DeJuan Blair's Job Interviews
Along with five other prospects, Pitt's DeJuan Blair worked out for the Indiana Pacers earlier in the week.
Typically NBA teams bring in a quartet in the final weeks.
Occasionally there will be several groups work out for the decision-makers. What makes this particular group of invitees intriguing is the composition. Blair, while short for his position, is one of the the two who projects as a frontcourt player.
Ty Lawson (UNC), Jeff Teague (Wake Forest), Jrue Holiday (UCLA), and Toney Douglas (Florida State) are all future guards, likely lead guards. Indiana has a dire need for potent guard play. The only other forward to workout for Larry Bird's braintrust was Goran Sutton of Michigan State.
Sutton will be a nice, if forgettable pro. He has decent range, refined technical ability accompanying limited athleticism and uninspired rebounding.
Blair's shortcomings have been known since he was 17. The dude is short. The dude was fat (apparently dropped 35 pounds since March). He has heard it all before.
That did not stop him from finishing fourth in the nation (12.3) in rebounding whilst playing against droves of professional peers. Littering the pathway to success were Hasheem Thabeet, Jeff Adrien, DaJuan Summers, Earl Clark, and Dante Cunningham. Each of the five will be donning a new Adidas hat June 25th.
The current roster of Indiana includes:
C Roy Hibbert
C Jeff Foster
PF Troy Murphy
SF Danny Granger
along with restricted free agents:
F Marvin Williams
PF Josh McRoberts
Blair instantly leapfrogs McRoberts (2.4 ppg) and perhaps Hibbert (7.1 ppg in 14 mpg) if drafted by Pacers. Ideally Blair would like to be a backup power forward in year one. He will never be able to guard an NBA small forward.
Should the Pacers select Blair he hopes to be the center of a four-out one-in offense. The hopes are high for the burly Blair.
Countless experts told him he is shaped wrong, but few compete harder than this rugged Rudy.