Following his workout for his hometown team on Sunday morning, C.J. Wilcox stood at the 3-point line at the Utah Jazz practice facility and effortlessly flicked in jumper after jumper.
Watching him shoot it, it was safe to assume two things: Wilcox can make the NBA longball and he has a definitive NBA skill.
The kid-turned-man who once terrorized opponents down the road at Pleasant Grove High made his way back to where it all started to audition for the Jazz. And while he slipped through the Utah Utes’ fingers to become an all Pac-12 shooting guard at Washington, the possibility exists that he may become a local once again for his professional career.
“I think it would be really exciting to come back and play,” Wilcox said. “My family moved away, but I still have a lot of close friends here. The whole draft process has been a real learning experience. It’s been busy, a lot of flights, a lot of late nights and early mornings.”
Jazz VP of Player Personnel Walt Perrin said the organization was impressed with Wilcox’s workout. By Perrin’s estimation, Wilcox made 60 percent of his 3-point attempts. He was in shape, so the altitude didn’t bother him and he played hard throughout the workout.
Utah could take a player like Wilcox with either its 23rd or 35th selection of the NBA Draft, which is a little less than three weeks away. Wilcox’s ability to shoot the ball makes him an attractive prospect. The Jazz need guys who can shoot it.
“He’s mature and he can shoot, and he can do a little more than that,” Perrin said. “He can put the ball on the floor, he’s a good athlete for his position.”
Sunday’s workout lost a bit of its luster with projected first round candidate P.J. Hairston having to pull out at the last minute because of a balky back. The Jazz were looking forward to Sunday’s workout as one of the most competitive overall groups they’ve brought in over the last month.
Instead, assistant Alex Jensen — a former player at Utah under Rick Majerus — had to participate in 3-on-3 drills. Perrin said he will talk to Hairston’s agent in an attempt to reschedule the workout. But with the busy schedule for the Jazz, getting him back to Salt Lake is uncertain.
“We were looking forward to doing full-court 3-on-3 drills and we weren’t able to do that with P.J. out,” Perrin said.
Shocker, GRIII also swing by on Sunday
First-round draft pick candidates Cleanthony Early from Wichita State and Glenn Robinson III from Michigan also worked out on Sunday.
Robinson, the son of former NBA star Glenn Robinson, is also a former collegiate teammate of Jazz starting point guard Trey Burke.