Draft Preview: Workout Buzz 1.1 (Updated)

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Game rules: don’t read too much into any one name. Every team will workout dozens of players. Sometimes we’re fortunate enough to know who a team is working out, and other times it’s a mystery to all but a few. The Spurs like to hold their cards close to the vest. And, of course, teams often combine workouts. Last summer, the Spurs and Thunder took this approach on at least one occasion. There are, after all, two tin cans connected by a string that runs between San Antonio and Oklahoma City.

Having said that, workout information is far from useless. The obvious thing is the Spurs are not in the business of wasting their time. If they’ve asked a guy in for a workout, it’s because something about him caught their eye.  But it’s absolutely not because of anything approaching a commitment. They’re just window shopping. Still, had we known the Spurs held two sessions with George Hill prior to the 2008 draft, we might not have been surprised to hear his name at 26.

Something else to note: what positions are being worked out? If a pattern emerges–an inordinate number of point guards, for example–it clues us in to what the Spurs are looking for in the draft and, perhaps, in free agency. But those two things are not always the same. So, if the Spurs workout a bunch of point guards we might expect them to target a different position with their MLE. I’m painting with broad strokes, and using random examples, but I trust that you follow. And, as with the first point, patterns don’t emerge from a vacuum. Always be careful not to assume too much. Variables, people. Variables.

Finally, I would remind you that the Spurs have three second round picks. You’re hoping for the next Manu Ginobili, but you should brace yourself for Viktor Sanikidze.

On Saturday the Spurs will take a look at Jermaine Taylor, a shooting guard from Central Florida.

On Monday they’ll see Courtney Fells, a shooting guard from North Carolina State.

(Thanks to the HoopsHype crew for keeping us up to speed.)

Update:  Bruno from SpursTalk has harnessed the power of search engines and identified the following auditions:

Alex Ruoff, SG, West Virginia (source)

Ben Woodside, PG, North Dakota State (source, 228)

Kyle McAlarney, PG, Notre Dame (source)

Tyler Smith, SF, Tennessee (source)

Dionte Christmas, SG, Temple (source)

Nic Wise, PG, Arizona (source)

  • Sri

    Is it just me or does everybody else fee sick in their stomach seeing Luis Scola play so well for Rockets? I can’t imagine how well he would have worked out for Spurs.

  • doobiedoo

    What ever happened to Sanikidze? Is he at least decent wherever he’s playing?

  • GMT

    Sure he’s a great player, but I’m definitely over the fact that we missed out. What’s done is done. Let him be a Rocket. Whenever I read a post about this, I just get annoyed that it’s being brought up. No disrespect to you, Sri, that’s just how I feel.

  • http://www.48minutesofhell.com Timothy Varner

    Sanikidze, all joking aside, made some strides last season. He played in the Estonian League and was more or less the best player for his team, Tartu Rock. He’s still young, and still built like spaghetti noodles on the South Beach diet, but he’s okay. Maybe the Spurs will invite him to summer league.

  • Greg

    I agree with you Sri about Scola. Would have been nice to see him with the Spurs, but you never know how that would have worked out.

    But I do think it’s important for us to bring up Scola, especially with the draft approaching because, to me, it shows that as good as our front office is, they do miss. I know that nobody is perfect and there will be misses with drafts and free agents….but we seem to be having a lot of misses lately. I know we all keep hoping for the next Parker or Ginobili, but think back to how long it has been since they were drafted. Other than Hill, has any other player we’ve drafted in the last 5 years contributed?

    So I do think it’s important to remember what Scola could have been because in order for the team to get younger and stay competitive, they are going to need to upgrade their talent, and part of that will come through the draft. Tim, you’ve done a great job of letting us know updates on the Toros and how the Spurs can truly use their D League team to their advantage, but at some point, the Spurs won’t be able to get by with draft picks that won’t contribute for 3 years. Think how much better the Spurs would be if they had any draft picks in the past 3 years who would be playing right now (other than Hill of course). The reloading process wouldn’t look nearly as daunting and the team wouldn’t be nearly as old.

    I’m not saying we should harp on every mistake that’s been made, and it’s hard to complain with 4 championships, but it just seems that other teams have caught up with the Spurs in their drafting, and we need to learn from the past, in order to better our future.

  • Jordan

    I see a lot of guards, does that mean we’re keeping Gooden?

  • http://www.48minutesofhell.com Timothy Varner

    Sample size is too small to draw any conclusions.

    Maybe they’re bringing in players by position and we’ll see a slew of forwards next week. Or perhaps they’re looking at a guard for the Toros with one of the their picks in 50s. They probably already have their short list of players they’d like at 37, like Omri Casspi.

    If, after a few weeks, we see they’ve worked out 40 players and 30 of them are guards, then I’ll start to speculate with a little more confidence. But you’re right, the early list is a head scratcher.

  • Big50

    I like Woodside, having spent more time in North Dakota than most people would think possible, which is really not hard to do, I am interested to see if he’ll be an NBA player. I’m not sure he’d make the Spurs or even Austin’s roster, but he plays hard and hustles, plus he can shoot.

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  • Bill

    I’m looking forward to seeing Nando De Colo if we can get him over here… doesn’t he have a year left on his Euro contract? He reminds me of a young Manu.