At long last: the Blazers will have some names in Portland. Hallelujah. Can't tell you how exciting this is.
Here's the list of players scheduled to workout for the Blazers tomorrow at the Practice Facility. Click each player's name to read their Draft Express profile.
- Osiris Eldridge, Guard (Illinois State) -- not ranked on DX's Top 100
- Marquez Haynes, Guard (Texas-Arlington) --- not ranked on DX's Top 100
- Gani Lawal, Forward, (Georgia Tech) -- #34 on DX's Top 100
- Elijah Millsap, Forward (Alabama-Birmingham) -- #94 on DX's Top 100
- Jerome Randle, Guard (California) -- #32 on Dx's Top 100
- Larry Sanders, Forward (Virginia Commonwealth) -- #23 on DX's Top 100
The Blazers have had their collective eye own on Sanders for awhile. The first time I mentioned him here was back in March. Chad Ford had Sanders going to the Blazers in one of his earlier mock drafts. There are plenty of reasons to see him as a potential fit in Portland. He's got legit 4 size, he's an upperclassmen who has improved throughout college, he's a worker, he's efficient around the basket, and he put up big rebounding numbers in college. That's a lot to like.
This line from Draft Express might pop for you...
Larry Sanders' measurements (6-9 ¼ without shoes, 7-5 ¾ wingspan, 9-4 standing reach) are eerily similar to those of DeMarcus Cousins (6-9 ½, 7-5 ¾, 9-5), minus 70 pounds (292 to 222). As one NBA assistant GM told us-"if you can put 20 pounds on that kid, he [can] be an absolute force in the paint."
The knocks on Sanders are his lack of range offensively and some questions about whether he will be able to translate his game from small school ball to the NBA.
The other name of real note and potential fit is Lawal, who is another upperclassmen that has improved during his college career, has a freakish wingspan and is seen as a worker and a strong defender. Questions surround his offensive skillset and finish but he fits the general mold of complementing the team's current backup personnel without overlapping their skills.
Matt Kamalsky provides the following comps which should trigger some interest...
His role in the NBA may be limited to doing some dirty work off the bench initially, but if he can continue to add strength and improve his jumper, he could fit into niche similar to the one that Leon Powe and Brandon Bass have played for their respective teams.
I've discussed the power forward glut in the middle of this draft class at length over the last few months. Here we have two big names from that glut. It will be very interesting to hear the team's reaction to their workouts tomorrow. Last year the excitement after the Pendergraph/Cunningham/Hansbrough showdown was palpable. How will this group's vibe compare? Along those same lines, it will be interesting to see who actually shows up in the gym tomorrow. Will Kevin Pritchard talk? Which assistant coaches will be present?
So many questions surround every aspect of this organization right now. Who steadies the ship tomorrow? Anybody? Do they even care at this point? Maybe not.
-- Ben Golliver | benjamin.golliver | Twitter