Bits from Utah Jazz Draft Workout: Scottie Wilbekin, Sam Dower Jr. and Melvin Ejim
** On the workout
We brought in some guys today that we wanted to take a look at, not necessarily maybe for the draft, but just to get a better feel for, as players and as people. So, I thought the guys came in, they tried to push through the workout. We had a couple conversations with ’em about finishing strong, playing hard, and overcoming the tightness in their chests. So, I think they all did a pretty good job of that.
** What was your assessment of Sam Dower Jr.?
Sam understands the Jazz culture. So, he’s had conversations with John [Stockton]. John has told him what to expect here. Again, I think Sam is in shape. Sam worked hard. He shot it better than I thought he was gonna shoot it outside, with the 3-point shooting. He still has a long ways to go and he’s got a lot of work to do, but he plays hard. He’s a fairly intelligent player.
** How much do you worry about a guy’s weight at this point in the draft process?
We worry about it. But we also try to figure out why guys are in better shape now than they were in college. And that’s a concern of ours also, understanding that why weren’t they in shape in college and trying to get in shape now coming into the NBA. So, it’s a concern if they’re overweight, if their body fat’s a little high, but we talk about it. We ask them about it, and then we make suggestions to ’em.
** Is there greater responsibility on you for the draft pick without a head coach in place?
Well, the head coach always has some input into who we draft, but the final decision is always made by our GM. In that case, this year it’s Dennis Lindsey, with Justin [Zanik] and myself having strong opinions, so, on who we should draft. So, but the coach, head coach always has an input. But we always try to get the best available player.
** Did you get to talk to everyone you wanted to talk to at the Chicago draft combine?
No, we missed out on a couple guys. Hopefully we’ll get ’em in…We missed [Jabari] Parker, we missed [Joel] Embiid, we missed [Andrew] Wiggins.
** Was college roommates with Erik Murphy
** Comment on the altitude
Altitude was a little bit different up here. It took awhile to get used to, but I feel like the workout went good.
** What were you trying to show today?
Probably my defense, just show that I can play defense and pressure up, like, full-court and half-court. And just talk, lead, talk on defense.
** What can you add to this team?
I think I could add solid defense, steady point guard, and someone who can be a leader on and off the court.
** Do you know any of the history of the Utah Jazz?
Yeah, I mean, the Stockton and Malone era, everybody knows about that. And, I mean, that’s pretty much it, I guess.
** First workout
** Has lost 15 lbs. since the end of the season
** What do you feel like you showed the Jazz, and are you in shape?
I definitely showed I’m in shape. I showed ’em that I could, you know, shoot the jumper as well, consistently knock that down all the way to the NBA 3-pointer. And yeah, and I showed confidence as well, passing ability also as well.
** Did you talk to David Stockton about working out for the Jazz?
I actually texted him. I texted him the night before to tell him I’m working out for the Jazz, [told him] “Tell your dad.” He was like, “Yeah, you better bring your lunch pail and hard hat.”
** On his interaction with John Stockton during his college career
Just playing with David Stockton, and also having his dad there to, you know, give me pointers and tips during my whole collegiate career really helped me elevate my game.
** First workout
** Has talked to Diante Garrett about the workout
** What were you looking to show during the workout?
You know, just being versatile. Being able to knock down perimeter shots, and you know, do different things defensively and offensively. So I’m just trying to compete, trying to go out, be vocal, and just work hard. I think I was able to do that.
** Any memories come back about your last trip to Utah?
Yeah, I mean, I didn’t want to say anything, but I hope the people of Utah have forgiven me. But you know, it was, it’s been good. I’ve had a great reception here, and I think that, you know, that’s in the past. And it was something that happened, and you know, I apologized for it and moved on. But you know, I think even after that situation, a lot of BYU fans, you know, forgave me and were great about it. So, I put that in the past and moved on.
** What part of your game are you trying to highlight in workouts?
Just being able to shoot the ball well. I think one of the knocks on me was that people didn’t think I could shoot it as well. Just going out there, trying to shoot as best as I can. Showing that I can shoot from the NBA three consistently, and I can be a knock-down shooter as well as, you know, improving defensively in ball-screens. But just working on my overall game. I think I’ve come a long way in this four years, and I have a long way to go.
Other players that worked out for the Jazz with no interviews made available: Niels Giffey, Jake Odum and Jerrelle Benimon.