I will be the first to admit that I am not a big fan of workouts. Now I know they are necessary (you do get some valuble stuff – like seeing Casspi manhandle Daye), but I just think teams put too much value in them. Anyway, that is why I haven’t really been talking about the workouts, but I figured I should do a little update about it for you guys (that’s just how much I care about you guys).
Over the past two days, we have been working out guys that we might be taking at 11 (Even though most of the talk here over the past couple of days have been Casspi related). On Tuesday, Nets staff got an up close and personal look at Earl Clark and James Johnson (My two favorite guys in the draft – and coincidentally two guys with names consisting of two first names). Ben Couch, NJNets.com blogger, wrote about the workouts:
The duo has been matching up in workouts for team after team (Clark: “I forget how many. I go blank-headed, I’m traveling so much.”) and have developed a friendship through their shared itineraries. Each said it’s been fun hanging out, but that they’re all business on the court, which was apparent to Nets general manager Kiki Vandeweghe during Tuesday’s workout.
“They did very well,” Vandeweghe said. “They’re both very skilled players. Both athletic, both competed very well today. This is getting toward the end of it for both guys. They’ve had a lot of workouts, and you can tell they had to push through some fatigue, but they were both very impressive.”
Vandeweghe said he thought each could play both forward positions, and that each shot well enough that it was hard to distinguish who was the better shooter. However, he cautioned that each would need to work on extending their range. Competitiveness was the quality Vandeweghe most sought to measure in this instance, because NBA players are always “tired and a little bit injured.”
Even though I don’t really like the idea of the workouts, I do like the fact that both Clark and Johnson have been playing against each other in workouts. I am also happy that Kiki thinks that both men can play the 4 and the 3. We already knew Earl Clark could do it, but I wasn’t sure if James Johnson could.
That wasn’t it for the workouts. Yesterday the Nets worked out a number of guards. Ty Lawson was the headliner, and it seems that he struggled. Again, I will let Ben Couch tell you about it:
Ty Lawson played horribly.
Worst workout of his Draft process.
Was a little tired and it showed.
But UCLA point guard Jrue Holiday said that his matchup with the UNC junior was competitive, Duke swingman Gerald Henderson Jr. — who has traveled Tobacco Road enough to know — echoed the sentiment, and Nets general manager Kiki Vandeweghe called the overall session one of the best workouts he’s seen this year.
“Holiday and Lawson were a good matchup,” Vandeweghe said. “I think Lawson is a guy you can see has played a lot of basketball, really knows how to play basketball. Jrue did very well also. Henderson was very good — he’s a tough competitior, comes from a great program and is a guy who really knows how to play basketball and is going help an NBA team. I don’t think there’s any question.”
Henderson, whose father played 13 seasons in the NBA, seemed freshest at the workout’s conclusion, fluidly nailing long jumpers and three-pointers on-the-move when team president Rod Thorn asked his group to take an extra trip around-the-world. His strong conditioning was an effect caused by a tip from dad that being in shape to handle anything thrown at him would put the younger Henderson in the best pre-draft position possible.
There is also this nugget:
He [Kiki] added that it would be dangerous for a team to pass up on the best player available solely to fill a need, and having point guards Devin Harris and Keyon Dooling wouldn’t prevent the Nets from taking a third PG if one they were enamored with were available at No. 11.
Ugh. I still hope Kiki and Rod are trying to fleece everyone and we aren’t thinking about the PG position. But everytime I hear this, my hopes dwindle. It’s not that I don’t think these guards aren’t good players, they are, it is just that I think if we get a solid 4 or a 3 we make the playoffs. This is because we improve right away. If we draft a guard, we are pretty much trotting out the same team as last year (Granted the young guys are going to improve just because of their experience last year), and I don’t think we make the playoffs that way.
We will see what happens though. The draft is a week from today, and soon the speculation will stop and we will be able to put all the rumors to rest.