Draft workouts: PGs and centers stage
May, 25, 2013
By Chris Forsberg | ESPNBoston.com
Chris Forsberg/ESPN BostonJared Sullinger got up shots on Saturday in Waltham.WALTHAM, Mass. -- The Boston Celtics hosted six players -- four point guards and two centers -- as part of the second day of pre-draft workouts at their training facility on Saturday.
The point guards featured Baylor's Pierre Jackson, Texas' Myck Kabongo, Missouri's Phil Pressey, and Miami's Shane Larkin, while the big men were Pittsburgh's Steven Adams and Creighton's Gregory Echenique.
This came one day after a similar six-man workout that featured guards in Louisville's Peyton Siva, Providence's Ricky Ledo, Virginia Tech's Erick Green, and Marquette's Vander Blue, along with big men in Colorado State's Colton Iverson and Kansas' Jeff Withey.
Celtics assistant coach Jay Larranaga helmed the workouts, which featured a variety of drills before a grueling three-minute running exercise with strength and conditioning coach Bryan Doo to close out the session.
"I thought [the workout] went great," said Larranaga. "We always just want to see the guys give great effort, be competitive, and we always tell them to just show the best version of yourself, and I think everyone did that. They didn't try to do too much. They stayed within the team concept, and it was a lot of fun.
"We try to make everything as game-like as possible. And then find the intangibles that winning teams have [like] toughness, team spirit, and then obviously just evaluating their skills. What are they good at? Are they good shooters? Are they good defenders? Good passers? I think we had a little mixture of all that today."
And as for the late-session run that left most players huffing and puffing as media were let in after the workouts?
"That's B-Doo's job," said Larranaga with a smile. "That's a staple of the Celtics workout, that three-minute run, and I'm fortunate that I don't have to participate."
The Celtics own only one pick in this year's draft, No. 16, after trading away a pair of second-round picks to Portland as part of a three-team sign-and-trade swap to land Courtney Lee. Is the team tipping its hand a bit by almost exclusively bringing in point guards and centers?
"My job is to run the workout," said Larranaga. "Whoever they bring in, the four or five or six guys that come in, we try to put them through a tough workout where they can show all their different skills. I have no idea what [coach] Doc [Rivers] and [president of basketball operations] Danny [Ainge] are looking for. I think so far we've had 12 really good players, and all of them with NBA potential, so they're obviously doing a great job of getting guys in there."
Read on for a handful of quick hits from the session, including Pressey's dash to Bertucci's Italian Restaurant and the Scalabrine Stamp of Approval for Adams:
* PRESSEY BACK IN WALTHAM: Pressey, whose father Paul was a part of Rivers' coaching staff from 2004-06 (and an advanced scout in 2006-07), played a year of high school ball at nearby Waltham High School and often spent time at the team's practice facility while growing up (both for practice with Leo Papile's BABC squad and while shadowing his father). Pressey, pegged as a potential late-round pick, said of returning to Waltham, "It's crazy. Most of these coaches were here when my dad was here, so it's like they saw me when I was in the 8th or 9th grade... I don't feel like anything has changed much. I came into Waltham, I had to go to Bertucci's, that's my spot right there, so I had to hit that spot up. It feels like I came back home. It feels the same to me."
* MORE FAMOUS BLOODLINES: Shane Larkin is the son of Barry Larkin, the 12-time All-Star and Hall of Fame shortstop of the Cincinnati Reds. What's more, his uncle, Byron, starred at Xavier before spending six seasons playing professionally overseas. You can add in uncles Mike (Notre Dame football) and Steve (Texas baseball) to the family's sports lineage.
* ADAMS IS MEDIA READY: Adams already comes with the Brian Scalabrine stamp of approval (Scalabrine has coached him in pre-draft workouts and suggested the Celtics consider him with their pick), and he won over local media with his disarming nature. A 7-foot center out of New Zealand, Adams is no stranger to the region, having spent time at prep school warehouse Notre Dame Academy in Fitchburg. He averaged 7.2 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2 blocks per game as a freshman at Pittsburgh before declaring for the draft. He's got a fascinating background as one of 18 children. His half-sister is Valerie Kasanita Vili-Adams, the 2008 Olympic shot put champion (she's also a three-time world champ in the sport).
* SULLINGER MAKES A CAMEO: Boston's top pick in last year's draft, Jared Sullinger, got up shots after the workout while he continues his rehab from back surgery in February. Sullinger talked earlier this week about his 10-week rehab program aimed at getting him back to 100 percent for training camp.
* WILLIAMS HERE, TOO: Terrence Williams, who was arrested earlier this month in Washington and remains under investigation for second-degree assault, also worked out at the team's facility on Saturday. He openly discussed his situation with reporters and noted that he met with both Ainge and Rivers to discuss his future with the team. Williams said he remains a potential part of the team's future despite his ongoing legal issues and nonguaranteed contract.