UCLA's Holiday Struggles In Workout With Bucks Against Maynor, McNeal
The Milwaukee Bucks got a first-hand look at a couple of the top-rated point guards in this year’s NBA Draft on Tuesday morning when UCLA’s Jrue Holiday and Virginia Commonwealth’s Eric Maynor visited the team’s training facility for workouts alongside Marquette’s Jerel McNeal, Maryland’s Greivis Vasquez, DePaul’s Mac Koshwal, and Holiday’s college teammate Alfred Aboya.
St. Francis - The Milwaukee Bucks got a first-hand look at a couple of the top-rated point guards in this year’s NBA Draft on Tuesday morning when UCLA’s Jrue Holiday and Virginia Commonwealth’s Eric Maynor visited the team’s training facility for workouts alongside Marquette’s Jerel McNeal, Maryland’s Greivis Vasquez, DePaul’s Mac Koshwal, and Holiday’s college teammate Alfred Aboya.
Holiday, projected to possibly go as high as fourth overall to the Sacramento Kings by ESPN’s Chad Ford, admittedly had a rough day in the gym.
“I didn’t do too well,” Holiday said. “You have some workouts you wanna keep and some you wanna let go. Today my shot wasn’t knocking down like I wanted to, and I wasn’t really finishing around the basket.”
Bucks director of player personnel Dave Babcock understands that Holiday wasn’t having one of his better days, but doesn’t put too much stock in one workout.
“He was okay today,” Babcock said. “He didn’t just blow you away, but that doesn’t mean anything. I think he can make shots better than he did today.”
Despite Holiday’s struggles on the Bucks practice floor, Babcock still likes a lot of things about his game.
“Jrue’s got great size for a potential NBA point guard,” Babcock said. “He’s a natural defender and he’s physical. His fundamentals and his instincts defensively are very good. Out of all these point guards in the Draft, he’s definitely the best defender.”
When asked if he could see himself playing in Milwaukee, Holiday, who will turn 19 years old this Friday, replied, “Most definitely. We have a fellow (UCLA) Bruin on the team (Luc Richard Mbah a Moute) so when I come in then I’ll have somebody to talk to. I can see I fit here.”
Another highly-touted point guard prospect, VCU’s Eric Maynor, received mixed reviews from Babcock.
“He’s sort of like a smaller version of Ramon Sessions,” Babcock said. “He loves to get to the hole. He’s very crafty. But his shooting range is suspect and his size is not great. I would say he’s probably a late first-rounder. He’s good. I like him.”
Maynor, who said he weighs 170 pounds, knows that he has to build more strength around his 6-foot-3 frame.
“As soon as I get to my NBA city I’m gonna put on weight,” Maynor said. “That’s not a goal, that’s a must.”
In response to where he thinks he may wind up on draft day, Maynor said it’s tough to not hear speculation and mock draft projections.
“Of course, it’s reality you’re gonna look at it,” Maynor admitted with a smile, adding, “Especially if you got friends that look at it 24/7 and then they’re constantly telling you, ‘they got you going here to Milwaukee, they got you going here to Phoenix,’ and I’m like, well, at least somebody’s out there looking at me then.”
Maynor said that the only team he’s worked out for that is picking higher than the Bucks is Minnesota, but with the Timberwolves holding both the 6th pick and 18th pick, he said “They (Minnesota) are looking for a point guard, but I don’t know which direction they’re going to go in with that sixth pick,” acknowledging that they may be looking more at him with the 18th overall pick.
Four-year Marquette starting guard Jerel McNeal received high praises from Babcock for his workout, but it doesn’t sound very likely that the former Golden Eagle will continue playing his home games at the Bradley Center.
“I think Jerel played very well today,” Babcock said. “He’s still not a good shooter but he did make shots. He’s such a tough guy, a great defender. Holiday’s size got him a bit, but he (Holiday) got the other guys too.
“Let’s be honest. He’s not gonna be there (when we select in the second round) at 41 anyway and he may not make sense for us if he was, but it was a good workout.”
Asked where he thought McNeal may be selected, Babcock said, “My bet would be early-to-mid second round, but who knows, late-first round somebody could see he’s a tough guy and he fits a role. I would say he’s pretty solid in the second round.”
The Milwaukee Bucks continue pre-Draft workouts on Thursday morning as the team continues to prepare for selecting at #10 and #41 in the NBA Draft coming up on June 25th.