Magic Work Out Gonzaga's Corey Kispert as NBA Draft Prep Continues
ORLANDO -- The Orlando Magic brought in one of the best pure shooters in the nation for their first public in-person workout in preparation for the 2021 NBA Draft.
Corey Kispert, a 6-foot-7, 224-pound sharpshooter out of Gonzaga University, worked out for the Magic on Tuesday before being made available to the local media.
Orlando, which possesses the fifth and eighth overall selections in this year’s draft, put the four-year college forward through an extensive workout as it leaves no stone unturned in its continued draft preparation.
“I love the people here,” Kispert said. “They treated me like family right away. Really enjoyed my workout. They pushed me – you can tell, my shirt changed colors – and cheered me on. The energy was really good in here. I’ve been impressed with the whole staff all the way through. It’s been great.”
In his senior season with the Bulldogs, Kispert averaged 18.6 points per game, while shooting 52.9 percent from the floor and 44.0 percent from 3-point range. The Washington state native, who models his game after the Brooklyn Nets forward Joe Harris and Golden State Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson, believes that his shooting will translate to the league and help provide him with an instant role on an NBA squad.
“I take a lot of pride in that,” Kispert said. “It’s kind of my trademark. It’s what’s gotten me to this point. It’s what’s going to help me build on my career. It’s what I work on every day. It’s like my little baby. It’s what I love doing.”
While shooting is certainly Kispert’s calling card, he believes that he’s more than just a shooter. That was evident at the NBA Draft combine in Chicago when he opened eyes with the second-best shuttle run (2.99) among all participants, tying the extremely athletic Scottie Barnes (Florida State University) and surpassing other athletic freaks such as University of Maryland’s Aaron Wiggins (3.00) and University of South Carolina’s AJ Lawson (3.01).
“I’m way more than just a shooter,” he explained. “That’s kind of my moniker. That’s what people label me as, but I can do a ton more than that. It’s my greatest weapon, sure, but I can do way more on the floor. I’m much more athletic – bigger, stronger, faster – than people give me credit for, and I think once I step in a gym with people or they see me live, they’ll be able to see that.”
Kispert played a crucial role in assisting a loaded Gonzaga squad reach the NCAA championship game and scored in double figures in all but one of the Bulldogs’ games throughout the season. He along with his teammate, point guard Jalen Suggs, are both projected to potentially be lottery picks, while some publications suggest that Suggs could even go as early as the top-five.
“He’s a crazy competitor (and) wants to win more than anything,” Kispert said of the floor general of his Gonzaga squad. “It’s going to serve him well with his time in the league. He plays with amazing pace. Doesn’t turn it over. All the comparisons people make about him playing high school football and how he sees the court, those are all true. Sees the court really well and knows the game unbelievably for an eighteen-year-old. And he’s got the skills to back it up.”
Along with vetting players for the draft, the Magic are simultaneously continuing to interview candidates for their open head coaching vacancy. Just as he’s doing with those prospects, Magic President of Basketball Operations Jeff Weltman is being equally thorough as the team looks to name the 15th head coach in franchise history.
“We've had some terrific meetings,” said Weltman at his post-draft lottery press conference. “There’s a lot of impressive coaching candidates out there. We’ll continue to obviously go through that process as we now put a finer point on our draft prep.”
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