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Gobert Pre-Draft Workout Wrap

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Filed under Analysis, Big Post, Draft, Featured, From the Practice Facility, Quotes.

Gobert Pre-Draft Workout Wrap

The Kings on Monday held their first 2013 multi-player pre-Draft workout at the team’s practice facility. The session featured center Rudy Gobert, forward Chris Evans and more.

On Monday, the Sacramento Kings hosted their first pre-Draft workout at the team’s practice facility, featuring six prospects. The players participated in various drills, as well as three-on-three full-court sessions.

Following is a list of participants, including background information on their respective careers to date. Plus, following the workout, caught up with Gobert, Evans and Releford to gain insight about Monday’s go-round, how each player would bolster Sacramento’s roster and much more.

– Will Cherry, G, Sr., Montana – The 6-foot-1 guard earned First Team All-Big Sky honors as a junior, notching 15.8 points per game and leading the Grizzlies to the No. 13 seed in the NCAA Tournament. The three-time John Eaheart award-winner finished second on the all-time conference steals list (265), ranking ninth in the nation with a career-high 83 swipes in 2011-12.

– Chris Evans, F, Sr., Kent State – A First Team All-MAC selection, the 6-foot-8 forward ranked fifth in the conference in scoring (16.2 points per game) and rebounds (7.7) in 2012-13. A NABC Division I District 14 First Team recipient, the 22-year-old was the only Division I player to record at least 175 field goals, 30 three-pointers, 140 free throws, 250 rebounds, 70 assists, 60 steals and 20 blocks last season.

– Rudy Gobert, C, Cholet (France) – The 7-foot-2 center brings a game-changing defensive presence, utilizing his size, athleticism and 7-foot-9 wingspan to swat and alter shots around the basket. The 2013 French All-Star and Pro A blocks leader captured a bronze medal at the 2011 FIBA Europe Under-20 Championship and a silver medal at the 2012 FIBA Europe Under-20 Championship.

– Aziz N’Diaye, C, Sr., Washington – The 7-foot big man finished fourth on UW’s all-time career blocks list (113) and ranked seventh in career field goal percentage (56 percent). The 2012 Pac-12 All-Defensive Team selection became the fourth Husky in the last 40 years to record over 300 rebounds (308) in a single season, averaging 9.1 per contest.

– Travis Releford, G, Sr., Kansas – The versatile 6-foot-6 guard tallied career-highs in points (11.9), assists (2.6) and steals (1.3) in 2012-13, leading the Big 12 Conference in true shooting percentage (67.7 percent) and ranking sixth in total swipes (47).

– Brandon Triche, G, Sr., Syracuse – A strong playmaker and rebounder at his position, the 6-foot-4 guard averaged 13.6 points, 3.6 assists and 3.4 boards in 2012-13, helping lead the Orange to the Final Four. The N.Y. native notched a career-high 29 points, to go along with six rebounds and five assists, against Seton Hall on Feb. 16, and scored 20 points in a first-round NCAA Tournament victory over Montana on March 21.


Kings Pre-Draft Interview: Rudy Gobert


Rudy Gobert

How was today’s workout?

“Good, it was a good workout.”

How familiar are you with the Kings?

“I know they have a new coach. They (are trying) to change the feel of the team – I know they’re looking more for defensive guys, so (that’s) good for me.”

Do you feel you’d make an impact as a defensive specialist?

“Yes, of course. I want to be a great offensive player, too, but first, yes, I want to be a great defensive player.”

Are there any current or former NBA players with whom you model your game?

“Right now, I like many players. I compare myself to Tyson Chandler. I try be, too, like Joakim Noah – players like (them), great defensive players. Offensively, I like to watch Roy Hibbert, Pau Gasol – players like (them).”

What are your expectations for the Draft?

“My goal is to be (drafted in the) Lottery and especially top eight, because I want to be the best French player ever drafted.”

Chris Evans

How was today’s workout?

“Today went well. Today was the first workout for me in Sacramento, so I definitely had fun. All the guys competed and it was just a great atmosphere.”

How would you characterize your game and what you’d bring to the Kings?

“I’m very athletic on the offensive end and defensive end. I think I can guard multiple positions. I’m a guy who’s going to provide a great work environment. I’m just going to bring great energy to the team (and) provide great spirit to the team everyday.”

Are there any current or former NBA players with whom you model your game?

“I’d have to say a younger Richard Jefferson. He was very athletic on the offensive end, he defended multiple positions on the defensive end and he was a guy who was competitive and just brought energy to the N.J. Nets early in his career.”

How familiar are you with the Kings?

“Growing up, being a fan of basketball, (I watched) them when they had the glory days around Chris Webber, (Peja) Stojakovic. Now, they’re rebuilding with DeMarcus Cousins, Jason Thompson and all the current players, so just being a fan of basketball, you definitely get to learn and watch the game.”

Are you excited about the possibility of playing in Sacramento?

“I’m definitely excited. I was in the airport last night, and all the fans were happy to see (the Kings staying in) Sacramento and they wished me the best of luck. I can just tell it’s all a community and everyone is for the Sacramento Kings, and that’s what I like.”

Travis Releford

How was today’s workout?

“I think it went well. I shot (the ball) well, I came out with a lot of energy and I feel like everybody gave their best shot.”

How does being a senior coming from Kansas help you during this process?

“I think I’ve built up a great résumé. I come from a winning program and I’ve done everything I’ve supposed to so far up until this point.”

How do you think you would fit in with the Kings?

“I feel like I can come in and be a spark on the defensive end. I talked to (Kings Head Coach Michael Malone) about that, and he was saying they’re focusing in this year’s Draft (on players who) can come in and be lockdown defenders right away and can help the team out. Hopefully, they take a good look at me, because I feel I can do that.”

Do you think your defensive ability is what separates you from fellow Draft prospects?

“I feel like it does. Coming in at Kansas the past two years, I’ve been one of those guys who always guarded the best player on the other team. I take pride in that and do whatever it takes for a team to win.”

Are there any current or former NBA players with whom you model your game?

“I would say Brandon Rush because he’s from the same city I’m from … (he’s) the guy I looked up to.

“Going into Kansas, Coach (Bill Self) sat down and talked with me about that, saying I can compare my game to his because he defended really well, he was a guy who did all the little things for the team to win and he knocked down open shots.”

Free Throws

– Watch exclusive on-court footage of Monday’s pre-Draft workout.

– For complete Kings pre-Draft workout coverage leading up to the 2013 NBA Draft, stay current with’s Offseason Central.

  • PG Bounce

    First, thanks to the Kings for releasing these Pre-draft Workout videos. I always look forward to seeing them. I hope the Kings continue making these even after the personnel changes.

    The two things I take away from this video are:

    1. At the 3:40. Well, at least it’s left handed, but I hope he’s working on his jump hook.

    2. At the end. No surprise, he’s boxing out but still gets moved.

    Not sure if Rudy is worth a 7th pick. My guess is that the Kings are looking at him in case they trade down.

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