NBA Draft Chatter: Chicago Combine

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By Ryan Feldman
rfeldman@thehoopsreport.com

Friday, May 20, 2011

A source told me that Enes Kanter will not work out for any NBA teams until after the draft lottery, which takes place May 17. NBA teams have requested to watch Enes Kanter work out at ATTACK Athletics in Chicago, but no teams have been allowed in to watch him play. Kanter likely will not work out head-to-head with any players between now and the NBA Draft.

Top draft prospects rarely ever work out head-to-head against other players in draft workouts, so this isn't anything new. Last year, Derrick Favors and DeMarcus Cousins went through drills together in a few workouts, and even that was a rarity.

Apparently, Kanter's jump shot is really coming along and his mid-range baseline jumper is reportedly "automatic" right now.

Kanter's advisors want to wait and see what happens with the draft lottery. They only want Kanter to work out for teams that are drafting in the top 5-7 range, but more importantly they want to be selective of which teams Kanter works out for so that they can find teams that would be an ideal fit.

According to a source, there's a chance Donatas Motiejunas may not work out for any NBA teams before the draft. Motiejunas's team is still in the playoffs and it may not be over until June, so he may not have the time/energy left by then. A source also said Motiejunas plans on playing in the NBA next season and that he definitely will if he's drafted in the top 10.

A name to watch out for in the upcoming NBA Draft is Fresno State's Greg Smith. There wasn't much talk about him during the season, but now the 6-foot-10 sophomore center is picking up steam. He is reportedly doing very well in workouts and I wouldn't be surprised if he found his way into the late first round on draft night.

According to ESPN's Chad Ford, here is a list of invitees for the May 7-8 NBA Draft group workout hosted by the New Jersey Nets:

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The top players who have confirmed that they're playing include:

Reggie Jackson, PG, Boston College
Darius Morris, PG, Michigan
Tu Holloway, PG, Xavier
Cory Joseph, PG, Texas
Isaiah Thomas, PG, Washington
Andrew Goudelock, G, Charleston
Chris Wright, PG, Georgetown
Julyan Stone, PG, UTEP
Ashton Gibbs, SG, Pittsburgh
Orlando Johnson, SG, UC Santa Barbara
Iman Shumpert, SG, Georgia Tech
Scotty Hopson, SG, Tennessee
Kim English, SG, Missouri
Marshon Brooks, SG, Providence
Austin Freeman, SG, Georgetown
LaceDarius Dunn, SG, Baylor
DeAndre Liggins, SG, Kentucky
Tyler Honeycutt, SF, UCLA
Jamine Peterson, SF, NBDL
Hollis Thompson, SF, Georgetown
John Shurna, SF, Northwestern
Troy Gillenwater, SF, New Mexico State
Ravern Johnson, SF, Mississippi State
Justin Holiday, SF, Washington
Olu Ashaolu, PF, Louisiana Tech
Carleton Scott, PF, Notre Dame
DeAngelo Casto, PF, Washington State
Malcolm Thomas, PF, San Diego State
Reggie Johnson, C, Miami
Josh Harrellson, C, Kentucky
Mamadou Diarra, C, Chaminade
Vernon Macklin, F/C, Florida
Rick Jackson, F/C, Syracuse
Greg Smith, C, Fresno State

The following players are still on the fence:

Shelvin Mack, PG, Butler
Travis Leslie, SG, Tennessee
Jereme Richmond, SF, Illinois
Laurence Bowers, SF, Missouri
Jeremy Tyler, PF, Japan
Michael Dunigan, PF/C, Oregon

A number of notable players have already declined invites. They include:

Kawhi Leonard, F, San Diego State
Tobias Harris, F, Tennessee
Kenneth Faried, PF, Morehead State
Klay Thompson, G, Washington State
Chris Singleton, F, Florida State
Josh Selby, G, Kansas
Justin Harper, F, Richmond
Nolan Smith, G, Duke
JaJuan Johnson, PF, Purdue
Charles Jenkins, PG, Hofstra
Norris Cole, PG, Cleveland State
Kyle Singler, F, Duke
Malcolm Lee, G, UCLA
Keith Benson, C, Oakland
Jordan Williams, C, Maryland
Demetri McCamey, PG, Illinois
Jimmy Butler, F, Marquette
Nikola Vucevic, PF, USC
Chandler Parsons, F, Florida
Ben Hansbrough, PG, Notre Dame
David Lighty, G, Ohio State
Jon Diebler, G, Ohio State

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You can also add Illinois's Mike Davis to the list of confirmed attendees. That leaves nine spots remaining and there are six players still deciding, according to Ford. One player who I've confirmed that surprisingly has not been invited yet is West Virginia's Kevin Jones. He is the exact type of player who belongs in this event. It was designed for players who aren't sure if they want to keep their name in the NBA Draft or not and want more information from NBA teams. If Jones is not invited, it will be a travesty.


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