Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Buchanan Pre-Draft Quotes: June 23

The Trail Blazers held their final pre-draft workout Tuesday at the practice featuring Nando De Colo (Cholet, France), Paul Delaney (Alabama-Birmingham), Tywon Lawson (North Carolina), Taylor Griffin (Oklahoma) and Goran Suton (Michigan State). Three guards and two forwards, all of whom are probably about sick of running three-man weave and defensive recovery drills. But that's life when you're trying to make it in the pros.

And while the players are tired, at least they get to take a breather. Same can't be said for the front office staff, who have their work cut out for them over the course of the next 48 hours. Now the debates and the bartering really begin, and in this draft, with seemingly no consensus after the first pick, anything can happen.

"I feel like this draft is like an audible," said Kevin Pritchard. "You have to be prepared for everything. You’ve got to be thinking on your feet, ready for anything. So we’ll prepare and do the best we can do look at every option."

Those options run from standing pat with the No. 24 pick to trading completely out of the draft. Everything is on the table at this point, which makes the task of deciphering what Pritchard characterized today as the "truly real" all the more important.

So even though the workouts have now concluded, the real work has only just begun.

"You just got to be prepared for anything that comes your way up until when you’re on the clock to draft," said Chad Buchanan. "It’s our job to be prepared for every possible scenario and that’s what we’re trying to do right now."

So for the skinny on each players workout we turn one final time to Buchanan, Trail Blazers Director of College Scouting.

Nando De Colo, 6-5, Guard, Cholet Basket (France)
Buchanan: "Creative kind of combo guard. Played a lot off the ball with Cholet over in France. Was a teammate of Rodrigue Beaubois. Saw him over in the Eurocamp, Mike, Jason and I did and Coach Bayno. Very creative. He’s got some flair to his game. He’s got good size. Probably going to have to be a point at our level. He needs to get stronger, but he’s got a really good feel for the game and can make some plays for other people around him, which is appealing, especially for a guy his size.

"I think he gets drafted. I don’t know, depending on what you want from him, if you feel like he’s ready or not. I would say physically he’s probably not quite ready, but basketball feel, IQ, skill level, he’s probably pretty close. It’s just going to depend on what you want from him. If you’ve got a spot for him maybe you consider bringing him over. But most teams would probably leave him overseas, if I had to guess."

Paul Delaney, 6-2, Guard, University of Alabama-Birmingham
Buchanan: "Paul had a rough trip getting here. He had an emergency landing last night in Montana in the middle of the night last night, so he ended up getting to his hotel after 3 AM. He’s coming off an injury too.

"Great on-ball defender. He’s got good length. Plays with a lot of emotion and passion. Offensively is the area of his game where he’s going to have to sharpen up if he’s ever going to play in this league. But he could guard a lot of players in our league right now today with his feet and his length and his toughness. He’s got to sharpen up himself on the other end."

Taylor Griffin, 6-7, Forward, Oklahoma
Buchanan: "Very physical, as you can see. Powerful, explosive athlete. He’s got a good feel for the game. He knows what he is as a player, which you like and respect from a kid. That’s the sign of a guy who has some good basketball IQ. Defends, plays physical, plays winning basketball. A little undersized height-wise, but he’s got some toughness and grit to him that’s pretty admirable.

"He’s got to be a 4 because I don’t think he’s got small forward ball skills and shooting the ball from any sort of range, he’ll have to improve that if he’s going to move away from the power forward spot."

Ty Lawson, 5-11, Guard, North Carolina
Buchanan: "Obviously he’s got great speed. He’s got some physicality despite being kind of undersized height-wise. Obviously had a tremendous season. He’s improved his shooting, improved his decision-making, really matured as a player over the last year. And it shows out here in setting like this. Definitely an NBA player for sure.

"I think he went back for the right reasons. He knew he had some areas of his game he wanted to shore up and I think he did that. Definitely a good move for him.

"All these point guards in the first round are a little different in their own little way. He’s got as much speed, if not more speed, north/south than any of the other point guards. That’s kind of what his niche is amongst those point guards. Improved shooter, decent defender. I think for me his speed, if you want to play fast, he’s going to be pretty effective in our league."

Goran Suton, 6-10, Forward, Michigan State
Buchanan: "Really likable kid; loves to play. You can tell he loves to play. He’s got typical European power forward game: he faces up, can shoot it, can really pass. He’s got a little bit of offense around the hole. Very below average athlete for his position in the NBA, but basketball IQ and smarts get him onto a floor probably someday. Whether it’s our level? Probably a high-league Euro level for sure.

"But definitely comes from a great program, a great coach obviously. He’s had a lot of success. Four-year guy. Those guys usually have a chance. I would think that he probably has a good shot of being picked somewhere in the second round."

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