Jazz: Utah's Washburn takes first step at pre-draft workout
University of Utah center Jason Washburn took the first step toward a professional career Thursday, when he participated in a pre-draft workout for the Jazz.
Washburn averaged 11.9 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.5 blocked shots last season, although he's not expected to be selected in the two-round NBA Draft on June 27.
Still, working out with the Jazz provided Washburn a chance to improve his visibility among professional teams domestic and foreign.
"I'm trying to get to the next level," Washburn said. "The more exposure you get over here, the higher your stock goes overseas. ...
"Obviously I would love to play in the States in front of my family. But, wherever I end up playing, I'm going to enjoy myself."
Joining Washburn for the workout were Marquette guard Vander Blue, Arizona forward Solomon Hill, Baylor point guard Pierre Jackson, Minnesota forward Trevor Mbakwe and Georgia Tech guard Glen Rice Jr.
"It gave me [a chance] to evaluate my game," Washburn said, "and I thought I did well. ... Hopefully what I did here today spreads around the league."
Jazz vice president of player personnel Walt Perrin praised Washburn's effort.
"He didn't back down," Perrin said. "He played hard, he was physical [and] he listened to the coaches. He understood what was going on, and he gave it his all once he got on the court."
Washburn was originally scheduled to work out for the Jazz on Friday.
Notre Dame forward Jack Cooley had flight scheduling problems, however, so Washburn moved his participation up one day.
Cooley will work out Friday.
"Things happen," Washburn said. "That's why you have to stay ready. That's why you have to stay prepared. My agent called me [Wednesday] night and said the Jazz might want to go with me today. So I was ready. I came out here and did my best."
Washburn had one advantage over the other players at the workout: His five years at the University of Utah acclimated him to the altitude.
"Even with athletic guys, you start running up and down, the 5,000 feet will get you," Washburn said. "But I'm used to it. It's just another day for me."
Six more players will work out for the Jazz on Friday, including Pitt center Steven Adams, North Carolina State forward Richard Howell, Miami center-forward Kenny Kadji, German point guard Dennis Schroeder, Louisville point guard Peyton Siva and Cooley.