Today, Basketball Insiders got the chance to chat with the top draft prospects who were invited to the green room for the 2015 NBA Draft. Here are some news and notes from our interviews:
– Devin Booker liked watching Rip Hamilton growing up. Now, he is drawing comparisons to Klay Thompson. Booker said he studies a lot of film of Thompson and sees similarities to him with the way the Golden State Warriors use him in screens. He praised Thompson’s strengths off the pick and roll and how he has developed into a two-way player.
– Jahlil Okafor met with and worked out for the Lakers twice. He said the organization has a reputation for its big men, which has resulted in championships. When it comes to Kobe Bryant, Okafor said, “He’s all about winning and he’ll do whatever it takes to win. That’s something I definitely admire.”
– Rondae Hollis-Jefferson expects to be drafted mid-first round. Landing in that area could mean going to a contending team, which he would welcome: “As far as going to a playoff team that’s ready to play and can throw me out there and it won’t be as big of a deal, I think that’s a good fit too. But for me, anywhere I go is a good fit because I work hard.”
– Growing up, Stanley Johnson wanted to play in every basketball game and camp possible. Now basketball is changing as it will become his job. As an example, he cannot participate in the upcoming Drew League. Johnson said he has quickly learned the NBA is a business and “everything has to be on time, on target.”
– Justise Winslow thinks he will be drafted in the top 10. “A lot of the organizations I’m going to, they had a rough year last year,” he said. “So for me to bring that winning mentality and winning presence to the locker room would be something that I could also bring on the court and be versatile and impact the game in a lot of different ways.”
Report: Aldridge Told Blazers He’s Leaving
The writing is on the wall that we’ve seen the last of LaMarcus Aldridge in a Portland Trail Blazers uniform. Their trade of Nicolas Batum on Wednesday might not be the end of Portland’s roster overhaul.
A Western Conference executive with knowledge of the Aldridge pursuit has told The Columbian that the free-agent has already informed the Blazers that he will not return to the Northwest.