Memphis hosts more than 80 NBA scouts for first Pro Day (UPDATED) | Zagsblog
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Sunday / December 8.
  • Memphis hosts more than 80 NBA scouts for first Pro Day (UPDATED)

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    By ADAM ZAGORIA

    More than 80 NBA scouts and front office executives were at Memphis on Monday for the school’s first Pro Day under second-year coach Penny Hardaway.

    Memphis freshman big man James Wiseman, who is 7-foot-1, is the projected No. 1 pick in 2020, per ESPN.com, while 6-9 freshman Precious Achiuwa is the projected No. 11 pick. Wiseman measured a 7-4 1/2 wingspan on Monday, per ESPN’s Jonathan Givony.

    Hardaway told the Memphis Commercial Appeal that “five or six” of his players had a chance to be drafted at some point.

    “I’m not the type of coach that goes, ‘Well, I hope he doesn’t blow up,’” he said. “No, I hope all the kids blow up. If we have to go out and pick a whole entire team again next year, hey, it is what it is. (Because) you’re here for the kid. Obviously, it’s tough to continue to recruit like that, but if that’s what you have to do, then that’s what you have to do.

    “Because you’ll get more kids coming in saying, ‘Hey, I can do the same thing.’

    Kentucky also had its Pro Day over the weekend.

    The NBA scouts will also have an opportunity this week to see R.J. Hampton, the former American high school player now playing for the New Zealand Breakers of Australia’s NBL. He is the projected No. 6 pick in 2020, per ESPN.

    The Breakers are in the U.S. for two exhibition games with NBA teams, and NBA scouts can attend practices beginning this week. The Breakers play preseason games against the Memphis Grizzlies on Oct. 8 and the Oklahoma City Thunder on Oct. 10. The games will only be shown on NBA League Pass.

    Facebook has a separate deal showcasing the NBL games of Hampton and LaMelo Ball, the projected No. 3 pick who has already drawn interest from the Blazers, Raptors, Pelicans and Nets.

    “RJ is great,” Breakers head coach Dan Shamir told ESPN. “I thought it was going to be a process, but he is ready for this level, and I am very satisfied with him so far.”

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.