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Really?
06-28-2011, 10:27 PM
Whether you agree with this or not I thought it was interesting to hear what someone who heard from GM's after the draft observed about pre-draft workouts and how they affected players draft stock.

By: Chad Ford - http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/blog?name=nba_draft&id=6712457


The 2011 NBA draft is a wrap. On Friday I handed out draft grades to all 30 teams and dished for an hour on the aftermath of the draft with Ryen Russillo on the NBA Today podcast. Here are a few other takeaways from Thursday night's draft:

What's the value of workouts?
Before the draft each year, virtually every GM and NBA scout I know is emphatic that draft workouts are just a small part of the draft process. Some claim they don't matter at all. I beg to differ.

As soon as the draft is over, all I hear about is the workout. I spoke with a number of GMs and scouts on Friday. Here's what I heard when they explained to me why they took or passed on particular prospects:

"We were high on [Player X], but his workout really caused us to reconsider." This usually has to do with poor shooting, a lack of energy or being outplayed by a guy they had ranked behind him in the draft. No one got nailed with this more than Florida State's Chris Singleton and Texas' Jordan Hamilton.

Another common refrain is: "He had the best workout we've seen in the past few years." This explanation is usually used for players who are drafted considerably higher than where they were projected to be drafted. It usually includes a detailed explanation of all the things the player did in the workout. Several teams said this about Georgia Tech's Iman Shumpert and Washington State's Klay Thompson.

Lastly, I often hear "He didn't work out for us." Several teams used that one to explain why they passed on Kawhi Leonard after he began to fall in the draft.

So here's the thing: If workouts don't matter, how do any of these explanations really fly? After watching Singleton shut down players for three years at Florida State, you're worried about a bad performance shooting the ball in a workout? After seeing Shumpert turn the ball over and brick shots for three years at Georgia Tech, you're wowed when he shoots the lights out for 45 minutes in your gym?

Leonard's situation may be the most telling. A number of teams refuse to draft players who won't come in to work out for them. His agent clearly should've sent him to more teams to work out. But is that an excuse not to take a player that you've spent hundreds of hours scouting over the past two years?

I'm not criticizing teams who value workouts. I'm just saying let's be transparent about it. Workouts matter.

A number of GMs reported to me on Friday that they passed on some players because of injury concerns. What's interesting is that some team doctors see problems that other team doctors don't. I heard particular teams had concerns about Bismack Biyombo, Kemba Walker, Justin Harper and Josh Selby. The concerns didn't affect Biyombo and Walker's draft stock much, but may help explain why Harper and Selby slid like they did.

Jonas Valanciunas didn't get his buyout worked out before the draft, and his inability to get it done did play into the Cavs decision to take Tristan Thompson ahead of him at No. 4. On Friday, Valanciunas did get around to signing the buyout agreement. As we first reported earlier in the week, he won't be able to play in the NBA next season. But he should be free to come (assuming he wants to pay a $2.4 million euro buyout) for the start of the 2012 season.

BYU's Jimmer Fredette was drafted by the Kings on Thursday. At first glance, it seems to be a good fit. The Kings traded away their starting point guard, Beno Udrih, meaning Fredette will get plenty of minutes. Coach Paul Westphal gives his players lots of offensive freedom, which is also a plus for Fredette.

But Fredette is going to have to change his game in Sacramento. Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins want the ball in their hands and pout when they're not getting shots. That may not be a bad thing. For Jimmer to stick long term in the NBA, he's going to have to develop his point guard skills. If he focuses on just being an unselfish point guard, his stock will rocket. Everyone knows he can score.

Texas freshman Cory Joseph had the biggest draft day rise of anyone on our Big Board. We had him ranked 51st, but the Spurs took him with the 29th pick. That's a jump of 22 spots over where he was projected.

The funny thing is, the Spurs got zero blowback about it. That's what happens when you have the reputation of the Spurs. No matter who they take, everyone, including me, is ready to give them the benefit of the doubt.

Had David Kahn made that pick, we would have mocked him.

Just three players in our Top 30 didn't get drafted in the first round: Tyler Honeycutt (ranked 26), Justin Harper (28) and Davis Bertans (30). They were replaced by JaJuan Johnson (34), Nolan Smith (39) and Joseph (51).

A lot of NBA draft prospects were stunned not to hear their names called on Thursday night. A total of nine prospects in our Top 60 didn't hear their names called.

Fresno State's Greg Smith was our highest-ranked prospect not to be drafted. He was ranked No. 46 on our Big Board. Georgia's Giorgi Shermadini was right behind him at No. 47. Our 50th-ranked draft prospect, Scotty Hopson, also went undrafted.

Other players in our Top 60 who went undrafted include Illinois' Demetri McCamey and Jereme Richmond; San Diego State's Malcolm Thomas; Providence's Jamine Peterson; Washington's Justin Holiday; and Syracuse's Rick Jackson.

Just one player not in our Top 100 was drafted on Thursday. The Blazers took Targuy Ngombo for the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday night with the 57th pick in the draft. Ngombo plays in Qatar and was discovered by Timberwolves international scout Pete Philo at a tournament in Manila, Philippines, last year.

While Ngombo lists his age as 21 on his passport, a number of other sources, including Qatar's FIBA website, suggest he's actually 26. If proven to be true, that means he's ineligible for the draft and the Wolves will have to forfeit the pick per NBA rules. Considering Minnesota traded for the pick and paid the Blazers some compensation (as of Monday the two teams were still haggling over what the price would be given the revelation), I'm sure owner Glen Taylor isn't thrilled.

wintermute
06-29-2011, 03:58 AM
I think that teams like or dislike prospects for reasons which are not always easy to articulate. Perhaps the actual reason is the GM's own intuition. Or perhaps the team has a secret stats-based evaluation system (like Houston reportedly has). Or perhaps they simply know some info that they don't want to share with Chad. Whichever it is, "workouts" seem like an easy excuse to give for selecting or passing on someone.

Some evidence that workouts don't matter a lot to GMs. Marshon Brooks, this year's workout warrior, was drafted in the late first - exactly where he was projected before workouts began. In fact, he was drafted after Reggie Jackson, a guy who didn't workout at all.

I don't dispute though that workouts have value as part of the draft progress. Our own Paul George after all was a beneficiary of strong workouts. But I don't think workouts are as important a factor as Chad is making them out to be.

pacer4ever
06-29-2011, 04:28 AM
So here's the thing: If workouts don't matter, how do any of these explanations really fly? After watching Singleton shut down players for three years at Florida State, you're worried about a bad performance shooting the ball in a workout? After seeing Shumpert turn the ball over and brick shots for three years at Georgia Tech, you're wowed when he shoots the lights out for 45 minutes in your gym?

I agree Singltion should of went top 11 IMO he is much better than many players a head of him and it is BS Shumpert went so high. The guy cant play basketball.

Really?
06-29-2011, 10:01 AM
I think that teams like or dislike prospects for reasons which are not always easy to articulate. Perhaps the actual reason is the GM's own intuition. Or perhaps the team has a secret stats-based evaluation system (like Houston reportedly has). Or perhaps they simply know some info that they don't want to share with Chad. Whichever it is, "workouts" seem like an easy excuse to give for selecting or passing on someone.

Some evidence that workouts don't matter a lot to GMs. Marshon Brooks, this year's workout warrior, was drafted in the late first - exactly where he was projected before workouts began. In fact, he was drafted after Reggie Jackson, a guy who didn't workout at all.

I don't dispute though that workouts have value as part of the draft progress. Our own Paul George after all was a beneficiary of strong workouts. But I don't think workouts are as important a factor as Chad is making them out to be.

Brooks actually projected as a 2nd round player, the jump that he made from the beginning to the end was still big....

I think it is a big part of it, one thing that I will add is that game film is good, but sometimes teams don't use players in the way that you would in your system, and if you see something in workouts that you didn't in the game film that you feel raises your value of a player then you would push him up your board.

I think the main thing of this article is to say that while a lot of people say workouts aren't that big, the draft is clear evidence that it is. "all it takes is selling a hope and a dream", just look at this Biyombo stuff...

Justin Tyme
06-29-2011, 12:47 PM
I agree Singltion should of went top 11 IMO he is much better than many players a head of him and it is BS Shumpert went so high. The guy cant play basketball.



Yeah, but Walsh thinks he can, and he drafted Landry Fields instead of "Born Ready" Stephenson.

Speed
06-29-2011, 12:56 PM
I don't dispute though that workouts have value as part of the draft progress. Our own Paul George after all was a beneficiary of strong workouts.

Lance too, I think both guys made huge jumps up the Pacers board based on just that.

ChristianDudley
06-29-2011, 12:57 PM
I still can't believe the Targuy Ngombo crap...it rooted someone deserving of being drafted out of that spot...it could have been Demetri McCamey, Ben Hansbrough, Scotty Hopson, Greg Smith, etc that could have been drafted instead--plus they could have had the opportunity to play right away this upcoming season. It's a shame that Ngombo made it into the draft while giving false information.

pacer4ever
06-29-2011, 10:20 PM
Lance too, I think both guys made huge jumps up the Pacers board based on just that.

Lance was a first round talent it was just his off court issues much like Josh Selby that made him drop.

DieHard
06-30-2011, 07:22 AM
I found this kind of interesting. Jimmer talking about the pre-draft tests that the Pacers put him through. He says we are the only team that has players take the wonderlic test that the NFL uses.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cN0m3x1nyfM