Last Friday, the Portland Trail Blazers announced that the team would host a pre-Draft workout group in Tualatin on Tuesday morning, one that is expected to be the team's only workout session until June.
On Monday, the team released the list of expected participants, which is subject to change.
- Kent Bazemore, G/F (Old Dominion) | DraftExpress profile here | Not ranked on DX Top 100
- Kris Joseph, F (Syracuse) | DraftExpress profile here | No. 53 on DX Top 100
- Meyers Leonard, C (Illinois) | DraftExpress profile here | No. 20 on DX Top 100
- Garrett Sim, G (Oregon) | n/a | Not ranked on DX Top 100
- Casper Ware, G (Long Beach State) | DraftExpress profile here | No. 58 on DX Top 100
- Tyler Zeller, C (North Carolina) | DraftExpress profile here | No. 12 on DX Top 100
Conveniently, David Aldridge of NBA.com posted his rundown of the Class of 2012 centers on Monday. Some quick excerpts on Zeller and Leonard, who he ranks as No. 2 and No. 3 at their position in the class.
Zeller may not be sexy, and a lot of personnel types said the same thing -- he may never be a starting center on a contending team. But they also have him down for a 10- to 12-year NBA career. "I like him a lot," said an assistant coach of a team that played Carolina last season. "He can really run, really run. I think he's skilled. He's got great hands. He touches it, he has it. That's on the run, that's in traffic. And he has good touch -- right hand jump hook, left hand jump hook. He can go out to about 17 feet, and he can pump fake you."
"This is a safe pick," a Western Conference scouting director said. "You're not going to hit a home run, but you know you're at least going to get a single out of this deal. He'll make some elbow jumpers and he's got some low post moves. You've got an accomplished player. At the least, he should be no worse -- ever -- than Spencer Hawes, and probably better."
Leonard just turned 20, and his potential upside is what intrigues NBA scouts. He led the Big 10 in blocked shots, finished third in the conference in rebounding and was 11th in the country in field-goal percentage (.584) as a sophomore. Unlike many young big men, Leonard doesn't seem to mind actually playing in the paint.
"I watched him twice this year, and I liked him," an Eastern Conference GM said. "And then when you really break down his game and watch him, that guy's got a great motor. He can really run."
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter