One participant in Thursday's workout, USC center Nikola Vucevic, provides a connection to the Nets' past. Vucevic is Bosnian, and each of his parents played basketball for their respective Yugoslavian National Teams (Men's and Women's) in the '80s, his father suiting up alongside Nets great Drazen Petrovic. We took the opportunity to ask Vucevic about Drazen and building upon the region's storied foundation as a basketball hotbed.
NETS Could Take a Few of Five from Thursday
By Ben Couch
The Nets' final workout of the week, held Thursday at the PNY Center, proved a stacked one for the team, even without the presence of Providence guard Marshon Brooks, who was replaced last-minute by Florida State's Derwin Kitchen due to injury. The other five players – Justin Harper (Richmond), Shelvin Mack (Butler), Josh Selby (Kansas), Nolan Smith (Duke) and Nikola Vucevic (USC) – are all slotted by mock drafts as low-first-round or high-second-round picks, leaving them squarely within the Nets' current range (No. 27 and 35 overall).
The Nets' third workout of the week, held Wednesday morning at the PNY Center, brought in a polished group of Draft prospects, ones projected to be available – and possibly drafted – around the Nets' range (No. 27-36 overall). The guards and swingmen were: Jimmy Bulter (Marquette), Norris Cole (Cleveland State, sporting a fresh flat-top), E'Twaun Moore (Purdue), Darius Morris (Michigan; a sophomore, the only underclassman), Chandler Parsons (Florida) and Kyle Singler (Duke).
With five seniors in the group, basketball IQ proved no differentiator on this day, though that perhaps benefit sophomore Morris, who played through a back injury to acquit himself solidly. NJNets.com caught up with Morris, and you can view the video above.
The Nets ran their second workout of the week on Tuesday at the PNY Center , bringing in guards Iman Shumpert (Georgia Tech), Corey Fisher (Villanova) and DeAndre Liggins (Kentucky). Shumpert, who played with former Net Derrick Favors at Tech, could go late in the First Round. Liggins might also earn a guarantee, after burnishing his strong defensive reputation with an eye-opening run (well, for scouts) through the NCAA Tournament this year. Fisher, who took over the reins at 'Nova from Springfield Armor guard Scottie Reynolds, played his high school ball at St. Patrick's in Newark.
NJNets.com also caught up with Liggins and Fisher. You can view those nterviews after the jump.
June 6, 2011
NETS Scramble, Settle 2nd Workout
By Ben Couch
Two late drops to the scheduled roster of Monday's workout participants combined with two injuries to stunt the session, but the Nets' staff was able to settle in with the following six attendees: Chaisson Allen (Northeastern), Lavoy Allen (Temple), LaceDarius Dunn (Baylor), Sean Kowal (Northern Illinois), Jamel McLean (Xavier) and Eniel Polynice (Seton Hall); Lavoy Allen and Dunn didn't participate in physical activity.
Dunn, a four-year senior, held the highest profile after a notable run to the
Elite Eight round of the 2010 NCAA Tournament. A sharp-shooting (career 17.1 PPG, .394 3P% at Baylor), though undersized (6-foot-4), two-guard, Dunn was disappointed to sit on the sidelines during his second individual team workout after twisting his ankle, having landed atop another player's foot. Yet he maintains a positive outlook toward the rest of the draft process, as you can see in our video interview.
General Manager Billy King was also onhand, offering his assessment, which you can view after the jump.
June 2, 2011
NETS Move Forward with Individual Workouts
By Ben Couch
Thursday at the PNY Center, the Nets held their first individual workout for the June 23rd NBA Draft, welcoming Malcolm Lee, Jon Leuer, Vernon Macklin, Willie Reed, Jamie Skeen and Mychel Thompson.
UCLA product Lee, a 6-foot-5 combo guard, squared off against Pepperdine swingman Thompson, whom the Nets re-invited after his appearance at the May 7 group workout they hosted along with the Knicks and Rockets. That left forwards Leuer, Macklin, Reed and Skeen to battle for position as potential power forwards.
May has come to a close, but the draft process is only beginning to pick up steam. The Nets have announced the six players participating in their inaugural individual team workout for the 2011 NBA Draft: Malcolm Lee (UCLA), Jon Leuer (Wisconsin), Vernon Macklin (Florida), Jamie Skeen (Virginia Commonwealth), Mychel Thompson (Pepperdine) and Willie Reed (St. Louis).
Leuer's name has popped up frequently in recent reports, and Thompson now returns to East Rutherford after participating in the pre-combine group workout. Thompson, a 6-foot-7, 210-pound senior, is the son of 1978 No. 1 overall pick Mychal Thompson; Hoopsworld projects the Nets will select his brother Klay (Washington State) with the 27th pick this year.
We interviewed Mychel Thompson after his May 7 workout, and you can view the video below. Will be interesting to see how he feels the draft process has progressed since that initial outing.
Forwards are clearly the focus in this group: Lee is the only true guard. While Macklin bangs inside, both Leuer and Skeen are stretch 4's, able to shoot the college three with confidence. With the Nets picking late in the first round, Billy King has mentioned that three- or four-year playerstend to be successful, if low-ceilinged, choices at that point in the Draft.
Here's info on the "six to start" this year's individual workouts:
NBA Media Ventures, LLC | Turner Sports Interactive, Inc.All rights reserved. No portion of NBA.com may be duplicated, redistributed or