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You’ve Got Me All Wrong: NBA Draft Prospects Look to Shake Misconceptions

NBA Draft hopefuls discuss the misconceptions of their game and how they plan to disprove them during the selection process.

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Leading up to the NBA Draft, prospects participate in workouts to show teams why they should be selected. They have already proven themselves up to this point, many as college standouts, and have achieved success in the sport. But there are only 60 picks in the Draft, and with more candidates than selections, NBA organizations will carefully consider whose name they call. The prospects, on the other hand, will look to shake the opinions they don’t think fit who they are as a player. At the 2015 NBA Combine, these hopefuls discussed their misconceptions and how they plan to disprove them during the draft process.

Cameron Payne: “People think I’m not athletic. I don’t feel you have to dunk every possession; that’s not my game. I’m very crafty and you don’t have to show your athleticism every play. But if I get the opportunity to go on the fast break and dunk, I’ll definitely give you a little flash.”

Justise Winslow: “I don’t know what the conception is, but I think I’m a pretty versatile player with the ability to do a lot of things. I’m a great defender, (have the) ability to score. … (In the NBA people will see) my ability to score on isolations. With the way the NBA game goes, with the floor spacing, defensive three seconds, I think I’ll be ably to capitalize more on isolations.”

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson: “The word is I’m not a good shooter, but at the end of the day you’ve got to put in a lot in hard work. … Right now I’m at the stage where I’m not into proving them wrong. I’m at the stage of loving what I do well.”

Christian Wood: “People tend to question my effort, so I think that’s kind of like a misconception. I play 32 minutes a game. There’s times in the game where sometimes I’ll hang out at the three-point line because a certain play was called. There’s times when if you give me a smaller guy, I’m going to make it look easier to score on him. But if you give me a guy that’s my height, it kind of looks different.”

Jerian Grant: “My jumpshot. I think I can really knock down shots. I didn’t get a lot of clean looks last year, so just proving that I can knock down shots on a consistent basis is going to be big for me.”

Kelly Oubre: “Some people say that I’m lazy. Some people say that I don’t work hard all the time, and that’s not true. This year at Kansas it may have come off as lazy because I really didn’t understand some of the things that I was doing, so it caused me to so slow down. When I don’t understand something I slow down to try to get it right. I don’t want to just do anything throw anything out there; I want to be a perfectionist. (I have to) go hard every time, even if I mess up. I’ve learned over the past year in college that if I’m not going hard it’s because I’m thinking, so stop thinking and just play.”

Terry Rozier: “People say I’m not a point guard. People say I can’t shoot the ball on a consistent basis. There’s a lot that people can say about a player, but I’m working. This whole summer I’ve been working, trying to put arc on my jumpshot. … I know people say I can’t play point guard when I’ve been playing it all my life. You hear the things but I’m just trying to stay true to myself and do what I know I can do.”

Richaun Holmes: “That I’m too thin. I feel like a lot people think just because I have a smaller build that I’m not that strong. But I think eyes can be deceiving on that point. I can hold my own against 4s or 5s as well. I’m not going to just back down, not going to get bullied. I’m going to play hard every time I step on the floor, you’re not just going to bully me.”

Cliff Alexander: “I can shoot the jumpshot; they say I just have to get it consistent. I can knock the 15-foot jumpshot down, the elbow jumpshot down, I just have to get it more consistent. (People don’t realize that) because I haven’t taken many in college. When I get to workouts, I’ll show them.”

Jessica Camerato is a bilingual reporter who has been covering the NBA since 2006. She has also covered MLB, NHL and MLS. A graduate of Quinnipiac University, Jessica is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association and the Association for Women in Sports Media.

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