Prospect Review and Recon

Tuesday, June 22, 2010
By Jon Newberry

The Hawks wrapped up their prospect workouts today at Philips Arena, bringing an end to an eight day stretch that saw 30 prospects show off their skills on the practice court.

How important were these workouts? General Manager Rick Sund addressed that question when he met with the media following today’s workout.

“A lot of teams put a lot of emphasis on it (workouts),” said Sund.  “We use it as just one more piece that we can put into the hopper.”

Later Sund added this about conducting prospect workouts, “It reinforces the reports that the scouts and Dave (Pendergraft) have put together. Reinforces the film analysis and gives you a first hand look at somebody with quickness and speed. You can tell that in these workouts, but because you can’t go 5-on-5 five it’s not the greatest barometer. It’s a good one, but not the greatest.”

Sund also talked about speaking with as many people as possible about the player. He called it “recon” and described talking to coaches from AAU, high school, college, and even the training staff from previous teams. All of this to gather as much information as possible before making a decision.

Assistant GM Dave Pendergraft also discussed how the evaluation of these players went far beyond their 90 minutes on the Hawks practice court. “This was basically the last chance to see them compete, but more importantly get to know them as people” said Pendergraft. “I think you learn more about their personalities and their character then their game. Obviously we’ve scouted these guys all year long… so we know them as players. I think this is a great chance to know them as people and interact with them while they are here in Atlanta.”

This is not the first time that looking at character has been mentioned when talking about personnel moves for the Hawks. An important part of last off-season’s acquisition of Jamal Crawford was Sund’s “recon” as he described in an interview with Shaun Powell of

“We did as much homework with his personality and who he is as a player and person,” said Sund. “Everyone I talked to gave me positive feedback. Isiah Thomas, who had him in New York, told me Jamal would be a pleasure to have around. He’s just a real positive guy. When he doesn’t play well, he’s accountable. There was no downside with his personality. I knew it would work.”

Not everyone “knew it would work” when the move for Crawford was made, and hardly anyone predicted that his season would earn him the NBA’s 6th Man of the Year award, but Sund’s “recon” gave him the confidence to pull the trigger.

Here’s to hoping the extra research into the person (as well as the player) yields another positive outcome in the 2010 Draft.