Shamorie Ponds states his calling card plainly.
In a hype video released on The Player Tribune’s Twitter account, the St. John’s point guard tells the world why NBA teams are considering him for the upcoming draft.
“I get buckets,” he says.
The video explains the root of Ponds’ swagger, which was born on New York City playgrounds, and continued through a storied high school career and three years at the New York-area university.
Ponds — along with five other prospects — worked out for the Detroit Pistons on Friday, the franchise’s seventh workout with just under two weeks before the June 20 draft, which will be held in Brooklyn, N.Y.
The 6-foot-1, 180-pound Ponds joined four potential first-round picks — guards Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Luguentz Dort and Talen Horton-Tucker and forward Nassir Little. Shaw guard Amir Hinton also participated.
Ponds is considered a second-round possibility, so he admitted to having a little extra juice during the workout.
“I feel like I’m always an underdog,” Ponds said. “I’m always looking to take on the best whoever it is, (first round or second round), I’m going right at your head.”
It was spoken like someone from the New York City area, which is known for a flamboyant brand of hoops.
“I was always known as a bucket-getter,” Ponds said. “I don’t think that’s ever going to change. I’m always going to be a bucket-getter, but it’s growing up in Brooklyn, growing up in New York. It’s just one-on-one because there aren’t a lot of people coming to the park so you really just playing one-on-one.
“You got to show what you got.”
Ponds, 20, averaged 19.5 points per game in his college career.
Ponds is one of many second-round candidates to workout for the Pistons, who have a first-round pick (15th overall) and second rounder (45th overall).
[ Vince Ellis’ NBA mock draft 2.0: Pistons take former projected top-5 pick ]
Shittu cites lofty comparisons
Vanderbilt center Simi Shittu was asked after Thursday’s workout why his game is suited for the NBA. The 6-9½, 227 prospect brought up three noteworthy players.
He mentioned Milwaukee Bucks MVP candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Philadelphia 76ers All-Star Ben Simmons was another comparison, along with Toronto Raptors standout Pascal Siakam.
Safe to say Shittu, 19, has confidence after one season of college basketball — although an uneven performance caused his conviction to waiver.
“There were times I reconsidered, but I feel like my game is more (natural toward) the NBA right now,” Shittu said. “With my ability and size and the things I can do, I feel like there’s a need in the NBA and it was time for me to make the jump from college.
“This is the right time for me.”
Shittu is part of the Canadian wave of prospects headed to the NBA, and he was a 5-star prospect in the class of 2018.
After a strong start, Shittu and the Commodores struggled.
But he could represent a high-upside choice for the Pistons in the second round.
Hometown kid visits
UNLV guard Kris Clyburn was a standout at Romulus.
Since he grew up in Detroit, you would think he was a huge fan of the Pistons’ 2004 title-winning team.
“I really don’t remember too much from back then,” said Clyburn, who worked out for the Pistons on Thursday.
“I just seen some highlights and can remember it a little bit.”
Clyburn was 8 years old when the Pistons won their last title. Maybe his lack of memory isn’t surprising considering the Pistons haven’t won a playoff game since 2008.
Clyburn, 23, said he has also worked out for Orlando, Philadelphia, Milwaukee and Boston.
He is projected to go undrafted, but said his defensive mindset could draw interest.
Since he’s a good defender, who was his toughest cover in college?
He said it was Pistons shooting guard Luke Kennard, who starred at Duke.
“He was knock-down shooter, but if you got up on him, he had the ability to go by you, so it was a tough cover,” Clyburn said. “You had to play him straight up and just try to force tough (2-pointers).”
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Published at Fri, 07 Jun 2019 23:05:13 +0000