Suns Off to Italy for International Camp
Posted: June 5, 2009
Just days after returning from the 21-team pre-draft group workouts in Oakland, Suns President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Steve Kerr and Director of Player Personnel Todd Quinter are headed to Treviso, Italy, for the three-day Reebok Eurocamp to evaluate international pro hopefuls this weekend.
“We’ll get a chance to see the top European players,” Kerr told Suns.com. “Last year, that’s where Todd saw Goran, loved him, came back and said ‘let’s try and get this guy in the second round.’ These are important trips for us. You can get somebody you like who may be a bit under the radar, or maybe he’s not. These days, everybody has scouts at these things.
“The other thing the camp does is give you a head start on guys who could be in the draft next year. It gives you a reference point.”
Kerr admits that the Suns scouting department has seen plenty of this weekend’s talent already via video footage, but there is no substitute to evaluating in person – even if that means traveling halfway across the planet to do it.
“Tape doesn’t always give you the information you need,” he said. “You want to see a guy go up against speed and quickness. With a European player, it’s harder to gauge that speed level internationally vs. the NBA level. You look at certain matchups. You look at certain guys and try to get a feel for how they would fit into your lineup.”
With representation in Treviso expected by most, if not all, NBA clubs, the international camp is a useful and necessary tool in evaluating mass European talent in a single setting.
“It’s a tremendous camp,” added Suns Senior Vice President of Basketball Operations David Griffin. “It features guys who will be in this year’s draft and kids who potentially could be lottery considerations next year in the draft. It’s recognized as the preeminent talent evaluation tool of the summer for guys.
“With Todd being there last year and being another set of eyes on Goran, that had a huge impact on our ability to reaffirm our belief in Goran. We had scouted him over an extended period of time, but when you watched him play as well as he did relative to other elite European players, it really crystallizes your thinking. There are players there now we are equally high on. And if they perform as well as Goran did there, it might be meaningful to us. It’s critical to what we do.”