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News / Sports / Blazers

Blazers host prospects from Arizona, Virginia

By Erik Gundersen, Columbian Trail Blazers Writer
Published: June 10, 2015, 12:00am

TUALATIN, Ore. — The Portland Trail Blazers conducted their fourth pre-draft workout Tuesday morning at their practice facility in Tualatin.

It was the only pre-draft workout that the Blazers will hold this week.

Headlining the group of six players to work out for the Blazers on Tuesday was 6-foot-7 Arizona forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and 6-foot-6 Virginia swingman Justin Anderson.

Both players are early entry candidates for the draft.

Joining Anderson and Hollis-Jefferson were Connecticut guard Ryan Boatright (6-0, 175), French big man Mouhammadou Jaiteh (6-11, 250), Maryland guard Dez Wells (6-5, 215) and Arizona point guard T.J. McConnell.

Anderson and Hollis-Jefferson have been working out together in many of their workouts, and are both on their way to Dallas for another.

Their history dates back to their AAU days, when Anderson said that Hollis-Jefferson was the new kid on the block.

“I didn’t get at first why we were in the same workout,” Anderson said. “We’re totally different players. But we’re in the same range, and I totally understand.”

Hollis-Jefferson is touted as a defender and considers himself a “great” defender. At 6-7, 220 lb. with a 7-2 wingspan and extensive college resume, he said that every team he has worked out for has liked him.

He believes that he is sold short on his offensive ability, however.

“People think I can’t create as far as offense goes,” Hollis-Jefferson said. “I think I’m pretty good at it, at getting to the basket, creating my own shot, whatever the case may be.”

The biggest concern regarding Hollis-Jefferson may be his outside shooting. He was a career 20 percent 3-point shooter in his two seasons at Arizona.

The biggest concern for Hollis-Jefferson, meanwhile, is a reliable tool for Anderson.

“I could always shoot,” he said. “A lot of people go off my numbers from the last three years. My high school coach would tell you I could shoot.”

Anderson told reporters on Tuesday that he went 19 of 25 from 3-point range in the workout with the Blazers.

At 6-6, 228 pounds, Anderson believes he already has the positional versatility that many teams would covet.

Anderson shot 36 percent from 3-point range during his three seasons at Virginia.

While he is confident in his shot, he knows that during the circuit of workouts he has, just one bad day can ruin your future with a team.

“They only come to see you one time,” Anderson said. “So you have to put your best performance out in front.”

Columbian Trail Blazers Writer