Pre-Draft Workouts Day 8

The Clippers held their final pre-Draft workout Tuesday. And it was all about rebounding.

Three of the top rebounding forwards who could be available when the team selects at No. 25 Thursday were in attendance, including North Texas sophomore Tony Mitchell.

“We just competed,” Mitchell said. “We worked on our shot a little bit. They wanted to see if we can shoot the ball and we did a little transition drill at the end. It was really competitive.”

Forwards Trevor Mbakwe (Minnesota) and Elias Harris (Gonzaga), who both averaged more than 7.4 rebounds per game as seniors last season, and Wisconsin center Jared Berggren joined Mitchell.

Guard Ian Clark (Belmont) also attended after originally being scheduled to work out for the Clippers earlier this month. Peyton Siva, who commanded the Louisville Cardinals to the 2013 NCAA title, participated in light drills but was slowed by an ankle injury that kept him out of two previous workouts.

While Siva and Clark spent time on one end of the court, Mitchell, Harris, Berggren and Mbakwe battled on the other.

“We all pushed each other,” Mbakwe said. “We’re probably some of the more physical guys in the Draft, so it was fun to all be in one workout together.”

Mbakwe, 24, is one of the oldest players in the class, but also considered one of the hardest workers. He overcame a torn ACL and missed large portions of two seasons, including sitting out a year when he transferred from Marquette to Minnesota. Still, he draws comparisons to Kenneth Faried and Kawhi Leonard at times because of his prowess on the glass.

“I feel honored to be compared to a great player like [Faried],” Mbakwe said. “Anytime you’re compared to a player like that it means you’re doing something right.”

Due to the injury and the transfer, Mbakwe is essentially two draft classes later than he expected when he left high school.

“Being in college six years, you never plan on being in school that long,” he said. “It’s just a lot of things I had to go through. This process has been long, it’s been my 13th workout this month, but I think it went well.”

Mitchell, who pulled down 9.3 rebounds in 55 games at North Texas, has been similarly busy during the Draft process, which will mercifully come to end in two nights. He missed the entire 2010-11 season and sat out part of his freshman year after being ruled ineligible. Still, he entered school as a top 20 recruit and proved to have first-round potential with the Mean Green.

 “I think teams just want to see me as a player and in person,” Mitchell said. “They’re not trying to base me on performance in the season, so they just want to see me in person and see what I can do on the court.

“I’ve had real good workouts and this was a great one.”


Day 8 - June 25, 2013 

Tony Mitchell Trevor Mbakwe Elias Harris Peyton Siva Ian Clark