The Sacramento Kings are having no problem getting top tier players to show up to workouts so far.  After hosting Trey Burke yesterday, new coach Michael Malone pitted two of the draft’s most intriguing guards against each other in the team’s practice facility today.

Michael Carter-Williams is a pass first point guard with tremendous size and high-defensive acumen.  C.J. McCollum is this year’s small-school scorer who tested off the charts at the combine.

Carter-Williams and McCollum weren’t the only interesting players to watch in the morning session.  Tony Snell, projected to go in the late first round or early second, matched up against Solomon Hill, a defensive-minded player projected as a mid-second round pick.  The Kings also brought in Elijah Johnson out of Kansas and Peyton Siva from Louisville to round out a strong morning session.

Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see much of the workout.  When the curtain lifted, the players were shooting 3-pointers and continued to do so until the audition concluded.

Michael Carter-Williams

  • Position: Guard
  • College: Syracuse
  • Height: 6-6
  • Weight: 184 lbs.
  • Chad Ford’s Top 100 Ranking: 7
  • Quick Breakdown: Strong court vision, playmaking skills and elite size for the point guard position.  Must improve decision-making, scoring ability and shooting stroke.

Analysis

Carter-Williams is long and lean, but his shot is all over the place.  It isn’t fair to judge him on just his ability to drop in the long-ball, but that is all we were able to watch.  By looking at both his college shooting numbers and his free-throw percentages, the 21-year-old out of Syracuse needs to spend time with a shooting coach to refine his touch.  He pushes the ball with two hands, giving his shot an awkward rotation.

Physically, Carter-Williams has an NBA body.  At 6-foot-6 and 184 lbs., he could add a little more weight, but he doesn’t have the look of a player who will have issues with strength as he matures in the league.

He was solid in his interview and compared his game to “Jason Kidd in his prime”.  The numbers confirm that comparison, but it’s a lot easier to compare yourself to a Hall of Fame talent like Kidd than to actually match the production.

Solomon Hill

  • Position: Forward
  • College: Arizona
  • Height: 6-7
  • Weight: 226 lbs.
  • Chad Ford’s Top 100 Ranking: 77
  • Quick Breakdown: Do-everything-kind-of wing.  Developed his perimeter game this year for the Wildcats and has the ability put the ball on the floor.

Analysis

I liked Hill a lot.  In the NBA, teams too often try to make a player into something he is not.  Hill is a defensive-minded team player with a very nice perimeter stroke.  Every team is looking for the next Kawhi Leonard to guard the elite small forward athlete.  Instead of drafting a guy that believes he is an elite wing and trying to change him into a defender who can bury the 3-ball, teams should probably look into role players like Hill.

We didn’t interview Hill, but he brought a lot of energy and a very smooth 3-point release to the table.  He looked the part of a glue guy at the NBA level and the Kings could probably do a lot worse than this senior out of Arizona in the second round.

Elijah Johnson

  • Position: Guard
  • College: Kansas
  • Height: 6-4
  • Weight: 226 lbs.
  • Chad Ford’s Top 100 Ranking: 90
  • Quick Breakdown: Incredible athleticism, in particular a very explosive leaper.  Good court vision and is a speedy player.  Sometimes lacks aggressiveness.

Analysis

Johnson wasn’t the smoothest shooter of the group.  He is a well-built kid who played big minutes for the Kansas Jayhawks.  We did not interview Johnson and it’s hard to see him making it to the NBA level.

C.J. McCollum

  • Position: Guard
  • College: Lehigh
  • Height: 6-3
  • Weight: 197 lbs.
  • Chad Ford’s Top 100 Ranking: 8
  • Quick Breakdown:  Possesses a quick first step, good shooter and is at his best in transition.  Strong rebounder, but isn’t overly athletic.

Analysis

The smooth shooting guard out of Lehigh didn’t disappoint.  He has an effortless stroke and an extremely high release on his jumper.  Making comparisons is tough, but his build looks similar to Randy Foye and his shot looks a lot like ex-Pistons guard Vinnie Johnson.

And then there was his interview.  This is the third year we have watched draft picks here in Sacramento and by far, McCollum gave the best interview we have ever seen.  The senior journalism student had all the right answers.  They were neither canned or overly rehearsed.  So many players say that they are students of the game, but when McCollum said it, you can actually believe it.  He flowed from one question to the next, comparing himself to Stephen Curry and telling us exactly how he would fit into the NBA and the Kings specifically.  If he can play as well as he can talk, this guy should be an All-Star.

Peyton Siva

  • Position: Guard
  • College: Louisville
  • Height: 6-0
  • Weight: 181 lbs.
  • Chad Ford’s Top 100 Ranking: 74
  • Quick Breakdown: Has speed, explosive athleticism and is a strong lockdown defender.  However, lacks ideal size for the point guard spot and is not particularly strong from the perimeter.

Analysis

Siva is an Isaiah Thomas clone.  He led Louisville to a national championship against Trey Burke and the Michigan Wolverines this past season and he is clearly second rounder material.  He doesn’t have the range of Thomas, but he is a solid 6-foot tall point guard who knows his strengths and will play to them.  He is a very good defender and a big time leader.

In the interview process, he was engaging and gave solid responses.  I’m not sure that the Kings will look for a player like this in the draft, but stranger things have happened.

Tony Snell

  • Position: Forward
  • College: New Mexico
  • Height: 6-7
  • Weight: 181 lbs.
  • Chad Ford’s Top 100 Ranking: 35
  • Quick Breakdown: Great catch-and-shoot two-guard and possesses good length for the position.  Needs to get stronger and improve his ball handling.

Analysis

Snell is another long wing with a smooth stroke.  The Kings have been looking for their next small forward for a long time.  I’m not saying they have found the guy they are looking for yet, but it is refreshing to see them give this type of player a solid look.  For a prospect with such long arms, Snell had a beautiful high arching 3-ball from every spot on the floor.  It didn’t just look pretty; it actually went in as well.

His college rebounding and assist numbers leave something to be desired, but Snell is a player that can guard multiple positions and may be around when the Kings draft No. 36.

Snell was nervous in the interview process, giving short answers and not much insight into who he is.  He was very gracious after the interview, just not particularly engaging when the cameras were rolling.  On an interesting note, he played high-school ball with the Kawhi Leonard.

WATCH: C.J. McCollum, Michael Carter-Williams, Tony Snell and Peyton Siva post workout