Dennis Schröder laughed and tried to brush it off. When the gifted young point guard from Germany was asked whether he was given a “promise” to be drafted in the first round of the June 27 NBA draft, he grinned and said, “Nobody has talked to me. … I’m just hoping to go in the first round.” Schröder’s agent, Alex Saratsis, tried to squelch the Schröder “promise” as well. “I don’t know where that came from,” Saratsis said. “I don’t know anything about that.” Racine Journal-Times
Schröder said he intends to audition for only three more teams before heading back to Germany. Those teams are Boston, Dallas, which has the 13th pick, and Utah, which has the 14th pick. Racine Journal-Times
I was told Schröder didn’t perform well in Houston and was outplayed by Phil Pressey, the son of former Bucks guard Paul Pressey, and Ray McCallum, the son of former University of Wisconsin assistant coach Ray McCallum Sr. Both Pressey and McCallum are projected second-round picks. Racine Journal-Times
Some observers of Schröder’s workout with the Bucks said he turned in a solid but hardly spectacular performance. Fortunately for Schröder, most teams don’t put a lot of stock in team workouts. They rely much more heavily on the information they’ve garnered throughout the course of the season. Racine Journal-Times
Miami point guard Shane Larkin tops the list of six players who will participate in a pre-draft workout for the Jazz on Wednesday morning at the team’s practice facility.
Larkin, the son of baseball Hall of Fame shortstop Barry Larkin, is a 5-foot-11 point guard who is projected to be selected in the middle of the first round of the draft on June 27.
The Jazz own the No. 14 and No. 21 picks in the first round. They also own the 46th overall pick in the second round.
Larkin averaged 14.5 points, 4.6 assists, 3.8 rebounds and shot 40.6 percent from the 3-point line last season, when Miami won the Atlantic Coast Conference and advanced to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament.
In a regular-season win over top-ranked Duke, he scored 18 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and handed out five assists.
Larkin does not turn 21 until Oct. 2. He opened eyes of NBA scouts in Chicago recently when his vertical leap was measured at 44 inches — second-best in the history of the combine.
This week, reports surfaced that Boston hopes to draft Larkin as a backup to All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo. The Celtics own the 16th pick in the draft — two spots behind the Jazz.
Other players participating in Wednesday’s workout include North Carolina State guard Lorenzo Brown (6-5, 190), North Carolina forward Reggie Bullock (6-7, 205), North Texas forward Tony Mitchell (6-9, 236), Oklahoma forward Amath M’Baye (6-9, 208) and Nevada guard Malik Story (6-5, 215).
CJ McCollum has been to Orlando and Philadelphia for private, individual workouts. Starting Thursday in Phoenix, McCollum will display his skills for six other teams — Phoenix, Sacramento, Portland, Minnesota, Utah and Detroit — before returning to his temporary home away from home (Long Island) on June 20.
Larkin apparently impressed the Jazz with his play on the floor and really impressed the media with his engaging personality in a seven-minute interview after his session.
“I love being out in front of people, love talking with people, so it’s good,’’ he said.
When asked to sell himself to the Jazz, Larkin said, “I’m a good guy on and off the court. I’d be great in the community, a friendly face. If anybody ever sees me in the community and he can come up to me, I’m never going to be stuck up.’’
And his game? “I did well in college and was second-team AP All-American.’’
Larkin also talked about his ability to play the pick-and-roll, his outstanding jumping talent and his ability to run an offense.
His more than two-hour workout with five other players was closed to the media and Jazz coaches didn’t comment on how he fared against two 6-foot-5 guards and three forwards. However, Jazz head scout Walt Perrin was complimentary of Larkin.
“Shane’s 44 vertical is unbelievable for a point guard,’’ he said. “It was eye-popping seeing those kind of numbers from Shane.’’
The one concern about Larkin is his height at 5 foot, 11 inches. Only a handful of players in the NBA are under 6 feet tall.
Larkin said his workout was useful because he was able to go up against bigger players and prove he can guard them.
“It was good that I had to go out and play with bigger players,’’ he said. “I think I proved that I can do it. I’ve seen people say that, ‘His height, he can’t play defense, da-da-da,’ so I went out today to prove that. Today was big for me and I think I did a pretty good job.’’
While his height may hurt his NBA prospects, Perrin downplayed it.
“Does it matter? There’s a couple of other players in the league (that size) still playing. If a guy can play, it doesn’t matter what his size is,’’ Perrin said. “We think he can play. How well he plays on this level is something we have to evaluate.’’
Perrin acknowledged that not every player brought in is a prospect to be drafted. But the one other player who may be a possibility to be a Jazz draft pick is Brown, a lanky guard who was recruited by current Jazz assistant Sidney Lowe to N.C. State. Most draft boards list him among the top six or seven point guards this year.
Six more players will work out for the Jazz Thursday — Marquette guard Vander Blue, Baylor guard Pierre Jackson, Notre Dame forward Jack Cooley, Minnesota forward Trevor Mbakwe, Arizona forward Solomon Hill and Georgia Tech guard Glen Rice Jr.
One of the things the Jazz wanted to see — like other teams interested in him — was whether Larkin is capable of defending bigger players.
To that end, Larkin was by far the smallest player invited to this workout.
The others included three guards — 6-5 Lorenzo Brown from North Carolina State, 6-5 Malik Story of Nevada and 6-7 Reggie Bullock of North Carolina — along with forwards Tony Mitchell of North Texas State and Amath M’Baye of Oklahoma.
"I was the shortest guy out there, so that’s good," Larkin said. "I had to go out and show I can play against bigger players.
"… That’s one of the questions about me. Can I play against bigger guys? So it was good to go out and try to prove that I can."
Since the Chicago scouting combine two weeks ago, Larkin’s stock has risen sharply.
Despite his worrisome size, he demonstrated freakish athletic ability and became a player who will likely be picked in the middle of the first round.
The Jazz own the No. 14 pick in the first round. Milwaukee and Boston, the other two teams to work out Larkin, pick directly behind them at No. 15 and No. 16.
"I’ve seen people say, ‘[With] his height, can he play defense?’ " Larkin said. "But proving I can play against bigger guys is big for me, and I think I did a pretty good job today."
Walt Perrin, the Jazz’s vice president of player personnel, agreed.
"If a guy can play, it doesn’t matter what his size is," he said. "It also helps how big his heart is, and Shane has a huge heart."
Asked if Larkin is worthy of being the 14th pick, Perrin said, "We think he can play. How well he plays on this level — because he will play on this level — is something we’re still evaluating."
Larkin averaged 14.5 points, 3.8 rebounds and 4.6 assists last season at upstart Miami, which surprised everyone by winning the Atlantic Coast Conference and reaching the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament.
Larkin believes the success helped him in the eyes of NBA scouts: "That put us in the spotlight — taking Miami from a team that had been mediocre in the ACC to having the type of season we had.
"Beating Duke by 27 at home, beating Carolina by 26, winning the ACC Tournament. That just really put us on the scene and helped all of us who are trying to be professionals. It helped us all chase our dream."
the Utah Jazz will be holding their 4th workout this off-season tomorrow. They will be bringing in another 6-pack. While today's workout appeared to be focused upon running Shane Larkin against a gauntlet of much longer and taller players -- I haven't yet figured out what THIS workout is about. I guess it's looking at some of the guys who we may have a chance to pick at #21; however, well, we'll ALSO be looking at Pierre Jackson of Baylor much the same way we saw Larkin today. They are both shorter guards, and in workouts where they're playing mostly against other guys taller than them. In this one I wonder where Jackson even fits because the LAST workout at least had two point guards. This one has only one.
There were rumors floating around that Larkin got a promise from the Bucks after he worked out for them last Friday. The Bucks do like Larkin, but the Bucks did not shut down his workouts. He was in Utah (the Jazz pick ahead of the Bucks) on Wednesday working out. ESPN.com
I'm hearing that German point guard Dennis Schroeder struggled in his workouts in Milwaukee and Houston. Schroeder, according to team sources, struggled to keep up with the defensive intensity in workouts. He works out again Friday in Utah. Schroeder rode a dominant performance at the Hoop Summit into the top 30, but if he doesn't start playing better, he could be in for an equally significant decline. ESPN.com
Steve Luhm: When media allowed into Jazz workout, Dennis Schroeder shooting threes: 4-8 left elbow, 4-8 straightaway, 4-8 right elbow, 5-7 right corner. Twitter @sluhm
Steve Luhm: Schroeder heading home after working out for Utah, Philly, Dallas, Boston, Milwaukee and Houston. Twitter @sluhm
Heading into the NBA Draft on June 27, Schroeder is one of the top point-guard prospects available. Along with Louisville point guard Peyton Siva, Pitt center Steven Adams, Notre Dame forward Jack Cooley, North Carolina State forward Richard Howell and Miami forward Kenny Kadji, he worked out for the Utah Jazz on Friday. "I think it went very well for me," said Schroeder, who doesn’t turn 20 until Sept. 15. "We practiced hard — [all] six guys. We gave everything on the floor."
Listed as 6-foot-1 and a slender — some might say shockingly underweight — 156 pounds, the 19-year-old German worked out along with five other draft prospects Friday morning at the Utah Jazz’s practice facility. The bio issued by the team listed Schroeder as 156 but a check of his stats on several Internet sites indicate he weighs more than likely somewhere around 165. “I don’t even know if that’s true,” Jazz player personnel director Walt Perrin said. Standard-Examiner
Schroeder said he models his game after Rondo’s. Perrin said the body type is similar but he hesitated to take the comparison much further, partly because he feels Schroeder is a better offensive player than Rondo was at the same age. “The only comparison in line with Rondo is body build: long arms, big hands,” he said. “Rondo was not an offensive player except for getting to the basket. He couldn’t shoot the ball. I think Dennis is a better shooter at the same stage.” Standard-Examiner
A better shooting Rondo? 156 lbs? Can he take the pounding?