The Brooklyn Nets hosted Day 2 of their pre-draft workouts on Tuesday and it was a lot about the Big East, with three of the six players -- Phil Greene (St. John’s), Darrun Hilliard (Villanova) and Greg Whittington (Georgetown), -- were joined by Aaron White (Iowa), Darrick Marks (Boise State) and David Laury (Iona). Of the six, the most likely to be drafted are, in order, White, a tough guy out of the Big 10, and Hilliard, whose shooting has impressed scouts.
Gregg Polinsky, director of player personnel, runs the workouts. He said that Tuesday’s crew, while light on the mock draft credentials, was brought in because of their diversity.
"It went well," Polinsky told reporters. "I think what we tried to aim for in this particular workout was…we brought in kids that we thought had some diversity —offensively and defensively— to see how they could do in terms of switching, could they guard more than one position, could they play different positions on the floor. So I think in terms of that, our coaches did a great job of running drills and gave us a chance to see what we were looking for."
Brooklyn is set to pick 29th and 41st on draft night, but the team is extremely interested on moving up and/or buying additional picks. The Nets are also looking to get deeper at point guard and as they have in recent years players who can handle more than one position.
The workout was not open to the media, but reporters were able to see the last few cool-down minutes, which featured players taking jumpers. Whittington, who tore his ACL in 2013 and then was booted from the Hoyas for academic reasons, looked impressive in the small sample.
While his form is a bit wonky -- he’s more of a slinger than a pure shooter -- the 6’8" small forward smoothly drained five or six consecutive three-pointers. With triples now more valuable than ever, Whittington’s ability to hit long-range shots could be his ticket to the pros...even if he doesn’t hear his name on June 25.
While some of these guys will probably go undrafted, that doesn’t mean their NBA dreams are over. When a team like the Nets needs players for the summer league or for filling traning camp spots, they’re more likely to reach out to someone they’re familiar with rather than a total question mark.
One player Polinsky talked positively about on Tuesday with was Greene, a 6’2" scoring guard who started 33 games and reached double-digits 22 times in his senior year at St. John’s.
"We saw [on Tuesday] what you pretty much saw over the course of his career at St. John’s," Polinsky said. "A guy that’s really quick with the basketball, could create his own shot, can get space for his shot. He competes. I think Phil had a good career and I think he’s gonna have a shot [in the NBA]."
Here's a highlight reel.
Greene, who has already worked out with the Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Clippers, said that his workout with Brooklyn wasn't easy.
"This was probably one of my toughest ones," the point guard said. "It was a good one, though. High intensity, great competitors…it was a great one."
Greene also said he worked out with Chris Mullin, St. John's new coach ... and Brooklyn-born Hall of Famer. They played two-on-two. "He could still shoot..he likes backdoor passes, old-man moves. But it works."
Greene averaged 13 points in his senior year with the Red Storm and became the 29th member of the school’s 1,000-point club. He shot 44.4 percent from the field and 39.4 percent from beyond the arc.
Despite being absent on the majority of mock drafts, the athletic floor general is confident of his chances at making it in the pros.
"I think I’ve been doing very well. Shooting the ball well, competing on the defensive end, talking to my teammates and getting everyone involved—I think that’s the biggest thing," Greene said. "I think it’s a great chance right now [of getting a shot in the NBA]. Getting great feedback from the teams I’ve worked out with, they told me just to keep it up."
Greene also said he doesn’t feel slighted with most of the draft buzz surrounding projected top-five picks like Karl-Anthony Towns.
"I think of every workout as an opportunity to showcase what I can do, and I also look at them as blessings," Greene said. "So I just want to go out and give my all and see what happens next." Although a native of Chicago, Greene tweeted out a picture of his workout gear, letting everyone know he likes the Nets.
Opportunity #3 pic.twitter.com/9WaagfHAhs— Phil Greene IV (@philgreene31) June 2, 2015
He talked as well about the grueling schedule a prospect faces. Greene said that hours after working out for the Nets, he’s scheduled to a catch a flight to Toronto for a showcase with the Raptors. He's also reportedly set to workout for the Utah Jazz and Phoenix Suns.
"It’s exhausting," he said of the process. "But it’s part of the job. I love it and wouldn’t trade it for anything."
- St. John’s guard is an NBA Draft long shot you can believe in - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Former St. John's guard Phil Greene IV confident he'll be drafted - Al Iannazzone - Newsday
- Phil Greene hopeful workouts will translate to shot at NBA - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
GEICO SportsNite: St. John’s Greene works out for Nets (Video) - SNY
- Brooklyn Nets work out Iona Gaels star ahead of NBA Draft (Video) - FIOS 1 Sports
- Former Boise State Guard Participates In NBA Workouts (Video) - KMVT Twin Falls