CLIPPERS WORK OUT SIX POINT GUARDS
The Clippers completed their second pre-Draft workout Wednesday morning at the team’s Playa Vista Training Center.
A week after taking a look at potential wing players, Vice President of Basketball Operations Gary Sacks, Director of Player Personnel Gerald Madkins and several other members of the Clippers’ front office and scouting department observed six point guards in preparation for the 2013 NBA Draft where they own the No. 25 overall selection.
The group included Pierre Jackson, a senior from Baylor, South Dakota State’s Nate Wolters, Texas sophomore Myck Kabongo and seniors Isaiah Canaan (Murray State), Mark Lyons (Arizona) and Erick Green (Virginia Tech), who led the nation in scoring last season.
“It was a lot of fun playing with a lot of these great point guards in the [Draft] class, so it was a lot fun to play against them,” Wolters said. “We had to go through a lot of 3-on-3 and a lot of shooting.”
Much like the previous workout, which was highlighted by Arizona swingman Solomon Hill, it seemed the focus was to put the group through some physical duress. Late in the morning, after playing 3-on-3, showing their ability to close out defensively, and running through a variety of shooting drills, each player was required to push the ball up the center of the floor, throw a chest pass and receive a return pass for a 3-pointer from straightaway alternating ends of the court for 8-10 shots in succession.
“We want them to get tired enough so that they have to think through fatigue,” Madkins said. “And that gives you a clearer indication of what they can do under duress.”
Jackson, who has worked out for several teams and attended the Draft Combine in Chicago, thought it was also about the team getting to look at the finer points of each player’s game.
“Here they can pin-point certain things they want to see out of their guards and today that’s what we had to do for them,” Jackson said. “Getting by people, playing 1-on-1, and trying to close out and guard fast guys.”
One thing that stood out to Wolters, who is projected to be a late first or early second round pick by most Draft pundits, is that the group was not mixed with any big guys.
“This is the first workout where it was all point guards, for me at least,” Wolters said. “We’re used to doing pick-and-rolls with big guys and stuff like that, so it was a little different. But it was fun for a change. You really got to work on 1-on-1 moves and moving without the ball so I liked it.”
The 5-foot-10 Jackson, who led Baylor in scoring last season, is widely presumed to be the most highly rated prospect in the workout. ESPN’s Chad Ford has him ranked as the No. 31 overall prospect and sixth point guard available.
However, each player potentially brings something unique. Canaan is a powerfully built 6-foot-0 senior from Murray State. Wolters is a rangy shooter and led South Dakota State to the NCAA tournament. Green, who made six 3-pointers in a run through of the aforementioned shooting drill, is an adept scorer. Lyons is a skilled combo guard, who played three years at Xavier before graduating and transferring to Arizona. And Kabongo, who played just 11 games as a sophomore at Texas due to alleged NCAA violations, is a slender potential defensive ace.
“I just love competing and showing what I’ve got defensively,” Kabongo said. “That’s what I love doing. I love playing defense and I hope that’s what teams get to see.”
The Clippers are expected to conduct several more workouts in the next two weeks. It is the first time since 2010 they have owned a first-round selection.
Day 2 - June 12, 2013
|Isaiah Canaan||Erick Green||Pierre Jackson||Myck Kabongo||Mark Lyons||Nate Wolters|