SALT LAKE CITY (AP) Tyler Haws has been on an odd mission of late – trying to prove to NBA teams that he can shoot the ball. The scenario is a bit strange considering he finished his BYU career as the school’s all-time leading scorer and built his reputation off being a knock-down shooter.
Haws was back in his home state of Utah on Monday for a pre-draft workout with the Utah Jazz, which will be looking for shooting in the NBA draft on June 25. The goal was to show his range can extend to the NBA 3-point line after being consistent from midrange throughout his career and averaging 22.2 points last season.
”My game is kind of the midrange game,” Haws said. ”But I’m a scorer and I believe I can help any team score and I’m trying to prove that. I think I proved myself on defense, staying in front of guys and being a playmaker on offense, being able to handle the ball.”
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That’s what Jazz vice president of player personnel Walt Perrin wants to see the most. He wasn’t concerned with Haws’ range, saying he saw enough of that from BYU games. Perrin views Haws as a shooting guard and wants to know if he can defend the position in the NBA.
”Needs to work on it, like most players do,” Perrin said. ”Some teams will look at age. Some teams will look at size. He’s not very big for a two guard. Not very long for a two guard. But everybody’s looking for shooting. So if teams look at Tyler and think he can play the two, can guard the two, then he’ll get an opportunity.”
Haws (6-foot-5, 195 pounds) was one of six players taking part in Monday’s session, including TaShawn Thomas (Oklahoma), Sam Thompson (Ohio State), Nedim Buza (Bosnia) Alan Williams (UC Santa Barbara) and Lucas Dias Silva (Brazil). Monday was the third workout for Haws after recently meeting with the Suns and Mavericks.
He is scheduled for workouts with the Lakers, Warriors, Grizzlies and Nets in the near future.
Some teams may be wary of the 24-year-old Haws’ age. Perrin said those thoughts could center on the lifespan of his career, but he believes, ”if a guy can play, he can play.”
Finding more shooting is a priority for the Jazz this offseason, but that alone isn’t enough. The Jazz had the No. 1 scoring defense in the league after the All-Star break and that remains a valued trait for anyone who joins the team under coach Quinn Snyder.
Haws is no sure thing to be drafted and he said he’s keeping all his options open between playing in Europe and the NBA Developmental League. That, however, is not the focus at the moment.
”Obviously, the main goal is playing in the NBA and I feel like I can play there,” Haws said. ”I feel like my game fits well and I can be of value to some team.”