New Jersey Group Workout Wrap-Up

New Jersey Group Workout Wrap-Up
Jun 15, 2009, 12:43 am
With the draft only ten days away, NBA teams are scrambling to get a final look at as many prospects as possible in order to put the finishing touches on their draft boards. At the same time, agents are trying to give their clients’ draft stock a final boost, by getting them in front of as many decision makers as possible.

With that in mind, 24 NBA teams came together this weekend in East Rutherford, New Jersey at the Nets’ practice facility, to take in 36 players in six separate workouts. The prospects ranged from late lottery candidates such as Austin Daye, to likely undrafted players such as Jimmy Barron, with many borderline first rounders scattered in between. Players that were on the initial list and decided not to attend include Terrence Williams, Sam Young, Jrue Holiday, B.J. Mullens, Marcus Thornton, Tyler Hansbrough and Jon Brockman.

Besides working the players out and having them compete in three-on-three action, the players were also measured (height, wingspan, reach, hand-size) and again asked to participate in athletic combine style testing.

Here was the list of participants, including some notes from various people that were in the gym to evaluate the talent on hand:

Friday June 12th: 9:30am Session

Lester Hudson

Austin Daye

Omri Casspi

Darren Collison

Derrick Brown

Gani Lawal

Comments from observers in the gym:

“Austin Daye vs. Omri Casspi turned into a real wrestling match. Casspi just manhandled Daye, really threw him around. It was a bit disappointing to see how little Daye was able to compete from a strength perspective—Casspi is a kind of a skinny guy himself. At one point Casspi cut Daye’s lip open--he had to go to hospital for stitches. The Nets should have done a better job of getting someone to call fouls. Casspi was fouling the hell out of Daye. Some of the guys were looking at each other like ‘what are we watching here?’

Casspi was impressive, just like he’s been everywhere he’s gone. He plays hard, competes. He hit tough shots. Step-backs, runners. Then he missed some wide open J’s—go figure. He hits the toughest shots, but can’t always make the easiest ones. He looked like he could be a great complementary player in a 5 on 5. Definitely an atypical player for a European. “

Gani Lawal was disappointing. I’m not impressed. He should go back to school. Derrick Brown -- some really liked him, others didn’t. Darren Collison looked quick, shot well. He’s solid. “

Friday June 12th: 11:15am Session

Eric Maynor

Jimmy Baron

Chase Budinger

Joe Ingles

A.J. Price

Paul Harris

Comments from observers in the gym:

“Paul Harris may have helped himself the most I thought here. He plays so hard. He got in everyone’s face. No one wanted to go against him. On offense and defense. On top of that, his measurements were ridiculous. He came up a bit shorter than expected—only 6-3 in shoes, but his wingspan is outrageous—6-11 ½. He’s also absolutely jacked at 237 pounds, all 100% muscle. On top of that, he measured a no step vertical of 36 inches, which is off the charts. He’s like Ron Artest.

“Chase Budinger was awful in my opinion. He just doesn’t play. All he wants to do is shoot jumpers. That’s not basketball. He didn’t want to be there. Didn’t want to compete. He couldn’t put it on the floor. You should have seen his face when he was switched onto Paul Harris. He definitely didn’t want anything to do with him. “

Saturday June 13th: 9:30am Session

Lee Cummard

DaJuan Summers

Damion James- replaced by Connor Atchley

Nick Calathes

Wes Matthews

Danny Green

Comments from observers in the gym:

“Dajuan Summers had probably the best workout here. Then again, he was going up against Connor Atchley, so that’s somewhat to be expected. He absolutely killed him off the dribble. He was blowing by him, dunking on him. He had a bunch of really nice dunks. He looked good in the full-court stuff too. He was very good shooting off dribble, but not so good on the catch and shoot. He probably helped himself, but it might have impressed more people had he done it against Damion James like originally scheduled rather than Connor Atchley. You can see that he really thrives in these up-tempo settings, which is something we weren’t able to see too much of at Georgetown.

Nick Calathes was average. He did not shoot or finish well around the basket. Defensively he had problems—he has very little strength or length. He is obviously more of a 5 on 5 guy, even though in the 3 on 3 his court vision was very obvious. There wasn’t a whole lot to get excited about here. His conditioning probably isn’t where it needs to be with all the hoopla he’s been through lately.

Danny Green did not have a good workout. Matthews was good, but I’m not sure he’s an NBA player. Cummard didn’t show much.”

*Nick Calathes measurements: 6-4 ½ in shoes, 193 pounds, 6-4 ½ wingspan. Hand size 9 ¼, Standing reach 8-3, No step vert 10-1 ½, with step 10-4.

Saturday June 13th: 11:15am Session

Greivis Vasquez

Wayne Ellington

Taj Gibson

Jeff Teague

Patrick Beverley

Jermaine Taylor

Ahmad Nivins

Comments from observers in the gym:

This was a good workout. Greivis Vasquez did a very nice job. He’s had strong workouts in most of the places he’s been I hear. He struggled defensively a bit, especially guarding real physical guys like Jermaine Taylor, or quick guys like Teague. He competed, though, was very vocal. He raised the level of intensity. He grabbed rebounds. He shot the ball OK.

Jeff Teague didn’t say a word the entire workout. He was happy to just stand around. He didn’t talk to his big men, instructing them, telling them where to go. He looked a bit disinterested. If that’s the leadership your point guard is showing, then I don’t know. On the other hand he’s obviously a phenomenal athlete. He blew by Vasquez at will. He didn’t shoot that well, though.

Ellington had a really good showing, doing what he normally does. He may have been the best of the bunch actually. He’s so advanced offensively. Jermaine Taylor started the workout on fire. He was hitting crazy shots, and was really helping himself. Unfortunately he hurt his hamstring and that really slowed down. His basketball IQ looked average to me. In the transition drills he was throwing passes at people’s feet.

Taj Gibson did a nice job. He’s just a solid all-around player. He did a little bit of everything. I’m hearing some people like him in the late first.“

Sunday June 14th: 9:30am Session

Ryan Toolson

B.J. Mullens—replaced by Luke Zeller

Luke Harangody

Jack McClinton

Josh Heytvelt

Luke Nevill

Comments from observers in the gym:

“B.J. Mullens pulled out of the workout, and he was replaced at the last minute by Luke Zeller. His agent says he has a promise I heard.

Jack McClinton did very well. He can really shoot and is very quick. Unfortunately there wasn’t much to see with him going up against Toolson. Josh Heytvelt was also very good. He shot the ball great. He rebounded well, and he looked tougher than advertised. He doesn’t say much, but he’s pretty athletic and his skill level is very good for his size. Luke Nevill was not that good in my opinion. It’s tough for him to get out and guard guys. It would have been better for him if Mullens was there. He killed him in Minnesota.”

Sunday June 14th: 11:15am Session

Demarre Carroll

Josh Shipp

Jeremy Pargo

Taylor Griffin

Dionte Christmas

Jimmy Barron

Comments from observers in the gym:

“DeMarre Carroll was much better than I thought. He can shoot, he can move, he can really play. He was very active. He helped himself. Josh Shipp did very well too. He was labeled as a soft guy at UCLA, but that really wasn’t the case here. He battled with Pargo and Delaney, and he shot well too. Dionte Christmas just knows how to play. He was shooting great, guarding guys, moving well. Paul Delaney was the biggest disappointment to me. He couldn’t make a shot. Taylor Griffin probably isn’t an NBA guy, but he’s a solid all-around player. “

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