2014 NBA Draft Prospect Workout: Marcus Smart, Noah Vonleh and Co.

Noah Vonleh speaks with Chris Mullin. (Photo: Jason Wise/Kings.com)

The Sacramento Kings opened their pre-draft process on Monday with a double feature.  The first workout was headlined by Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart and Noah Vonleh out of Indiana.  Both these players are projected to go in the top 10 of the upcoming NBA Draft and fit positions of need for the Kings.

Louisiana-Lafayette point guard Elfrid Payton and Oregon State big man Eric Moreland rounded out the workout.  Payton is projected to go in the late first round and Morelend looks like a late second round/free-agent-type player.

Marcus Smart

  • Age: 20
  • Position: Guard
  • College: Oklahoma State
  • Height: 6-3.25
  • Weight: 227 lbs.
  • Draft Express Top 100 Ranking: 6
  • Quick Breakdown: Smart looks more like a linebacker than point guard.  Armed with incredible length and strength, Smart projects as a Tyreke Evans-type player.

Analysis: Smart is a basketball player.  Not a point guard or a two guard, but an athlete that plays with tenacity on both ends of the floor.  Does he fit with the current Kings roster?  Probably not.  The Kings already have 21-year-old Ben McLemore manning the shooting guard position and Smart is not the pass first point guard that the team seems focused on landing.  D’Alessandro passed on the chance to lock up Evans last season and he will pass on a similar player if Smart is there at No. 8.

Noah Vonleh

  • Age: 18
  • Position: Forward
  • College: Indiana University
  • Height: 6-9.5
  • Weight: 247 lbs.
  • Draft Express Top 100 Ranking: 7
  • Quick Breakdown: Vonleh is the wildcard of the lottery.  Is he a star in the making or just a player with freakish measurables?  

Analysis: The Kings are looking for the perfect fit next to Cousins and Vonleh has some of the tools they are searching for.  The 18-year-old prospect knows his way around a weight room and has the look of a kid that’s not done growing.  Assistant general manager Mike Bratz raved at Vonleh’s versatility and upside, going as far as saying “This guy’s gonna be a stud”.

Like Smart, Vonleh may be off the board when the Kings select at No. 8, but if he’s available, he has to be in the conversation.  Armed with a 7-4.25 wingspan and a 37-inch vertical, the Indiana product has the raw tools to be a very good player.  His opportunities were limited in the college game and most experts agree that there is more to this kid than just a back-to-the-basket big man.

this guy’s gonna be a stud
this guy’s gonna be a stud”

Elfrid Payton

  • Age: 20
  • Position: Point Guard
  • College: Louisiana-Lafayette
  • Height: 6-3.75
  • Weight: 185 lbs.
  • Chad Ford’s Top 100 Ranking: 25
  • Quick Breakdown: Payton has the size, athleticism and scoring ability to get his name called in round no. 1.

Analysis: The Kings brought Payton in to battle Smart and according to Bratz, the junior guard held his own.  “Marcus is a physical player,” Bratz said.  “Elfrid Payton is tough and he did very well.  Those are two really good guards.  Elfrid had a really good workout.”

Sacramento has not been shy about the possibility of adding either a late first round or early second round pick.  Depending on what happens with Isaiah Thomas, a big, athletic defender like Payton might be on the short list of prospects the Kings have their eye on.

“Marcus is a physical player,” Bratz said.  “Elfrid Payton is tough and he did very well (against Smart).  Those are two really good guards.  Elfrid had a really good workout.” – See more at: http://cowbellkingdom.com/2014/06/02/sacramento-kings-evaluate-nba-hopefuls-marcus-smart-noah-vonleh-tyler-ennis-and-elfrid-payton/#sthash.fx3iGLd4.dpuf

Eric Moreland

  • Age: 22
  • Position: Forward/Center
  • College: Oregon State
  • Height: 6-10
  • Weight: 224 lbs.
  • Draft Express Top 100 Ranking: 99
  • Quick Breakdown:  A long, lean athlete who probably should have waited a year to leave the college game.

Analysis: Moreland has attributes that the Kings covet.  His 7-3.5 wingspan and 9-2 standing reach are impressive, as is his 2.0 blocks and 10.4 rebounds per game averages in 29.4 minutes at Oregon State.  But he is a project and in this situation, a test subject to run Vonleh against.

Green on offense, Moreland will likely have to work his way through the D-League to get a chance in the NBA.

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About: James Ham

James Ham provides coverage through news analysis and in-depth interviews with Kings players and staff. James is also one of the producers behind the award-winning, independent documentary "Small Market, Big Heart". James graduated UC Davis with a degree in history and is happily married with two children.