NBA DRAFT: What the Prospects Say

Trey Burke: Sewer Hero

Trey Burke: Sewer Hero

Co-authored by Andy G and Patrick J

DraftExpress just posted a bunch of interviews with top prospects who’re possible future Wolves at the NBA combine. Below, Andy and I react to each that was published today. Assuming more are to come–possibly to include Anthony Bennett–we’ll probably hit the wheel on this a second time for comparison’s sake. Full analysis below.

Otto Porter

  • Compares self to Tayshaun Prince — long, lanky, glue guy. (SERIOUS QUESTION: If you *know* Otto is going to have Prince’s career, where do you draft him?)
  • Developed game at home — not in the AAU circuit. Dad was accomplished player. Says it helped improve skill development by working on his game at home. (Love this answer — sounds very Steph Curry-ish, in a good way.)
  • Stumbles some on some awkward questions about teams that may or may not be interested in drafting him. (Not a big deal — mostly an awkward question by the reporter.)

Nerlens Noel

  • ACL rehab is going well — ahead of schedule. But is not yet running. (Other than Derrick Rose, has an NBA player recovering from ACL surgery ever been *behind* schedule?)
  • Repeats over and over that he’s going to work hard. (He’s going to work hard.)
  • Still has a killer flat top. (More important than the quote-end quote “experts” will give credit.)
  • Not an interesting interview. (Maybe that’s a good thing?)

C.J. McCollum

  • Cleared to play 2.5 weeks ago (broken left foot)
  • Asked if he considers himself a point guard — says he’s a “do-it-all guard.” (Are we talking Randy Foye or James Harden?)
  • Speaks in detail on core workouts — including boxing — as well as what sounds like intense skill training. (Seems — in interview, anyway — like a workout freak. Dame Lillard-style.)
  • Overall presents himself very well, seems well prepared for a job interview. (#JonnyFlynnAlert)

Shabazz Muhammad

  • Never said he wasn’t 20. From now on is going to make sure he speaks for himself so things don’t get confused again. Has “tightened his circle.” (Wasn’t his DAD the problem?)
  • Confident speaker; says he likes doing interviews. (#JonnyFlynnAlert)
  • In 5 years, wants to be an All-Star, wants to help a team win. (Good answer.)
  • Minnesota one of teams that has interviewed him. (Interesting.)
  • “Being the number one guy, everybody always wants you to fall.” — (on being top-ranked high school senior).
  • Areas of improvement: clearing himself/getting his own shot; lateral quickness on defense.
  • Studies footwork of Kobe, Harden and Ginobili. (Great answer.)
  • GUARANTEE he has a strong handshake. RUMINT has it he’s the odd-on favorite for best handshake and steadiest eye contact in this class.

Ben McLemore

  • “Umm, I think my skills will be perfect for the NBA…with my length and athleticism…and, you know, my ability to play defense.”
  • Watching all the good players here, I wish I could’ve gone out there and participate. I’ll still do the measurements stuff.
  • Minnesota is among the teams that has interviewed him. (You go, Flip!!)
  • “How special can I be? I think I can be pretty special. With my size, and shooting ability and athleticism, and just being a humble person.” OXYMORON, Ben?
  • McLemore is a little wet behind the ears. And he might not have a sense of what he’s getting into. (That said, his talent is undeniable and — in his interview, anyway — he seems like a good kid.) When confronted with a fact that no two-guard has gone first overall since David Thompson in 1975, he appeared to infer from it that he is likely to DEFY the odds rather than land near the trend line, as probability theory would predict. We’ll see who’s right, McLemore or probability. My money is on probability. McLemore’s career will hinge on his performance, not his oratorical savvy. We’re Ben McLemore fans.

Trey Burke

  • I feel like I can come in and be a FRANCHISE GUY.
  • I can do a lot of stuff, including being a pest on defense. I know I didn’t show that a lot as a college player…but I think I can do that in the NBA. (LOGIC FAIL!)
  • “If I had to compare myself to a player, it’d be to Chris Paul” (paraphrasing). (Okay, Trey, you go on with your bad self. If you don’t know, you better ask somebody(!))

  • They asked me, “Why are sewers round? I said, ‘I don’t know – so people can get out of em.’” C’mon, Trey, you’ve been watching too much Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. (I suspect Burke’s response DID NOT impress the Indiana brass–the party who posed the question to him.)

Trey Burke: TMNT Sewer Hero

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “NBA DRAFT: What the Prospects Say

  1. Eric in Madison

    C.J. McCollum is graduating with a journalism degree, so it doesn’t surprise me that he knows how to handle an interview.

    If I know Porter is going to have Prince’s career, I probably take him 2nd. I tend to be pretty risk averse about these things, though.

    • I think it depends on what team is picking — for me it does, anyway. If the Wolves were going second, Prince would sound A-OK.

      But kind of like last year when Charlotte took Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, a terrible team in a small market should probably swing harder than a plus role player type. If Charlotte had a do-over I think they’d go with one of Beal, Lillard, Drummond or even Barnes. But who knows, maybe they’ll get an offensive playmaker in this draft — say, Anthony Bennett or Ben McLemore — and having MKG will be exactly what they’d want from the ’12 Class.

      Interesting to think about I guess. A lot of people are high on Porter, maybe he’ll be even better than Prince.

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