A representative of Redicks agent, Arn Tellem of Wasserman Media Group, returned a phone call from DraftExpress and read us the following statement made by Mr. Tellem: I am confident his draft status is anywhere from 7-14. You can take that to the bank. When asked whether Tellem is denying or confirming the rumors about Redicks alleged back problem, the representative said that is all Arn Tellem has to say about the back issue.
A Wasserman Media Group official later denied that there are issues that might lead Redick to conduct surgery and sit out for four months. That official was not willing to deny any reports about complications with his back that may have come up during his examination in Orlando.
According to various national media reports, Redick recently cancelled a Wednesday workout with Orlando and a Saturday workout with Boston, citing a sore back. Redick was arrested Tuesday on charges of drunken driving, and according to one source, his infraction may have been a direct response to frustration over his possible health issues.
Trade speculation has been more rampant this past week than any other time we can remember in the years weve been covering the NBA draft. Most people weve spoken with over the past few days think that there will be more movement in the lottery and first round than weve seen in quite some time. Here are a few potential trade rumors that are reportedly being discussed these days.
Garnett to Sacramento? A trade rumor that has been gaining some steam since the conclusion of the NBA pre-draft camp, this potential trade would send the disgruntled Kevin Garnett to Sacramento in return for whoever Minnesota wants with the #19 pick, Brad Miller, Kenny Thomas, and a newly signed and traded Bonzi Wells.
Pistons looking to move up? The Detroit Pistons could be looking to move up higher into the second round in order to land a legit backup point guard. They will conduct a big point guard only workout on Thursday featuring Jose Juan Barea, Mustafa Shakur, Dwayne Mitchell, Will Blalock and Walker Russell. A 2nd round pick that is reportedly for sale is Seattles, slated 40th overall. The Sonics would use that money to hire another assistant coach for next year, as they reportedly do not have the budget at this time to do so considering how much money the ownership there has lost over the past few years.
From the tapes weve acquired, its quite obvious that he is very athletic for a player his size, European or not. His quickness is especially impressive, as he's both nimble with his feet but also runs the floor extremely well. His leaping ability is just average, though. The impressive numbers he put up early on in the season in the Ukrainian first division before moving to a new team seem to be in spite of the little coaching hes received, not because of it. His footwork, post moves, and go-to moves around the basket all need serious work, as does his overall feel for the game. He's also not a great rebounder, and his defense is terrible any way you slice it.
Fesenkos really getting by solely on the fact that he's very athletic, plays hard, and is that much bigger than anyone else. He doesn't shy away from contact and definitely has some fight in him.
The best NBA comparison for him would be Mehmet Okur, but he is very far from making a similar impact. His best bet would be to pull out of the draft, go to a better league, and enter the draft again either next year or the year after, as hes only a 1986 born prospect.
Should he stay in, it wouldnt be a surprise to see him drafted somewhere in the 2nd round, as his buyout is reportedly affordable. He wanted to play at the Eurocamp in Treviso, but requested to be added to the camp roster too late and was turned down.
Rodriguez Finishes Up Workouts: Sergio Rodríguez will conduct his final private workout tomorrow with the Cleveland Cavaliers, marking the 7th NBA team hes worked out for so far in this draft. Rodríguez will leave shortly after to head back to Spain, where he will wait to see what his future looks like on the Sunday pullout deadline at midnight. Rodríguez is looking for a first round guarantee in order to stay in the draft. The teams Rodríguez worked out with in his time in the States and the picks they hold are: Chicago (#2, #16), Boston (#7), Sacramento (#19), Phoenix (#21, #27), Memphis (#24), Los Angeles (#26) and now Cleveland (#25).
Rodríguezs American agent Herb Rudoy also informed us that his client Tiago Splitter is yet to make a final decision on what his NBA draft plans are, but that he is probably going to pull out. Rudoy said that Splitter is looking for a very high commitment in order to stay in, and later in the conversation mentioned that it would probably have to be in the top 10 or 12. From what weve gathered, that likely means that Splitter has not managed to secure a buyout figure from his Spanish team Tau Vitoria.
Shelden a lock at #5? The most pressing issue on most peoples minds from the many conversations weve had over the past few days is whether or not Shelden Williams really has a promise at #5 from the Atlanta Hawks. What that would mean is that one of the players projected in the top 7 of our 2006 mock draft would fall to Houston and possibly beyond, which would serve as a turn of events that completely shakes up the lottery with ramifications all the way down to 15. While no one has a definitive answer, the consensus seems to be that it makes absolutely no sense for a team like Atlanta to guarantee a player at #5 that is almost guaranteed to be there regardless of what happens on draft night. That always comes with the caveat but this is the Hawks we are talking about here Regardless, considering how poorly the Hawks have fared under Billy Knight since he was hired over three years ago, and the shaky standing of Atlantas ownership group, this does not seem to be the type of move that the Hawks can afford at this point at time. It must be said that Williams does make plenty of sense for Atlanta from a team needs perspective, but guaranteeing him at #5 and being forced to potentially pass on drafting one of LaMarcus Aldridge, Andrea Bargnani or Tyrus Thomas would be downright negligent should that opportunity arise, especially when you consider that Williams has still not worked out for the Hawks. On that note, Atlanta is still yet to conduct even one private workout at this point for either their first or second round pick, but will rev things into gear over the next two weeks. The first one weve personally heard about is on Monday the 19th, and will feature Marcus Williams, Rajon Rondo, Randy Foye and Bobby Jones.
What makes more sense in all this is that Shelden Williams has received a guarantee from one of the six teams he told us hes worked out for, whether its Boston (#7), Houston (#8), Golden State (#9), Seattle (#10), New Orleans/Oklahoma City (#12, #15) or Utah (#14). Considering whats in it for Williams, the Hornets at #12 might make the most sense considering the amount of playing time that would be available to him, the opportunity to play with a future all-star point guard in Chris Paul, and the fact that they are currently located in his hometown of Oklahoma City. The problem is, its difficult to see him getting past Seattle in particular at #10, which is where the trade we brought up yesterday (New Orleans trading #12 and #15 to Houston for #8) comes in. That would go a long ways in explaining why he cancelled a workout this week with Minnesota (drafting 6th), as well as with the Orlando Magic at #11.
Lakers Like Brandon Roy? Phil Jackson has targeted the player he likes for his triangle offense, and thats apparently Brandon Roy. Jackson likes big point guards who can handle, pass, shoot and defend, and Roy fits all of those requirements to a T. Whats interesting is that Roy still has not conducted a workout outside of the top 5 (he reportedly cancelled Houston, Orlando and New Orleans, except for the Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers are talking with teams in the top 5 about trading up, and one rumor has them sending Lamar Odom in return for the rights to the #2 and #16 picks. This trade might have to be consummated after the draft, with the Bulls picking for the Lakers on draft night, when Chicago has cap space to take on a bigger contract. Moving Odoms 40 million dollar contract would give the Lakers room to explore the talented free agent class of 2007. This may be where the obvious Brandon Roy to Chicago at #2 smokescreen started from.
Our private workout schedule has been beefed up considerably over the past day. As always, please let us know about any workouts we might have missed...
We've also released the NBA pre-draft camp measurements and are still the only ones outside of the NBA with this info available publicly at the time of this report.