Tag:

2009 prospects

Kudos to Pete Vecsey for flat-out asking Donnie Walsh his preference between Ricky Rubio and Stephen Curry in terms of who he would have drafted had the opportunity presented itself. It was something Alan Hahn has been telling us for some time.
"..."Curry," Walsh answered when asked whether he would have taken Stephen Curry or Ricky Rubio. "Not only is he a great shooter but he can get his shot on anyone. Opponents look at his baby face and figure they can manhandle him. Meanwhile he tore up every top-rated guard he went up against at our workout, including Tyreke Evans, who might be the best player in the draft next to Blake Griffin..."
Interesting that Curry would be the pick over Rubio in my opinion based on the fact that Rubio seems to fit D'Antoni's style a little better. Granted, I liked Curry as a facilitator and shot maker given space, but I thought Walsh for sure was targeting Rubio and heard several things of the like.

That being said, Walsh didn't aggressively move in on Curry or move up one spot to take him at #7, which makes me wonder just how much in love they were with him. And judging from what's coming out of Golden State, Curry isn't a great fit with teammate Monta Ellis.

Tags: 2009 NBA Draft, 2009 prospects, Ricky Rubio
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Two things of note this morning:

  • Via the Minnesota Star Tribune is reporting that the Knicks did offer Chandler and 8 to move up for Rubio and the Wolves declined. Why on earth would the Wolves would decline, I have no idea. They also noted that the Knicks had Rubio on top of their list ahead of Curry, which we figured all along.
"... The Wolves did turn down that Knicks? offer of No. 8 and Wilson Chandler for the No. 5, which Donnie Walsh would have used to take Rubio and not Stephen Curry..."
"...Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News reported that the Wolves turned down a deal with the Houston Rockets that would have resulted in Aaron Brooks and Shane Battier headed to Minnesota for Ricky Rubio..."
Tags: 2009 Active Off season, 2009 NBA Draft, 2009 prospects
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Interesting report? filed byKen Berger a little while ago:
"...So a predictable scenario was playing out, one that eerily followed Rubio's comments Wednesday about needing to be taken in a "top spot" to make the approximately $4 million buyout with his European team, JKV Joventut, palatable. Not inclined to view Minnesota -- and the $5.7 million rookie-scale guarantee over the first two years -- as a "top spot," Rubio apparently would rather go home for a year or two than play for the T-Wolves.

"Now I know where I'm going to go, so I have to talk with the team, what exactly they want about me, and if necessary, I'm going to pay the buyout," Rubio said.

That's fine with David Kahn, Minnesota's new GM, who had the stones to pick Rubio even though he knew it would be problematic. He knew it would be problematic because Rubio was represented by Dan Fegan, who tried to scare the bejesus out of the Milwaukee Bucks when they dared to select Yi Jianlian in 2007. That didn't end well, depending on your perspective. Yi was dealt to the Nets in a package for Richard Jefferson, who was given away to San Antonio this week for expiring contracts.

Tags: 2009 Active Off season, 2009 NBA Draft, 2009 prospects, Ricky Rubio
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Okay, my phones and emails are off the wall and haven't stopped. Here's what we're hearing:

  • Sounds like possible destinations for David Lee could be Portland or Memphis, yes Memphis. We told you Portland had interest around the deadline, then heard recently they are focusing on Turkoglu, but a source tells me that if the Knicks don't get close to what his agent deems as max value, expect a sign and trade to either. Chicago could have been a possibility, but there are way too many moving parts. Chicago doesn't want to give up what the Knicks would want, and remember Ben Gordon is unrestricted.
  • The Knicks aren't the only team in the area who have serious interest in Gerald Henderson. Kudos to Isola for digging to hear that Henderson is a possibility in NY, which I've heard two other people mention, and one who I really trust. You guys have heard Rubio and Jrue out of me...but you know I would have drafted Henderson in March.
  • The Nets have high interest in the Duke product and right now they rank him and Terence Williams about even. You can throw Tyler Hansbrough into the discussion as well. They will take Demar DeRozan if he falls but not before Jordan Hill if he falls. They are not targeting Brandon Jennings (neither are the Knicks despite reports), DeJuan Blair or James Johnson.
  • Speaking of Johnson, Golden State is all over him. Obviously, 7 is too early for the Wake product, but they are trying every means necessary to try and obtain another pick to get him. They think he's a steal.
Also, Via Chris Broussard (12:45am)
"...The Cleveland Cavaliers and the Phoenix Suns have come to an agreement on a blockbuster trade that sends Shaquille O'Neal to Cleveland to team with LeBron James, according to sources.

The deal has been agreed to in principle and is expected to be finalized Thursday, according to sources.

Tags: 2009 Active Off season, 2009 NBA Draft, 2009 prospects
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With reports that darko may REALLY be coming to the Knicks this time, (and let's face it, it's for Q then you make it happen) and the fact that the Clippers apparently will be shopping some bigs, the Knicks may be bolstering their front line.

We said it at the Draft Lottery that Marcus Camby could be the option, and when you consider what the Clip Show gave up to get him, it makes sense that Walsh can get him on the cheap.

We know he was the target last year during the Z-Bo talks but was told he was unavailable, but now that he could be on the market expect Donnie to pounce.

Tags: 2009 Active Off season, 2009 NBA Draft, 2009 prospects
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Update: 1050 ESPN is reporting that it is a done deal for 3 million dollars...although they are claiming that Wilson Chandler is untouchable as we look towards maybe other deals. The Kings pick at 4 is still in play I believe...

1050 ESPN Radio's "professional pest" Andrew Marchand is reporting the Knicks are in the midst of trying to land the 28th pick in this year's draft from the Wolves.

Interesting take, yet I'm hearing that it's going to take more than the 3 million to land the other Wolves pick, which stands at 18. Walsh was adamant the other day in saying, "I'd love to have a pick, but people aren't running around giving them away" and also added, "you might be able to get a really good player 20 to 30."

Tags: 2009 Active Off season, 2009 NBA Draft, 2009 prospects
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Frank Isola is reporting that the should Brandon Jennings and Gerald Henderson be on the board at 8, the Knicks prefer the Duke guard, who has been having tremendous workouts.
"...The Knicks own the eighth pick in Thursday's draft and are trying to move into the top four in order to take Rubio, the highly touted point guard from Spain. Rubio, Curry and Evans are all projected to go in the top seven.

When it comes time for the Knicks to make their pick, point guards Brandon Jennings Jrue Holiday should both be available, but people familiar with the club's thinking claim that Donnie Walsh and Mike D'Antoni prefer Henderson, a 6-5 shooting guard from and son of the former player - and former Knick - of the same name.

The thinking among the Knicks' brain trust is that Henderson, unlike Jennings and Holiday, has the ability to step in and make an immediate contribution. Henderson, who averaged 16.5 points last season as a junior, is regarded a strong character individual with a high basketball IQ. In a majority of mock drafts, Henderson is projected to be picked either 11th or 12th..."

Well, you know we love Henderson who has the NBA frame and athleticism to help immediately, but I can imagine the unmerciless booing should they take him. He's a good, solid fit moving forward.
Tags: 2009 NBA Draft, 2009 prospects
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I know it's hard to trade Wilson Chandler. Real hard. In fact, it wouldn't shock me if Knick management were torn right down the middle. TKB reached out to Wilson, who appeared on our radio show the other day, but his phone was turned off.

I've loved Will since day one and see him as a physically gifted player who plays on both ends. He can shoot and slash and is unselfish as well. All the things that can make him a perennial 15 ppg scorer along with solid rebounding,? assist and steal numbers. He's a 25-30 minute player on a highly- competitive team.

That said, Chandler's wavering confidence has been an issue, as has his shot selection, and his handle will never allow him to be a 2 guard in this system. As we know forcing a player out of position can rack the brain. Just ask Danny Murphy.

Tags: 2009 NBA Draft, 2009 prospects, Where 2010 happens, Wilson Chandler
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I am not a gambler, but I know a big risk when I see one. With rumors swirling around that the Knicks might be willing to offer Wilson Chandler for the Wizards? #5 overall selection, I figured that I would chime in before anything comes to a head. The Knicks have to acquire young talent. It is fair to say that. But in dealing away Wilson Chandler, Donnie Walsh would be dealing away a young player for the sake of bringing in just one other young player. It is not surprising to see the Wizards be so willing to move out of the fifth spot. After all, this draft is not necessarily the cream of the crop when it comes to drafts. The Wizards want to win now, and to do so, they need productive players that can contribute immediately. With the Cavs coming off a Cinderella season, the Magic potentially losing Hedo Turkoglu, and the Celtics getting older, the Wizards see an opening in the Eastern Conference. The Hawks were the 4th best team in the East. Get my drift?

Wilson Chandler, love him, hate him, or fall in between, is a productive player. Forget about the nonsense that he would not be a good player in a more traditional system. Chandler has game. He showed it under Isaiah two years ago. Last year, he was near the top of the sophomore class. As an inconsistent 21 year old, Chandler was essentially a 15 ppg and 5 rpg SF that was arguably the team?s best defender. Playing the 2, 3, or 4, Chandler was also arguably the most versatile player on the team. Right now, Chandler is a starter on a mediocre team, and perhaps the 6th man on a championship caliber team. He is that good now, and he has the potential to be a very, VERY special player. If he was in this year?s draft (he is younger than many of the 1st round prospects), Wilson would be a lock for the lottery, and perhaps a lock for the top 10.

Tags: 2009 NBA Draft, 2009 prospects, Amar'e Stoudemire, Trade Rumor, Where 2010 happens, Wilson Chandler
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With the rumors with Washington on full speed, the Post's Peter Vecsey adds some fuel to the fire in saying that the Knicks are angling for 5 so they can trade up to 2 to snag Ricky Rubio.

"...Some of the immoderately mesmerized queued up include the Timberwolves, Kings and Knicks, who are angling to acquire No. 5 from Washington for Larry Hughes (but must take the expiring contracts of Mike James and Etan Thomas) and parlay the pick with No. 8 for No. 2.

Disregarding the 6-foot-3 Spaniard's contract tribulations for the moment, Rubio doesn't take a possession off competitively, has improved his 3-point shot whenhe's able to set his feet, a la Jason Kidd, and sees the court like a nun saw a crowded classroom, minus the mistakes.

Tags: 2009 Active Off season, 2009 NBA Draft, 2009 prospects, Donnie Walsh, Ricky Rubio
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Just finished the radio show with Rice Balls and came upon this nugget from Hahn.
"...The best opportunity may come with the Wizards' pick at No. 5, though it would come at a very steep price. Multiple sources confirmed that the Knicks have discussed a potential blockbuster trade between the teams that would land the fifth overall pick and allow the Knicks to keep their spot at No. 8. The deal likely would have to include one of the team's most valuable assets, swingman Wilson Chandler, which would be a difficult decision.

This scenario also might include Larry Hughes going back to Washington in exchange for guard Mike James, a Long Island product, and a big man such as Etan Thomas or Brendan Haywood. All of the players involved have expiring contracts.

The bold move by the Knicks, however, would not be to target Thabeet or even Spanish guard Ricky Rubio. It appears more likely that Davidson's Stephen Curry or Memphis' Tyreke Evans are the more coveted prospects.

Tags: 2009 Active Off season, 2009 NBA Draft, 2009 prospects
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Donnie Walsh admitted that he has never seen Ricky Rubio in person but has seen him plenty of times on tape and of course in the Olympics where Mike D'Antoni got to see him up close. He knows what type of player he is and he trusts his scouts in Spain.

Walsh also admitted there are Plans B,C, D and E to go along with plan A because you always have to be prepared. Where staying put at 8 is as part of those plans is anyone's guess.

Walsh talked about plenty of prospects in depth, and was sure to try and distinguish them so I'll pass it to my boy Zags, who has listed Walsh's thoughts on each prospect including Holiday.

"...ON RICKY RUBIO: "I think there are other players that are on his level. He's got experience. He's got a great game. He's got a flair. Like most of the players in the draft, he's got some things he does better than others, and he's got some things that he doesn't do well. He's 6-feet-4, 6-feet-5, that's a big guard."

Tags: 2009 Active Off season, 2009 NBA Draft, 2009 prospects, Donnie Walsh
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Just finished yapping with Donnie Walsh as he addressed the media at the team's practice facility in Greenburgh and there were some important points of note.

First and foremost, Walsh is looking for a prospect? who can "play at fast tempo, and a guy who can defend."

Smokescreen or not Walsh didn't seem overly optimistic about the prospects of moving up Thursday, but felt that he may not need to seeing that two intriguing prospects,? Ricky Rubio and Hasheem Thabeet, could find their way to the Knicks at 8. Walsh was clear in saying the Knicks have not worked out Rubio, refuting a report today. (Our apologies to Marc Berman who said they were trying to interview Rubio, not work him out). Walsh told reporters that he had not seen Rubio in person, but is confident that he knows him as a player.

Tags: 2009 NBA Draft, 2009 prospects, Donnie Walsh
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Via Berman:
"...The Knicks have not given up hope on Ricky Rubio and are still trying to interview the 18-year-old Spanish point guard phenom this week before Thursday's NBA Draft, according to a source. Rubio will be in New York for the draft but hasn't worked out for teams.

Rubio visited Sacramento, but did not work out.

Rumors are circulating that Rubio could fall because of the complexity of his $6 million buyout and the Kings are no lock to take him at No. 4. Rubio has sued his Spanish club and a court hearing is scheduled for tomorrow. A Spanish source said he would not be surprised if Rubio starts the preseason in Spain.

Tags: 2009 NBA Draft, 2009 prospects, Ricky Rubio
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From today:Tyreke Evans, Stephen Curry, Jonny Flynn, Toney Douglas, Nick Calathes, Patrick Mills...

Tags: 2009 NBA Draft, 2009 prospects
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Everyone is talking about the Washington Wizards and 5, how about the idea of moving up to the Kings at 4. They apparently love Jonny Flynn.

Sam Amick, who does a bang up job for the Sac Bee's Kings Blog, gives some insight as to where the prospects including Flynn and Ricky Rubio sit in the eyes of Kings brass.

"...While Rubio remains high on the Kings' board, it is believed the in-house opinions vary greatly. Syracuse point guard Jonny Flynn has many fans in the team's scouting department and front office, and Memphis' Tyreke Evans will have another chance to establish his position as he has a second Kings workout Sunday.

He will be joined by a potential dark horse in the race, as Davidson guard Stephen Curry is already gaining ground in the Kings' conversation and could greatly improve his chances with a good showing. Curry, who has drawn comparisons to former Kings point guard Mike Bibby, averaged 28.6 points per game in his junior season while shooting 45.4 percent overall and 38.7 percent from three-point range..."Apparently, the Knicks and Kings were close to a deal last deadline, which would have sent Nate Robinson and Jared Jefferies to Sac Town for Kenny Thomas's contract. The Kings were said to want Nate because he is a fan favorite. But as we know, Nate can't be moved in a deal until July and if they want Flynn, do they really want Nate too?

Tags: 2009 Active Off season, 2009 NBA Draft, 2009 prospects
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I'm puzzled why people believe that Jrue Holiday could possibly be a potential bust. What I also have trouble believing or understanding is that a good portion of Knick fans have openly complained that this team needs defense and that their coach doesn't teach it. So, how about bringing in a good prospect who actually WANTS to defend?

And as I've said all along, the reasons why I love Holiday is his ability to want to guard, his physical attributes and skills at the point guard position. To me, he is one of the top 2 or 3 all-around prospects in the entire draft.

But don't worry about me, take David Thorpe's word for it. Thorpe, who doesn't buy my "lefty big men have the advantage" stance, (we'll agree to disagree) has as strong a scouting eye as there is. As Executive Director of the Pro Training Center at IMG Academies in Bradenton, Florida, he has been working potential picks for nearly two decades.

Tags: 2009 Active Off season, 2009 NBA Draft, 2009 prospects, Ricky Rubio
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There are several things in sports that always grab a fan's attention. ESPN sideline reporter Erin Andrews, for example, is someone who's been known to stop any and all bar conversations mid-rant. But from an actual informational standpoint, there is a serious fascination with mock drafts. I like the mocks as much as the next sports junkie, but as we look toward the NBA Draft next week, and even well into July, it appears that there will be so much movement that mocks will be pretty useless.Players that I have talked to in and around Knicks camp feel that a bevy of trades are coming, and the shuffling has them all on edge.

"It's wide open," Tyreke Evans told reporters the other day following his workout at the Knicks' facility in Greenburgh. "One minute they are looking at looking at someone else, then another guy. Hopefully you end up in a good place where you want to be."

Even a player who has been lobbying to end up at 2 Penn Plaza went on record yesterday saying that he's not so sure what to think either.

Tags: 2009 Active Off season, 2009 NBA Draft, 2009 prospects, Ricky Rubio
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Via Adam Zagoria

"...Twenty years ago, Rod Strickland was a talented and popular point guard for the Knicks. A generation later, one of Strickland's proteges, Tyreke Evans, could end up in New York as well.

The Knicks hold the No. 8 pick in the NBA Draft on June 25 and have worked out a slew of point guards, including the 6-foot-6, 220-pound Evans out Chester, Pa.

Tags: 2009 NBA Draft, 2009 prospects
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Just had a conversation with a Big East assistant coach and we went over all the prospects in the draft and he said, without question,? Louisville's Terence Williams is the sleeper prospect of the conference.

"Williams is a handful," the coach said." I hear people say he can't shoot, but he can score and guard multiple positions and he's a really underrated passer."
And what followed was a great point and one that teams picking in the mid first round, should take notice of.

"He's kind of like (Trevor) Ariza in a lot of ways as in he can slash and do a lot of things. He's not as tall but he's pretty long at the guard position. He's got great energy. He's a steal."
I like the Ariza thing based on the fact that Ariza, and Rajon Rondo for that matter, weren't good shooters but learned to be. Ariza didn't miss this year.

Tags: 2009 NBA Draft, 2009 prospects, Wilson Chandler
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Interesting piece by Ailene Voisin of the Sac Bee who pleads for the Kings management to do everything in their power to make sure Ricky Rubio follows up in a long line of Euros to call Sac-town home. None as famous as the one and only Vlad Divac... right Shaq?

Anyway, Voisin adds an interesting note corroborating my thoughts as to why the Knicks could be a major player.

Tags: 2009 Active Off season, 2009 NBA Draft, 2009 prospects, Ricky Rubio
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I'll let you guys and gals play around with this one. For those that have not looked at this yet, it is fairly interesting. According to Hollinger's draft rater, this is the top dozen players in this year's draft class:

"To review for the uninitiated, the Draft Rater looks at a player's college production in a variety of metrics and a few other salient facts (such as his height, birth date and years of college experience), and from that projects what a player's Player Efficiency Rating will be when he reaches his peak.

According to Hollinger, the Draft Rater also has spotted some of the biggest steals in recent years:

Tags: 2009 NBA Draft, 2009 prospects
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Kudos to a fan named John Howard who made a Knick post on an Oklahoma Thunder forum in talking about the last 20 drafts.

"...Who will New York take with the 8th pick??? I've seen many mock drafts and there is one consistency--point guard.?? Brandon Jennings, John Flynn, Jrue Holliday are all point guards that keep popping up.? I've looked at the last 20 drafts and have broken down the 8th pick as follows:

Super stars--0

Tags: 2009 NBA Draft, 2009 prospects
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According to Marc Berman-
"...Still analyzing point-guard talent, the Knicks are trying to bring in UCLA freshman point guard Jrue Holiday for a second workout, The Post has learned.

Holiday worked out on June 9 for the Knicks, who fear Stephen Curry will be off the board when they pick at No. 8 in next Thursday's NBA Draft.

It's Pac-10 time for the Knicks. After working out Arizona's C Jordan Hill Tuesday, the Knicks will bring in USC freshman shooting guard DeMar DeRozan today for a solo job.

Tags: 2009 NBA Draft, 2009 prospects
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According to Marc Berman,?tomorrow (later today...), the Knicks will bring in Demar DeRozan for a look in what appears to be the last scheduled workout.? I say "scheduled workout" because last minute second looks happen quite often before the draft.? I will not be shocked to see Donnie Walsh and D'Antoni bring in a player for another close up.? As for DeRozan, I have talked to people and read reports on him that have been all over the place.? Some see him as potentially the best player in the draft.? Others are down on his athleticism and his overall game.? Hype can be a tricky thing sometimes.? So can potential.? I did not see USC play much this year, but when I did see them play, I was very impressed with forward Taj Gibson.? DeRozan did not catch my eye quite like I thought he would have done so.? Perhaps that is more of a testament to how well I thought Gibson played than it is a knock on DeRozan.? I guess Donnie and D'Antoni will see for themselves tomorrow (today...).

See Adam Zagoria's take...

Tags: 2009 prospects
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Time to step out on a limb.

The more I think of it, the more I've come to realize that when it's all said and done, Ricky Rubio will be a Knick.

How do I know? There just seems to be too many things moving in that direction.

Tags: 2009 NBA Draft, 2009 prospects, Ricky Rubio
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Via Marc Berman-
"...The Post has learned Knicks president Donnie Walsh has secretly coveted Hill, the 6-foot-10 big man whom they would take in a heartbeat over Curry. Walsh told confidants that after the draft order was established he thought a better chance existed of Hill slipping to them. That's because some teams picking before the Knicks weren't in the market for bigs.

There have been recent reports Hill was slipping, but chances still are Hill will be gone by No. 8. Walsh has eyed trading up and still has hope. Walsh will watch Hill today during a solo workout at their Westchester compound. It is Hill's second workout for an NBA team.

It has been stated the Knicks' priority has been a point guard, but Walsh says that perception is there only because a slew of point guards are considered viable in that range..."

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"...The talk is that Monta Ellis is unhappy with the direction the organization is heading in, and still holds a bit of grief over the way they held his contract status in limbo for months following his moped injury. For weeks we?ve heard that Ellis is no longer interested in playing for Golden State, and apparently it had reached a point where it was ?close to popping off? in the words of one NBA executive?meaning going to the media and publicly demanding a trade.

General Manager Larry Riley and head coach Don Nelson reportedly flew to Atlanta to meet with Ellis this week, and basically have made every attempt possible to defuse the situation, at the very least in order to not lose leverage in any trade talk they will inevitably be involved in. One NBA executive we spoke with believes that Ellis was promised that the Warriors will not be picking a point guard with the #7 pick, and that he will be the one running the show for them next year.

A number of agents seem to have heard similar things or just don?t want to get anywhere near this situation, and both Jrue Holiday and Stephen Curry are currently refusing to work out for Golden State. The same goes for Ricky Rubio and Tyreke Evans...

Tags: 2009 Active Off season, 2009 NBA Draft, 2009 prospects
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You've heard it a million times and of course you'd expect stock answer after stock answer from potential prospects.? But the most positive thing that any fan can take out of prospects meeting with the media following workouts is that you get the feeling they can come in and play right away in this system, making New York an attractive sell ON the court,? which is a far cry then what it was a short time ago.

"I really want to come here, I'm not gonna lie," Brandon Jennings said after today's workout.? "D'Antoni's system is great for all point guards. You seen what he did for Steve Nash MVP back-to-back years and the Suns were one of the most exciting teams to watch for those two years, so you know his system is great for me."

Tyreke Evans was also quick to point out that he's sees himself as a D'Antoni-type player.

Tags: 2009 NBA Draft, 2009 prospects, Brandon Jennings
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Courtesy of GoldenStateofMind:
"...[Jordan] Hill, 21, is perhaps unlikely to be there when the Warriors' turn comes at No. 7, considering he's regarded as the most NBA-ready big man next to Oklahoma power forward Blake Griffin, who's expected to go No. 1 to the Los Angeles Clippers. But if Hill is there, he may tempt the Warriors to disregard need and go for the best player available.

Hill held a solo workout with the Warriors on Friday morning. He said he was "pretty good" in his showing, which consisted, among other things, of running the floor, shooting midrange jumpers and working with his left hand.

He said he had dinner with Warriors coach Don Nelson on Thursday. He walked away thinking No. 7 might be the lowest he'll go.

"He said if I'm not picked in the top six," Hill said, "they're probably going to take me..."

Interesting that the Warriors would go big, especially when they can do well to pair a point guard with Monta Ellis. We shall see about this one...
Tags: 2009 NBA Draft, 2009 prospects
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Via the Oklahoman:
"...Even if the Thunder were to bypass Ricky Rubio with the No. 3 pick, would Oklahoma City general manager Sam Presti consider selecting a point guard with his No. 25 pick?

"They don?t really need a point guard, but this is an exceptionally deep draft at the point position,? said an Eastern Conference scout. "It?s the deepest I can remember at that position in a long time. There are 12 or 13 point guards that are getting first-round discussion.?

It?s no secret Presti would like to trade Earl Watson, a veteran who began the season as the Thunder?s starting point guard before becoming Russell Westbrook?s backup.

Watson has only one year left on his contract. Regardless of Watson?s situation, it might be prudent to select a point guard late in the first round to serve as Westbrook?s backup for years to come..."

Interesting. The Thunder are a team on the rise and could surely benefit in nabbing a facilitator. Has Curry's stock risen so high that now he's being considered at 3? The anticipation building for next Thursday is going to continue to mount.
Tags: 2009 NBA Draft, 2009 prospects
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Via ZagsBlog.
"...The Knicks will continue their search for a point guard on Monday when they work out Memphis freshman Tyreke Evans and California native Brandon Jennings at their Westchester campus.

Louisville junior forward Earl Clark of Rahway, N.J. will also work out for head coach Mike D?Antoni, as will UConn senior guard Craig Austrie and Gonzaga sophomore forward Austin Daye.

The Knicks hold the No. 8 pick in the June 25 NBA Draft and have already worked out the following point guards: Levance Fields of Pittsburgh, Jonny Flynn of Syracuse, Ty Lawson of North CArolina, Steph Curry of Davidson and Jrue Holiday of UCLA.

Tags: 2009 NBA Draft, 2009 prospects, Brandon Jennings
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Courtesy of the Sac Bee...

Holiday was in for his second workout with the Kings, but the spotlight was off of him mainly because he was faced off against Notre Dame point guard Kyle McAlarney. The winner of this main event, during and after, was Jennings. But because there was no extended video permitted to be shot (no surprise there considering the high stakes of this kind of face off), I decided to take verbal notes while watching the scrimmage. For the most curious of you out there, here is a play-by-play that is somewhat revealing. The bolded line was the highlight of the outing.

  • Jonny misses jumper over Jennings
  • Flynn and Jennings guarding each other, Holiday with Notre Dame guy
  • Jennings denies Flynn, plays tight
  • Jennings gets free off screen, hits jumper in the lane
  • Jennings short on jumper top of key against Flynn
  • Flynn misses drive,
  • Jennings takes charge from big, nope they called block
  • Holiday rotates on Jennings, who stutter steps gets around him right baseline and hits layup - no problem getting by Holiday
  • Notre Dame guy hits jumper left baseline from Holiday assist
  • Jennings loses Flynn on pick, finds guy for dunk coming left
  • Jennings steps back, almost three top of arc over Flynn
  • Jennings misses jumper over Flynn, left wing,
  • Holiday dunk on the break, Jennings can't get there for LeBron-style block (only lower)
  • Flynn misses layup in traffic, Jennings the other way gets blocked - layup by Holiday
  • Jennings loses Flynn on screen, misses layup baseline
  • Flynn loses Jennings on screen up top, finds big man down low for layup
  • Holiday big board in traffic with two others, finds big left wing - 20-footer good
  • Flynn left wing, 20-footer
  • Holiday pull-up left wing, good over big
  • Flynn floats right, flip pass left wing, three-pointer good
  • Flynn goes at Jennings in the lane, Jennings contests, and Flynn misses a five-footer
  • Guard hits a long two over Holiday coming off a screen
  • Jennings top of key stepback miss over Flynn
  • Holiday right wing, finds big through traffic, layup good
  • Holiday goes hard for layup, Jennings contests and Holiday misses
  • Holiday driving left, finds Flynn on right wing, who buries a three
  • Jennings misses three from top, somewhat contested
  • Jennings takes a spill in the three-man weave, gets quick breather and is back at it again
  • Holiday throws to self on three-man weave off backboard for the dunk.
Sounds like this was a great workout. Jennings is a player who is gaining serious momentum.
Tags: 2009 NBA Draft, 2009 prospects, Brandon Jennings
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Okay, so I've had the chance to watch some video and talk to some guard prospects and have heard some scouting reports from people's camps, but at the end of the day the best information that I have to go on are the countless times I've seen the prospects play. For guys like Ricky Rubio or Brandon Jennings, who I really didn't have the chance to see play much, it would appear that they still appear to be the first two guards taken, although the Kings may have a different say in that.

So without further adieu, here's my take on the guards in order:

1- Ricky Rubio- What Jennings says aside, Rubio is still the premiere PG in this draft. He's been playing elite-level professional basketball since he was 15 and from what I saw more than held his own against Team Redeem. In a free space-type system with adequate playmakers, the guy could be scary good. In a slow down, plodding half court set he will still find shots for teammates, but his jump shot could be exposed. That doesn't mean he can't be a solid jumpshooter. Remember Jason Kidd couldn't hit a jumper coming out of college either and became a? more-than-efficient spot/set shooter as his career progressed. And as far as the individual performances Jennings is referring to, remember basketball is a team game.

Tags: 2009 NBA Draft, 2009 prospects, Brandon Jennings, Ricky Rubio
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As we know, what the Grizzlies decide to do will dictate what happens afterword. I think the Kings decision is also important to what the Knicks decide to do.

Check out Greg Anthony's take.

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There have been rumors floated that the Celtics were in contact with the Wizards for the fifth overall pick in the draft.? According to Chad Ford, Danny Ainge has his sights set on Tyreke Evans.? With Ray Allen's name floated in rumors, and the Wizards' clear hole at the 2, can there be a match?? Ray Allen with Arenas, Jamison and Butler would be 4 all-star caliber talents in the starting rotation.?

Every year, there are booms and bust in the draft.? There are no exceptions to that rule.? Ray Allen is beginning to show his age a bit.? But make no mistake about it, Allen can still light up the nets on any night.? The guy is still a capable 20 ppg scorer in this league.? When given ample rest, a fresh Ray Allen is a baller.? Will that 5th overall pick give the same kind of boost?? Ford mentions that the Wizards would love to get their hands on Manu Ginobli, but if I was running that team, Allen would be a better target to chase.? Allen has a better track record of staying healthy than does Manu.? For a team that was completely hamstrung by injuries last year, why would the Wizards want another potential injury risk?

I doubt that the Celtics would want to take back Jamison's contract, so they would have to live with the pick and a few expiring deals.? The Celtics need more bench help, and a trade with the Wizards could potentially give depth to their roster.? But to deal away Allen would be a drastic move.? The Big 3 is still good enough to win a championship.? But if Ainge thinks that Rondo's role can continue to increase to the point where he is a major piece along with Pierce and Garnett, and if he believes that Evans can step in immediately and start in Allen's place, finding pieces for the future might not be such a bad idea.

Tags: 2009 NBA Draft, 2009 prospects
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In keeping with the Jennings theme, check out the Sac Bee's video.

At the end of the first video Jennings was asked if Rubio was all hype after talking about the one time when he played him and apparently got the best of him. His answer, "yup." Then he really goes off.

He also went on to say that if Rubio worked out with the likes of Jennings, Flynn, Ty Lawson, Stephen Curry and Jrue Holiday that we probably wouldn't be "the top."

Tags: 2009 NBA Draft, 2009 prospects, Brandon Jennings, Ricky Rubio
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Having taking a class or two on marketing and advertising, here's what my marketing brain tells me: Stephen Curry, had he not been an outstanding basketball prospect, would have made a Fortune 500 executive.The kid has done a great job selling himself as a means to land in a Knicks uniform. With his jumper and apparent play making skills, he has made it clear that his game is perfect for Madison Square Garden.

Heck, he even has a membership at the MSG library where Mike D'Antoni's book is on permanent loan. The kid has serious skills across the board that have the Knicks gushing about the possibility of drafting him with the eighth overall pick in the 2009 NBA draft.

But there is another talent that, according to those who have their ears pressed to the walls, seems to have caught the eyes of Knicks management. He's Jrue Holiday, and, much like Curry, he fits a serious need for this team both now and moving forward.

Tags: 2009 Active Off season, 2009 NBA Draft, 2009 prospects, Donnie Walsh
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So we're two weeks away from the draft and there's really not much clarity in terms of who's going where. Amidst the workouts, the reports and the blogging, let's take minute to focus the best we can on a few important points.

Of the players who worked out for the Knicks we know who's in play, and I'm happy that the Knicks brought in Gerald Henderson for a look. You guys have gut feelings and I have mine, I think this kid is a sure-fire, productive NBA player for the next decade.

Now, I've heard some things (and thank you all for you comments and emails, and congrats to Alvino for a post that has nearly hit the century mark comments-wise. We really appreciate all the Gym Rat's energy and devotion) about how we haven't mentioned guys like Eric Maynor and Brandon Jennings. Maynor is a solid prospect and to be fair there's not much difference between he and? the likes of Flynn and Lawson. Lawson is slightly ahead of Maynor in my book and at the end of the day if you put me on the spot I might just lean closer to Flynn's overall athleticism and take him ahead of the others not named Rubio, Holiday and Curry. But make no mistake, Maynor can really help a team right away if put in the right situation.

Tags: 2009 Active Off season, 2009 NBA Draft, 2009 prospects, Donnie Walsh
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Hoopsworld giving you some knowledge that you should already know from TKB scouts.

"...Jrue Holiday ? UCLA: Holiday received plenty of hype coming out of high school and heading into his freshman season at UCLA, but failed to live up to the lofty expectations on campus ? which caused his draft stock to tumble. However, according to many draft insiders, Holiday is once again a very hot commodity and, after an intensely impressive showing at the Chicago combine, Jrue is rapidly ascending to the top of many a draft board. His combination of size (6'4") and ball-handing ability has lottery teams, including the Knicks, intrigued. Word leaking out of New York is that Holiday has a number of fans within the Knicks scouting department..."

Tags: 2009 NBA Draft, 2009 prospects
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Yesterday, Alan Hahn wrote about the Knicks inquiring to move up for a shot at UConn center Hasheem Thabeet. Recently, Marc Berman wrote about Donnie Walsh's infatuation with the center. Even today, Berman wrote a blurb in his article about the possibility of moving up to select Thabeet.

This blog appears to be drastically split on Thabeet. Some would love to see Thabeet in blue and orange. Others, such as Tommy, would steer clear of him at all costs. Consider me somewhere in the middle.

The Knicks do not have the assets to move up in this draft to take Thabeet. The Knicks' best assets include Cuttino Mobley's contract and Wilson Chandler. Oh, that is not including the 8th pick. Is Thabeet worth trading up for? Of course Walsh can have a trick up his sleeve to get a higher pick, but that is not for sure.

Tags: 2009 NBA Draft, 2009 prospects, Brandon Jennings, Trade Rumor
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So we just got finished up with Ty Lawson, Johnny Flynn and Villanova's Dante Cunningham and there are some interesting thoughts as the two point guards held court in different parts of the media room.

Both players were extremely (as you'd imagine) complimentary of each other. Flynn admired Lawson's quickness and strength and Lawson respected the heck out of Flynn's edginess, which the Syracuse guard knows smaller players need to succeed. Since we couldn't watch the workouts, we have to trust each other's take on their performances.

"You have to play with an edge," Flynn said with a smile that most definitely can light up the Garden. "As a smaller player if you don't have that you can't last."

Tags: 2009 Active Off season, 2009 NBA Draft, 2009 prospects
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Ronald Tillery, who you have to think has deep ties in the Grizz organization, or at least is their mouthpiece, is reporting that several teams, including the Knicks, have called about the second pick.
"...As the rumor mill churns, the Griz have been approached by several teams about acquiring the second overall pick. Boston, Houston and New York are said to be among the most recent suitors.

Boston and Houston would likely have to offer an established NBA player or two, given that neither team owns a first-round pick. New York owns the eighth pick and likely would want to move up for the opportunity to take Rubio..."

I actually trust Tillery. He seems to have a pretty good hold on the situation. Or Chris Wallace is feeding him stuff, which would certainly be the wise thing to do as a means to leak information and see who's interested in moving up.

Tags: 2009 Active Off season, 2009 NBA Draft, 2009 prospects, Ricky Rubio
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Hanging with Flynn and Lawson later this afternoon in Westchester. Follow it all on my Twitter feed.

Tags: 2009 NBA Draft, 2009 prospects
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Okay, so by now everyone has digested the two big stories of the day. The first being the apparent arrival of Sergio Rodriguez on draft night, the other being the Pistons apparent interest in David Lee.

First off, here's the thing about Sergio. The Blazers have talked about moving up and the Knicks have expressed interest in Portland's back up guard. The rumor says that SR will be here draft night. So does that mean that the Knicks will trade down their pick to Portland?

Not sure, but I'd think probably not and would hope not as well.

Tags: 2009 Active Off season, 2009 NBA Draft, 2009 prospects, David Lee
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Via DraftX-

"...Jordan Hill potentially slipping into the bottom of the top-10 or even possibly slightly beyond. The talk is that the Washington Wizards? 5th pick could very well end up being claimed by Stephen Curry (whether for them or another team trading up), and that since Minnesota, Golden State, New York and maybe even Toronto appear to be looking at other positional needs, Hill could be on the short end of the stick come draft night....

Mike D?Antoni?s apparently taking a strong liking to senior Jack McClinton, to the point that they could try to buy a pick in the late first round to ensure they land his services..."

Also, our love affair with Beaubois, may have come to an end.
"...Rodrigue Beaubois sat out today?s action after injuring his wrist, a situation eerily similar to two years ago, where he also teased the NBA teams in attendance with an intriguing first game, and then subsequently shut it down for the rest of the camp. Beaubois has somewhat of a reputation for both being fairly injury prone and not the toughest guy around, and this probably doesn?t help on that front..."
Tags: 2009 Active Off season, 2009 NBA Draft, 2009 prospects, Mike D'Antoni
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