MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The Memphis Grizzlies have selected forward Jaren Jackson Jr. of Michigan State with the fourth overall pick in the NBA draft.
Despite reports the Grizzlies might trade out of the franchise's first lottery pick since 2010, Memphis stayed put Thursday night and selected Jackson immediately after the Atlanta Hawks selected Luka Doncic.
In his lone year at Michigan State, the forward averaged 10.9 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 3 blocks per game. Jackson has good defensive skills with quickness that allows him to keep pace with smaller players.
The fourth pick was the highest for the Memphis franchise since picking Hasheem Thabeet with the second overall pick in 2009. The previous time the Grizzlies had the fourth overall pick was in 2007 when they chose point guard Mike Conley from Ohio State.
"Now, I'm a Memphis Grizzly," Jackson said in an interview after the selection. "That's crazy. I'm really happy. I'm so happy."
Standing alongside the new Grizzly were his father, Jaren Jackson Sr., a former NBA player and coach, and his mother, Terri, who was wearing a championship ring from Jackson's time with the San Antonio Spurs.
The Grizzlies also had the 32nd overall pick in the second round.
Jackson joins a franchise coming off its worst season in almost a decade that featured a coach firing with J.B. Bickerstaff given the job May 1 for good after replacing David Fizdale in late November. With a rash of injuries, the Grizzlies went only a 22-60 for the second-worst record in the NBA behind Phoenix and snapped Memphis' streak of seven straight postseason appearances.
The poor record didn't help Memphis in the lottery drawing with the Grizzlies landing in the fourth spot. Still, it was the first time the Grizzlies had a lottery pick since selecting Xavier Henry out of Kansas with the 12th overall pick. The choice of Henry was part of run of unproductive choices for Memphis over the years.
Owner Robert Pera predicted last week that with the right pick — someone to complement Conley and center Marc Gasol — Memphis could consider a 50-win season.
Conley welcomed Jackson to Memphis on Twitter soon after the selection.
Hornets get MSU’s Bridges after trade with Clippers
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Mitch Kupchak couldn't overlook Miles Bridges' versatility.
The Hornets wound up with the Michigan State wingman in the first round of the NBA draft after a trade with the Los Angeles Clippers.
Charlotte initially selected point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander from Kentucky with the 11th overall pick, but traded the pick to the Clippers for the 12th overall pick and second round picks in 2020 and 2021. The Clippers then selected Bridges for the Hornets with the next pick.
Kupchak said Bridges can play both the three and four position on offense, and has the size and athleticism to guard four positions on defense.
"He's one of the highest character players in the draft, very athletic, plays hard and he's very versatile," Kupchak said. "... There is not much to not like about Miles Bridges."
The 6-foot-7, 225-pound Bridges was a unanimous All Big 10 first team choice after averaging 17 points and seven rebounds last season for the Spartans. He ranked sixth in the Big Ten in scoring last season, 11th in rebounding and fourth in free throw percentage (85.3 percent).
Bridges potentially gives the Hornets a better offensive option at small forward than starter Kidd-Gilchrist, whose is considered a strong defender but not a great shooter. Bridges has an NBA ready body and is one of the most explosive leapers in the draft. He scored frequently on perimeter spot ups and off screens while with the Spartans as well as on pick and roll opportunities.
Bridges did not work out for the Hornets despite the team's repeated attempts to bring him in.
Some Hornets fans on social media were upset over the decision the team pass on Michael Porter Jr., who went two picks later to the Denver Nuggets at No. 14.
Kupchak said the team had talked extensively about Porter in the weeks leading up the draft but decided to "move in a different direction" after he cancelled the playing portion of his scheduled workout in Chicago.
Kupchak is off to a busy start as Hornets general manager.
His decision to trade down comes one day after agreeing to trade eight-time All-Star center Dwight Howard to the Brooklyn Nets for center Timofey Mozgov and two second-round draft picks, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press. The person spoke to the AP on Wednesday on condition of anonymity because the league cannot approve the deal until the trade moratorium ends on July 6.
The 32-year-old Howard was due to make $23.8 million in the final year of his contract next season.
The Hornets failed to make the playoffs last season for the third time in four seasons, prompting owner Michael Jordan to part ways with general manager Rich Cho and coach Steve Clifford.
Kupchak hired James Borrego as the team's new head coach in May.
U-M’s Wagner drafted by Lakers in the first round
(AP) — Moritz Wagner made his way from the stands at the Barclays Center to the stage, opening his suit jacket to reveal a block 'M' before shaking commissioner Adam Silver's hand.
The former Michigan star was taken by the Los Angeles Lakers with the No. 25 pick in Thursday's NBA draft.
Wagner became the ninth draft pick from Michigan in the John Beilein era, which started with Darius Morris in 2011 and continued with Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway, Jr. (2013), Nik Stauskas, Mitch McGary, and Glenn Robinson III (2014), Caris LeVert (2016), and D.J. Wilson (2017). All but Morris and Robinson were first-rounders.
Wagner attended the draft, held in Brooklyn at the home of the Nets, and sat in the stands with, among others, family members, Michigan head coach John Beilein, and several other members of the U-M basketball staff.
"A lot of people help you to get to this point," Wagner said immediately after getting selected in an interview that aired on ESPN. "I'm incredibly grateful to be here. I'm speechless."
Wagner once again revealed the inside of his jacket, which also had the logo of Alba Berlin, Wagner's former German professional team.
Wagner will go to a Lakers franchise that has missed the playoffs the past five seasons. They went 35-47 last season under second-year head coach Luke Walton.
The Lakers' general manager is Rob Pelinka, who played for Michigan's 1989 national championship team as well as the 1992 and 1993 squads that reached the title game.
Wagner led Michigan with 14.6 points and 7.1 rebounds per game as a junior last season. He helped the Wolverines win a program-record 33 games and reach the national championship. He shot 39 percent from 3-point range over his college career. Wagner's shooting and driving ability were likely attributes the Lakers coveted.
Eight former Wolverines played in the NBA last season, including Wagner's U-M teammates Derrick Walton, Jr., Wilson, and LeVert.
No other Michigan players are expected to be among the 60 draft picks this year.
Pistons get guards Thomas, Brown in the 2nd round
AUBURN HILLS (AP) — With the Pistons’ deal for Blake Griffin in January, they got an early draft-day present, having traded their first-round pick to the Los Angeles Clippers.
That left no suspense on Thursday night, as they had to wait until the second round. With that selection, they ended up with Khyri Thomas from Creighton. The Philadelphia 76ers selected Thomas with the 38th pick.
The Pistons then selected Miami’s Bruce Brown with their own pick, at No. 42.
Thomas is a 6-foot-3, 209-pound point guard played three years at Creighton and was a two-time defensive player of the year in the Big East.
Brown, a 6-5 wing, left Miami after his sophomore season. He averaged 11.4 points, 7.1 rebounds and four assists last season and shot 27 percent on 3-pointers. He suffered a season-ending foot injury and only played in 19 games.
Brown is regarded for his rebounding at the guard position and for his ball-handling and passing. He also has versatility on both ends of the court and can defend multiple positions. He had two of only three triple-doubles in school history.
“He’s just a lovable kid. He’s fun to be around, he’s a great teammate and a great friend,” Miami coach Jim Larranaga said. “He’s highly social and smiles all the time. He practices hard every day and wants to get better and play defense.”
2018 NBA DRAFT
FIRST ROUND RESULTS
1. Phoenix Suns: Deandre Ayton
Height: 7 feet, Weight: 250 pounds
2. Sacramento Kings: Marvin Bagley III
Height: 6-11, Weight: 235 pounds
3. Atlanta Hawks: Luka Doncic (traded to Mavericks)
Point Guard, Real Madrid (Spain)
Height: 6-7, Weight: 220 pounds
4. Memphis Grizzlies: Jaren Jackson Jr.
Power Forward, Michigan State
Height: 6-11, Weight: 236 pounds
5. Dallas Mavericks: Trae Young (traded to Hawks)
Point Guard, Oklahoma
Height: 6-2, Weight: 180 pounds
6. Orlando Magic: Mohamed Bamba
Height: 7 feet, Weight: 225 pounds
7. Chicago Bulls: Wendell Carter Jr.
Height: 6-10, Weight: 259 pounds
8. Cleveland Cavaliers: Collin Sexton
Point Guard, Alabama
Height: 6-2, Weight: 190 pounds
9. New York Knicks: Kevin Knox
Small Forward, Kentucky
Height: 6-9, Weight: 213 pounds
10. Philadelphia 76ers: Mikal Bridges(traded to Suns)
Small Forward, Villanova
Height: 6-7, Weight: 209 pounds
11. Charlotte Hornets: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (traded to the LA Clippers)
Point Guard, Kentucky
Height: 6-6, Weight: 180 pounds
12. LA Clippers: Miles Bridges(traded to Hornets)
Small Forward, Michigan State
Height: 6-7, Weight: 225 pounds
13. LA Clippers: Jerome Robinson
Point Guard, Boston College
Height: 6-5, Weight: 190 pounds
14. Denver Nuggets: Michael Porter Jr.
Power Forward, Missouri
Height: 6-10"210 pounds
15. Washington Wizards: Troy Brown
Shooting Guard, Oregon
Height: 6-7, Weight: 215 pounds
16. Phoenix Suns: Zhaire Smith(traded to 76ers)
Shooting Guard, Texas Tech
Height: 6-4, Weight: 199 pounds
17. Milwaukee Bucks: Donte DiVincenzo
Shooting Guard, Villanova
Height: 6-5, Weight: 201 pounds
18. San Antonio Spurs: Lonnie Walker IV
Shooting Guard, Miami
Height: 6-4, 196 pounds
19. Atlanta Hawks: Kevin Huerter
Shooting Guard, Maryland
Height: 6-7, Weight: 190 pounds
20. Minnesota Timberwolves: Josh Okogie
Shooting Guard, Georgia Tech
Height: 6-4, Weight: 211 pounds
21. Utah Jazz: Grayson Allen
Shooting Guard, Duke
Height: 6-5, Weight: 195 pounds
22. Chicago Bulls: Chandler Hutchison
Small Forward, Boise State
Height: 6-7, Weight: 196 pounds
23. Indiana Pacers: Aaron Holiday
Point Guard, UCLA
Height: 6-1, Weight: 187 pounds
24. Portland Trail Blazers: Anfernee Simons
Shooting Guard, IMG Academy
Height: 6-3, Weight: 183 pounds
25. Los Angeles Lakers: Moritz Wagner
Height: 6-11, Weight: 240 pounds
26. Philadelphia 76ers: Landry Shamet
Point Guard, Wichita State
Height: 6-5, Weight: 189 pounds
27. Boston Celtics: Robert Williams
Center, Texas A&M
Height: 6-10, Weight: 237 pounds
28. Golden State Warriors: Jacob Evans
Small Forward, Cincinnati
Height: 6-6, Weight: 200 pounds
29. Brooklyn Nets: Dzanan Musa
Small Forward, Cedevita (Croatia)
Height: 6-9, 195 pounds
30. Atlanta Hawks: Omari Spellman
Power Forward, Villanova
Height: 6-9, Weight: 255 pounds