Draft Update: Hornets Work Out Luke Babbitt
This morning the New Orleans Hornets worked out Luke Babbitt of Nevada. Unlike the team’s previous workouts, this one was held exclusively for Babbitt and did not include any other prospects. When the media arrived on scene, Luke was dripping in sweat and obviously exhausted. He had already completed shooting drills, cone drills, sprints, and even matched up with new coach Monty Williams a couple of times.
Going into the workout the scouting reports all concurred that defensively he could be a liability. After watching him go through a single cone drill and two sprints to finish up what had obviously been a long workout, a few things came to mind. His lateral agility on the lone cone drill wasn’t anything to marvel at, but at the same time wasn’t atrocious. His sprints, certainly not on par with the Hornets lightning fast guards, appeared adequate. He won’t be the first guy on the break, but running the floor shouldn’t be a problem.
Regardless, he looked as though he was still working hard, even though he was obviously exhausted. As Monty Williams would later remark “He pushed through being tired, which is something that a lot of young guys have a tough time with.”
That’s certainly true, and with and Monty previously stating that the team was going to have to work hard and hustle next year, it’s something that can’t be overlooked.
Monty also wanted to see how Babbitt would respond to some pressure and defense. Fortunately, being a former player and the youngest coach in the league, Monty was ready to go. “I wanted to see how he would react to some banging and running into someone my size, what would he do if I stripped him of the ball?” According to Williams, he did pretty well.
Some other bullet worthy notes-
- Babbitt was very complimentary of Williams (no surprise). Players seem to like that he was once in their shoes.
- Jeff Bower said the workout “confirmed a lot of ideas that they had about him” (Babbitt).
- Bower: “We’re not locked into only a big or only a wing player.”
- Bower: No surprises so far among the 13 guys that have been worked out.
- Monty think Babbitt can morph into some four, but right now he’s a three. If he gets faster he can chase some two’s but not right now.
- According to Monty Williams, Mike Malone to New Orleans isn’t official.
- The team says not to read into Babbit working out by himself. It appeared to be more about scheduling than anything else.
- This was Babbitt’s ninth workout so far.
- Williams continues to take responsibility for teaching whoever is drafted. It’s good to hear that he plans on being so involved. Even though I find backup PF/C to be a much more important position to fill, it strikes me that Williams will have more to impart upon a wing player than a big man.
- At the very end someone asked a very strange question about if race played a role in Babbitt being compared to Larry Bird. Williams quite literally said he didn’t have an answer to that and then compared Babbitt to former NBA player Keith Gatlin, who was also left handed.
And lastly, a great answer by Jeff Bower. Until recently I didn’t realize how funny he is. Each time he talks to reporters he cracks the group up, mainly because some of the questions are so odd.
Reporter- Thoughts on the 11th overall pick?
Bower: “Well, we like the pick.”
There was a more, but it was all rather redundant after that. I mean, what is there to say?
Monty had a similar response to a nearly identical question later on-
Monty Williams: “It’s a good position to be in. You can keep it, or move up or down.”
At this point it seems like the Hornets are open to just about anything. Is it worth it to keep the 11th pick or would the team be better off doing something else?
Edit- Here are a few cool journal entries from today.
My Hornets Dream Team by CP3nBrees
2010 Outlook by mcp2989