Could Diante Garrett be the sleeper of the draft? (Icon SMI)
By Ryan Feldman
Monday, May 30, 2011
We are now less than 24 days from the NBA Draft. A lot of the upper-echelon draft prospects are now beginning their workout tours. Tobias Harris and the Morris twins got started last week, Jimmer Fredette and Jordan Hamilton both begin on Tuesday, Marshon Brooks and Klay Thompson begin their tours on Thursday, and Enes Kanter gets it going on Friday.
Kanter has meetings/interviews/workouts scheduled with four teams. He will begin by meeting with the Utah Jazz on Friday in Chicago. He will then meet with the Toronto Raptors in Chicago on June 6. The very next day, on June 7, Kanter will travel to Cleveland to meet with the Cavaliers. Finally, on June 16, he will travel to Minnesota to meet with the Timberwolves.
A workout has not yet been set up with the Washington Wizards, who draft below all of those teams at No. 6, but it is not out of the question. After all, Kanter did state that he would prefer to play for the Wizards if he had a choice. However, he would also prefer to be drafted as high as possible - as long as it is the right fit - and the Timberwolves, Jazz, Cavaliers and Raptors are all drafting before the Wizards (unless of course there is a trade).
Fredette will work out for the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday with Marcus Morris, Tobias Harris, Nolan Smith, Jeremy Tyler and Vernon Macklin. Jimmer will be matched up with Smith. Although the Pacers already have a franchise point guard in Darren Collison, they are drafting right in the middle of Jimmer's range and have been known in the past to just take the best player available without looking for a particular need.
Jimmer will then move on to New York for a workout with the Knicks on Thursday that includes Marshon Brooks, Klay Thompson and Darius Morris. This will be an interesting workout between four dynamic guards. Fredette and Thompson are possible lottery picks (the Knicks draft at No. 17), while Brooks and Morris are hoping to get into that range right outside of the lottery.
Brooks will also work out for Charlotte (June 5), Indiana (June 7), New Jersey (June 9), Cleveland (June 10), Chicago (June 13), Boston (June 14), Minnesota (June 17), San Antonio (June 18), Utah (June 20) and Dallas (June 22).
Brooks is not getting a lot of interest from teams drafting in the lottery, but he is getting a lot of interest from teams drafting right outside of the lottery. However, there are a lot of teams drafting early in the second round that said they'd be interested in trading into the teens to draft Brooks. Because there is so much interest, if he performs well in workouts and interviews, it is very possible a team in the late lottery, or a team that trades up into that range, that falls in love with Brooks could select him there.
The Cleveland Cavaliers held a draft workout on Monday that included Tobias Harris, Marcus Morris, Jordan Williams, Chris Singleton, Cory Joseph and Diante Garrett. Harris was matched up against Williams, Morris went up against Singleton, and Joseph matched up with Garrett. According to a source, Morris was the most impressive player in the workout. The source said that Morris really tore it up and Singleton didn't look good at all. The source also said that Garrett got the best of Joseph. The Harris-Williams matchup wasn't an ideal pairing, as Harris is more of a combo forward and Williams is a true post player.
Jordan Hamilton will have his first workout on Tuesday with the Golden State Warriors, a team that could be an ideal fit. Hamilton will work out with Jeremy Hazell, Chris Singleton, Chris Wright (Dayton) and Mychel Thompson.
Marcus Morris worked out for the Cleveland Cavaliers and Houston Rockets already and will work out for the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday. Although some believe he could be a top-10 pick, it seems more likely - from what I'm hearing and his workout schedule - that he ends up in the late lottery or maybe even later.
Andrew Goudelock may win the award for most draft workouts this year. By the time the NBA Draft rolls around, he will have 17 workouts (the schedule is obviously subject to change). With all of the hype after his performance at the Portsmouth Invitational and the Nets Combine, almost every team has expressed interest in bringing him in for a workout. While early second round is most likely, it is very possible that a team in the late first round could fall in love with Goudelock and select him there.
One guy to keep an eye on is Diante Garrett. The 6-foot-5 point guard put up fantastic numbers as a senior this year at Iowa State and performed exceptionally well both at the Portsmouth Invitational and the Nets Combine. By Tuesday, he will have worked out for the Clippers, Lakers and Cavaliers. With the solid season he had this year, how well he has performed in his draft workouts, and the concept of a 6-foot-5 point guard that can score and be an efficient floor leader, it seems very probable that Garrett will be selected somewhere in the second round. I'm not saying it's going to happen (I've seen plenty of crazier things happen in the NBA Draft) but don't be shocked if Garrett ends up in the first few picks of the second round or maybe even the final few picks of the first round.
***RETRACTION: I would like to retract my statement about Nolan Smith getting "dominated" at the Pacers workout yesterday. I apologize for writing that. After speaking to multiple other sources at the Pacers workout, I discovered that my original source wasn't totally reliable and accurate. Multiple other sources at the Pacers workout told me Nolan Smith actually did pretty well, so I apologize if the info was misleading at all. Again, please understand that Nolan Smith didn't get "dominated" at the Pacers workout and I apologize. He actually performed well.