Mack, Johnson among hopefuls in workout today

The San Antonio Spurs worked out several players today that may be available for either their 29th or 59th pick in the 2011 NBA Draft on June 23.

Shelvin MackThe Spurs hosted two guards and two forwards including, Butler guard Shelvin Mack, Pittsburgh guard Brad Wanamaker, Purdue forward JaJuan Johnson and Duke forward Kyle Singler.

Mack has been slotted all over the first and second round in several mock drafts and MidMajorMadness.com says he has the makings to be another second round draft steal.

The Spurs own the 29th and 59th picks in this year’s draft and Mack seems tailor-made to be another second-round steal for San Antonio. George Hill and Gary Neal have already proven to be as such, and with Tony Parker aging, Mack could provide another back-up point guard option to help spell minutes from the veteran. The Butler standout certainly has a strong pedigree, is a proven winner and as we’ve talked about has some strong points that could allow him to transition to the NBA.

Mack has mostly played as a combo guard at Butler, but at his size, he’ll have to committ to playing the point. He’s more of a scorer than anything else, and he’s very smart with his shot selection, can shoot all over the floor and off the dribble. I liken him to Deron Williams in that, while he may be undersized to play the two, he’s also very strong and has a wide frame that would be tough for any opposing point guard to defend. 

Pitt’s Wanamaker is likely destined for the end of the second round, but he’s capable of playing in the NBA. He may need some time in the D-League to add to his game, but he may be an attractive player to the Spurs for many reasons.

Wanamaker, who is represented by DeJuan Blair’s agent, Happy Walters, can create offense, drive and dish and while not very fast or athletic at his position, Wanamaker loves finishing at the basket. He’ll attack and finish or get fouled. Wanamaker is also used to playing unselfish basketball, which is preached at Pittsburgh.

JuJuan JohnsonPurdue’s Johnson is very interesting and a name I’ve had at the top of my Spurs draft wishlist for a while. Johnson could provide the Spurs with some much-needed athleticism and size. He’s a bit of a tweener, not lacking in height, but lacking the bulk of a power forward or center.

Johnson reminds me a lot of Josh Smith or Hakim Warrick. He’s tall and athletic enough to block shots in the post, but don’t be surprised to see him shooting mid-range jumpers or coming off a screen for an alley-oop.

Johnson is expected to go in the late first round or early second round. I would have a hard time passing on him if he is available at 29. He seems to be built for a long career, his character and leadership are right on par with what the Spurs expect, and he could take some lessons from Tim Duncan on what appears to be one of his bigger weaknesses, his low-post game.

Singler may draw a lot of comparisons to Matt Bonner because he’s a 6-9 three-point shooter, but he’s capable of much more. He’s a very smart player, can shoot off the dribble, pull up for the mid-range jumper and doesn’t mind going to work in the post. Singler is also a tweener. He’s not fast enough to play small forward and not big enough to guard NBA power forwards and centers.

As you can see, the Spurs have several options with both picks, and they’ll continue to work out players leading up to the draft.

According to The Hoops Report, UCLA’s Malcolm Lee and Temple’s Lavoy Allen, another Happy Walters client, are scheduled for Spurs workouts on June 3. Andrew Goudelock will also be in for his second workout on the 3rd.

Providence guard Marshon Brooks is scheduled for a workout on June 18.

About Michael A. De Leon

Michael founded Project Spurs in 2004. He started The Spurscast, the first Spurs podcast on the Internet, in 2005. Michael has been interviewed by the BBC, SportTalk, the Sports Reporters Radio Show, MemphisSportLive, OKC Sports Wrap and ESPN radio among others. He is a credentialed member of the media for the San Antonio Spurs and Austin Toros. He is also the founder of Project Spurs' sister sites, Toros Nation and Stars Hoops.

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