- Auburn power forward Jabari Smith Jr. is expected to be selected no lower than No. 2 overall in Thursday’s NBA Draft, as relayed by Shams Charania of The Athletic. The sense is Smith will actually go No. 1 overall to the Magic.
- The Thunder hold the No. 2 overall pick and most projections have them taking whoever the Magic don’t take — either Smith or Gonzaga center Chet Holmgren. That would leave Duke center Paolo Banchero for the Rockets at No. 3. There aren’t many scenarios where either Smith or Holmgren drop.
- Charania wrote that Kentucky shooting guard Shaedon Sharpe is the “mystery man” of the draft. That is something echoed by Hoops Wire sources. Sharpe has worked out or will work out for every team in the lottery and has not shied away from 3-on-3 evaluations. He could potentially go as high as No. 4 to the Kings, some suspect.
- That is, of course, assuming the Kings keep the pick. We wrote more about that situation at this link.
- As we relayed, the Hawks have discussed forward John Collins with the Kings, though those talks did not involve Sacramento’s lottery pick, per Charania. Those talks are viewed as merely exploratory.
- Along with that, the Timberwolves have called about Clint Capela in their search for a veteran center, as we have also written about (link). Several league sources have told they suspect if the Hawks do move a starter this summer, it will be Capela.
- Veteran free agent guard Lou Williams fully intends to play again next season, agent Wallace Prather told Charania. While Williams isn’t expected to return to Atlanta, Prather said he will be “proactive” in trying to find his client a team.
- The Suns are hiring the NBA’s Morgan Cato as assistant GM and vice president of basketball operations, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. In the process, she become the league’s highest-ranking female front office member. Cato has been working in the league office for the past decade.
- Phoenix does not have any draft picks, but GM James Jones has said he will still look to get into the draft. Sources told Hoops Wire the Suns could trade for a second-rounder after a rival team drafts a player.
- In case you missed it, the Suns will entertain sign-and-trade offers for Deandre Ayton, per Marc Stein of the Stein Line. That said, it appears that the Trail Blazers are no longer in pursuit, added Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report. You can check out the latest on Ayton right here and all our Suns coverage on the team page right here.
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