Mr. Smith Would Like to Come To Washington
Without the aid of an Internet browser, Colorado State forward Jason Smith accurately rehashed recent projections about his stock in the NBA draft. "Anywhere from 15 to 25," Smith said, which is why he was among three other college players who participated yesterday in a pre-draft workout at Verizon Center for the Washington Wizards, owners of the 16th overall pick.
Smith, a 7-foot forward from Colorado State, joined Florida point guard Taurean Green, Marist guard Jared Jordan and Tennessee State center Larry Turner, who participated in various drills, one-on-one and two-on-two scrimmages in front of team officials, including Coach Eddie Jordan.
"They need a big man who's quick, agile," Smith said of possibly playing in Washington. "I think I fit the characteristics. I think I can help the Wizards out a ton."
Smith, a junior who averaged 16.8 points 10.1 rebounds per game last season at Colorado State, displayed his perimeter touch during two-on-two sessions, making several mid-range jump shots while matched up against Turner.
Smith, who did not play in the league's pre-draft camp in Orlando, has yet to hire an agent. Underclassmen have until June 18 to pull out of the draft while retaining their eligibility.
Meantime, Green, who helped Florida to its second straight NCAA championship, said he has hired an agent. As a junior, the 6-foot point guard averaged 13.3 points and 3.7 assists for the Gators, and he has been projected to go as early as the late first round. In addition to its first-round selection, Washington holds the 47th overall pick.
"I wouldn't mind passing the ball to them," said Green, referring to the Wizards' trio of Gilbert Arenas, Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison.
The Wizards will hold workouts for eight more college players today. Derrick Byars (Vanderbilt), Javaris Crittenton (Georgia Tech), Nick Young (Southern California) and Josh McRoberts (Duke) are scheduled to participate. The Wizards also invited George Washington point guard Carl Elliott and Virginia Tech guard Jamon Gordon.
-- Marc Carig