After undergoing years of scouting, interviewing and analyzing players at the Draft Combine and traversing the country to attend individual workouts put on by agents, the Portland Trail Blazers enter one of the last stages of preparation for the 2017 Draft by hosting group workouts at their practice facility in Tualatin. And considering they are owners of the 15th, 20th and 26th picks, they should have no problem attracting top-tier, draft-eligible players.
The Trail Blazers scheduled five separate workouts, with each workout typically consisting of six players going through various testing, drills and scrimmages for roughly 45 minutes, followed by interviews of varying length based on the team's interest. It's an important part of the draft evaluation process, though it's also worth remembering that the team's scouts and front office staff have been assessing most of these players since high school, so how a player performs during his pre-draft workout is in no way a make or break in terms of whether he'll be drafted.
The Trail Blazers are hosting six players for their first workout on June 6: Wake Forest sophomore forward John Collins, UCLA freshman forward TJ Leaf, Villanova senior guard Josh Hart, South Carolina senior guard Sindarius Thornwell, LSU sophomore guard Antonio Blakeney and 21-year old Paris Bass, who most recently played for the Erie Bayhawks of the NBA G-League.
Full Name: Antonio Davon BlakeneyPosition: GuardHeight/Weight: 6-4 / 197Birthdate: October 4, 1996, (Watertown, N.Y.)High School: Oak Ridge HS (Orlando)College: LSUAn early entry candidate for the 2017 NBA Draft.Career Highlights: Started 54 of 64 games over his LSU career. ... Had three 30-point games. ... Named All-SEC Second Team as a sophomore and All-SEC Freshman Team as an LSU newcomer. ... A McDonald’s and Jordan Brands Classic All-American as a high school senior.Sophomore (2016-17): Averaged 17.2 points (fifth in SEC), 4.8 rebounds and 1.7 assists for the Tigers, shooting 45.8 percent overall and 35.8 percent from three-point range. ... Finished fifth in the conference in minutes (32.9 mpg). ... Earned All-SEC Second Team honors from the league’s coaches. ... Had 14 games with at least 20 points. ... During SEC play, became the first LSU player since Marcus Thornton in 2008 to post six straight games of 20 points or more (Feb. 7-23). ... In those six games, he had 31 points at Kentucky, 21 vs. Arkansas, 29 at Ole Miss, 28 at Alabama, 29 vs. Auburn and 20 at Georgia. ... Made at least three three-pointers in nine games, including five treys at Ole Miss.Freshman (2015-16): Averaged 12.6 points and 3.4 rebounds. ... Shot 42.5 percent from the field and 33.5 percent from the behind the arc. ... An All-SEC Freshman Team selection and two-time SEC Freshman of the Week. ... Scored in double figures in 14 of his final 18 games. ... Made 31 of his final 32 free throws, including a streak of 28 straight. ... Averaged 18.6 points over his final 11 games. ... Had two 30-point games, scoring 31 points vs. Mississippi State and 32 points against Florida.Strengths: Elite athlete with natural scoring talent. ... Very good pull-up shooter off the dribble.... Excels in one-on-one situations. ... Likes to take his defender off the dribble or shoot over the top. ... Capable finisher around the basket.Personal: Nickname is “Tone.” ... Favorite NBA player is Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook.
Full Name: John Martin Collins IIIPosition: ForwardHeight/Weight: 6-10 / 235 Birthdate: September 23, 1997 (Layton, Utah)High School: Cardinal Newman HS (West Palm Beach, Fla.)College: Wake ForestCareer Highlights: As a Wake Forest sophomore, earned All-ACC First Team and ACC Most Improved Player honors. ... Led the league with 10 games with at least 20 points and 10 rebounds, including four in a row, the longest such streak by an ACC player since Shane Battier’s five for Duke in 2000-01. ... All-America Second Team selection by Basketball Times.Sophomore (2016-17): Ranked third in the ACC in scoring (19.2 ppg) and second in rebounding (9.8 rpg) while leading the Demon Deacons to their first NCAA appearance since 2010. ... Posted 17 double-doubles. ... Earned All-ACC First Team and Most Improved Player honors. ... His 20.3 scoring average in ACC play led the league. ... Also paced the ACC in field goal percentage in both conference action (63.9) and all games (62.2). ... His streak of 12 consecutive 20-point games was the longest in ACC play by a Demon Deacon since Charlie Davis in 1970-71. ... Led the ACC in 20-and-10 games with 10 overall and eight in ACC play. ... Selected NABC All-District 2 First Team and USBWA All-District. ... A two-time ACC Player of the Week (Jan. 23, Feb. 20) as well as NCAA.com Player of the Week (Dec. 6, Feb. 20). ... Posted a career-high 31 points and 15 rebounds at No. 12 Duke, the first 30-and-15 game by a visitor at Cameron Indoor Stadium in more than a decade. ... Scored 29 points on 12-for-14 shooting and added 10 rebounds at Clemson. ... Recorded a career- high 16 rebounds at Northwestern and at Boston College.Freshman (2015-16): Appeared in all 31 games, averaging 7.3 points and 3.9 rebounds in 14.4 minutes. ... Led team in field goal percentage (54.7). ... Ranked fourth on the team with 23 blocks. ... Scored in double figures in 13 games. ... Had 16 points and six rebounds in his lone start, vs. No. 23 Notre Dame.Strengths: Possesses aggressive scoring instincts. ... Has excellent touch from 15 feet and in. ... Effective with his back to the basket in one-on-one situations. ... Finishes through contact and with either hand. ... A good rim runner who gets up and down the floor. ... Productive on the glass on both ends of the court.Personal: Nickname is “JC.” ... Has emerged as an NBA prospect after not being a highly touted recruit in high school. Ranked by Scout as the No. 23 power forward in his high school class and No. 36 by ESPN.
Position: GuardHeight/Weight: 6-5 / 209Birthdate: March 6, 1995 (Silver Spring, Md.)High School: Sidwell Friends HS (Washington, D.C.)College: VillanovaCareer Highlights: Part of Villanova’s 2016 national championship team. ... Winner of the 2017 Julius Erving Award as the nation’s top small forward and a consensus All-America First Team selection. ... One of only two players in school history (Kerry Kittles) with career totals of at least 1,800 points, 700 rebounds, 250 assists and 150 steals.Senior (2016-17): The Big East Player of the Year and co-Big East Defensive Player of the Year. ... Led the Big East in scoring (18.7 ppg), guiding Villanova to a 32-4 record and a No.1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. ... Named to All-America First Team by the AP, NABC, USBWA and Sporting News. ... Ranked among Big East leaders in rebounding (6.4 rpg, fourth), field goal percentage (51.0, ninth), assists (2.9, 12th), steals (1.6, sixth) andthree-pointers per game (2.1, 11th). ... Recipient of the Julius Erving and Senior CLASS awards, the latter given annually to the most outstanding senior student-athlete in Division I men’s basketball. ... Led Villanova to a Big East Tournament crown and became just the third player to win MVP of the tournament twice.Junior (2015-16): Paced Villanova in scoring (15.5 ppg) and finished second in rebounding (6.8 rpg). ... Helped the Wildcats win the national championship, earning All-Final Four Team honors. ... A unanimous All-Big East First Team choice. ... One of five finalists for the Jerry West Award, given to the nation’s top shooting guard. ... One of 15 finalists for the John Wooden Award. ... Chosen as the USBWA District II Player of the Year. ... Named to the NCAA Tournament’s All-South Region Team and to the Big East All-Tournament Team. ... Tallied eight double-doubles over 40 appearances and had nine games of 19 or more points.Sophomore (2014-15): Averaged 10.1 points and 4.5 rebounds in his sophomore season. ... Tabbed Big East Sixth Man of the Year. ... Connected on 51.5 percent of his shots and a Big-East leading 46.4 percent of his three-pointers. ... Converted 21-of-29 field goal attempts (72.4 percent) in the Big East Tournament.Freshman (2013-14): Voted to Big East All-Rookie Team. ... Averaged 7.8 points and 4.0 rebounds.Strengths: Solid all-around wing who competes hard at both ends and has a high basketball IQ. ... Capable long-range shooter. ... Uses his strength and shiftiness to get to the rim. ... Willing passer and committed defender.Personal: His father, Moses, was the nephew of the late Elston Howard, the 1963 American League MVP with the New York Yankees.
Full Name: Ty Jacob LeafPosition: ForwardHeight/Weight: 6-10 / 222Birthdate: April 30, 1997 (Tel Aviv, Israel)High School: Foothills Christian HS (El Cajon, Calif.)College: UCLAAn early entry candidate for the 2017 NBA Draft.Career Highlights: Earned All-Pac-12 First Team and All-Freshman Team recognition at UCLA. ... An AP All-America Honorable Mention selection. ... A top five finalist for the Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Award. ... One of just three Pac-12 players to rank among the top 10 in scoring and rebounding. ... Finished second in the Pac-12 with a 61.7 percent field goal percentage.Freshman (2016-17): Averaged a team-high 16.3 points, good for seventh in the Pac-12. Also registered 8.2 rebounds (ninth in the league), 2.4 assists and 1.1 blocks. ... Ranked second in the Pac-12 in field goal percentage (61.7) and made 46.6 percent from three-point range (27-of-58). ... Scored a season-high 32 points with 14 rebounds in win at Washington State. The 32 points were the second-highest total by a UCLA freshman in school history and the most in a conference game. His 14 made field goals were UCLA’s highest single-game total since Don MacLean made 15 at Arizona in 1992. ... Put together another outstanding performance vs. San Diego with 26 points on 11-of-13 shooting. ... Named First Team USBWA All-District, All-Pac-12 First Team and All-Freshman Team, AP All-America Honorable Mention and top five candidate for the Karl Malone Award. ... Named Pac-12 Player of the Week twice.Israeli Junior National Team: Played for Israel in July 2015 at the FIBA Europe Under-18 Championships in Austria, where he earned tournament MVP honors. Averaged 16.1 points and 8.4 rebounds in nine games, shooting 55 percent.High School: Averaged 28.4 points, 12.4 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 3.2 steals as a senior at Foothills Christian. Shot 68 percent from the field. A McDonald’s All-American. ... Captured Second Team honors from USA Today. ... Averaged 27.4 points, 14.2 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 2.7 blocks as a junior and 26.5 points, 12.6 rebounds, 7.3 assists and 3.8 blocks as a sophomore.Strengths: Very smooth, skilled and bouncy for his size. ... Shows great touch in the paint and from the perimeter. ... Runs the floor with ease and finishes above the rim in space. ... Willing passer who can facilitate offense from the high post or pass on the move.Personal: Born in Tel Aviv, Israel. ... Coached by his father, Brad, at Foothills Christian... One of his older brothers, Troy, was an NABC Division II All-America guard at Azusa Pacific in 2015, and is currently an assistant coach at The Master’s University in Santa Clarita, Calif.
Position: GuardHeight/Weight: 6-5 / 212Birthdate: November 15, 1994 (Lancaster, S.C.)High School: Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.)College: South CarolinaCareer Highlights: Named SEC Player of the Year and All-SEC First Team as a South Carolina senior. ... In 2017, helped the Gamecocks reach their first Final Four. ... Finished his career ranked third in school history in scoring (1,941 points) first in games started (132), tied for fourth in games played (132), third in free throws made (570), fourth in steals (199), ninth in assists (390) and 10th in rebounds (684). ... Chosen SEC All-Defensive Team as a junior and senior. ... Selected SEC All-Freshman Team in 2013-14.Senior (2016-17): Averaged career highs in nearly every statistical category, including points (21.4 ppg), rebounds (7.1 rpg) and steals (2.1 spg), along with field goal percentage (44.4), three-point field goal percentage (39.2) and free throw percentage (83.0). ... Named the SEC Player of the Year by the league’s coaches. Also named All-SEC First Team (unanimous by the media) and to the All-Defensive Team by the coaches. ... Led the league in scoring in conference games at 22.1 points. ... The NCAA Tournament East Regional Most Outstanding Player. ... A Basketball Times Third Team All-American, CBSSports.com First Team All-American and USBWA All-District III choice. ... In Elite Eight, scored 26 points to lead South Carolina past Florida. ... Set career highs of 44 points and 21 rebounds while playing 56 minutes in a four-overtime loss to Alabama in February.Junior (2015-16): Averaged 13.4 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.5 steals (sixth in the SEC) in 33.1 minutes per game. ... Earned the first of his two SEC All-Defensive Team selections. ... Led team with 25 points, six rebounds, a career-high nine assists and three steals in upset win at No. 8 Texas A&M in February.Sophomore (2014-15): Posted a team high 23 double-figure scoring games, averaging 11.1 points overall. ... Set career high with six steals in win vs. UNC Asheville in November, which tied for the highest single-game total by an SEC player in a game during the season.Freshman (2013-14): Started all 34 games during an SEC All-Freshman season. ... Ranked second among SEC freshmen in scoring with 13.4 points per game. ... His six 20-point games in league play set a school freshman record.Strengths: Uses his impressive combination of strength and quickness to score in a variety of ways. ... Excels at drawing contact and finishing near the basket. ... Capable three-point shooter. ... On defense, uses his quick feet, long arms and strong upper body to keep drivers in front of him.Personal: Competed with the USA East Coast basketball team in Estonia during the summer of 2014
Position: Guard/ForwardHeight/Weight: 6-8 / 200Birthdate: August 29, 1995High School: Seaholm HS (Birmingham, Mich.)College: Detroit MercyCareer Highlights: Started 40 of 57 career games at University of Detroit Mercy over two seasons. … Selected First Team All-Horizon League as well as Second Team NABC All-District as a sophomore. … Named the Horizon League Freshman of the Year following his freshman campaign. … Averaged 14.9 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.0 assists for his college career. NBA D-League: Appeared in 15 games for the Erie BayHawks during the 2016-17 season. … Averaged 3.9 points, 2.7 rebounds and 0.8 assists while playing 11.9 minutes per game. Sophomore (2015-16): Averaged 18.4 points (fifth in Horizon League), 8.0 rebounds, 1.4 blocks and 1.4 steals, leading the Titans in each category on his way to a First Team All-Horizon League selection. … Shot 46.5% from the field and averaged 2.1 assists. … Was named Second Team NABC All-District. … Recorded double figures in scoring in 19 of his 24 contests, pulled down at least seven rebounds in 17 games and had three assists or more 11 times. … Was third in the Horizon League with 13 games of 20+ points and seventh in double-doubles with seven. … Scored 20+ points in six consecutive games, the most by a Titan since Willie Green did it in 10 straight games from 2002-03. Freshman (2014-15): Averaged 12.4 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game, finishing second on the team in scoring, first in rebounds and second in assists. … Was named the Horizon League Freshman of the Year. … Garnered Horizon League Freshman of the Week honors on four occasions. Personal: Son of Kelly and Author Mullins and Robert Bass. His mother played basketball at Chicago State.