5 min read

Friday Bolts: 6.22.18

Nick Gallo on the Thunder selecting Devon Hall & Kevin Hervey in last night’s NBA Draft: “At the number 53 spot in the 2nd round, the Thunder selected Devon Hall, a 6-foot-5, 211-pound guard out of the University of Virginia. The Virginia Beach, Va. native played all four seasons for the Cavaliers and averaged 11.7 points and 4.2 rebounds per game while shooting 43.2 percent from the three-point line during his senior season. On a defensive-minded Virginia team that played one of the slowest tempos in college basketball and averaged just 67.1 points per game, Hall scored 18 percent of his team’s points as the team’s second-leading scorer while also earning ACC All-Defensive team honors… Four picks later, at number 57, the Thunder selected another senior, this time a 6-foot-9, 230-pound forward, Kevin Hervey, out of Texas-Arlington. After averaging 20.5 points and 8.5 rebounds per game in his senior season, Hervey was named to the first-team All-Sun Belt for the second straight year. Hervey is known as a solid shooter, and a potential three-and-D forward. Hervey’s lengthy 7-foot-3 wingspan, frame and rebounding ability give him a chance to be an impact energy player moving forward.”

ESPN on the Thunder trading for Kentucky’s Hamidou Diallo: “Oklahoma City took Virginia’s Devon Hall with the 53rd overall selection in the NBA draft on Thursday night and Texas-Arlington forward Kevin Hervey four picks later. The team’s night didn’t end there, however. League sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski that Oklahoma City acquired Kentucky redshirt freshman Hamidou Diallo from the Charlotte Hornets. Brooklyn selected Diallo for Charlotte with the 45th pick. Thunder general manager Sam Presti said only that there was “potentially some stuff that happened tonight.” The deal cannot be done until July 6. A 6-foot-5, 190-pound guard, Diallo, 19, averaged 10.0 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.2 assists for the Wildcats last season.”

Adam Fromal (B/R) grades every pick of the draft: “Diallo is a fundamentally flawed player with a nonexistent jumper and plenty of bad basketball habits that need breaking as soon as possible. He’s more athlete than anything else, which is always troubling for a young man preparing to enter a league as sophisticated as the NBA. But the athleticism is still off the charts, and he has the physical tools to coast as an on-ball stopper and instinctual cutter. That’s his floor, and most teams still covet players who profile as potential lockdown defenders with above-the-rim offensive ability. Grade: A-”

Greg Mitchell (Mid-Major Madness) on how Kevin Hervey can help the Thunder: “Hervey’s upside is tied to his 7-foot-4 wingspan and versatility, making him an ideal fit in the modern NBA. Whether the Thunder ultimately see him as a stretch four or three-and-D player, Hervey will need to prove he can consistently space the floor for Russell Westbrook. He converted just 31.5 percent of his 612 career three-point attempts, but does have a fluid shot and is coming off his best three-point shooting season (33.9%). The former UTA star should also be able to pitch in on the boards for a team that ranked fifth in rebounding last season. Hervey was tremendous on the glass over his college career, posting the 13th-best defensive rebounding rate in the country as a junior (27.8%). That number fell his senior year (20.1%), but his long arms and athleticism should ensure he can contribute on the glass.”

Caroline Darney (Streaking the Lawn) with more on Devon Hall: “In his final season with the Hoos, Hall shot 45.4% from the field and 43.2% from three. He was second in the ACC in assist-to-turnover ration at 3.1 and averaged a career-best 11.7 points per game. Over his time at Virginia, Hall improved each year as he took on more and more responsibility for Coach Bennett and the Hoos. After graduating, Hall participated in the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, helping his team finish third in the even. Hall finished the three games of the tournament averaging 17.3 points per game (7th overall), 5.7 rebounds (26th), 3.3 assists (10th), and 1.7 steals (5th) on 35.3 minutes played per game (most overall) and shot a tournament-high 60% from three. His performance earned him a spot on the PIT All-Tournament team and garnered attention from scouts. At the combine, Hall measured 6-6 (with his shoes on), and a wingspan just shy of 6-9. His size and length is good for a shooting guard in the NBA, and his work ethic makes him a great pick up for the Thunder.”

Brett Dawson on the Thunder keeping open lines of communication with Paul George: “In Oklahoma City on Thursday, Thunder general manager Sam Presti led a group of front-office personnel that worked into the late hours of NBA Draft night. Halfway across the country, some other Thunder staffers were living it up at a surprise birthday for Paul George. It’s part of continued communication between George — who can opt out of the final year of his contract on July 1 and become a free agent — and the team that traded for him last summer. “Paul and his representation, we built a relationship built on transparency, trust and collaboration,” Presti said at his post-draft news conference. “I’m happy to say that that’s continued during the period of time that the season ended to now, which I think speaks a great deal about Paul George and just who he is as a guy. It’s just how he operates. Things don’t change.”

Erik Horne on ongoing discussions between the Thunder and Carmelo Anthony: “Anthony is set to make a lot of money. The Thunder would be OK with paying him that money if he fits into the role it wants him to play. With one day until a big decision for Anthony and the Thunder, Presti said the two sides have been in touch, but there are still uncertainties about Anthony’s status for next season. “We’ve had several conversations with his representation and that’s pretty normal course,” Presti said at the Thunder’s post-draft press conference late Thursday. “I wish I could tell you a whole lot has changed since the end of the season. We’re still in June, and the season doesn’t start until October, so we’ll continue to have that dialogue going forward.”

Andre Roberson update:

Ross Dwyer (Sneaker News) reviews Russell Westbrook’s new lifestyle shoe, the Jordan Westbrook 0.3: “The shoe draws most of its inspiration from Westbrook’s Southern California upbringing and the effortless cool-guy style that the area presents. Arriving in three colorways—a patterned white/black, a textile white/black and a simple black/navy—the new silhouette offers a skate-inspired look, nodding to the Southern California skateboarders that adopted the Air Jordan 1 as a skate shoe in the 80s. The patterned white/black colorway offers a little extra interesting design inspiration as well: it’s actually an abstract take on Westbrook’s RW logo that mirrors naval camo’s “razzle dazzle” design that made it difficult for opposing forces to triangulate a ship’s position in the water. The intentionally unpredictable design style nods to Russell’s unpredictability both with his moves on the court and his sartorial choices off of it. A release date and pricing information on this new Jordan lifestyle silhouette are both yet to be available.”

Around the League: NBA Draft winners and losers…. How the draft sets up future trades and free agency…. Undrafted free agent signing tracker…. Adrian Wojnarowski was the real star of the draft…. The Cavs say they are having “good dialogue” with LeBron…. The Spurs remain hopeful they can patch the relationship with Kawhi Leonard…. The Lakers aren’t expecting any help from their rivals.