Centers Position For Middle Of 1st Round

They can pose for a group picture today in the gym in Santa Monica, Calif., four NBA-bound centers linked by draft class, for sure, by the range they will be picked June 27, probably, and by projected role in the pros, maybe.

2013 NBA DraftThe group workout in two sessions is particularly important to Gorgui Dieng from Louisville, making his first appearance in front of scouts and executives since the sprained right ankle about three weeks ago put him in a walking boot at the Chicago combine. But it could be an impactful few hours for all four in a showdown of centers who could be part of a run on bigs from late in the lottery through the late-teens or early-20s.

Steve Adams of Pittsburgh, Kelly Olynyk of Gonzaga, Jeff Withey of Kansas and Dieng will all be in Santa Monica today, and a little less than four weeks later could all come off the board in rapid-fire succession. Rudy Gobert, a power forward-center from France, will likely be in the same mix.

It’s the projected grouping on draft night – all possible to be go within eight or 10 picks of each other – that makes this a particularly intriguing workout. It’s far from the last time they will be seeing each other, too, as scheduling for auditions for individual teams ramp up.

Adams and Olynyk are the highest-rated of the four, though as different players. Olynyk has an advanced offensive game for a big man, while Adams is more of a physical presence who is starting to show signs he can be more and, in fact, the better prospect.

Dieng and Withey are projected as backups, both known for their defense and hoping to use the next month to show teams they are not one-dimensional. Withey in particular has made that a priority. More than Adams, still relatively inexperienced against top competition after growing up in New Zealand and playing one season at Pitt, Withey and Dieng are picks for teams wanting a big man with a better chance of contributing right away, the very clubs that mostly start picking from the late-teens into the 20s.

11 Comments

  1. David Cree says:

    Adams or Olynyk?, A good offence is no good if the other team has more points than you

  2. wuffe says:

    I see Steven Adams jumping up the board on potential alone. Atlanta Hawks have 2 picks in mid 1st. Al Horford can teach him how to play center and the Hawks are set for about 10 years with a star.

  3. OK, forget about Adams. We need someone who can take major minutes from, or replace Kendrick Perkins.
    Adams is a few years from even thinking about playing big minutes.
    Kelly Olynik out of Gonzaga could be the guy. He has good hands, sets good picks, and has an offensive game.
    He doesn’t block many shots, but we can live with that. Neither does Perkins. We got Serge Obaka, et al. who can defend the rim.
    Olynik probably doesn’t defend as well as Perkins, but he’s an offensive plus, and can catch, and finish, which Perkins does poorly. Perhaps the two could be a good combination-sharing minutes at the post position.
    Olynik, would be a welcome addition to the Thunder who could contribute immediately.

  4. OKC Thunder need to upgrade Kendrick Perkins,
    Perhaps Steve Adams…

  5. David Cree says:

    STEVE ADAMS- SPURS (unlikely) .. Big guy is better suited to a team in need of better defence.

  6. Michael says:

    good prospect for the future, maybe spurs?

  7. A.D says:

    Steven Adams is a beast. give him time. Best of luck big fella Kia Kaha

  8. kia ora says:

    Tu meke Steven Adams all the best

  9. Nash fan says:

    OLYNYK all the way!

  10. Valarie Adams says:

    STEVEN ADAMS. NZ REPRESENT

  11. kiwi says:

    Alot of teams could use a big man right now, goodluck steven adams!