Injuries keep Burks, Brooks out of Bobcats workout
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP)
Michael Jordan was up early Sunday in hopes of watching 12 players show why they should be one of the Charlotte Bobcats' two first-round draft choices.
Injuries, though, made the large pre-draft workout less interesting and revealing.
Alec Burks of Colorado, a candidate for the ninth pick by the Jordan-owned Bobcats, and Marshon Brooks of Providence, a possibility for Charlotte at No. 19, couldn't compete because of recent injuries. The Bobcats said Burks dislocated his shoulder working out for Milwaukee on Saturday and Brooks twisted an ankle Friday auditioning for New York.
''A couple guys stubbed their toes so we couldn't go 3-on-3,'' said coach Paul Silas, who was hopeful both players could return to audition before the June 23 draft.
Still, there was plenty for Silas, Jordan and general manager Rod Higgins to evaluate as they look to improve a roster that managed only 34 wins this season. Of particular interest was the second workout, which included likely first-round picks Kawhi Leonard of San Diego State, Jordan Hamilton of Texas, Tobias Harris of Tennessee, Tyler Honeycutt of UCLA and Florida State's Chris Singleton.
''This is basically my class right here, my small forward class,'' said Singleton, seen as possible replacement for the recently traded Gerald Wallace.
Added Hamilton, who could provide needed long-range shooting for the Bobcats: ''This was definitely one of the best workouts I had. We all benefited from it.''
It included Jordan's familiar needling of players. One of his top targets was the 6-foot-8 Honeycutt, who showed his athleticism with an impromptu, personal slam dunk contest at the end of the workout.
''He was talking smack,'' Honeycutt said, smiling.
There was much less to see of the 6-8 Harris since the last time he was at Time Warner Cable Arena for Tennessee's second-round NCAA tournament loss. Harris said he's lost 15 pounds and is down to 220.
''It helped me a lot,'' he said, ''just moving faster and competing more. I'm more bouncy on the floor.''
Harris would like to shoot up draft boards like Leonard, whose large wing span and strong rebounding may allow him to play power forward, too
''People are starting to see how versatile I am,'' he said.
The earlier session, with less star power after Burks and Brooks pulled out, was led by Washington State's Klay Thompson. The 6-6 son of former NBA star Mychal Thompson shot nearly 40 percent from 3-point range last season.
''I know they lack some perimeter shooting and every team needs a shooter,'' Thompson said.
Charlotte ranked 29th out of 30 teams from long range and Silas has been stressing the need for shooters. And Silas indicated they wouldn't shy away from Thompson, a potential candidate at No. 19, despite being cited in March for suspicion of marijuana possession.
''He's going to be one we will consider if he's around,'' Silas said.
The Bobcats still could take Burks and Brooks despite their absence Sunday.
Charlotte's brass has seen plenty of Burks, an athletic 6-6 slasher. Higgins' son, Cory Higgins, was a teammate of Burks last season at Colorado.
The 6-5 Brooks' stock has risen since his impressive showing at the Chicago pre-draft camp.
The workouts wrapped up four days of sessions that saw 30 players come to Charlotte. More workouts are scheduled Tuesday and Thursday, before several members of the organization attend a European camp in Italy.
It's doubtful, though, the Bobcats will have another workout with as much star power.
''This is good because you see them go against each other and how they compete,'' Silas said. ''At the pre-draft camp we didn't see them compete. Now you see how they're going to play, what kind of passion they have for the game, what kind of toughness, all those kinds of things that make a player.''