NBA Draft Notebook

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Associated Press
The NBA Draft notebook …
PHOENIX ó The Phoenix Suns are again shooting down Steve Nash trade rumors.
Suns President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby emphatically said that the two-time league MVP isn’t going anywhere, and he added center Marcin Gortat to the untouchable list.
In an email on Wednesday, he repeated the statement he made earlier in the day to The Arizona Republic, saying, “We are not trading Marcin Gortat, period. End of sentence. We are not trading Steve Nash, period, exclamation point.”
The latest denial came after ESPN reported that the Suns were in talks with the Minnesota Timberwolves over trading Nash for the No. 2 pick in tonight’s draft.
BOSTON ó Doc Rivers sat down recently for dinner with his Big Three and discussed an old subject ó their age.
With Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen signed for just one more season, the coach of the Boston Celtics knows he might need just a table for two with Paul Pierce a year from now.
Chances are tonight’s draft won’t provide much, if any, help toward winning that championship.
The Celtics have the 25th and 55th picks.
MINNEAPOLIS ó For the second time in his three years as president of basketball operations for the Minnesota Timberwolves, David Kahn is heading into an important NBA draft without a coach by his side.
Kahn has yet to announce a decision on Kurt Rambis and the coach won’t be on hand tonight at the draft when the team holds the No. 2 pick ó the highest in franchise history.
Yahoo! Sports reported Wednesday night that Kahn planned to fire Rambis sometime after the draft and was already gathering information on potential replacements.
SALT LAKE CITY ó For a guy considered undersized, junior Kemba Walker still managed to put the team on his back and carry UConn to the NCAA championship.
All 6-3 Brandon Knight did as a freshman was produce a pair of knockout shots that propelled a young Kentucky squad into the Final Four.
Both guards figure to be sitting at No. 3 when the Utah Jazz pick.
Which one is better?
“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” said Ryan Blake, who scouts players for all NBA teams. “Kemba is small, but what’s wrong with that? Chris Paul is smaller.”
That is true. Walker checked in at the NBA draft combine at 6-1, 184 pounds ó with shoes. Paul, a four-time NBA All-Star with the New Orleans Hornets, is 6-0, 175.
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico ó Dallas Mavericks point guard Jose Juan Barea arrived in his native Puerto Rico on Wednesday afternoon to a hero’s welcome that included a two-hour caravan under a blistering sun.
“I’m proud of what I, along with my teammates, accomplished in the finals, but I’m more proud of being a Puerto Rican. Hard work is the key to everything in life,” Barea told more that 1,000 fans at the Puerto Rico Olympic Committee House in San Juan.