Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Orlando camp lists offer insight

Kansas University's Arthur grouped with elite, likely signaling end of possible return to school


— At a time when few, if any, scouts are willing to tip their hands, the NBA offered insight into the top of this year's draft with the release of three lists of participants at the Orlando draft camp.

The event, which opened Tuesday, continues today with three days of scrimmages.

While 64 prospects ranging from well-known players such as North Carolina guard Ty Lawson, Louisville center David Padgett and Cal center DeVon Hardin to a variety of lesser-knowns will scrimmage in front of NBA scouts, 15 others are allowed to report at the end of the week for physicals and measurements.

Those players, selected through polling of NBA front offices, are Joe Alexander, Darrell Arthur, D.J. Augustin, Jerryd Bayless, Michael Beasley, Eric Gordon, Donte Greene, DeAndre Jordan, Brook Lopez, Kevin Love, O.J. Mayo, JaVale McGee, Anthony Randolph, Derrick Rose and Russell Westbrook.

Omitted from that list is highly regarded forward Danilo Gallinari, whose Italian League team is in the Euroleague playoffs.

From its exempted 15, the NBA then put together a list of nine players for the camp's media day, with Augustin, Bayless, Beasley, Gordon, Lopez, Love, Mayo, Randolph and Rose assigned to that Thursday session.

Alexander, Arthur, Greene, Love and Westbrook all have yet to sign with an agent, meaning they could still return to school. Their placement on the elite list likely is a signal of the end of that possibility.

Although most prospects accept the significance of the physicals and measurements, others have elected to bypass the event at the cost of official numbers headed into the June 26 draft. The session could be particularly significant for Beasley, who could be hurt if he comes in much shorter than his listed 6 feet 10.

Among those who apparently took umbrage to being bypassed on the physicals-only list and will be Orlando no-shows are Florida sophomore Marreese Speights, Arizona sophomore Chase Budinger, Kansas junior Mario Chalmers, Ohio State freshman Kosta Koufos, Memphis junior Chris Douglas-Roberts, Stanford sophomore Robin Lopez and Kansas State frosh Bill Walker. Those players instead will count on individual team tryouts, which are not allowed until next Tuesday.

This event also tends to kick-start trade talk, with several teams discussing moving down or out of the first round.

Among the intriguing names in camp are:

¢ Keith Brumbaugh, the 2005 Florida Mr. Basketball whose off-court issues kept him out of various four-year programs. He now will try to enter out of Tampa's Hillsborough CC.

¢ Mike Taylor, a guard who will attempt to become the first player drafted out of the NBA Development League, after spending this past season with the Idaho Stampede, following his dismissal from Iowa State.

¢ John Riek, a 7-2 Sudanese center who applied directly out of prep school.


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