2007 NBA Predraft Camp: Days Three and Four + Media Day Notes
By Aran Smith
Q: What players do you try to emulate your game after in years past, and maybe a great bigman?
A: I would love to be like Bill Russell, He really loved the game. Michael Jordan. Who wouldn't want to be like him? Guys like David Robinson are who I pattern my game after.
[img_assist|nid=3845|title=Greg Oden|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=350|height=362]Q: What aspect
of your game are you currently focusing on in workouts?
A Recently working on ball handling, I go through a t-shirt every workout and my inside game.
Q: Is it important for you to be the first overall pick?
A: It would be nice to be the first pick, but I just want to hear my name called whether it's first or twenty second.
Q: What do you do to relax?
A: I go to the movies. In fact I went and saw Shrek 3 last night.
Q And your review was?
A: I loved it.
I loved it. I mean I thought the second one was better. I'm just
Q: Have you spoken with Bill Walton since the lottery took place about the possibility of playing in Portland?
Q: What will you do after this?
A: I have a Final on monday in Murder. (laughing) (A class he's taking at Washington)
Q: What can you bring to an NBA team?
A: I think I'd be able to contribute something right away, but I'd be able to contribute more down the road. My body isn't where it's going to be in a couple years, so I think a team that takes me will take that into consideration.
Q:What teams do you have scheduled workouts with?
A: Minnesota Timberwolves, Chicago Bulls, and Sacramento Kings.
Q: What teams are you scheduled to work out for?
A: LA Clippers, Atlanta Hawks, Milwaukee Bucks and Chicago Bulls.
Q: Do you know who you are going to match up against?
A: Atlanta is going to bring in me and Conley, Milwaukee as well. The Clippers are bringing in me and Crittenton.
Q: What do you think of this point guard class?
A: Guys that are in are very talented but not a lot of great point guards, just a few.
Q: Do you have the ability to be a true point guard that distributes?
A: I think that the team I was on called for me to score, but I have the ability to run the show as a point guard for sure. I can do whatever a team needs.
Q: What teams are you scheduled to work out for?
A: Boston Celtics, Portland Trailblazers, Minnesota Timberwolves, and Charlotte Bobcats
Q: Do you know who you will work out against?
A: Corey Brewer, Thaddeus Young and Julian Wright.
Q: Give one word to describe your game?
Q: About the 70-30 statement, is that still the case?
A: That was a few months back. Things have changed. I'll take my time see my opportunities and where I can land.
Q: Who is taking care of your workout schedule since you have yet to sign an agent?
A: Coach Thompson III is taking care of all that stuff right now.
Q: Do you have any workout scheduled yet?
A: Yeah there are a few being scheduled right now, but I'm not sure where yet.
"I'd rather play defense than offense to be honest."
Q: Who do you have workouts scheduled for?
A: The only workout I know right now is with Boston.
Q: Hypothetically if Taureen Green were to go undrafted would you want to...
A: I am being only positive, and Taureen is getting drafted.
I am aware that Taureen Green is competing here, I'm happy for him, rooting for him.
Q: You are aware that Billy Donovan has been offered the Orlando Magic job?
A: No I wasn't aware of that. That's a great opportunity.
(Later in the interview)
Q: What are your feeling now that Coach Donovan has accepted the Orlando Magic coaching job?
A: Did he really do it? Wow, congratulations. No.... It's not confirmed. No. Hold on I'm gonna find out right now. Hey Pete, did Coach D take the Job? .... You don't know? ... He's gonna be eating a lot of filet mignons. Well Congratulations! I support him regardless.
Day 3 (Thursday)
Game 4 Team 1 88 - Team 4 85
Mustafa Shakur bounced back in the morning game leading his team to victory and using his size well against fellow Pac-Ten point guard Aaron Brooks. Shakur had 14 points showing excellent aggressiveness getting to the line and knocking down 10-12 free throws. Shakur's backcourt mate Trey Johnson was the recipient of a number of Shakur's 7 assists, finishing with a game high 16 points.
Zabian Dowdell was solid knocking down 4-6 shots for 8 points. He has yet to confirm his point guard ability however.
Quinton Hosley and Jared Dudley proved to be one of the most interesting match ups so far. Hosley bounced back and looked solid after missing the first game due to a shoulder injury. Each performed well with Hosley finishing with 11 points on 5-8 shooting while Dudley had an even more effective 13 points on 5-7 shooting knocking down 3-3 from the line and 8 boards. Each player showed solid range knocking down some outside shots.
Reyshawn Terry looked strong sharing a team high 13 points with Dudley on 4-7 shooting and 5-6 from the line.
Kyle Visser was perfect from the field at 5-5 for 11 points but hit just 1-5 from the line. He knocked down a number of nifty hook shots in close.
Brad Newley had a solid performance with 9 points on 3-5 shooting, he had the dunk of the game with an impressive drive dribbling past his man through the lane and throwing down a thunder dunk.
Herbert Hill struggled to get off, scoring on one monster jam but missing a few cheapies from mid range. He finished with 6 points on 3-5 shooting.
In the battle of futility, Rashad Jones-Jennings and Marko Lekic have been parallel players in the same universe as each fouled out, Lekic with 0 points (0-2 fg) and Jones-Jennings with 2 (0-1 fg).
James Hughes missed the game due to illness.
Game 5 Team 2 94 - Team 5 79
Team 2 got solid production from all of their players, with even their low scorer Major Wingate finishing with 4 points on 2-4 shooting. Sammy Mejia, Antanas Kavalauskas and Mario Boggan shared the scoring led with 14 points a piece.
Also chipping in was Ali Traore with 12 points. he has been one of the most active and impressive bigmen in camp. He's still raw offensively, but his combination of strength, length and energy has risen some eyebrows on him.
Jared Jordan showed why many feel he was the top passer in all of college basketball this year with 7 assists and 8 points. Scouts feel Jordan will make a sensational point guard in a lower level European team.
Aaron Gray had
a game high 16 points showing his solid fundamentals in the post
with one nice drop step move.
Taurean Green was solid distributing the ball. His court vision isn't great for a point guard, but he had a solid showing with 5 assists and 3 turnovers with 10 points on 3-4 shooting. Halfway through the first half, his Florida teammates Joakim Noah, Al Horford and Corey Brewer strolled into the gym and cheered him on. At the half Green walked over to where his Gators were sitting and Noah said, "Come give Daddy a hug!"
Green and Bobby
Brown matched up against each other with Brown scoring 11 on just
Coming off a 22 point performance in day one Coleman Collins was less impressive shooting just 4-13 with 13 points. He did have a game high 8 boards.
Game 6 Team 6 89 - Team 3 87
Ramon Sessions continued his stellar play with 5 assists to no turnovers. He used his size well matching up against DaShawn Wood outscoring the also impressive Wood, 16-15. Sessions shot 4-9 getting to the line 10 times and converting on 8. Wood hit 5-12 from the field and 4-6 from the line with 3 dimes.
Demetrius Nichols was very impressive knocking down a number of 3s and finishing with a game high 17 points on 6-7 shooting (3-4 from 3).
Jermario Davidson hit 3-6 knocking down a shot from outside as well as in the paint and finishing with 8 points.
played solid with 12 points on 5-12 shooting.
Daequan Cook did not stand out but to his credit he didn't force things as he had in yesterday's game. He finished with 8 points on 4-9 shooting. He hit a lay in in the final minute to give his team the 89-87 edge.
Dominic James continues his free fall and better make a call to Coach Crean ASAP and make sure they'll still have him back. But seriously, no one here has seen their stock take a dive the way James has. It couldn't get much worse than yesterday, but it didn't get a whole lot better with 4 points on 1-3 shooting. On the positive side he did have 4 assists to one turnover.
Day 4 (Friday)
Game 7 Team 2 93 - Team 2 92
After two average games, Daequan Cook redeemed himself on Friday with a breakout 22 points on 9-15 shooting. He also knocked down 3-4 from downtown in an overall very impressive performance. He used his size and strength well aggressively driving to the basket against JR Reynolds. An informal poll of scouts and GMs resulted in around 70-80 percent saying Cook will get into the first round. A few scouts think there won't be any first rounders from this year's camp, which would be an all time low.
Also impressive once again was Ali Traore with 19 points on 8-12 shooting. He keeps things simple with jams and shots in close to the basket but has also shown the ability to knock down the occasional 10 footer.
continued his solid camp with 14 points on perfect 3-3 shooting
including 8-12 from the line.
Ron Lewis had 13 points on 3-10 shooting, getting to the line 12 times with 7 makes.
Stephane Lasme fouled out with his highest performance with 9 points (3-4) with 6 boards.
The game ended with some controversy as with a one point game, the ball was inbounded to Taurean Green who appeared to catch the ball in the front court and was moving into the back court. Team 3's coaches protested but it was in vain. It did mean they lost all 3 games, but this is the predraft camp, so the individual performances obviously trump the team results.
Game 8 Team 1 93 - Team 6 89
Coby Karl was impressive once again with a game high 17 points on 4-8 shooting and 9-13 from the line. He has played point guard the entire camp and has shown the ability to handle the pressure of the smaller quicker guards defending him.
Ramon Sessions was impressive once again. He hasn't found his outside shot but has been extremely effective getting by his man and into the lane for runners as well as setting up teammates. he has been extremely effective in making passes without turning the ball over. He finished with 14 points on 4-10 shooting.
Marcelus Kemp has benefited playing alongside Sessions. Their college coach Mark Fox has been here supporting the two and has to hope the two will realize their best option is returning to Nevada for their senior years. Kemp, while not perfect size and lacking athleticism has a great scorers mentality and polished offensive skills. He finished with 16 on 6-13 shooting.
Trey Johnson struggled shooting just 4-15 for 12 points. He forced things a number of times shooting into the teeth of close defense and not looking for teammates.
Jermario Davidson had an impressive final game with 16 points on 6-11 shooting with 7 boards.
Herbert Hill had a game high 4 blocks, but overall has been a bit of a disappointment inside scoring just 5 points on 2-5 shooting.
Mustafa Shakur had a game high 5 assists scoring 8 points on 3-8 shooting. He has played well alongside teammate Ivan Radenovic who finished with 12 points on 5-8 fg.
Game 9 Team 4 95 - Team 5 93
The scouts that hung around for the final day (around half) were treated to 3 very close and competitive games.
The final game of the camp was losing the remaining scouts and GMs interest as many gravitated over to the stands above the draft's big stars as they worked out.
Coleman Collins was a near perfect 7-8 from the field and 4-4 from the line finishing with a game high 18 points. If only he had played this well during the season, he would be a lock to be drafted.
Also impresive was Carl Landry who had 12 on 5-9 fg and a game high 8 boards.
Aaron Brooks showed why he is the most NBA ready point guard in camp. He knocked down 2-3 from 3 and 4-7 overall finishing with an impressive 14 points and 2 assists.
Bobby Brown who has been the most athletic PG in the camp (he has been able to use his athleticism more so than Dominic James) finished with 13 on 4-9 shooting and 4-4 ft.
Aaron Gray fouled out but finished with a solid 11 points on 3-6 shooting. He matched up with Kyle Visser who scored 8 points on 1-5 shooting.
Anthony Tolliver had his best game in camp with 12 points on 5-9 shooting. He had a tough time making much of an impact in the camp but had a solid final game.
Jared Dudley showed why many scouts love his mental toughness and demeanor with another solid effort going 5-10 for 12 points and 6 boards. His improved body is allowing him to move quicker, although he's certainly not going to blow anyone away with speed.
Rashaun Freeman had a team high 16 points on 8-14 shooting. He is an undersized 4 but should find a place in Europe somewhere.
Reyshawn Terry checked in with another solid though unspectacular effort scoring 11 on 3-7 shooting.
DJ Strawberry shot the ball well from outside. Scouts don't seem to be very high on him, but his shot was dropping from the perimeter today. He had 12 points on 5-7 shooting.
The NBA did something new this year having each of the physical only players run through drills with the regular predraft guys. It was a great idea, and gave scouts sort of a brief, informal workout for each of the players. They ran full court drills including a 5 man weave, 3 on 0 full court passing and lay ins plus various half court shooting drills.
The physical only players included:
Corey Brewer 6-8 185 SF Florida Jr.
Mike Conley 6-1 180 PG Ohio St. Fr.
Javaris Crittenton 6-5 195 PG G.Tech Fr.
Kevin Durant 6-10 220 SF Texas Fr.
Jeff Green 6-8 235 SF Georgetown Jr.
Spencer Hawes 6-11 250 C Wash. Fr.
Al Horford 6-9 245 PF Florida Jr.
Acie Law 6-3 195 PG Texas A&M Sr.
Josh McRoberts 6-10 240 PF Duke So.
Joakim Noah 6-11 230 PF Florida Jr.
Greg Oden 7-0 250 C Ohio St. Fr.
Jason Smith 7-0 240 PF Colorado St. Jr.
Rodney Stuckey 6-4 205 PG E. Wash. So.
Al Thornton 6-8 220 SF/PF Florida St. Sr.
Brandan Wright 6-10 210 PF UNC Fr.
Julian Wright 6-8 225 SF Kansas So.
Yi Jianlian 7-0 242 PF China 1984
Nick Young 6-6 200 SG USC Jr.
Thaddeus Young 6-8 217 SF GT Fr.
Some notes on these players:
Josh McRoberts looked in much better shape than he did at the end of the season. He was moving around well, sporting a five o'clock shadow and looking loose and enjoying himself.
Unlike the other projected lottery picks, Yi Jianlian, who is in Los Angeles working out did not show up for physicals and measurements. It appears his group wants to keep him as "mysterious" as possible, A move that could ultimately backfire. Scouts and GMs seem to be torn on him. Some love his athleticism, quickness and shooting ability, while others point to the time he will require to adapt to the league and softness as being factors that may keep him from being taken in the top 5 or so picks.
Brandan Wright proved what one GM had told me during the camp, "show me a tape where Brandon Wright hits 15 foot jumpshots". Wright struggled on shots outside of 8 feet during the drills. You have to like his touch within 5-8 feet from the basket, but as the GM pointed out, "Its very difficult to score with in 8 feet in the NBA, especially for a thin player such as Wright". The team that takes Wright will be betting on the come as he needs to improve both his body and his shooting range. Both elements seem correctable, but you are dealing with unknowns. Teams drafting in the top 5, such as Atlanta and Boston have GMs who may not have the time to wait for a player such as Wright.
Wright's 57% free throw shooting is cause for concern as is his mechanics from outside 8 feet. However, the touch he shows close to the basket gives hope that he will be able to extend his range over time and improve upon his free throw percentage.
Jason Smith looks extremely mobile for a 7-footer, even more fluid than he did in the regular season. He doesn't seem to have bulked up since the season ended, but his foot speed and quickness running the court look excellent. If he's smart he will stay away from workouts with any of the tougher forwards (ie Thornton) and concentrate on his strengths (shooting and running the floor) It's hard to imagine a player his size with his foot speed and shooting ability could slip out of the first round.
Julian Wright and Al Thornton ran in the same wave of players and looked like twins. Each are incredibly long and amazingly fluid. Teams in the mid to late lottery will surely be deciding between the two and it will probably depend on what the team needs more, passing: Wright, or scoring: Thornton.
2007 NBA Predraft Camp Rosters
|Team 1||Team 2||Team 3|
|33 Mohamed Abukar||53 Mario Boggan||54 Craig Bradshaw|
|20 Russell Carter||08
||21 Daequan Cook|
|07 Zabian Dowdell||10 Jared Jordan||60 Caleb Green|
|76 Herbert Hill||78 Antanas Kavaliauskas||61 Ekene Ibekwe|
|36 Quinton Hosley||65 Stephane Lasme||29 Dominic James|
|77 James Hughes||27 Sammy Mejia||62 Joseph Jones|
|23 Trey Johnson||12 JR Reynolds||26 Ron Lewis|
|63 Rashad Jones-Jennings||41 Sun Yue||37 Cartier Martin|
||81 Ali Traore||31 Blake Schilb|
|80 Chris Richard||84 Major Wingate||17 Dashaun Wood|
|14 Mustafa Shakur|
|Team 4||Team 5||Team 6|
|03 Aaron Brooks||04 Bobby Brown||74 Ryvon Covile|
|35 Jared Dudley||55 Coleman Collins||56 Jermareo Davidson|
|59 Rashaun Freeman||58 Justin Doellman||22 Jeremy Hunt|
|09 Brandon Heath||75 Aaron Gray||24 Coby Karl|
|79 Marko Lekic||64 Carl Landry||25 Marcelus Kemp|
|28 Brad Newley||38 Dominic McGuire||66 James Mays|
|30 Dustin Salisbery||32 Renaldas Seibutis||39 Demetris Nichols|
|16 Jamaal Tatum||15 Sean Singletary||13 Ramon Sessions|
|42 Reyshawn Terry||52 DJ Strawberry||83 Darryl Watkins|
|68 Anthony Tolliver||40 Curtis Sumpter||44 Avis Wyatt|
|82 Kyle Visser|