As soon as Blatts lecture was over, we were granted a pretty special treat, two of the top international big men in this draftOmer Asik and Semih Erdenrolled into the gym to participate in a private workout alongside Giorgi Shermadini, Henk Norel, Goran Dragic and Rudy Mbemba. The players were put through a number of drillsball-handling, the Mikan drill, finishing through contact in the post and coming off a screen, pick and rolls, pick and pops, 5-spot shooting from mid-range, running the floor, and then competitive 2 on 2s and 3 on 3.
Omer Asik clearly stood out from the pack as being the most intriguing big men in attendance, almost from the very start. He had the best frame of the four (great size at a legit 7-feet, good shoulders, a solid lower body, a nice 7-2 wingspan and 9-4 standing reach) to go along with the best motor and the most athleticism of the four. He came out with a business-like mentality, dunking everything around the rim (even when it wasnt called for), not giving anyone an inch to breathe defensively, pushing guys out of the paint mercilessly, shooting the ball better than expected in the mid-range drills, and just leaving a very solid (and quite competitive) impression despite the fact that there was only so much you could take away from watching him in this setting.
Offensively, hes nothing to write home about this point, even though he does have nice hands, a good feel for the game and some all-around craftiness that allows him to be fairly effective at what he does well (mainly finishing in close proximity to the basket). The fact that he was here working out for all to see was clearly a feather in this camps hat, as only a select number of NBA teams will be able to evaluate him in a private setting. It was hard not to come away from this workout with the impression that if he keeps progressing the way he has over the next few years, hes going to be a huge steal in the second round.
Asiks teammate and country-mate Semih Erden looked intriguing enough to warrant another glance as well. He has a good frame, legit size, solid mobility and very nice footwork in the low post. He did not shoot it all that well, but still showed enough ability and upside to warrant being picked somewhere in the second round to see how he develops over the next few years.