TUALATIN, Ore. — Two Washington Huskies were working out for the Trail Blazers Wednesday. So naturally, the discussion turned toward a man who has been both a Blazer and a Husky.
Reports about Brandon Roy planning a full-fledged comeback to the NBA have been popping up lately, and Tony Wroten isn’t about to deny that possibility.
Wroten, a Seattle native who decided to turn pro after averaging 16 points per game as a freshman last year at Washington, said he has been working out with Roy and that “you can’t even tell he hurt his knee,” adding that Brandon might even be better than before.
In the meantime, Wroten wouldn’t seem to mind if he got his own chance at wearing a Blazers jersey.
The 6-foot-6 guard said he “loved Portland” as it’s close to home and feels similar to Seattle.
However, the chances of him landing here don’t appear great given the picks the Blazers own right now.
Wroten’s stock has dropped in recent weeks as most mock drafts have him going in the late first round to the early second round (Portland owns picks 6, 11, 40 and 41).
However, he dismissed the plummeting perception of his game Wednesday, saying “it is what it is. The people who say my stock is dropping — they don’t draft me. I’m just going to play my game and let it handle itself.”
Joining Wroten at the Blazers practice facility Wednesday was 6-6 guard and fellow Husky Terrence Ross, Moe Harkless (6-8, St. John’s), Kendall Marshall (6-4, North Carolina), Austin Rivers (6-4, Duke) and Mike Scott (6-8, Virginia). Scott was the only prospect not considered to be first-round material.
Ross, a Portland native who graduated from Jefferson High, said he was happy to be home spending time with family, and that he has been in constant communication with fellow Jefferson alum Terrence Jones, who worked out with the Blazers last week.
But the biggest name in the workout was Rivers, who started at point guard at Duke last year and happens to be the son of Celtics coach Doc Rivers.
Austin said that he occasionally passes on information to Dad after practicing with other teams, but has “to be careful because he’s still a Celtic. I gotta be smart.”
Rivers added that playing “under the microscope” at Duke helped prepare him for the NBA stage as he proved he could handle the pressure.
Rivers is currently right in the Blazers range on most draft boards, meaning, if selected, he could be competing against fellow Duke product Nolan Smith for time at point guard.
“No, it wouldn’t be awkward,” Rivers said. “At the end of the day, me and him are friends, but we know that when we step between the lines, it’s all business.”
Plus, it’s more likely Rivers would get along with Smith than he would Marshall, the UNC guard working out against him Wednesday.
Marshall didn’t much discuss where he thinks he is going to go, but was revelatory when it came to 90’s television icons.
Answering a question he posed on Twitter regarding who he’d choose between Kelly Kapowski of “Saved by the Bell” or Topanga from “Boy Meets World,” Marshall didn’t hesitate.
“I think I have to go with Kelly,” he said. “I was a ‘Saved by the Bell’ guy. Every morning from 6 to 7 before school.”