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Bits from Dennis Lindsey (6/4) and Quin Snyder (6/5) Interviews

June 7, 2015
tags: ,

lindsey

On his presence on Twitter
I lurk and read, but I don’t contribute for a lot of reasons. I’m getting some grief on that.

If the Jazz staff had a 3-point shootout, who is your money on? Is it on yourself?
No, no, I’m old. I’ve got a–

Yeah, but the motion never leaves you, Dennis. It’s that muscle memory. You’ve been shooting all your life.

No, that left ankle is bad. It’s garbage. I can barely get to the rim. People don’t realize until you get up to an NBA line how far that shot is, and how athletic and how good of shape you need to be, and how healthy you need to be.

And in my case, I can be a hack out there, but there’s no question tha–from a 3-point shooting competition standpoint, Johnnie Bryant will be leading the pack. He’s a, he was an excellent shooter at the [University of Utah], and Johnnie’s done a good job of keeping himself fit. So, I’m afraid that contest wouldn’t even be close.

Who you got winning the Finals?
I’d never wor–had the pleasure to work with Steve Kerr, but I got to know him well just through the San Antonio connections.

And David Blatt has actually become a friend of mine as well, just through international travel. And David and the Russian national team practiced at our practice facility to qualify for the Olympics when I was back in San Antonio. So, I’ve become quite fond of him as well.

So I’m going to stay away from who I want to win, and I’m just an interested observer.

I think, I do think Golden State has had the best season, and I think their level’s very high. But I also think that LeBron James’ greatness cannot ever be underestimated, and, ’cause he, along with Kyrie Irving and what has become a very good group of role players for Cleveland that really fit. That mid-season trade, they’re a different team with [Timofey] Mozgov and J.R. Smith and even [Iman] Shumpert.

So I think it’s gonna go seven. And I think if you looked at the numbers, they would tell you that Golden State would be the favorite there. (700)

snyder

On his summer vacation
We went down to Florida for a little while. My wife’s family is down there, and did the obligatory trip to Disney with the kids, which, I’m not sure that was a vacation, that, for those of you that have done that. I wasn’t aware of what I was getting into, but it was fun.

How good can Rudy Gobert be, and how much of that is up to him and how much is up to you?
I think it’s a partnership, you know? I think, you know, I think one of Rudy’s assets is he’s, his intelligence, you know, so you know, he needs to take ownership of his development. We need to work with him, ’cause i–you know, it’s his game, and it’s our team, and it’s his team. So I think the thing that, you know, it really is a partnership.

The thing that you get excited about with Rudy, frankly, to me, is, in addition to his intelligence and obviously his physical gifts, is his competitiveness. So, I think he’ll improve. I think you’ll see him — it’s a little bit like our team, though. We don’t, you know, Rudy’s got time. He’s gonna develop but I think it’s a question of getting a foundation and taking one step at a time.

You know, you saw what he did with his free throws last year. You know, I think he’ll continue to — you saw what he did with his passing. His body’s gonna get better. So, Rudy’s got so many areas where he’s capable of improving that it’s exciting, but it’s hard to do ’em all at once. And I don’t want him to get ahead of himself with that.

You know, a lot of the specific things he needs to improve on, the most important ones have to do him performing for our team in the game, and fortunately I think those things are lined up pretty frequently.

Is all that true for Dante Exum as well?
I almost said that when you — when I was talking about it with Rudy, and I think it’s very true. It’s maybe, in some ways, a little harder for Dante because of the position that he’s playing, and you know, what he’s asked to do for other people on the floor.

We’re, you know, he’s back right now. We’ve been in the gym. I think we’ve got some, pretty rigorous schedule for him, with shooting separately from a lot of his playing, you know, just the general skill work. And he’s working on his body, and you know, he’s had a really good couple weeks.

And we got committed guys, you know? That’s part of the reason you don’t wanna just say, oh, you know, “We gotta go find this today,” because I think, I got a lotta faith in our guys’ ability, and it’s just, to work and get better, and until we see that that’s not the case, I think it’s wise for us to keep believing and grinding on the guys we got, as long as they’re as committed as we want them to be.

Were you satisfied with what you saw from Gordon Hayward and Derrick Favors this past year?
You know, unequivocally I want more. I mean, I’m absolutely thrilled with the year they had, just because of the way they went and got it. They bought in; they were committed; they worked. But I think both of them have a chance to take some steps.

I mean, it may not be as obvious because, you know, it gets to a point as a player where those incremental gains become harder. But I think both of those guys can take steps. I think, I’d like to think that this off-season for them is gonna be different than previous off-seasons they’ve had…

I think we’ll start to get really specific about the things where they can really, you know, make the most progress to. (1280)

Bits from Randy Rigby Interview, 6/3

June 6, 2015
tags: , ,

rigby

Things that are literally happening in Jazzland
** On the Jazz’s draft workouts
These are some of the top collegiate players, that are fighting and giving their all, to, now, try to make it to a different level, and literally, not e–only to be considered maybe in a top draft pick, but even just to be, having the opportunity to make it and be invited to a summer league, and a veteran league, and make it to that next level, and it just reinforced to me, the talent level that we’re dealing with on this, at this level, with, and with this league. It’s very impressive.
** On the importance of getting draft picks right, as shown by the Golden State Warriors
It’s critical. It’s, and particularly for, well, for all teams. But for ourselves, you know, for smaller markets or for emerging markets, and I would clount* Golden State as one of those emerging markets. He–I, literally, having, you know, quite a dry spell of being able to make the playoffs until, as of late. And now, to see them growing, it shows you how critical it is to really not only have the picks, but able to pull the right trigger of finding those right players, and then becomes the part that is, you know, is the, almost the secret sauce and the unknown sauce, and that is are those players gonna come together…I take my hats* off to the Warriors. They’ve done a very good job.
* Not a typo
** On whether the Jazz will make any dramatic moves in the next few weeks
Well, that’s one of the key things in, really, as we’ve s–tried to be strategic and looked at, literally, every move that we make, of trying to, and that’s what I appreciate from Dennis [Lindsey], in his mind and his direction, is he looks at every move that we make.
** More on his appreciation for Dennis Lindsey’s mind
We were talking about, really, our selection process, and I really appreciate continually seeing Dennis’ mind and watching how he works, and literally saying, if this is what this player’s value, in my mind, is, if we were to take that value, it means maybe more or less than what our pick might be…And as I look back at the moves that we’ve continued to make, we’ve done that very thing, and that’s what’s been the difference for me, in our continued growth and success, and the steps that we’re making as we’re making not only the right moves, but we’re making sure they’re the right value move for us and getting the maximum out of that value for us.

Andrei Kirilenko officially hung it up yesterday.* When you think back on AK’s career, what comes to mind?
* except he didn’t…

Well, number one, a young man with a lot of talent. He was, to me, one of the early foreign pioneers, in really, the league, in, when you look at some of those, that first wave of international players who came into the league, and I, had blazed a lot of ground, that — I think international players, for many of our organizations, coaches, front offices, is, they were many times misunderstood.

And I know a lot of the misunderstanding that I think had fell onto AK, was a lack of just, the public’s perception of his, and because of how he came across sometimes, that was really, not the intention of AK’s. But even though it was what he said, I, it was not what he necessarily meant. But it then, was, he was branded with some of those things.

Now, having said that, would I have continued to like a little more intensity from Andrei Kirilenko? Yes. I think, again, that’s a little bit of maybe that, the style that he had played in, and underneath, in European basketball, that, again, I think it’s had its growth, and they’ve had ways that they’ve needed to improve, and, as they’ve come in to realizing what the NBA is like. There has been some education there that he’s had to go through.

But you know what, from off the court, you couldn’t find a nicer, kinder individual than Andrei Kirilenko, who really, really did love this community. Really was a gentleman. Really had a good heart, and I think a very respectable career.

We want the great basketball minds to weigh in on this. Who is your all-time NBA starting five?
Well, I’ve gotta give you, you know what, I, there’s a little bias here. But I’ll tell you what. The, my point guard is John Stockton. I could argue with Jerry West, but I’ll tell you what, I’m going with John Stockton…

I’m gonna go with the, my shooting guard, I’m gonna call him a shooting guard, and I’m going with Michael Jordan.

I’m gonna go then with, my center position, I’m going with Bill Russell.

Now, my two forwards, wow. Tha–this gets very interesting for me. Ooooh. I love my Mailman. And I’ve gotta go with a small forward. Hmm. Well, I’ll tell you what. LeBron James is, you know what, I could’ve put LeBron in my “two,” “three” or “four” position.* But I would go with LeBron James, just because, his versatility. (1280)

* UDQM

Utah Jazz Draft Workout: Aaron Harrison and Trevor Lacey

June 6, 2015
tags: , ,

Also working out, but with no interviews posted: Phil Greene IV (St. John’s), Yanick Moreira (SMU), Jaleel Roberts (UNC Ashville) and Dez Wells (Maryland)

harrison2

** Kentucky – G – 6’6 – 209
** Fifth workout
** Comment on the altitude
You gotta get used to the altitude, definitely.
** What do you bring?
Definitely a hard worker. A great scorer, and definitely a winner. I’d do anything to win, and play really hard, so.
** Are you and your brother communicating a lot through this process?
I guess. I mean, we talk, like, once a day, and just see how we, how each other’s doing. Not nothing too much.
** Who was your favorite player growing up?
Allen Iverson, definitely.
** People calling Alec Burks “Alec Burke”: Aaron Harrison

lacey

** North Carolina State – G – 6’3 – 210
** Fifth workout; has six more.
** Comment on the altitude
Had to adjust to the altitude. You know, thin air, hard to breathe a little bit. But once I got adjusted to that, you know, it was all fun…Worked out in a high-altitude mask before, but it’s still not the same as, you know, actually going through a workout.
** What did you want to show today?
My scoring ability. Me handling the ball as a point guard; passing the ball. Just really my all-around game. A lot of people know me for scoring the ball. You know, showing that I can, you know, facilitate and get others involved also.
** Talk about the draft workout process.
Oh yeah, it’s fun, I mean, just because, you know, this is your dream and this what it takes to reach your ultimate goal. It’s a little difficult far as, you know, adjusting to time zones and you know, flying around and then having to wake up the next day for a workout, but you know, you don’t have anything else to do. It’s not like I have class and then workouts and all that. So this is right now, is my, a full-time job and I’m willing to take it on, head-on.
** What do you know about the Utah Jazz?
I know just a little bit. Not that much. I mean, Trey Burke, Alex Burke, the big kid in the middle. That’s pret–the kid that went to Butler. [Gordon] Hayward. Yeah, yeah. Know a little bit about the Jazz, not that much. Young team, up and coming. Know a little history. [John] Stockton and Karl Malone, but other than that, you know, it’s, know some of the younger guys that’s on the team right now.
** People calling Alec Burks “Alex Burke”: Trevor Lacey

507 perrin

** On Aaron Harrison’s workout
He showed the ability to get to the basket, use his size and strength. He did that well. Again, you know, with most kids, gotta figure out ho–you know, how well will they be able to play defense at their position, and he’s got the strength. Gotta work on the quickness, probably…[He didn’t shoot] as well as he, as I thought he was going to shoot. I think he was, I mean, the shots he missed were right on line. He wasn’t off left or right. It was just a little short, just a little bit off, maybe left or right, but a couple went in and out, so. He shot it well during the 3-on-3, but in our Jazz 100, he didn’t shoot as well as I hoped, and I’m sure as well as he had hoped he would’ve shot.
** On Yanick Moreira’s workout
Yanick shot it well from the 15-foot area; competed real well.

Utah Jazz Draft Workout: Pat Connaughton, Kevon Looney and Bobby Portis

June 5, 2015

Also working out, but with no interviews posted: Andre Hollins (Minnesota), Malcolm Miller (Holy Cross) and Deonta Stocks (West Georgia)

connaughton

** Notre Dame – G/F – 6’5 – 215
** Comment on the altitude
The altitude wasn’t as bad as I, you know, expected it to be, as bad as everyone talked it up. So, maybe I was just expecting a little worse, but it was fun. I enjoyed it.
** On basketball vs. baseball
You know, for me, I’m just gonna be basketball 100 percent, you know, from here on out until, you know, I get kicked out of the league or don’t make the league, whatever that ends up being. I think, you know, obviously I have a love for both sports, but you know, when you look at it, you know, with all the time and effort I put into basketball, and you know, the athleticism and stuff you need for basketball is something I, you know, I feel like I have to do first. It’s something I want to do first…If someone was just like, hey, maybe go to Europe for a few years and you know, try to come back in a little while, I think that’s where, you know, I kind of draw the line. That’s where it’d probably be, with having a business degree from Notre Dame, it’s probably be financially unsavvy of me to, you know, just go over there when I can stay here [in the D-League].
** Do you have a relationship with Jack Cooley?
Absolutely. Me and Jack played together for two years. I was just talking to him before the workout. You know, it’s no surprise to me the success that he’s having. I mean, he was always one of the hardest working guys, and it’s just cool to hear, you know, about the Utah Jazz from his perspective being on the team.
** Which NBA player do you pattern your game after?
You know, for me, I think it’s Wesley Matthews. I think, you know, if you look at the way, you know, he kinda came up through the ranks — you know, he even went undrafted. He was a guy that’s about similar size to me. Similar height, similar, you know, weight, and you know, he’s obviously developed his shooting. He’s obviously been able to develop other things. You know, defend, you know, rebound, handle the ball, things of that nature.
** What was it like working with Quin Snyder?
It was fun. I mean, you learn so much. I think, you know, the biggest thing for me is just learning things I can work on my game, and just, you know, working with him for a short period of time, it was amazing the things that I learned.

connaughton tweet

connaughton-snyder

looney

** UCLA – F – 6’9 – 222
** First week of workouts; has eight more
** Comment on the altitude
It was pretty tough. I mean, it was, this is my second time playing here, and the first time I played terrible when I came to Utah. So I did a little better today, this time. But it was, it’s always tough breathing out here, so it was tough to get through the workout but I finished pretty well.
** Which parts of your game do you need to improve?
Everybody wants to, wants you to work on your body. It’s all, whole, enough, different physicality at the next level, and another speed. And they want me to continue to work on my shooting. They want me to be able to stretch the floor out, and space it out for other, for the centers down there. And they want me to be able to defend, so work on my defense.
** What do you know about the Utah Jazz?
I know a lot, actually. I always grew up watching the Western Conference playoffs. I watched the Deron Williams and Carlos Boozer era with Jerry Sloan. They was, always made it to the Western Conference Finals. I know about the John Stockton-Karl Malone, and my dad used to always talk about Adrian Dantley and all them guys back in the day. So, I know a little bit about the Jazz.
** What impressed you about the Utah Jazz coaching staff?
They’re, they really pay attention to detail. They really helped me out a lot on my shooting, it’s, my footwork even in the short time here. So they, they’re really helpful and real good coaches and I improved since I’ve been here.
** Which NBA players do you like to watch?
I like to watch Anthony Davis and Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge, and, just because they’re so good and I’m built sort of like them guys.
** What do the Utah Utes have in store for them against UCLA next year?
I see two losses for the Utah Utes.

portis

** Arkansas – F – 6’11 – 246
** Fourth workout; has eight more. Phoenix before Utah and Detroit after.
** Comment on the altitude
It was kinda tough in the beginning, ’cause you know, the altitude is kinda different from here than Arkansas…but you know, I got through it and I feel like it was a productive day.
** What did you want to show today?
You know, that I’m a competitor, and that, like, I like to go out here and just, you know, play as hard as I can, you know, and then just, like, show my versatility…That, like, I can face up, I can back down people on the block, and you know, I can make a jumper.
** Which NBA player do you pattern your game after?
Three players, actually. I like Kevin Garnett, because you know, he brings that certain edge…I like Tristan Thompson because he’s motivated…I like Chris Bosh because, you know, he always plays off the pick and roll real well.

perrin

** On Kevon Looney’s workout
He did well. He did real well. Matter of fact, he did couple extra drills, in terms of shooting, and he got through them all. So he did real well…He looked like he was moving as well as he ha–he’s always has.
** On Pat Connaughton’s workout
Pat played well. Shot it well. Competed, which he does every day…Before the combine, he played pretty well at Portsmouth too, so yes, he has been building on the way he’s been playing. Been playing better.
** Can Bobby Portis be a stretch four in the NBA?
He has some work he has to do to become a stretch four…Some of it is related to [his shot/stroke/release]. We got to, as a staff, as a coaching staff, they’ve got to take a look at it and see how much it can be worked in terms of changing it, tweaking it a little bit. Probably a little bit of pace also, in terms of his shot.
** On Portis’ defense
He was able to show he can move his feet. He can get, probably, a little bit stronger, but yeah, he showed us some of the things we needed to see.
** On the Looney-Portis matchup, UDQM
Kevon has an advantage in a certain aspect on the floor, and Bobby has an advantage in a different ass–area on the floor.

Utah Jazz Draft Workout: Askia Booker, R.J. Hunter, T.J. McConnell and Nick Paulos

June 4, 2015

Also working out, but with no interviews posted: Gary Bell Jr. (Gonzaga) and Shaquielle McKissic (Arizona State)

booker

** Colorado – G – 6’2 – 175
** First workout
** Comment on the altitude
It affected me just a little bit. I’ve been in L.A. for the most part, so coming back was a little adjustment, but it didn’t take over me. You know, I was just fine.
** What do you bring?
Energy, speed, my athleticism. Disrupting plays, man. I can guard the ball. I can talk on defense. I can knock down the open three. You know, utility guys as of right now. You know, I’m not gonna be asked to be a star player right away. But I’m gonna asked be to, you know, make shots and disrupt plays on defense.
** Talk about chasing your dream.
It’s beyond fun. You know, working out every day; trying to get better at my craft. It’s something you have to cherish, man. Every day’s a blessing, so I try to work out as hard as I can, and get as much rest as I can, and you know, be prepared for these workouts.
** Do you know Alec Burks?
Yeah, I’ve talked to Alec. Actually, he usually comes back to school every now and then and I usually hang out with him when he comes back, so we’re pretty familiar with each other.
Did he have any advice for you?
Stay in shape. That’s his big thing, man. You know, they wanna see somebody that’s conditioned and can, you know, fight through the workout and seem like they don’t have any problem through it. So, stay in shape was the biggest piece of advice.

hunter
** Georgia State – G/F – 6’6 – 185
** Second workout; has seven more in four days. Phoenix got next.
** Comment on the altitude
I felt like I jumped out of a airplane the first five minutes. I didn’t know what was going on. I couldn’t breathe, couldn’t see. I was like, what is this? But you know, it only takes, like, 10 minutes, you know what I mean? It just hits you so fast.
** Do you see yourself as a role player or an All-Star in the NBA?
Absolutely be an All-Star, but I think earlier, of course, rookies don’t get a lot of love. So I gotta come in and do my job, which is make shots. And I think that’s second nature to me, so when I am run off the line, and then when I am, and that’s taken away, I can show my skill set. I think that’s when it’ll open up for me.
** Your release is reminiscent of Ian Clark’s,* which is a scary comp for Jazz fans, and Ian has never found a way to get it off. So are you worried about where your release point is?
* Hunter: Oh, man.
I don’t think so. I’ve got my sh–my three blocked at least four times in my life, you know what I mean, and there’s some–I just have a feel to when I can get it off, you know what I mean…It’s just about how quick you can get it off and have a good shot, you know what I mean, so I don’t think that’ll be a problem. But, I am open if a coach wants me to fix it and he thinks it’ll be better for me, I’m all for that.
** What is the best part of your game that you didn’t get to show today?
Passing. I’m a great passer, and I didn’t get to do that a lot ’cause I was playing on the wing. And I think that’s a underrated — I haven’t heard a lot about that during this whole process, and I think I’m a unbelievable passer.
** Is there an NBA player you compare yourself to?
Comparable, no. I think I have a super unique game. I pattern my game a lot after Steph Curry. I’ve been watching him since I was, you know, 14 years old. There’s something about his game that was super appealing to me. I don’t know if it was the short little release like I have, or just his demeanor on the court. So I watch a lot of tape on him…So I would say I watch, mostly I’m like guys like Steph Curry and Reggie Miller.
** What’s your biggest concern about the NBA?
Just the lifestyle, you know what I mean? You have so much time on your hands…It’s practice, work out, work on your game. You got 3 o’clock to midnight, what do you do, you know what I’m saying? Just trying to find ways, you know, just to stay out of trouble and just keep my mind focused on everything.
** On his dad’s torn Achilles
He’s got, like, a colorful boot and a cane, so he’s like Pimp Ron right now…He’s old too, so the Achilles will take a little longer than it would for a young guy, but he’s loving it.

mcconnell
** Arizona – G – 6’2 – 188
** Sixth workout
** Comment on the altitude
You know, it hits you for, like, the first 10 minutes, and then you’re used to it. But it’s tough. I’ve been playing here for a couple years. I’m pretty used to it, so just gotta be in good shape or if not, it’s gonna catch you out here.
** What are you trying to show teams?
I’m just trying to be a knockdown shooter. I know people are gonna go under and, with me open, and I gotta keep defense honest and you know, make open shots.
** Do you think your defense and tenacity will carry over into the NBA?
Yeah, it has to. I think that’s part of the reason I’m here. You know, if I lose that, I don’t think I would have a chance. So, it’s, I’ve gotta keep that for as long as I play.

paulos
** UNC Greensboro – F – 6’7 – 185
** First workout
** Comment on the altitude
You know, I grew up here, so I’m accustomed to it a little bit. But I flew back from Greensboro just, earlier this weekend, so I’m still getting a, you know, a little readjusted to it.
** What do you bring?
I’m someone who is gonna come out, and I’m gonna be the ideal teammate and the consummate professional, someone who’s gonna come to work every day ready to get better, and help the team improve. And you know, I think I can positively affe–impact any team with my ability to defend and rebound, and then also space the floor and knock down shots.
** On working out for the Jazz
It’s pretty, it was pretty crazy. You know, growing up in Salt Lake City, I was a huge Jazz fan as a kid, and you know, my family and I were fortunate enough to get to go to some of the games growing up, and you know, it’s kind of a surreal moment to see, you know, “Utah Jazz” across my chest. And to come here and work out is a pretty great experience, and I’m just, you know, really thankful for the Jazz for giving me this opportunity to help a, help me pursue my dream and play the next level, so.
** On meeting Jerry Sloan
I did meet Jerry Sloan. You know, he’s a legend. So you know, whenever you get a chance to meet a guy like that, pick his brain a little bit, it’s a pretty cool opportunity.
Did you have to suppress the fanboy in you?
It’s one of those things where, you know, growing up, seeing him, and it’s pretty cool, but at the same time, you know, you just gotta respect him and understand that, you know, he’s someone that’s done it at the highest level and done it, was one of the best to ever do it…He’s a down-to-earth guy, so it makes it pretty easy.
** Which NBA player do you model your game after?
I wouldn’t say anyone in particular. I know at this stage in my career, I’m watching a lot of film on guys like Klay Thompson, J.J. Redick, Mike Miller — a lotta guys that have had success playing a similar style and s–and I’m trying to incorporate some of the things that they’ve had success doing into my own game, so.

perrin
** On R.J. Hunter’s workout
Saw ability to get the shot off quickly. Saw ability to have NBA range. Saw ability that he can handle the ball. Still has a lotta work he’s gotta do on his game…He has a lotta work he has to do, work on the defensive end…He closes out like he’s in a zone defense versus playing man to man. So, there’s some things he’s really gonna have to work on during the summer, whoever drafts him, in terms of man-to-man defense, and he’s gonna have to continue to work on it in the fall with the vet camp.
Does he need to change his shot?
Personally, I would like to see him maybe raise it up a little bit on his release, because he’s going to be playing against taller, quicker, faster players who can jump also…Other than that, it’s, his finish is good.
** On T.J. McConnell’s workout
He shot it pretty well, which we weren’t sure on. I know his shot has gotten better since he’s been at Arizona last couple years, but he shot it well in our Jazz 100 [shooting drill]…Tough kid, leader. Helps his teammates become better. Will play, try to play as hard defensively as he possibly can.
** On Nick Paulos’ workout
I can’t see everybody, so I didn’t know anything about Nick…He competed, played hard. And I’m not sure what he did with the Jazz 100, but I think he struggled a little bit on his NBA 3-point shooting. Not used to that. Does he belong? I mean, that’s still to be seen. Is he a draftable, for us, draftable player? Probably not.

Utah Jazz Draft Workout: Nedim Buza, Lucas Dias Silva, Tyler Haws, TaShawn Thomas, Sam Thompson and Alan Williams

June 2, 2015
tags: , ,

buza

** Bosnia – F – 6’7 – 190
** First workout; has two more this week and three or four next week
** Comment on the altitude
Actually, it’s kinda heavy breathing here, because it’s, I think it’s higher here than in my country.
** What do you bring to an NBA team?
It’s shooting before everything, but I’m trying to do the, all the things. You know, trying to play defense, rebound, making good plays. So I’m not just want to be a shooter.
** Do you want to come to the NBA right away or spend a few more years in Europe?
I think I will spend a couple of years in Europe. So, if somebody draft me this year, maybe in two, three years, I will come to NBA…I have a buyout.
What would you gain from a few more years in Europe?
I think experience, because I didn’t play in a tough league, you know, in my home country. I want to play in the better league in Europe, maybe Eurocup or Euroleague, and establish myself there as a player, then come to U.S.
** Which NBA player would you compare yourself to?
I’m trying to have my own style, but the guys that I’m looking their games is, like, Gordon Hayward from Utah. Chandler Parsons, Danilo Gallinari. Guys like that.

dias silva

** Brazil – F – 6’9 – 210
** Third workout. Worked out for San Antonio and Houston before Utah. Headed to Dallas, Portland and a mini-camp in Italy next.
** On the workout
So, it was really intense, from the start, throughout all the measurements and everything, it was really intense. It was a lot of fun. It was a good workout.
** How has the language barrier affected your workouts?
He says that it’s difficult when there’s nobody there to translate for him and he’s just gotta keep his head up and think positive thoughts, that it helps when there’s someone there. He hasn’t had as many people there to help him, but that he keeps his head up and he’s still able to get through it, and basketball’s a universal language.
** Who has he relied on to help him through this process?
So, he has a friend named George [“Georginho” Lucas Alves de Paula] who’s on his team, his national team, that he works out with in Brazil, and they’re going through this right now. He’s actually on another team today. And so, they talk back and forth about their experiences and everything, and it’s been really cool, is what he says.

haws

** BYU – G – 6’5 – 195
** Third workout. Has worked out for Phoenix and Dallas; headed to Los Angeles (Lakers), Golden State, Memphis and Brooklyn next
** What did the Jazz want to see from you?
You know, there’re certain things I’m trying to prove. I’m trying to prove that I can score from the 3-point line. You know, I, my game’s kind of the mid-range game, but I’m a scorer and I believe I can help any team score. And trying to prove that.
** Are teams looking at you as a “one” or a “two”?
I think I’m a two, but I, you know, the NBA game, you have to be able to handle the ball, and so many teams use the ball screen. And so, I’m getting more and more comfortable every day with that, and hopefully I can be a threat from there.
** On questions about his ability to defend bigger perimeter guys
Yeah, I think there are some questions. Guys want to see that out of me, but you know, my workouts so far, I feel like I’ve proven that and I’ve tried to build my body the right way so I can be moving laterally quick, and be strong that way.
** How did your career at BYU prepare you for this opportunity?
You know, a lot of guys will look at a four-year person in college as a negative thing, and I don’t think so. I wouldn’t trade my experience at BYU for anything, and I feel like I’m NBA-ready, you know, mentally and physically, and I’m confident I can play.

thomas

** Oklahoma – F – 6’8 – 240
** Comment on the altitude
[There was] a lot of running. It was just kinda crazy, ’cause of the air. You know, kinda hard to get used to, but as you get your second wind, you know, it kinda, you know, you get back to how you are, and you’re good and y–it’s not really a big problem.
** Who do you model your game after?
I’m very versatile. That’s my skill. You know, I can dribble the ball a lot better than a lot of guy–I can push in transition, you know, find, make plays for guys. I can pass really well. And a lot of people that say I play like, is, a lot like Draymond Green. You know, that’s what I get compared a lot, it’s, through the draft process.
** What do you know about the Utah Jazz?
I know that the team’s very young. You know, they got a lotta guys that, I think the last year, they had a lot of injuries, I think, I’m not sure. But I know they got a lotta young guys, and I think I fit in well ’cause, you know, I’m willing to learn and learn from the guys that just basically got done doing what I’m gonna have to do in this next year. So, I think I’ll fit in very well.
** Talk about this process.
It’s fun, but at the same time, you gotta be on your toes. You know, like, it’s fun getting to go, you know, to all these facilities [and] seeing John Stockton’s name, you know, Karl Malone name, and a thing like that. You know, every team has their stars. So you know, it’s fun getting able to see that, but when you get out here, you still gotta handle your business. You know, you can’t ha–you can’t take your eyes off the prize.

thompson

** Ohio State – F – 6’7 – 200
** What do you bring to an NBA team?
You know, right now, I think that I’m a top-level defender. You know, obviously I have to learn the NBA game and the tricks of the trade, but I think my biggest asset right now would be on the defensive edge. You know, I think that I’m a versatile defender, can guard multiple positions. I really make it difficult for guys on the offensive end. And on the offensive side of the ball, you know, I continue to make strides with my jumper. Continuing to make plays. Just use my athleticism to make a difference.
** How did Tyler Haws do?
Did well. You know, he was, he has kind of a unique game. He could score in, you know, in a lot of ways. He has the wild-leg runners, the fadeaway off one leg, stuff like that. So, he’s a good player. He did well today. He competed hard. He played hard. He did his thing.

williams

** UC Santa Barbara – C – 6’8 – 261
** Do you feel comfortable defending outside the paint?
Yes. I’m a really quick learner, so anything that they teach me, I can pick up pretty fast. And I’m pretty confident with the work that I’ve put in in this pre-draft process to kinda move laterally more quickly and to be able to defend those guards out there for short periods of time, so.
** What’s your shooting range now and where do you think you can extend it to?
About 15 to 17 feet now, and I think that’s right where they want it to be. They don’t want those long twos anymore. They say that’s the worst shot in basketball…So I’m knocking down that 15- to 17-foot-range jumpshot with confidence. And who knows, maybe someday the 3-point line, but I’m not too worried about that right now in this pre-draft process. Just really worried about knocking down that 15- to 17-foot jumpshot so I can keep the defense honest.
** How comfortable are you defending a 6-10, athletic player?
I feel extremely comfortable. I feel like my physicality can really give guys fits, no matter how tall they are. And I think that I can box them out or push them away from the basket on that second shot attempt to get that defensive rebound.

perrin

** On Tyler Haws’ workout
I have no problems or concerns that he can shoot the NBA three. He shot a few at BYU…[It] would be extremely tough [for him to guard 6-6 or 6-8 guys on the perimeter]. I’m more worried about somebody at 6-4, 6-5 for him right now, trying to defend…There’s been maybe a little bit of concern that he’s a little bit older than normal seniors, so there’s maybe less of a life span in terms of his career…Tyler’s not a very vocal player, and sometimes at 2-guard, you don’t expect that. You like to see that more with the point guards. But you know, he was vocal. He was helpful with his teammates. But you, yeah, you would, one of Quin [Snyder]’s biggest things with our team is communication, so we like guys who like to talk, and that’s what I’m looking for.
Do you see him as a one or a two?
Two.
How about his ability to stay in front of twos?
Needs to work on it.
What’s keeping Haws from being a draftable player, if that’s the case?
Well, I think, again, some teams will look at age. Some teams will look at size. He’s not very big for a 2-guard. Not very long for a 2-guard. But everybody’s looking for shooting, so if teams look at Tyler and think he can play the two and guard the two, then he’ll get an opportunity.
** On Sam Thompson’s workout
Sam, unfortunately, tweaked a muscle somewhere during practice, so he wasn’t his, 100 percent throughout the whole workout. Struggled a little bit on his 3-point shooting, but I think his injury hurt — it was bothering him a little bit. He needs to work on his shooting. That’s a concern going into, or [while] watching him this year, and it’s still a concern.
** On Nedim Buza’s workout
I agree with his assessment [that he would benefit from a few more years in Europe]. I think it would help him more playing in a higher level. He’s got some skills. He’s a very intriguing player. So, he’s probably correct in his assessment of himself, which is good to hear.
What makes him intriguing?
He’s not a bad shooter. He does a good job of preparing for his shot. He’s not a bad athlete. And he’s a young kid, so he’s got growth.
** On Alan Williams’ workout
He didn’t do a bad job tonight, or today, excuse me, with going against TaShawn, in terms of movement. So, it looks like he may be able to [guard on the perimeter]…His offensive game has always been basically back to the basket. If I remember right, I think he shot pretty well with our big-man shooting. Didn’t do many threes, but…he showed his touch.

Discovered: The Asian Dennis Lindsey

June 1, 2015

asian dl s

Previous discovery: The White Kobe Bryant.

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Bits from Dennis Lindsey Interview, 5/29

June 1, 2015

lindsey

On the work Rodney Hood has put in so far this summer
Yeah, he needs to calm down and save his best basketball for May and June.

So, no, we’ve, I’m on the Internet, and I’ve, every so often I’ll get a Twitter update or a Vine video of Rodney making his pull-up. I’m as interested as anybody to see his work and progress, and he’s great people…

Frankly, Quin [Snyder] and I both challenged him defensively when he came in, and he was much better defensively his rookie year than we thought he would be. So, you couple that with his size and ability to pull up, and he’s a good passer. We have high hopes for him.

* The point of this quote is this: DL says he’s on Twitter. Back in December 2013, he was asked about joining Twitter and his response was:

You know, I’ve been told by media experts that maybe I should consider that, and you know, typical me, I’m deliberate in making decisions. So it has been something that has been under consideration for awhile, to reach out and make it more personable…

I think you have to [consider it] in today’s age. I don’t think you ever want to look where you’re not technology-savvy or, you know, in some cases, old-school, and not hip. But you know, I, there, it, you know, there are certain parts of the Twitter that obviously would worry, you know, someone in my position.

What can Gordon Hayward get better at?
He and Johnnie Bryant really worked hard at lowering his level off the dribble when he’s breaking through the line of the defense, and dropping his hips, and all the finishes that come out of those situations…

There’s some situations that Quin put him in that, it was a very good vision. You know, Quin had some thoughts and studied him, and turned out he was right. So, I think we can capitalize on Quin knowing him a little bit better after a year with experience.

But closing games, I think, is, Gordon being safer, more fundamentally sound during the last five minutes. We played a lotta close games, and if our defense can hold up and we can build around our unique size and length and youth and mobility and character, then by definition you’ll play a lot of close games.

And so, Gordon and Derrick [Favors] are by definition, again, going to have to be really good closers for us to win our fair share of those games.

What’s going on with Dante Exum?
Well, he looks real big. In a good way, not in a fat way…I’m not sure about height, but he was doing a couple drills the other day, and he had to hike up his shorts to be able to get down and slide, and he’s just a big — you know, he’s 19, so young man’s probably the best description.

But if you’ve ever been around Dante’s dad, who played at North Carolina, he’s a big guy. And so — his dad played in Australia. And so, if he starts taking on the characteristics of Dad, who knows what his body could look like with some dedicated work over the next two or three years.

But his weight’s up, in a good way. He and Isaiah Wright have been working hard this past week, getting in the gym. He’s been with several of our development coaches working on a variety of things, and then Monday heads out to P3 to get some technical analysis.

Mark McKown and some of our people are out there, and the people at P3 are very anxious to get their hands on Dante and test him and go through the paces. He didn’t get the opportunity to do that last year ’cause of national team commitments.

So, it’s safe to say he’s going — he already is very big for the position, but if he keeps moving in that direction, you know, he could be physically unique, I guess would be the best way to describe it.

Is there a player in the league that’s comparable to where you want Dante Exum to be?
Dante’s a little bit of a conundrum now, ’cause he had a really definitive playing style as a young player, where he is an attacker and a driver. Last year, he deferred to all of our young veterans and was more of a setup guy, but a unique defender.

You know, there’s, the old Seattle Supersonics with Nate McMillan as a defensive point guard, was something that, you know, kinda came to top of mind. And he’s even taller than Nate was. So, you just don’t get guys who are 6-6 that have that length that are able to move the way he can move.

So, I think Dante and Quin both get credit. They quickly found out a way for him to contribute to the team in a positive way on the defensive side of the ball.

And then, you know, we’re gonna have to improve his skillset and clean up a couple things, but there’s frankly nothing that is fundamentally broken…It may be a while, like it was for Gordon or Derrick to be able to lead a team offensively, but there’s no reason why we can’t get there in a few years with him. (1280)

Bits from Walt Perrin Interviews, 5/14 – 5/28

May 29, 2015
tags: , ,

perrin

What is the first thing about a player that catches your eye or that flashes importance to you?
Well, the first thing is naturally the body. So, you just look at the body. You look at the athleticism, and then you, as the game progresses or as they’re in drill situations, you look at their mechanics.

Talk about the difference in draft process philosophy between Kevin O’Connor and Dennis Lindsey.
[Dennis Lindsey] has done it in San Antonio. He’s done it over in Houston, and, in terms of bringing in a lot of players. Especially with us having a D-League team, bringing in a lot of players.

Getting to know players, as people and as players. Looking at players for not only our draft this year; looking at players for the draft for the D-League. Look at possible trade scenarios, maybe down the road in the future. It’s just getting to know more and more information and more and more about what kind of players these people are.

How does the draft process work? Who’s involved?
Well, I arrange to bring in the players. I get, of course, input from our consultants, our college consultants, our people within the office, on who we would like to bring in. But I arrange all the, try to put them together the best possible way. Player versus player that we would, we want to see. It doesn’t always work that way, but sometimes it does come to fruition.

So I put it together. I bring them in. The people involved are the coaches — are on the court with the players — they coach them. They teach them. They put them through the drills. Sitting in the stands is Dennis, Justin [Zanik], Kevin when he’s in town, Coach [Jerry] Sloan when he’s around. Coach [Phil] Johnson comes in every once in a while. And then our media people.

And we just sit there — and Dave Fredman also. We sit there and watch them go through the workout process. We have interviews after our workouts, with the players. And then we’ll talk about each of them right after our interviews with them. Then we’ll usually go into the theater and start watching video tapes of players that may be coming in the future or players we’re thinking about drafting.

After all that is said and done, come the day of the draft or a couple days before the draft, we’ll sit down and we’ll try to prioritize players we like. We’ll try to look at scenarios in terms of who will be where if we want to make a trade…

And then we all get together the day of the draft. We talk it over again and decide on who we like and put them in a list and you know, wait for the draft. And then we take who we think’s the best player for us at that spot.

Do arguments break out? Is it a healthy debate?

Yes. We do have quite a few debates about players…Dennis does a great job of asking questions, making sure that we have a strong feel on who we like and who we don’t like, and why, what are the reasons why.

Who ultimately decides who to draft?

Well, it ultimately comes down to Dennis Lindsey…He listens to everybody. He weighs what we all say. But the final decision is always Dennis.

Which do you value more, years of game tape or interviews/workouts?
Well, I don’t know if you can put one above the other. I think it’s all part of the puzzle, as I’ve always said. The tapes, the live game action, the interviews, the workout if you can get it, the background and intel information that we try to gather on every player — so it’s all somewhat equal in regards to how we look at it.

And if we find out there’s something in that, in one of those pieces of the puzzle that is very glaring to us, then it may become more important.

What does “best player available” actually mean?
The best player available is the best player you think that will — over his career. Not necessarily this statistical year or next year, but over his career. You see growth; you see ability to — you see dedication in his game; you see a desire in him getting better and being able to work with coaches…

You try to find players who will be your core for a number of years and will help you become a, you know, championship-caliber team.

Does how a player will fit into your team matter less the higher your pick is?
No. Again, I think wherever you pick in the draft, whether it’s 1-60, I think you pick the best available player regardless of position. You try to bring in that player ’cause it’s, it gives you an asset in terms of going forward, whether he is with your team or whether or not you can trade him later down the road or trade somebody else at his position down the road, to get better.

Any–the only time you kind of look at position and draft by position is…if players are in a tier, and you’ve got them ranked one through whatever in that tier, that your one and two guys are so close that you might take the No. 2 guy in your tier because he does fit a positional need, versus the No. 1 guy who may be the best pl–available player, but he’s not that much better than the No. 2 guy.

What did Rudy Gobert show during his draft workout?
For us, it’s how well he goes through a workout. How well he pushes through fatigue in a workout, because of the altitude. Rudy came in in great shape. He worked extremely hard throughout our workout. He reacted extremely well. He ran the court well. He did a lot of things that we like to see in workouts, that a lot of times you don’t get the chance to see because guys get tired…

They may, I don’t want to say quit, but they may kind of lay down and not go as hard. They may not be able to push through the fatigue well enough, or hard enough for us. And with Rudy, it was, he was able to do all that, besides showing us, you know, a little bit more offensive skills than we kind of saw when he was in France. (1280, 700, 1320)

Utah Jazz Draft Workout: Dallin Bachynski, Kendall Gray, Hugh Greenwood, Ryan Harrow, Tyler Harvey, and Tyler Kalinoski

May 28, 2015
tags: , ,

bachynski

** Utah – C – 7’0 – 265
** First workout. Will try to play in Europe if NBA doesn’t work out.
** Patterns his game after Dirk Nowitzki
** Comment on the altitude
The one thing that helped me was the altitude, being used to it a little bit and being able to get up and down. But the other guys did a really good job keeping in shape, and it was competitive all day.
** What are the parts of your game you can show NBA teams that you weren’t able to show in college?
I feel like I can shoot better from the perimeter than I was able to this last year. I’m able to shoot a college three, even though coach [Larry] K[rystkowiak] didn’t want me to. We had plenty of guys to do that, so I’m more than willing to hit that 18-footer that was open most of the year for us. I also am able to take the ball a little bit to the rim, dribbling — at least moreso than I did this last year with the ball mostly in Delon [Wright]’s hands and me setting screens for him. So, those are a couple things I know I can do a lot better than I was able to at Utah.
** What has been Larry Krystkowiak’s take on this process for you?
Coach K has been as supportive as he can. He’d always ask me if there’s anything he could do for me. I know that when Utah as well as a couple of other teams have called the coaches, he’s been willing to speak well about me, and just speak the truth about me. Because not only am I a decent basketball player, but I feel like I’m a decent person as well, which makes it a lot easier than having to deal with a, some immature guys or guys that just haven’t dealt with any real struggles in life.

gray

** Delaware State – C – 6’10 – 240
** What do you bring?
I’m definitely a rebounder and a high-energy guy. Just bringing my energy and defensive intensity to the game. You know, sorta like a Tristan Thompson t–like, in a, that’s what I showcase.
** Talk about chasing your dream.
It’s a great feeling. It’s something I always dreamed of. Coming into college freshman year, I seen fellow classmates of different schools, like Kyle O’Quinn, come through the same process from Norfolk City. And I was just like, man, I wanna be like this guy. Like, he’s been doing it. He won a [Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference] championship, which I was unfortunate not to get one. But he definitely set the path, and I’m just, it’s just a dream. I wake up every day, traveling city to city. Like, man, I’m really doing this.

greenwood

** New Mexico – G – 6’3 – 205
** First workout
** Comment on the altitude
Missed some shots. A little bit, I think just a bit of anxious, bit of nerves, bit of this and that; coming back to altitude. But I’m not making excuses. Just, like I said, just had fun.
** Have you talked to Dante Exum or Joe Ingles?
I saw Dante [Exum] walk through. I heard he was out in California but I saw him walk past, so I’ll try and catch up with him. And Joe and I have had a good relationship for a number of years now. So he reached out to me. I told him I was gonna raid whatever he left in his locker, so — he’s size 13 as well, so I’m gonna have to have a look around. But no, he gave me some words of advice.
What were said words of advice?
Just play hard. Play hard, work hard, which is, it’s second nature to us Aussies. You know, we play hard. It’s how we get this far. And just to experience, just have fun. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be here, and it’s an honor to be here, so just have fun.
** On raising breast cancer awareness
It means a lot. It’s something I’m very, very passionate about. Obviously, my mum battling incurable second-degree breast cancer, so it’s a priority in my life. She, my family and her are my priority. Basketball’s, comes second, and being able to give back to my community in New Mexico — obviously being from Australia, it’s a long way from home, but New Mexico is my home. And to raise $65,000 for local research and facilities and patients was huge for me, and it’s in honor of my mum and in honor of everyone that’s battled breast cancer…If we can provide and help patients and their families as much as we can in the meantime [until there is a cure], it’s gonna help in the long run and that’s why my mum is still here today. She had a great support network, great treatment, great care. I’m trying to emulate that in New Mexico.
How long will you keep growing the hair?
I’ve become attached to it. I was meant to shave it off towards the end of the season, but became a little bit of attached. Raised a lot of money, so I think when we hit a certain goal, I’ll eventually shave it off. In the meantime, I like it. Mum likes it too, so whatever she says goes. So, hold on to it for awhile.
** On people calling Matthew Dellavedova a dirty player
Hey, no, no. He’s, the crazy thing, you ask Dante, you ask Joe. He’s literally the nicest guy I’ve ever met. And there’s a difference between playing dirty and playing hard. I think if you went back and watch my play, it’s, you know, I play hard. I don’t think it’s dirty. I don’t think Delly plays dirty. I think he just plays hard…You gotta be willing to put your body on the line. It’s guys who go in half-hearted that end up getting hurt. Delly doesn’t go in half-hearted. He jumps guys on loose balls, and fortunately — I mean, his teammates stick up for him, and that’s all that matters. His teammates are around him. At the end of the day, he’s playing well. He’s not just injuring guys. He’s actually playing at a high level, scoring double-digit points every night. So, he’s just playing hard.

harrow

** Georgia State – G – 6’2 – 160
** Comment on the altitude
It’s definitely tough for me. This only my second time playing somewhere like this. During the season, we played at Colorado State and I don’t even think that’s this high. So, it’s a little tough, but I ran on the treadmill last night just to get used to it. So I think I did all right.
** What do you bring?
Just being able to make the right decision. I think everybody knows I can score and everybody knows I can play the game, so then I want everybody to see that I’m a leader and I can make the right decisions at the point guard position.
** Do you know Derrick Favors?
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know D-Fav. He’s, you know, he’s from Atlanta; I’m from Atlanta. We’re actually under the same agent, went to schools pretty close, so, and we played for the same AAU team, so yeah.
Did you talk to him before the workout?
I actually talked to Kevin Murphy, who, you know, he was here. I know him as well. One of my cousins, Tre Bussey, he plays on the D-League team for here, so I talked to him right before. You know, talked to people like Dion Glover, who works me out back at home, just to, you know, get a feel.
What did they say?
They just talked about the altitude. They said that’s the biggest thing. You know, not looking like you’re tired out here, and just pushing through.
** Talk about chasing your dream.
It’s just a fun experience. It’s just a blessing, really, to even be out here, ’cause you don’t have to get invited. This is a business now, so for them to show interest in you, you know, it’s a blessing but you have to be ready to work and ready to show and prove.

harvey

** Eastern Washington – G – 6’4 – 181
** Third workout; has around 10 more
** Comment on the altitude
[I thought] the altitude would get to me, but you know, I’ve been conditioning a lot. But you know, every workout’s tough. You know, you just gotta make sure you’re in the best shape when you come to these workouts, and just give it your all.
** What position would you play in the NBA?
Definitely a combo guard. You know, a “one” when necessary and a “two” when necessary. I feel like I can play both positions well, so.
** On his high school growth spurt
Coming into high school, I was 5-4. So I mean, the chance of playing basketball at 5-4, 130 pounds, is not too high. But fortunately by the grace of God I grew 10 inches in high school and was able to hit 6-4 in college. So you know, hopefully I can still grow a couple more inches.

kalinoski

** Davidson – G – 6’4 – 180
** Compares his game to/patterns game after Matthew Dellavedova
** Do you see yourself as a combo guard in the NBA?
Yeah, yeah. I think, you know, I’m a guard that can run the offense, knock down threes when I need to. You know, I don’t see myself as a big-time slasher, but you know, I can do that. But yeah, as a combo guard, handle the ball, shoot it when I need to, and knock down the open shot.
** Talk about chasing your dream.
Yeah, it’s awesome. You know, coming into college, I didn’t think I would really have a shot at that. Going throughout college, getting an opportunity to come to these workouts to showcase what I can do at the next level, you know, it’s a dream that I’ve always had, and it’s awesome to live that dream and hopefully I get a chan–a shot at the next level.

perrin

** On Dallin Bachynski’s workout
He looked good. He looked really good, to tell you the truth. He shot the ball well. Kinda surprised us. He’s got a good shot from 15, 18 feet, which we didn’t get a chance to see much at Utah. So, that surprised me for sure.
Do you see any Dirk Nowitzki in him?
[silence] Uh, no.
** On Tyler Harvey’s workout
He does a good job of getting it off fairly quickly. I think he’s still gonna probably have to work a little bit more on his form. But he shot it well. He shot better than anybody so far this year in our [shooting drill], so he did a good job…Like most guys coming into the NBA, there’s very few who are ready to play NBA basketball defensively, and he’s got some things he’s gotta work on.
** On Hugh Greenwood’s workout
Hugh had a pretty good day today. Very smart player. Good basketball IQ for a point guard. He was helping the other players in our workouts, so it was good to bring him in.

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