Injuries keep Burks, Brooks out of Bobcats workout
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
”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
”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
”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
”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
”He’s going to be one we will consider if he’s around,” Silas
The Bobcats still could take Burks and Brooks despite their
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.”