Alex Tyus hopes to be selected in Thursday's NBA Draft. (Icon SMI)
By Alex Tyus
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
NBA Draft prospects are in a crucial period right now. Every single day, there are important workouts going on where teams are deciding whether or not they want to draft players. Every workout is important for many of these players.
The Knicks are hosting a workout on Thursday that is as important as any workout they will have. With the No. 17 pick, they are looking for a potential star. They will be hosting three players that could fit that need in Jimmer Fredette, Klay Thompson and Marshon Brooks. They will also work out Darius Morris, Gary McGhee and Denzel Bowles.
It will be especially important for Brooks, a player that was once thought of as a second round pick and has now moved himself up to a definite first round prospect and a possible candidates for the Knicks at No. 17. There's a good chance Fredette and Thompson will both be gone when the Knicks are on the clock, so No. 17 could be the bottom of their range. But for Brooks, the Knicks could be the top of his range.
Therefore, if Brooks is able to outplay Fredette and Thompson and show that he might be a better prospect than the two of them, he could really elevate his stock.
Jimmer Fredette had his first draft workout with the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday. Also in the workout were Nolan Smith, Tobias Harris, Marcus Morris, Jeremy Tyler and Vernon Macklin.
Sources said that Fredette looked very good in the Pacers workout and shot the ball well. Although the Pacers already have a franchise point guard in Darren Collison, it would be hard for them, a team that always seems to target the best player available, to pass on Jimmer at No. 15.
The Warriors held a draft workout on Tuesday with Jordan Hamilton, Chris Singleton, Jeremy Hazell, Chris Wright (Dayton), Mychel Thompson and Gary Johnson.
After speaking with Warriors Director of Player Personnel Travis Schlenk after the workout, he said that Hazell "shot the ball well" and "did a nice job." He said Hazell "handled the ball more" in the workout than he did in college and that he "played more of a facilitator role" in the workout. He added that Hazell "has the ability to be a playmaker" and "can play two different positions." Finally, Schlenk said about Hazell that "guys like him just have to have the right attitude and keep working hard to make it."
Schlenk added that the Warriors were surprised by how well Chris Singleton was able to create offensively and that they were impressed by the offensive skills Jordan Hamilton has for a 6-foot-8 player.
Alec Burks had his first draft workout on Wednesday with the Wizards. Also in the workout were Klay Thompson, Tristan Thompson, JaJuan Johnson, Randy Culpepper, Randy Culpepper and Andrew Albicy.
According to a source at the Wizards workout, Klay Thompson stood out and looked like the best player there.
The source added that everyone played fairly well. Randy Culpepper impressed the Wizards with his incredible athleticism. JaJuan Johnson shot the ball well for a big man. Tristan Thompson was very active and especially stood out in the 3-on-3 games.
Another source at the Wizards workout added that JaJuan Johnson "did really good" and "scored and defended well." Not surprisingly, the source also said that Klay Thompson and Alec Burks "can both shoot well."
The Celtics held a draft workout on Wednesday with Justin Harper, Lavoy Allen, Jamie Skeen, Keith Benson, Jon Leuer, Jeremy Tyler and Frank Hassell. Matt Howard was originally scheduled for that workout but was not there for an unknown reason. The word was that Justin Harper and Lavoy Allen both played fairly well.
The Thunder held a draft workout on Wednesday with Alex Tyus, Mike Davis, Justin Hurtt, Durrell Summers and Jeremy Green. Jereme Richmond was originally scheduled for that workout but was not there for an unknown reason.
Two sources at the Thunder workout both said Durrell Summers and Mike Davis played well, and Alex Tyus was also pretty good.
Davis was quite impressive in the athletic testing at the Thunder workout. His maximum vertical jump was measured at 12-foot-1 and he ran the 3/4 court sprint in an impressive 3.06 seconds.
The Pacers held a draft workout on Wednesday with Jimmy Butler, Jamine Peterson, Kyle Singler, Jon Diebler, Tyler Honeycutt and Joffrey Lauvergne.
Two sources at the Pacers workout both said that Tyler Honeycutt stood out and shot the ball very well. One of the sources was also impressed with the physical strength of both Jimmy Butler and Jamine Peterson.
Josh Selby, Cory Joseph, Matthew Bryan-Amaning, Rick Jackson, David Lighty and E'Twaun Moore visited the Spurs on Wednesday.
The Nuggets held a draft workout on Wednesday with Iman Shumpert, Jordan Williams, Nolan Smith, Malcolm Thomas, Corey Fisher and Nikola Vucevic.
A source at the Nuggets workout said that Iman Shumpert showed off his crazy athleticism and nice mid-range jumper. The source also said that Nikola Vucevic was more impressive than Jordan Williams, and that Malcolm Thomas played very well.
On Thursday, the Heat will host Nolan Smith, Cory Joseph, Josh Selby, Julyan Stone and Jacob Pullen.
On Friday, the Pacers will hold a workout that includes Jordan Williams, Greg Smith, Markieff Morris and Malcolm Thomas.
Also on Friday, the Knicks will host a workout that includes Tobias Harris, JaJuan Johnson and Matthew Bryan-Amaning.
Malcolm Lee, Andrew Goudelock and Lavoy Allen will take part in a workout with the Spurs on Friday.
Last but not least, Enes Kanter will meet with the Utah Jazz on Friday in Chicago. The Jazz have a few different directions they could go. They would like a point guard, which would be between Kemba Walker and Brandon Knight, but they also would be happy if Derrick Williams was available at No. 3. If Williams is gone, would the Jazz take Kanter? It's too early to tell, but we might have a better idea after Friday's meeting between Kanter and the Jazz.