The next (baby) step in the draft

Posted by Scott Howard-Cooper

CHICAGO – Two days after the lottery finalized the order, the evaluation process heading toward the June 24 draft takes the next step with the annual gathering of top U.S. prospects for a series of conditioning tests, interviews and drills but very little in the way of evaluation.

That has been done while scouting games and will be done with fresh scrutiny when players participate in workouts in the coming weeks for select teams or, on a couple occasions, groups of clubs. This, today and Friday at a local gym, is more like browsing, the chance for executives, scouts and coaches from all 30 teams to watch prospects do agility drills and go through physicals – just not play any games.

The crazy notion of actual basketball games being played at a basketball combine faded years ago as agents increasingly held clients out of the camp, held in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., at the time, to protect their standing, even if they didn’t have much standing. Players who were on the bubble just to make the first round began to routinely skip the games and show for physicals only rather than risk a bad showing that could mean a drop into the second round and losing guaranteed money. Frustration within the league grew all the way to where commissioner David Stern, in meetings with team officials, questioned the purpose of the camp continuing, and soon it was pared down to the current version.

Fifty-one prospects are scheduled to attend this year, including the clear favorites to go 1-2, John Wall of Kentucky and Evan Turner of Ohio State. Players met officials from various teams Wednesday and are in the gym for the first time today.

66 Comments

  1. Doug says:

    First and formost, Arenas is a very spitefull player. When he thinks everybody is going against him he comes out with a vengence. Believe me this year Gilbert will be healthy, clear headed and ready to take care of business. When gilbert has a chip on his shoulder he is dangerous. John Wall can bring back agent zero. Gilbert is alot smarter than most people give him credit for. Believe me he will on his best behavior and ready to show everybody how good he is. so all who write him off beware. Washington knows this that´s why they didn´t trade him.

  2. mark14 says:

    EVAN TURNER should be in the 1st overall pick this year because turner is much better than john wall in terms on the all around game and TURNER can play with GILBERT much better. john wall can play with iggy in phillies.

  3. Tdo_44 says:

    I have been a wizards fan since i was eight year old. i am now fourteen, but i know my wizards. They need a POINT GUARD!! Gilbert Arenas has been a great player at the point for a long time, but i think he would be better at the two. This year the wizards played best with their combo guard look (Randy Foye and Gilbert Arenas). John Wall is the perfect fit for the wizards because him and Andray Blatche would work together well that would be a great yound tandum. John Wall is a walking 18 points and 8 assists, and even though gilbert was alot more unselfish this year i believe he is a better of the ball player. Mike miller will demand too much money for the wizards and will not likely be there next year so Evan Turner would have been great in the 3 spot, but you cannot pass up on John Wall.

  4. JeZ98′s trade idea to getting Iggy is a good one. With the Wiz personal Iggy would be a good fit between Mike Miller at SG and Andrey Blatche at PF.. just not at the cost of keeping John Wall.

  5. Why are we talking about Gilbert Arenas.. he played 47 total games in the last three years. A starter is no good for his team if he play only 47 games a season non-the-less over a three year span! The Wizards knows his trade value is almost nothing right now, they can only hope that he behaves and plays for almost a full season before trading him. Gilbert Arenas is mentally and physically broken down pick John Wall and move on.

  6. R!f says:

    It would be a not so wise move to pass on John Wall at the #1 spot and for one reason only. He came from Calipari! Look at what Calipari gave us the past two years, Tyreke Evans and Derick Rose. I say you take him first, hands down. He’s a future stud in the league with all his talent. No disrespect to Evan Turner at all.

  7. peter says:

    I dont know whether the Wizards would draft Wall bcause they got Areanas on the point. They can certainly trade Areanas but I would take Turner. Turner is literally a triple double waiting to happen. He can drive to the net, rebound and dish out some nice assits. He needs to work on his shot however.
    If John Wall isnt drafted first, the 76ers will almost definitely draft him. The 76ers desperately need a PG. I think a good PG is needed for every team’s success but one would not necessary have to pick a PG in the top 5 unless they are desperate for it. There’s many PG who developed over the course of time and became legitimate top PG of the league, examples include Aaron Brooks, Monta Ellis (who plays also the SG), Nate Robinson, Rajon Rondo, Mo Williams etc…
    I agree that the PG position is not as important (doesn’t mean its not important, just not as important) as some of the other positions on the team. Look at the teams remaining in the playoffs. The only team with a legitimate star PG is the Suns and they are down 2 nothing. Boston has Rondo, an allstar but they have 4 allstars in their starting lineup. Orlando has Jameer Nelson and LA has Derek Fisher, both are not at the same level as Nash or Rondo.
    I’m just saying that a PG is important because they run the play but if no one can finish, the PG cannot do everything by himself. Thats why the Lakers and Celtics are winning because Fisher has Kobe, Gasol and Artest all capable of finishing. Rondo has KG, Pierce and Allen, a lineup any PG would kill to play with. I would say Wizards get Turner over Wall, but see 76ers quickly picking up Wall without doubt.

    Now this all changes if the Wizards choose to trade Areanas…..

  8. Ollstar says:

    John Wall is going first. I mean almost everyone is likening him to Rose. Is Rose bad?! I can’t believe you guys have forgot Billups won it for the Pistons. Ya he’s a Nug now but he earned his name “Mr. Big Shot” in Detroit. Parker got it done for the Spurs and was Finals MVP the last time they won. Don’t need PGs pshh. It’s all these swingmans that think they can do it all. I get it to the BIG first just cause that’s the way the O goes. Don’t hate on us cause your not where the pass goes.PG>G/F

  9. Anonymous says:

    I think the Wizards can’t pass on WALL so they will get him at number 1 then sixers will tap turner at 2 and favors at 3..and the wizards will dump arenas elsewhere..so they can hand the ball to Wall at PG, maybe the heat would take arenas coz they do need a point guard..I wonder what will the nets do this summer the russian billionaire is willing to spent money just to take the best player(free agents) availble..i think the nets will be reviving its lost glory this year

  10. muneb0 says:

    I think getting John Wall may be the best choice. While Evan Turner is a great all around player and the Wizards have Gilbert Arenas, for Arenas to be really effecient, if you watched him in the beggining of the year, you can tell he would be greatly successful at the shooting guard role. Nonetheless, what the wizards truly lead is a Center, and while Javale McGee has potential, he needs time. Unfortunatly, there is no Center worth taking as a 1st pick this draft, but if the Wizards still want to utilize Gilbert Arenas they are going to need to find a quick solution during free agency. Otherwise, the starting line (in my opinion) should be: John Wall, Gilbert Arenas, Al Thorton(yet another question), Andray Blatche and JaVale McGee. Good luck with that…

  11. Luis says:

    maybe the wizards with john wall and arenas can make it to the playoffs next season

  12. Gary P says:

    I would just like to say as a person who saw Evan Turner play as a kid and growing up playing ball with each other I’m very proud of him and hope he goes #1 because the Wizards need another front man with Antawn Jamerson being gone so Gilbert will need all the help he can get!

  13. Gary P says:

    I would just like to say as a person who saw even as a kid growing up playing ball with each other I’m very proud of him and hope he goes #1 because the Wizards need another front man with Antawn Jamerson being gone so Gilbert will need all the help he can get!

  14. Marc says:

    If I am to choose, I’ll choose John Wall because Arenas are injury prone and he cant play start of next season because of his cases and he cant stop his age (even im a arenas fan)… Evan Turner really fit in 76ers because they dont have the SG and he could be a good tandem with Andre Iguodala because Turner can shoot and Iguodala can pass….

    Wizards (they draft John Wall)
    PG John Wall
    SG Mike Miller
    SF Josh Howard
    PF Andray Blatche
    C JaVale McGee

    76ers (they draft Evan Turner)
    PG Jrue Holiday or Louis Williams
    SG Evan Turner
    SF Andre Iguodala
    PF Elton Brand
    C Samuel Dalembert

  15. Mark says:

    pick Wall first so that philly would get Turner.. Philly is already boasted with guards (williams, holiday, green) they lack shooters like Tuner. Buy out Brands hefty contract or trade him.. he’s a disappointment after all.

  16. fariz says:

    OKKK i think john wall plays lke lebron james soo a player like him should go team a team that needs help… and cleveland needs a better center or power foward because shaquille Oneal or jamison are crap they need amre stoudimare or chris bosh if lebron wants a ring and lebron aint leaving cleavland without a ring!!!!

  17. Dida says:

    Hello from Croatia. What about Wes Johnson, now there is the guy to wach out in first 3 choices?!

  18. RW says:

    Point Guard plays an important role in a game, but nowadays how many point guard can carry their weak team to Final? Celtics 08 Champion, Big3. Rondo doesn’t do as bright as them
    Lakers 09 Champion, Kobe Bryant, Gasol, Fisher is really a top PG?
    What I define a good PG, probably get around 10+ Assists per game
    Nowadays, the SG/SF hold the ball most of the time, and make PG seems less contribution.

  19. jose alves says:

    I believe John Wall will be a better fit in Washington than Turner, He is a versatile player who can slash to the basket, dominate on the pick n roll, use his speed to blow by defenders and also find his teammates. It is point guards like him that will inspire teams to grow and become excellent contenders in the hopes of championship. With Arenas back in Washington, John Wall will learn from a true point guard in Arenas, who knows the game but has had troubles along his nba career. Wall will be like Rondo who if the Celtics did not have will surely not have been in the runs for this years championship. So sit back and tune in on June 24 to see a city draft a solid player that will change the nations capital for the good.

  20. brody says:

    i think mikail is a idiot……remember gilbert arenas………he plays the point and mike miller could easily be a back up

  21. Davonta says:

    Gilbert has fell of…he’s nothin anymore…post that on espn…he has a good game every now and then..but even if he does have a good game they STILL lose..evan turner is better than john wall…but nowa days you HAVE to have a point guard..their the ones who has the ball MOST of the game…unless you have someone like kobe or lebron who can bring the ball down themselves and start off the ofensive plays…but other that them youll need a point guard…dont be idiots lol

  22. Rho says:

    With Washington’s existing guard rotation its not going to come down to which of the two fits better in the line-up. You can bet your last dollar that the second they were called for the first pick that they had a dozen prospective trades on the go, seeing how much value they can get for whichever player they draft.

  23. Dakel76 says:

    turner does nothing for me. he is not athletic enough he aint a great shooter he doesnt play above the rim and he is not explosive enough to be a great nba player. i think he will be ok but wall will creates match up nightmares. he’s explosive,he’s a great passer and ball handler. and he has a better upside than turner he has the ability to fill your areana every night to bring revenue to your ball club.his jersey is going to be a top five in sell’s you tell me what would you do?

  24. Dakel76 says:

    to all those who don’t know gil is not a true point gaurd and that’s been the wizard’s problem. their trying to make a sg into a pg. you can’t have your guy who take’s the most shot’s be your pg. john wall is a pass first pg and is more of a better fit for flips skeem.

  25. juggs23 says:

    None of you are looking at the trading capabilities this year.If Washington couldn’t find a spot for john wall,he could bring in other players and maybe a top draft pick in the future! No the wizards do not really need him but honestly they need to trade arenas for anyone really and let wall take the spot.They are rebuilding anyways right?

  26. jjjjjjjjj says:

    John Wall was the most exciting player in college basketball this year. Evan Turner may have been better but Wall drew in the crowds. Also Turner is 2 years older then Wall giving him that extra time in college to develope thats why he was a better player this year. They will both be great players but if you have the chance to draft a guy like Wall you take him and trade your so called superstar Arenes for a dominant big man or a good combo guard. Trade for a guy like Al Horford or Josh Smith. Trade for a younger guy who still has time to develope that way you give Wall and whoever you bring in time to get chemestry between eachother.

  27. Tyler says:

    Actually Deron Williams pretty much single handedly defeated the Nuggets, And kept every game close with the Lakers.

  28. sHpar says:

    I’d say that Wizards are going to pick Wall.. And I believe it would be a good deal for them.. They should get Chris Bosh who is a free agent now, and they should trade Arenas for a great SG or SF.. Maybe Joe Johnson as SG.. But they have Mike Miller at SG who is a good player, so maybe it would be better for them to get a great SF like LBJ but I don’t believe they’d have enough cap space to get him.. Maybe Stephen Jackson would be good deal fot them.. There are so many options..

  29. rind says:

    you guys are soooooooooo wrong. you can’t go any where without a really good pg. arenas is not a real point guard he is a good finisher bur I don t believe he can lead a team to a championship. he doesn t pass the ball at all. besides ı don t want a guy that brings guns to the locker room. he must be traded. If they can trade him for a few picks or 1 or 2 good players(ıt doesnt have to be supwe stars someone like rudy gay, ı m nor sayıng they can take him but a guy like him could be beasly) But one thing is for sure they must draft john wall. they can t go any where with arenas.

  30. JT says:

    I think the Wizards should draft john wall and put him at PG then when gilbert comes back they’ll put him at SG and for forwards we got andrea blatche and mike miller and maybe get joe johnson or rudy gay for SF postition

  31. JeZ98 says:

    i say they draft john wall and trade his rights and josh howard to the sixers for evan turner and iggy and a future pick, that ell even things out

    • David says:

      Trade Iggy in a draft trade as well as Wall and Turner getting swapped as the top 2 picks, wow, why would you write something that dumb?

    • muneb0 says:

      hmm, that doesnt sound too bad!

    • Dakeem1 says:

      What JeZ98 said. Washington trading down to #2 makes send for both them and Philly.

      Rumours also have it that both Houston and Portland are trying to trade into the top 4. I highly doubt either team can get the first 2 picks, but both the Rockets and Blazers are run by one of the top 4 GM’s.

  32. Dudes being serious Washington DOESN’T need a PG. Arenas is a beast when healthy (and when not bringing guns to the locker room). Evan Turner is going as the number 1 pick because HE”S A BETTER ALL AROUND PLAYER THAN WALL. Besides all the sorry teams either have cold, okay or good point guards.

    • muneb0 says:

      but your forgetting Arenas likes to SCORE not move the ball around so much. That is not a good PG attribute…but it is for a SG…

  33. RM11 says:

    john wall will be #1 BUT evan turner is a better player
    has more points, more boards, and same assists, and is a great defender.
    personally, i like john wall better.
    lucky 76ers
    holiday, turner, iguodala, young, and dalembert
    i see playoffs in their future

  34. Saurock says:

    About the Arenas, i think Washington should let him go after all that has happened, they are trying to rebuilt the team and i think it would be better for the team for a longrun. Although i like Arenas but he hasnt really been there for the team…

  35. Luis says:

    You guys dont even know what you are talkin about i dont want to see evan turner at the three guard spot i want to see him at small foward, with his speed and versatility he would be a total mismatch for almost every SF in the league. at small foward he would be a perect fit for washington. gilbert arenas at PG, mike miller at SG, EVAN TURNER at SF, andrey blatche at PF, and javale mcgee at C. with this team a think they could make some noise.

    • jjjjjjjjj says:

      aparently you dont know what your talking about because if you are trying to convert the postions from # like the 1 is the point gaurd, 2 is the shooting guard, 3 would be the small forward not the 3 guard.. there are only 2 guard positions on the floor. Point and shooting guard and then the 2 forwards, small and power forward, then the center. No three guard, so your basically saying that people dont know what they are talking about wanting him to play the 3 guard but you want him to play small forward which is the same position…

  36. Hank says:

    You can’t pass on John Wall at number 1. you just dont get guys like him often. first and foremost hes a huge marketing pull, which leonsis will want. secondly, he is the only player in the draft who will draw attention from free agents such as chris bosh and carlos boozer. who wouldn’t want to play with this kid? as for the problem with arenas, the wizards are in a tough spot. but by the time wall’s rookie contract is up, arenas will only have maybe 4 years left of his. at that point they can shop him/ have enough cap space to sign wall for more years and still keep arenas. after all, they cant win with arenas at the point guard. the nba has become a point guards league with guys like rondo, daron williams, nash, drose, chris paul, among many others, making it pertinent for the wiz to pick wall.

  37. Mlad says:

    Washington should pick Evan Turner because they need a good guard’forward and by the time gilbert comes back, he will be starting and they will need another great player. John Wall should go second because Iguodala and John Wall would be a good combinasion and could bring lots of strength to philly

  38. youaredoodoodumb says:

    you’re all fools “you dont need good point guards anymore”. steve nash? Jameer nelson? rajon rondo? all have led their teams to the conference finals and the team wouldnt be there without them. Chris Paul Deron Williams are also some of the best players in the league and dominate games. Tyreke evans has been a god send to the kings, he’s lebron-like with similar numbers only he is a mistmatch almost every game against small 6′-6’3 point guards while lebron has to deal with players even longer and taller than him occasionally (still destroys all though). Steph Curry and Brandon jennings also are looking to lead their teams and be respective allstars for the next decade. Billups shows his continued dominance in the league and “mr. big shot” is one of the nuggets biggest threats consistently. so dont say point guards dont matter especially when there are so many different types who all put their own influence on games and teams. and when you have a potential world beater like john wall who has every tool in the book and just needs to get a slightly better shot and will be a perennial all star himself, imagine d wade/tyreke evans at point.

  39. horbath675 says:

    washington should take wall because arenas is not really a point guard. And there were points when the wizards played better when he was injured. Arenas stops the ball from moving and is better finishing plays. Also since blatche is developing into a good player it is better to get a point guard so he will have someone to play pick and roll with. As for the sixers they will get turner because he can play 3 positions and fits their style. the 3rd pick is going to be either Cousins or Favors. but I think they will take whoever they think is the best player, regardless of position.

  40. YoungM.A.B says:

    The wizards definitely need to draft John Wall because you cant deny his up side,he and Arenas can become a very good backcourt,as for Evan turner,he is the best player in the draft in my opinion,I dont know if hes a great defender but has the best all around game,This is how the draft should play out for the top 3 teams,1.Wizards-Wall 2.Sixers-Turner 3.Nets-Favors.

  41. Andreas says:

    I m not sure wizards are ready to let Arenas go. If they won’t then Wall would be a wasted in the wizards. I d go for Turner if I were them…

  42. like john wall you know who is better micheal link he 5″6 ht 101 wt he go to paul harding high school 9th fort wanyne indiana look up on facebook micheallink91@yahoo.com. love ohio state

  43. like john wall you know who better micheal link he 5″6 ht 101 wt he go to paul harding high school 9th fort wanyne indiana look up on myspeac micheallink91@yahoo.com

  44. Tokouchi says:

    The thing with the Wizards, they already got a Gilbert Arenas. With that i mind, for me, a combo guard is a better fit in Washington because it enables them to either play him at SG with Arenas playing Point or vice versa. This is a better option for the Wiz in my opinion as opposed to having a pure PG that will share minutes with Arenas.

    • Carlo says:

      I think they Washington should trade some of their PG’s to fill out other positions. They could even trade Arenas if they want a quality wing or big. I think John Wall will emerge as a star in the NBA.

    • Matt O says:

      Id love to see the Wiz trade Gilbert Arenas to the Bulls for Loul Deng and Kirk Heinrich. Bulls get a 2nd PG of note and he can play the 2 better than Kirk. They free up a spot for LeBron to play the SF position and they look much much stronger. The Wizards can then go into next season with Wall, Kirk, Deng, Blache and JaVale McGee. Makes them alot better. Especially if they resign Josh Howard on the cheap and manage to keep Randy Foye and even Mike Miller.

      • Doug says:

        that sounds like a good idea to me. I like that. that would give Wall or turner some freedom to grow and it would make the bulls a very damn good team.

  45. Mario says:

    I agree with Answer.. And today you don’t need good PG-s anymore.. What was the last time PG lead his team to championship, last time Magic Johnson won his ring? I’d take good SG over good PG.

    • Sdm says:

      Maybe it’s been a while since a point guard gave the ring , but I can remember Jason kidd going to the finals with the nets , this guy allen iverson boosting the sixers into a deep playoff run and oh yea there’s this other guy named chris paul , you definately need a good point guard today , do you think the celtics would be in the eastern finals without rajon rondo?

      • Adam says:

        yeah nate could od the trick they have 2 good bench playes to come off so i think they could make it there

      • I agree with Mikail with the personel and young talent Washington has at the 2 guard and 3 spot John wall could bring that together with his court vision passing and speed. Also with the emmergence of Andre Blatche and Mcgee’s shootblocking they could have a serious squad 2 years from now. If you draft Evan Turner, at the point you have Gilbert who has character problems and is injury prone. Evan will have to compete with Mike Miller, Nick Young and Randy Foye for 2 guard minutes.

      • JAP says:

        Big men are the hardest to find and therefore are the most essential pieces. BUT you have to take the best pieces in the draft and there arent any Big men or 2 guards in the draft capable to carry teams to championship so you have to take the best talent (John Wall). If Tim Duncan was in this draft or a 2 guard like Micheal Jordaness trust me Wall would not be the top pick but you cant say get a 2 guard if a game changer like that isn’t in the draft.

    • Dazzle says:

      Looks like Rondo may be doin’ it…we’ll jus have to wait and see

    • Ollstar says:

      Billups, Parker.

    • Jacky says:

      Hahaha Mario, are you Mike Brown?

      Hello Tony Parker? Hello Derek Fisher? Hello Rajon Rondo? Hello Chauncey Billups?

      They might not all be superstar players of their teams, but you cannot win without a good point guard. John Wall has the physicality and poise to be a solid PG.

  46. Mikâil Yiğit says:

    since washington have the nr 1 pick they’ll pick john wall because they need a better point guard. Randy Foye and Shaun Livingston are both not good enough. They have Mike Miller at the positions of Evan Turner who is a very good and efficient player when healthy

    • Aidan Harrington says:

      Thw wizards are going to have arenas back next year so they dont need the true point gaurd

      • B-Easy30 says:

        are you blem? Do you honestly think the wizards are gonna take him back? HAHAHAHHA

      • kiet101091 says:

        From what I see, The Wizards gonna trade the guy as soon as they get him back, with all the things have happened. They even traded Jamison for god’s sake. They wanna build a new team, without anything left.

  47. Answer28 says:

    I saw both of the top picks play and i would go for Turner as the nr1 pick, he is a better alrounder good scorer and rebounder and from what i saw a great defender.