Willie Cauley-Stein's "background and medical history" could cause him to fall in Thursday's NBA Draft, according to a report from Draft Express.
Cauley-Stein, the 7-foot center from Kentucky who's tantalizing athleticism has some envisioning him as a future defensive star, was projected just a few weeks ago as going as high as No. 4 to the Knicks. But health issues are aways a concern when it comes to big men and it appears that some of the teams picking towards the top of the draft are being scared off by something in the 21-year-old Cauley-Stein's background, per Draft Express.
The concern stems over a foot injury that caused Cauley-Stein to miss the 2014 NCAA Tournament. Some doctors are concern with the way the injury has healed. DraftExpress reports Cauley-Stein's foot has some "maintenance that needs to be done," according to some team physicians.
Last season at Kentucky, his third in Lexington, Cauley-Stein averaged 8.9 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.7 blocks in 25.9 minutes per game. He was named the SEC Defensive Player of the Year and a First Team All-American. ESPN's Chad Ford has him as the No. 8 prospect in this year's draft, but has him falling to the Indiana Pacers at No. 11 in his latest mock draft. Draft Express does as well.
Dario Saric is staying in Turkey
Remember Dario Saric, the 6'10 forward who was taken No. 12 overall by the Orlando Magic in last year's draft and then shipped to Philadelphia in exchange for Elfrid Payton? Well, he won't be joining the Sixers this season. Instead he's elected to stay in Turkey and continue playing for Anadolu Efes, with whom he signed a three-year deal with last season, Saric's agent informed ESPN's Chad Ford.
Saric is under a three-year contract with Turkish powerhouse Anadolu Efes. The Sixers reportedly have attempted to negotiate a buyout over the past month, but Saric's buyout is too expensive to make the move practical, according to sources.
Between this and the latest Joel Embiid news, this hasn't been the greatest summer for the Sixers. That sound you hear, that's NBA fans in the rest of the country laughing at Sam Hinkie.
Kristaps Porzings to the Knicks?
Porzingis is one of the more intriguing prospects in this year's draft class. When you're 7'1 and can shoot, that's what happens, even if you're only 19 years old and incredibly raw. ESPN's Chad Ford has him going No. 3 to the Sixers in his latest Mock Draft; Draft Express has him going No. 4, to the Knicks.
It seems like the latter might be the correct call given that Porzingis worked out for the Knicks Monday morning, according to Frank Isola. The Knicks are the first team that Porzingis has auditioned for privately. The rest of the league was forced to evaluate him at a workout staged by his agent, Andy Miller, in Las Vegas at IMPACT gym.
Of course, there's not much the Knicks can do if the Sixers elect to take Porzingis at No. 3. But them being the only team he's granted a private workout to does tell us something, though: about what the Knicks want, and about what Porzingis wants, too.
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