Versatility dominates at Wizards workout


Marcus Morris, left, was among six players who worked out for the Wizards on Tuesday. (JEFF HAYNES/REUTERS)
June 14, 2011

If Washington Wizards fans can dream as well as their team’s potential draft picks do, then maybe it wasn’t so far-flung on Tuesday to envision a Carmelo Anthony type with an extra spring in his step, or a Scottie Pippen-in-training gliding down the Verizon Center practice court flanked by a wannabe LeBron James.

The Wizards held a Tuesday morning workout with six prospects, four of whom figure to be in the mix when Washington selects 18th overall in the first round of the June 23 NBA draft. All four forwards — Florida State’s Chris Singleton, Marcus Morris of Kansas, UCLA’s Tyler Honeycutt and Tennessee’s Tobias Harris — have lofty ambitions, with games, they said, modeled after veteran superstars.

Yet, none seems to have a clear position or one specific skill set that separates him from others. Each said he is are capable of playing on the wing and in the post, or small forward as well as power forward.

One thing seems clear, though: If the Wizards select one of these four, they will be getting versatility. It’s a smart marketing maneuver by the prospects, who recognized the Wizards lack of front-court depth.

“Their positions in need are a wing-type player and a power forward,” said the 6-foot-8, 226-pound Harris, who left Tennessee after his freshman year, when he averaged 15.3 points and 7.3 rebounds. “Those are the positions I can play.”

The 6-8, 230-pound Morris, the Big 12 player of the year who left school after his junior season, touted “being versatile” as his biggest attribute.

“A lot of people try to limit my position, but I can play the three or the four,” he said. “I played three years in college at the highest level at the four. . . . By me being versatile, I’m trying to hang my hat on my mid-range game because that’s going to be my game.”

The 6-9, 230-pound Singleton, who averaged 13.1 points and 6.8 rebounds, acknowledged his offensive game is still developing. With a wingspan of 7-1, though, Singleton is selling himself as someone who has a body that can overcome skill deficiencies.

“Offensive ability, that’s the one thing people say I lack,” he said. “That was on me. I wasn’t as aggressive as I should have been.”

At just 188 pounds, the 6-8 Honeycutt, who left school after his sophomore season, might be the most raw of the bunch. His lack of bulk notwithstanding, he showed a unique combination of skills at UCLA this past season, leading the Pacific-10 Conference in blocked shots (2.1 per game), and leading the Bruins in three-pointer field goals made (55).

“I don’t like to be great at one thing. I like to be good at everything,” Honeycutt said. “Being versatile gets you more playing time.”

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