Forbes Continues NBA Workouts As Stock Rises
June 6, 2008
AMHERST, Mass. - After being the unofficial MVP of the NBA's Orlando Predraft Camp, UMass senior swingman Gary Forbes has begun his individual workouts with NBA teams. This week, he has visited with the Miami Heat, New Jersey Nets and Boston Celtics. He heads to the Portland Trailblazers for a Sunday workout. Forbes has impressed many and his stock continues to rise. He is listed as high as the 32nd overall pick in a one mock draft by NBADraft.net.
CollegeHoops.net has his going 57th overall to the San Antonio Spurs. InsideHoops.com lists Forbes as a "mid/lower second round" selection. HoopsWorld.com has Forbes also headed to the Spurs but with the 45th overall pick, 15th in the second round.
The Atlantic 10 Player of the Year, had a tremendous NBA Predraft Camp. As reported by NBA Draft Express, Forbes led the All-Camp First Team. Here's what they had to say about Forbes, who averaged a tournament-best 21.7 points per game along with 2.7 rebounds and 27-of-33 from the foul line.
No player has done more for their stock in the pre-draft camps than Gary Forbes. The physically imposing swingman rode on the momentum he picked up from the Portsmouth Invitational to an MVP performance at this year's Orlando Pre-Draft Camp. While he stood out amongst his peers at both venues, he was one of the few players here that showed an ability to carry his team when it mattered. That won't be a skill that necessarily will need to translate to the NBA for him, but there is something to be said for stepping up and being a leader in a setting like this one where everyone is trying to earn a job.
There is very little that Gary Forbes didn't do offensively in Orlando, and he provided one of the most impressive scoring performances in the Camp's history--averaging nearly a point for every minute he played (21.3 in 23 minutes). In his second game, Forbes put up an incredible 30 in 25 minutes. Perhaps the most impressive aspect of Forbes's performance was the sheer volume of free throws that he accumulated throughout the course of the game, and that Camp for that matter (11 attempts per game). Of the 30 points he scored, 15 came at the line in only 16 tries. He has a knack for attacking angles and getting his man on his shoulder to draw fouls or finish with contact.
Forbes may not be known for his jump shot, but the rotation he puts on the ball is immaculate, and if he can learn to shoot the ball with the same touch from the perimeter as he does from the line, he'll be a tremendous offensive role player. He only hit 29% of his 3-pointers at UMass, but has definitely shown much more potential in that area at Portsmouth and Orlando. Forbes has already proven himself to be a capable slasher, and while he lacks elite athleticism, he's got tremendous court savvy and is a very solid ball handler for his size. His instincts are really what separates him from the pack, as he has terrific timing and footwork knowing when and how to attack his matchup, which is how he was able to make a living at the free throw line the way he did in Orlando.
On the other end of the floor, things weren't quite as pretty for Forbes. His lateral quickness is already underwhelming, and he didn't do himself many favors with lack of intensity he showed on this end, giving his man too much space and not really getting into any kind of low defensive stance at times. For someone who projects as more of an off the bench type in the NBA, this is something he'll have to shore up if he wants to get minutes in the league.
Though he's a year older than many of his counterparts in this year's draft at 23, Forbes has solidified himself as an early second-round selection, and if he continues to improve his defense and perimeter shooting, may surprise a lot of people with his ability to contribute at the NBA level.
Forbes first worked out for the Miami Heat on Tuesday. Forbes was featured by the Miami Herald. After working out the Heat, who own the second and 52nd selections, Forbes said, ''I'm just hoping to make a team. That's my dream. I'm trying to have a niche, so I'm working as hard as I can, no matter who's looking.''
Forbes headed up North to meet with the Nets on Wednesday. His workout was featured on the team's website: NJNets.com.
Nets Director of Scouting Gregg Polinsky was impressed: "He's a fifth year senior. Much like D.J. (White of Indiana) he understands what's vested here in terms of his future. He uses his body extremely well and is strong off the dribble. He competes well and the other thing he did well today is he shot the ball well during drills. If he does that not just here but in other workouts that's going to help his stock."
On his performance with the Nets, Forbes said: "I thought it went pretty good. I thought I was pretty productive. I was very pleased with the work out. I can hit the mid range jump shot and I was able to show off my positive talents. I know what my strengths are I know my weaknesses are. I'm just having fun out here. I try to play to my strengths. I can hit the mid range jump shot and I was able to show off my positive talents."
Forbes met with the Celtics on Thursday, during the afternoon as they prepared for their Game 1 win in the NBA Finals.
Here's what the Boston Globe had about Forbes: Gary Forbes, the University of Massachusetts swingman, will work out for the Celtics (Thursday) after working out for Miami (Tuesday) and at New Jersey (Wednesday). Forbes's NBA draft stock rose dramatically after the 6-foot-7-inch, 200-pounder averaged 21.3 points in 23 minutes per game at the predraft camp in Orlando, Fla., last week. He also starred at a predraft camp in Portsmouth, Va., in April, and is projected as a late first-round pick. The Celtics select last in the first round (30th overall) and in the second round (60th).
Forbes, who was projected as the 32nd pick by NBAdraft.net, said it would be "lovely" to get picked by the Celtics. "I just hope to get drafted," said Forbes in a phone interview. "It doesn't matter where I go." Forbes also has a 13-team workout lined up with Golden State in addition to others scheduled with Portland, New Orleans, Minnesota, the Clippers, the Lakers, Charlotte, San Antonio, Milwaukee, and Houston. "I did pretty well for myself," Forbes said about his play in Orlando. "I definitely helped my stock a lot at that camp. I played with a lot of confidence."
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