When and Where: Thursday, June 20 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Here’s your open thread for the NBA Draft. But there’s more!
I’m in Brooklyn at the Draft reporting from the ground. So make sure to refresh this page regularly for updates!
Aaaaaand, we’re live!
Barclays Center is really quiet — probably because we’re about three hours away from the draft.
Soon, things are going to get really interesting. As they always do, the Washington Wizards’ brass has held their cards tight to their chest. Washington won’t have a shortage of options — aside from shooting guard (assuming Bradley Beal isn’t traded), the team could use a player at basically every position.
The team has largely stayed out of the rumor mill, so there’s no telling what interim Tommy Sheppard is thinking. Really, there isn’t a safe choice with the ninth overall pick, especially in a draft class like this one. Washington could aim high and take a player with upside — Bol Bol or Cam Reddish — or they could keep it more low-key with a pick like Rui Hachimura. It remains to be seen what the team’s draft board looks like — but we’ll find out in just a few hours.
Members of the media are just as perplexed by the Wizards as anyone. I took a small poll around the media room to gauge the temperature on the Wizards — and everyone scratched their heads.
Approaching the draft with an interim GM is confusing, and it creates more questions than it answers. A few members of the media — some who pay attention to the Wizards and the team’s pulse closely — think it’s only a matter of time before Tommy Sheppard officially gets the gig.
Why does it matter? Because Sheppard doesn’t really have a draft history. Some are convinced that Sheppard is his own free thinker — that the past moves Washington made in the draft aren’t actual evidence as to what the Wizards will do moving forward.
Regardless, tonight is the start of the Sheppard era — whether temporary or permanent.
The Wizards apparently like Nassir Little — and although he could be available late in the first round, they might not wait.
Washington took a similar approach last season when they reached for Troy Brown Jr., who impressed them during the pre-draft process. Little left a similar impression on the team when he met with them in D.C. recently, according to a source at the draft.
Things are happening — and they’re happening quickly.
The Hawks have acquired the fourth pick from the Pelicans. For the second year in a row, the Hawks made a trade to get the player they wanted. Last year it was Trae Young. This year it will be De’Andre Hunter.
The Timberwolves also traded up to the sixth pick (the one the Wizards were supposed to have — sorry for the reminder) for Dario Saric and the eleventh pick. What’s Phoenix doing? Phoenix things. The Suns also traded T.J. Warren — a player the Wizards could’ve used — and the 32nd pick for ... cash. Very Wizards-like from the Suns.
Washington could use a second round pick, so don’t be surprised if they get involved in the chaos soon.
The Wizards have officially taken Rui Hachimura with the ninth overall pick. Stay tuned for an exclusive piece on Hachimura, which will be published shortly.
Rui’s camp heard rumors that Washington had serious interest and he’s thrilled to land in a diverse city like D.C.
Washington’s brass wanted someone with high character -- and everyone seems to think Rui is hard working and will be a pleasure to coach.
To some, this may seem like the Wizards settled, but there’s a chance this ends up being a productive marriage. Both wanted each other -- and they got exactly what they wanted.
We’ll have an exclusive piece on the pick, with reaction from Rui and his camp, up tonight. Stay tuned...
MORE THINGS ARE HAPPENING!
The Wizards have acquired Jonathon Simmons and the 42nd pick from Philadelphia, per Shams Charania.
Washington needed to fill roster spots — they only have five players under contract — and this move obviously does exactly that. Simmons is a tough defender and blossomed with the Spurs. The 42nd pick will be valuable simply because the contract is not guaranteed, making it an affordable deal.
If nothing else, Sheppard is showing that he’s willing to get second round picks. The other guy was used to selling them.