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Timberwolves Workout Response: Point Guards

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Timberwolves Workout Response: Point Guards 

Post#1 » by El_Lobo_3 » Fri Jun 19, 2009 6:50 pm

I know we already have a thread for general workout videos and responses but I thought more people would get to read this if it was its own thread.

Today I was at the Timberwolves practice facility to watch their private workouts for Tyreke Evans, Jonny Flynn, Ty Lawson, Brandon Jennings, Jrue Holiday, and Jeff Teague.

First off, I want to openly admit that I have been a big critic on the idea of drafting Tyreke Evans at 6, for a number of reasons...after today, however, one thing became very clear to me, Tyreke Evans is going to be one Hell of a player.

Evans is HUGE. He showed an incredible combination of size/speed/athleticism/jumping ability/pure bull strength/defense/shooting ability that I have not seen from any prospect since, dare I say, this one really tall muscular guy that one a big award this past year. Again, I have been very critical of Evans, but this guy looked like a mini Lebron out there. He dominated in the one on ones, finishing at the rim time and time again after showing very impressive moves and ball handling along with his explosive athleticism. He dominated every single point guard there, jonny flynn was really the only one who stopped him once or twice, and it was more Evans just missed than him stopping him. In the 1-on-1s, the players would have to work to get open for an in-bounds pass, and then had four seconds to get a shot off...most often they received the ball between the top of the key and half court, and evans would get to the rim with ease, bull rushing, juking, spinning, whatever he wanted to do, he did. He made Jennings basically fall down a couple times, and hit 3s in the face of lawson and flynn that drew pretty big Ohhhhs from the small crowd watching on.

Evans hit a handful of 3's in the one on ones and 3-on-3 drills, Including a game winning 3 in the face of i believe Ty Lawson to end the workout. He was simply a man amongst boys today. Tyreke definitely shot better than I had imagined, that will not be an issue down the road.

Flynn was very impressive also. Very strong with the ball, by far the best ball handler there, and a very smooth jump shot. He will be a very good point guard...good guy, hard worker and just gave off a good leadership kind of vibe.

Lawson was good in the one on ones and everything, nothing really stood out though. He made a few shots but overall is was an average showing for him. Didn't seem as fast as the other guys.

Holiday shot the ball very well, seems a little underdeveloped physically, obviously, but his shot is real good. He was good in the open floor and played pretty good defense.

Jennings and Teague just blended in. Jennings is extremely fast and quick on his feet but he got beat on Defense all day and his shot is really ugly. Along with that, he was slamming the ball down, complaining about not getting fouls and letting the "F" bomb go...right in front of Kahn...great idea...

Teague shot the ball well but otherwise he was a sideshow.

Afterwards, Kahn invited the small crowd of season tix holders in to a private room to ask questions.
-He said we won 24 games, nobody is irreplaceable
-Said that they are actively looking to add picks/ trade picks
-When asked if he preferred a pure point guard or combo point guard, he said whatever fits the players around him best.
-Stated there is no truth to marc jackson rumors, no searching for coach will be done until after the draft.
-Said he did not view Pekovic as the tall, long rim defender at Center that he has been talking about, although he does really like him a lot.
-Confirmed his statements that Al would be 2nd best player on championship team and Love 4th if he reached potential.
-When asked who he liked the most from workouts so far, he said he REALLY like what he saw today...considering Tyreke Evans was a one man show out there, its safe to say he likes him a lot.
-If I remember any more of his private Q/A answers I will repost.



Overall I rate the prospects from today in this order:

1. Evans (BY FAR)
2. Flynn
3. Lawson
4. Holiday
5. Tie: Jennings and Teague

I am now completely on board with getting Evans, I cannot believe how dominant he was, the matchup problems that would arise from having him and Foye back there would be great. No point guard would be able to guard this guy especially if he is surrounded with the right talent. I am sold.

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Re: Timberwolves Workout Response: Point Guards 

Post#2 » by Devilzsidewalk » Fri Jun 19, 2009 7:03 pm

I can agree with those rankings, I've always had Lawson ahead of Flynn, but I haven't seen enough of Flynn. Everybody that has though has nothing but good things to say.
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Re: Timberwolves Workout Response: Point Guards 

Post#3 » by john2jer » Fri Jun 19, 2009 7:04 pm

Damn, this workout was like 2 blocks away from where I work. I'd have killed to be there.

Now obviously Evans had a huge height advantage on everyone except Holiday, and he's definitely stronger than all those guys, but I'm glad to hear he performed well against the best PG prospects, save Rubio.

Tyreke Evans for the win. Hopefully that wowed Kahn enough.

Evans KAHN DO IT!
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Re: Timberwolves Workout Response: Point Guards 

Post#4 » by Biff Cooper » Fri Jun 19, 2009 7:04 pm

Thanks for the info
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Re: Timberwolves Workout Response: Point Guards 

Post#5 » by jpatrick » Fri Jun 19, 2009 7:05 pm

Great stuff. Thanks for the information.

I am skeptical of Evans' because I think of him as a tweener because he doesn't have a defined skill set. Does he have the shot to be a 2 or the passing/leadership skills to be a 1? I wonder if the Wolves see him as a 1, 2 or combo guard? I find it interesting that he participated in our PG workout. Does that mean the team see him as a PG, Evans see himself as a PG so wanted to work out against other PGs or was this just the best timing. I read he refused to workout out against Terrance Williams last week in Sacramento. I wonder if his strength would be nullified somewhat by going against NBA caliber SGs.

From a skill set standpoint, too bad we couldn't pick up Washington's pick and have the Curry/Evans backcourt. It would seems that their skills would mesh perfectly. If we do pick Evans, your update will have transformed me from someone who wants to put my foot through the TV to someone who's willing to wait and see what he does (not overjoyed but not completely hating the pick).
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Re: Timberwolves Workout Response: Point Guards 

Post#6 » by Shox214 » Fri Jun 19, 2009 7:05 pm

I read somewhere that Evans was only going to come in for a individual workout, but am glad to see your reports on him dominating during today's workouts. If he is available at #6, Tyreke is my first choice. I was hoping Brandon Jennings might be better then expected but the guy sounds like he hasn't matured like some said he has in Italy.

Did Evans play pg during the 3-3 drills at all?
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Re: Timberwolves Workout Response: Point Guards 

Post#7 » by El_Lobo_3 » Fri Jun 19, 2009 7:09 pm

Yeah I always was skeptical of Evans mainly for the same reasons, I didn't think he had the necessary skill set to play either spot because he was such an extreme tweener. I can honestly say that he has the ball handling, strength and composure to play the point in the NBA. He was very vocal and very confident in everything he did, which was impressive. Now obviously there are other intangibles required for a NBA point guard to have but he definitely has the skills to do it. I would love him or Flynn at point. Flynn really ran away from Lawson in my eyes, to the point where if our other options are gone, Flynn at six seems reasonable. It is hard to describe but he is so good in person, he really wowed me.
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Re: Timberwolves Workout Response: Point Guards 

Post#8 » by El_Lobo_3 » Fri Jun 19, 2009 7:11 pm

Shox214 wrote:
Did Evans play pg during the 3-3 drills at all?


Yeah they all kind of rotated turns, but he had no problem getting the ball up on lawson, jennings, flynn, and everyone...He is so fast/strong that they couldn't even get close to the ball.
"I need some Spanish. How do I say, Ricky please come to Minnesota, play PG for us PLEASE? AND has anyone ever told you that you sound like the lucky charms guy? Imagine his assists are the cereal and we all want his lucky charms" -Kevin Love
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Re: Timberwolves Workout Response: Point Guards 

Post#9 » by El_Lobo_3 » Fri Jun 19, 2009 7:13 pm

Oh and I almost forget the most important news...one of the FO people told me it will be a while before we release an alternate black jersey, which I think would look sick with the new jerseys, because of some rules regarding how long you have to play with the regular jerseys before making an alternate. lame.
"I need some Spanish. How do I say, Ricky please come to Minnesota, play PG for us PLEASE? AND has anyone ever told you that you sound like the lucky charms guy? Imagine his assists are the cereal and we all want his lucky charms" -Kevin Love
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Re: Timberwolves Workout Response: Point Guards 

Post#10 » by jpatrick » Fri Jun 19, 2009 7:31 pm

Good thing Kahn revealed today that he has unlimited cell-phone minutes because, from word around sources in the league, it sounds like his phone is ringing non-stop, especially in talks with the Wizards. That would have to mean discussion about Washington’s fifth pick. Look for Kahn to try to get that one or Memphis’ second in addition to his own sixth.


http://blogs2.startribune.com/blogs/wolves/

Well, maybe we can get that Curry/Evans backcourt after all although Zgoda said he'd take Holiday and pair him with Evans, Harden or Derozan.
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Re: Timberwolves Workout Response: Point Guards 

Post#11 » by Devilzsidewalk » Fri Jun 19, 2009 7:33 pm

rfoye4 wrote:I would love him or Flynn at point. Flynn really ran away from Lawson in my eyes, to the point where if our other options are gone, Flynn at six seems reasonable. It is hard to describe but he is so good in person, he really wowed me.


just by how you and pretty much everybody else that's gotten to see him up close responds so positively, I'm feeling the same way. I was feeling like there was a prime 4 of Griffin/Rubio/Harden/Evans, then Thabeet as a solid #5, but now Flynn is starting to sneak up to the point where I'm no long that disappointed if that 5-some is gone as long as we go Flynn. His personality and game scream Chris Paul.
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Re: Timberwolves Workout Response: Point Guards 

Post#12 » by john2jer » Fri Jun 19, 2009 7:33 pm

Sadly I think if Evans was 3 inches shorter people would be more ok with him playing point guard. I think he's going to be a great point guard. He's definitely shown great ball handling and the ability/desire to hit open guys. He just seems to play good basketball the right way with the ability to attack and bully his way to the lane added into his point skills.

Tyreke Evans for the win.
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Re: Timberwolves Workout Response: Point Guards 

Post#13 » by mandurugo » Fri Jun 19, 2009 7:34 pm

Thanks for the scouting report and updates, it was a good read.
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Re: Timberwolves Workout Response: Point Guards 

Post#14 » by Esohny » Fri Jun 19, 2009 7:34 pm

Holiday-Harden would be niiiiiice
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Re: Timberwolves Workout Response: Point Guards 

Post#15 » by Esohny » Fri Jun 19, 2009 7:40 pm

By the way, thanks for the great info.
SMAC-K wrote:Mayo>>>>Love and that 5th pick
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Re: Timberwolves Workout Response: Point Guards 

Post#16 » by tvwolves7 » Fri Jun 19, 2009 7:42 pm

Which FO people were there? Obviously you named Kahn but did you see Hoiberg, Stack, and Babcock?

By the way rfoye4 where are your tickets or how long you been a season ticket holder to get an invite to such a thing?

Also someone stated before sort of asking why Evans was with the PGs and thought maybe the wolves saw him as a point. Originally Curry was going to be in the workout, he dropped out and Evans was originally slated for this afternoon. He agreed to jump in the workout so it was 3 vs 3 at times.
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Re: Timberwolves Workout Response: Point Guards 

Post#17 » by jpatrick » Fri Jun 19, 2009 7:43 pm

I only watched Memphis a couple times, anyone who's seen them more, why did Evans have such a poor TO/Ast ration? It's was basically 1:1 which is pretty horrific for a PG, especially one playing against Conference USA talent. I also wonder about the 27% three pt shooting. From the report he shot well today, I wonder if it's because he's improving or his ugly form just works better in a workout setting than the pressure of a real game.

I'm warming to him but these are my biggest concerns.
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Re: Timberwolves Workout Response: Point Guards 

Post#18 » by El_Lobo_3 » Fri Jun 19, 2009 7:51 pm

tvwolves7 wrote:Which FO people were there? Obviously you named Kahn but did you see Hoiberg, Stack, and Babcock?

By the way rfoye4 where are your tickets or how long you been a season ticket holder to get an invite to such a thing?


Yes they were all there, I believe. Not sure about babcock but I thought I saw him on the other side. All the assistant coaches ran the drills pretty much. A family member has been a big season tix holder since the beginning so he invited me to join him today. It was pretty awesome, such an up close view on everything!
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Re: Timberwolves Workout Response: Point Guards 

Post#19 » by john2jer » Fri Jun 19, 2009 7:54 pm

Evans handled the ball a ton, which increases turnovers, but it's definitely an area he needs to improve. Also Memphis was one of the higher possession teams which leads to more opportunities to turnover the ball.

Also, from my experience with the dribble drive offense, you're going to give up a few extra turnovers compared to a more traditional offense, anyways. It's also not a big offense for one guy getting a ton of assists. It's predicated on a PG being able to beat his man off the dribble and create his own offense. If he can't score his options are to dump it to the low post who's potentially open, kick it out to shooters, or more frequently "hand it off" to a wing slashing behind him who starts his own dribble drive opportunity. It's kind of like a low-weave. Hopefully that makes sense. But basically it doesn't lead to a lot of assists for just one guy, but it unfortunately can lead to more turnovers.

So a few of the factors weren't entirely Evans fault, but he definitely needs to improve in that regard. He's not innocent or off the hook, either.

I think with more solid coaching, being in a more traditional offense, and working the pick and roll with Love, we'd see Evans' assist numbers go up, probably around 6-7/game and his turnover ratio drop.

His shooting, while having an unconventional form, has shown to improve in workouts. Now obviously that's not in a game, and he does have work to do, I think we'll see that go up. He'll likely never be a 40% guy, but I think he can a decent 32-37% shooter from behind the arc.

His strengths are his size, strength, ability to get to the basket and free throw line, defense, and willingness and ability to hit the open guy for easy baskets. He creates offense, not just for himself, but others.

I'm sure this comparison has gotten old, and I'm not saying he's at this talent level yet, or ever will, but his game seems very similar to Dwayne Wade. Ball controlling guard who gets to the basket and free throw line, with the ability to hit open cutters and shooters. Plus the defense and LONG wingspan is similar. Tyreke just has to add in the mid-range game, which I think he has in him.
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Re: Timberwolves Workout Response: Point Guards 

Post#20 » by collin_k41 » Fri Jun 19, 2009 8:22 pm

My best guess for the draft is:
1. Griffin
2. Thabeet
3. Rubio
4. Evans
5. Harden
6. ?????

I just don't think Evans will fall to us but I really hope he does. The best thing that could happen is if Jordan Hill broke into the top 5, or maybe Jrue Holiday, or both would be nice lol. I'd be ok with having any of the guys I listed in the top five on this team. My draft guesses might be wrong too, I think 2 and 3 could be switched and 4 and 5 could be as well.

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