NBA predraft camp: Day 1 (cont.)
Speaking of mock draft mysteries, BYU sensation Jimmer Fredette rules this roost when it comes to being enigmatic.
He captivated the country with his incredible scoring ways (28.9 points per game last season), but is well aware that concerns about his ability to defend NBA players and whether his offense will translate to the pros are hurting him. He plans on chipping away at those perceptions in the next month.
"I'll play one-on-one, two-on-two, three-on-three [in the individual team workouts drills that start soon]," Fredette said. "Even today we did some one-on-one stuff and I was able to show I can play some pretty good defense. I thought I did a very good job just staying in front of my guy and forcing him to the baseline and making him shoot jump shots and then contest them. I think that's what [NBA executives and scouts] want to see.
"You've got to seize the moment and show them that 'Hey, maybe he can play some defense.' There's definitely a perception, and when you get a stereotype it's hard to get rid of that stereotype until they go out and they see it for themselves. I think that's what these workouts present in these combines and when I go out to the teams. ... I'm looking forward to showing them that I'm a complete player."
Fredette's first interviews came with Milwaukee (No. 10), Portland (No. 21) and Miami (No. 31, first pick of the second round), and he said his first workout scheduled is on June 2 with New York (No. 17).
With so many premier players bypassing drills at predraft camp in recent years, the interviews have become an even more important part of this process for teams looking for an edge.
And according to Fredette, the technological aspect of those sessions has been ramped up as well. When he met with the Trail Blazers, he was handed an iPad and asked to take a character test of sorts.
"[It asked] what personality traits do you have, and you click the ones that people think, and the ones that you think [of yourself]," Fredette said. "It's just to see what you're like off the floor. They ask about family, childhood, what you would do in certain situations, do you consider yourself a point guard or a 2-guard?
"They just ask you questions to see what your confidence level is, and how you interview, they want to see what type of person you are, if you're confident and if they think you can be a leader."
UCLA small forward Tyler Honeycutt said he tried to "show some personality" and keep the mood light, but the player projected anywhere from the mid/late-first or second round was stumped by a question that came during his interview with Cleveland.
"They asked who you would choose if I had to pick between your girlfriend and your dog," said Honeycutt, who met with seven teams on Thursday, including the Cavs (Nos. 1 and 4, plus two second-round picks), Philadelphia (No. 16, one second-round pick) and the Lakers (four second-round picks). "I just didn't even answer. I said I couldn't answer that. It's too hard to pick."
Tobias Harris has helped his stock by taking his training seriously, as the 6-8 small forward out of Tennessee said his body fat has dropped from 13 percent to eight percent since the end of the season.
His body was already considered NBA-ready, but the leaner look will certainly help when it comes to perceptions about his work ethic.
"A lot of teams have said my body is really changing, and they were impressed with it because one thing coming in is they didn't think I was going to be well conditioned," Harris said. "They thought I was going to be a little heavy, with a lot of pudgy weight. I kind of put that to rest.
"I feel it shows that I'm able to work. I'm not a lazy guy, and I'm going to put a full effort into everything I do in life. I think a lot of people and scouts appreciate that."
Harris, whose first interviews with were Charlotte (No. 9 and No. 19), Washington (Nos. 6 and 18) and Boston (No. 25), made drastic changes to his diet to go from 228 pounds at season's end to his current weight of 223. He was as heavy as 238 pounds during the season while recovering from an ankle injury.
"[I'm] eating a lot of greens and protein, kind of cut the breads out, cut all the sweets I was eating out," Harris said. "I used to eat a lot of candy, [like] Swedish Fish. In my room I would have them all, but I had to put them in a bag and throw them out."
Harris said he expects to be taken anywhere from the "lottery to the early teens or late teens."
Sources say Houston, which has the No. 14 pick, is interested in moving up in the draft. One potential partner might be Sacramento, which is believed to be open to such a move in exchange for impactful veteran help.
While the physical measurements are a key factor at the predraft camp, the results of San Diego State's Kawhi Leonard's unofficial test were as impressive as they come. The 6-7 small forward said he measured his enormous hands recently, and they came in at 11Ż inches from the tip of his pinky to the tip of his thumb (while outstretched). He doesn't have the biggest mitts here, though, as he compared his paws to those of 6-10 Fresno State center Greg Smith and lost by the tip of a fingernail
Irving has a pact with his father, Drederick, that he will finish his degree at Duke within five years of the beginning of his pro career. He completed his courses for his entire freshman year, and plans to return to Duke during the summers for more studies. "I'm going to have to make it work," he said. "I have to up hold [the pact]. I have to. I'm definitely going to be back there during the summer."
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