Workout Wrapup (UPDATED)
I'll have a story on the Pointguardpalooza in the paper on Wednesday, but if you want to know what went down today at Verizon Center, our favorite Bogger, Dan Steinberg offered up a full breakdown of the festivities. Anything that I may have missed, Agent Steinz has it covered. I have to agree with Dan on one thing: Brandon Jennings won the media session, hands down. The skinny kid with the Mohawk was a quote machine.
Jennings famously wore a Kid-N-Play, high-top fade at the 2008 McDonald's All-American game. He offered up the line of the afternoon when asked about the hairstyle he rocked during his one year playing professional ball in Italy. "I had the European, rough look," Jennings said. "That look like I've been in jail for a couple of years."
We only got to see the last 15 or so minutes of the workout, and it was pretty intense. Curry, Jennings, Flynn and A.J. Price ran three-on-three with N.C. State forward Brandon Costner and Clemson center Raymond Sykes.
The first thing I noticed was that Curry's jumper really was pure like Artisian water. He dropped the first three shots I saw him take -- a bank shot, a three-pointer and a pull-up jumper in transition -- and I asked Ernie Grunfeld if missed any shots. Ernie smiled and said, "Yes."
Then, the next drill came and the players were running two-man fast breaks with the trailer taking six shots. Flynn was feeding Curry and Curry missed his first five shots before making the last one. That's when I realized he was human, or just a smidge exhausted. But every shot he put up looked good at the release.
When the Wizards met Curry in Chicago, he wowed them in the interview from what I hear. Curry is probably the most NBA ready of the three point guards at Verizon Center that are expected to go in the lottery. He seems grounded and has a great basketball IQ (At one point, Wizards Coach Flip Saunders shouted up toward Grunfeld and tapped his right temple, which I assumed was a signal that Curry was pretty smart. After all, the guy is still studying for his college degree at Davidson).
Jennings had a pretty sick handle and quickness to boot. The best comparison I could come up with was Rajon Rondo with a better-looking jumper. Jennings, a lefty, was pretty much money from the left elbow, which made me think about how Avery Johnson used to consistently knock down shots from that spot. He also was an aggressive defender.
Flynn didn't stand out as much as the other two, but it's possibly because of his height. It could also be that he spent most of the practice serving as the setup man for everybody else. Flynn is short, but he's pretty solidly built. He also has pretty good hops. The times he did shoot, he usually hit it.
Jennings, Flynn and Curry were all good, but I also walked away impressed with the point guard that I left out in my story -- Price. Price, 22, was the oldest of the backcourt participants, having spent four trying seasons with the Huskies. No player at the workout has been through as much. He dealt with a life-threatening brain hemmorhage, was suspended for an academic year after stealing some laptop computers from a dorm, and suffered a knee injury in the NCAA Tournament as a junior.
Price is slated as a second-round pick and he spoke about why most general managers avoid seniors and go for youth and upside over experience in the draft. "That's the game. You draft on potential and hopefully, you groom players to become superstars," Price said. "Guys like me who been there four years, you know what you're going to get already and we're kind of a safe bet. You tend to overlook those guys. All you can do as a player is go out there and hope you get the right sitatuon for yourself."
Price hails from Amityville, N.Y., and played at the same high school as current Wizards reserve Mike James. He added that staying in college for four years has beneficial. "[Connecticut] Coach [Jim] Calhoun said it best, 'I came to UConn as a boy, and I left as a man,' " Price said. "It's not a knock if you stay four years. It doesn't me you're not as good if you don't come out early. Physically you're more ready for this level. I wouldn't change anything that happened at UConn for anyting in the world. It made the player I am today, the man I am today."
The one thing that I found interesting about the whole afternoon was that while Flynn was doing his interview, Javaris Crittenton, walked down the hallway to get ready to workout on his own (Nick Young and Andray Blatche also showed up do some individual work).
Crittenton got significant playing time at the end of last season and impressed his teammates and coaches with his work ethic and willingness to learn. But he has the most to lose if the Wizards keep the pick and select a point guard.
Grunfeld has made it clear that he is open to moving the selection, but there is no way the Wizards use the fifth pick on a third-string point guard. If they take somebody, the guy is going to play in all likelihood.
I also found out that the Wizards will bring in Arizona forward Jordan Hill for an individual workout on Thursday. Hill will likely be the last big name vying for that No. 5 spot coming to Washington before the June 25 draft.
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