Word on the Street: Promises...Houston's Workouts...Koponen

Word on the Street: Promises...Houston's Workouts...Koponen
Jun 07, 2007, 03:02 am
Stuckey to Detroit?

-Does Rodney Stuckey have a promise from Detroit? That’s what some people are starting to believe, even though we don’t really buy these types of rumors, since it makes very little sense. Some people (including one NBA team) say that Stuckey is privately claiming to have received the guarantee, while others believe he is one of a handful of players Detroit is considering with the 15th pick.

Stuckey's agent, Aaron Goodwin, told us in response that "This rumor was started and perpetuated by other agents, and all will see that Stuckey will continue to workout and definitely for teams with picks before the 15th. I’ve heard it from teams also, and I have told them this also. "

Interestingly enough, Stuckey has one workout scheduled with the Seattle Supersonics, who hold the #2 and #31 picks, neither of which are in his range. That workout, to be held on June 11th, will be conducted with Acie Law, who isn’t really in that range at all either. We were told to “draw our own conclusions” from that, while being assured that there is a “method behind the madness.”

Similarly to what we discussed yesterday with Portland, this could very well be another situation where Seattle could easily jump up and land a late lottery pick if they so desire. Stuckey is also scheduled to work out for the Phoenix Suns on the 18th. The Suns are telling people that they are planning on packaging the picks to move up and nab the player they like most, which is exactly what they said last year as well (holding the #21 and #27 spots) before selling/trading both picks.

Yi's Workouts

The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported yesterday that the Atlanta Hawks headed to Los Angeles to take in a workout featuring Yi Jianlian. We've learned that Danny Ainge of the Boston Celtics was present for an identical one-on-none workout the day before.

Houston Rockets Workouts in Orlando

After our initial report last night, today we received a lot more information from people who were in Orlando watching the unprecedented series of workouts organized by the Houston Rockets at Celebration High School, not far from where the NBA pre-draft camp was held last week. Around 10 teams were present to take in the action, although not all were represented by their General Managers.

Apparently there were actually six workouts conducted on the first day prospects were allowed to work out, not the three we initially reported. Arron Afflalo, Renaldas Seibutas, Petteri Koponen, Sean Singletary, Joseph Jones, Aaron Brooks, and others were also present, joined by Bobby Brown, Dominic James, Jeremy Hunt, Brandon Heath, Morris Almond, Brad Newley, Reyshawn Terry, Jared Dudley, Devon Hardin, Aaron Gray, Nick Fazekas, and Jason Smith.

In addition to the six workouts held on the 5th, there were also three more today. They featured Ron Lewis, Sammy Mejia, Trey Johnson and Dustin Salisbery in the first one, followed by Chris Richard, Ali Traore, Ryvon Covile, and Rashad Jones-Jennings in the second, and Herbert Hill, Ekene Ibekwe, “some foreign guy,” and Jermareo Davidson in the third, according to a scout that was present. There were also be one more workout tomorrow.

There was quite a bit of buzz coming from people who were in the gym. A lot of it surrounded Jared Dudley, who was in one scout’s words, “most impressive player amongst the 36 guys I saw.” The scout went on to say that Dudley competed extremely hard, showed a beautiful jumper, stayed in front of his matchups nicely in the competitive 2 on 2 drills, and looked like a consummate pro. In his words, he would make “a great addition to any NBA team.” The same scout also mentioned that Morris Almond “looked good,” and that Reyshawn Terry ”was better than I thought.”

Apparently Dominic James could not finish his workout. Any doubt that remained regarding whether or not he will be back at Marquette next year is quickly evaporating. Everyone James’ people have spoken to have told him that it is in his best bet to return to school, since he is by no means a lock to get drafted.

Other tidbits to come out of Orlando…

Taurean Green is definitely a first round pick to me…he has such a good demeanor, he made shots…he’s not going to wow you, but I’ve still never seen him hurt himself.”

Devon Hardin is an animal. Just a big, strong, athletic kid. But he has such little skill, he needs to go back to school. He’s a nice kid, yes sir no sir to everything, but he just doesn’t understand the game. He’s a second round pick to me”

Aaron Gray was really good. He ran well, his body looked great, he’s smart and understands the game. He shot the ball really well. He definitely solidified himself here. He could play for you right now.”

Jason Smith is really athletic, but I don’t know what position he plays. He can shoot and he’s obviously talented, but he really got buried by Fazekas and Gray. He looked really nervous. He needs to calm down, take a deep breath. He’s almost too fast for his own good.”

-“Fazekas was really good. He runs like it hurts, but you put him in specific settings and he just gets it done. He’ll be solid with a really good point guard next to him. He’s not going to jump over anyone for rebounds, but I see him in the late first round.”

Reyshawn Terry has that UNC coolness to him. He doesn’t get after it enough. He has great size and strength, and he put it on the floor great, shot it some even, was good all-around. He can defend when he wants to too. The only question is will he allow himself to get at the pace he needs to go?”

Jermareo Davidson was impressive. He shot the NBA 3-pointer well and looked really athletic. He looked coachable and showed a lot of potential. This is probably the best I’ve seen him out of anywhere.”

-"Ryvon Covile is as solid as they come. He is a big wide body who can hit the 15 footer and knows how to play. He should definitely get drafted by someone."

Bobby Brown can shoot the crap out of it, and he’s athletic enough to get by anyone in the 2 on 2’s. In this setting, he looks great.”

Petteri Koponen Impresses in Orlando, Pulls out of Treviso

6-5 Finnish point guard Petteri Koponen was another of the players that looked very good in front of about 1/3rd of the league working out in Orlando on the 5th. Koponen impressed scouts in attendance with his “great size” as well as with the fact that he wasn’t rattled by the very athletic American point guards he went up against—Sean Singletary, Taurean Green and Aaron Brooks among them. He apparently “made a lot of open shots” despite his slightly unconventional shooting mechanics, and did a terrific job in particular in the competitive full-court one on one, blowing by Aaron Brooks on one particular occasion. He’s “tough…poised…confident…and obviously has some leadership skills” according to one NBA scout who was particularly impressed by him.

Unfortunately for us, Koponen has since decided to pull his name out of the RBK Eurocamp in Treviso, according to his agent Marc Cornstein. The reason for that is the excessive amount of travel that it would entail to get to Italy and then back for private workouts. Although Cornstein told us that he “thinks he will stay in,” Koponen can still pull his name out of the draft on the 18th if he so desires, having stated in the past that he needs to be a first round pick in order to stay in. Koponen was a rare first round prospect who wanted to participate in the Orlando Pre-draft camp, but was mysteriously not invited by the committee.

-Check out our ever-growing list of NBA private workout schedules, and do email us with any that we might have missed.

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