Thursday, June 12, 2008

Workout Update: Butch, Mays and White

Well I finally saw a 28.

Not necessarily the 28 but definitely a potential 28th pick for the Grizzlies.

D.J. White (Indiana) showed himself to be a man among boys today when he worked out against Brian Butch (Wisconsin) and James Mays (Clemson).

At first I wasn't too impressed. He didn't seem to be that agile. He was obviously winded early on in the workout and his shot wasn't exactly beautiful or consistent. I was seeing the flaws in his game in an environment where the Grizzlies started off testing his weaknesses. Early on I was becoming impressed with James Mays who had the better outside shot, far more speed than White and seemed to be just as tall. It was close early on but I was more impressed with Mays at the beginning.

However, the workout eventually moved toward White's strengths and away from Mays. When defense, power play and toughness were tested White left everyone else behind. I don't remember how many times Mays had to pick himself up off the court in the last 30 minutes but it was at least 3 times and probably more. White treated him like a rag doll when he got in his way. White found the range on his shots as the workout went on and Mays' shot seemed to become more erratic the more fatigued he became.

If there was one drill that really set White's power apart from any other player I have seen slotted for the 28th pick it was near the end. In this drill the player had to hit the ball of the backboard twice before starting a full court break. Every player that did this drill tapped the ball off the glass and then took off running. White nearly put the ball through the backboard. BOOM, BOOM came the echo after each touch and still White was in control enough to make a clean pass and haul down the court to finish the break. It got everyone's attention even more so since it occurred so late in a very physical workout.

D.J. White has holes in his game. He showed almost no ability to separate from a defender with the ball, his outside shot has a range to at best 17 ft and he isn't an explosive leaper. However he is strong. Not just because he threw Mays to the court. Honestly a lot of people could have done that. No White's strength revealed itself more at the end of endurance drills. White had the strongest dunks to end the one minute drills that I have seen so far.

I don't know if he is going to be the player Memphis takes at 28 but he is definitely the most qualified candidate we have seen in Memphis so far for that spot.

James Mays didn't have a bad workout. He just didn't have a good one either and where he is weak, Memphis is weak so I don't seem him being a good fit. Mays is thin, athletic and very fast, but was too weak to hold his position in the lane when people got a body on him. His outside shot was nice but nothing to be awed about. He will probably go in the mid to late 2nd round and spend a year in the NBDL before heading to Europe for a nice career. I don't see him contributing in the NBA unless he gets a lot stronger or increases his ball skills on the perimeter. And as so many far more intelligent people than myself have said, if he doesn't have it now, it is most likely that isn't going to be something he develops later.

Brian Butch was deadly from outside. He has pretty close to NBA three point range, was automatic from 15-20 feet and showed a willingness to work very hard and a nice basketball IQ. However, he is slow and non-athletic. I don't like my 6-11 center's best move being a step back three point shot. Call me old fashioned I guess, but I want my center to be a bruiser. He had a couple of inches at least on both White and Mays yet it was White not Butch who made the impressive blocks during the workout. Butch can probably play European ball and find a nice career in some of the less physical leagues but I saw nothing that made me think he will be anything except a late 2nd rd pick who won't make it out of training camp. I could be wrong but I don't think so. I actually thought a few times during the workout that he may have a better career coaching than playing.

White clearly showed something missing from previous workouts with 28th picks including Joey's workout. White has a real nasty streak to him. He is skilled (what else would you expect coming out of 4 years at Indiana) but he also likes contact. I don't know if White will end up being the Grizzlies pick with the second draft spot. Honestly I don't know if he will be available with that pick but if he is then there ought to be a lot of serious consideration about making him a Grizzlies draft pick.

In other news Chris Wallace confirmed the Grizzlies are planning on working out Danillo Gallinari and Brook Lopez this weekend when on the West Coast. He also mentioned that the team is trying to get Eric Gordon in for a workout but have so far been unsuccessful getting a date set.

BallHype: hype it up!


Scott Sargent said...

Great update on White. He's a beast that could have a decent future once he fills in the gaps.

What are the odds that Gordon AND White go to Memphis? Conley wanted to play with Oden, so these two look like they could do just that...

Chip Crain said...

Eric Gordon has tentatively agreed to work out with the Grizzlies but no date has been set. Chris Wallace has said repeatedly that he has no problem drafting a player that he hasn't worked out however. I believe the chances of drafting Gordon go up if it appears the Grizzlies will not re-sign Navarro.

Anonymous said...

DJ White is my sleeper in the draft. He's going to make some team very happy and be a quality backup big man in this league for a decade. There is a lot to like about his game. Good to hear he's done well in his workout here in Memphis.

I've said it before, he reminds me of a post-injury Antonio McDyess. The McDyess that Detroit got. DJ White is very capable.

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