Last Look at Luol

Philip Maymin
Basketball News Services 

Luol Deng will have what he says is his last workout for any team today as he displays his wares to the Washington Wizards from 10:30am - 11:30am. This may well be the last anybody sees of him until David Stern calls out his name on June 24. He is a lock for the top five spots, though he hasn't cracked the top two.

Barring trades, the only way the Wizards could get him would be if the Bulls opted for Andre Iguodala ("Iggy") and the Bobcats chose Shaun Livingston. Livingston is also working out for the Wizards today, right after Deng. Reports are his strength is quite low, as he was unable to bench 135 pounds at the Chicago pre-draft camp. Nevertheless, basketball is about a lot more than bench pressing, and Charlotte is fully aware of that.

If Deng does slip down to five, the Wizards have essentially guaranteed they will take the freshman forward from Duke. If he doesn't, then they may look to pick up Iggy themselves.

Iggy and Deng have long been compared to each other but it has been difficult to schedule a combined workout. Most mock drafts have Deng going higher than Iggy but you never know who will work out better in the end. Josh Childress is also in the mix if Livingston's stock drops.

Luol Deng is working out for the Wizards today from 10:30am - 11:30am. He says this will be his last workout.

Tony Allen, Shaun Livingston, and Rickey Paulding are working out for the Wizards from 11:30am - 12:30pm.

Clickhereto see a list of players that have worked out for the Wizards so far.


Paul Ladewski ofThe Chicago Daily Southtownwrites: While Deng was scheduled to work out for the Washington Wizards today, he reiterated his desire to follow in the footsteps of Duke products Elton Brand and Jay Williams, who were recent Bulls lottery picks.

John N. Mitchell ofThe Washington Timeswrites: Today, the Washington Wizards will conduct workouts of two players — Duke freshman forward Luol Deng and Peoria, Ill., high school point guard Shaun Livingston — either of whom they could select with the No. 5 pick in Thursday's NBA Draft.... At 6-7 but a rail-thin 186 pounds, Livingston could be the first point guard taken in the draft. Some mock drafts have him going as high as No. 4 to Charlotte. Livingston is athletic but there are questions about his strength. At the NBA pre-draft camp in Chicago, Livingston could not complete one 135-pound bench press.

Adam Himmelsbach ofThe Fredericksburg Free Lance-Starwrites: The Big Ten player of the year signed with an agent and completed a couple of workouts, and his stock vaulted. That's why the Washington Wizards, who own the No. 5 overall pick in next Thursday's draft, took the time to bring Harris in for an individual session at the MCI Center yesterday morning... Yesterday's workout was Harris' third in as many days. But he said the recent travel and travails did not affect his performance in front of Wizards' brass. "I actually shot the ball better than my previous two workouts," he said. "I had a little more rest with this workout. So I felt like I had a lot of legs underneath my shot." Harris said he struggled with a couple of drills early in the session, but once Wizards coach Eddie Jordan gave him another chance, he picked up the nuances quite quickly.

Lacy J. Banks ofThe Chicago Sun-Times writes: "As a competitive player, you always want to be rated as high as you can,'' Deng said. "To be predicted as high as I am is a great feeling and is a good reward for my talent and hard work. So far, I have had the Wizards and Clippers watch me in a workout that I held. I also worked out for the [expansion] Charlotte [Bobcats] two days ago. After Chicago, I go to Washington [today], and that will be my last workout."

Nick Parish ofThe New York Postwrites: For every feel good championship squad, there are inevitably players who help build a franchise and are cast off before the glory. This year, it's former Piston Jerry Stackhouse, who was traded to the Wizards in 2002 for Richard Hamilton...Stackhouse described the atmosphere in Washington as "not a situation that we like to be in," and the Wizards have left him unprotected in Tuesday's expansion draft. "In house we need to have guys grow up really fast," Stackhouse said. "That's what we're counting on."

Josh Gotthelf ofDime Magazinewrites in foxsports.com: The Celtics are reportedly very high on Wizards' free agent Etan Thomas right now. Great plan. Considering how well the Pistons fared with former Washington players this season (Big Ben, Rip, 'Sheed), we're surprised that no one else is dangling paper at the Wizards. If the pattern continues, the Celts will have a trophy in about three years.