Blazers Work Out Six Prospects On Saturday

USA TODAY Sports

The Portland Trail Blazers worked out six prospects on Saturday morning in advance of the 2013 NBA Draft.

The Portland Trail Blazers worked out six more prospects at the Tualatin practice facility on Saturday in advance of the 2013 NBA Draft.

Saturday's session is the last one of the 2013 NBA pre-draft process.

  • Jackie Carmichael | Illinois State | Senior | 6-foot-9 | 241 pounds | PF | DX profile | No. 35 in top 100
  • Career Highlights: Ranks first all-time in school history in blocks (200), eighth in scoring (1,580), third in rebounds (942), and third in double-doubles (35). Named to the All-Valley First Team as a senior. Named to the All-Valley Second Team as a junior. Named to the Valley All-Freshman Team as a freshman.

    Senior (2012-13): Ranked first on team in rebounds (9.3 rpg) and blocks (2.1 bpg) while ranking second in scoring (17.4 ppg). Scored in double figures in 29 of 33 games played.

    More from Derek Bodner of DraftExpress.com...

    Carmichael is primarily a back to the basket player at the college level, using his size and bulk to establish solid post position. At 6'9" he's undersized for a center, but he has solid length and a high release point, which allows him to get his shots off in the post, and should allow him to see minutes at power forward in more traditional lineups. According to Synergy Sports Technology, Carmichael gets over 40% of his own offense from the post, and his efficiency places him near the top 25% in terms of post scoring. His ability as a finisher at the basket and willingness to absorb contact also allows him to draw fouls at a good rate, with his 8.1 free throw attempts per-40 ranking third amongst power forward prospects and fourth amongst centers.

    While Carmichael's moves are still not the most polished - he would be well served to continue working on moves over his left shoulder, and do a better job feeling out the defender and developing counter moves - he does a good job of getting to his spots, fighting for position, using his length to score over defenders and finishing through contact. His primary weapons are his jump hook and his turnaround jumper, both of which he shows good touch and feel on. He's also a solid passer who does a nice job of reading defenses and finding the open man.

    Carmichael is a very good finisher around the basket, with excellent touch, soft hands, and solid athleticism- converting 66% of his attempts around the rim in the half-court. Besides showing itself in cuts to the basket and offensive rebounds, this also manifests on pick and rolls, where he dives hard to the basket and does a good job of finishing. This pick and roll game is perhaps a glimpse of his future role, as it should be relatively easy to incorporate this skill set into an offense. Illinois State struggled with guard play and shot-selection all season, and it's not difficult to imagine Carmichael being much more of a factor in this area with better passers and spacing at the pro level. His strong frame, excellent hands, impressive timing as a roller and soft touch could make him a legitimate weapon in this area down the road.

  • Chris Evans | Kent State | Senior | 6-foot-8 | 220 pounds | PF | No DX profile | n/a in top 100
  • Noteworthy: Played two seasons at Kent State University, after transferring from Wabash Valley Community College at the end of the 2010-11 season ... Earned First Team All Mid-American Conference honors as a senior, averaging career highs with 16.2 points (47.7% FG), 7.7 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.91 steals and 32.7 minutes in 35 games ... In his two seasons with the Golden Flashes, averaged 12.9 points (50.0% FG), 6.0 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.66 steals, 0.84 blocks and 27.0 minutes in 68 games ... Finished as the only player in Division I to total 180 field goals, 30 3-pointers, 125 free throws, 250 rebounds, 70 assists, 60 steals and 20 blocks in 2012-13 ... Ranked fifth in both scoring (16.2) and rebounding (7.7) in the MAC Conference as a senior, leading Kent State in both categories

  • Elijah Johnson | Kansas | Senior | 6-foot-2 | 194 pounds | PG | DX profile | No. 87 in top 100
  • Career Highlights: Selected All-Big 12 Honorable Mention in 2012-13. Holds a Kansas record for points in a Big 12 game with 39 vs. Iowa State as a senior.

    Senior (2012-13): Averaged 9.9 points and 4.6 assists (4th in the Big 12) in 31.0 minutes per game. Shot 39.2 percent from the field and 33.1 from three-point range. Six of his seven games of nine or more assists came vs. major conference opponents. Recorded a season-high 12 assists vs. Texas Tech. Posted 12 points and 10 assists twice, vs. Iowa State and West Virginia. Exploded for 39 points in an OT win vs. Iowa State Feb. 25, the most points ever by a Jayhawk in a Big 12 game and the most by a KU player overall in 22 years. Hit 13-of-22 shots, including 6-of-10 three-pointers and 7-of-7 free throws. Scored eight points in the final 35.7 seconds of regulation, hitting two three-pointers and a pair of free throws to tie and send the game to overtime. Notched 18 second-half points in addition to 12 in overtime -- the most ever by a Jayhawk in a single extra session period.

    More from Joe Treutlein of DraftExpress.com...

    Johnson plays primarily off the ball in the Jayhawks offense, deferring to teammate Tyshawn Taylor to run the show, but still does some playmaking himself. He shows great ability throwing alley-oops to cutting bigs, making post entry passes, and operating on quick drive-and-kick passes, but doesn't get many opportunities to run the offense as a traditional point guard.

    He's also shown excellent flashes running the pick-and-roll at times, showing good vision and taking advantage of his size and speed, but he isn't utilized very heavily in this aspect and isn't consistent knocking down the pull-up jumper when defenders go under the screen. While Johnson certainly has some intriguing assets as a shot creator and distributor, his lack of experience running the point full time and his still largely unpolished ball-handling leaves question marks about his ability to be a pure point at the next level, where he probably best fits as a combo guard similar to what he does now.

    Johnson's still developing advanced ball-handling skills are probably the largest thing holding him back from excelling consistently in the half court, as it greatly limits the ways in which he can utilize his superb physical tools going to the basket. While showing a great first step and excellent rangy strides with the ball, Johnson struggles heavily in isolations where he isn't very confident taking his man one-on-one. The increased spacing at the next level, more frequent use of pick-and-rolls, and possibly being in a more up-tempo offense are all things that could enhance Johnson's abilities in this area, but he will still need to improve his basketball IQ and learn how to better use his tools offensively, as he really struggles to get to the basket and draw fouls or finish consistently.

    Johnson was previously invited to a workout earlier this month.

  • Mike Muscala | Bucknell | Senior | 6-foot-11 | 230 pounds | C | DX profile | No. 34 in top 100
  • Career Highlights: Ranks first all-time in school history with 2,036 points. Ranks second in school history in rebounds (1,093) and blocked shots (271). Named Patriot League Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year as a senior. Earned First Team All-Patriot League honors as a senior, junior, and sophomore, while earning Second Team honors as a freshman. Named Honorable Mention All-America by the Associated Press as a senior.

    Senior (2012-13):Ranked first on team in scoring (18.7 ppg), rebounds (11.1 rpg) and blocks (2.4 bpg). Scored in double figures in 32 of 34 games played. Scored a season-high 29 points three times, against Columbia, Loyola (MD), and Lafayette. Grabbed a career- high 19 rebounds twice, against Columbia and Navy.

    More from Treutlein...

    After making steady and noteworthy across-the-board improvements in both his sophomore and junior seasons, Mike Muscala came back an even better player as a senior, continuing to take advantage of his steep learning curve en route to becoming one of the best scoring big men in the country.

    Muscala increased his pace adjusted points (+1.2), offensive rebounds (+0.1), defensive rebounds (+2.1), assists (+0.6), and blocks (+0.8) per-40 minutes this season, while also cutting down on his turnovers (-0.5). His overall rebounding improvement was so pronounced that he became the second best rebounder (14.8 boards per 40 minutes pace adjusted) in college basketball this season, and tied with Kevin Love and Andrew Bogut in our historical rebounding database.

    While Muscala's production and skill set improvements were probably most impressive for him as a senior, he's also continued to make subtle strides in filling out his frame, looking like a noticeably different person than the one we first profiled two years ago. His excellent size and length are clear positives for him from an NBA perspective, but he's done a great job of developing his frame to become less of a liability in the strength department, even if there's still plenty more work to be done. His frame still appears like it can handle quite a bit more weight, and he should benefit greatly transitioning to a NBA strength training regimen.

  • Peyton Siva | Louisville | Senior | 6-foot-1 | 181 pounds | PG | DX profile | No. 58 in top 100
  • Career Highlights: Named to the All-Big East Third Team as a senior. Named to the Final Four All- Tournament Team as a senior. Honorable Mention All-Big East selection as a sophomore. Ranks 38th all-time in school history with 1,215 career points scored. Ranks second all-time in school history with 677 career assists.

    Senior (2012-13): Ranked first on team in assists (5.7 apg) and steals (2.3 spg) while ranking second in scoring (10.0 ppg). Scored in double figures in 23 of 40 games played. Scored a season-high 20 points along with four assists against Illinois State. Scored 15 points along with a career-high 13 assists against Villanova. Scored 18 points along with six rebounds and five assists against Michigan in an NCAA Tournament game.

    More from Matt Kamalsky of DraftExpress.com...

    Programmed in the same mold as and possessing physical tools similar to Jacque Vaughn or Speedy Claxton, Siva's defense is his calling card as a prospect. His size doesn't afford him great versatility on this end of the floor, and he may be a target for bigger point guards in the post, but he can step on the floor and make the oppositions' primary ball-handler earn every trip down the court a for few minutes at a time.

    Siva's development into a ball-hawk is significant, as his offensive skills haven't progressed at the same rate over the last few seasons. Though his jump shooting percentages increased from 26% as a junior to 29% as a senior according to Synergy Sports Technology, Siva remains an inconsistent threat both off the catch and off the dribble. His shot selection still leaves something to be desired at times, and his lack of size and sometimes reckless tendencies on his dribble drives result in his poor 52% shooting in finishing situations.

    Siva's 12.6 points per-40 minutes pace adjusted and 51% true shooting percentage both place him among the bottom ten NCAA prospects in our top-100 rankings. Functioning as Louisville's primary ball-handler in conjunction with Russ Smith, the Seattle native's role was predicated on his ability to create for himself and others on the pick and roll and in transition, as has been the case for most of the last three seasons.

  • Michael Snaer | Florida State | Senior | 6-foot-4 | 185 pounds | SG | DX profile | No. 64 in top 100
  • Career Highlights: Played in 134 games with 110 games started in his four-year career. Ranks eighth all-time in school history with 1,560 career points scored, second in games played with 134, third in games started with 110, fifth in three-point field goals made with 196, and 23rd in assists with 268.. Named to the All-ACC Second Team as a junior and All-ACC Third Team as a senior. Named to the All- ACC Freshman Team as a freshman.

    Senior (2012-13): Ranked first on team in scoring (14.8 ppg) and assists (2.5 apg) while ranking third in rebounds (4.5 rpg). Scored in double figures in 26 of 33 games played. Scored a career-high 30 points against Charlotte.

    More from Kyle Nelson of DraftExpress.com...

    Snaer is not an overly skilled or efficient scorer inside the arc, as indicated by his subpar 46% 2-point conversion rate, which ranks in the bottom-10 amongst top-100 prospects in this category. Most of this is due to He struggles not only due to his lack of elite size and strength, but also because of his occasional struggles finishing with his left hand and the fact that he has both average touch and is not a particularly creative finisher around the basket.

    He did, however, attempt a career high 5.2 free throws per 40 minutes pace adjusted, which ranks him in the middle of the pack amongst top-100 prospects, but shows both his improved ability to attack the basket and how his game has evolved from his junior to his senior seasons. His aggressiveness has resulted in significantly more turnovers, and he averaged 3.3 turnovers per 40 minutes pace adjusted as a senior versus just 2.6 per 40 minutes pace adjusted as a junior, but this has to be viewed as a welcome sign as he's clearly a better ball-handler than he appeared to be earlier in his career.

    Ultimately, while Snaer is not a particularly skilled or creative scorer on the offensive end, he has developed into a steady and relatively versatile threat. His improved ball-handling ability has certainly helped him here, and Snaer creates quite a bit of his perimeter and mid-range offense due to his increased comfort operating with his right hand and a trusty crossover. He is far more dangerous attacking the basket with his right hand, and subsequently prefers to finish right no matter which way he's slashing, but it is worth noting that he drove right only 42.9% as a senior against 68.9% as a junior. Continuing to develop in this area could allow him to continue to develop his offensive game and improve his draft standing in the process, as he does not have an elite jump-shot or great passing ability to fall back on.

    Siva did not participate in Saturday's workout because he "tweaked" his ankle on Friday. He wasn't sure yet whether he would participate in his remaining workouts in advance of Thursday's draft.

    All vitals/information/video courtesy of DraftExpress.com and ESPN.com, with notes courtesy of Casey Holdahl at Blazers.com, who has more right here.

    Blazersedge's one-stop shop for all pre-draft workout information is right here.

    The Blazers opened the pre-draft process by working out six players three Thursdays back, another four three Fridays back, six more two Mondays back, another six two Fridays back, six more last Tuesday, six more last Friday, six more on Monday, six more on Wednesday and six more on Thursday.

    They also put Indiana's Cody Zeller through an individual workout and Lehigh's C.J. McCollum got the same treatment. Blazers GM Neil Olshey took questions about the pre-draft process and Blazers coach Terry Stotts explained his role in the workouts.

    The Blazers hold the No. 10 pick in the first round and three second-round picks (No. 39, 40 and 45).

    -- Ben Golliver | benjamin.golliver@gmail.com | Twitter

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