CSNNW.com's Chris Haynes
is currently in Chicago at the draft combine. He caught up with two University of Washington underclassmen, Terrence Ross and Tony Wroten
, who had some strong, positive words about being drafted by the Trail Blazers.
“I would love to play for the Blazers,” Ross said. “That's where I've been living for the past eight years. To be home would be nice. Just have to see how it works out.”
“I love the Trail Blazers,” Wroten said. “We don't have a team (in Seattle), so they're who I root for. If I was blessed to be able to play for them, it would be a dream come true.
Although both players expressed a desire to stay closer to home, it would take some maneuvering on Portland's end to make their dreams a reality. ESPN's Chad Ford has Ross slated at No. 15 to Philadelphia and Tony Wroten going No. 23 overall to Atlanta in his latest mock draft
Ross is a 6-7, 197 lb. shooting guard, who can slide over to the small forward position, compared to the likes of Jason Richardson
due to his strong ability to fill it up, primarily from beyond the arc as he shot .371 from 3
this past year in Seattle.
offers this scouting report on Terrence Ross' shooting ability:
Ross is a perimeter threat with an NBA jump shot. His elbow is a tad outside to the right, but its hard not to love his mechanics. Off the ball, he is always ready to fire off the catch coming off screens with his feet squared, body in a bent seated position for a quick release in rhythm. Gets great elevation on his jump shot and that high release point allows him to get off shots over defenders. Thrives as a spot up shooter from 3-point range that easily extends out to the NBA arc. Sweet spot shooting the ball is from the right side of the floor near the corner and side of the arc. He’s a midrange marksman off the dribble and loves the step back jumper for three, but seems to be more accurate off the catch.
Wroten, on the other hand, is the polar opposite of Ross. His game is predicated on living in the paint, rather than the perimeter where he's had his fair share of struggles this season, shooting just .583 from the charity stripe and .161 from downtown
. But the 6-6, 203 lb. point guard whose game draws comparisons to Sacramento's Tyreke Evans
due to the similarities in size, ability to slash to the basket, beat his defender off the dribble in an isolation setting, and overall aggressive nature when attacking the basket is far from a finished product as some scouts feel his upside could be that of Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook.
offers this scouting report on Tony Wroten's' athletic ability:
Wroten has incredible quickness and ability to shift gears. He’s able to accelerate from zero to full speed in a couple steps thanks to a great initial burst out of the triple threat. His footwork is impeccable due to those quick feet and body control with the ability to change direction on a dime. Runs the floor well with his end-to-end quickness and can push the tempo in transition, making him a legit up-tempo ball handler. While he’s not an explosive leaper he gets above the rim that often, he has gliding athleticism that can carry him through the lane while he hangs in the air to finish, sometimes with a posterizing slam.
It's hard not to fall in love with prospects this time of year. Of course they are going to say "Playing for [insert team name] would be a dream come true!" But, it feels more genuine coming from Ross, a Portland native and Jefferson High School alumnus and Wroten, who when asked by Haynes
if he ever pictures himself playing for the Portland Trail Blazers responded with this answer:
“Everyday, everyday I think about that. That's a dream come true,” Wroten said with a grin. “That will be a blessing If I was the 6th or 11th pick. Jamal Crawford going there, a Seattle guy, Brandon Roy, being able to follow in his footsteps would be a great, great, great opportunity.”
Well, it appears that Wroten will at least get his chance to audition for a spot on the roster as he told Haynes that he has a workout scheduled with Portland next week along with Phoenix, Houston, Orlando, and Dallas.
What do you think, Rip City? would you be willing to move down from No. 11 to acquire two later picks in the first round and use one of both on the Husky duo? What about buying a late-first or trading back into the first for a chance at either guard? Personally, Wroten has been on my list for a while now. I buy into the Westbrook comparisons and ultimately feel that he can become an elite point guard in the NBA given time to develop his overall skills and master the mid-range jump shot much as Russ has done himself.
“They (Crawford and Roy) just tell us what to expect and how to conduct ourselves as professionals,” Wroten said. “They're like our big brothers and I'm glad they're in our corner.”