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June 18 Workout Recap

  1. Written by: caseyholdahl  / avg. rating: 3.0

    On June 18, the Trail Blazers hosted workouts featuring Jimmy Butler, Forward (Marquette); Norris Cole, Guard (Cleveland State); Demonte Harper, Guard (Morehead State); Justin Holiday, Guard/Forward (Washington); JaJuan Johnson, Forward (Purdue); David Lighty, Guard (Ohio State); Jacob Pullen, Guard (Kansas State); Josh Selby, Guard (Kansas) and Trey Thompkins, Forward (Georgia).

    The following are interviews and footage of each players workout (when available), along with thoughts on each player from acting general manager Chad Buchanan. Click here to see photos from the June 18 workout.


    According to Buchanan: “This was workout 14 for him. So his legs were a little dead. We had dinner with him last night. He’s very, very close with Wes. He’s one of Wes' (Matthews) best friends. They talk daily. Like his size. Versatile defender. Winner. He’s improved on the offensive end (and) I think that will be something that will dictate how high of a ceiling he has. Can he become a knockdown shooter? Can he handle the ball and go create his own shot? Right now he’s ready to step in and guard a couple of positions, so he’s another sleeper I think in this draft that’s going to have a long NBA career.”


    According to Buchanan: “We’ve followed him closely about the last year-and-a-half. Tough, gritty little point guard. Playmaker. He rebounds. He’s got a good lineage. All-State football quarterback. Extremely good student. We like him. I think he’s a little bit of a sleeper in this draft.”


    According to Buchanan: “He’s a guy who kind of came onto the scene a little bit as the season progressed. Obviously we saw (Kenneth) Faried a lot. You go watch him and you’re going to notice Demonte because he was a very talented backcourt player. Good athlete. He’s got good speed in the open court. He played some point, played some two for them. Probably more of a two at this point. If he could ever evolve into a one, I think he could have a chance to play in our league."


    According to Buchanan: “Justin had a great workout today. He was light on his feet. Obviously very long. Needs probably to get a little stronger. But his length bothers people. He’s another guy who can guard a couple positions. He’s got big hands, good anticipation. He contests shots. He’s kind like Jimmy in the fact that his offensive end will dictate whether he can get on a floor and stay on an NBA floor. Streaky shooting the ball. He shot it well today, but at Washington he (was) a little streaky. His handle probably can be a little sharper. But he’s got size, he’s got length and he can guard multiple positions."


    According to Buchanan: “He’s had a fantastic career at Purdue. He’s won a ton of games. Long, quick off the floor. He can face up and shoot the ball. Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year. He rebounds, he blocks shots. He’s another guy where I think his motor is going to determine how high a caliber of player he becomes at our level. But he’s 6-10 and he can shoot the ball a little bit. We like those guys who produce for four years at a high level and he’s done that.”


    According to Buchanan: “Reminds us a little bit of Wes (Matthews). Similar size, probably similar-caliber athlete. Love his personality. I’ve watched him practice probably six or seven times at Ohio State and I always walk out of the gym telling Thad Matta that I love what that guy brings every day to practice. It was the same today here. He competes every single possession, he’s fully engaged every single possession. Probably not as talented of an offensive player as Wes was coming out, but I think he’s got a role in our league because he’s going to do all the little things for you.”


    According to Buchanan: “Four-year, tough, gritty little guard. He’s won a lot of games at Kansas State. He’s got no fear. Maybe lacks great quickness you like from a smaller point guard, but he’s got some moxie to him and he can make plays and he can score the ball.”


    According to Buchanan: “Highly touted coming out of high school. I think if you asked him, he might say he ... maybe hoped for a little more from his freshman year at Kansas. But we’ve tracked him closely in high school as well. We want to really look at him because guys who are ranked that highly coming out of high school tend to ... end up making it in our league. More of a combo guard than a point guard. We like his physicality. We like his quickness."


    According to Buchanan: “He’s a guy who’s kind of fluctuated in his production in college. Part of that is due to some injuries he’s battled. But soft hands, can face up and shoot the ball. He can score it a little bit around the hole. Not a great athlete. But he’s got some offensive skills as far as scoring inside and outside. He’s got to rev up his motor a little bit for our level. But he’s got some skill ... and some size that intrigues us.”

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