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J.J. Avila, it seems, has the best chance of Colorado State’s “big three” from last year to make the NBA. That is, at least, if chances are gauged on how many pre-draft workouts players receive.
For Avila, the 6’7” and 250-pound, his fifth pre-draft workout is scheduled to take place today per his former CSU coach Ross Hodge on Twitter.
— ross hodge (@coachrosshodge) June 16, 2015
Previously, Avila worked out for the New York Knicks, Philadelphia 76ers, Houston Rockets and the Denver Nuggets. After Avila is done showing the Jazz what he can do today, he’ll have practiced in front of one-sixth of NBA teams, increasing his odds that he’s selected in the NBA Draft when it all goes down in Brooklyn, NY on June 25.
Following his workout with the Nuggets, Avila spoke with the media about the experience.
“It’s fun,” the 23-year old said. “It’s kind of like studying for a test. You study right and you have no problem. I think we all put the right work in and we came in here and showed them we aren’t taking no days off and just came to play hard.
“In college, they kind of saw me as a low post guy,” Avila explained of what he wants to show NBA scouts. “But I really want them to see that I can shoot the ball and dribble it as well and be an all-around player.”
Avila is a versatile big man with somewhat sub-par athleticism. He’s got great touch when shooting the rock, both from downtown and inside. His foot quickness is not the question mark; he uses those quicks to spin around defenders in the block and then toss floaters through the hoop. Avila uses toughness to gain position and grab boards, though his lack of a big-time vertical leaves something to be desired both on the glass and on offense. Still, Avila is a truly talented passer for a big and led the Rams in assists per game (3.4), good for fifth-best in the Mountain West.
Following his senior season, in which he led Colorado State to a school-record 27 victories, Avila participated in the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament and impressed, raising his draft stock.
He’s also prepared for the draft by practicing with former Nuggets and NBA veterans Chauncey Billups and Anthony Carter, graciously giving BSN Denver an exclusive on the experience.
The same day Avila was in Denver, so was former teammate Daniel Bejarano, working out for the Nuggets. Bejarano’s had fewer workouts than Avila but may be better suited for the NBA due to his athleticism and deep shooting ability.
Stay tuned as either may be selected on June 25 in the NBA Draft, which will be televised on ESPN.