NEW YORK – From Syracuse and from out of hiding, and apparently via a stop at a school for budding comedians, Dion Waiters insisted he has not received a draft promise for Thursday night and that he has no idea what teams are interested in taking him in the lottery.
In other news, wanna buy the Brooklyn Bridge?
It was obviously just a coincidence that Waiters left in the middle of the Chicago pre-draft camp, that he canceled all scheduled workouts, and that Raptors general manager Bryan Colangelo, one of the many executives trying to get Waiters in for a visit, flat out said agent Rob Pelinka told him Waiters had a promise. Plus, while every prospect except presumptive No. 1 pick Anthony Davis was city hopping for team workouts, Waiters said he never once asked his representatives why he was nowhere.
But, no promise.
“No,” he said Wednesday at a Manhattan hotel the day before the draft in Newark, N.J. “I didn’t. I wish I did.
“I really don’t know nothing. I just talk to my agent every day and he just tells me teams are calling and things like that. But he tells me don’t worry about that stuff, just continue to work hard.”
Did he want to work out for teams?
“I would love to have enjoyed the process,” Waiters said. “But at the same token, I just had to do what I had to do.”
In other developments, able to be reported with a straight face:
*Weber State’s Damian Lillard returned to Toronto on Tuesday for a second workout in strong confirmation of what would have been obvious anyway: the Raptors, needing a point guard, are very interested.
Whether Lillard will still be on the board at No. 8 is not nearly as certain. He is among the possibilities for the hometown Warriors the pick before, and also auditioned for the Kings at 5.
*The Harrison Barnes workout for the Warriors on Monday in New York, after previously not auditioning for any team choosing later than fourth, is a sign the Barnes camp is concerned he is slipping. But it’s not panic time yet.
The North Carolina product is still a possibility for the top three, with the Bobcats at 2 in great need of a small forward after trading Corey Maggette to the Bucks for Ben Gordon and the Wizards interested at 3. After that, the Cavaliers (4) and the Kings (5) both need small forwards, while the Trail Blazers (6) are committed to re-signing Nicolas Batum.
*Thomas Robinson said his chances of going No. 2 were strengthened when Charlotte acquired Gordon, reducing the need to take shooting guard Bradley Beal. True, but it increased the need at small forward. Either way, Robinson, a power forward from Kansas, is a strong option for the Bobcats.
*Tomas Satoransky, the shooting guard from the Czech Republic likely headed for the second round, has an option, but no buyout, to get out of the contract with his Spanish team this summer. But if returns to what most rate as the second-best league in the world, it’s with a contract for two seasons and a buyout after 2012-13.
“I would like to play in the NBA next year, but I wouldn’t be against the option to stay one more year in Europe,” he said. “I think the basketball there is at a pretty good level, especially if you are on a team that plays Euroleague. I think it makes you stronger.”