The Washington Wizards moved into their third day of pre-draft workouts on Wednesday by auditioning several players who could fit into the team’s plans in the second round of the June 27 NBA draft, most notably former Louisville point guard Peyton Siva.
Siva helped direct the Cardinals to the NCAA tournament championship this past season, and his stock has risen since he shined at the NBA combine in Chicago in mid-May with a vertical leap of more than 41 inches and bench pressing 185 pounds 15 times. The 6-foot-1 Siva averaged 10 points and 5.7 assists en route to being named Big East tournament most valuable player for a second consecutive time.
Siva’s extensive experience playing point guard at the highest level in college makes him an attractive prospect for the Wizards, who have been seeking consistency at backup point guard behind John Wall. The Wizards have gone through multiple players there with mixed results since making Wall the No. 1 overall pick in 2010.
Joining Siva during the workout were forwards Christian Watford (Indiana), Adonis Thomas (Memphis) and Nick Minnerath (Detroit) and guards Elijah Johnson (Kansas) and Will Clyburn (Iowa State).
“I think being a playmaker and getting everyone involved would be my strongest asset,” Siva said. “Making sure people are in the right spot, getting people open shots, because in the NBA that’s what they get paid to do.”
Following a workout that lasted approximately an hour on the auxiliary court at Verizon Center, Siva chatted briefly with team president Ernie Grunfeld as well as Tommy Sheppard, vice president of basketball administration, and player personnel vice president Milt Newton.
Siva then had further discussions in private with members of the Wizards front office before re-emerging to speak with reporters.
“They really like my game,” said Siva, adding he also spoke with Wall before arriving in the District. “They really like the way I’m able to defend and run the pick-and-roll. They said that was really one of my strong points, so just continue to work on that and just continue to shoot consistently. They thought I shot the ball really well today.”
The Wizards own the No. 3 overall pick as well as the eighth and 24th picks in the second round. Siva, according to many mock draft Web sites, is considered a second-round selection and may be available to Washington at No. 54 overall.
In 2011, the Wizards used the 34th overall pick to draft Shelvin Mack with the hope he would be a suitable backup to Wall. The former Butler point guard played 61 games as a rookie before the Wizards waived him in training camp the following season. Mack came back to play seven games this past season but was waived again.
“I don’t pay attention to any of them,” Siva said of mock drafts. “It’s great if they have me, but all that matters is if one team likes me. That’s all I need. All I need is that opportunity to get my foot in the door.”
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