Some Thoughts On The End of Chicago’s Pre-Draft Camp

CHICAGO – Downtown to O’Hare at 6:15 p.m. on a Friday? No problem.

So, quickly, a few thoughts as the two-day pre-draft camp ends at the University of Illinois Chicago…

  • Dion Waiterswithdrew from the combine after the first day, a move that essentially confirms unusually candid statements from at least one opposing executive that the Syracuse shooting guard has received a draft promise and will be cancelling future workouts.It is not known which team (apparently) gave Waiters the completely unenforceable verbal agreement in exchange for the completely unenforceable verbal agreement to call off whatever showcases had been scheduled. But with Waiters bound for the lottery anyway and climbing the board as June 28 approaches, logic dictates it would be someone in the 5-to-10 range. He would be foolish to give up the chance to reach mid-lottery for a promise from a team in double digits.Raptors president Bryan Colangelo told the Toronto Star that “His agent has told me there’s a promise to another team,” which is more public candor than normal from an executive or agent on the topic. And as Colangelo noted as well, Toronto, or anyone could still take Waiters. Just as the team that gave Waiters the promise could conveniently forget the handshake arrangement on draft night if another player is unexpectedly available.
  • There is a good chance the Trail Blazers will wait until after the draft to hire a new coach or remove the interim tag from Kaleb Canales.Indications are that general manager Neil Olshey, hired Monday, is more open to keep both lottery picks and build for the future in contrast to the previous plan that seemed to lean toward trading No. 6 and/or No. 11 for immediate help in win-now mode around LaMarcus Aldridge. The new Portland management team, wanting the roster to help dictate the coach, is more likely to see the direction of the team before deciding whether to go with an assistant in line for a first job or an experienced hand.

  • No major surprises when the official measurements were released today. Underlining the pressing concern that he needs to get a lot stronger, North Carolina power forward John Henson weighed just 216 pounds at 6 feet 9 without shoes and 6-10 ½ with. Derek Fisher is 210. But Henson also had a massive standing reach of 9 feet 3 ½. That’s a shot blocker.
  • Players are measured without shoes to get an actual height and with shoes in agreement with how the measurement will show up in rosters next season. It was Connecticut center Andre Drummond who went all Herman Munster on the footwear this year: 6-9 ¾ without shoes and 6-11 ¾ with.
  • With the Raptors continuing to track the slow progress that will bring Jonas Valanciunas from his native Lithuania to the NBA next season, though probably not in time for summer league since chances are good Lithuania will be in the Olympics, the Houston Chronicle is reporting that the Rockets could sign another 2011 first-rounder, Donatas Motiejunas, as soon as July 1. He spent last season in Italy and Poland. Motiejunas told the paper he has not decided whether to play for Lithuania in London.
  • Some executives and officials were scheduled to depart on Friday-night red-eyes for Treviso, Italy, and the start of the annual adidas Eurocamp. But the usual NBA big-name turnout is not expected 20 miles north of Venice in a year when international prospects will have a minor role at best in the draft and the entire first round could pass without a player from outside North America being selected.
  • There were no shortage of positive reviews for Damian Lillard of Weber State, but some perspective: While he impressed people, he didn’t actually help his draft stock. Lillard was already the top-rated point guard on the board and a strong candidate to be taken as soon as the Trail Blazers at No. 6. That’s probably his ceiling, though. He won’t go first to the Hornets, second to the Bobcats would be a huge shock, the Wizards have John Wall, the Cavaliers have Kyrie Irving and the Kings, picking fifth, are only a year removed from spending a lottery pick on Jimmer Fredette with the understanding that he would need time to transition to full-time point guard.
  • Scouts, executives and coaches attending the two days at the University of Illinois-Chicago also gave good marks to Moe Harkless, Meyers Leonard, Will Barton, Kim English and, in the especially noteworthy development, Khris Middleton. The Texas A&M small forward needed the upbeat showing after an injury-plagued 2011-12 that ruined any chance to impress the NBA. Being healthy here helped.

16 Comments

  1. rc says:

    wait what? why do they measure with shoes? what is the actual height they go by, with or without shoes? also how drumond get shoes that give him 2 inches and henson only gets 1 and half inches? usually most shoes are 1 and half inches or 1 inch it gives you.

  2. Jeanie says:

    I have been following many of the comments on this post and others. It seems the inference to athleticism only applies to certain players. I am big Big 10 fan, based on the comments Robbie Hummel and for certain Jordan Taylor of Wisconsin are draft worthy prospects, PLUS both come with no baggage and heaven forbid degrees, but it appears talent far exceeds academic prowess if you are senior competing in the NBA. We wonder why this league has issues.

  3. durant basher says:

    all these people talking about this or that and a little bit of that andre drummond is still the number 1 or 2 pick in this draft

  4. steppx says:

    I wouldnt touch wroten, personally. talent but i dont see the IQ…..he could develop, but I dont see it. I think the jimmer experiment as a pg is over. He’s a small two now. Why isnt jeff taylor and Terrence Ross higher on boards? I think both are starters. And why IS henson so high. Reach is one thing, but like larry sanders (and others….anthony randolph to a degree) he lacks the strength to not getting bumped out of place. Honestly, Id rather have o Quinn than Henson. Scott…who do you see interested in taylor and ross?

  5. Andrew says:

    Davis Seems like an obligation to take as 1st pick because of all the hype, and of course he is a good player but honestly I don’t see him as something special.
    The best player is this draft is probably michael Kidd-ghilchrist because of his all-round abilities and work rate he is only going to get better. I believe MKG is likely to end up like Andre igoudala.
    Although, the safest pick for me is Thomas Robinson. He has so much more to thrive on than the rest of the players and I hope he will go to washington where he can become a star player in his first season. He will fit in extremely well with john wall and with the experience of Nene to guide him he will quickly and surely become the turn-around player for Washington.
    Fab Melo is one who is underrated. I like his attitude towards his future and being a good shot-blocker is a skill that is overlooked in the NBA. I hope he goes to OKC where learning a few tricks from Serge Ibaka he can become a fast improving player and back-up center for the team. Not to mention the rebounding which could be improved by big-men at OKC.

  6. den grecia says:

    another era of all that false statement just for thier client to get high rates in draft!!!! what the hell could u rate a player when he cant compete best!!!!! ur earning more than ur client and all of this false rates makes the team suffer!!! look at kanter…where is he now? if i were the team president id rather have my own eye in draft and not hearing all this lies!!!

  7. TS says:

    Blazers should keep the back court of Felton, Crawford, and Matthews. Look how good that worked out for Portland. They could use another top ten draft pick next summer in order to get back on solid ground.

    Keep rollin’ rollin’ rollin’ rollin’ (o)TANK(o) Keep rollin’ rollin’ rollin’ rollin’!!!

  8. Pablo says:

    Give Drummond the right motor, like MR. AD (teammates) got during the championship run, and he´ll be a great pro bball player… sorry but Jeremy Lamb is not enough to make this big fella became a CHAMP!!!! If he has big hands and a great wingspan, it doesn´t matter how tall he´s…. don´t try to play the COP on a kid like this, because he´s unselfish and a great athlete, and it makes him a great PRO… peace!!!!

  9. Peter says:

    Wha’ts the news on Quincy Miller, is he a lottery pick or late first rounder?

  10. kobe says:

    MKG will be the best player in the draft after Davis!

    • me says:

      disagree, think the player after davis will be beal, he is the most nba ready behind davis

  11. Jake says:

    Awesome article; nice work! Would be cool if the Bulls traded up for Barnes. :)

  12. AE says:

    Are there any sleepers in this year’s draft? Anyone from a small school with BIG game?

    • Scott says:

      Tony Wroten. Scouts are saying he looks like a mix between Tyreke Evans and Iman Shumpert. Like Shumpert, Wroten struggled shooting the ball in college but has a clean stroke and will get better. He’s also a terrific athlete, much like Shump. He’s similar to Evans in that he’s terrific at getting into the paint and the line. He has tight handle and incredible court vision, better than the two previously mentioned NBA guards. Most projections have him going in the late first round since his team failed badly to live up to expectations and some GMs have expressed their belief that he carries baggage.