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Posts tagged with Nba Draft

Stock Watch: Wiggins favorite to go No. 1 after Embiid’s latest injury

KUsports.com graphic by Janella Williams

KUsports.com graphic by Janella Williams

For months, all interested parties assumed Kansas University basketball products Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid, as well as Duke's Jabari Parker, would go in the top three picks of the 2014 NBA Draft.

Late last week, serious doubt surrounding that theory appeared out of nowhere with the news that 7-foot Embiid had a stress fracture in the navicular bone on his right foot, which required surgery and at least four to six months of basketball-less recovery.

Now the center whose name many began pencilling in as Cleveland's choice at No. 1 could drop out of the top three, and some have suggested Embiid could fall as far as the bottom half of the top 10.

The fall of Embiid actually helps his KU teammate Wiggins, who could be Cleveland's new favorite choice, given Embiid's back and foot injuries during the past year.

In the Consensus Mock Draft put together by NBA.com's Drew Packham, Wiggins goes No. 1 to the Cavaliers, and Embiid falls to No. 3 and Philadelphia.

Using Packham's hub of mock drafts, as well as a couple others, we can see that Wiggins is a popular choice for Cleveland, but predictions regarding Embiid vary quite a bit more.

Andrew
Wiggins
Joel
Embiid
DraftExpress.com 1st 4th
MyNBADraft.com 2nd 4th
NBADraft.net
1st 3rd
DraftSite.com 1st 3rd
NBA.com 2nd 6th
ESPN.com 2nd 6th
SportsIllustrated.com (*posted June 18) *2nd *1st
SportingNews.com 1st 6th
SheridanHoops.com 1st 4th
NBADraftInsider.com 1st 6th
NetScoutsBasketball.com (*posted May 23) *2nd *1st
BleacherReport.com 3rd 6th
FoxSports.com (*posted June 16) *2nd *1st
CBSSports.com 1st 3rd

The clock is ticking in NBA front offices, and we can stop worrying about mock-ups come Thursday night, in Brooklyn, New York. Until then, here is the latest on the Jayhawks' stock.


Joel Embiid

Kansas center Joel Embiid wrestles for the ball with San Diego State forward JJ O'Brien during the second half on Sunday, Jan. 5, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas center Joel Embiid wrestles for the ball with San Diego State forward JJ O'Brien during the second half on Sunday, Jan. 5, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

Fr., C, 7-foot, 250 pounds; from Yaounde, Cameroon

(All information uses only mock drafts posted since news of Embiid's foot injury)

Stock assessment: It seemed as recent as a week ago people were willing to look past Embiid's back injury, which kept him out of postseason games at Kansas. Now that his navicular bone is in the early stages of a lengthy healing process, his longterm health is under far more scrutiny. With multiple debilitating injuries popping up in the past six months alone, some NBA executives could be scared of wasting a high draft pick on a player who could spend more time on the injured list than the court.

Average mock draft position: 5th

Current high: 3rd (in three mock drafts)

Current low: 6th (in five mock drafts)

Overall movement: Falling — Embiid's seemingly limitless ceiling appeared to make him too good to pass up on at No. 1. His footwork, athleticism and ability to protect the paint made him the most coveted commodity to enter the NBA Draft since Kentucky big man Anthony Davis went No. 1 to New Orleans two years ago. Now the graceful (when healthy) big man is listed by oddsmakers at Bovada as the third-most likely No. 1 pick (12 to 1 odds) on Thursday, behind favorite Wiggins (1 to 2) and Parker (7 to 5). Soon we'll know which NBA franchise is willing to gamble on Embiid, and trust he can still have a prosperous career in the league.


Andrew Wiggins

Kansas guard Andrew Wiggins celebrates after delivering on a breakaway dunk against Kansas State during the second half on Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Andrew Wiggins celebrates after delivering on a breakaway dunk against Kansas State during the second half on Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

Fr., G/F, 6-foot-8, 200 pounds; from Vaughan, Ontario, Canada

(All information uses only mock drafts posted since news of Embiid's foot injury)

Stock assessment: Embiid's loss is Wiggins' gain. The wildly athletic Canadian arrived at KU as the projected No. 1 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, and now he could be back atop Cleveland's big board. If Embiid and Wiggins have one thing in common besides their year at KU, its their upside. With a clean bill of health and the kind of speed and leap-out-of-the-arena ability that are difficult to find, Wiggins could turn into a better pro player than Parker, even if Parker is more ready to contribute right away.

Average mock draft position: 1st

Current high: 1st (in seven mock drafts)

Current low: 3rd (in one mock draft)

Overall movement: Rising — Seven of the 11 current mock drafts examined here have Wiggins going No. 1. That could mean he begins his NBA career in Cleveland. Or it could mean some other team who covets a young player with a bright future offers the Cavs some sort of trade package to land Wiggins. Philadelphia is thought to covet Wiggins, and the 76ers might be willing to trade up two spots from No. 3 to make sure they can get him.


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Stock watch: Wiggins or Embiid — the debate continues

KUsports.com graphic by Janella Williams

KUsports.com graphic by Janella Williams

With three weeks to go until the big night in Brooklyn — the 2014 NBA Draft — a player's stock can potentially rise and fall on a daily basis. As Kansas University products Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid vie for the top spot, held by Cleveland, the debate continues on whom the Cavaliers should select.

In the world of the NBA Draft, few know the intricacies of the map quite like ESPN expert Chad Ford. As of this particular moment in the process, he has Wiggins as the No. 1 prospect on his "big board" — posted Wednesday at ESPN.com. Embiid comes in at No. 2.

So, why exactly should Wiggins be considered a better choice, when Embiid has drawn comparisons to all-time great Hakeem Olajuwon? Ford addressed that question, and much more, on SportsCenter.

"Embiid may have the biggest upside of any player in the draft, but there's questions with players with upside: Will he develop into the type of player that he needs to be? There's still some concerns about that back. Cavs doctors will get a look at Embiid in the next couple of weeks and be able to go over that back with a fine tooth comb. But when you talk about big men and back problems, it always gets a little scary at the top of the draft. That's why Wiggins is No. 1. He has that similar upside to Embiid, but there are fewer question marks about him."

Kansas player Joel Embiid, right, and Andrew Wiggins try to tie up Oklahoma State guard Markel Brown during the second half on Saturday, March 1, 2014 at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

Kansas player Joel Embiid, right, and Andrew Wiggins try to tie up Oklahoma State guard Markel Brown during the second half on Saturday, March 1, 2014 at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater, Oklahoma. by Nick Krug

There are plenty of Wiggins critics, who don't think he is worthy of the top choice, though. Ford said the unconvinced wonder whether the Canadian phenom will develop the complete skill set needed to be an elite perimeter player in the NBA.

"He needs to improve his jump shot. He needs to tighten up his handle a little bit. And does he have that killer instinct of a Kobe Bryant or a Michael Jordan? There was times that he was passive at Kansas. Will he be that alpha dog at the next level? If the answers to any of those questions is yes, then Wiggins is, I think, clearly the best prospect in this draft."

Ford concluded his spot with a potentially interesting tidbit. While it has been assumed for months that Wiggins, Embiid and Duke's Jabari Parker would go — in some order — in the top three picks, and all compete for the No. 1 slot, Ford thinks Dante Exum, a 6-foot-6 point guard from Australia, could be in the mix as well.

You never know. Last year, Cleveland surprised everybody by selecting UNLV forward Anthony Bennet No. 1 — ahead of No. 2 pick Victor Oladipo (Orlando), Nerlens Noel (6th, Philadelphia), Ben McLemore (7th, Sacramento), Trey Burke (9th, Utah) and eventual rookie of the year Michael Carter-Williams (11th, Philadelphia).

Watch the full SportsCenter segment with Ford below.

None by Chad Ford


— Keep up with the production of all the 'Hawks in the NBA daily at KUsports.com.

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Stock watch: The pros and cons of drafting Embiid or Wiggins

KUsports.com graphic by Janella Williams

KUsports.com graphic by Janella Williams

We know — with near absolute certainty — that Kansas University basketball products Joel Embiid and Andrew Wiggins will, in some combination, get selected in the top three slots of the 2014 NBA Draft.

What we don't know for sure is how Cleveland's, Milwaukee's and Philadelphia's front offices view each of the lottery-picks-to-be, and their top-three contemporary, Duke's Jabari Parker.

If you've seen Embiid and Wiggins play, you probably have your own theories about which one-year Jayhawk should go higher, and which will have a more productive career.

In that way, we are no different than scouts, general managers and CEOs within various front offices.

To get a sense of how greatly opinions differ on Embiid and Wiggins, check out a Grantland piece by ESPN's Ryen Russillo. He spoke with a general manager, an assistant GM and a director of scouting about the two KU players, Parker and Kentucky's Julius Randle.

Each evaluator opened their thoughts on Embiid with an "if." And that, of course, had to do with the 7-footer's health.

Medical records and testing will show more, but the big man sure looked smooth in a workout in Los Angeles last week.

The Wiggins questions presented by the evaluators with whom Rusillo spoke tend to revolve around his ball-handling, ability to take over and whether he will be a better pro than Parker (because they essentially play the same position).

Thanks to Drew Packham at NBA.com, we can easily get a look at what many draft prognosticators think of Embiid's and Wiggins' chances. He created a hub of mock drafts, and we added a couple to it to get a clearer picture of where the Kansas duo could land.

Andrew
Wiggins
Joel
Embiid
DraftExpress.com 1st 3rd
MyNBADraft.com 1st 3rd
NBADraft.net
2nd 1st
DraftSite.com 1st 2nd
NBA.com 3rd 2nd
ESPN.com 1st 2nd
SportsIllustrated.com 1st 2nd
SportingNews.com 1st 3rd
SheridanHoops.com 3rd 1st
NBADraftInsider.com 1st 3rd
NetScoutsBasketball.com 2nd 1st
BleacherReport.com 2nd 1st
FoxSports.com 2nd 3rd
CBSSports.com 2nd 1st

As for the NBA teams at the top of the lottery, each has a month to figure it out. For now, here is where each KU player's stock stands.


Joel Embiid

Kansas center Joel Embiid rejects a shot by Texas center Cameron Ridley during the second half on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas center Joel Embiid rejects a shot by Texas center Cameron Ridley during the second half on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

Fr., C, 7-foot, 250 pounds; from Yaounde, Cameroon

Stock assessment: When you watch a young man of Embiid's size do the things he can with a basketball, you can almost envision him as a franchise cornerstone for years to come. Throw some muscle, experience, comfort and growing knowledge for the game on that frame and you have a ready-made all-star.

Average mock draft position: 2nd

Current high: 1st (in five mock drafts)

Current low: 3rd (in five mock drafts)

Overall movement: Rising — A week ago, Embiid's average draft position was 3rd. In four weeks, it could be 1st. Don't be surprised if even more outlets project him as the top pick, the closer we get to the June 26 draft. Especially if he's healthy — there's that if again — the buzz around him will steadily get louder, and a growing number of NBA decision-makers will think the center can help turn around a franchise.


Andrew Wiggins

Kansas guard Andrew Wiggins tries to save a loose ball from going out-of-bounds over Oklahoma State forward Kamari Murphy during the first half on Saturday, March 1, 2014 at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

Kansas guard Andrew Wiggins tries to save a loose ball from going out-of-bounds over Oklahoma State forward Kamari Murphy during the first half on Saturday, March 1, 2014 at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater, Oklahoma. by Nick Krug

Fr., G/F, 6-foot-8, 200 pounds; from Vaughan, Ontario, Canada

Stock assessment: Critics will poke holes in Wiggins' ball-handling ability, because he won't be a complete NBA wing until he can slash to the paint in the half court. But teams that fall in love with his freakish athleticism will live with his half-court turnovers and limited overall game while he develops over the next few years. Upside is king in the draft.

Average mock draft position: 2nd

Current high: 1st (in seven mock drafts)

Current low: 3rd (in two mock drafts)

Overall movement: Holding steady — More mock drafts have Wiggins going No. 1 than Embiid or Parker. Still, his stock has potential to rise if he goes in and wows Cleveland with a workout between now and the draft. It seems like Embiid is his biggest competition for the top spot. But the Cavs could opt for a small forward with hops and potential to develop if they don't believe in building around a center.


— Keep up with the production of all the 'Hawks in the NBA daily at KUsports.com.

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Stock watch: Joel Embiid and Andrew Wiggins await lottery fate

KUsports.com graphic by Janella Williams

KUsports.com graphic by Janella Williams

By Tuesday night, NBA prospects Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid will have a much better idea about what their future might look like.

The 2014 NBA Draft Lottery — televised live on ESPN at 7 p.m. — determines which organizations land the top three overall picks in the draft. The team lucky enough to snag the No. 1 pick will have its choice of Wiggins, Embiid or Duke's Jabari Parker. (Or someone else if the people in charge want to swing and miss.)

At this point, all the top prospects know is that Milwaukee, Philadelphia and Orlando were the three worst teams in the NBA this season and they have the best odds of ending up in the top three — Bucks (64.2%), 76ers (55.8%) and Magic (46.9%).

But, depending on how the ping pong balls bounce, some other organization — Utah, Boston, the Los Angeles Lakers, Sacramento, Detroit, Cleveland, Denver, Minnesota or Phoenix — could end up as a potential suitor.

How important is the lottery? Both Wiggins and Embiid already are in New York and plan to attend it in person.

None by Jonathan Givony

With five weeks left until the draft (June 26, in New York), here is a look at the draft stock for Kansas University's lottery-picks-to-be.


Joel Embiid

Kansas center Joel Embiid gets his hand caught in the net as he tries to block a shot by Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield during the second half on Monday, Feb. 24, 2014 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas center Joel Embiid gets his hand caught in the net as he tries to block a shot by Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield during the second half on Monday, Feb. 24, 2014 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

Fr., C, 7-foot, 250 pounds; from Yaounde, Cameroon

Stock assessment: Embiid has a very good thing going for him. He's a center. And NBA decision-makers love using their top picks on players who can impact the paint on both ends of the floor. If he were a few inches shorter, or played another position, Embiid's back, site of a stress fracture that kept him out of KU's lineup in the postseason, would be under even more scrutiny.

Average mock draft position: 3rd

Current high: 1st — NBADraft.net

Current low: 4th — MyNBADraft.com

Overall movement: Falling — But not far. A few weeks back, Embiid's average draft position was 2nd. After he (like Wiggins and Parker) skipped out on the NBA Draft combine in Chicago last week, you get the feeling folks around the league are a tad worried about Embiid's back and his longterm health. However, all of that could disappear when teams bring him in for individual workouts and have their organization's doctors check him out.

Longtime NBA reporter David Aldridge explained on NBA.com that Embiid's agent, Arn Tellem, isn't currently making the 7-footer's medical records available. And he very well might continue to keep them out of the reach of NBA front offices.

Still, Aldridge talked to a number of league executives, and some aren't overly concerned about Embiid's longevity. Here's what one Central Division executive said:

"The No. 1 issue is going to be the medical issue with him. There's no other issues really to deal with. With him not having taken the physical in Chicago, he's difficult to project. I don't see him falling out of the top three unless there's a medical red flag."


Andrew Wiggins

Kansas guard Andrew Wiggins splits defenders during the Jayhawks 80-69 win against the Eastern Kentucky Colonels Friday at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis.

Kansas guard Andrew Wiggins splits defenders during the Jayhawks 80-69 win against the Eastern Kentucky Colonels Friday at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis. by Mike Yoder

Fr., G/F, 6-foot-8, 200 pounds; from Vaughan, Ontario, Canada

Stock assessment: Unfairly, Wiggins entered the college ranks amid comparisons to LeBron James and Kevin Durant. While his critics quickly shot down the idea of the KU freshman reaching the level of the NBA's two biggest stars, Wiggins handled it all perfectly. He just kept developing his game and improving in his one season as a Jayhawk. While the perception of what he can accomplish at the next level might have changed, Wiggins could still be the No. 1 overall pick in the draft.

Average mock draft position: 2nd

Current high: 1st — Draft Express and MyNBADraft.com

Current low: 2nd — NBADraft.net and DraftSite.com

Overall movement: Holding steady — A lot could change between now and the draft, but at this point the consensus is Wiggins will go No. 1 or No. 2. It's hard to imagine a scenario in which he would slip any farther than No. 3.

That's not the only good news for Wiggins. NBA scouts, coaches and executives have a college season's worth of information on him now. If teams were still able to draft players straight out of high school, Wiggins might have gone No. 1 last year and began his career with unrealistic expectations thrown at him.

Instead, no one will expect Wiggins to come in and save a franchise by himself. Plus, teams still value his athleticism (see: reported 44-inch vertical) and potential for the future.

Andrew Wiggins (@22wiggins), no #NBACombine necessary... #Bounce #P3 #SportsScience #RafterClub

Andrew Wiggins (@22wiggins), no #NBACombine necessary... #Bounce #P3 #SportsScience #RafterClub by p3sportscience

A Pacific Division executive indicated to Aldridge that some expect Wiggins to develop into something special once he has been in the league for a while.

"As far as a couple of years down the road, he could really take off because of his athleticism. I think his skills are going to improve. He's not the smooth scorer that Parker is. He's more explosive. He can go off in spurts. He's probably a little better in the transition game."


— Draft sites used for the player positioning portion of this blog include: NBADraft.net, MyNBADraft.com, DraftExpress.com and DraftSite.com.

— Keep up with the production of all the 'Hawks in the NBA daily at KUsports.com.

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On to the next round: Pierce, Chalmers, other Jayhawks advance in playoffs

Brooklyn Nets forward Paul Pierce (34) reacts with teammate Andray Blatche, right, after defeating the Toronto Raptors in Game 7 of the opening-round NBA basketball playoff series in Toronto, Sunday, May 4, 2014. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Nathan Denette)

Brooklyn Nets forward Paul Pierce (34) reacts with teammate Andray Blatche, right, after defeating the Toronto Raptors in Game 7 of the opening-round NBA basketball playoff series in Toronto, Sunday, May 4, 2014. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Nathan Denette)

During the first round of the NBA Playoffs, the narrative moved back and forth regarding how much Brooklyn needed veteran small forward Paul Pierce in crunch time.

In his 16th season out of Kansas, Pierce only scored 10 points in 25 minutes in Sunday's Game 7 at Toronto, but he made one of the top defensive plays of the postseason so far in the final seconds, blocking Raptors guard Kyle Lowry in the paint. His blocked shot sealed a 104-103 Brooklyn victory, and saved the Nets' postseason.

None by Stefan Bondy

If Lowry's shot had dropped through the net, Toronto would have moved on to the Eastern Conference semifinals. Instead, it will be Pierce and the Nets taking on back-to-back NBA champion Miami in the next round.

Newsday's Rod Boone and the rest of the media on hand spoke with an elated Pierce after the thrilling Game 7 win. The Truth was asked if he had ever swatted a shot to win a game.

"Nah, I don't think at this magnitude. On the road. Game 7. You're playing for your lives and you've got to sell out for your team.

"I really didn't have a great offensive game. I was in foul trouble most of the night and sometimes you've got to find ways to help your ball club win.

"I saw him go up, I went up with him, got my hand on the ball. Game over."

Pierce didn't make a basket in the fourth quarter, but he proved yet again he can still come through in crunch time.


On to the next round

Miami Heat's Mario Chalmers (15) exchanges words with Brooklyn Nets' Paul Pierce during an NBA basketball game Friday, Nov. 1, 2013, in New York. Brooklyn won 101-100. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)

Miami Heat's Mario Chalmers (15) exchanges words with Brooklyn Nets' Paul Pierce during an NBA basketball game Friday, Nov. 1, 2013, in New York. Brooklyn won 101-100. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)

Pierce wasn't the only former Jayhawk to move on to the second round of the NBA Playoffs. In fact, his Nets will be up against another KU product, the Heat's Mario Chalmers, in the East semis.

Miami is one of the favorites to win the NBA Finals, but Brooklyn swept the Heat in the regular season, so this could be a long, exciting series with the Nets trying to knock out the defending champions.

After disposing of Toronto, Pierce told reporters the Nets know taking on LeBron James and the Heat will be quite a challenge. Here is what Pierce said in Lang Whitaker's preview for NBA.com:

"When you play against the best, as a competitor, you want those moments. If you look at all the great competitors in this league, they want to play against the other best [players], to see where they are, to see how they measure up throughout history. When you play against the best like LeBron, it brings out the best in I think everyone. I think that's in any sport, when you're a great competitor. And I consider myself a great competitor, who wants to be in those moments, who wants to play against who people call the best."

That mentality showed during the regular season, when Pierce averaged 21.3 points in Brooklyn's four wins versus the Heat — he didn't average 20 or more points against any other team in the league this year. Pierce hit 55.3% of his shots against Miami, 45% of his 3-pointers, and averaged 4.5 rebounds and 2.8 assists.

Chalmers, meanwhile, only played in three of the Heat-Nets games, and averaged 11.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.3 assists. He shot 40.7% from the floor, and did most of his damage from long range, drilling 57.1% of his 3's vs. Brooklyn.

Game 1 of Brooklyn vs. Miami is set for Tuesday night (6 p.m., TNT).

Among the rest of the 'Hawks in the NBA lucky enough to make it to the playoffs, only Chicago's Kirk Hinrich didn't move on to the second round.

None by NBA

The Bulls were ousted by Washington, home of former KU power forward Drew Gooden. Though he only played 9.0 minutes a game in the first round and didn't even get off the bench in the Wizards' Game 5 victory, the typically jovial Gooden is looking forward to Washington's upcoming series with top seed Indiana.

None by Drew Gooden

None by Drew Gooden

Gooden, a late-season acquisition in D.C., only faced the Pacers once this season, and had three points and six rebounds in 20 minutes of a Washington win on March 28. Indiana won the two previous regular-season matchups.

Game 1 of Wizards-Pacers tips off at 6 p.m. Monday (TNT).

Oklahoma City backup big man Nick Collison might only be a role player, but he's about to take part in what figures to be one of the most entertaining series of the playoffs as the Thunder take on the Los Angeles Clippers.

OKC and the Clippers split four regular-season encounters, in which Collison averaged 3.8 points and 4.5 rebounds in 15.8 minutes. Expect Collison to score easy baskets against the Clips, because he made 6 of the 7 shots he took against them this season.

The first game of Clippers-Thunder begins at 8:30 p.m. Monday (TNT).

For Thomas Robinson's season to continue on into the conference finals, his Portland Trail Blazers will have to oust always steady No. 1 seed San Antonio, the defending Western Conference champions.

The Spurs won the last two meetings with Portland to even the season series at 2-2.

Robinson played 13.3 minutes a game against San Antonio this season, averaging 4.8 points and 4.5 rebounds.

Game 1 of Blazers-Spurs tips off at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday (TNT).


Vaughn part of Magic's plan

Orlando Magic coach Jacque Vaughn, left, talks to Orlando Magic's Jameer Nelson in the second half of an NBA basketball game in Memphis, Tenn., Monday, Dec. 9, 2013. The Grizzlies defeated the Magic 94-85. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)

Orlando Magic coach Jacque Vaughn, left, talks to Orlando Magic's Jameer Nelson in the second half of an NBA basketball game in Memphis, Tenn., Monday, Dec. 9, 2013. The Grizzlies defeated the Magic 94-85. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)

Orlando (23-59) didn't come close to making the playoffs. But that really wasn't part of the organization's master plan.

Another key part of the blue print: keeping head coach Jacque Vaughn in place.

The Magic extended the former KU point guard's contract through the 2015-16 season, as reported by Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel.

Robbins wrote that Vaughn, hired in the summer of 2012, has been patient as the franchise implemented a plan of rebuilding through the draft.

Vaughn started his head-coaching career with a 12-13 record. Since then, however, the Magic have posted a 31-108 record.

According to the report, Magic CEO Alex Martins and general manager Rob Hennigan have appreciated Vaughn's ability to build working relationships with players and "for maintaining an even keel despite the losing."

Vaughn and Orlando will find out May 20 at the NBA Draft Lottery just how useful the latest season of losing will be for the team's longterm success.


— Keep up with the production of all the 'Hawks in the NBA daily at KUsports.com.

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NBA Stock Watch: January 2013

It's been a while since we've popped the hood and checked out where the current Kansas University basketball players stand with regard to this year's NBA Draft.

By now, we all know that freshman guard Ben McLemore quickly has become one of the top prospects in the country and could very well be in line to be one of the top picks in the June 27 draft.

In this, the January edition of NBA Stock Watch, we'll look at exactly what all of the mock drafts are saying about McLemore and we'll also look into what's going on with the other Jayhawks who have a shot at getting drafted this summer.

Enough lead-in, though. You know how this works. So let's just get right to it.

BEN MCLEMORE: RS-FR., GUARD, 6-5, 195 pounds
Stock Assessment: Regarded in 2012 by Bill Self as the team's top pro prospect (even though he didn't play), McLemore certainly has shown why Self thought and said that a season ago. Gifted with incredible range, as pure a jump shot as there is and good size and great athleticism, McLemore certainly has what you're looking for in an NBA guard and also owns that always-important “upside” because he's still so young.
Average Mock Draft Position: 3rd
Current High: 1st (NBADraft.net)
Current Low: 5th (MyNBADraft.com, DraftExpress.net)
Overall Movement: + Rising + McLemore's stock continues to rise with each game. By now, he's proven himself to be more than worthy of this kind of hype and, as he continues to show improvement on defense and a well-rounded and polished offensive game, NBA scouts continue to fall in love with him. There's been some talk lately that he could be the top pick in the draft, but it certainly seems very likely, at this point, that he will at least be Top 5.

JEFF WITHEY: SR., CENTER, 7-0, 235 pounds
Stock Assessment: Entered the season as a likely first-round pick with the potential to creep his way into the lottery. There's no question that, defensively, Withey has what it takes to hang in the NBA, but in order to be a highly sought after prospect, Withey needs to get stronger and continue to develop offensively.
Average Mock Draft Position: 27th.
Current High: 24 (MyNBADraft.net and HoopsHype.com)
Current Low: 29 (HoopsHype.com)
Overall Movement: • Holding Steady • Despite being the front-runner for defensive player of the year, nationally, Withey continues to be slotted near the end of the first round in mock drafts. He's a legit 7-footer with good athleticism, but it seems like his light frame may be keeping him from moving up draft boards. Because big men are so tough to find, it's possible that Withey could surprise some folks with his pre-draft workouts and climb a little higher in the weeks leading up to the draft. For now, though, continued dominance on defense along with expanding his offensive game seems to be the best way for him to move up the board.

ELIJAH JOHNSON: SR., GUARD, 6-4, 195 pounds
Stock Assessment: In line to become the next great guard to come through Kansas, Johnson began his senior season with high hopes and even higher expectations. After losing Tyshawn Taylor and Thomas Robinson to the NBA, Johnson was the first player many thought about when talking about picking up their scoring slack. A different player than Taylor but every bit as athletic and armed with a better pure shot, Johnson has a chance to emerge as a rising prospect with a strong finish.
Average Mock Draft Position: 50th.
Current High: 48th (DraftExpress.com)
Current Low: Not listed (MyNBADraft.com)
Overall Movement: — Falling — A couple of these draft boards had Johnson as a late first-round pick heading into the season but his new role as this team's point guard and shooting numbers worse than most expected have dropped him into the second round in most cases. Because of his athleticism, explosiveness and solid size, Johnson has a chance to be a fast riser, but until he becomes a more consistent and efficient force on the floor for the Jayhawks, he'll likely remain a second-rounder for now.

Draft sites used for the player positioning portion of this blog include: NBADraft.net, MyNBADraft.com, DraftExpress.com, HoopsHype.com and DraftSite.com.

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Blog from the Prudential Center: Thomas Robinson selected 5th by Sacramento; Tyshawn Taylor taken 41st

11:35 p.m. Update by Jesse Newell

Just talked on the phone a little while ago with Tyshawn Taylor, who seemed excited to be playing about 10 miles from his hometown of Hoboken, N.J.

“It’s not that far,” Taylor said. “It’s over one of those bridges over there.”

Be sure to check back to KUsports.com in the next few hours for complete coverage of the NBA Draft, which will include a column from Tom Keegan and full reaction to the day's events from Taylor and KU coach Bill Self.

With that, we're going to sign off with our live coverage. Thanks for being a part of it.

10:03 p.m. Update by Jesse Newell

Tyshawn Taylor was selected with 41st pick in NBA Draft by Portland, who will trade him to Brooklyn.

9:47 p.m. Update by Jesse Newell

Here's Matt's story from New Jersey: Memorable hug, tears just part of emotional night for Thomas Robinson.

9:24 p.m. Update by Jesse Newell

The Chicago Bulls select Kentucky's Marquis Teague with the 29th pick. Turns out those earlier reports of the Bulls taking Taylor were a smoke screen.

Taylor will be a second-round pick.

9:05 p.m. Update by Jesse Newell

Thanks to the KU sports information department for sending this along: Here's audio from Thomas Robinson's press conference after he was selected with the fifth pick in the NBA Draft tonight.

8:25 p.m. Update by Jesse Newell:

A few more ...

(13) Phoenix — Kendall Marshall, North Carolina

(14) Milwaukee — John Henson, North Carolina

(15) Philadelphia — Moe Harkless, St. John's

(16) Houston — Royce White, Iowa State

(17) Dallas (later traded to Cleveland) — Tyler Zeller, North Carolina

(18) Houston — Terrence Jones, Kentucky

(19) Orlando — Andrew Nicholson, St. Bonaventure

You have to wonder what Houston's pickup of Terrence Jones means for the future of Marcus Morris.

7:46 p.m. Update by Jesse Newell:

Let's catch up on the last few picks:

(6) Portland — Damian Lillard, Weber State

(7) Golden State — Harrison Barnes, North Carolina

(8) Toronto — Terrence Ross, Washington

(9) Detroit — Andre Drummond, UConn

(10) New Orleans — Austin Rivers, Duke

(11) Portland — Meyers Leonard, Illinois

(12) Houston — Jeremy Lamb, UConn

7:28 p.m. Update by Jesse Newell:

These two photos were sent our way via the KU athletic department from NBA.com:

Credit: NBA.com

Credit: NBA.com by Jesse Newell

Former Kansas forward Thomas Robinson, right, shakes the hand of NBA commissioner David Stern after Robinson was selected with the fifth pick in the NBA Draft on Thursday in Newark, N.J.

Former Kansas forward Thomas Robinson, right, shakes the hand of NBA commissioner David Stern after Robinson was selected with the fifth pick in the NBA Draft on Thursday in Newark, N.J. by Jesse Newell

7:21 p.m. Update by Matt Tait:

Three videos of Robinson as I followed him following his selection in the NBA Draft, including the first one, where he's congratulated by former teammates Marcus and Markieff Morris.

7:08 p.m. Update by Matt Tait:

A couple photos of Robinson doing interviews after getting selected by the Kings.

7:04 p.m. Update by Jesse Newell:

Robinson sheds a tear on television when being interviewed by ESPN. Obviously an emotional moment for him.

7 p.m. Update by Jesse Newell:

It's official: Thomas Robinson is selected fifth in the NBA Draft by the Sacramento Kings.

6:55 p.m. Update by Jesse Newell:

This could turn out great for Robinson. Now, he could be matched up with DeMarcus Cousins in Sacramento if the Kings take him at No. 5.

6:54 p.m. Update by Jesse Newell:

Cleveland takes Syracuse's Dion Waiters with the fourth pick. Major surprise there.

6:47 p.m. Update by Jesse Newell:

The Washington Wizards pass on the hometown selection and go with Florida's Bradley Beal.

6:44 p.m. Update by Jesse Newell:

Kentucky's Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is taken second overall by the Charlotte Bobcats. It's the first time ever the two first picks in the NBA Draft have come from the same school.

6:40 p.m. Update by Jesse Newell:

No surprises with the first pick. Kentucky's Anthony Davis goes to New Orleans at No. 1 overall.

Waiting to see if Charlotte takes Robinson or if perhaps a trade is in the works.

6:35 p.m. Update by Matt Tait:

Thomas poses for a picture with his younger sister, Jayla.

Former Kansas University forward Thomas Robinson hugs 9-year-old sister Jayla before the start of the NBA draft on Thursday, June 28, 2012, in Newark, N.J.

Former Kansas University forward Thomas Robinson hugs 9-year-old sister Jayla before the start of the NBA draft on Thursday, June 28, 2012, in Newark, N.J. by Jesse Newell

6:33 p.m. Update by Jesse Newell:

Here's the aforementioned video of Robinson. If you can't hear, he says, "Rock Chalk, Jayhawk. KU all day."

6:22 p.m. Update by Matt Tait:

Pretty much just waiting now. Thomas Robinson was at his table in the Green Room by himself for a long, long time. No worries. He had plenty of visitors, as analysts from ESPN, other players and even a couple of other coaches came and say hey.

I got some video of him waving to the people back in Lawrence and saying, "Rock Chalk Jayhawk, KU all day," but he's such a quiet talker and it's so loud in here that I'm not sure we'll be able to post it.

Jesse's working on it now.

No sign of the Twins or Jayla yet, but they can't be far behind. We're getting close now and Robinson seemed to be very relaxed, just as he was yesterday.

More to come ...

6:21 p.m. Update by Matt Tait:

Here's Thomas texting away in the green room while waiting for the first team to go on the clock.

6:15 p.m. Update by Jesse Newell:

I talked to Kansas center Jeff Withey a few days ago to get his thoughts about Thomas Robinson in tonight's draft.

"He’s for sure a top-five pick," Withey said. "I think he proved a lot throughout this year, making it to the championship game. He’s a winner. I think it would be stupid not to pick him up top five, and hopefully No. 2.

"I think Anthony Davis is definitely a lock for No. 1, so if Thomas can get that No. 2 spot, that’s awesome for him."

Withey said the NBA Draft would be different for him this year because he knows so many players that are going to be selected.

"It’s definitely going to be cool to watch and fun to watch, rooting for Thomas and Tyshawn," Withey said. "I think Tyshawn is going to surprise a lot of people and go pretty high. It is definitely going to be something I’ll watch with a lot of people and make a day of it."

Withey also will be watching this year's draft knowing he could have been a part of it. He ultimately chose to return to KU for his senior year.

"It’s definitely something I thought about, but I’m happy with my decision," Withey said. "It’s definitely going to be cool to guess where I would have gone, but it’s probably a really stressful thing, and I’m glad I waited another whole year to have to deal with that."

6:11 p.m. Update by Jesse Newell:

A few more photos from Matt showing Thomas Robinson just before the draft.

5:45 p.m. Update by Jesse Newell:

Here are a few photos Matt has sent along from New Jersey:

This is the set for ESPN's broadcast of the 2012 NBA Draft from the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., highlights the main portion of the draft floor.

Here's a look at the stage inside the interview room where the draftees talk to the media after they're picked. http://www2.kusports.com/users/photos...

Here's the view — bright lights and all — that Thomas Robinson will have while talking to the media after he is selected. That's former NBA star Ron Harper in the front row. Naturally, when the players are in there the room will be full.

And this is a quick look at the green room about an hour before draft time. Thomas Robinson will sit with his sister Jayla and her father, Angel Morris, a childhood friend from DC and his AAU coach. Former Jayhawks Marcus and Markieff Morris are expected to be here tonight, but they won't be at Robinson's table.

5:14 p.m. Update by Matt Tait:

The stage is set — literally and figuratively — for tonight's NBA Draft in Newark, N.J.

The stage is set — literally and figuratively — for tonight's NBA Draft in Newark, N.J. by Matt Tait

Recently overheard an official with the Washington Wizards discussing their options. Sounded like a lot of what Washington does hinges on what happens with Robinson at No. 2. It sounds like if Charlotte stays and takes T-Rob, Washington will pick a different guy or trade down. If Charlotte stays and takes someone else, or trades and the new team takes someone else, Washington may look very hard at Robinson at No. 3.

Not huge news, obviously, but it was interesting to hear this from the Wizards.

In other news, I just saw a report that said the Celtics may be trying to trade up for Austin Rivers, the son of head coach Doc Rivers. My first reaction: What?!?!?!

I like Rivers, but I don't know why dad would want to trade up to get son. Talk about pressure. We'll see what happens.

More to come.

Original Post, 5:00 p.m.

Hello, and welcome to the official Draft Night blog from KUSports.com.

Matt Tait is live in Newark, N.J., at the Prudential Center, where Thomas Robinson is expected to go among the first five picks in tonight’s draft.

Also in New Jersey, although not in the arena, is hometown guy, Tyshawn Taylor, a four-year Jayhawk who could go as high as the mid-20s or could last into the middle of the second round.

It’s a very different night and experience for both guys, but one that expects to end with a lot of smiles and hugs.

Robinson, the runner-up in most national player of the year votes, will be joined in the Green Room by his 9-year-old sister, Jayla, his AAU coach, a friend from Washington D.C., and Angel Morris, the mother of former KU players Marcus and Markieff Morris, who were drafted in this very building one year ago.

As is customary, most of today was spent with rumors flying around and teams trying to jockey for position on the draft board. Those moves — if they’re made — could impact Robinson directly, who has a good shot at going second overall if Charlotte stays there but could drop to four or five if Charlotte trades the pick.

Dropping to four or five sure doesn’t sound like a bad deal, and it seems safe to assume that Robinson won’t be in the Green Room for long.

Although the past several weeks were spent with these guys traveling all over the country working out with this team or the other, that’s all behind them now. All that remains is for NBA commissioner David Stern to call their names and the euphoria that follows to ensue.

We’ll be here all night offering our thoughts on the picks and Matt will be checking in from Newark, N.J., as often as possible with pics, videos and his thoughts.

Hang out all night or keep checking back whenever you can. It’s Draft night and that’s becoming more and more of a big deal for Kansas fans.

For those looking to kill time before the first — or maybe the second — pick, here’s Matt’s story from yesterday, which looks at what Robinson and Taylor did in their final days leading up to tonight’s big moment.

Stay tuned for much, much more and enjoy the draft!

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