Suns work out six ahead of Thursday's NBA draft - The Explorer: Sports

Suns work out six ahead of Thursday's NBA draft

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Tuesday, June 23, 2009 11:00 pm | Updated: 1:28 pm, Mon Apr 18, 2011.

Associated Press

Six players worked out for the Phoenix Suns on Saturday, and there's a strong chance the team's first-round draft pick was among them.

Flashy point guard Brandon Jennings and forwards James Johnson, Earl Clark, and Austin Daye were among those trying to impress the Suns, who have the No. 14 pick overall in Thursday's draft.

"This is just a really, really good group — motivated,” said David Griffin, the Suns' senior vice president for basketball operations. "James Johnson did a great job of leading these, quite frankly. He was really kind of the one who rallied everybody's effort level today, which is interesting.”

The 19-year-old Jennings, who pulled out of a commitment to play in college at Arizona and spent last season playing sparingly in Italy, said "It wasn't my best workout, but I played pretty well today.”

"I'm a little fatigued, just from traveling all the time,” he said. "I've got to go to Milwaukee tonight and then work out for them, and then New Jersey, so it's been a tough grind for me so far.”

Jennings said he's already worked out for New York, Washington, Indiana and Minnesota.

General manager Steve Kerr said that this year's draft is so unpredictable that Jennings might be available, especially considering the player's background.

"He's really, really skilled and quick but he doesn't have the track record because he didn't play a whole lot in Italy,” Kerr said. "…Chances are he probably is gone by the time we pick but there's a chance he'll be there.”

Johnson, 6-feet-9 and 245 pounds out of Wake Forest, had a workout that was a vast improvement from the one he had for the Suns in May.

"`He was the guy to me that, relatively to expectation level, delivered the best today. We really want people who want to play,” Griffin said, "and James came to play today and proved he wanted to play and that was important because his first workout he really didn't show that.”

Johnson said he's out to prove that he can consistently work hard.

"I'm not afraid to go in there and crash a little bit, rebound a little bit, anything,” he said. "`I'll be a great practice player until I get in the rotation, until I deserve to be in the rotation.”

Kerr praised Johnson's ball-handling ability.

"We've talked a little bit about Rodney Rogers,” Kerr said. "He reminds us a little bit of Rodney, at that size and strength and ball-handling skills. That's an interesting combination.”

Saturday was the Suns' first chance to look closely at Clark, a 6-9, 225-pound forward out of Louisville who said he's worked out for 10 other teams.

"He's a versatile defender. You can see he can get out on the post,” Kerr said. "A couple of times he stayed in front of Brandon Jennings and didn't let him penetrate, which is really tough as quick as he is and as big as Earl is. That's not an easy thing to do, but it's an important skill these days in the NBA to be able to switch off on to smaller guys and guard them.”

Clark, who had to cancel an earlier workout for the Suns because his girlfriend gave birth to their daughter, said he's out to prove his toughness.

"A lot of people look at my body language and think I'm out there cruising,” Clark said. "`I guess I make it look easy. I just want to come out here and be myself and show these teams that I really work hard.”

Daye, a stringbean 6-11, 200-pounder out of Gonzaga, didn't talk to reporters but the Suns already were very familiar with his abilities.

"We know about his shooting range and his length,” Kerr said.

The others who worked out Saturday are 6-6 guard Nick Calathes out of Florida and 6-8 forward Jonas Jerebko, who was born in the United States but grew up and played professionally in Sweden.

After the practice, Kerr briefly addressed the many trade rumors involving the Suns' Shaquille O'Neal and Amare Stoudemire. He said he is considering all possibilities.

"My answer hasn't changed,” Kerr said. "We're not good enough to sit here and say 'Well, everybody's untouchable. We're going forward. We're going to win a title next year.' We're not in that realm, obviously. My job and our job upstairs is to take in as much information as possible and consider every deal and then you go from there. You just try to make your team better.”

© 2014 The Explorer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

More about

More about

More about

Welcome to the discussion.

Oro Valley Audiology

Oro Valley AudiologyAddress: 2542 E Vistoso Commerce Loop Rd, Oro Valley, AZ 85755Phone:(520) ...

HS Schedule

Tuesday, September 30

Boys Golf (3 p.m.)

Mountain View at Haven Golf Course

Ironwood Ridge, Buena, Catalina at Rincon (Dell Urich)

Girls Volleyball (4, 5, 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Marana at CDO

Maricopa at Mountain View

Ironwood Ridge at Vista Grande

Poston Butte at Catalina Foothills

San Miguel at Pusch Ridge

Freshman Football (6 p.m.)

Maricopa at Marana

Wednesday, October 1

Girls Golf (3 p.m.)

Mountain View vs. Ironwood Ridge (Omnu Tucson National)

CDO, Sunnyside at Flowing Wells (Silverbell)

Sabino at Catalina Foothills

Cross Country (4:30 p.m.)

Ironwood Ridge, Sahuarita at Flowing Wells (Columbus Park)

Marana, St. Gregory at Catalina Foothills

Girls Volleyball (4, 5, 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

CDO at Ironwood Ridge

Freshman Football (6 p.m.)

Mountain View at Salpointe

Catalina Foothills at CDO

JV Football (6.p.m.)

Marana at Maricopa

Salpointe at Mountain View

CDO at Catalina Foothills

Thursday, October 2

Swimming (4 p.m.)

Mountain View, St. Gregory’s, Pusch Ridge at Marana

Girls Volleyball (4, 5, 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Mountain View at Poston Butte

Catalina Foothills at Flowing Wells

Pusch Ridge at Willcox

Varsity Football (7p.m.)

Maricopa at Marana

Mountain View at Salpointe

Catalina Foothills @ CDO

Ironwood Ridge at Rincon

Friday, October 3

Boys Golf (all day)

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Santa Rita/Flowing Wells Invitational

Girls Vollyeball (all day)

CDO, Catalina Foothills at Falcon Invitational

Cross Country

Catalina Foothills, CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Desert Twilight Festival

Varsity Footbal (7 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge at San Tan Valley

Saturday, October 4

Boys Golf (all day)

CDO at Santa Rita/Flowing Wells Invitational

Swimming (all day)

Catalina Foothills, CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Brophy/Xavier Swim Invitational

Girls Volleyball (4 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge at Desert Christian

MOS: No Shave November

We asked the community about No Shave November. It is a unique way to raise cancer awareness, ...

MOS: Halloween

We asked the community about Halloween!

More Featured Videos

Oro Valley Audiology

Oro Valley AudiologyAddress: 2542 E Vistoso Commerce Loop Rd, Oro Valley, AZ 85755Phone:(520) ...


Follow us on Facebook