Roko Leni Ukic has completed his season with KK Split, and is now looking toward the NBA draft. His first mission is heading to Treviso for the Eurocamp, where he will be participating in the first night of action. Afterwards, he will be holding a group workout for interested NBA teams, which will complete his assignment in Treviso. According to his agent, David Bauman, his buyout figure is being negotiated and will be anywhere from between $500,000 to $650,000, a figure which will not be a substantial hurdle should an NBA team decide to take him somewhere between 15-25 . KK Split is right behind him and is supporting him in his attempt to accomplish his dream of playing in the NBA. This buyout sum is expected to help KK Split establish their future and continue to build their team for the upcoming seasons. With that said, Roko is not interested in waving a towel next year on the bench of an NBA team, and will only stay in the draft if he feels like a substantial role will be available for him to earn on his future NBA team. He will be conducting private workouts with NBA teams immediately after Treviso, and is expected to be either the 4th or 5th Point Guard taken in the draft. That information is consistent with what we've been told by NBA teams. If the NBA adventure does not work out this season, he has numerous offers on the table from the cream of the crop of European basketball, including Maccabi Tel Aviv and Euroleague teams in Spain. That is exactly why Ukic will not be forcing the issue this upcoming season, although him and his agent feel like there is a 95% chance that he stays in. The excellent season he had this past year, leading the Adriatic league in assists and the Croatian league in scoring has not gone unnoticed by NBA teams.
Ukic's former teammate Drago Pasalic is hoping to be drafted in the early 2nd round and is also being supported by KK Split. He will be participating once again at the Chicago pre-draft camp. Fellow SFX client Erazem Lorbek has a $500,00 buyout, and will not stay in the draft unless he is guaranteed a first round spot. His team, Climamio Bologna, is currently playing in the finals of the Italian playoffs, which complicates the situation somewhat considering that his minutes have not been extremely consistent as of late. He can always pull out and try again next year, if he's not confident of his draft stock. He has a big decision to make in the upcoming weeks regarding whether he prefers to stay in the draft and fight for a rotation spot next year or continue to develop his game overseas.
Felton shooting up draft charts
As first reported by Jonathan Givony on Chuck Swirsky's radio show on 590 the Fan in Toronto, Raymond Felton has seen his stock soar up draft boards recently after strong workouts with high-to-mid lottery teams. Felton is impressing with his strength, speed, defense, leadership ability, and especially his perimeter shooting. He recently shot 18/25 from behind the NBA 3-point line and off the dribble, in a workout in New Orleans and teams are having a hard time finding weaknesses in the game of the starting PG for the national champions North Carolina Tar Heels. According to sources, Felton has surpassed Deron Williams on a number of team's draft boards, as the 2nd best point guard available in the draft after Chris Paul. His range appears to be anywhere from 4-7 at the moment, although teams picking immediately afterwards have expressed substantial interest in him.
Danny Granger healthy, back in workouts
After a period of over a week (after working out with the Clippers and Warriors), where Granger was forced to pull out of workouts with lottery teams because of an infected toe, Granger is healthy again and recently had a successful workout for the Indiana Pacers. His next hurdle is a private workout on Thursday with Hakim Warrick and two Guards, in front of numerous teams. This workout, in Chicago but not at the Moody Bible Institute, could go a long ways in making up the ground that he lost during the time he missed. Despite not being able to participate in recent workouts, believes that Granger's NCAA career speaks for itself and sees his range in this draft being between 7-18. Granger is in great shape still because of the fact that there are so many teams in that range who are in great need of a proven wing player of his caliber.
David Lee playing in Chicago
In somewhat of a surprise move, sources indicate that David Lee will participate in this week's NBA Pre-Draft Camp at Moody Bible Institute. Lee's stock has risen dramatically after a number of excellent workouts with teams drafting at the end of the first round. However, he is yet to receive a guarantee that he will be picked there. Lee does not want to leave anything up to chance, and plans to prove himself on the court in the old fashioned way.
Lee's presence will headline the event amongst big men like Ronny Turiaf and Randolph Morris. This Chicago pre-draft camp is already looking much stronger than last year, and private workouts at Moody Bible with Rudy Fernandez and Martynas Andriuskevicius only add more intrigue to what looks to be an extremely intriguing camp.
Regarding Ike Diogu rumors
Late last week rumors surfaced that Ike Diogu had received a promise from the Phoenix Suns at #21. When we mentioned to his father, he responded with a hearty chuckle, the only problem is that he hasn't even worked out for the Suns yet. These types of rumors are beneficial to Diogu's stock, but it looks like there is absolutely no truth to them in this case. While NBA teams claim that he is just 6'8 in shoes (as opposed to the 6'9 that has been mentioned), his 7'4 wingspan makes him a unique commodity in this draft, with physical attributes very similar to that of Elton Brand. Diogu will be conducting private workouts in Chicago this week, and afterwards will workout for Indiana on the 16th, Phoenix on the 17th, Minnesota on the 20th, Toronto on the 21st, and Charlotte on the 22nd. The fact that Ike Diogu has a workout scheduled the day after the pull out deadline tells us all we need to know about his intentions regarding whether or not to keep his name in this year's draft.
Rashad McCants' stock up in the air
Teams are have trouble getting a good read on Rashad McCants' true abilities, as he has hardly been able to work out for anybody, due to a intestinal disorder that has left him sick and in a tough situation as he travels around the country looking to establish a floor for himself. This is the same ailment that plagued him during the latter part of the regular and caused him to miss several games. The LA Lakers conducted a one-man workout with McCants, as he has been training in LA with his agent Jeff Schwartz. As far as we know, he has yet to finish a single workout beyond the one with the Lakers. This includes a showing for Minnesota, a highly publicized attempt which pitted him against Julius Hodge in Toronto, and another abbreviated stint with the Raptors the next day. More recently he traveled to Orlando, where he was yet again unable to complete a scheduled workout that included Francisco Garcia, who feels like he is being dodged by McCants. That, along with several other noticeable question marks that have been brought up in the past, leave his stock completely up in the air for the moment. The Minnesota Timberwolves are reportedly his biggest fans in the lottery, but should he slip past them, UNC Alumni George Karl of the Denver Nuggets will probably make a strong case to draft him.