Wednesday, May 29
Updated: Wednesday, May 29, 11:13 AM ET
Wagner says he wants to play in Memphis
By Ronald Tillery
Scripps Howard News Service
MEMPHIS -- The high-volume shooter became low key when it was time
to fire from the lip.
University of Memphis standout-turned-NBA-draft hopeful Dajuan
Wagner used an economy of words Tuesday after filling baskets for the
Is he prepared to be a point guard or an off guard in the
"I just consider myself a guard,'' Wagner said moments after just
his second individual NBA workout.
How was the Chicago Bulls' workout Thursday with Illinois's Frank
"It was nice,'' he said, smiling. "...It was long.''
Questions about Wagner's game and draft position may go unanswered
at least until the end of next month.
Wagner, though, did not mince words on the subject of when and
where he'd like to go in the June 26 draft.
With the No. 4 pick, the Memphis Grizzlies select Dajuan Wagner. For
Wagner, that has a nice ring to it.
"That's what everybody wants. My family. Me. Everybody,'' Wagner
said. "This is home. So it would be great to play here.''
Whether the Grizzlies can afford to or will be daring enough to add
a combo guard to a lean roster remains to be seen.
Mock drafts project Wagner could go as high as No. 3 to Golden
State and no lower than No. 7 to the New York Knicks.
He definitely is a lottery prospect. And Griz director of player
personnel Tony Barone believes Wagner could play the point, too.
"When you look at a point guard you have to decide a couple of
things. Can he run a team? He definitely can run a team,'' Barone said
of Wagner. "No. 2 for me is can he defend a point? He can guard a
point. The next part of it becomes the offensive mentality. Does he
fit into running a team, guarding people and being a scorer? Hell
yeah, why not? He can do all three. I have no doubts about the fact he
can be a point. None whatsoever.''
Leon Rose, Wagner's agent, said his client would work out for at
least six teams before the draft. Wagner will visit at least one other
team -- likely the Knicks -- before next week's Chicago predraft camp.
Wagner held his own Tuesday in a long-range scoring exercise next
to a pair of pure shooters, Predrag Savovic (Hawaii) and J.R. Bremer
(St. Bonaventure). On the right wing, Wagner sank 15-of-20
three-pointers in 55 seconds.
"I started off a little tight,'' Wagner said, "but I was all
Then again, the Grizzlies were well aware of Wagner's scoring
ability after watching him extensively during the college season.
What impresses Barone is Wagner's strong ballhandling -- a must for
undersize NBA shooting guards who are sometimes required to be floor
"No one is going to take the ball away from him,'' Barone said.
Wagner has spent the past few weeks training in Chicago. He's
concentrated on weight lifting and clearly looks more chiseled.
Ronald Tillery writes for The Commercial Appeal in Memphis, Tenn.
|Ex-Memphis star Dajuan Wagner wowed the Grizzlies with his 3-point shooting.||