The Trail Blazers held another workout today at the practice facility to put an end to the week. They're scheduled to hold two more workouts, one on Monday and the other on Tuesday, before going into draft lockdown mode. The end of pre-draft workouts are definitely near.
Nate McMillan, who has been on hand for nearly every workout, has been tight-lipped in regards to his opinions individual players, but he did talk a bit today about what they're trying to accomplish when deciding how the workout will play out.
"We try to put them situations to get a read, a feel for what they know," said McMillan. "We don’t tell them a lot to start off with. We want to see what they know so we just put them in different situations and see what they do out there, see how much they know as far as a pin down, a pick and roll, how they defend it, how they use the screen."
Coach McMillan wouldn't say how well today's players adapted to those situations, but at least you now know what he's looking for should you ever get an opportunity to try out for a roster spot.
Today's workout featured A.J. Abrams (Texas), Jimmy Baron (Rhode Island), Michael Bramos (Miami-Ohio), Jeremy Pargo (Gonzaga), Bamba Fall (Southern Methodist) and Ahmad Nivins (Saint Joseph’s). And for more information on how they did, we once again turn to resident expert Chad Buchanan, who serves as Director of College Scouting for the team.
A.J. Abrams, 5-11, Guard, Texas
Buchanan: "Obviously a high-level college program, great coach. Great catch and shoot kid. A little small, as you can see. He’s played all off the ball in college; he’ll have to convert himself to a point guard at our level. Thought he was OK today. Probably second round to undrafted."
Jimmy Baron, 6-3, Guard, Rhode Island
Buchanan: "About as good a shooter as you’re going to see in the college game. He’s got some limitations but you give him an open look and he’s going to bury a lot of shots for you. Coach’s son, so he comes from a good pedigree, understands the game. Has good college stats. He’s got a chance just because he can shoot it."
Michael Bramos, 6-6, Guard, Miami (Ohio)
Buchanan: "High basketball IQ. Tough kid. He’s a gritty, kind of undersized power forward at the college level but has some perimeter skills. I think he can be a three. He’s got some limitations with the ball a little bit and laterally, but his smarts and his toughness. I think he’ll end up on a summer league roster if he goes undrafted."
Bamba Fall, 7-1, Forward, Southern Methodist
Buchanan: "Long, lean, raw. We saw him, it’s been about five years ago when we first saw him. He hasn’t filled out physically a ton, but he’s got length and he can block shots. His feel for the game is still kind of a work in progress. But he measured out over 7-1. His best trait is his length right now, but skill wise he’s got a ways to go."
Ahmad Nivins, 6-9, Forward, St. Joseph's
Buchanan: "Good size. He’ll bang, plays hard, like his motor. Can shoot it a little bit. Probably a second round type kid. I think somebody would take a chance on him in the second round. Really nice kid, like his high character. He has a chance to maybe be a backup in our league someday."
Jeremy Pargo, 6-2, Guard, Gonzaga
Buchanan: "Powerful little guard. Great personality. He’s a leader, loves to play. You can tell his vibe raises the level of everybody in the gym. He’s got to sharpen up in some areas to be an NBA point guard. He’s getting better at defending the ball. I can tell just from the progress he’s made from our first workout to today. He’s done a bunch of workouts , he told us, so you can see that he’s progressed a little bit in his on ball defense just in the last month. I would think somebody might take a chance on him in the second round. Really like him as a kid, though."