After two weeks on the road seeing prospects at workouts around the country and across the world, the Wizards' pre-draft process returned to Washington on Monday as they hosted six more players who could fit into their future one way or another.
Three of the players are possible first round picks and two in particular appear to be viable options for Washington at the No. 15 overall pick. Zhaire Smith of Texas Tech was the most heralded player, but Troy Brown of Oregon has been rising up draft boards in the past several weeks. This was the third time they have squared off in NBA pre-draft workouts throughout this process.
Here are some notes on each guy, as they were the two players who met with the media following the workout...
Zhaire Smith, SG, Texas Tech (6-5, 195)
*Smith is known for his dunking and says he demonstrated that well in the workout. He said he threw down a reverse alley-oop at one point and Wizards' executives were impressed by his athleticism. Smith was asked during the group media session about his favorite dunk in college. He cited a 360 alley-oop he threw down on the NCAA Tournament.
Here is that dunk:
That was amazing and even Smith himself couldn't believe it.
"I was like ‘oh my gosh.’ It was nasty.:
*Smith said he doesn't know too much about the Wizards because he has never been a big NBA fan. He instead watches college and his favorite players in the NBA, one of which is LeBron James.
"But I feel like I would fit good with the Wizards because I play hard and my defense," he added.
*Defense and dunking are Smith's calling cards and the NBA teams know that. He's hoping to show off the other areas of his game:
"I believe a lot of people and teams want to see if I can shoot it and handle the ball. I think I’m doing a pretty good job of showcasing that."
*Smith said up next are workouts with the Sixers, who pick 10th, and the Suns, who some believe may trade up for another lottery pick.
For more on Smith, check out our extensive draft profile on him.
Troy Brown, SG/SF, Oregon (6-7, 215)
*Brown is only 18 years old, but displays the media savvy and maturity of a 10-year NBA veteran. He had a thorough answer for everything and gave an honest assessment of his abilities. He is hoping to show teams his versatility. Though he's listed 6-foot-7 and a small forward, he thinks he can play anywhere from one through three.
"I’m a basketball player. I’m just looking for my opportunity to get in whether it be a three, a two or a one," he said.
*Brown believes that no matter what position he plays, he will be able to set others up effectively with his passing. He has lots of experience at point guard and believes that can apply to other positions.
"I feel comfortable with the ball in my hands... Being a big guard, I can see over a lot of people and make plays for others," he said. "My playmaking ability is my first thing. Being my size and being a playmaker who can make plays for my teammates. Being able to score the basketball well. Just being that versatile, all-around player helps me out. I can squeeze in anywhere with scoring, defense and passing."
*What Brown is trying to show teams is that he can shoot. In his lone season at Oregon, Brown shot just 29.1 percent from three. That will likely need to improve if he is to carve a niche for himself as an NBA wing.
Brown thinks his shot is better than the numbers would suggest.
"I don’t think it was my mechanics. I think it was my shot selection this year. Some of the shots I was taking weren’t very good. It’s about repetition, getting in the gym and putting up shots. I feel like I’ve been doing a good job showcasing that and I feel like a lot of teams are impressed with my shooting."
*Brown will head to the Bucks and Blazers next after visiting the Wizards.
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