Draft watch: Vonleh sets four workouts, stock on the rise?

  • 05/30/2014 1:52 pm in

Less than a month remains until the 2014 NBA draft at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn and Indiana’s Noah Vonleh continues to prepare to become the program’s third lottery pick in the last two years.

In our latest edition of draft watch, we provide another update on Vonleh’s draft stock, look at where he has workouts scheduled over the next couple of weeks and also examine where his stock may be headed after an impressive workout on Wednesday:

Current projections

· ESPN Chad Ford: (5) to Utah
· ESPN Jeff Goodman: (7) to Los Angeles Lakers
· Draft Express: (7) to Los Angeles Lakers
· NBADraft.net: (5) to Utah

Workouts

Per ESPN.com’s Jeff Goodman, Vonleh has the following workouts scheduled:

· June 2: Sacramento
· June 4: Los Angeles Lakers
· June 9: Orlando
· June 12: Boston

Latest buzz

Vonleh worked out on Wednesday in New York and according to Chad Ford, could see his stock rise if the following notes from NBA executives are any indication:

· “Vonleh’s got elite physical tools and is very skilled. He should be in the same group with (Andrew) Wiggins, (Joel) Embiid, (Jabari) Parker & (Dante) Exum”
· “Vonleh was good. Didn’t shoot it well but everything else was very good to ridiculously good” according to 1 NBA exec.

Also in that workout were Syracuse’s Tyler Ennis, Iowa State’s Melvin Ejim, Ohio State’s LaQuinton Ross, UNLV’s Khem Birch and Missouri’s Jordan Clarkson. That group has been training together in preparation for the draft with trainer Jay Hernandez.

Additionally, Ford was asked in a recent chat over at ESPN.com to evaluate which prospect — Vonleh, Julius Randle or Aaron Gordon — has the most long term potential.

“Between those three — Vonleh probably has the best chance of being special,” Ford wrote. “Unique combination of physical tools and skills. I’m a fan of all three, however. Gordon has some Andrei Kirilenko and Shawn Marion in him which could be a nice fit.”

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  • Hoosier Hall

    He is definitely making an impression on the experts. The guy can shoot, handle the ball and absolutely REBOUND. With his size, strength and athleticism he could be an amazing player. I hope he ends up in Orlando with Vic.

  • Crimson&CremeFraiche

    My guess is Exum ends up in Orlando with Vic which would be an awesome back-court.

  • Crimson&CremeFraiche

    I hope he gets drafted ahead of Randle because that would mean that IU will have had 3 players get drafted before any Kentucky player in last two drafts. Nothing against Randle though, he is a really good player.

  • Born&Bred2BleedHoosierCrimson

    Any team will be lucky to have Vonleh. My only concern, that it’s a team with good management.

  • vanpastorman

    I think that he just could end up at Boston. He just seems like Steven’s kind of player.

  • Born&Bred2BleedHoosierCrimson

    We can hope, but they don’t need a 4. My guess is he falls to 7 with the Lakers. My hope, Orlando w/ Vic or Boston w/ good management.

  • vanpastorman

    Does Randle remind you a little of Antoine Walker? I don’t know if it’s his game or body type,but he reminds me of him.

  • PocketHoosier

    One other option for the Magic that is worthy of discussion would be to pair Vonleh with Vucevic, passing on Exum and roll the dice with the 12 pick. Perhaps they could find a trade partner to let them back into the top 10 to pick Marcus Smart (#7-#10 range depending on who you ask) or perhaps they like Stauskas enough (projected to be there at the #12 pick) to put him in the 3 spot, Vonleh at the 4, and look to find a frontcourt pairing for Vic in next year’s draft. Either way it goes, Orlando is rebuilding. They need another guard, they need a legit NBA wing, and they need at least one more big to pair with Vucevic.

    So, regardless of what they wish to do
    if they grab Exum, Vonleh will definitely not be there at #12.
    If they grab Vonleh, Exum will definitely not be there at #12.

    It’ll likely be a tough decision for them, because either one they take will be at the cost of the other one.

  • FinEndNow

    They could actually draft Vonleh at #4 and Tyler Ennis at #12.

  • Alford Bailey

    Nobody should be surprised by NV recent rise up the ranks. Most of us saw the potential though we didn’t always see it on the court in CTC’s scheme. Randle is not near the talent but he was much better utilized. If Noah had played at UK, KU or AZ he is probably talked about as a top 3 pick from the start. Any GM who takes Randle or Gordon over Noah will wish he didn’t in about 2 years.

  • PocketHoosier

    They definitely *could* do that, but from what I can gather, part of the Magic’s rebuild is modeled after OKC’s rebuild. That’s easy to say and hard to do because there is only one Kevin Durant, but they’re wanting to pair two flexible guards together that can play either guard position and ancillary wing. They’ve got that in Oladipo, but Tyler Ennis would have to be a pure point guard. Oladipo is undersized at the wing position (6’4.5″) but fits well at the guard positions due to his jumping ability and ball handling skills.

    Ennis is 6’2″ with shoes, and that pretty much locks him into the point guard position. Exum is 6’4.5″ without shoes (6’6″ with shoes) and much closer fits the mold of what they’re trying to do in Orlando.

    If they end up choosing Vonleh over Exum, that will mean that their plans have changed and they’re restructuring their rebuilding process.

  • marcusgresham

    He reminds me of Yaphet Kotto.

  • Dean Olson

    I don’t really agree that Randle isn’t near the talent Vonleh is. I’d rather have Randle as CBS player, he rebounded and scored more. Randle was also the third highest prospect coming into last year. I would draft Vonleh over Randle in a heartbeat, and he has a better chance of being great IMO. But “isn’t near the talent” is over the top.

  • PocketHoosier

    Randle matched up exceptionally well in college ball because of his size, but his game is predicated on being the bully on the block.

    He will not be able to control the game against NBA PF’s nearly as well as he could in the SEC. He may *develop* into a star PF at the NBA level, but there’s no way he is there yet. The progression curve for him will be quite a bit more protracted than it will be for a player like Vonleh, because Vonleh has a more versatile skill set at this current point in time. You can’t really tell which one will develop faster or have more ambition to be great, so it’s impossible to see where they will end up. But, Vonleh will start out ahead; hands down.

  • PocketHoosier

    One trump card that Orlando currently possesses is Aaron Afflalo whose value is likely currently at its peak. If they can get Exum at #4, they could **possibly** deal Afflalo and Tobias Harris(traded to Orlando in the J.J. Redick deal) to whoever grabs Vonleh. If they could somehow keep their 12 pick to grab a shooter at the wing, it is at least possible that Orlando could have
    —————————–
    Oladipo and Exum in the back court
    Vonleh at the 4.
    Vucevic at the 5.
    Stauskas, McDermott, Rodney Hood, or James Young at the wing (whichever one is left when they pick at 12)
    ——————————

    That would be a solid, very young lineup that Orlando could build around for the next 10 years. They’d have Doron Lamb, a quickly aging Jameer Nelson and E’Twaun Moore to fill out their backup back court, and Vonleh + Vucevic (if healthy) would be a solid front court. Yeah, if the Magic can find some way to wheel and deal to get Oladipo, Exum, and Vonleh playing on the same team, I don’t think there’s any way that I don’t watch that; I would be an immediate Orlando Magic fan.

  • AZIU71

    I guess a positive in recruiting that we will have 3 lottery picks in 2 years. But to not make any post season with the #5 pick in the draft leaves me befuddled. I guess I need to buy into Glass’s optimism “..We’re looking forward with great optimism.”

  • Dean Olson

    I agree that Vonleh has a higher potential (which is what I said). But I disagree that, “hands down” Vonleh will start out better. That’s just foolish. If you draft Vonleh you do it on potential. Everything I’ve read and seen points to them being close, if not slight edge to Randle, on day 1. Completely different story perhaps on day 1000, but I would absolutely disagree that it’s cut-and-dry, Vonleh is better day 1. And I think most analysts would too.

  • PocketHoosier

    The point is that they will be utilized differently by whichever team drafts them. Vonleh is an offensive project at the pro level, but is to be counted on immediately defensively. Vonleh is not going to be put on the block trying to out muscle; he did that some in college, but his game was much more “skilled.” Randle, however is elevated in stature due to his ability to out muscle opponents on drives to the lane, bully around on the low block, and outcompete for offensive rebounds. He will not be able to do that Day 1 in the NBA. He’s 6’9″ 250 and will be matching up with Tim Duncan, David West, Serge Ibaka, Anthony Davis, Kevin Love, Al Horford, Joakim Noah, Greg Monroe, etc, etc, etc.

    Comparing the two, Vonleh is currently better outside and Randle is currently better inside. The problem for Randle is that his advantage over Vonleh inside does not translate to an immediate advantage against the NBA as a whole. Vonleh’s advantage outside, better ability at stretching defenses towards the perimeter, and defensive measurables give him a distinct advantage over Randle on Day 1 of their rookie contracts.

  • ronb

    You could be right but there are only an elite number of Trainers and IU has the best so could the other schools get Noah to where he is physically? He put on a lot of weigh and muscle at IU. Also the down side on Noah was no low post game out of High School and a lot of folks are giving the IU Coaches Credit for getting him to be a good low post player.
    What helped Randle was the NCAA Tourney. He was not always so good at KY in every regular season game. I am old and sick now so I live in Florida and the Gators ate up UK 3 times in SEC play. The last game in the SEC Tourney (the only close game of the 3) Randle was held to 4 points by the Gators and the Gator big men had their way with him in all 3 games. You are right they will be sorry picking Randle or Gordon over Noah. We need to remember that Coach recruited all 3 of these NBA players in the last 2 years and they all rose in the NBA draft higher than anyone knew and some credit has to go to Coach for making them better.
    I can not remember any 2 seasons when this ever happened before except maybe the 75/76 and the 76/77 seasons. In the 76 draft May was #2 and Buckner was #7 and then the next year Benson was #1.

  • Dean Olson

    I think you’re mistaking skills that translate over time to skills that translate to day 1. You’re absolutely right in that Vonleh’s skills have the potential to make him the better player. But right now, Randle is the better scorer, the better rebounder, stronger, and even some would argue more athletic. You’re making it seem as if Randle can only score on 6’3″ guys in the post. But watch the tape against MSU. That’s just not the case. Randle should be a bigger contributer day 1, but again, Vonleh’s physical tools and jump shot, in my opinion, make him the better long term player.

  • PocketHoosier

    It really doesn’t matter that Randle was the better
    scorer, better rebounder, or stronger than Vonleh in college.

    I think you’re mistaking a perceived head-to-head advantage between Randle and Vonleh into an advantage in the NBA. Randle will have difficulty adjusting. He likes to drop his shoulder and bull charge his way into the lane. He won’t be able to do that effectively in the NBA.

    Bull charging and picking up slop off the glass are where he made most of his hay last year. His jumper looked really good at times and like a 6th grade girl at others…it was very spotty.

    He also gassed on defense and wasn’t really that good of a defender when playing against someone bigger than him, except against Payne. He also has pretty short arms for the NBA, so defenders will be able to play off of him an extra step and with better post skills, will be able to shoot over him pretty consistently.

    Randle was absolute crap from outside the arc (16.7%) His ability to pick up slop will most likely diminish quite a bit when he’s playing at the next level.

    On the other hand, Vonleh measured with a 7’4″ wingspan and an 8’10 vertical reach. Note that. Randle’s vertical reach is 6’11”. Vonleh shot 48.5% from behind the arc.

    On Day 1, Vonleh will be able to be put on the floor as a Stretch 4 for whoever drafts him and he will match up well against any of his competition.

    On Day 1, Randle will be situational.

  • PocketHoosier

    “But to not make any post season with the #5 pick in the draft leaves me befuddled.”

    Bottom line is that you have to be able to put the ball in the basket from outside the lane. My philosophy is that if you get close enough to the basket that your feet touch the lane, you’ve already passed up 3 shots that you should have taken. The only player that could be counted on to be able to hit consistently last year was Yogi and he’s 5 foot nothing.

  • Dean Olson

    it’s pointless arguing about this, especially given that you’re citing physical attributes as reasons for immediate impact when I view those as long term assets, that don’t necessarily translate to day 1 impact (Jared Sullinger, anyone?). But consider this: If Vonleh is really this substantially better day 1 player, and given that most teams are debating between Vonleh and Randle (in other words, viewing them as close to even) than that would imply teams view Randle as having higher upside and long term potential. I just don’t think that’s the case.

  • Ole Man

    Having two lottery picks last year hasn’t seemed to help recruiting. Just sayin’….

  • SCHoosier

    Pretty simple..weak schedule..lost 15 games..unreliable shooters..one of the worst TO stats in the country. The “#5” pick was out end of the season in key games with a “foot injury.” What’s the mystery about missing any post season?

  • SCHoosier

    Affalo might have something to say about that??

  • IUBizmark

    I continue to say that expectations for next year’s team should be high. For me, I need at least top 5 in the Big Ten and at least a Sweet 16 to even consider being happy with the season. And truthfully I expect more at this juncture in Crean’s tenure.

  • kaponya44

    I do not see 6 teams passing on Vonleh esp after reading the various scouts’ comments (including those reported in this article) on him ,and just his general long term potential all around – as well as several areas where his size & skills make him a factor to contribute something right away .

  • ronb

    Maybe u are looking at this wrong. How do you know that Cody, a McDonald’s all star, and Vic did not help us land Noah a McDonald’s all star? Then how do we know that those 3 did not help us land a 3rd McDonald all star in Blackman? We don’t know for sure but I would bet the 2015 class has another McDonald’s all star and so on. Even the 2014 class is ranked in the top 25 in the nation at #21 on ESPN’s poll of some 354 teams. Coach can recruit and that is not the worry for me. Team play in everything will help us get better if the Coaches can get the kids to buy into team defense,rebounding,taking care of the ball and the thing that last year’s team did not have all the time is great shooting. I sure hope we can do those things and we will win a lot of games.

  • Hoosier Hall

    If they took Vonleh at 4, they could definitely get Stauskas at 12. That would be a great draft haul in my opinion. Stauskas is going to surprise a lot of people with his intelligence and ability to do a whole lot more than just shoot threes. If that happens, I will become a full fledged Orlando fan rather than just an Oladipo fan!

  • Hoosier Hall

    I really am starting to get my optimism back after this last season. I think we are going to be a frustrating and dangerous team for opposing defenses. No way to prove it yet, but I believe with the shooters we have coming in along with Yogi (lead Big 10 in made 3’s), we will have pulled off the biggest 180 ever. From a horrible shooting team to an unstoppable long range bombing juggernaut. Not to mention, JBJ and RJ are much better ball handlers than anyone on our roster not named Yogi so (hopefully) the turnovers will be drastically reduced. Call me crazy but I’m predicting a top 3 finish in the Big 10 for us. I won’t make any tournament predictions other than the fact that we WILL make it this year.

  • Outoftheloop

    Or could it be why have your two franchise players so similar in size, athletic ability and skills?

  • Outoftheloop

    I think that they (Magic) need a big scorer-Randel at #4 and Ennis or Napier at #12.

  • hardly

    Agree with all the above, but (as with most others here) rebounding and anybody who has a significant inside presence scares me. IMO the team will have to gang rebound which will cut down opportunities to run. Defensively they’re going to have to help big time on the inside, which will lead to a lot of open opportunities for opponents. It seems much of the time there won’t be anybody on the floor bigger than 6’7″.

  • AZIU71

    agree

  • Outoftheloop

    He reminds me of Zach Randolph or David West.

  • Outoftheloop

    Yes but for these first 2 years Randle can definitely out- score Noah. So how many GM ‘s KNOW that they have a guaranteed 3 years? None!

  • Outoftheloop

    Not better utilized . He could score at will in 1 on 1 situations in college and KY had too much firepower to allow a double team. IU did not. No magic coaching there !

  • Outoftheloop

    Cody got Yogi. Victor got Troy and Stan. Cody and Victor got James and Robert. What more do you want?

  • Ole Man

    Say what? Run that by me again. Yogi may have come because Cody was here, but he committed not knowing if Cody was staying his second year. As for the Vic-Troy-Stan connection, can you document that? Lastly, James and Robert was through hard work by CTC, and primarily, from what’s been written, Kenny.

  • BeatWisconsin

    Crazy. But sure hope you are right. All the early projections have us 10th in the big ten (and something like 43rd overall).

  • Randle will not be a big scorer at the next level. He has a ton of work to do to get his jumper even close to being able to contribute 10 pts a game. He will not bully the guys in the NBA.

  • FinEndNow

    I love the idea of the Magic drafting Vonleh and Stauskas. Oladipo, Stauskas, Tobias Harris, Mo Harkless, Vonleh and Vucevic is a good core to start from. They have some trading pieces in Nelson and Afflalo as well. The Magic know what they’re doing and if they went that direction then I think would be ahead of schedule in their rebuilding process.