The Atlanta Hawks had their first group of players in for a predraft workout today. There likely won’t be much information coming out from these workouts in the local media, and to be honest, I don’t think these workouts mean that much at all. You cannot get these guys in team oriented situatons in a workout. The guys who are outstanding one on one players will standout. To me, these workouts are simply an opportunity for the coaches and the management to get to know the players better. With that said, let’s take a look at the players who worked out for the Hawks today. Today was a heavy shooting guard day. The Hawks had Terrico White from Mississippi, Elliot Williams from Memphis, Dominique Jones from South Florida, and Manny Harris from Michigan. Draftexpress has great write ups on these guys, and some of the information I will use on each player comes from their website.
Terrico White, SG, Mississippi – Terrico is one of the few players on this list that I have actually seen play. He went to the Chicago camp and reportedly had some good workouts. He measured in at 6’3.75″ without shoes on, 203 lbs, and had a 6’9″ wingspan. Terrico is a very versatile player who can play both the shooting guard and the point guard positions. During his freshman season, Terrico was asked to slide over to the point guard position when teammate Chris Warren got injured. He played the position well as a freshman. This year though, his passing numbers took a nose dive, and his overall game dipped from his freshman success. His strengths are that he is an athletic player with a very good first step. He is also a very good perimeter shooter, though I don’t have his shooting percentage on jump shots handy to prove that. Terrico has very good scoring instincts. His weaknesses stems from the fact that he exhibits poor shot selection a lot of the time. This diminishes his efficiency overall. Add to that the fact that despite his scoring instincts, Terrico is not an aggressive player on the offensive end of the floor. He shies away from contact and does not do a good job of getting to the free throw line or finishing at the rim. Rather than take the ball to the hoop strong, he would rather pull up in the lane for a jumper. He does not always have the best effort defensively, but he does have the athleticism and the wingspan to be a good defender. During his sophomore season, his numbers really took a dive. A lot of that is his responsibility, as he rarely looked to create things for his teammates the way he did as a freshman. However, there was a lot of infighting on this Mississippi team, and Chris Warren is one of the more selfish players in the conference. On the Hawks, he could be an intriguing fit in Larry Drew’s motion offense because of his versatility and ability to shoot the basketball. He would have to check his selfishness in at the door though. I like his wingspan and athleticism as a potential defender, and perimter defense may be the Hawks biggest need this offseason. At one time, he was considered to be a poor man’s Tyreke Evans, but he looked more like a Flip Murray type of role player during his sophomore year.
Elliot Williams, SG, Memphis — As close as I live to Memphis, I didn’t see Elliot Williams play one time this year. I just didn’t pay that much attention to Memphis basketball (I’m a Mississippi State fan). Elliot transferred in from Duke and quickly became John Pastner’s go to guy. I don’t have Elliot’s measurements from Chicago handy at this point. He appears to be a very good one on one player who can also shoot the basketball. In comparison to Terrico White, Elliot did a better job of creating opportunities for his teammates. Also, despite his relatively underdeveloped body and lack of strength, according to draftexpress, he was fouled on 14.2% of the shots he took. He’s more aggressive than Terrico White according to the numbers. Elliot got a lot of his work off one on one situations and working off picks this past season, but he also played a great deal off the ball. Defensively, he has good length and athleticism. I’m eager to see what his wingspan is compared to his size. I think Elliot is a player that will likely play himself into the teens area of the draft and will likely be off the board for the Hawks. Of all the players the Hawks are looking at, Elliot may be the guy that fits what Larry Drew wants to do offensively the most with his shooting ability, ability to drive the ball, and ability to create shots for others.
Dominique Jones, SG, South Florida — This is a player that I’m intrigued with. Dominique measured in at 6’3.25 inches, but he had a whopping 6’9.25″ wingspan. Dominique is one of the more aggressive scorers in this draft. He’s got a great first step and showed the ability to get to the rim whenever he wanted to. According to draftexpress, Dominique is the 3rd best finisher among the shooting guards in the draft. Much like Elliot Williams, Dominique also gets to the free throw line at a high rate. The numbers suggest that Dominique is very good in transition and off the dribble. However, the numbers also suggest that Dominique is not nearly as good or as efficient when taking jump shots, whether they are catch and shoot situations or off the dribble situations. Overall, this hurts his efficiency and also may hamper his long term ability as an NBA player. His wingspan and athleticism could make him a very good defender in the NBA. I think is upside is dependent upon him improving his shooting ability. I really like his length and athleticism though, and I feel he could make an early contribution as a defender in the NBA.
Manny Harris, SG, Michigan — Manny Harris declared for the draft early out of Michigan. He’s another one that I have not seen play. The scouting reports on him suggest that he has the ability to score. There are some questions about his overall athleticism, and he doesn’t possess the length that the other players on this list have. He is a versatile player who can pass the basketball. His biggest drawback is that he is not a very good shooter at all according to the numbers. When I say he’s not a very good shooter, I’m talking about him putting up Josh Smith type numbers on jump shots. According to draftexpress, Harris connects on just 31.2% of his jump shots, but 58% of his shots are jumpers. He has the ability to slash to the basket, pass the ball, and score, but his upside at this time is very limited due to questions about his athleticism and his lack of jump shooting ability. At best, he’s a late 2nd round prospect.
Next up for the Hawks are some small forward/shooting guard prospects. They will have Darrington Hobson from New Mexico, Stanley Robinson from Connecticut, and Pape Sy from France in for a workout tomorrow.