Brandon Roy pulls out of a Charlotte workout with Rudy Gay. Tyrus Thomas refusing competitive workouts? Trade speculation runs rampant. Our updated Orlando pre-draft invite list. Saer Sene cancels his participation in Treviso. 42 of the 48 players invited to Treviso announced. Workout reports with Houston and Chicago featuring many interesting prospects. And much much more.
Brandon Roy Pulls Out of Charlotte Workout
The much anticipated workout between Brandon Roy and Rudy Gay scheduled for June 2nd never transpired. Both Roy and Gay made it to Charlotte and even went through some brief conditioning drills, but after 15 minutes Roy decided to quit, citing that he was not feeling well. The Bobcats were obviously disappointed, as everyone knows the emphasis that Head Coach and GM Bernie Bickerstaff puts on competitiveness.
Plenty of noise was already made about this workout before it was even conducted, as the Bobcats were hoping to have Adam Morrison in with Roy and Gay as well, but Morrison could not attend due to prior marketing obligations and the fact that he did not want to end up making two trips back and forth from the West Coast to the East Coast for the Bobcats workout and then the Orlando pre-draft camp physicals and measurements.
What Roy suffered through is apparently exactly what Morrison wanted to avoid, as the three hour time zone difference between the East and West coast and waking up at 7 AM for a workout (4 AM Pacific) likely had everything to do with the way Roy felt when he started working out. Roys camp told us that the rumors that are swirling about him dodging Morrison are nonsense and that both players have great respect for each other and would gladly play against one another if the agents involved would be finally able to get something done. Roys AAU coach Lou Hobson told us that what happened with his former player in Charlotte was a fatigue issue, and that no one should be forced to fly cross country late at night and have to wake up just a few hours later for such an important workout.
This is not the first time the issue of Roy dodging workouts has been brought up, as a team source wondered to us that whether Brazilian prospect Marcus Vinicus Viera de Souza is being avoided by Roy after their workout last week with the Los Angeles Lakers. Rodney Carney appears to have a similar beef with Roy after seeing him pull out of a Houston workout last week. Whats odd is that everything weve been hearing is that Roy is playing extremely well in almost every workout hes been to, particularly a few weeks ago when GMs traveled to Los Angeles to watch him play. A message left for Roys agent at the Arn Tellem/Bob Myers Wasserman media group office was not returned. Its easy to forget in all this mess that Brandon Roy is still the same player hes always been, in our mind the most polished and NBA ready player in this draft, and an absolute lock to be drafted in top 6 or 7 picks in the draft. Everything else that is surrounding him and the draft process is a bit odd, though.
Tyrus Thomas Refusing Competitive Workouts?
As of right now, it appears that Tyrus Thomas will not be working out competitively against anyone in any workout for a team drafting outside the top 3, and will not be working out for any teams period outside the top 3. From what weve been told, much like what happened with Gerald Green last year, teams are threatening to take a stand and not draft him if he continues to refuse to work out for them, or if he refuses to go up against anyone but the coaching staff. Thomas was reportedly seen out on the town in Miami this past weekend and apparently is telling anyone who is willing to listen that he is guaranteed to be drafted #2 by the Chicago Bulls. Right now, the Bulls have a workout set on June 19th featuring J.J. Redick, Rudy Gay and Adam Morrison, with the last spot being saved for Thomas. It will be very interesting to see whether he is advised to attend that workout, and what the fallout of that decision might be.
Picks in Play
As it always is this time of the year, trade rumors are rampant and its quite hard to separate fact from fiction. Teams drafting slightly outside of a players projected range generally like to spread misinformation about moving up in the draft themselves to try and secure extra workouts with coveted prospects, while generating rumors of other teams moving down in order to create a sense that anything can happen on draft night.
Here are the picks that are mentioned the most in conversations weve had.
#1This has been out there since our very first article on the draft order just a few hours after the lottery. Portland is always rumored to be in the mix here.
#4Portland is looking to trade up, not down, but someone could still end up with the #4 pick, particularly a team that covets Rudy Gay, Adam Morrison or Brandon Roy. Orlando and Philadelphia could be in the mix here.
#5Atlanta is expected by many to trade down a few spots and draft Shelden Williams. Weve heard from sources at two different workouts this past week that Williams did not really compete, leading us to wonder whether he is sending some sort of a message to teams.
#7Danny Ainge is the master of smokescreens and is known to throw his weight around both in the media as well as by sending out trial balloons about what other teams think or might do. The #7 pick is reportedly in play, and after the terrific workout he had in Boston, many wonder whether Sergio Rodríguez is his target. Ainge is also reportedly on some sort of anti-Marcus Williams crusade, which makes you wonder exactly what is going on there.
#8If Brandon Roy isnt around at #8, which he most likely wont be, Houston is certainly not guaranteed to keep their pick. The Rockets could look to trade down to either add athleticism on the wing (think Tracy McGradys homeboy Rodney Carney, Randy Foye or Ronnie Brewer), or for sharpshooting floor spacing extraordinaire J.J. Redick.
#11Orlando is already telling potential top 6 prospects that they plan on moving up, in the hopes of securing a workout with players that will almost certainly not be around at #11.
Orlando Pre-Draft Invites
Orlando Pre-Draft Camp Preview: Part One
Orlando Pre-Draft Camp Preview: Part Two
Starting next week, prospects will converge on Orlando from the 6th-13th of June for anthropometric testing (measurements), drills, the combine, medical history checkups, Blood, urine and PPD (tuberculosis) testing, actual games, the Rookie Transition Program and a meeting with the NBA Players Association. Private sanctioned workouts for certain prospects will also be held during the week in Orlando, and DraftExpress has already been invited to quite a few.
Although the official list wont be out until the day before the camp, weve been informed of the majority of players who have accepted their invites for the camp, including:
Shannon Brown (almost certain to pull out)
Jordan Farmar (?)
Will not be participating:
Jose Juan Barea
Andrea Bargnani (Italian league playoffs, may not arrive in time for physical-only)
Terrell Everett (not invited due to pleading no contest to Marijuana possession citation)
Rudy Fernández (ACB playoffs)
Tiago Splitter (ACB playoffs)
Physical-Only Invites: (will be more than what is listed here, possibly 16)
Let us know about more players through clicking the email on the bottom of this article.
Saer Sene Cancels Treviso
7-foot Senegalese prospect Saer Sene will not be playing at the Eurocamp in Treviso next week, instead settling just for measurements and the physical at the Orlando pre-draft camp.
DraftExpress has received plenty of feedback from numerous workouts that Sene played in so far, both from players that he went up against as well as other people in the gym who got to watch him play. Sene is apparently doing extremely well so far, surprisingly shooting the ball much better than advertised and picking up everything that is taught to him very quickly. Hard worker and great upside are the two most common comments weve heard so far. The Utah Jazz apparently liked him so much that they asked him to stay in town for another day to work out for local legend Karl Malone. Sene worked out today for Memphis, and will be in Boston tomorrow. He has Chicago and Sacramento lined up and might settle just for working out for those teams. He is apparently a lot more concerned with landing in the right situation on a team that he will be able to learn and grow rather than trying to get picked as high as he can. Most of the feedback weve received from around the league indicates that he is slowly working his way into the late lottery and is unlikely to fall past Phoenix at 21. He is measuring out at 6-11 barefoot with a ridiculous 7-8 wingspan.
DraftExpress has obtained an exclusive list of the confirmed participants in the 2006 Reebok EuroCamp. Of the 48 available spots in the camp, 42 players have already confirmed that they will participate. This list came directly from the camp directors themselves, and will continue to be updated as Reebok receives more commitments.
The headliners of the camp so far include Nemanja Aleksandrov, Lior Eliyahu, Danilo Gallinari, Roman Gumenyuk, Milenko Tepic, Marcus Vinicius Viera De Souza (Marquinhos) and Vasily Zavoruev. DraftExpress will be represented in Treviso for the third straight year.
|Treviso Eurocamp Rosters||Player||Height||Position||Nationality||05/06 Team||Date of Birth|
|Nemanja Aleksandrov||6'11||PF||SCG||FMP SCG||4/10/1987|
|Pape-Philippe Amagou||6'1||G||Fra||Le Mans Fra||2/27/1985|
|Michailas Anisimov||6'11||C||Ukr-Ltu||Bk Barons Lat||10/11/1984|
|Edin Bavcic||6'11||F||Bih||Bosna Sarajevo Bih||5/6/1984|
|Kaspars Berzins||6'11||PF/C||Lat||Bk Riga Lat||8/25/1985|
|Yannick Bokolo||6'3||G||Fra||Le Mans Fra||6/19/1985|
|Michal Chylinski||6'5||G||Pol||Astoria Pol||2/22/1986|
|Fedor Dmitriev||6'9||F||Rus||Spartak St. Petersburg Rus||11/19/1984|
|Leonardo Di Pacce Dos Santos||6'11||C||Bra||Sao Caitano Bra||10/6/1984|
|Vilmantas Dilys||6'9||F||Ltu||Zalgiris Kaunas Ltu||10/6/1987|
|Lior Eliyahu||6'9||F||Isr||Hapoel Galil Elyon Isr||9/9/1985|
|Danilo Gallinari||6'7||G||Ita||Edimes Pavia Ita||08/08/1988|
|Anton Gavel||6'3||G||Svk||Giessen Ger||8/14/1984|
|Joao Gomes||6'6||F||Bra-Por||Barreirense Por||2/5/1985|
|Olivier Gouez||7'1||C||Fra||Golpey Epinal Fra||6/24/1984|
|Roman Gumenyuk||7'3||C||Ukr||Bc Mega Ishrana Beograd Scg||9/19/1987|
|Andrei Ivanov||6'6||G/F||Rus||Dynamo St Petesburg Rus||4/21/1984|
|Ernests Kalve||6'7||F||Lat||Benetton Treviso Ita||4/4/1987|
|Franko Kastropil||7'0||C||Cro||Kk Split Cro||3/8/1984|
|Anton Kazarnowski||6'9||PF||Isr||Hapoel Holon Isr||1/21/1985|
|Alex King||6'7||G/F||Ger||Frankfurt Ger||2/20/1985|
|Vyacheslav Kravtsov||6'10||C||Ukr||Bc Kyiv Ukr||8/25/1987|
|Rudy Mbemba||5'10||Pg||Swe||Frankfurt Ger||8/29/1987|
|Mickael Mokongo||5'11||G||Fra||Chalon-Sur-Saon Fra||7/11/1986|
|Pavel Mroz||7'1||C||Pol||Norrkoping Dolphins Swe||3/18/1984|
|Vadim Panin||6'7||G||Rus||Ural Great Rus||2/10/1984|
|Anton Ponkrashov||6'7||G||Rus||Spartak St. Petersburg Rus||4/23/1986|
|Victor Sada||6'4||PG||Esp||Barcelona Esp||3/8/1984|
|Cheik Samb||7'1||C||Sen||Wtc Cornella Esp||22/10/1984|
|Nikita Shabalkin||6'9||F||Rus||Samara Rus||10/9/1986|
|Sidiki Sidibe||7'0||C||Fra||Levallois Fra||3/14/1985|
|Dimitri Sokolov||7'0||C||Rus||Lokomotiv Rostov Rus||1/21/1985|
|Aleksey Surovtsev||6'8||G||Rus||Dynamo St Petesburg Rus||2/24/1984|
|Gabriel Szalay||7'1||C||Svk||Asvel Fra||3/12/1986|
|Milenko Tepic||6'7||G||Scg||Nis Vojvodina Scg||2/27/1987|
|Ali Traore||6'9||PF/C||Ivo-Fra||Roanne Fra||2/28/1985|
|Artur Urazmanov||6'1||G||Rus||Samara Rus||8/16/1987|
|Marcus Vinicius Viera De Souza||6'10||G/F||Bra||Objetivo Bra||5/31/1984|
|Vladan Vukosavljevic||6'9||F||Scg||Hemofarm Scg||10/6/1984|
|Egor Vialtsev||6'4||G||Rus||Ural Great Rus||10/10/1985|
|Vasily Zavoruev||6'5||G||Rus||Cska Moscow Rus||1/13/1987|
|Emir Zimic||7'2||C||Bih||Bosna Sarajevo Bih||6/4/1986|
First Rounders Work out for Houston
The Rockets had an intriguing workout on Wednesday featuring three guards who are all projected as first round picks at the moment, as well as one likely top 10 pick. Marcus Williams, Mardy Collins, Kyle Lowry and Guillermo Diaz all went at it in what was described by one person in attendance as a super intense and hard fought matchup where everyone competed extremely well. No one from this workout came out looking particularly bad, but some did show better parts to their game than others. Here is a rundown of the four prospects with paraphrased quotes from two people who were in the gym. Houstons workouts continue to carry the tradition of being the toughest and most rewarding place in the league.
Williams managed to show off his excellent feel for the game and high basketball IQ despite the two on two and drill-oriented nature of the workout. He shot the ball well in drills, and showed what he needed in the 2 on 2s, getting to the basket using his strength and either finishing strong or finding the open man. One source mentioned that he looked a little heavy to him, but that it did not affect his game much or his conditioning. The Rockets run a grueling workout, but Williams handled it very well and competed to the very end. He relies so much on his feel and IQ and that hes never had to be in great shape, one observer noted, while mentioning that he got away with it in college but will make the proper adjustment in the NBA.
Collins may have been the least impressive of the four, due to the fact that again, he is just not a workout type player due to his average athleticism and lack of a perimeter shot. He did an excellent job defensively and scored high marks in the tactical drills that were thrown at him, making up for his lack of razzle-dazzle by displaying his excellent strength and intangibles.
By far the most athletic player of the bunch, scoring high marks in particular in the quickness drill that the Rockets like to run. Diaz was also the best shooter of the four, looking very good pulling up off the dribble just inside NBA 3-point range, and knocking down close to 70% of his spot-up NBA 3s. He apparently impressed the on-lookers at one point by taking a nasty elbow in the stomach from Mardy Collins that might have seen most players quit right there and then, but instead got right back up and went back in after a brief break.
This was Lowrys first NBA workout, and he was already at a disadvantage due to the fact that all the other players were either juniors or seniors while he is only a sophomore. Lowry came out pumped up and full of adrenaline, giving everything he had and leaving everything out on the floor in his typical fashion. This caught up with him towards the end of the workout, and he therefore could not finish. When he did play, he impressed with his defense and tenacity. He also did a good job in the outside shooting drills.
Rodriguez Flying up Draft Boards
One prospect that is quickly making up for lost time and is working out extremely well everywhere hes been is Spanish point guard Sergio Rodríguez. One person who watched him at one of his recent workouts had the following to say about him: He was great. Just so loose the entire way through. His ball-handling skills are simply unreal. His change of speeds and creativity with the ball in his hands is outstanding. Off the court hes obviously a kid, but on the court hes a true leader. These workouts seem like nothing to him, were talking about a guy that has been a pro for a long time and under the spotlight his entire career. He shot it extremely well, 70-75% from NBA 3. Just phenomenal from the corners and the wing corner. Pulling up off the dribble was easy for him. The GM that was watching him [name withheld] could not stop commenting on how surprised he was by him. Youd think a guy like that would have trouble showing his stuff in a non-five on five setting, but that wasnt the case at all. These workouts dont do justice to how good he really is, but even here he was great. His attitude is awesome, smiling and having fun the entire way. The only negative was his defense, which obviously needs work.
Rodriguez has already worked out for the Suns, Bulls, Celtics and Lakers, and will be in Memphis tomorrow and then Sacramento on Monday. He reportedly shot 19/20 from NBA 3-point range in one recent workout. One NBA team source we spoke with says he does not see him getting past the Suns, which is something we heard about a dozen prospects last year as well when they only had one first round pick.
Chicago Bulls Workout
DraftExpress had a chance to speak with three people who were in the gym for a workout on June 1st held by the Chicago Bulls that featured Ronnie Brewer, Shannon Brown, Jared Newson, Dwayne Mitchell, Sean Dockery and David Noel. Their opinions were not always exactly the same, but the following appears to be the general sentiment coming out of the workout.
Brewer was by far the best overall player at the workout, dominating in stretches and showing the Bulls exactly what they needed to see to likely establish a floor for himself at #16. He did not look like the top athlete in the agility drills, but once the workout got started he showed that he is probably the player who knows how to use his athleticism the best, particularly in the competitive portions. Brewer got to the basket time after time when the opportunity was there, went down to the post when a smaller player was on him, and even knocked down some very pretty jump-shots, including one impressive step-back from deep. He played excellent defense and generally looked highly polished and extremely intelligent in his movements and decision making. He measured out at 6-7 in shoes with a 6-11 wingspan.
Brown was having a great stretch of workouts as late as a few days ago, but a tweaked ankle has slowed him down to a certain extent. He shot the ball very well in the drills here, and tested out great athletically, but struggled to create his own shot in the 1 on 1 and 2 on 2 parts of the workout. Brown competed very hard throughout as he always does and showed a very tough and competitive attitude despite the slight ankle problem he suffered in Philadelphia. The most concerning thing to come out of this was the fact that he is only measuring out at 6-1 or 6-1 ½ without shoes depending on which workout measurement you believe, but never more than 6-2 ½ in shoes. Brown is not expected to participate in the Orlando pre-draft camp.
According to all three sources we spoke with, Newson might have been the biggest surprise of the workout. Most people had never heard of the team he played for, Tennessee Martin, let alone of him, so expectations were quite low until he actually stepped out on the floor. Despite that, Newson apparently did a great job competing throughout the workout, hustling like crazy, playing outstanding defense, showing great quickness and holding his own against the first round prospects he went up against. He measured out at 6-4 ¾ in shoes, with a freakish 7-1 wingspan, and reportedly impressed mightily in the athletic testing as well.
Mitchell was probably the best athlete of the six players in attendance. He showed quick feet and great bounce to his step, testing out extremely well in the vertical leap portion of the workout in particular. His offensive skills were just average, especially his ball-handling and perimeter shooting, but defensively he did an excellent job. He is 6-3 ¼ in shoes with a 6-7 wingspan, down from the 6-5 he was listed at in college.
This was not the type of setting that Dockery would be able to show his skills in, as all the players here were either taller and stronger combo guards or much taller and much stronger shooting guards. Everyone decided to take Dockery down to the post in the 1 on 1s and 2 on 2s, and as most would expect, post defense is not his biggest strength.
Noel impressed with his defense and outstanding leadership skills, and also shot the ball fairly well from the college and NBA 3-point line. At 228 pounds, his body is still that of a college power forwards, though, which hurts his quickness and overall first step. Noel would be best served shedding the muscles and getting down to an NBA shooting guards proportions. One observer that watched him thinks he has a role in the NBA, if he can accept it.
-Cedric Simmons is quietly solidifying himself as a lottery pick with his recent play. Simmons has worked out for Boston, Philadelphia and New York so far, and has done extremely well everywhere hes been. He is shooting the ball better than advertised from the perimeter, playing outstanding shot-blocking defense in the competitive portions of the workouts, and playing with the type of poise and tenacity you would not expect from a raw 19 year old sophomore. Simmons is measuring out well as an athlete and is an early favorite to challenge Tyrus Thomas for the award of most athletic power forward in the combine due to his overall package of athleticism, which includes strength.
-Quincy Douby is measuring out at a legit 6-3 in shoes with a reported 6-8 ½ wingspan.
-Rudy Gays workout schedule is as follow:
June 15th: PortlandBrandon Roy, Adam Morrison Randy Foye
June 18th: MinnesotaBrandon Roy, Thabo Sefolosha, Shawne Williams
June 19th: ChicagoJ.J. Redick, Adam Morrison
June 21st: TorontoJ.J. Redick, Randy Foye, Adam Morrison
June 22nd-24th: Teams that appear highly likely to move up in the draft, potentially the Charlotte Bobcats again.
-Our entire workout schedule has been beefed up significantly. Take a look.