Bits from Utah Jazz Draft Workout: Fuquan Edwin, Justin Cobbs, Travis Bader, Josh Huestis, Cameron Clark and Joe Jackson
** First workout; has one more scheduled on the 30th
** First time in Utah
** Where are you most NBA-ready?
[Spot-up shooting], and you know, just bring 100 percent effort every game. You know, and just playing hard on defense. That’s something I’m known for.
** What do you think of Utah? (Comment on altitude)
I like it. You know, my best friend Shaq Thomas, he played out here at Colorado. He told me that I won’t be able to breathe as well, but I think I’m handling it well.
** What were you trying to highlight today?
I mean, as a senior and as a, you know, a upperclassman, you want to always show leadership. Always show that you coming in in shape. Your attitude. And then, just come in and work hard. You know, make plays and at the point guard, I want to get my teammates involved. Show I can get in the paint, and also defend. I take, you know, pride in my defense and that’s something, you know, that carries on. You know, offense always can fall off, fall on, but defense is something that wins games.
** Where do you need to improve?
I think just knock down the jumper consistently. I think today I shot the ball really well. Made shots, but just, I mean, going forward you always want, you can always get better at shooting. You know, just repetition, repetition, and that’s what Imma keep working on.
** On the draft workout process
This is like a job interview. You’re going in, you’re putting forth your bet, best effort and hopefully a team likes you. So you know, it’s just something different, ’cause you don’t know if a team likes you. You don’t know what they’re looking for. But I mean, it’s all in God’s hands. You just go out there, put forth your best effort and you know, everything, your work ethic, and everything else’ll take care of itself.
** Dead giveaway that Bader is white (even if you have no idea what he looks like):
First question he was asked was “Usually we ask guys what they were trying to show off, and I think we all know what you were trying to show off here today.” –> which means shooting –> which means he’s white.
** On meeting Jerry Sloan
It’s exciting. You know, you see him in the stands, and he’s watching you play, and obviously you want to do your best, but I just really just wanted to go up there and introduce myself. Obviously, he’s a legendary coach, so just to be in his presence is something special.
** Did you ever think of transferring schools?
I knew it was an option. I graduated in three years, so I knew if I wanted to, I could transfer somewhere and play right away. But you know, Oakland’s been my home. They’re my only Division I scholarship offer, and ever since I was a kid my dream was play Division I and get to the NBA. A lot of schools, you know, didn’t offer me. A lot of people saw me as a preferred walk-on at Division I schools, and Oakland was ones who believed in me, and had that confidence [in me], and you know, I just wanted to stay loyal to them and show them that I had their back like they had mine.
** First workout
** What are your strengths?
Teams are expecting me to come in and be a defender. That’s what I’m known for: defense…hustle guy, hard worker, have a good motor.
** You played center in high school. How has your offensive game changed?
Oh man, it’s night and day…Before I got to college, I never stepped outside the paint. Got to college, long transition to the three but it’s coming along really well. I mean, my ball-handling has gotten better and it can even get more, it can even get tighter. So, my shooting’s gotten a lot better, and again, that’s something I can keep improving. So I mean, for me, I think I haven’t even, you know, touched where I could be in a couple years.
** Who do you know in Salt Lake?
My uncle lives here…It would be great to, you know, great to be close to him.
Is he a Jazz fan?
You know, I was actually talking to him. He’s known as the Jazz hater. I guess he wears, like, a Lakers jer–he’s just a big Lakers fan. He moved up here just a couple years ago. But I think if I ended up here, he would convert.
** First workout
** What did you try to showcase today?
Just really, at the defensive end. Starts with the defense. Just show that I’m a lock-down defender. I bring enthusiasm, you know, to my teammates. And just show that I’m a shot maker. I come in, make shots and get stops, run transition. That’s what I’m here for.
** What position would you play in the NBA?
Wherever they need me. Two; three; I can guard the four-man. It’s, whatever, man. I feel like I can do it all.
** Where has your game improved?
Just mainly working on my defense, ball-handling and 3-point range. A lot of people said I couldn’t shoot the ball from three, but I feel like I showed them this year that I can stretch the floor, and also use my jump shot ability and my athleticism to get to the rim.
** How did the workout go?
It went very good. You know, to get a chance to compete against these players in front of, you know, all the scouts and Coach Sloan, I think it was just a great thing. We did a lot of testing [and] a lot of performance training, so I think it was just a great first workout for everybody that was here.
** Which skill(s) were you able to showcase today?
I feel like I shot the ball well. Shot the ball well in the shooting drills. Even in the weight room…at our school, we didn’t lift a lot, so I was able to lift 185 five or six times, so I think that’ll help too, ’cause that showed that I’m strong. And just, you know, the vertical testing, I did pretty good in that. Just, I think I did, I kind of, like, beat the odds with a lot of stuff.
** What kind of NBA player do you see yourself being?
I’m more like a attack guard. You know, I can, you know, coming into the league, I can be a guy that can, you know, that get everybody the ball. You know, space out to the right spots and get my shots. You know, however they come, attack, keep the pressure on the defense by pushing the ball up the floor. But you know, years into the league, I can become more of a designated scorer and you know, big-time, you know, talent in the league. I just, you know, you gotta get your foot in the door, get your feet wet, and find your niche in the league first before you can do all that.
** Would you be impressed by a guy that trains specifically for the altitude?
Well, that depends on how well he did in his workout. You know, if he fell out, no, it wouldn’t impress me at all. I knew he wasn’t doing any kind of work. But if he went through it without, I mean, the one guy, who in the past, who’s come in here and was going as hard as he was at the end as he was in, at the beginning of the workout, and wasn’t breathing hard, was David Lee. And he, you know, he worked out at sea level. So he was in just absolutely great shape. Now, if we can find those in the workouts we have today and the ones we’ll have in the future, we’d be impressed with that.
** How do you cut through agent prep during player interviews?
The background intel that we have on ’em. We’re trying to see if they’re really telling us the truth or if they’ve been prepped by the agents. We know they are, for the most part. But we just get, wanna get a chance to know ’em a little bit better and see how they interact with us when we ask questions, if they’re canned answers or if we feel they’re truthful answers. And then again, with the background. We’ve got a pretty idea, pretty good idea who they are and what they’ve done in the past…Of course, you know, the more money we have to spend, the more intel we try to get.
** San Antonio has had a lot of success with late picks. Has Dennis Lindsey brought a different approach to the draft process?
I think if you looked at what we’ve done in the second round in the past, we’ve done pretty well without Dennis coming in. Dennis has enhanced, bringing in more players. He’s enhanced in terms of trying to get a better feel for ’em in terms of background information. So I think we’ve done very well in the past with second-round players.