Monday, June 16, 2008

Draft Workout (6/16/08): Anthony Randolph, Darrell Arthur, Courtney Lee

The Grizzlies staff returned from California with another scheduled workout today. This was my first time attending a workout, so my perspective comes from a first time up close observation. Today's workout included Anthony Randolph of LSU, Darrell Arthur of national champion Kansas, Courtney Lee from Western Kentucky, Will Daniels of Rhode Island, Shan Foster of Vanderbilt and Jeremy Crouch of Bradley.

Here are my initial impressions:

Anthony Randolph, LSU
If you read any of my post on the Grizzlies board, then you know that I like Randolph as a player. The first thing you notice is that he does need to add some pounds to have any chance of playing on the inside in the NBA. However, it looks like he will be able to naturally add weight over time. Randolph's explosive athleticism showed through out the workout as he routinely finished off drills with dunks. He did show some of his versatility with his ball handling and he made some great passes in traffic. The one thing that stuck out through all of the shooting drills is that his jump shot is not as far off as I expected. He has decent form for a lefty but just needs to work on a consistent follow through on his shots. Now it wasn't all positive with Randolph. He was a little passive for my liking. He always seemed to be in cruise control even in live drills. He did not fight for rebounding position, attack strong off the bounce, or move with a purpose without the ball in his hand. He just seemed a little lackadaisical. You have to remember that Randolph is almost a full year younger than most in this class and the team that drafts him will be taking a leap of faith of sorts that he will work to maximize his enormous potential.

Darrell Arthur, Kansas
Arthur was my dark horse from last year. His versatile post game and offensive talent always impressed me. Today it seems that he came ready to work. He gave very good effort offensively and defensively throughout the workout. The first thing I noticed with Arthur was that he plays with power. He also did very well in the shooting drills. He nailed a fair amount of elbow jumpers during the drills. He also gave a lot of hustle and his handle was good for his position. He seems like he has a future as one of those solid but not spectacular power forwards in the NBA. He can score, rebound, defend, and block shots. The only question about him was his inconsistent production while in college. If he proves to be a consistent in the NBA then he could be one of the sleepers in this draft. He has very low bust potential and a fairly high ceiling as he good be an offensive post option for a team in the future.

Courtney Lee, Western Kentucky
Hands down the most impressive player in the workout. Lee showed great explosion throughout the drills and especially in live action. He consistently got rebounds and finished plays in traffic. He also showed a great jump shot even when pushed through long drills. He just seemed to have a lot of competitiveness in his game today. Picked up on drills fast and executed well. Looks like he will be able to help an NBA team immediately off the bench offensively and defensively. After watching him today and hearing this was his 10th workout, I doubt he will be available at 28 depending upon who stays and goes today. If he does drop into the second round then some team is going to get a real good player for next to nothing.

Shan Foster, Vanderbilt
Foster is well known to Memphis fans after getting to watch him star as a senior in the SEC. Shan was probably one of the best shooters in college last season. Transitioning to the NBA is going to be difficult for Foster. He lacks the explosiveness to thrive on the wings in the NBA and it showed during this workout. He also struggles to create separation off the dribble. Foster might have a long career in Europe ahead of him as his size and shot will be a big asset. Overseas his lack of athleticism and ball handling won't be as big a problem. He will get drafted but I don't see him sticking in the NBA very long.

Will Daniels, Rhode Island
Projected to go undrafted, Daniels showed some decent skill and promise. He will likely get an invite by some team to summer league and spend a few seasons in the NBADL. I am not sure he has the size, skill and position match to make it on an NBA roster but he will probably get several chances.

Jeremy Crouch, Bradley
Crouch showed off a nice shot in the workouts but does not have the game to make a career in the NBA.

Other Grizzlies Draft NewsThe Grizzlies were able to get private workouts with Danilo Gallinari and Brook Lopez while in California. I got the impression from Barone that Gallinari was real impressive and I already understand that Chris Wallace does like him. Also, I don't think the Grizzlies would have a problem drafting Gallinari and getting him signed. Barone referenced Lopez as an "old school, big center" with good hands and surprising quickness. He also said that Lopez is definitely a center only. I seriously don't think Lopez is an option for the Grizzlies with Gasol hopefully coming on board.

BallHype: hype it up!

1 comment:

GrizzledGrizzFan said...

Shame Chip wasn't there. At least Herrington was there to give a balanced review of Randolph's game.