2019 Draft Workouts: Luguentz Dort

June 6, 2019 - Arizona State guard Luguentz Dort speaks with Pacers.com's Wheat Hotchkiss following his pre-draft workout with the Pacers at the St. Vincent Center.

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2019 Draft Workouts: Luguentz Dort

June 6, 2019 - Arizona State guard Luguentz Dort speaks with Pacers.com's Wheat Hotchkiss following his pre-draft workout with the Pacers at the St. Vincent Center.
Jun 6, 2019  |  01:36

2019 Draft Workouts: Talen Horton-Tucker

June 6, 2019 - Iowa State swingman Talen Horton-Tucker talked to Pacers.com about his preparation for the draft and what he thinks he can bring to an NBA roster.
Jun 6, 2019  |  01:57

2019 Draft Workouts: Kyle Guy

June 6, 2019 - Virginia guard Kyle Guy speaks with Pacers.com's Wheat Hotchkiss following his pre-draft workout with the Pacers at the St. Vincent Center.
Jun 6, 2019  |  02:37

2019 Draft Workouts: Amir Hinton

June 6, 2019 - Shaw guard Amir Hinton speaks with Pacers.com's Wheat Hotchkiss following his pre-draft workout with the Pacers at the St. Vincent Center.
Jun 6, 2019  |  02:16

2019 Draft Workouts: Cody Martin

June 6, 2019 - Nevada's Cody Martin talked about playing alongside his twin brother and what he's out to prove to teams during the pre-draft process.
Jun 6, 2019  |  02:52

2019 Draft Workouts: Josh Reaves

June 6, 2019 - Penn State's Josh Reaves worked out with the Pacers on Thursday and talked about his defense being what sets him apart from other prospects.
Jun 6, 2019  |  01:59

Pacers Work Out One-and-Done Wings

by Wheat Hotchkiss
Pacers.com Writer/Editor
@Wheat_Hotchkiss

A large media contingent attended Thursday's pre-draft workout, the fourth one that the Pacers have held in preparation for the 2019 NBA Draft two weeks from Thursday. The media was there pretty much exclusively to speak with one of the six workout participants, Virginia sharpshooter and Indianapolis native Kyle Guy.

But while they didn't receive nearly as much attention as the hometown hero, two of the remaining prospects have a good chance of hearing their name called in the first round.

Arizona State combo guard Luguentz Dort and Iowa State wing Talen Horton-Tucker both declared for the draft after just one year in college. While mock drafts are always educated guesswork, most of the prominent outlets project both players to go in the latter half of the first or early second round. The Ringer has Dort going 25th overall and Horton-Tucker 26th in their latest mock, while ESPN.com has Dort coming off the board with the 27th pick and Horton-Tucker sliding to 33rd in its updated projections.

The Pacers currently own the 18th overall pick in the Draft, though there is always the chance that President of Basketball Operations Kevin Pritchard makes the call to move up or down on draft night.

2019 DRAFT CENTRAL: Complete Coverage at Pacers.com/Draft »

While their physical builds could not be more different — Dort looks like he spends every waking hour in the weight room, while Horton-Tucker is more stocky with long arms — the two players have similar strengths and weaknesses.

Dort, who measured at 6-4 and 222 pounds at the NBA Draft Combine, is a gifted athlete with a quick first step and array of moves off the dribble. Named the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year, the Montreal native averaged 16 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 2.3 assists per game in his lone college season.

At his best, Dort was extremely effective attacking the basket. He scored 20 or more points on nine occasions for the Sun Devils and averaged 9.6 free throw attempts in those contests. He led Arizona State to a win over St. John's in the First Four of the NCAA Tournament, tallying 21 points while going 6-for-11 from the field and 8-for-9 from the 3-point stripe.

Offensively, however, scouts have questions about Dort's decision making — he had just 79 assists to 99 turnovers in college — and his shooting ability. Dort converted just 30.7 percent of his 3-point attempts last season.

In the portion of Thursday's workout open to the media, Dort was hot and cold with his shot. During one drill that had players shoot five shots in five different spots around the 3-point arc, he struggled in the first two stations before catching fire, drilling every shot from the top of the key and right wing, then fizzled out once again by missing his last four attempts in the right corner.

Defensively, Dort has the potential to develop into an elite on-ball defender thanks to his athleticism and instincts. He averaged 1.5 steals per game at Arizona State and was named to the Pac-12's All-Defensive team.

While he wasn't known for his playmaking in college, Dort said on Thursday that he views himself as a point guard in the NBA, though he is open to playing off the ball as well. The Pacers could be in the market for a point guard, with starter Darren Collison and backup Cory Joseph both entering free agency, and Dort believes he could be a nice addition to Indiana's backcourt.

"(Victor) Oladipo is one of my favorite players," he said. "I watch him a lot. The pace that they play and the tough guards that they have, I feel I can fit pretty well just running the floor and playing well on defense."

Luguentz Dort, Talen Horton-Tucker

Dort (left) and Horton-Tucker (right) both were one-and-done in college and could go in the first round of the draft. (Photo Credit: @Pacers)

Like Dort, Horton-Tucker has an array of moves off the bounce. The 6-4, 235-pound wing has a 7-1 wingspan that allows him to score over bigger defenders.

In his lone season at Iowa State, Horton-Tucker averaged 11.8 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 2.3 assists. While he was not the lead playmaker for the Cyclones, he could take over in spurts. For example, he racked up 26 points, 14 rebounds, and six assists in a win over Illinois in the Maui Invitational in November and had 23 points on 11-of-18 shooting, eight boards, and five assists in a win at 20th-ranked Ole Miss on Jan. 26.

But also like Dort, Horton-Tucker's shot was inconsistent. His 3-point percentage was nearly identical (.308) to his fellow freshman's and he also struggled from the free throw line, where he converted just 62.5 percent of his attempts. But as one of the youngest players in this year's draft class (he won't turn 19 until November), he still has plenty of time to fine-tune his shooting stroke.

Horton-Tucker does not have the same defensive reputation as Dort, but his physique could allow him to also succeed as a two-way player at the next level.

"To have a 7-1 wingspan gives me opportunities to play different positions, guard different positions, and be able to handle the ball," he said. "At my size, a lot of people wouldn't be able to do that."

Horton-Tucker grew up in Chicago and has fond memories of watching the Pacers and Bulls battle during his childhood. He attended Simeon Career Academy, the basketball powerhouse whose alumni include Derrick Rose and Jabari Parker. If he impressed the Pacers' brass on Thursday, he could begin his NBA career just a few hours away from home.

Whether it happens in Indiana or elsewhere, both Dort and Parker will soon realize a lifelong dream. They just have to wait two more weeks to find out where they are headed.

"It's one of the things I dreamed of my whole life," Dort said. "To be in this position right now is unbelievable."

Amir Hinton

Shaw University guard Amir Hinton led all Division II players in scoring last season. (Photo Credit: @Pacers)

Hinton Looking to Make Rare Leap from Division II to NBA

The most anonymous player at Thursday's workout was Amir Hinton, a 6-4 guard from Shaw University, a Division II school in Raleigh.

Hinton spent his first two college seasons at another Division II school, Lock Haven University, before transferring to Shaw for his junior season. He was a dominant force offensively, leading all of Division II in scoring at 29.4 points per game while also tallying 4.9 rebounds and 4.0 assists per contest.

Hinton had 14 games where he scored at least 30 points and five games where he scored 40 or more, including a career-best 52-point performance at Tampa on Dec. 19.

"Hard-nosed," Hinton said when asked to describe his game. "I get after it. I can score the ball very well from all different levels...I can defend well. I would describe my game as an all-around player, but I like to score."

While there have been a number of Division II players who have played and even starred in the NBA — Ben Wallace being the most prominent semi-recent example — no player has been drafted out of a Division II school since Utah took Robert Whaley out of Walsh University with the 51st overall pick in 2005.

Pre-draft workouts will be especially valuable for Hinton, as scouts will no doubt use those sessions to see how he stacks up against better competition. While Hinton admitted he brought "an extra edge" into workouts, he also tried not to put too much pressure on himself before taking the court in front of Larry Bird and the rest of the Pacers' front office.

"For me, it's just playing basketball," he said. "I kind of try to not put the Division II thing in there. I look at myself as a regular basketball player."

While he was a prolific scorer in college, Hinton hopes to show teams that he can also make plays for others and shoot the ball better than he did in college. While he converted just 34 percent of his 3-point attempts at Shaw, he did shoot 89.4 percent from the line.

Hinton would not be the first player from Shaw to make it to the NBA. Ronald "Flip" Murray played in the NBA for eight seasons, including a 23-game stint with the Pacers during the 2007-08 season. Hinton said he has built a good relationship with Murray, who has offered him advice as he tries to follow in his footsteps.

"He just told me to keep killing it," Hinton said. "He told me to kill every workout (and) don't let up."

Cody Martin, Josh Reaves

Nevada guard Cody Martin (left) and Penn State guard Josh Reaves (right) both are strong defenders capable of guarding multiple positions. (Photo Credit: @Pacers)

Veterans Martin, Reaves Bring Defense and Versatility

The only two seniors at Thursday's workout were Nevada's Cody Martin and Penn State's Josh Reaves. Both are 6-5 guards with strong defensive reputations. Martin was named the Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year as a junior, while Reaves took home the same award in the Big Ten last season.

Martin and his twin brother Caleb spent two years at NC State before transferring to Nevada, where they helped the Wolf Pack reach back-to-back NCAA Tournaments, including a run to the Sweet 16 in 2018.

While Caleb was the more accomplished scorer, averaging 19.2 points per game, Cody did a little bit of everything in college. He ran the point for Nevada as a senior and guarded multiple positions on the other end, averaging 12.1 points, 4.5 rebounds, 4.9 assists, and 1.4 steals over 34 contests.

That versatility could be Martin's ticket to the NBA. He said on Thursday that he believes he can guard at least three and possibly four positions right now at the next level, with the potential to guard all five once he puts on some more weight.

"One of the things I take pride in is positionless basketball," Martin said. "I think that's what the league is turning into, being able to play positions, being able to guard multiple positions. I think that's what I bring to the table."

For the first time in their lives, Martin and his brother likely won't be teammates next year. The brothers have remained in close contact as they head to different cities for workouts, but for Cody — who is one minute older than Caleb — being apart can also be beneficial.

"I think it's a good time for us to show people that we can play without each other," he said.

If Reaves makes an NBA roster, it will be because of his efforts on the defensive end. He averaged more than two steals per game in each of his last three college seasons, including a career-high 2.5 steals per night as a senior, guarding the best players in the Big Ten on a nightly basis.

"Guarding players from (6-0 Maryland guard) Anthony Cowan to (7-2 Purdue center) Isaac Haas, it's a very big variety of different players and sizes, skills, strengths," Reaves said. "I feel like it prepared me, being able to know my abilities, knowing what I can do."

While Reaves said he has "a passion for" defense, he also wants to show enough offensively to prove that he can contribute on more than one side of the ball. He averaged 10.6 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 2.9 assists as a senior while shooting 35.6 percent from beyond the 3-point arc.

He impressed at the 2019 Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, an annual scouting showcase for seniors, where he averaged 14.3 points on 48.5 percent shooting and played his trademark hounding defense, which was enough to land him on the PIT All-Tournament team.

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