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Bits from Walt Perrin Interview, 6/19

June 20, 2014
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Mental ability and readiness vs. physical ability and readiness
You know, we don’t want great athletes who are not very smart, who don’t, can’t remember plays, who don’t know where to be on the court during the action. So we’re looking at guys who have some basketball intelligence, also have basketball skills. So that’s the perfect package that you’re trying to look for.

So, in terms of, if you want [to] rate one over the other, I think we would probably go more with intelligence than athletic skill.

How do you measure a player’s mental capacity and readiness to play at the next level?
Well, that’s why we go out and watch ’em play games live. That’s why we look at a lot of tapes on ’em. That’s why we, hopefully, we can get ’em in, whether it’s here for a workout or in Chicago at the combine, sit down with them for an interview session.

See how they think, see how quick they react to questions we may ask them, how long it may take them to formulate a good answer. It’s all part of it.

And I would also say, guys who [can think the game], they can overcome some of the lesser athletic skills that they have, but those who have great athletic skills that can’t think the game, don’t last long in the game.

Do you have concerns about Julius Randle’s foot?
This year’s group was, there’s a lot of things on our medical reports from a lotta players. Is there major concern with most of ’em? No. Is there a concern with some of ’em? Yes.

And again, you know, with the HIPAA laws, I can’t really talk about any individual player, although the question I asked yesterday was, was I concerned about his ankle? No, I wasn’t, because our doctors have told us he’s gonna be fine.

On feet and bigs, in regards to Joel Embiid
I think, with feet, with anybody, you don’t know, you know, you’re talking about big guys may have a little bit more weight on their body and on their feet.

I think with feet, it’s a concern. Feet and knees are big concerns with any of the players because that’s what they have to utilize to get up and down the court to jump for a rebound, to jump in terms of getting off their jump shot.

So I mean, any time you have that, it’s a concern and you have to really trust your doctors and have your doctors be able to take a look at it and try to have a pretty good decision in terms of where, how bad the injury may affect him not only right away, but in the future.

What were your conversations with Marcus Smart’s agent like?
[He said] he’ll go back and talk with the player and maybe talk with the family, maybe talk with another advisor or somebody else within their organization…

We’ve done a great job of doing a lot of background information on him. We had an opportunity to speak with Marcus in Chicago. We’ve watched a lot of tape. I’ve been to a few games. We all, the whole franchise has probably seen him play live eight to 10 times. So, we’ve got a good feel for Marcus.

We would’ve loved to have got him in here in Salt Lake. Sometimes we, I’m able to do that. Sometimes I’m not. But it doesn’t affect how we feel about Marcus. It doesn’t affect whether or not we’ll take him at five if we think he’s the best player.

What is your evaluation of Dante Exum keeping the level of competition he’s played against in mind?
I watched him in Hoop Summit, watched him at Under-19. The guys he played with in the Hoop Summit game were people by the name of Andre Wiggins*, it’s Joel Embiid. The guys he played against was Julius Randle, the twins from Kentucky [Andrew and Aaron Harrison]. So, he’s played in some high-caliber competition, and we had an opportunity to see that.

The one problem with Dante is we don’t have a lot of information in terms of watching him and tapes of him playing outside of those international competitions…What you’ve gotta do, again, is do a lot of background on him, which, we had a nice little interview with him in Chicago. You get as much stuff you can in terms of watching him play in games.

I, we’ve got the information of, again, myself, and a lot of the Jazz people saw him at the Hoop Summit. Myself and Rich Sheubrooks, who’s our international guy, saw him in the Under-19 in Prague for a full, I think, week or 10 days and probably saw him play four or five games. So, we’ve got some information on Dante, so we’re not overly uncomfortable with him in terms of knowing him.

* People calling Andrew Wiggins “Andre”: Walt Perrin

What did you see from Exum in those games you watched?
He was one of the better players at Hoop Summit, when he played against all the guys who are basically in this year’s draft, a lot of guys in this year’s draft. He’s got great speed with the ball. He handles it well. He’s got, he’s not a bad shooter.

Naturally, he’s not very strong, so he’s gotta get a lot stronger for our level. And like most freshmen, in his case, he’s a, he’s just kinda straight out of high school, there’s a lotta things he’s gotta learn and a lotta things he’s gotta get a lot better at to be able to step on the court to play at the NBA level.(1280)



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