Of all the workouts Henry Sims has gone through during the pre-draft evaluation process, Thursday’s for the Washington Wizards was especially important to the former Georgetown center. He’s trying to convince NBA decision-makers that his uncommon passing skills from the post warrant a chance to play professionally.
The Wizards own the third and 32nd picks in next Thursday’s NBA draft after dealing the 46th pick along with Rashard Lewis to the New Orleans Hornets on Wednesday in exchange for Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza. In addition to Sims, Washington worked out center Temi Adebayo (Philadelphia University), and guards Nihad Djedovic (Bosnia and Herzegovina) and Tyshawn Taylor (Kansas).
Sims has been around the DMV his entire life, playing high school ball in Baltimore and flourishing late in his four years at Georgetown. Since graduating, Sims has entertained thoughts of not only playing in the NBA but ideally remaining in the District and forging a career that keeps him at Verizon Center.
“I’ve thought about that a lot,” Sims said. “My whole life basically has been in D.C., the DMV area, but you know, I definitely would like it. It’s like coming back home. The rims haven’t changed, I don’t think.”
Sims was among the most popular players in the locker room and among Hoyas supporters for his selfless play and hard work. As the pivot in Georgetown’s Princeton-style motion offense, Sims often deferred scoring duties to his teammates as he passed them the ball on back-door cuts for easy layups.
At 6 feet 10 and 245 pounds, Sims is not as physically imposing as some other interior players available, but his wingspan measures 7-4, and his understanding of basketball fundamentals makes him an attractive possibility late in the draft.
Sims went from an unheralded freshman in 2008-09 to a multi-facted threat this past season, averaging 11.6 points, six rebounds and 3.5 assists per game. He was first on the Hoyas in blocks (1.4), second in rebounds and third in points.
“It’s been fun. It’s been tiring,” Sims said of the pre-draft experience that’s included more than a dozen workouts with a handful more to go. “It’s been a lot of things, but it’s definitely a once in a lifetime thing. You've got to enjoy it. It’s a blessing to be here.”
Sims said he thought a great deal about his Georgetown career as he drove to Verizon Center on Thursday morning. Some of the highlights included being named third-team all-Big East during his senior season and helping the Hoyas finish fifth in the conference after being selected 10th in the preseason.
Sims scored in double figures in 21 of 33 games as a senior and collected a career-high 24 points in a 91-88 victory over then-No. 8 Memphis in the Maui Invitiational.
As for where he may go in the draft, Sims said he’s taking a light-hearted approach: “I’m not asking.We won’t know until Thursday.”
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