Found this article by Chad Ford on ESPN Insider, slightly long.
Michael Jordan got a rude welcome back to the NBA on Thursday.
It was his first full day in Charlotte as co-owner of the Bobcats, and he had planned a big predraft workout with Tyrus Thomas, LaMarcus Aldridge, Brandon Roy and Rudy Gay.
Michael was there. But of the four prospects, only Gay showed.
According to the Bobcats, Thomas (groin), Aldridge (ankle) and Roy (hamstring) all claimed injuries kept them from working out for His Airness.
However, injuries apparently were not the real reason, at least for Aldridge and Roy.
Arn Tellem, who is the agent for both Aldridge and Roy, told me Thursday evening that while Roy had "a slight hamstring issue," injuries were not the reason his clients didn't show.
"They didn't show because I'm very comfortable where they're going in the draft," Tellem said.
Asked if that meant that a specific team had committed to taking them, Tellem said, "I know where they're going, yes."
As you would expect, Tellem wasn't as forthcoming about exactly which teams would select Aldridge and Roy, but he did tell me that both players were done working out.
But why not work out for the No. 3 team in the draft?
Does that mean Aldridge and Roy are going No. 1 and No. 2?
Not necessarily, according to Tellem.
"I've never been caught up on the number of where a guy goes," Tellem said. "It's about finding the right situation for our clients. In this case, we've found a good fit for both of them, so there's no need for them to work out for anyone else."
Does that mean Tellem would discourage other teams from drafting Aldridge or Roy?
"I don't think it will get to that," Tellem said. "Both are going very high. But if that needs to happen, I'll do it."
Considering the rumors that Thomas already has a promise (which his agents vehemently deny), something strange is happening.
How can all of these guys have promises?
Combine those reports with Tellem's confirmation of the rumor that Duke's Shelden Williams also has a "high promise," and that means three or four guys are off the board in the early stages of the lottery, potentially.
If the reports are true, either someone took a promise later in the lottery than expected or one of these guys thinks he's going higher than he is.
Even if you doubt Thomas has a promise, you still have to fit those other three into the picture somewhere at the top, if they indeed have promises.
Here's what we think we know:
Toronto said as of late Wednesday that its decision was still "wide open." I don't think the Raptors have promised anyone anything -- it wouldn't make much sense for the team holding the No. 1 pick to have made a promise.
Also on Wednesday, a Bulls source denied making a deal with Thomas and said they were still deciding what to do with the No. 2 pick.
Certainly it appears the Bobcats, picking No. 3, haven't made a promise. To think they've made a promise to Aldridge or Roy, we'd have to believe they had Jordan come down to Charlotte and go through an elaborate ruse with the the complicity of several players and agents.
The Blazers, who have the No. 4 pick, have been widely thought to be after Adam Morrison, not Aldridge or Roy.
The Hawks, holding the No. 5 pick, are widely believed to be the team that has made a promise to draft Williams.
All in all, it's far from clear what this new information from Tellem means for the draft.
I can only speculate, but here are three scenarios that make some sense:
1. Let's say the Bulls have decided to draft Roy at No. 2 or they've agreed to a trade and are taking Roy for another team. The Lakers have been after Roy and there's been a lot of speculation about Lamar Odom coming to Chicago in such a trade.
And let's say the Blazers have decided that getting an interior presence like LaMarcus Aldridge, who can play some center, is more important drafting than a fan favorite like Adam Morrison. Aldridge, in this scenario, would know he's not going to Chicago and would figure he can get more playing time in Portland than in Charlotte, which has a crowded frontcourt.
2. Or the situation could be reversed, with the Bulls deciding to take Aldridge and the Blazers wanting Roy. But in that scenario, I can't understand why Roy or his agent would think that the Blazers would be a better fit than the Bobcats.
3. There has been talk of Houston moving up a few spots in the draft to No. 5 or No. 6 in exchange for Luther Head and the No. 8 pick. If that happens, the Rockets could be moving up to nab Roy. Remember, his agent, Tellem, also negotiated the trade that got Tracy McGrady, another Tellem client, to Houston, and Tellem may be trying to deliver another vital player to help T-Mac in his title quest.
Tellem's information adds up to a potential problem for Charlotte, which might have to either select between players who haven't worked out for Jordan -- including Aldridge, Roy, Thomas and Morrison -- or take Rudy Gay, who has worked out for Jordan but is thought not to be his first choice.
In fact, Thursday's turn of events was enough to tick off Bobcats GM Bernie Bickerstaff, who said he was "frustrated" by the wave of cancelations.
"Bottom line, we're just not happy with the way things went down,'' he told the Charlotte Observer.
The draft just got a whole lot more mysterious, folks.