• Thunder's NBA Draft earns high grades from national media

    Erik Horne | Updated: Fri, Jun 26, 2015

    The Oklahoma City Thunder selected two players in the 2015 NBA Draft on Thursday - Murray State point guard Cameron Payne (No. 14 overall) and Kentucky center Dakari Johnson (No. 48). Chances were slim that the Thunder was going to find a starter at the back end of the lottery (or in the second round), but the team still took the opportunity to add depth at the 1 and even more size in the frontcourt. But how did the Thunder's draft grade out among the national media? Let's take a look. USA Today: A There are 30 teams in the NBA and Scott Gleeson of USA Today awarded the Thunder one of only five "A" grades on draft night, giving Oklahoma City credit for capitalizing

  • OKC Thunder: Sam Presti acknowledges passing of Bob Barry Jr. with lengthy opening statement

    Anthony Slater | Published: Fri, Jun 26, 2015

    As Thursday night turned into Friday morning, Sam Presti finally emerged from his draft night war room, a touch after midnight, to discuss the newest members of the Thunder. But before fielding questions, Presti wanted to acknowledge the recent passing of KFOR sports anchor Bob Barry Jr. His full statement: “One thing before we get started,” Presti […]

  • Grizzlies select LSU forward Jarell Martin with 25th pick

    Updated: Fri, Jun 26, 2015

    MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Memphis Grizzlies general manager Chris Wallace is a longtime friend of former LSU basketball coach Dale Brown. Their association played a role in the Grizzlies selecting LSU forward Jarell Martin with their first-round pick in the NBA draft Thursday night. Wallace had attended several LSU games as a guest of Brown's in recent years and had personally scouted Martin. Nothing impressed Wallace more than watching Martin develop. "Early on (in his career) he spent too much time out on the 3-point line," Wallace said. "In the second half of this year in (Southeastern Conference) play, (LSU coach) Johnny Jones put him at the power forward position and he was dominant at times.

  • Utah Jazz select Kentucky forward Trey Lyles

    Updated: Fri, Jun 26, 2015

    SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Trey Lyles certainly wasn't a "sexy" pick for the Utah Jazz at No. 12. He's not a knock-down shooter like former Kentucky teammate Devin Booker, who went No. 13 to the Suns. He wasn't the college player of the year like Wisconsin's Frank Kaminsky (No. 9) or a high-risk, high-reward player like Kelly Oubre (No. 15). General manager Dennis Lindsey simply became enamored of the 6-foot-10, 241-pound forward's versatility and all-around game. "His playmaking with the ball, his handle ... ability to keep his head up and play unselfish basketball is superior," Lindsey said. "Trey made some sacrifices not playing as many minutes at the four, which is his natural position. But playing the three, he learne

  • Rockets take Wisconsin's Sam Dekker with 18th pick in draft

    Updated: Fri, Jun 26, 2015

    HOUSTON (AP) — When Sam Dekker gets back home after his trip to New York for the NBA draft he might throw out some of the winter clothes he's had to wear for most of his life. Dekker, who was born and spent his whole life in Wisconsin, is heading to sunny and snow-free Houston after the Rockets selected the Badgers forward with the 18th overall pick in the draft on Thursday night. "I'm excited. It's going to be crazy to get rid of some of those coats in the winter," he said. "Not having to have those is going to be kind of nice and to be able to go outside whenever I want." Of course, he's looking forward to joining the Rockets for many reasons other than the climate.

  • Celtics take guards Rozier, Hunter in 1st round of NBA draft

    Updated: Fri, Jun 26, 2015

    BOSTON (AP) — The price was too steep for the Boston Celtics to trade for a better draft pick. Now it will be an uphill climb for all four of their choices to make the team. Especially at the guard position. The Celtics added three players — Terry Rozier of Louisville, R.J. Hunter of Georgia State and Marcus Thornton of William & Mary — to an already full backcourt. They did add to a position of need by taking shot-blocking forward Jordan Mickey of Louisiana State. "We don't have room on the roster for all four guys," president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said Thursday night. But coach Brad Stevens figures so many guards will help the top ones develop their own games rather than measure themselves a

  • Mavs get Anderson from Virginia, Carlisle alma mater, at 21

    Updated: Thu, Jun 25, 2015

    DALLAS (AP) — Justin Anderson offered enough of what Dallas wanted for the Mavericks to stay put with their first-round pick in the NBA draft for the first time in nine years. Plus, he's from coach Rick Carlisle's alma mater, Virginia. "Obviously comes from a great institution," Carlisle said with a wry smile. "Well-educated." All kidding aside, the Mavericks think they addressed the need for better shooting and defending at the 3-point line by taking the 6-foot-6 Anderson with the 21st pick in the first round Thursday night. Late in the second round, the Mavericks made 7-foot-2 Satnam Singh the first native of India to get drafted by taking him with the 52nd overall pick.

  • 76ers take Duke's Okafor with 3rd pick in NBA draft

    Updated: Thu, Jun 25, 2015

    PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Philadelphia 76ers were thinking big yet again on draft night, selecting Duke center Jahlil Okafor with the third pick on Thursday night. Okafor, 6-foot-11, 270-pounds, joins a frontcourt already stocked with Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid. Embiid was the No. 3 pick last year and missed the entire season with a broken right foot. Noel also missed his first season because of injury, but Okafor should be ready to go as a rookie. "I'm definitely used to being the centerpiece of a team," Okafor said. "That's what I've become accustomed to. That's what I've been.

  • Pelicans trade rights to 56th pick Michigan State F Dawson

    Updated: Thu, Jun 25, 2015

    METAIRIE, La. (AP) — The New Orleans Pelicans traded the rights Thursday night to its only NBA draft pick. The Pelicans selected power forward Branden Dawson from Michigan State with the 56th pick before team officials said they sent his rights to the Los Angeles Clippers for cash. Dawson would have been Alvin Gentry's first as head coach for New Orleans. New Orleans traded its 2015 first-round pick to Houston before this past season for center Omer Asik, who averaged 9.8 rebounds and 7.3 points per game. Gentry is trying to build on a team that was knocked out of the opening round of the Western Conference playoffs 4-0 by eventual champion Golden State. The Pelicans now could look to free agency to build

  • Bucks take UNLV guard Rashad Vaughn at No. 17 in draft

    Updated: Thu, Jun 25, 2015

    MILWAUKEE (AP) — While the Milwaukee Bucks are much improved, they are far from a finished product. General manager John Hammond knew outside shooting was one of the main pieces he was missing, so he made a move Thursday night to address it by taking UNLV shooting guard Rashad Vaughn with the No. 17 overall pick in the NBA draft. The 6-foot-6, 210-pound Vaughn will be expected to provide additional outside scoring for the Bucks, who went 41-41 in a surprising turnaround last season — their first under coach Jason Kidd. "There was a real need for shooting on our roster," Hammond said. "With Rashad Vaughn at the 17th pick, we looked at him as, at that time, the best player on the board for us, particularly because he

  • Nets take McCullough at No. 29

    Updated: Thu, Jun 25, 2015

    NEW YORK (AP) — Chris McCullough didn't have a chance to showcase his basketball talents as the NBA draft approached. The Brooklyn Nets liked enough of what they saw and heard from the Syracuse freshman to take him with the 29th pick of the first round of the NBA draft. The 6-foot-10 forward was off to a great start with the Orange when he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee against Florida State in early January. He started all 16 games he played and averaged 9.3 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.1 blocks. The rehabilitation from the knee surgery is still going on for McCullough, who wasn't able to participate in the Combine when possible draft picks are put through workouts by the teams.

  • Chicago Bulls take Arkansas' Bobby Portis with 22nd pick

    Updated: Thu, Jun 25, 2015

    CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Bulls figured Arkansas power forward Bobby Portis would be gone by the time they picked. Once their turn came, the decision was easy. The Bulls chose Portis with the 22nd overall pick in the NBA draft on Thursday night, adding the SEC Player of the Year to their front court. General manager Gar Forman said the Bulls projected him as a late lottery pick and figured they would most likely wind up with a guard because there were "more guards and less bigs." Portis did not work out for the Bulls. But he's headed to Chicago. And with a banged up Taj Gibson and Joakim Noah not to mention an aging Pau Gasol, Chicago went for an athletic and skilled forward.

  • Hornets take Wisconsin's Kaminsky with 9th pick

    Updated: Thu, Jun 25, 2015

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Frank Kaminsky grew up in the Chicago area, the walls of his bedroom decorated with posters of Michael Jordan. He wanted to be like Mike. Now he'll get a chance to play basketball for the NBA legend. The Jordan-owned Charlotte Hornets selected Kaminsky with the ninth overall pick in the NBA draft on Thursday night, marking the third straight year the team has selected a Big Ten power forward with its first pick. "I really, really idolized him and it's unbelievable that he wanted me there," Kaminsky said of the former Bulls superstar.

  • Justise Winslow snared by Miami Heat with No. 10 pick

    Updated: Thu, Jun 25, 2015

    MIAMI (AP) — Justise Winslow won a national championship in his lone season at Duke. He's helped USA Basketball win international gold medals in each of the last three years. He scored more than 3,000 points in high school. The Miami Heat think his winning track will continue at the next level. The Heat grabbed Winslow — a 6-foot-6, 225-pound forward and a top-five talent on many boards — with the No. 10 pick in Thursday's NBA draft, the first official step the team is taking in what's expected to be a hectic summer of roster reloading. "I want to win right now," Winslow said, "and that's what the Heat want." Such was made clear to him in his first talk with Heat President Pat Riley on Thursday night after t

  • Warriors draft UCLA's Kevon Looney

    Updated: Thu, Jun 25, 2015

    OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — There are varying reports about the severity of Kevon Looney's hip injury. None of them were enough to dissuade the Golden State Warriors from selecting the 19-year-old UCLA freshman with their first-round draft pick. Given the tremendous depth on Golden State's roster, Looney will have plenty of time to get his health right while acclimating to the pros. That is, if he's even hurt. Warriors general manager Bob Myers said that despite reports Looney might miss the upcoming season, the team has no indication that the rookie's situation is serious. "If he needs to take some time to recover from anything that might be there or not, then he will and we're fine with that," Myers said. "But we h

  • NBA Draft: Former Edmond Santa Fe, Tennessee star Josh Richardson selected by the Miami Heat

    Ryan Aber | Published: Thu, Jun 25, 2015

    Richardson rose on draft boards over the past month as he showed off his strong perimeter defense in workouts.

  • LA Lakers pick Stanford shooter Anthony Brown with 34th pick

    Updated: Thu, Jun 25, 2015

    EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) — The Los Angeles Lakers selected Stanford's Anthony Brown with their second-round pick in the NBA draft on Thursday night. The Lakers added Brown to No. 2 pick D'Angelo Russell and No. 27 selection Larry Nance Jr. in a busy draft. Brown is a 6-foot-6 swingman with impressive outside shooting ability and a strong defensive ethic. He spent five years at Stanford, averaging 14.8 points and 6.9 rebounds as a senior while hitting 44.1 percent of his 3-pointers. Brown is a Los Angeles-area native who graduated from high school in Fountain Valley. The Lakers were mostly an awful outside shooting team last season, so Brown could address an immediate need. Los Angeles also could use another stron

  • Q&A: Thunder draft pick Cameron Payne talks draft night, his fit in OKC and more

    Anthony Slater | Published: Thu, Jun 25, 2015

    Moments after he was selected 14th overall by the Thunder on Thursday night, Cameron Payne stepped off the stage, stared at a national TV audience and confidently referred to himself in third person. “I can be the next success because I’m coming in with a chip on my shoulder,” he said. “There is no ceiling […]

  • Live Coverage: 2015 NBA Draft

    staff reports | Updated: Thu, Jun 25, 2015

    Who will the Thunder take at No. 14? Follow live coverage of the NBA Draft with The Oklahoman and more writers from around the nation

  • Jeremy Lamb thanks Oklahoma City fans, teammates

    erik horne | Updated: Thu, Jun 25, 2015

    Jeremy Lamb took to Instagram to say goodbye to Oklahoma City on Thursday. Hours before the NBA Draft, the 23-year-old guard was traded to the Charlotte Hornets for Luke Ridnour and a 2016 second-round pick. He offered his appreciation to his teammates and the city during his three-year stint with the Thunder. "Thank you Okc For everything yall have taught me!!!," Lamb said. "Great teammates great fans!!! Taught me great habits and how to b a professional!!! That will stick wit me throughout my career!#blessed."