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Archive for Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The relocation of Shady

KU forward embraces unknown NBA destination

Kansas forward Darrell Arthur rejects a shot by North Carolina forward Tyler Hansbrough in the first half of the Jayhawks' Final Four victory over the Tar Heels in April at the Alamodome in San Antonio.

Kansas forward Darrell Arthur rejects a shot by North Carolina forward Tyler Hansbrough in the first half of the Jayhawks' Final Four victory over the Tar Heels in April at the Alamodome in San Antonio.

June 25, 2008

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— Over the last three weeks, Kansas University forward Darrell Arthur has showcased his skills for nine NBA teams. That number actually skews higher because Arthur's latest workout on Tuesday was for the Philadelphia 76ers, Cleveland Cavaliers and Toronto Raptors.

With his final workout scheduled with the Washington Wizards today, Arthur will then be able to exhale and figure out where he will be selected in Thursday's NBA Draft.

"I'll be nervous not knowing where I'll be going," said Arthur, who will be in attendance for the draft in New York. "I'll be anxious and excited at the same time."

Arthur certainly didn't appear to be nervous during his hourlong workout at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, the Sixers' practice facility. He went through a series of drills for Sixers brass including general manager Ed Stefanski, senior vice president and assistant general manager Tony DiLeo, coach Maurice Cheeks as well as Cavaliers general manager Danny Ferry and Raptors coach Sam Mitchell.

Arthur participated in this particular workout with 7-foot-1 center Alexis Ajinca from France, Drexel forward-center Frank Elegar and Saint Joseph's forward Rob Ferguson.

"It's been pretty fun," Arthur said. "I've been getting to play against people I have never played against in college. Going through this whole experience is cool."

The Sixers own the 16th pick in the draft and have a glaring need for a power forward. They believe Arthur would be a great addition to a team which finished 40-42 and pushed the Detroit Pistons to six games in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.

"He fits the way we play," DiLeo said of Arthur. "He's an athletic player. He gets up and down the floor. He can hit the outside shot. He can post up. He's a winner. He won in high school and in college. He has a lot of good intangibles."

Arthur tied for second on the Jayhawks in scoring (12.8) and ranked second in rebounding (6.3). He scored 20 or more points five times and had five double-doubles. But his stock really began to rise in the NCAA Tournament as KU went on to defeat Memphis for the school's first national championship since 1988.

In the title game, Arthur scored 20 points on 9-of-13 shooting and grabbed 10 rebounds.

"The intangibles of winning mean a lot," DiLeo said. "He's had great coaching and he's a polished player."

For a power forward, Arthur could be perceived as a bit undersized with his 6-foot-9, 225-pound frame.

"The way the league is going right now, there are undersized fours like Rashard Lewis and Lamar Odom," DiLeo said. "A lot of fours are not huge, but are more athletic. It's more of an up and down game. I don't think size will be a problem at all for him."

Arthur hasn't had many problems during the string of workouts. The only glitch was a stiff back.

"My big back tightened up from those tiny planes," he joked.

Even though Arthur has been told he could go as high as ninth in the draft, he didn't want to turn down any offers to work out.

"I'm trying to show everyone I can shoot the outside 'J,'" said Arthur, whose cousin, Quinton Ross, plays for the Los Angeles Clippers. "I can really compete out here and play a little bit of defense. I think the workouts are going really good. I've been getting good feedback every day."

Arthur received good feedback from Danny Manning back home and it carried through the special national championship season. It was even more meaningful after deciding to return to KU for his sophomore season.

"I didn't think I had a great year as a freshman and we had our whole team coming back to make a big push for the Final Four," Arthur said. "Danny Manning helped me a lot with my footwork, cuts and ball movement. I think it was a big plus. Overall, it was a great experience. I talked to my mom and my family after this season and they thought it was a good thing to come out to the NBA after winning the national championship."

Two of Arthur's teammates - Mario Chalmers and Brandon Rush - are going through a similar process and having that KU support system has really been beneficial.

"I worked out with Mario in Indiana and I'm working out with Brandon (today) in Washington," Arthur said. "We reminisce all the time about the season and now going through the process is kind of like a boot camp. It's been great and we've helped each other out."

Now that the draft is rapidly approaching, Arthur soon will learn where his next stop will be. No matter where the destination, he's ready.

"I think I bring energy and a spark," Arthur said. "I'm excited to go to wherever I'm picked."

Comments

karmaxs3 6 years, 5 months ago

He may be able to play basketball, but do all these NBA guys know that Arthur can't do math?????? Surely that will affect his draft status. Whatever came of that joke?

jimmyspeachbaskets 6 years, 5 months ago

Shady had a cousin in the NBA? How come that never came out during the season?

Uhlrick_Hetfield_III 6 years, 5 months ago

I think he'll be able to afford an accountant to cipher the numbers.

KEITHMILES05 6 years, 5 months ago

Yes, Chalmers blew up in the workouts big time.

fu7il3 6 years, 5 months ago

All it means is he won't know whether he's in the draft lottery or not. What are these numbers beside the names?

David Lignell 6 years, 5 months ago

Wow! The first round looks reversed to me. I thought it would be Arthur, Rush and then Chalmers. Did something happen in the NBA tryouts that changed things? Round 2, however, makes sense to me.

Armen Kurdian 6 years, 5 months ago

When's the last time we had a class this good? 1997/1998? I can't remember how many of those guys went to the NBA in one year at least in the first round.

Eride 6 years, 5 months ago

KU is going to have three players go in the first round, maybe all three in the lottery. It isn't probable but it is remotely possible... Kaun got a three year 3+ million dollar contract to play in Russia and there is a good chance he along with Jackson will get drafted in the second round.Congrats to all the Jayhawks, have fun in the NBA!!

Oracle_of_Rhode 6 years, 5 months ago

"Philadelphia - Over the last three weeks, Kansas University forward Darrell Arthur has showcased his skills for nine NBA teams. That number actually skews higher because Arthur's latest workout on Tuesday was for the Philadelphia 76ers, Cleveland Cavaliers and Toronto Raptors."From your lede, I really can't discern how many teams he's worked out with. Nine? Eleven? Twelve?

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