All general managers have to be good strategists, poker players, keeping their hand hidden. But after each workout conducted by the Nets and Knicks, Ed Stefanski had something to say about the players who had worked out...sometimes effusive, sometimes damning with faint praise. He also had some thoughts on Sean Williams after watching him go through a lengthy workout at John Lucas' camp in Houston.
Not that it means anything, really, but here are Stefanski's comments, from most recent going backwards to Day 1:
Sean Williams, Boston College:
"He's limited offensively. That's the question: Will his offense get better down the line? He didn't show much of a post game in college. Will it come? It's questionable. But we know what he is: An incredibly athletic shot-blocker."
"Basketball is not the major issue here."
Thaddeus Young, Georgia Tech:
"Thaddeus Young obviously is a big talent. Good size, shoots the ball very well, and he’s athletic. Those three things bode well for him in the draft. He’s one of the guys a lot of teams are looking at in the first round to see if he’s worth picking at their spot, or even higher."
Marcus Williams, Arizona:
"Though Marcus is a scorer with an excellent mid-range game, he has to work on his shooting and three point range. But his size, athleticism, and ball-handling skills are up there…He’s a NBA basketball player."
"A big plus for him – for me scouting him – is his playmaking ability.
"I love people to make other guys better and he does that."
"When you do your body of work during the year, you know that he is a playmaker. He’s a good ball handler; he’s got good size and length."
Dominic McGuire, Fresno State:
"(McGuire) is a slasher/scorer. Very athletic, has a NBA body right now. He too will have to work on his range...good defensive instincts,’’
Aaron Gray, Pitt:
"A big, big man. He’s got a big time strong wide body, did a great job getting it in shape. Real soft hands around the basket, can finish with the left or the right. But how athletic is he? Either way, I believe he’s a first-round pick."
Herbert Hill, Providence:
"He’s a very good mid-range pull up kind of guy,"
Jared Jordan, Marist:
"This kid was not brought in as a favor of any sort; this kid can play. He showed that in Orlando...This kid is a terrific passer of the basketball. He is a flat-out good passer. Got a great basketball IQ. Will he be able to do it? There’s no question he will have no problem on the offensive end, assist wise. Will he be able to guard on the other end? He’s going to have to be clever, because of his size."
Nick Fazekas, Nevada:
"He has such great poise down low when he catches the ball with his back to the basket. He can score down low. He probably has the best hands of anyone we have seen come through this gym, catches everything. Now, he’s not athletic like these other guys but can he catch the basketball and put it in. He just has that knack around there."
"The body of work you do on the kid, he gets 20 and 10 every night. And you say wow, he’s not a high-riser, or doesn’t get over, but he scores the ball…The length is there. He has that great knack or timing to get his shot off."
Daequan Cook, Ohio State:
"Cook is a talented, skilled basketball player," Nets GM Stefanski agreed. "Good athlete, good shooter, puts the ball on the floor well. A very interesting guy."
Marco Belinelli, Italy:
"More athletic than I thought, has good size as a two man…Athletic, good shooter.
A team where he could play off of a top big man could pick him in the first round....I could see where someone could definitely consider him. He’s more athletic than what I saw when I went overseas to see him a couple of times. He didn’t show the athleticism he showed today."
"I would see him as a more athletic Jason Kapono. ’’
Artem Zabelin, Russia (since dropped out):
"Much better shooter that you would think for that size, good skills."
"The kid looked pretty good for a 7’1" guy with mobility. Needs a body; he doesn’t have the girth that we have."
DeVon Hardin, California (since dropped out):
"I’d say he is a player that has an upside to him. Is he ready to go into an NBA game right now? I think he needs work. But he’s 6’10", 6’11" plus who can jump and block a shot. So, he has definite NBA qualities. Hardin is a very athletic guy. The one concern was his foot (he suffered a stress fracture last season and played in only 11 games) and that looked one hundred per cent."
Marko Lekic, Serbia:
"Like most of the players from Europe, Lekic is very fundamentally sound. Footwork is excellent, doesn’t rush his moves. He’s back to the basket. He’s not really a facing shooting kind of guy."
Jason Smith, Colorado State:
"He’s more 4-ish (power forward) than he is 5 (center) and he’s a face to the basket guy more than he is a down low guy."
Jared Dudley, Boston College:
"A basketball player...Jared has good size; he is not an over the rim type of athlete but he is what I would call a basketball player. And to me that’s the ultimate compliment when you say he is a basketball player. The guy makes plays.
"I wouldn’t be surprised if (he) goes higher than people think because he is a basketball player."
"There’s a lot of guys in this draft at the high end of this draft who are not ready to be put into an NBA basketball game. This kid today and big baby (Glen Davis, who worked out for the Nets yesterday) because of his physicality could get in an NBA game."
Reyshawn Terry, North Carolina:
"An NBA athlete" with an "NBA body...I think he’ll get better at shooting the basketball. But again another guy who is right there in the draft."
Josh McRoberts, Duke:
"Josh McRoberts is a skilled kid. He’s more of an outside player than an inside player--good handle, good hands, size-wise. There are things that he showed."
Glen 'Big Baby' Davis:
"People are going to question Davis’ height, but I think his size and athleticism, especially his footwork, will make up for that lack of size."
Nick Young, USC:
"Can score the basketball...had no problem shooting the three either."
DaShaun Wood, Wright State:
"From our standpoint, we’re not looking at point guards right now."
Stephen Lasme, UMass:
"Lasme is a very interesting character," said Stefanski. "He did a good job in Orlando (pre-draft camp) and I know that he is a guy who most teams in the latter part of the first round are going to want to see this kid in there. He’s one of the top shot blocking guys in the nation. You can’t teach his length, and his skill and timing are excellent at the rim."
Brandon Wallace, South Carolina:
"A free-agent type of situation...Can you get him bigger and stronger is going to be the factor."
Demetris Nichols, Syracuse:
"Nichols is an NBA shooter, there is no doubt he can knock down shots."
Curtis Sumpter, Villanova:
"Had the knee injury. So I think a lot of people were curious how he came back. Terrific effort to go through these knee surgeries so you know the kid has a lot of character and he acquitted himself well."
Sammy Mejia, DePaul:
"Is a good shooter mid-range. One thing about Mejia that hurts him in a workout is that you are doing 2-on-2. Mejia is a very good player in making other people around him better. This workout situation doesn’t help him as much but people know Mejia on a 5-on-5 situation."
Derrick Byars, Vanderbilt:
"Had a terrific year at Vanderbilt, is a very strong kid and athletic."