The Portland Trail Blazers held workouts with six more NBA prospects Friday morning. The list of players didn’t include blue chip recruits, but rather potential second round picks. The group was composed of the son of an NBA legend who dominated the D-League last year, a former Oregon Duck, a former UCLA Bruin AND North Carolina Tar Heel, a golden gopher and a few former big fish from small mid major ponds.
The most highly touted recruit of the bunch is Glen Rice Jr. Rice Jr. averaged 25 ppg in the D-League playoffs last year and turned enough heads to be a bubble first round pick. He had an atrocious college career in which he was consistently suspended for off the court issues. From a talent standpoint, if Rice falls to the Blazers at 39, he might be a no brainer choice. But if he wants to make it in the NBA, he is going to have to prove to be just as reliable off the court as on it.
Trevor Mbakwe is the only other workout participant who has a shot at the first round. Mbakwe is a beast on the boards. He led the Big-10 in rebounding and finished second in blocks in his senior season for Minnesota.
Although, according to every reputable source EJ Singler will not be drafted, if he proves that he can provide similar skills as his brother (three point shooting/basketball IQ/defense), he could make an NBA roster this fall.
The other tree participants were Larry Drew II, Ed Daniel and Ian Clarke. Drew finished off his college career well after a disappointing start in which he was unable to run the North Carolina Tar Heels offense before being replaced by Kendal Marshall as an underclassmen. Drew averaged over seven assists a game for the Bruins this year. Daniel averaged a double double for Murray State this year, while earning first team All-OVC honors. Clarke was not only first team all conference four years in a row, but won defensive player of the year in the OVC playing for Belmont.
It wasn’t one of the most pivotal workout days for Blazers nation, but it could prove valuable in determining whom the Blazers go after in the second round.