “His desire to impact this community is matched only by his desire to contribute to winning at the highest level. So, let’s dance.”

During his lone season at Duke, Williamson, 6-7, 285, was the unanimous college player of the year, winning the Associated Press (AP), Sporting News, National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) and United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) player of the year honors, while also being the recipient of the 2019 Naismith Award and John R. Wooden Award.

Williamson is just the third freshman to win AP Player of the Year honors, joining Kevin Durant (Texas – 2007) and Anthony Davis (Kentucky – 2012). Additionally, the Spartanburg, South Carolina native was the recipient of the 2019 Karl Malone Award as the nation’s top power forward, was named the National Freshman of the Year by the NABC and USBWA, the ACC Player of the Year and a consensus First Team All-American.

Williamson appeared in 33 games for the Blue Devils, averaging 22.6 points (16th in the nation; 2nd in ACC) on .680 shooting from the floor (ranked 2nd in the nation), 8.9 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 2.1 steals and 1.8 blocks. Williamson helped Duke capture the 2019 ACC Championship, earning ACC Tournament MVP honors, and an appearance in the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament, averaging 26.4 points and 9.1 rebounds in postseason play.

Williamson becomes the third Duke product in the modern history of the draft to be selected first overall, joining Elton Brand (1999) and Kyrie Irving (2011), tying the University of Kentucky for the most players taken with the number-one pick.

Big Baller Brand announces new shoe

We all knew this was going to happen, and of course, LaVar Ball knew this was going to happen! Lonzo Ball is officially a member of the Los Angeles Lakers. Ball, who was the second pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, dropped a new sneaker called ZO2: SHO’TIME on Thursday. The shoe is white, purple, and yellow. Laker colors! The price? $495.

I actually like these shoes.

How bout you?

 

Knicks prez Phil Jackson on Porzingis: ‘We’ve been getting calls and we’re listening’

Knicks president Phil Jackson addressed the situation with Kristaps Porzingis on Wednesday night. Jackson, in an interview with MSG Network, did confirm that the team is fielding calls for Porzingis:

“We’re getting calls. As much as we value Kristaps and what he’s done for us, when a guy doesn’t show up for an exit meeting, everybody starts speculating on the duration or movability from a club. So we’ve been getting calls and we’re listening, but we’re not intrigued yet at this level. But as much as we love this guy, we have to do what’s good for our club.”

Porzingis did skip the exit meetings back in April. He was said to be frustrated with the direction of the team.

You would think what’s best for the Knicks is building around a 21-year-old stud in Porzingis, but maybe Jackson has a plan.  Whatever that plan might be, it should include Porzingis!

Listen below:

Robert Horry on Lonzo Ball: ‘He’s not Magic Johnson’

After the NBA Draft Lottery, where the Lakers got the number two pick in the draft, many thought that Lonzo Ball would be headed to the Lakers. Now, based off various reports, you wonder if Ball to the Lakers will happen.

UCLA broadcaster and former NBA player Tracy Murray favorably compared Ball to Magic Johnson. However, former Lakers star Robert Horry feels differently. Horry gave TMZ Sports his thoughts on Ball. When asked if he felt Ball could bring the Lakers back to prominence, Horry had this to say:

“He’s not Magic Johnson. Only Magic can do that, so, he’s no Kobe Bryant,” Horry said.

Horry does believe that Ball should work out for other NBA teams.

With all indications that Markelle Fultz is going to Philly, it looks like Ball will be there for the Lakers at two.  Ball to the Lakers just makes too much sense.  He is everything the Lakers need on and off the court. His style of play seems to fit with what the Lakers are trying to do in terms of pace; He will bring fans to the Staples Center, and give the team a buzz that it has not had in years.

I don’t see Magic passing on Ball, but anything is possible.

 

 

Report: 76ers get number one pick from Celtics; Deal to be finalized on Monday

Update: According to Adrian Wojnarowski, here is how the trade breaks down between the Celtics and 76ers. The deal will not be finalized until Monday, according to the report. 

Philadelphia: Gets number one overall pick from Boston in the 2017 NBA Draft.

Celtics:  Number three overall pick in the 2017 draft, 2018 first-round pick that the Los Angeles Lakers owe the 76ers, which is protected from numbers 2-5. If that pick does not convey, Philadelphia will send a 2019 first-round pick from the Sacramento Kings to Boston.

With the number one overall pick, the 76ers are expected to take Washington’s Markelle Fultz, who met with the team on Saturday.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski, the Boston Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers are in serious trade talks for the number one overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.  According to Woj, Boston would acquire the Sixers number three overall pick in 2017, and package to include future first-round pick from Philadelphia in exchange for the number one overall pick.

With the number one pick, the 76ers would draft Washington’s Markelle Fultz. Fultz could be on his way to Philadelphia to meet with the 76ers as early as Saturday, according to the report.

https://twitter.com/WojVerticalNBA/status/875822236946575360