44 NBA prospects from different backgrounds were brought into the Los Angeles Clippers Practice Facility in Playa Vista, California on Wednesday and Thursday to work out for all 30 NBA teams. This group workout, widely known as the Clippers Mini-Combine, was organized by the Brooklyn Nets, Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Clippers, and featured measurements, agility testing, interview sessions and drill-work similar to the NBA Combine in Chicago.
DraftExpress' Italian scout, Marco Fracasso, who was present at the Eurocamp in his hometown of Treviso for the 2nd straight year has the following report to present. It was a rather shallow camp as far as this year's draft is concerned, with only one real NBA prospect who is surely staying in, but with a few interesting International prospects who need to be followed for the future regardless.
Strengths January 2004: A great shooter, Vassiliadis can shoot the ball from anywhere on the court, although he specializes from three point range. He's very fast releasing his jumper, and he has the ability to get his shot off in many different ways, over the arms of defenders if needed. He can catch and shoot, launch off the dribble, off a screen, in motion, make turnaround jumpers, or almost any other way you can imagine. It's just an instinct for him to shoot the ball. He's very confident, and he won't give up shooting even if he's not having his best day.
But that's not all. Vassiliadis can flat-out pass the ball. He sees the court very well and knows where to put it too. I'm not talking just about assists, but more about keeping the offense fluid by using his knack for keeping the ball moving quickly in the offensive set, and just making good decisions in the open court. You can tell by watching him that he has a high basketball IQ. He also has good handles, and has no problem dribbling the ball with either hand in transition or when penetrating.
Costas is an intense defender. He will usually come up with some steals because of his activity in this department. Because he's a winner and knows the game is played on both ends of the court, he won't neglect his defensive duties despite being a shining spot on the offensive end. He's such a competitor that you can see him getting on his teammates' case (some of them quite older and veteran) when they miss an assignment on defense, or because of a poor decision on offense. He is a leader, or at least he tries to be one. It's not hard at all to get the picture that he plays with passion, and the crowd loves him as he transmits that passion to them with his body language, gesticulating, regretting errors and celebrating success.
He's quite a mature player for his age, and he's rewarded for that with big minutes on the court. This is truly uncommon for a player so young on one of the best teams in such a strong league as the Greek league.
3/10/05 edit: Vassiliadis now seems more capable of settling down when his coach asks him to. He can co-operate with other players easily, despite his star character. Actually, he has quickly switched his profile to a more team-oriented one.