Draft prospects open up about workouts with Wizards originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
As the Wizards continue to evaluate options for their first round draft pick, last week they brought in three guards who most expect to be taken in the first round; Chris Duarte of Oregon, Ayo Dosunmu of Illinois and Josh Christopher of Arizona State. All three are guards currently projected to go in the second half of the first round.
Here are notes on how each of their workouts went…
Duarte had a solo workout with the Wizards and after that had workouts scheduled with the Thunder and Pelicans. Due to it being an individual workout, Duarte said he took a lot of shots and did a lot of running for the Wizards.
“They want to see how you think,” he said.
Duarte gave specifics on how he could help the Wizards.
“I see myself on the Wizards’ roster very well beside Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook. I see myself helping the team with my shot, my preparation and off the ball defensively,” he said.
The most interesting part of Duarte’s workout seemed to be when the Wizards asked him to draw up plays, presumably on a white board.
“I was out there like a coach drawing plays. They just want to see how I think as a player on and off the court,” Duarte said.
That’s interesting because it’s a tactic the Wizards have used in the past and famously for Troy Brown Jr., who like Duarte happened to go to Oregon. The Wizards drafted Brown 15th overall in 2018 and this year they are picking 15th once again.
A 6-foot-5 combo guard, Dosunmu has the highest draft grade of these three players. Like Duarte, he said he would like to play with Beal and Westbrook.
Dosunmu said his workout with the Wizards was very unique as far as they go. He said the Wizards did a series of drills to test his basketball IQ, including one where he had to dribble through cones and then make split-second passing decisions based on color codes assigned to coaches.
“That was really fun because it challenged your mind and your basketball IQ to make the right pass,” Dosunmu said.
Dosunmu was asked why he would be able to contribute in the NBA sooner than later. He highlighted his versatility.
“Being able to guard multiple positions, I think that would be one of the reasons. And then also just being able to take stress off other ball-handlers being able to handle the ball and make reads off pick-and-rolls,” he said.
Christopher worked out with Dosunmu and compared the intensity to the NCAA Tournament because Dosunmu played on one of the country’s top teams last year. Christopher painted himself as a basketball junkie, having grown up in a family where all four kids went on to play in college.
“Basketball is pretty much all we know. My dad used to say you can’t live in this house unless you know how to dribble a basketball. That’s almost I know,” Christopher said.
Christopher said he used to ballboy at Cal-Berkely when his older brother played there. He also saw LeBron James play in high school. Well, technically.
“I got to see LeBron play when I was a baby and didn’t even know about it,” Christopher said.
His father apparently took him to UCLA to watch James when he was on St. Vincent-St. Mary’s.
Christopher said his versatility on both ends of the floor is his biggest selling point. He looks forward to the space of the NBA and believes his midrange game will carry over well.
The midrange game is one area where Christopher sees similarities between himself and Beal. There’s also another thing.
“I mean, that man’s legs are huge. My legs are huge as well,” he said.