The Washington Post

Hamilton low on fuel during workout

Following his predraft workout this morning for the Washington Wizards, swingman Jordan Hamilton admitted he wasn’t at his most energetic while he auditioned for the club that could select him with the No. 18 pick in the first round.

That’s because Hamilton got a late start this morning and wasn’t able to eat breakfast, so the first part of his workout in front of team president Ernie Grunfield and other front office officials lacked the punch that has made the 6-foot-7 wing player a projected mid to late first-round pick.

“I just got real light-headed, real dizzy when we were doing shooting drills and stuff like that,” said Hamilton, who declared for the June 23 draft after his sophomore season at Texas. “Then when we were doing transition, it was kind of hard for me at first, but I kind of just fought through it and just continued to keep playing.”

Hamilton was among six players invited to today’s session. Dozens of media members were there to see him, but in larger part they were there because Jordan Williams and Kawhi Leonard were also working out.

Williams, who played college basketball for Maryland, looked considerably leaner than he did with the Terrapins, having shed close to 20 pounds following a change in diet. Leonard is among the players the Wizards may be targeting with the No. 6 pick in the first round.

Leonard and Hamilton have been friends since high school, and their games appear suited for the Wizards, who are seeking depth at both shooting guard and small forward. Hamilton played both those positions in college, and his scoring versatility is particularly enticing.

Hamilton averaged 18.6 points, 7.7 rebounds and 2.l assists for the Longhorns, starting all 36 games this past season. He led the team in scoring 24 times--including a game-high 21 points in the Big 12 tournament final against Kansas--and rebounding 14 times, and made 90 of 234 three-pointers.

Hamilton’s most noticeable progress last season at Texas was his development into a more selective shooter. Attention in that area allowed his field goal percentage to improve to .440 after he shot .410 as a freshman.

Hamilton also has been readying his body for the NBA by training with Rob McClanahan in Los Angeles and fellow draft prospects Trey Thompkins of Georgia, Kentucky point guard Brandon Knight and Morehead State forward Kenneth Fared. Hamilton described himself at the NBA combine as “a Danny Granger type.”

Hamilton’s scoring is the most advanced part of his game, so during predraft workouts, he said he wants to show NBA decision-makers he’s become a more complete player. The Wizards have precious few who fit that mold, and while many mock drafts have Hamilton going before Washington’s second pick in the first round, he’s an appealing possibility should he slip.

“I want to show teams that I am explosive, that I am athletic,” Hamilton said. “That I can do those things and I’m not just a shooter. I can do other things too.”

Gene Wang is a sports reporter covering multiple beats, including Navy football, the Capitals, Wizards, Nationals, women’s basketball, auto racing, boxing and golf. He also covers Fantasy Football.



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