His workout on Friday was Josh Okogie’s 12th.
The former Georgia Tech star has spent most of his days shooting 3-pointers, working on his quickness and running the length of the court. After two months of predraft workouts, it’s going to be hard to push through some of them.
That’s why it helps to have some familiar faces around: Okogie’s workout with the Jazz on Friday was his second alongside Jerome Robinson, a Boston College standout who also is an old ACC foe. It added some stakes to yet another workout.
“You still gotta find a way to bring that same energy,” he said. “Just because you had a good workout yesterday doesn’t mean it carries over to this workout.”
The Jazz hosted one of their best groups of the offseason, including five players listed among ESPN’s top 75 prospects in the upcoming draft. Both Robinson (No. 17) and Okogie (No. 26) could be in play for Utah’s No. 21 first-round pick. Others such as Duke’s Trevon Duval, Wichita State’s Landry Shamet and Colorado’s George King might be slated as second-rounders.
The long predraft season is taking its toll more than mentally: Shamet suffered an ankle injury in a Thursday workout in Portland, limiting him to shooting drills. After getting some treatment from the Jazz staff, he still pushed to make the most of it.
JAZZ WORKOUT PARTICIPANTS
Trevon Duval, Duke • Guard, 6-3, 191
Kelan Martin, Butler • Wing, 6-7, 238
Jerome Robinson, Boston College • Wing, 6-5, 188
George King, Colorado • Wing, 6-6, 219
Josh Okogie, Georgia Tech • Guard/wing, 6-4, 211
Landry Shamet, Wichita State • Guard, 6-5, 189
“I did what I could as far as non-contact and shooting,” Shamet said. “The tougher part for me is not continuing to bring it every day … the toughest thing is kind of the anxiousness.”
The draft is less than a week away, and Jazz vice president of player personnel Walt Perrin acknowledged that not only are the Jazz working customarily long hours this time of year, they’re also sorting through more players. This draft has more guys the Jazz like than last year, so there’s been a conscious effort to narrow the field.
While much of the work is already done, the remaining workouts (the Jazz also have one on Sunday) help tell Utah’s draft braintrust about the competitiveness of the prospects. Perrin said the group didn’t shoot as well as hoped, and the Jazz were disappointed that Shamet couldn’t participate in contact activities. But those are mostly secondary concerns at this point.
“We want to see how guys push through the fatigue factor, how guys react to being tired,” he said. “Will their play break down, or will they continue to play hard?”
The players who passed through the Jazz workout said they hoped they were able to show their toughness on Friday. And the familiarity between the players on the court — that’s another test in and of itself.
“You know, you get a feel with some tendencies and some things he’s trying to do and vice versa as well,” Robinson said. “It’s a fun experience, it’s a challenge and as far as the game goes, every night in the NBA, they’re gonna know what you want to do.”