Work-outs serve a purpose. But for the most part, I think if you wait until work-outs to narrow the field for you, you’re probably making a mistake.
Chad Ford was down on Thabeet all year, questioning his athleticism and strength. He watches him in one work-out and says that with some practice, all of a sudden he can be the next Mutombo.
Incidentally, Chad also was huge on Darko, raving about how the kid could shoot left handed threes without jumping during workouts.
A lot was also made about how Kwame Brown dominated Tyson Chandler in work-outs.
I just don’t get how a scout’s opinion on a player can vacillate so greatly based on work-outs. Darko could hit those off-hand 3s, but when have you ever seen him do that in a game? Never. And no, and Darko didn’t play in too many games in Europe before he was drafted. He had a reputation for dominating practice and then he had great work-outs. (Red Flag for those who love Jennings.)
The point I’m getting at is that for most prospects, like Thabeet for example, there is at least a full season of game action to use in evaluations. I have a feeling that Donnie Walsh, who scouted Steph Curry extensively, watches actual games in deciding which players he likes. I doubt he’s ever flustered by a work-out.
By the time work-outs happen, a saavy GM probably already knows that he likes the guy he’s invited to the gym. The work-out is like a getting-to-know-you session. Are you a sociopath? A nice guy? Smart? Obstinate? Sociable? As into us as we’re into you? Oh, and lets see that jumper we know so well from watching you play in games for over a year.
That’s why I don’t totally discount the Steph Curry promise even though people have called it ludicrous to suggest the Knicks made a promise before workouts. In Chad’s article, he completely changes his tune about Thabeet because he canned a few jumpers in a workout. What about the entire season of games Thabeet played. Doesn’t that tell you more about the kid than one work-out session?